'Interview' (The List, 26/04/2007)

Alexander Kennedy speaks to Fiona Jardine about her new work on show at Sorcha Dallas.

Alexander Kennedy: What will you be showing?

Fiona Jardine: I’m showing a series of photographs which have developed from my interest in, on one hand, the image of the suited figure – an unconscious appreciation of it as well as particular occurrences of it in the work of Francis Bacon, Robert Longo, Gilbert and George and (at the risk of sounding postmodern) the Pet Shop Boys – and, on the other, a desire to work with models and performers in a collaborative process. I’ve also designed some wallpaper for the show. I’ll be using it quite strategically in the spaces. I’ve also got a large red wax relief, and some other stuff.

Alexander Kennedy: Will the new work develop any of the themes that you worked on recently in the Transmission and Tramway shows?

Fiona Jardine: I think this work takes cues from that work. I was lucky enough to have a three month residency at Cove Park last summer, and had the opportunity to really delve deeply into some of the sources which inform the work I’m showing at Sorcha’s. I read Rabelais very closely, as well as work by David Foster Wallace, Bret Easton Ellis, Don DeLinno – a lot of American authors. I also started researching absurdist theatre more deliberatelt and in February I saw the Polish company Teatr Provisorium’s production of ‘Ferdydurke’ based on Witold Gombrowicz’s novel, which was brilliant, and, I think, one of the most consummate pieces of visual art I’ve ever seen. I think it galvanised a lot of things for me.

Alexander Kennedy: The sculptural element of your work seems to be strongly architectural. Where does this interest come from?

Fiona Jardine: I like to really feel like I’ve inhabited a space when I’m given the opportunity to show, and a lot of my work is project focussed. I tend to make work for specific exhibitions and consider its impact in the space from the outset, so I think that it tends towards the architectural as a result. I come to modernism from literary sources initially, so I feel free to use whatever visual idiom suits my ideas.