Zentrale für Experimentelles

Interumsey

Paul Rumsey was born 1956, lives in the UK, married to the artist Terry Curling, has twin daughters. Works in charcoal or ink. Exhibits with Galerie Beatrice Soulie, Paris, Chappel Gallery, Essex, Piers Feetham Gallery, London, Henry Boxer Gallery, London.


DA

What are some of your most important aesthetic influences?

PR

Bruegel, his prints like Big Fish Eat Little Fish and Battle of the Money Boxes … everything by him, I saw most of his paintings in Vienna when I was 18. Goya, his prints, the Black Paintings, he is probably my most obvious influence.

Alfred Kubin drawings, Arcimboldo, Piranesi prints, the Prisons especially. Titian was a big influence, in the period while I was painting from 1978 to 1988. In the past I was more influenced by those ‚great‘ artists, but now I find myself looking more at strange stuff that is not considered important art, things like caricature, grotesque Japanese Shunga, ‚erotic‘ Dutch Pilgrim Badges, curious old engravings for emblems, occult, scientific, alchemical, anatomical illustrations, also Outsider Art, Jan Švankmajer, Diableries. There is a wealth of wonderful stuff that was not widely known, but is now to be found on websites like Monsterbrains, vast archives where one can spend so much time looking at art that one doesn’t have time to create it …

DA

What’s your view on fracking, if done by elbow?

PR

I don’t know what you mean ‚by elbow‘. But fracking … my view is that it is only a short-term solution, and will cause pollution and climate change, eventually we will have to find sustainable solutions to supply energy needs. 

Nuclear energy creates waste, which will accumulate. Continual growth is impossible because the world is finite.

But man is not used to thinking about the future, a lot of religious belief involves the end of days, so doesn’t even imagine a future, and it is difficult to get people to care about what will happen after their own lifespan. So I think things will continue to deteriorate, until eventually we fuck up the world and that will cause a fall in population, and that might start to limit the damage we cause. I don’t have much hope. The human brain is only concerned with the present moment, people avoid thinking, they accumulate debt, push bills under the mat, eat themselves to obesity, smoke and drink themselves to death, they are swaddled in the delusions of religion, manipulated and led by the adverts and propaganda in the media, what hope is there that they will worry about the fate of people living in the future, years after their own lives have ended?

DA

Would you like this interviewtf more if it had another title, like “No, Sir-iously,” or “’Have you explained your pupils to the cloud?’ I asked my ex-mom. But she was without vigor, she just stayed very calm and revised myhermy strangeness over and over again”?

PR

No, I am happy with the title.

DA

You don’t have to be gay to find penises fascinating. The comedy „Superbad,“ for instance, features some funky dickophilia moments. What do you think about enhancing (or encocking) classic films the way you enhance (or encock) newsies? Oskar Schindler smoking a dickarette, for fuck’s sake?

PR

I don’t know what you mean by ’newsies‘, haven’t seen Superbad and I am not sure how cocks would enhance films, or what a ‚dickarette‘ would mean. I’m only concerned with meaning, I don’t scatter penises into my work at random, or willy-nilly.

I am not fascinated by penises as penises, but I find penises very useful in my drawings as an absurd and comical metaphor. The penis can be used in various pictorial ways, the meaning of the penis changes depending on the pictorial context. For example, it is common popular psychology to recognize certain things in the world as ‚phallic‘, and these things have connotations of power, masculinity and status, things like guns, swords, tanks, rockets, missiles, planes, cars, trucks, even buildings, where corporations compete as to who can build the biggest towers. If I replace these phallic objects in my drawings with actual penises the picture becomes absurd, because those objects of power, masculinity and status are reduced to actual penises, which are, after all, silly looking six inch maggots. This is a traditional method of satire, the comical use of the ‚grotesque‘ body, described by Bakhtin in his book ‚Rabelais and His World‘, to attack power by ridicule, using what Bakhtin refers to as the ‚lower bodily stratum‘, that is, the processes and parts of the body, eating, pissing, shitting, farting, vomiting, fucking, and the belly, genitals and anus and buttocks. These things are the foundation of comedy, they deflate authority, hence the tradition of the Caganer, the little figurines of important people, like the pope, shitting. Words like piss, shit, fuck, prick, arse, bollocks, all relate to the ‚lower bodily stratum‘ are used in most swearing, as an attack, to exert power over the target of the swearing. However powerful a man, presidents, politicians, popes, they all are bought down to the same level by the functions of the body, shitting, fucking, and eventually death, as in Hamlet it is explained how a king may pass through the guts of a beggar, (king eaten by worms, worm eaten by fish, beggar eats fish and shits out what was once the king). 

Man has tried to create an illusion of power and authority with religion and state, the idea that was believed that the world was the center of the universe, that the sun and stars revolved around the world, that man was created in the image of god to rule over the world, and animals and women. That eventually man would ascend to god like an angel, free of this body, to live eternally,( the world just a temporary thing to be discarded after use). All these beliefs enhance the illusion of man’s power. But science has demolished these beliefs one by one, the world no longer center of the universe, man just an animal with a short lifespan, women are equal. My work is stressing the animal body of man, deflating and ridiculing the illusions of power by using images of the body and its animal functions, and also its temporary nature, images of mortality, skeletons.

Recently in America those protesting against guns have been using penises, or dildos, to ridicule the gun lobby, with the ‚open carry‘ of dildos in Texas college campus, and also an excellent website which alters photos of GOP politicians carrying guns and replaces the guns with dildos. (The bigger the gun the larger the dildo required to cover it.)

DA

What is the most (experimental) piece of art you’ve ever enjoyed?

PR

I am not sure what you mean by ‚experimental‘. 

To experiment is to embark on a project without having a clear notion of what the results will be, and that is the case with most of my drawings, because I start with an idea, a subject, and have no idea what the picture will look like and what the composition will be. To experiment means allowing accident and chance, because if I don’t know what to do, I continue to make a mess until I eventually get it right by accident, which means that by chance I can make something better than I actually know how to, (or I can also fail and destroy the work). Once an artist starts to repeat themselves and produce a predictable ‚product‘ they are no longer experimental, ( though that would be financially rewarding, it would also be boring).

DA

If 100 divided by 2 were 42, what would 3 times 1°1 be?

PR

I have never been good at maths, so I have no idea.

DA

Who/what is the biggest dick in the universe? Whose asshole would it fit perfectly?

PR

I can’t answer, because my perspective is limited to this planet.

I have plans for a drawing of the patriarchal god and saints as a giant cock sitting on a throne in the clouds, with other smaller seated cocks and cock angels ascending. There are about 500 similar ideas in my sketchbooks.

DA

One TED talk a day keeps the _____________ away?

PR

I didn’t know what a TED talk was, so I looked up the word, but I’ve never watched one.

DA

Which role will (or should) male genitalia play in the far future – dick-hacking, ass-splicing, bio-junk, interstellar engineering?

PR

Dick-hacking … taking remote control of a man’s penis, interesting idea, perhaps the seed for a comical sketch.

I find it difficult to believe that man will trespass far from this planet, because of his short lived and fragile body, so I think he, and his genitals, will remain earthbound. I read somewhere that sperm counts have halved over the last 50 years, so perhaps his genitals face a future of impotence and sterility. Just checked the facts on that … scientists are divided as usual …

DA

„?“

PR

?

DA

Is it possible that music is totally overrated? Could one say the same about athlete’s dick?

PR

I’m not an athlete, you would have to ask an athlete.

Music overrated? I used to be interested in music, buy records, go to gigs, etc. Groups like Cramps, Gun Club, Scientists (Australian) Nomads (Swedish), then in 2003 I saw a group called The Catheters, (Sub Pop Records), there were only about three other people in the audience, and I guess that there were not enough bodies to muffle the sound, because with the first blast of sound (probably the song ‚Nothing‘) I felt pain in my ears, and since that evening I have had relentless tinnitus. I don’t listen to music much anymore, I no longer have any enthusiasm for it, I see groups performing on TV and it looks like meaningless posturing and affectation, and I see the audience leaping about with excitement and I feel alienated. I look at my record collection and think, who was the person who bought all this stuff?

DA

What would you rather have invented – the Ö or the 1?

PR

No preference.

DA

Why doesn’t the Canadian tech-metal band Martyr get the attention they deserve so much?

PR

I haven’t heard them … my wife listens to a lot of industrial metal, Ministry, Rammstein, Combichrist, so I hear a lot of that type of music, often at volumes that make my teeth buzz, which just about drowns out my constant tinnitus.

DA

How many spiders are needed to creep out one level-4 arachnophobe?

PR

I think the one spider will do it. A 10 cm funnel-web being milked.

DA

What is your favorite ____________?

PR

This one ___________________________________________ probably.

DA

Bonus question: What’s your take on the following 8 Nonsemes?

A small rat had
too much fiber.
She rolled it into a ball,
which made her cow gel.

One heel of a guy!
Well, not literally, of course.
What does it mean anyway,
“one heel of a guy?”

Hundreds of ropes are being sort of boarded,
thousands of ravens starve to krae.
Only one man is up to his fate
and buries himself inside the canister (sort of).

In the realm of architecture,
bread built by Thorsten I despise.
Which is also the case for
verbal tartar: never completely preferar.

Gumg likes to play superman
in the vein of Niedrich Frietzsche.
Likes to pitch humans to non-humans
by saying things like “-ish white-cally.”

PR

1.) There are only 5 of them.

2.) I like the phrase ‚from here into eternasty‘.


Image source: (c) PR

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