What do the following words have in common?
They are all words given the midas touch: capitalized, magnified, illuminated and animated by Glaswegian artist Martin Creed. The Turner Prize winner speaks to Crane.tv about his latest work 'Mothers', "I think it's really difficult to decide how big a word should be, because the meaning of a word is there whether it's small or big, but I reckon 'Mothers' [housed now at the Hauser & Wirth's new Savile Row Gallery] should be big, and this spins round as well. Big and out of control." Some could say the same of his career, since winning The Turner Prize in 2001 with his controversial installation The Lights Going On and Off, his dematerialised minimal art has continued to grapple with our attention.
Despite moving to Italy in search for respite and a suitable working environment Creed is a city boy at heart, whether in Glasgow or London he is drawn to the people and "the crazy mixed up mixture." And that seems to suit his various interests, working increasingly more on music, live shows and the dance because to him, "life is a big soup of words and noises and things you see and feelings and it's just difficult to separate them." Describing the association between his work and dance, he explains how he is focusing on trying to move better rather than to make something: "everything you do involves moving your body." Concentrating on trying to make noises directly, he believes that at their most basic level that is what songs and music are. His long-time enthusiasm for the writings of Ernest Hemingway and George Bernard Shaw, Creed admits is what's inspired him to "keep things simple" and his work reflects this.
Speaking of the best slice of advice he's ever been given, "if you don't know what to do, don't do anything." He laughs over how it's difficult to apply that to when you have a exhibition and an audience, "I feel I should try to put something on show.." and then he does.
Text by Carmen Ho for Crane.tv.
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