With Merlin Carpenter and Isabelle Graw, Vienna Secession, Thursday, March 30th, 2000, 7 pm.
Isabelle Graw: First of all I'd like to talk about something very obvious I noticed while I was looking at the exhibition. On the one hand there is a political statement on the wall in which Anthony Davies and you express contempt for those Austrian people who voted for Haider and on the other hand there is the exhibition where we see a lot of new paintings presented in an architectural construction. In the catalogue I think Diedrich Diederichsen has described the way in which two types of activities have always run parallel in your work, on the one hand ongoing political analysis that was in a way materialized in your participation in the project "Poster Studio" in London and on the other hand what Diederichsen has called a fascination for painting. I am interested in the points in your paintings where these two worlds overlap. I would like to talk about those aspects in your paintings that show a high awareness of what you are doing that seem to laugh about the whole enterprise or point out to the fact that it is quite unjustifiable to operate in this way. The paintings seem to point out to the fact that it would be absurd to talk about their meaning. Maybe this dimension of the paintings - that you all the time have the impression that you see something but to talk about what you see is actually not what it is about - has something to do with the two poles in your work. On the one hand there is a kind of space of regression where you do these paintings and on the other hand there is a constant analysis of what you are doing. One example of this would be the quite extreme moment in a painting called "Manscape" where you see a silhouette of a women and a Range Rover in the belly of the women. It would be totally stupid to wonder what this means so maybe this comes of your position which is always a bit outside of painting as well. Maybe we can talk about that split.
MC: I think there is a gap between my interest in politics and my interest in painting. I wouldn't necessarily want to fill that gap. I think there is a genuine space there, which could also be a problem. That's not something that necessarily calls for a solution to a problem it's actually a sort of ongoing problem. I think you sometimes do see in the paintings a quite evident disrespect for the activity of painting. I wouldn't necessarily single out a car in the stomach or whatever it is; it's actually just behind. I just see it later and have a bit of a laugh about it but it's certainly not planned.
IG: It just happens?
MC: Yes, I wouldn't see it when I did it, I'd just see it later. I wouldn't particularly pull out that example but I think the activity of starting a painting and then leaving it unfinished, and then that's a finished painting is an expression of kind of laughter about the activity of painting, which is laughable in a way except that I am engaged with it. But I wouldn't necessarily make a direct analogy between that and the two poles of my interest. I guess that they are connected in some way but I don t know.
IG: Would you say that in the paintings there are moments where these two activities meet?
MC: In the show I did in 1994 with the computer collages of cityscapes there was a kind of attempt to somehow articulate something like that. Not so in this show where I am trying to show only painting, quite flat and emphasizing the opposite tendency.
IG: Before I had seen the show I told myself I will not at all be led into talking about something like subject matter and I would not talk about the iconographic approach to these paintings. When I saw them I first thought I might stick to that, as these paintings are so obviously empty and flat. But then it seems impossible not to talk at all about women and cars, at least for me. So I am torn between on the one hand acknowledging that it really doesn't make sense to talk about representation of women in these pictures. But then it is so consistent and you can't help but see women that I thought
MC: I don t see women.
IG: I see them and maybe we can talk about that; I do see them even though I know that it's not about them. Or maybe we can talk about fashion or start from there as most of the images you use come from fashion magazines. I thought about how fashion's impact on the consciousness of me and most of my women friends has actually increased over the last years. I actually don t know any woman of my generation who is completely indifferent to fashion. I also don t know anybody who does not like to look at fashion magazines and enjoy being consciously manipulated by them. You know you're manipulated and you're meant to want certain things but you enjoy it even more because you know that. Seen from this angle, and I would like to propose this also a bit as a joke, one could say as your paintings use images from fashion maybe they incorporate a kind of female gaze. But then there are the cars and though I know that it is not about cars I see cars. Is it actually possible to talk about it in this way at all or does it make no sense?
MC: I like fashion photography a lot and I like cars a lot. So there is actually no problem talking about them. But I wouldn't want to talk about them in an iconographical way in the sense of what they mean. I don't mind if other people do but it just would seem to me slightly missing the point about what it means to do a painting. To just see a picture of something would seem to skip over the interest of doing it. As the artist for sure there is a reason why it was produced but I'm not going to tell other people what they should see in it. From my point of view that would be trying to decode the imagery and would miss the distance and main theme that's about doing the painting.
IG: Looking at the paintings there are a lot of hints that point out the fact that you shouldn't think about them in terms of representation of women. For instance there is a painting like that in the first space as you enter where you see a man and a woman and the woman looks like Kate Moss. The woman's skirt is obviously a zone for painting and the first wall as well looks like a display of different painted possibilities. I think that the paintings themselves make clear that it doesn't make sense to speak about the fact that women are represented. But on the other hand you do use these images. I think you talked about that at another time when your show at Nagel was presented that you like to use these images that are totally overdetermined like images of women and I would say images of cars as well. It's not totally random and I think it's quite systematic and very consistent. You hardly find in the main room a painting where no car can be detected and at some point you want to see one. Maybe we can talk about why you have such an interest in those overdetermined motifs.
MC: I'm trying to get away from the idea of producing a meaningful image. You'd have to use something that's sort of a cliché because that is the only way you can make an image mean nothing if it's already known. It's a very difficult question; I think it's almost unanswerable.
IG: Maybe it's unconscious.
MC: Well no, I wouldn't say so, but it becomes the way you work. Some of the images, some of the source material I use is incredibly mediated, it's not just fashion magazines, it's from 1984. I'm thinking more about that it's from 1984 than what it is as a picture. It relates to how magazines are and how fashion photos are now and how they've become increasingly eroticised and that has process has accelerated and that has become a cliché. I find this kind of work, fashion photography and also the other associated fields involved like the art direction and make-up and the magazine itself, actually quite interesting. I mean I'm interested in the magazines as the product not whether it's a girl in a jungle or whatever. I don t know if cars are mediated in quite the same way, they certainly have a look and it's about that look.
IG: But always cars and girls, I mean a lot of car advertisements use girls for instance.
MC: I don t think my paintings look like car - or any kind of - advertisements. They look like paintings really. Talking about things like mediated overdetermined images, paintings are mediated in exactly the same way as cars. They are as stupid and as mediated as cars. Especially an abstract painting is the same type of cliché.
IG: Maybe these kinds of highly overdetermined and highly mediatised images are a good way to achieve the effect that you called emptiness or flatness.
MC: Yes but that's an obvious point. It's hard to say what is interesting about that; it sounds a bit boring. I have an interest in eighties approaches to art: in making a big object, filling it with empty signification and seeing what happens. But at this point in time it's a quote about the eighties, it's not the eighties themselves. So I think doing that has a different kind of meaning to what it would have had then, but I'm not totally sure what that is. I know that it's about the context now, it's trying to use some of the embarrassment and extreme sort of weird freedom of some mid-eighties art, between painting and neo-geo, that kind of that period. Which was a period I liked in a way but it's not that I'm trying to recreate it. I think the situation is so different now that you could do it again. It's an exploded field now, you'd be doing that in an exploded art context, and then to do it again would be a different kind of project, a more open, experimental project and maybe even more experimental than then.
IG: When you were talking about the eighties I was wondering about your quite excessive use of a certain drip technique. When I looked at your new work I was thinking of Clement Greenberg's remark about drips. He was criticising late Abstract Expressionists for using the drip in order to create a painterly effect and he called it "manneristic" at that time and didn't like at all the way it was done. So I was wondering what about your drips? I mean you seem to do them quite consistently
MC: They actually do themselves.
IG: Well, that's something you let happen. It stands for accident, which is of course highly mediated as well; drips by now are also a highly mediated practice I would say.
MC: To be honest that's not something I've thought about that much. What I mainly think about drips is that there can't be too many because then it sort of ruins it.
IG: So you have a pragmatic approach.
MC: I know if you have too many, it spoils the picture. But a few is quite nice. There are some that are painted out. You can also catch the drip with a sponge if you don't add too much water. I do that quite a lot because I don't want too many but some are really fine. It's very watered down acrylic paint and it drips immediately, you'd have to lay the picture on the floor to stop it.
IG: Here maybe we could talk a little bit about the way you work because I was trying to imagine whether you have a set of problems you want to solve, and whther they are only painterly problems. Or is it a problem, which has more to do with other interests and other activities with your friends or your context in Britain? Or is it more like you really allow yourself what I would call a zone of regression and you just start? How is one to imagine the way you proceed?
MC: The problem is that it's just too easy to start. You just do whatever and then the problem comes. You only need to do a few lines on a canvas, especially a big one, and it looks like a finished painting immediately. There is no problem before you just start, but then you almost immediately have a problem. Especially if you stop and do something else it looks finished, and then you have to carry on, or you think you should carry on because it's probably not really finished. There are a few paintings in the show, several from '91 and also the one from '97 which are probably less then five minutes total painting time. That's mainly the problem, it's just thinking about whether to carry on or not. But sometimes there are more and more layers and you just carry on.
IG: Well, I was just asking about the set of problems that are maybe formulated. You present the work here in the show a little bit like a series and this has to do with the way the wall labels are written, you have the work organized according to the time they were produced. It all starts with paintings from 1999, so it looks a bit like you work in series, there is a certain set of paintings you do because of a certain exhibition you have to do. They seem to have also things in common and then there is another one or two years and another set of production and you display it here like that. So the way you presented it here, it looks there is a conceptual moment in it. You're dealing with a certain amount of problems at a certain time and then you come to the next series.
MC: That's very related to external factors, like which show you have to do and you have to produce some work. I wouldn't usually start buying a stretcher and doing a painting without a show. Most of it is for specific shows so you end up with a group of pictures.
IG: But when one looks at the show it looks like it doesn't makes sense to single out one painting. How it wants to be talked about more is in relation to exhibitions and that means maybe that the exhibition is the problem to solve, that you have to do an exhibition.
MC: Well, I don't know, the only real group of work is the new work, which is for this exhibition. All the old work is various stuff, which does not particularly represent exhibitions.
IG: But in the paintings from '91 for instance you see that there was an ongoing preoccupation with Clyfford Still for instance. You see in the pictures that you were preoccupied with certain painters and at other times it's a different set of preoccupations.
MC: Yes, but that's normal, isn't it?
IG: I'm just trying to get an understanding of how you proceed and I don't think that it's the way you put it now. You present it like you just do it and then it's going very quickly, but I think there are more factors that you take into account.
MC: Well, I've done a lot of other things I haven't done just these paintings. The show is concentrating on a kind of image of producing fairly easy paintings, some not as easy as others, but it doesn't really tell a story. The dates are just there so that people know. There is a difference between different works, different periods, just so that there's no confusion about that.
IG: But that's not a very conventional format to have one year (the date first in a larger typeface) and then the titles under it, I mean I've never seen it before.
MC: Well, the Secession isn't a museum; you don t really need museum labels. I thought that titles in some instances were necessary. I think sometimes dates are more important than titles; they've a kind of feeling of a certain year. For me that's more how I think: if I think about '91 I have a set of associations about '91.
IG: But doesn't it also have to do with the fact that the exhibition is conceived like a fake retrospective?
MC: Well, it is called "The Estate of" as if I was dead. It's a quite flat presentation of some paintings.
IG: Some of the paintings look dead as well, I think.
I also thought about the drawings, the way they are presented here. I wondered about their status in your work because they don't seem to work as the preparation for the painting but seem to have an equal importance. But on the other hand you seem to acknowledge their lower status, let's say on economical grounds, by the fact that you put them more on the side. But on the other hand they seem to be of importance because they are conceived in a very similar way to the paintings. Maybe you can talk about that.
MC: Well, they are important things for me because at that time, which was '95 to '97, I was trying to work out what to do with painting for myself. I haven't showed them before so they were made pretty much for me. They weren t really particularly made to be shown in fact, and they are just going to go back to my studio afterwards. But I thought it was a nice place to show them partly because of the space but also for other reasons. They represent for me an attempt to try and go deeper into painting. There was a problem with painting in the early 90s, which I wrote about in a text. It was published in Texte zur Kunst, it was an edited version of a talk I gave at the Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna in '95. I don t want to go into that historical aspect of that but it was an attempt to try and get as deep as possible into painting in order to work out how to solve the early nineties and post-modern problem where people were doing shows like the Kaspar König Show "Der Zerbrochene Spiegel" which for me was just rubbish basically because it presented painting as this sort of "many people could do many things" and it didn t address the other problem - why do you do a painting. You do a painting because it's better at doing something than another kind of activity and you wouldn't do it because it's the same as video. You do it because it has advantages that video doesn't have. That's a really obvious point but it's one that has often been missed, especially in that period. So the idea of having this work here is because I am showing some early work from '91 which is probably a bit more ironic than the work I'm doing now, it's not that dissimilar but it has a more a jokey feel, and I thought it was important to show something of the link between those paintings and what I do now. When I say "going deep into it," I don't mean an unmediated way. The deeper I went the more mediated I felt, and you discover how mediated your own subjectivity is. If you're trying to go as deep as possible you realize you're also a cliché. You can't go deep and you don't have any depth to go to, especially not with painting, not in that cliché way. Painters are often trying to avoid the depth, like the hard-edge painters or whatever, but there are no depths. Part of that time for me was working in suburbia in a studio next to the river. I was trying to become as intensely bourgeois as possible in order to create the conditions for an experiment with bourgeois painting. That's not quite what I'm doing now and it's not my main interest now, it was a particular period I was doing that in. But it has enabled me to start to work with painting in other ways.
IG: One other instance where I thought about exactly this "no depth" that you are highlighting is the paintings you often have in exhibitions which I always called "in-between" paintings, which function as a pause or as being more empty even than, or pointing also to the emptiness of, the other paintings. In this show it's the paintings I would characterize as impressionist. There are two of them and they hang in-between and in the show at Gallery Nagel you also had abstract computer doodle paintings. I think you had two of them, which had a similar function of kind of relief, emptiness, and pause, inside the exhibition. Do I describe this function right?
MC: Yes, exactly, there are twelve paintings and ten of them are pretty kind of forlorn, an ugly attack and so you do need something to sort of...
IG: Relief, breathing.
MC: But the abstracts are attacks as well, aren t they?
IG: Yes, but they are something you don't hold onto in the same way.
MC: Yes, it's a relief for the eye.
IG: Do they make sense by themselves or do they only function in the context of an exhibition?
MC: Well, they should do, the paintings are meant to be separated, and they do not have to stay together.
IG: What about your decision to construct this space in the Secession? You know there is a history in the Secession of more or less every artist trying hard to think about a solution for a space that is considered "difficult". There have been many attempts, like Heimo Zobernig building a labyrinth based on his initials. You followed that attempt and decided also to think about that and come up with a solution. You actually built a space in the space, a white cube gallery space, which has the When I walked in there for the first time I felt that there was a very concentrated situation is in a space which is usually open and you don't feel like you can stay there for a long time. But through this very simple measurement of three walls you built, it creates a situation where one all of a sudden stays and really looks at the paintings. How did you come up with that construction? We've got to talk about the boat too which is squeezed on the side and it looks a bit as if that was too small for the boat. The boat is just there as an embarrassment basically. How did that happen, first of all the construction and then the decision to put the boat on the side?
MC: You could just hang pictures in the Secession as it is usually but considering there is an offer that you could build something it wouldn't be really the best thing to do. Because it wouldn't look that good, it might look okay but it wouldn't look that good. Then I just thought about what sort of a thing I could do. It would be too boring just to close off the three parts, the back and the sides, just too conservative. Then you could also connect all the pillars. What's good is that I've knocked off the bits behind which are a bit annoying, like a side chapel.
IG: You also made the wall go all the way up.
MC: I looked through their old books and the 100 years catalogues. There was a show about the aura of art or something. There's one photo where the walls come up right to the skylight.
IG: What about the boat? You had a Mercedes-Benz bicycle in the Nagel Show and at the time you explained it I remember that you said, "This time it's not that the art goes to the sponsor but the sponsor comes to the art".
MC: I think that's the way you explained it actually.
IG: Could be, maybe I projected. Anyway it makes sense, doesn t it? This time it's a speedboat. My first reaction to the show, in a stupid way, was to think: Oh this is also a kind of assemblage of status symbols: cars, women and a speedboat. But then you didn't like that at all when I told you. Maybe you can talk about the boat.
MC: Well, I just didn't like the term status symbols because the idea of status symbols doesn't explain anything. I really can't say anything about the boat, it's just there and the company that sells the boat did the tilting angle. I think that's how they usually display it in a boat fair. The boat had already arrived when I arrived in Vienna and they had already got it kind of coming around the corner, which I thought was good. I asked the Secession for a boat pretty much exactly like that and they got it. It's good and I mean it's fast and everything. What I like about it is that it's wide and needs space. It's much wider than a car, almost double as wide. It's very like a car because it doesn t have any accommodation. It's just for daytrips. But it's much much wider.
IG: If I was an art historian writing for October I would like to now talk to you about the collapse between high and low or how high art is going to be eaten up by culture industry. Maybe we can go in that direction, is it in order to incorporate sports or...
MC: It's funny how smoothly it can go, I was talking to the boat guy yesterday and it's funny how little misunderstanding there is. It's like: oh yes it's a nice boat, he likes it and I like it. There is actually no barrier there whatsoever. In terms of sponsorship it's nice to thematise sponsorship a little bit because so many things depend on it. You maybe slightly empower yourself through the ease of it. But not really getting involved with this critique of sponsorship just giving a hint of how much that is really what's going on, it's various people doing favours to each other.
IG: And it's just totally coincidental that it's one time a Mercedes-Benz bicycle and then a boat, it's just things you like, which you've seen in the shops?
MC: No, the boat is a sort of development of the bike, of course. It couldn't not be, yes, but I mean there is no car in between but that's the only amazing thing and it doesn t take a genius to not do that.
IG: On the first level one could say there is this young British lad, fascinated with fashion models
MC: I'm not a lad.
IG: nice cars and racing boats, don't you play with that?
MC: No, I'm not a lad.
IG: What is a lad?
MC: A lad is someone with short hair, goes out with his friends and gets drunk maybe that's me.
IG: Sounds like you.
MC: A lad implies someone quite rough. It's not someone you'd aspire to be unless you were pretty tough.
IG: Before we open up the discussion maybe we can talk about the statement you wrote together with Anthony Davies. I was wondering when I read it for the first time and we had this conversation about it and I said that I was a little bit surprised you would talk about your feeling of contempt for those people who voted for the FPÖ because I thought it's a description of a feeling and who cares about what you feel towards these people, and I thought whether that was really the point. Then at the time you said to me, well that was anyhow also meant as a joke and it was not completely as serious as the way it was formulated but then I thought maybe I couldn't read the British humour in it. Maybe we can discuss that statement and the reasons why you wrote it. I generally think that it's very good and very important to put it in the show and the catalogue but I was wondering about the notion of contempt.
MC: It's not a joke but it's something almost like a task, something that became absolutely necessary to do. There's a kind of humour in how it is written but we mean it seriously. Maybe in translation the word "Verachtung" sounds very overloaded.
IG: It's pretty tough.
MC: I think voting for a racist party that makes references to Nazi Germany or Nazi Austria as being good in some way... I mean that is contemptible. It is really disgusting in a country that was previously part of the Third Reich to start voting for... I mean it is it is completely unacceptable on every level. It's contemptible.
IG: But that's not an argument.
MC: No, it's a fact. It's a fact that it's completely unacceptable that this is happening, that people are going for that, and everyone knows it.
IG: Maybe that is a good moment to open the discussion, any questions, comments, complaints?
Cassius Matthias: If I wanted to buy the boat, how much would it cost?
MC: It would be triple of the usual price of the boat because the gallery gets fifty per cent; I get fifty per cent plus the production costs which would be the price of the boat. I have no idea what the boat costs, it's only being lent at this stage.
CM: It's more than a car?
MC: Well, it would be the price of a medium luxury car, I don't know exactly.
IG: Maybe you want to talk about the subject of the subject matter, which is not there but then somehow one sees it.
Martin Prinzhorn: I think you went a bit fast when you said it's non-representational because non-representational in connection with painting is used in a very different way.
IG: No, I said the issue is not about representation of women.
MP: But how does this come, how does this arise, that's an interesting question. That actually has to do with seeing the same images again and again and then if you transport them back to the medium of painting something happens. Maybe you could explain this a little bit more.
IG: I more thought it's in the paintings itself like when you for instance have in this painting "Les Garçons d'Avignon" images of models but then you also have this huge blue circle just there, and other funny stupid things which all the time are for me hinting that it's not about a critique of the representation of women in fashion or something like that. That would be absurd.
MC: No, it's a critique of the critique of the representation of women.
Diedrich Diederichsen: I think this is not a question of representation but this is a question of interpretation of intention and of hermeneutics whereas obviously there are representations of women. In most cases there are not women in general but representation of complete individuals. You mentioned Kate Moss and probably the others also have names and are known mostly from photographs. So I think this is not non-representational.
IG: In feminist art history there's a whole discussion about representation of women where you first ask how are they represented and in what way can this representation produce a certain reality. I think this whole approach is not fruitful in case of these paintings. That's what I meant.
MC: It's just referring to the discussion that happened around David Salle. It's just mentioning it but it's not entering into it. That's just an indication of how much the art discussion and general culture has changed in that time. Despite the fact that the work is identical, the context is different, that's the joke.
IG: Maybe we could talk about the question of context here. I thought about your work in relation to other artists' work like Cosima von Bonin for instance, who does actually make use of her social contexts in certain works as a kind of material for her works. I thought about how you use the way you're socially situated in Britain and how it shows in your work. How it doesn't really show in the paintings but more in conversations like the one with Anthony Davies which is very important in the catalogue. Moreover in the way the catalogue looks especially the cover, where one sees you and your friends or the participation of friends at different levels. Something that's not internal to the paintings but shows up in other instances of your project.
MC: Well, nothing is internal to paintings. In doing the show I realized how much so many other people are involved, and most of them on the level of friendship. The more you have that the more you can be independent in terms of your work. The more you have the back-up of an informal network of people that you can argue with or talk to, the more you can develop your own practice. It's like having something to rely on that's quite strong. I would hope that my friends get similar support from me. I think that's pretty important. In this context I would like to just give a name check to Martin Kippenberger, who to some extent developed that idea quite carefully in the eighties, the golden years (ha-ha).
IG: Our great time.
MC: I think there was a question from the back earlier.
Lucy McKenzie: You called this exhibition "The Estate of" what are you going to do after this exhibition? Is it finishing something?
MC: I hope so; I don't want to stay the same. If the exhibition is legible as a whole and almost explains it all that would be great because that would mean that I would have to do something else.
LMc: What are you going to do?
MC: I don't know.
MC: Probably the idea is conceptually to reach that "sublime" moment. I try and work to bring things to a conclusion otherwise you won't get to the next stage. Which is a bit fun-Hegelian.
IG: When I saw earlier exhibitions of yours I had the impression that you completely undermined everything you had accomplished the time before. Or if there was something like an accomplishment it was undermined again, and somehow in this exhibition I think it's different. There's more of a principle of addition, it adds up, something is built, it's more constructive...
MC: Sounds terrible...
IG: ...it's less like working always with the concept of the extreme, which has been quite an important concept for you; going to the extreme, always being very careful that you do not rely on something that could be an accomplishment, to pull the carpet out from under you.
MC: Each show was meant to be a finished thing but in order to have nothing else to say on the subject and go to the next one.
IG: Something is different here. It's like something comes together here.
MC: I think it does add up to a kind of general washout.
IG: Whitening out, wiping out.
MC: Yes, whiteout.
IG: Looks a lot like it.
MC: But you know as I say it's called "The Estate of" which means I'm dead or I should be.
Renée Green: That's very extreme.
MC: Is it extreme? It's not really extreme, it is like it could be considered extreme.
RG: You know when you where saying about the extremes, and I was thinking that it was. I think it was extreme.
IG: This one?
RG: Yes. I mean the setting scale and everything, the kind of white cube.
IG: But maybe it's just a personal thing because there were always things in the former exhibitions which I found highly irritating and had to get used to. I remember one show where he was making silhouettes of dead gallerists on the floor out of tape. Things like that which where really like maybe this time it's the boat.
RG: You like boats?
MC: Maybe these things that irritated you were just bad.
IG: No, I think something changed I can't quite synthesize it. I have one last question about your use of colour. I thought that the way you use colours is also an instance of pointing out the lack of meaning and the materiality of the painting but not in a very serious way. On the other hand one has the impression that you really like to do it and have fun in doing it and that you know quite well how to deal with paint and colour. Even if you might not think about it it looks good at times.
MC: What do you mean exactly about colour?
IG: The way colours are juxtaposed.
MC: You mean bright colours.
IG: Yes, you're using a lot of white in this show.
MC: I wanted to get back to having white canvas because it is so ugly and aggressive looking, inherently. I don t know, sometimes I do black and white paintings but this one is in colour. I don't know what to say about colour.
IG: For instance when I saw the picture on the first wall, which I mentioned already there's Kate Moss and some guy and Kate Moss is wearing a skirt and you really use the skirt as Velázquez would have painted clothes.
MC: But it's really cheesy if you look carefully at it.
IG: But still you're doing it.
MC: But that's what I was saying before about the further you're going the more kind of Mickey Mouse it gets. That part is really nice, it really shows it. That skirt is very badly painted, technically it's black and white mixed with purple in a really awful way. That's good, for me that's like an achievement. It's not fine art in a way.
MP: Not Velázquez.
MC: Velázquez is also quite cheesy.
IG: Exactly, in former times one would have called it virtuosity. I wouldn't want to use that concept.
MC: But you can also call it practice.
© Merlin Carpenter/Isabelle Graw. With thanks to Vienna Secession.