Since the early noughties, Jeremy Bailey has ploughed a compelling and often hilarious road through the various developments of digital communications technologies. Ostensibly a satire on and parody of the practices and language of new media, the playful surface of his work hides an incisive exploration of the critical intersection between video, computing, performance and the body. His work has been shown widely at arts institutions across the world, including Transmediale, Berlin; Mediamatic, Amsterdam; Museums Quartier, Vienna; Balice Hertling, Paris; FACT, Liverpool; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Turner Contemporary, Margate; and The New Museum, New York. At HOME, Jeremy presents a new installation for our opening exhibition, The heart is deceitful above all things.
Q & A
What’s your earliest memory of participating in the arts?
Non-professionally, I can remember being three years old and drawing on a giant industrial-sized roll of paper my mother had just unfurled in our home’s hallway. She would commission paintings from me every summer. My first sale to a neighbour was a painting of a psychedelic sunset landscape – I was 11. Professionally, I didn’t start participating in exhibitions until my third or fourth year of university. At first they were self-organised; I formed a collective with some classmates called 640 480 in 2001. We made conceptual works about video, its materiality and value. Our last show before we split consisted of a single diamond made from the compressed remains of obsolete videotapes.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My first year university professor – the hilarious Canadian performance video artist, Colin Campbell – taught me that art could be fun and provocative. He was the first person to look me in the eye and say, “You can do this”. Believing in yourself may sound like a life lesson cliché, but combined with the advice that whatever you’re doing should be fun and potentially risky, that’s just a wonderful formula for living life.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
The best advice I’ve ever been given is the exact opposite of what I’ve just said. Be open to change. However great you think you are, start every day with the attitude that you know nothing. You’ll learn more and be much more open to new perspectives that will keep you inspired for a lifetime.
Which cultural figure would you most like to take out for a pie and a pint?
Tough question, it’s a toss up for me between Karl Marx and Paul Reubens (Aka Peewee Herman). Both are big influences. I’d love to chat with Marx about our messed-up world, the one he predicted. And with Peewee about the fantastically messed up world he created for TV, the one I want to live in.