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Dirk Bogarde Wears White Socks by Neil McNally

Paul Kindersley: TVOD

The new exhibition at Transition Gallery curated by the artist collates work reflecting on the effects of television and film

Last time Dazed checked in with artist Paul Kindersley he was a shiny new graduate from Chelsea College of Art and was mounting his first solo show as winner of the Transition Gallery prize. Being thrown in at the deep end was no bad thing for the artist, who for the last 11 months has dodged the post-graduation blues with busy schedule of curating, writing and exhibiting across London and Europe. Developing his fascination with our interaction with media glitz, glamour and stars, Kindersely has curated TVOD, a forthcoming exhibition continuing his relationship with Transition Gallery which collates work reflecting on the residual effects of the mythologised film and TV experience. Dazed spoke to him in the lead up to the exhibition…

Dazed Digital: So what have you been up to since you last spoke to Dazed?
Paul Kindersley: I’ve just kept going, I feel like I haven’t lost the momentum of university, so I’ve just kept going with shows and it’s been really good. I’ve kept in touch with Transition Gallery and I wrote a couple of articles for Arty magazine. Then I curated a couple of shows at the Centre for Recent Drawing and they’d seen them and said would I like to do one at Transition? Of course I would, they’re my favourite gallery!

DD: How did TVOD come about?
Paul Kindersley: I sent quite a rough proposal of an idea that just fascinated me to start with. Then my show was moved forward a month or two and that was brilliant, having less time. It made me have to chose the artists more quickly, which was good as I went more on instinct. So I’ve chosen people whose work I’d seen around. I hope it it’s all going to work together, but I think that will work with the show in a way, it being quite a bizarre selection.

DD: Did you know any of the artists already or are they all new choices?
Paul Kindersley: Well it was sort of half and half. I always like when I do shows to do things with people I don’t know necessarily. It’s always nice because I find lots of people from university just keep showing in the same groups.

DD: Are they making new work or did you choose the work?
Paul Kindersley: No, I chose works especially, so hopefully it will be more coherent. The last show I did at the C4RD I chose the people and I really had no idea what was coming. It worked really well in the end but it’s good to chose the actual pieces for this one. I think there’s only one piece where I’m not sure what it’s going to look like because the artist makes installations that are quite large and she’s making a smaller version of another work.

DD: So you’re someone who works well under pressure.
Paul Kindersley: I think I only work under pressure, that’s the really bad thing! This show was based on that way of working in a way, because I was thinking about the fact that we’re just so bombarded with all these images and you can never separate yourself from the TV and lights and whatever’s happening around you. When people make artwork it’s a way of distilling the moment out of all of this background noise. So that’s why there aren’t any film pieces, because it’s about what happens once you have a quiet moment away from all these influences.

DD: Film has the hand of technology in it, this is more human.
Paul Kindersley: It’s like a glamorous plot from a Hollywood film but you’re not removed by a screen, you’re there and it’s real. The amateur version of things and trying to create things that obviously never existed to start with is what interests me. When you’re watching a film you’re’ not watching what ever happened, because even what was happening for the camera wasn’t actually happening like that. So in a way when you’re trying to create from this fantasy you’re always going to fail, but I think that’s really exciting. It opens up lots of possibilities that aren’t necessarily negative, because you’re exploring parts of yourself through these images as they filter through you, mixing it with your own biography. That’s where you get the human element from this general pop culture that everyone interacts with, but everyone has a different experience.

DD: Do you think that artists are like actors, in that we think we know loads about them, but actually we don’t?
Paul Kindersley: On a personal level, artists who I know as people and I know their work I have a completely different relationship to than to people whose work I only know. It’s a weird difference to have. Lots of the works here are about specific celebrities, there’s one of Dirk Bogarde and there’s one of Sharon Tate. But they’re not just paintings of celebrities, it’s the celebrity being used as an empty vessel that everyone can relate to, each artist has used them in their own way and created a narrative or fantasy which exists around them anyway but is a meeting of all the different narratives.

TVOD: Sam Austen / Helen Carmel Benigson (Princess Belsize Dollar) / Grimes & Jones / Kirsty Jackman / James Hedges / Paul Kindersley / Hollie McArthur / Neil McNally / Lucie Red / Clare Simmonds.

Transition Gallery, Unit 25a Regent Studios, 8 Andrews Road, London E8; 19 February – 13 March 2011, Fri-Sun 12-6pm