INTERVIEW WITH GRAHAM HUDSON
Elisa Muscatelli – How would you describe your artistic practice to an audience that is experiencing it for the first time?
Graham Hudson – Experiencing any artwork for the first time, should be a little uncomfortable, you should have to pull your core tight, remember to breathe, and accept that discomfort is part of the process towards feeling better, towards understanding something new.
EM – In Classic Greek culture, the harmony of the body was reflected in the soul’s value and vice versa. Today, the body is stifled by an increasingly confused body positivity trend. How do you portray the 21st century’s bodies?
GH – The harmony of the body in Greek culture, was, of course, steeped in class structure, abuse, and slavery. Only a select few got to experience the academy and the luxury of the gymnasium. This is mirrored today in ideas of health and fitness, the juxtaposition, or in fact, the contradiction is what interests me. We know that good nutrition and exercise can make us feel better, at the same time this message exists within a market structure, which promotes
guilt, shame, and aims to get your money, as well let’s homogenize your body, and your behaviour.
EM – In the last few years, the material substance has been remodelling itself, according to the rules of virtual experience. Your account @physical_culture_philosophy presents a new way of seeing physicality. What is your vision on this topic, and what expressive limits/advantages does your social account impose, compared to sculptural practice?
GH – The vision for this Instagram account is to present art, philosophy, science, sport, and fitness as one, just like the Greeks and Romans saw it. In the fitness space, it’s rare to meet someone who knows that the history of the treadmill, is actually a prison punishment. To pivot into the future, the gym is an essential piece of equipment on any space exploration, as the muscles start to atrophy, at the moment they’re out of earth’s gravity. Presenting this on
Instagram enables a direct interdisciplinary approach. In the art world, to sculpt is inherently male, “to be a sculptor”. In the fitness world ‘sculpture’, or to sculpt, is actually gendered female, as it suggests the removal of material, the space in between, is where it’s fun to play.
EM – Your recent activities include the difficult request for an artistic residency in a gym and the installation of your work in a Burberry shop. What do you think about the mixing between high fashion, multinationals, and the art
GH – All of those ecosystems: fashion, art, corporate, fitness, have their own embedded hierarchies and behaviors, invisible rules, and social constructs, mixing them up, and putting them face to face, becomes like raw material in itself. Can a gym be a gallery? Can a fashion house be a vegetable market? Where should art exist, depends on who is asking. What do we expect from art and design anyway? From creative experience? From life itself?
EM – Is there an artistic, literary, or cinematographic reference that had an impact on the development of your artistic and personal career?
GH – So, the easy answer is, of course, yes, many, and while I’d love to name a few, I think what’s significant is that every encounter, influences your development in life. In terms of art, it could be a piece made by a student, by a child, or something from a museum that you’ve travelled far, and waited a long time to see. The artistic encounter is reliant on your experience, what kind of day you’re having, is it raining? Are you hungry? A brief conversation can affect your entire life, the decision to take a bus one day, instead of a train. Or to attend an art lecture that you could have easily missed, all these things form the big picture, and I think that’s kind of the inspiring and exciting thing.