Installation view of Photographs from the New World by James Deavin
This Wednesday from 6-8 pm jen bekman will be hosting what promises to be a rather intriguing artist talk. Marisa Olson of Rhizome will moderate a discussion between James Deavin and Eva + Franco Mattes about their respective projects documenting Second Life:Photographs from the New World and 13 Most Beautiful Avatars. Still somewhat mystified by this virtual world, I am anxious to hear what the artists have to say. Find out more about the event here.
To wet your whistle, last week I interviewed James about Hey, Hot Shot!, the show, and Second Life. Today I give you the first half of our little chat. Check back tomorrow for Part 2 and on Wednesday come hear him speak live in the gallery.
And we're off!
Alice: I'm new to this IM thing, at least it's been a while. I just got AIM and I downloaded Adium.
James: ok. well this works. i just like Skype cos they have the best emoticons, they rock
A: Well, I'll have to look into it then...
J: this one doesn't have ANY and that's bad
A: It does the trick... So your show is bringing them in in droves.
J: i see a world in the future when we all communicate solely by emoticons...Oh really? Droves?
A: And they're all asking for you.
J: Alice. I know Jen is putting you up to this.
A: No, I too think it's a bit silly to be so far when there is so much good going on here
J: Well no one has actually told me what i would physically do if i were in NYC...
A: Well, just being here would be enough.
A: In the air... Anyways. How about this "interview"?
A:You're the first Hot Shot to have a show at jb...That's pretty exciting AND it's a great one at that...Can you sum up in maybe a few sentences how HHS! has changed your life? To really lay it on you...
So that was a big question... Let me start over. Not too long ago you were a Hot Shot, then an Ultra, and now have a solo show that is starting quite a buzz. That's a lot for such a small amount of time.
J: So... HHS! well i just moved to NYC and was looking to meet people you know...
A: Did you enter before you headed this way?
J: No, and to be honest I cannot remember how I found out about the competition either. I thought it was unusual for a gallery to be doing something like this and I wasn't sure how it would develop. I was entering competitions generally, like Art & Commerce Emerging Photographers for instance... anyhow, for me, it got good when i started talking to Jen.
A: How so?
J: Well I like Jen and she is v. helpful in dealing with getting everything happening. Basically I liked working with her... I didn't even know there was an "ultra" part to the competition or the possibility of representation I was just entering competitions to get known.
A Summer 2005 Hot Shot winning image by Deavin
A: HHS! is a thing all it's own--there really is nothing like it, it's true. Did you win any of the other competitions?
J: I got stuff shown at Art & Commerce and quite a lot of stuff back in the UK. That's the thing about HHS!, though, it turns out there is much more of a future to it - the other comps just give you one chance to show in a large group show (like i thought HHS! was too), but it turns out HHS! has a future. . . . It's funny though, the fact that it's not "traditional" is very off-putting to many artists. The art world is so conservative.
A: So true. But because of this a lot of great work gets out there that otherwise perhaps would not get the chance, at least so early on. Do you think HHS! jump started some things for you here in NYC? Or set you on a different track as a photographer?
J: Well sure HHS! got me going gallery-wise in NYC. It's a tough nut to crack and it has given me amazing exposure that I am extremely grateful for...I'm not really on a different track though, I am still doing pretty much my own work and I do not think I have become more "art" orientated than anything else. I still hope my practice is not defined by where it is seen entirely...and I love the idea of growing with a gallery.
A: Photographs from the New World is a pretty, I hate to use the word, provocative show, one that might not have been as easy to sell to just any gallery.
Visit jen bekman on Second Life. Coordinates: Hooper (128, 28, 46)
J: It's perfect for jbg if that is what you mean. I don't know how hard it would have been to "sell" it to other galleries as I never tried... provocative, maybe but its hard to get an appointment at them!
A: It's perfect for jb. We practically live on the web over here...
J: I mean for an emerging photographer you have to show at group shows and befriend people in the industry, you know, pay your dues. HHS! is a different version of this...
A: So true. Trying to focus, sorry. thoughts everywhere.
J: The difficulty, and I know this isn't the point of the interview, is getting everyone else to believe this!
To be continued...