Opening Hours

The GLUCKSMAN Little Interview

Each week we ask the same set of questions to a different member of our community. Throughout 2015, we interviewed diverse members of the Glucksman community - artists, academics, staff members, guests, audiences and workshop participants. The responses were funny, inspiring, revealing and always a great read. The archive of 2015's interviews can be found here. Thanks to all who took part!

This week we hear from artist Lee Welch, who is currently showing work as part of 2116: forecast of the next century.


Lee Welch: 22 April 2016

What are you reading?
I am currently rereading David Foster Wallace's second novel, Infinite Jest, which is set in an absurd near-future, and it explores addiction, entertainment, pleasure, commerce, technology, and tennis—lots and lots of tennis.

Favourite museum?
Museum for Jurassic Technology

“And no treatment of the museum would be complete without mention of Noah's Ark in which we find the most complete Museum of Natural History the world has ever seen.” –quote from their intro page

A magical mystical portal into the grandiose and microscopic. From the beginning to end it is a journey into the obscure connections between the oddities and intricacies of time past. I learned about absurd superstitions, the genesis of trailer parks although my highlight would have to be the micromosaics of Henry Dalton made from the dust of butterfly wings.

Best performance?
“The Clifford Irving Show”, curated by Raimundas Malasauskas, Paris, 2009.

It was a most extraordinary thing. I will not provide an extensive report of the three and a half hours I spent fixated on the stage. There was an outline, but no script. I do not suffer from stage fright, but since I have always been told I am too much or too little, I have opted for the wings over any sort of spotlight.

But I digress.

What is your most treasured possession?
Getting to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:

"This is water."

What work(s) of art inspire you?
I would have to say the UK premiere of the very rarely seen Yvonne Rainer piece Talking Solo (part of Terrain), 1963 as part of her exhibition Dance Works in Raven Row, 2014. Rainer’s philosophy of ‘ordinary dance’ is recognised in the habitual motions of the performers, locating her choreography in the social and demonstrating a choreography of everyday life. With ‘Talking Solo’, two dancers re-enact identical movements while one narrates a passage from ‘On Truth and On Evil’ by American storyteller Spencer Holst.

Also Henri Matisse’s La Tiaré sculpture which has been likened to works by Arp and Brancusi, and indeed, the phallic quality of the pistil-nose calls to mind the sleek, tumescent stylizations and erotic double entendre of Brancusi's infamous Princesse X.

Man Ray’s Study for Cover: Photographs by Man Ray, 1920-1934 which happened to be an image he used on his first monograph and his friends pulled out all the stops to herald it. The monograph contains poetry and essays by the leading figures of the Dada and Surrealist movements: André Breton, Paul Éluard, Marcel Duchamp (written under his famous pseudonym "Rrose Selavy") and Tristan Tzara.

A lightbulb moment?
Looking without focusing or looking into darkness. I was just thinking about eyepatches and pirates. The pirates use of the eyepatch wasn’t always due to the loss of an eye. There is one theory that the eyepatch was worn over one eye so the pirate could move between the darkness of below-deck to the brightness of topside without waiting for the eyes to adjust. Taking what one might perceive as a handicap and using it in their favour.

Guilty pleasure?
Listening to Justin Bieber. And no I am not a Belieber. But I’m not so sure anymore. This sudden hesitance has everything to do with “Where Are Ü Now”, a song Bieber made with Diplo and Skrillex. The track is unexpected in all the best ways. It tones down everything you know about Skrillex, Diplo combines sharp dancehall stabs and a gloriously sad Eastern melody and Justin Bieber sings with something akin to actual human emotion. All thanks to a conversation I had with Dennis McNulty.

What would you like to be doing right now?
He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” ― Socrates

It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it. (exiting pursued by a bear)

Darn Thorn, 15 April 2016
Luise Ebner,
8 April 2016
Damien Flood
, 1 April 2016
Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, 25 March 2016
Eoin Colfer,
11 March 2016
Colin Darke,
4 March 2016
Daniel Blackshields,
27 February 2015
Antonia Hirsch,
19 February
Fiona Kelly
, 12 February 2015

Declan Jordan
, 5 February 2015

Find the 2015 Little Interviews here