Michael Bise interviews Emma Biggs & Matthew Collings on the occasion of the exhibition Biggs and Collings: Suspicious Utopias at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, on view through May 11, 2013.
Biggs and Collings comment: "At the moment in art culture, any proposal to do with “form” is considered bad. As something transcendent, it is automatically linked with considerations of ideology and hegemony, and is seen as an illusion that allows the viewer to remain blind to social realities. Hot contemporary art is interested in plugging in directly to those, and in this kind of art, form can be anything so long as it is explicable in terms of that connection. We, on the other hand, believe that plugging-in to social realities is often an illusion. We think institutional critique, for example, has become formulaic. We address this problem in the textual component of our show in Fort Worth. Our paintings don’t avoid difficult issues but neither do they spell them out as directly readable propaganda. We look at the material and the tangible. Things have to work: the colour has to be objective, it has to be meaningful on colour terms – the same with shape, line, tone – all the elements we use. We attack mystification ruthlessly. If there are comfortable illusions, we see our work as a blow against them."