Gavin Turk Interview: Art Needs to Question Itself



Meet an artist, who turns rubbish into art. “I want art to be fun,” Gavin Turk states. “Art is taken too seriously. It’s authority has to be questioned.”

“If you take a piece of the world and put it into a gallery, then the object becomes a representation of what it was before, a pictorial version of itself.” Gavin Turk (b. 1967) explains. At the same time these objects contain their own history, contain the story of culture. “It’s important, how art relies on these contextual matters.”

Gavin Turk, one of the members of the renowned YBA, (Young British Artists) has pioneered contemporary British sculpture with the use of rubbish in art. Among many other works, he has made art sculptures out of toilet rolls, flat tires and the core of an apple. In this interview, Turk talks about how he is at the point of throwing something away, but just before the rubbish hits the bin, he gives it a second glance and turns it into art sculptures.

Art often seems unquestionable, but art has to be like a joke, Turk argues. “In the process of undermining itself, an artwork opens up for interpretation and reveals itself. I want art to be fun. I enjoy playing with the history and authority of art, it’s authenticity.”

As he explains, “the value of art is that it can question value itself.”

Gavin Turk studied at the Royal College of Art from 1989-1991, but never got his postgraduate degree. His graduation exhibition, which consisted of a whitewashed studio space containing only a blue heritage plaque stating, “Gavin Turk worked here, 1989-1991.” Since then Gavin Turk has had numerous exhibitions around the world. Currently, Turk is travelling with different solo exhibition such as “Pense Bête” and “Home, Land, and Sea”.

Gavin Turk was interviewed at LARMgalleri by Kasper Bech Dyg.

Camera: Klaus Elmer and Kasper Bech Dyg
Edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014

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