in Interviews | 14 APR 07
Featured in
Issue 106

Mark Wallinger

Mark Wallinger lives and works in London. His solo show ‘State Britain’ at Tate Britain runs until August 2007. This year he will also have solo shows at Kunstverein Braunschweig and Donald Young Gallery, Chicago. His work is also included in Muenster Sculpture Projects.

in Interviews | 14 APR 07

What images keep you company in the space where you work?

Images and texts concerning current projects – but they can nag as much as keep me company. A back to front image of the Mona Lisa and miscellaneous poetry.

What was the first piece of art that really mattered to you?

A reproduction of Blue Shutters by Anthony Thieme, which hung in our living room when I was a child. It was an object of reverie for me: the terrace, the trailing vine, the perspective leading to a figure sitting on a wall. I always supposed that beyond the wall was the sea.

If you could live with only one piece of art, what would it be?

Diego Velázquez’ Las Meninas (The Maids of Honour, 1656) would be nice.

What is your favourite title of an art work?

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (1558), by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

What do you wish you knew?

More poetry by heart.

What should stay the same?

Mean average temperatures, Marmite and idealism.

What should change?

The fact that such an obscene gulf in income exists in Britain, the fourth richest nation in the world, which has grown wider under New Labour.

What could you imagine doing if you didn’t do what you do?

I can’t imagine doing anything else, but if I was a different person entirely I would be a musician.

What film has most influenced you?

I like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton – artists creating the form – and the early Bruce Nauman studio videos.

What music are you listening to?

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (1876), Amy Winehouse, The Shins, The Little Ones, Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté.

What are you reading?

Something Happened (1974) by Joseph Heller and Zeno’s Conscience (La coscienza di Zeno, 1923) by Italo Svevo.

What do you like the look of?

She won’t let me say.

What is art for?

Art is not for anything – if it is any good it is beyond definition.