Artist Jason C Woodson will exhibit a series of art works at GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2013 at Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham, London. The festival is recognised as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) cross-art event in London. GFEST 2013 programme details are on : http://gaywisefestival.org.uk/
A quick Q & A with Jason C Woodson:
What is happening on right now?
I am currently working on the second part to my ongoing Gross Indecency series, where I ask 144 strangers to take part in a single piece of work. The piece itself is a duvet cover and matching pillow cases with a life size photo of myself and my partner holding hands printed in pink on it. We will be inviting 144 different men to have sex with us between the sheets and to climax on the pillow cases, our figurative faces. This particular piece was inspired by the ongoing debate about gay marriage and what does this concept means for the LGBT community and what form will it take. I believe that marriage doesn’t have to mean assimilation, it is about having the right to choose not only whom we marry, but just the expression of that commitment and also the rules that guide that marriage.
Would you like to say a few words about your practice and artwork?
What I find interesting about my work, is that I often think of it in the same distorted way that I view myself. We all look at ourselves in a very different light to the way the outside world sees us. I don’t tend to look back on my work, as I am more interested in moving forward, but when I do, I am often surprised by how different the work is to my perception or memory of it.
It is always an honour to have your work included in any exhibition, but what I think GFEST does exceptionally well is find an audience that might not normally attend an LGBT exhibition or even an art gallery in general. One of the things I enjoyed about the first time I exhibited with GFEST was the dialogue that was opened up by my piece This Kid (20 Years On) – a tribute to David Wojnarowicz within the local community. Groups of people of all ages and backgrounds came to the exhibition to discuss the issues that I highlighted in that piece and that was very rewarding.
Why do you think events like GFEST are still necessary?
The art world like the real world is not as inclusive as we would all necessarily like it to be. There are certain voices that might not be heard if it weren’t for minority events like GFEST giving them the opportunity to be heard and I think that is something that is very important. In order to achieve a truly inclusive community, we need to encourage and support all voices within that culture.
How would you like yourself or your work to be known as?
I am already known as the Vampire Merman guy, which warms my cold, dark heart, but if we were talking about a legacy for my work, I would have to say that I would like it to be remembered for evoking some kind of emotional response in the viewer. Love it or loathe it, I would like my work to grab you by the balls and make you feel something, even if that is revulsion.
Any single wish this year?
Just one wish? At the moment, that would be a vain one as I would like to be thin and buff for Halloween, or as it is known Gay Christmas. One last word? If you think that a gay arts festival is the last place you would want to find yourself, perhaps you should open your mind a little, step out of your closet and try something different. Maybe it will be exactly as you imagined it to be, or maybe you will discover something that resonates with you or even inspires you, because that is the miracle of the arts. They can lift us up, and show us that we aren’t alone in this world.
Many thanks and best wishes Jason, from GFEST 2013 team.