Tash Kahn and john ros met at the 2015 Sluice_ Art Fair in London, UK. Since then they have shared a back-and-forth photograph-based correspondence over signal, exhibitions in NYC and London, and many conversations over dinner.
My practice is multi-faceted. It never used to be this way. I used to paint and still to this day say that if you peeled off my many layers you will find a painter (albeit tortured) at the heart. I moved away from the canvas slowly, first onto Perspex, then onto the wall itself. I traded in paint for gaffer tape. I liked the instant line.
Journeys to and from my studio were interrupted to collect other people’s rubbish (something I still do), which I used to create ‘wall sculptures’, held in place with tape. Those pieces only lasted as long as the tape would allow before falling down into something else. I researched entropy and watched my work gradually decline into its own disorder. Sometimes I recycled the trash into another piece; other times I binned it. I enjoyed the process of recycling and remaking. And liked that each piece could spawn countless others, negating the art object as a whole.
Now I use sculpture, Polaroids, installation, film and collage to document the history of everyday life by recording the debris of the present. I seek out other people’s rubbish and collect objects I am drawn to, ready to be archived or recycled into something else. But I am always mindful of having too much stuff. Now I try to make ephemeral work – work that is there for the length of a show or the duration of a project, then it is gone. I am constantly questioning why and how I do what I do. How can I engage the people that matter and use art as an agent for change?
i used to call myself a painter. i walked around with paint on my jeans and t-shirts. someone once said that my paintings were about space. come to think of it, i was always obsessed with light and space.
taking pictures of formal elements has been an ongoing practice. photos are a form of note-taking, including the documentation of space and how it functions in our everyday.
i was an art handler for over nineteen years. i started noticing mounds of work in storage facilities and piles of wasted materials from exhibitions. this got me thinking about the things i made and how i needed to be more environmentally critical, as well as practical, about storage.
my first installation was created in 2001. i have created installations of varying scale and material ever since. these slowly morphed from studio productions into site-responsive interventions, where all materials were collected, and all new pieces were created, on-site. i began working with space and material in a way that seemed to align with my emerging apprehensions about the environment.
i am at a place where i could continue to create work in the same ways i have, waiting for a space, then creating an intervention which visually converses with a predetermined audience. this thought makes me feel unsettled. a new vulnerability has entered my practice. i am challenging my tropic gestures and actions to their core. this means that i continually rethink movements i make in and out of the studio and how they might reverberate beyond myself. i am even now unsettled with space. what is it? what is it not? maybe most importantly, who it is for?
today, my art practice pushes me to create installations, performances, sounds — and sometimes drawings or paintings. i curate exhibitions and develop arts programming, i develop and teach courses. my work involves getting to know the spaces i occupy, understanding the impact of my movements — on the environment and on community members — and respecting those who have come before me. together, we build collaborative experiences inside and outside the fine art space. today i call myself a human, a citizen, a community member — these all fall under my role as an artist.