BY Sarah McCrory in Interviews | 25 MAR 16

Questionnaire: Sarah McCrory

Q. What do you like the look of? A. I like the look of you. You're looking pretty good.

BY Sarah McCrory in Interviews | 25 MAR 16

William Hogarth, Scene in Bedlam from 'The Rake's Progress', 1733, engraving by T. Cook. Courtesy Wellcome Library, London

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

A rolling selection of posted invites that stay until I tire of them. Currently: an image of Mike Kelley’s Catholic Birdhouse (1978), a hand-painted carrot tile by Nicolas Party and a bill-poster for Glasgow’s Evening Times which screams ‘MAN STABBED IN BUM BY ZIMMER MANIAC’. 

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

I didn’t go to galleries as a child, and when I lived in Germany in my teens I took the wonderful collections in Dusseldorf and Cologne for granted, but Max Beckmann’s The Night (1919) had a memorable impact on me. I couldn’t believe a painting to could be so brutal and horrific. I visited it all the time. 

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

‘A Rake’s Progress’ (1733) by William Hogarth. Can I have them all? Are they one work?

What is your favourite title of an artwork?

More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid And The Wages Of Sin (1987) by Mike Kelley

What do you wish you knew?

How to open up art for people who think it’s a joke. How to speak more languages. How to retain factual information for longer than a day.

What should change?

Tolerance for other people; the weather in Glasgow.

What should stay the same?

Probably nothing. Improvements all round please.

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

I’d work in radio. In fact, when the art world is being mean I think about abandoning it altogether and doing just that. That, or training horses. 

What music are you listening to?

Animal Collective’s ‘FloriDada’, Rihanna’s ‘Work’, Zayn’s ‘Pillowtalk’, ‘Transitions’ by SBTRKT and loads of really-awful-but-good radio shows. Also, podcasts like Serial, This American Life, The Life Scientific and, erm, The Archers.

What are you reading?

Olivia Laing’s The Lonely City (2016) and The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951) by Carson McCullers.

Sarah McCrory is Director of Goldsmiths’ Centre for Contemporary Art, London, UK.