Page 17 - Studio International - January 1966
P. 17

Caro  Well, yes, but it's impossible; so you have to get
                                                                                   round it another way. I think part of the trouble—part
                                                                                   of the disadvantage of sculpture, and also part of the
                                                                                   advantage of it is the fact that it's heavy and real ; I
                                                                                   don't want to make sculpture which has an unreality.
                                                                                   I want to make sculpture which is very corporeal, but
                                                                                   denies its corporeality. I don't want to make sculpture
                                                                                   which is a 'trick', is like a conjuror's trick. Do you know
                                                                                   what I mean? For example, there are certain materials,
                                                                                   glass, for example, or a looking-glass, which you don't
                                                                                   really know whether it's there or not. It is to do with
                                                                                   illusion. Well, if you use that sort of thing you can
                                                                                   certainly deny the reality of the corporeal—but I
                                                                                   wouldn't want to do it that way. I would want to get
                                                                                   the same effect perhaps with something that you could
                                                                                   kick your shins against.
                                                                                   Forge  This brings us to an interesting point. I've often
                                                                                   wondered how important the imagery of girders and
                                                                                   these pre-existing elements that you use in your sculp-
                                                                                   ture, really is. Do you use a bit of angle-iron because
                                                                                   it's the most convenient form to hand, or is there some
                                                                                   other intention beyond that?
                                                                                   Caro  No. Definitely there isn't any reference to
                                                                                   industrial uses and so on. I would really rather make my
                                                                                   sculpture out of 'stuff'—out of something really
                                                                                   anonymous, just sheets maybe which you cut a
                                                                                   bit off. Angle-iron and rolled-steel joists and all that,
                                                                                   I think, are irrelevant. they are a thing I'd like to ger
                                                                                   away from in the end, if I could. They'll bit by bit
                                                                                   creep away out of the sculpture. The only thing is that
                                                                                   certain things like those heavy joists from which I think
                                                                                   I've taken most of the bridge connotations, do have a
                                                                                   weight about them, they do have the effect of being
                                                                                   able to punctuate, they are a bit like a blob of colour
                                                                                   in a Monet painting or something like this. They don't
                                                                                   exactly anchor but they hold somehow. Much of the
                                                                                   sculpture that I'm doing is about extent, and even
                                                                                   might get to be about fluidity or something of this sort,
                                                                                   and I think one has to hold it from becoming just
                                                                                   Forge It's a masculine, tough shape, isn't it, a section
                                                                                   of girder? Not in its symbolic sense I mean, but it just
                                                                                   has a kind of rugged, solid look about it.
                                                                                   Caro  Yes. It's very much there. Even a long strip of
                                                                                   steel, which is heavy and real, does seem to be part of
                                                                                   something, whereas the short piece of girder seems to
                                                                                   be itself.
                                                                                   Forge  But there's no element here of wanting to
                                                                                   bring in anything from the outside. You said you'd
                                                                                   eliminated references to bridges or whatever, you're
         Rouge Madres  1965                                                        not making, as it were, quotes from the outside world in
         Aluminium sculpture painted Red 128 x 161 1/2 x 121 in. Kasmin Gallery
                                                                                   using these things?
                                                                                   Caro  No. And this really answers the question we
                                                                                   were talking about before. I have been trying, I think,
                                                                                   all the time to eliminate references, to make truly
                                                                                   abstract sculpture. It is using these things like notes in
                                                                                   music. But the note must not remind you too much of
                                                                                   the world of things, or of parts of noses or breasts or
                                                                                   ears or anything—perhaps it's impossible to make a
                                                                                   sculpture out of clay at this moment, at the moment it's
                                                                                   too difficult for me anyway—there are too many
                                                                                   reminders in it. And I think therefore one tries really to
                                                                                   get a material with not too much art history in it.
                                                                                   Although I think steel's got plenty of art history now,
                                                                                   unfortunately. But I would be very happy to use another
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