Back Talk: A Conversation with Lindsey Carr

Juxtapoz // Tuesday, 06 Sep 2011

This September Thinkspace will host the debut U.S. solo show, Homage to Canton, from Scotland based artist Lindsey Carr. The show will be based around Canton, the old trading port in China where various flora and fauna were brought, traded ahd studied by merchants from around the world.

Carr says, "The pieces in the show are a homage firstly to John Reeves, a keen naturalist and Tea Inspector for the British East India company and to the anonymous Chinese artists who painted the subjects he requested at the port of Canton, China in the early 19th century. The artists who painted these works were trained in Chinese painting techniques which have a very specific aesthetic, while Reeves requested that they follow western scientific conventions. The result is a strangely stiff but still beautiful combination. Some of the pieces have a very mild reference to politics or philosophy, but most of them describe a fictional disease - illustrated with spurious Latin names & documentation. The term 'Morbus Spiritus' which is the title of one piece translates broadly to a Disease of Life and represents the theme runn ing throughout. Originally my title had been 'Life is killing us' but not only is this too close to the title of a song, it's also slightly too cynical an outlook."


1. One reason you make art:
I really believe it's a compulsive activity, like rocking back and forth. After you make it you intellectualise.

2. The last good movie you saw:
I really liked 'Bridesmaids' - It's great to see a movie with an all-female comedy cast

3. Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to:
I'd love to travel around the far east.


4. Favorite country or city visited:
Scotland is my favourite place. I wanted to live here for 15 years before I was finally able to relocate. I love the place, the people, the history.

5. A few words that sum up your philosophy on life:
Gratitude solves all of your problems

6. Something you want the world to know about you:
I smoked like a trooper from the age of 13 until 7 years ago. Quitting smoking was the best thing i've ever done. I reccomend it.


7. Something that annoys or frustrates you about people:
People who take themselves too seriously upset me. I end up putting on a cabaret act to try and make them laugh

8. Something that concerns you:
Polar bears drowning trying to find food, fish populations declining beyond the point of no return, an ocean full of jelly fish, a world of inhospitable extremes.

9. Artists you admire:
In no particular order and by no means exhaustive: Maria Sybillia Meriam, Albrecht Durer,  Jan Van Kessel, Madeline Von Foerster, Jessica Joslin, Josh Keyes,
Travis Louie, Martin Wittfooth, Walton Ford, Josie Morway, Tiffany Bozic, Rima Staines, William MacGillivray, Audubon, etc...


10. Favorite quote(s):
"First there was nothing, then it exploded" ~ Terry Pratchett

11. The first record or CD you ever bought? The last album you downloaded?
My first record was Jeff Wayne's 'War of The Worlds'. I use Spotify so don't really download stuff any more but i've been listening to a lot of Hudson Mohawke recently

12. Something you do when you’re procrastinating?
Wash the dishes and hoover - like some demented 1950's housewife...


13. What is your most defining characteristic?
I'm a bit of a joker - my dad's the same. If you call him up with a terrible tragedy he'll be making up puns and taking the piss out of you in no time. It might seem cruel but you're always laughing rather than crying at the end of it. I could never be in a position where a sombre demeanour is required.

14. What is your greatest fear?
A life half-lived.

15. The moment you realized you were an ‘artist’:
When my mum & nan started telling their friends I was...


16. Your greatest quality:
I can usually nail an accent in seconds and I feed the birds

17. Something you wish you could change or alter about yourself:
Maybe i'd like to worry less but there's no point worrying about it 

18. What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and was it worth it?
I think my biggest risk is what i'm taking at the moment. Showing work to strangers is nerve-wracking. I've clearly led a sheltered life.


19. Something you wish you had known five years ago:
Speak to the people you love as often as you can

20. What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years of your life?
I'm not really a planner but i'd like to see progress in my work. A pinch more maturity.


Lindsey Carr
Homage to Canton
September 10th - October 1st, 2011
Thinkspace Gallery
Culver City, California


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