At the very beginning of Gordon’s residency, we asked him about his initial impressions of the Center and what he hoped to take away from this unique residency. Read an excerpt of that interview below:
What attracted you to the opportunity to work as an artist in residence at and around The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage?
One of the things that keeps me alive as an artist, is being in situations that are not of my making—being immersed in some other world and having to negotiate it, traverse it, and try to understand it. Here I am not only in a new city and another artist community, but inside an organization with its own working processes. I have a year to engage with people who are thinking about things related to what I think about but in different ways.
What is your initial impression of this Center and its staff?
I still have a lot to learn, but clearly the Center’s heart is in the right place. There is a desire for a “porousness” that is unusual in the funding world.
So in that sense, you feel as though the Center’s core interests and values tie in with your own artistic practice?
Absolutely. I think the degree to which people at the Center are constantly questioning the disciplinary categories and how far to stretch them is, while not unheard of, unusual. I think that’s very important, because those categories aren’t doing us any good and haven’t been for some time. The majority of artists now, to some degree, are traversing what have been called the borders. One reason is that they problem solve in more than one way. Another is that they can’t afford collaborators, so they become their own collaborator, and figure out how to do those things they can’t do. This is rampant in the performing arts.
Also, it’s quite rare to encounter a place that funds at exactly the amount you request. You will either get funded or not, but, no, they will not come back and say, “Do all of that, but here’s half as much.”