George tran

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How is the planning going for your upcoming show? Well alot of the planning so far has been around the interior architecture of the space, this has been my predominant concern for the moment. I want to surface the floor so that it is sloping, possibly in multiple directions but at least in one direction, with a gradient of maybe 4 degrees, and I am looking into suppliers I can get for the floor because what I’d like to do is use the conventional public paving that you see, Like a sidewalk? Yeah the slabs of concrete that are already in these squares of concrete, because I’d like the construction to be kind of rudimentary and basic and it actually be just many layers of these square slabs, just piled up in increasing steps, so there is no supporting structure underneath, the only thing supporting them is themselves, it doesnt require a strong complicated structure underneath to support it. And then I would like to seal between some of the layers of tiles with some pourable rubber maybe in a different colour, maybe yellow, which would allow there to be a smooth accessible slope between certain sections. So the rubber ones act as a sort of ramp? Yes so people using chairs or buggies can access the space. And then I also imagine there to be some integrated boxing, or rails on the walls. What do you mean boxing? At about waist height running along the walls might be a white box that’s treated in the same way as the gallery walls, that might look like its housing pipes or something, but maybe there are some of those things already existing in the space I hope I can play with. And then I want to build a railing at waist height, like a ballet rail, or a hand rail, and these are things that people can sort of sit on or lean on, so they are like furniture in a way but don’t look like their purpose is furniture. And again the tiles will create some sort of amphitheatre but you might imagine you are in some sort of carpark or sidewalk or the steps into the library. So since you use the word amphitheatre, is this also a space for performances to happen? Yes, and then my intention is to have some performances. I will present a version of this body of text that I keep adapting and transforming for different events and purposes and I want to stage a multi-voice performance that’s about a wide variety of subjects that i am stitching together to suggest a shared meaning and resonance. A shared resonance between the subjects or between the subjects and the audience? Between the subjects. I want the audience to figure out the connections or to find their own connections. But I will also have in the space some shelves and stuff that are kind of inbuilt, and some ledges that kind of are quite integrated and discrete looking that I would like to place some objects on, trinkets, some of which I will have made, some of which I will have gathered - to decorate the space in a background, ambient way without them feeling like sculptures that are at the centre of the stage Like objects that have been collected and brought there but aren’t serving as the principal focal point on the show? In the way you might have some string of baubles or… some bunting. You talk alot about these architectural elements, and you have a lot of ideas about how they can be places in a space. I am wondering when you are thinking of building the space in a certain way are you referring to architecture you already know existing or are you also trying to find connections in the architecture, how do these interior elements - what bigger purpose do you find for them? Well the gallery is an organised destination and a pre-arranged vessel for art and culture, but the idea in the architectural interventions I am making is to point to spaces that are existing outside the venue, such as the area behind the carpark that’s between the carpark and the warehouse that has no designated use but you can see that it is being used by people as a place to hang out and have un official public interactions,

Like it wasnt engingered to be for one use, like the carpark is made for parking cars and the warehouse is made for storing things but this ambiguous grey zone in between that people find their own use for

Yeah and i can still accomodate bodies, there’s perhaps a wall there that allows for some soil to be contained thats currently hosting a tree and some grasses that arent being tended to as such but the wall is the right height for people to be able to sit on as well. So there are circumstances of the space that actually accomodates bodies quite well

How do you intend to make the architectual interventions in the space, are you planning on doing it all yourself or will you be hiring crews? What sort of impact will this have on the community of Normalville, because it sounds like a lot of work.

I am relying mainly on two contractors, the main task is the concrete tiles, i am wanting to borrow them off the supplier that typically supplies the council and I am hopeing to use reclaimes ones because i know they are often digging them up a and replacing them so i want to borrow some that can then be reused once the show is over. Or maybe the garden centre can also loan me some or something, they sell these things, the very basic tiles, if they are the same I would hire them off them. And then as far as the woodwork is concerened, the carpentry, I want to audition two young lads with basic carpentyry skills from Normalville that are looking for work but they have to be quite attractive as well

Is that for personal intentions? Yes its for personal intentions but also for the performance of the construction of the space,

Will that be open for the public to view?

Only when it is safe to do so but i am hoping all this ocnstruction be visible through the windows and visible for people passing through to the cinema and the cafe. We are not going to conceal the construction process. In some circumstanced you might see the windows washed over with paint or posters are blocking the view but hopefully no we will have visibility of the construction.

And what is your ideal outcome for the viewers, what are they getting when they see the space? I want to the space to be… for the considerable amount of time that the performance isnt going on, i want people to feel like they can hang out in the space for their own purpose and to enjoy the ambient quality of the architecture and the objects, the trinkets i have put around the space. Somewhere to sit and contemplate time I want the scriptt o be availble as an ebook and maybe cheaply printed somewhere, i want the script to exist as a text that can be read. It’s equally a text as it is a script.

Ok so the art centre might be publishing that alongside the exhibition as a giveaway

Yeah so maybe some people will be reading that script whilst they are in the space, or they might even want to involuntarily read it together in a four, cause its for a number of voices to read

So the gallery is acting as this open - almost a park that is inside the contemporary art centre where people can gather and meet and have interactions with the architecture that they are familiar with from outside of the art gallery. I am wondering will the public be invited to perform or creat their own programming alongside of that

I want the space to be open 24/7 and there to be an element of heating like a glowing orange, standard, light thing that heats, and for there to be access out the back of the building, ther’ll be a through way so I hope people use the building at night for their own activities. As far as organised use of the space I dont knoe if i want to dictate that so much but this is what I am hoping. I might jsut let a a few existing community groups such as the drama class or the Womens Instute know that this space is going to be open, but i dont really want to promote that publicly, i dont want that to become the content of the work

The outside performance? yeah But are you worried at all that some things like if you are having a space open all night then you are inviting interaction from nocturnal people who might be interested in defacing things or doing graffiti in your exhibition, are you ok with this sort of stuff or do you think the people of normalville will not interact with it in such a way

Im ok with that happening, and my suspicion is it wont be such a hotbed of deviant activity because of the location in the town and it will be a very visible space,

Do you imagin the lights on cause you can imagine it being seen from high street, the towns busiest street, all night, Yea So then theres sort of your given this free space but then do you perform in it because your right there on high street in the windows

I think at night time people will be very aware of the visibility of their presence in that space and It wouldnt necessarily be aplace to hide it would be a place quite on show

Does where you come from have any impact , how does your previous time prior to this echibtion are there som moments that have informed this work or experiences that have led you to thins exhibtion

I dont think theres anything specifically different or unique about my life that has lead to the exhibition but i think its alluding to quite a universal and generic experience of phemomena and space tat the majority of people are living through

Can you explain to me how you experience space when you are in a new space, what is the process of how you engage with it?

New space? Pehaphs when you see something that you havent nociced before architectuarlly how do you choose which architecture is relevant in your work and whcich to exclude


I think the thing im i fin d interesting is where there seems to be a tension and cntradition between the designed prpose of a space, and indeed just how designed and planned different space are, and then the possible usage and , for instance how can you spend in a space without having to make a transaction? Some pubs and bars you can get away with just being there and not spending any money and some carparks you can be in without parking your car and you can use that space for its shelter, so i suppose i am just thinking about

So recently i was in finland an di saw this water tower from the side of the highway that was no longe functioning as awater tower but was converted and rented as an appartement, is this the kind f contrast in architecture that you are refering to ? or is that too simple?

I think yeah because i suppose i am not interested in appartments but

So its not the domestic space

I suppose id be more interested if the water tower became a bar or a pub

The pub as a sort of , its itnterior but its a public space

Or like an old bank that becomes a pub. You have to go to the big special bakn in town and its really old and it has these old romanesque pillars and alot of marble and you think about hanging out in that space, maybe you have to hang out in that space for a while cause youre with a friend and you have to wait for your meeting cause youre setting up a joint bank account. And youre just in there for a while and you look at its forms can you imagine cooking your breakfast behind the counter where the cashier is sat

There has to be an element of layering and collage, but im moore interested int hese semi public, these inbetween , public and private spaces, spaces that already are a bit of both

Theres a drug store in new york thats in one of the olderst bank buildings so you go in and buy mouth wash, usyally in a drug store you dont think about the architecture but in this one you look up and there is this entire stain glass ceiing that is 10 metres up and its just this really jarring experience because its just the wrong space for a drug store to exist , when people have this interaction theyres a certain feeling that people have Do you have those feelings? Could you describe that feeling where its almost cooincidence ore…

In a way its a revelation of history that is ahistorical and apolitical, its more actually just a theatrical experience in a moment, its mood making, its atmosphere making and it has the potential to become meaningful and to connect to other meanings but in the moment it hink it is a spontaneouse theatrical experience But also what i wanted to say about the intervention in the space is that i dont want -- the thing is we have a big budget for the show and i dont have a huge amount of material costs for the performances but i want to use the money that has been made available because if i dont use it then it will be reabsorbed aback into the galliery’s budgets and i dont want to lower the gallweries expendicure, i dont want the next person to have a smaller budgest because the gallery ahs realised the budgetis too bug So i do want to use all the money in the space but i dont want it to be disguised and invisible, i want it to be clear that we have borrowed this amount of tiling and the carpentry to be visiible and on show and not fully reabsorbed back into the white walls And you were saying that alot of the material s you would like to be rusued, who are you interested in having take that off your hands

Just the people who brough t it there in the first place, i feel like they will be in the most suitable position to reincorporate them back into their job, so the carpenter can use that wood for a different job, if he wants. Like my brother who is a plummer they ttake all the copper pipes out of an old building that the are refitting a system for and then the agreement is that they take that copper piping and they sell it to the cper guy and they share that profit themselves

S you are trying to support the community around the exhibition taking place and also supporting the artists coming after you by not lowering the budgets So the peple who are profiting are the community because they are being paid for materials then getting them back so they are receiving this fee because of your works Yeah and these people are all existing infrastructural labourours and companies none of this is entirely new to them but at the smae time i dont think they are the same people that the gallery is typically working with So its liek im not creating anything particularyl new im not opening up a new market im jsut slightly sidestepping the usual procedures,

Im really excited for the show to open, Any last thoughts? No