Over the years I have always encouraged journalists, writers, archivists, art critics , historians and even artists to tape-record the conversations they have with the people they interview. This prevents the essence of communication getting lost in translations via hastily scribbled notes in unintelligible handwriting, or worse still, when people believe that their memory will serve to recall in minute detail lengthy discussions; which of course is a recipe for disaster. Recording communication becomes valuable data for us to reflect upon and return to, especially if we want to contextualize oral histories.
To deliver interpretations should not be seen as a licence to distort meaning. Too often the adage that the pen is mightier than the sword is taken far too seriously by fledgling writers. I find it particularly special when artists interview and write about one another other. These conversations can be like labyrinths that twist and turn, but have a structure that can lead one to it's centre. It is even more poignant when years of friendship become the playgrounds from which such interactions take shape.
Today letter writing unfortunately has become a dying art, replaced instead with the brevity of sms's that are delivered in a truncated jargon I refuse to endorse, or quickie emails that are cold and lie imprisoned in the screens of computers. I grew up in the era of post-cards, where you searched to find those favourite images to share with friends whilst travelling, and who then equally carefully preserved them like valuable collectors items to keep for posterity.
I had a portable typewriter I bought for a throw away price from a drunken friend of a friend, at an LSC party I attended when I was a student. This became my Sancho Panza for many years. With one finger, I have typed letters to friends filled with all the imagination of my ideas spilling out from the carefully sealed envelops they travelled in, to their designated destinations. Sometimes it was paper napkins dug out from the depths of my shoulder bag in museums that were filled with scribbled excitement to share with a loved one. At others it was a drawing that transformed into letter paper and where words and images collided together. All of these served the same purpose; the exquisite delight to articulate and tell the other something you held as relevant and important with the hope to provoke a response, that could then lend itself to the flow of interaction that friendship for me is really all about.
In many ways this space right here becomes my post card to all of you, each time I sit to write. A small interlude each day of sharing, where ideas in my head are mulled over as I share them with you, before I step into my studio where paint and turpentine become the language to converse in, instead of the English alphabet.