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Issue 185

Questionnaire: Roger Hiorns

Q. What could you imagine doing if you didn’t do what you do? A. Being a charismatic leader.

BY Roger Hiorns in Interviews , Questionnaires | 16 FEB 17

Henri Matisse, The Piano Lesson, 1916, oil on canvaas, 2.4 x 2.1 m. Courtesy: Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Scala Archives, Florence

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

Very little, apart from a photograph of my son aged six, standing by a car from the 1950s: a Bristol 405.

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

Benjamin Britten’s Spring Symphony (1949) and Alexander Rodchenko’s Construction No. 126 (1920).

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

The Piano Lesson (1916) by Henri Matisse. It’s near perfect.

What is your favourite title of an artwork?

The Retrospective View of the Pathway (2016) by Roger Hiorns.

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

Being a charismatic leader.

What music are you listening to?

I’m revisiting Britten’s The Turn of the Screw (1954); I auditioned for the role of Miles when I was ten.

What are you reading?

Bubbles (2011) by Peter Sloterdijk; The Idea of the Holy (1917) by Rudolph Otto; Fatal Protein (1998) by Rosalind Ridley and Harry Baker; Rimbaud (2000) by Graham Robb.

What is art for? 

To further develop our historical and evolutionary self-consciousness

Roger Hiorns is an artist who lives in London, UK. His solo show at IKON, Birmingham, UK, runs until 5 March. In 2016, he had solo exhibitions at Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Luhring Augustine, New York, USA. Later this year, he will have a solo show at the Faena Art Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina, as a result of being awarded the 2016 Faena Prize for the Arts. He will also have an exhibition at Luhring Augustine.