Be nothing

Year: 2004

It is sometimes acidly joked that you are not a real artist until you have made something in neon. This first use of neon in my work was a dry allusion to seeking such artistic authenticity. It simply spelt out the reality of my not knowing what was required of me. People can come to art loaded with expectation, for it to perhaps deliver some digestible aesthetic or easily reasoned concept. When no simple answer is readily forthcoming a mental void is rapidly created from a failing in our own expectation. Directly referring to Sartre's 'Being and Nothingness', Be nothing became a treatise on both art and being by asking a very frank question, the title providing a nihilistic response that sat at odds with how we are persistently conditioned to aspire to 'be something'.

This neon became the groundwork for the video work What do you want from me? (I asked you a thousand times). A super cut of hundred of clips from films and tv that repeatedly offers up the same seemingly meaningless question.