Conversation between Florence Peake & Matthew McLean on occasion of her solo exhibition WE perform: I am in love with my body at Bosse & Baum, June to September 2017
MM: Looking at these drawings at Bosse & Baum, I found myself trying to mirror the bodies with my own body. I’m really intrigued by how you formed those positions. But you didn’t document that?
FP: No, the making of this body of work was totally private; a private performance. I wasn’t interested in it being a live thing, that people can watch; it wasn’t about the gesture of performance, or the art object as a remnant of an action. There’s a kind of romanticisation in that notion of the ephemeral act. I’m not interested in the artworks as traces, as things that are left over. In my practice the artworks have their own autonomy.
MM: So do you want viewers like me to think about the process when looking at these drawings?
FP: Yes and no. There is a live, performative moment, I’m not denying it. But there is also a privacy to that moment. I want to keep the mystery of that experience. All painting, all making, has a theatre, has an element of performance to it. It’s a question of what relationship the object has to that gesture that has happened. What I’m trying to engage is the somatic, the soma. I have to get into the internal landscape of the body. I am thinking about it being quite engaged with presence. That’s where I want the viewer to be too…..