In an interview by Tom Morton, writer, curator and contributing editor of Frieze magazine, Alison Wilding candidly discusses her artistic practice on the occasion of her solo exhibition Mesmer, Again.
TM: It would be great if you could expand on this idea of the ‘wrong thing’ sometimes being ‘right’. Is this about material surprise, a shaking of the viewer out of a type of visual complacency? And a perhaps related question: does intuition or even what we might term ‘happy accident’ have an important role in the making of your work?
AW: I wouldn’t make a big deal about the ‘wrong thing being right’ – it has occasionally happened, yes, but it’s not the norm and I wouldn’t want it to be. And, I add, it’s never really about the viewer. The word ‘intuition’ is sometimes used pejoratively, but if something feels right I will see where that feeling takes me, because I’m not following a script. I start at a fairly random point and take it from there. And if I’m not alert to what’s going on – happy accident or whatever – then I really am making work in the dark.