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Converse Emerging Artists Award: Richard Parry

We speak with the second shortlisted artist in the run up to the unveiling of the group exhibition for the award

Dazed and Converse proudly announce the five shortlisted artists chosen for the second annual Converse/Dazed 2011 Emerging Artists Award. From an overwhelming number of entries vying for a first prize of £6,000 and the opportunity to be exhibited in the group show at an exclusive venue near the Whitechapel Gallery in October, Kirsty Ogg, curator of the Whitechapel Gallery, artist Eva Rothschild, gallerist Sadie Coles, gallery director Darren Flook, curator Paul Pieroni and Dazed & Confused’s visual arts editor, Francesca Gavin came to their decisions at a final judging session at the Whitechapel Gallery..

The five artists who all receive £1,000 and will feature in the upcoming group exhibition are: Gabriele Beveridge, Ellie Harrison, Bruce Ingram, Levack/Lewandowski and Richard Parry. Each week we will be speaking with the artists and it is the turn of Richard Parry, the avant-garde artist whose conceptual work challenges the role of the artist and art’s expanding commercial markets.

Dazed Digital: What are your themes you are working with in your current work?
Richard Parry:
“Young London” is a radical sculpture trail made for the Edinburgh Annuale earlier this year. I named 30 asparaguses after artworks in a recent exhibition called “Young London”, then I commissioned a radical London art collective to install them as sculptures along the banks of the Leith in Scotland, and make me a documentary film in the process. They are marked on all the official maps and everything.

DD: How does your city affect your work?
Richard Parry:
I’ve made exhibitions and individual works across a range of cities and places, and in this way they were all pretty interchangeable. That was kind of the point. My “Satellite Show” in Paris was more about going to another city as a decorative thing, a life-style thing than an affective process worth understanding.

DD: What would you do with the Art Award cash prize if you were to win?
Richard Parry:
Initial ideas...make my own award with a cash prize for the winning idea. Publish “Art Zimbabwe 2012” book. Go on holiday and commission some radical oil paintings on tin once there. Rent a proper art studio without half-educated hippies and their stringed ethnic instruments. Do a long term “New Dome” project in the Third World. Maybe a gallery, maybe run off a quid a week? Do a show in Berlin and pay people not to come. Pay various artists and curators to give it a rest for a bit. Buy materials and paint.

DD: Has humour always been important in your work?
Richard Parry:
Not to me. I actually take what I do very seriously. It’s the wider conditions I’m frivolous with.

DD: Was sculpture the initial medium that you were inspired by?
Richard Parry:
When I started looking at art, the stuff I liked I could only half understand – paintings by Jorg Immendorff, Zimbabwe stone sculptures in books and all that.

The winner of the first prize will be announced on Saturday October 15, 2011 at the Whitechapel Gallery. For more information please click HERE