Daniel Turner
Paddle8 - December 2011
Unabridged version

Timothée Chaillou: The experience of your pieces is physically sensitive. Is the material always the starting point of all your pieces? Does the material prevail? Is your work materialistic?

Daniel Turner: Drawing is the starting point for all of my works. You could say the drawings physicalize to a material state.

TC: Sometimes one uses a material for its physical properties and sometimes for its semantic implications, which sometimes lead to a situation where one cancel out the other. What happens in between the material and the semantic process?

I suppose when material and semantic implications intersect a continues revolution occurs. It's as if two mirrors held a conversation. 

TC: Are you interested in the discourse that comes through the making process?

DT: Yes, but not in a external performative manner.

The aesthetic of your work is minimal, ontologically poor. There is a lack of solidity in the materials you used, and using low material is a deliberate artistic gesture to tackle a sense of eternity, precisely because this creation is temporary and limited in time. Is it trying to “extract eternity from something ephemeral” (Baudelaire)?

DT: No. It is true that my work is minimal and ontologically poor. I would have to disagree with low material always tackling a sense of eternity. There seems to be a great amount of aesthetically linking "eternity" with poor material. Yet there have been numerous successful attempts of artist tackling this  "sense of eternity" with polished chrome. 

Do you create a “whispering” sculpture, instead of a silence one - for example, on a scale where Jeff Koons or James Rosenquist works would be shouting at us?

DT: Surely my work is not as loud as a Koons or a Rosenquist, yet I don't see my work as a silence or a whisper.

TC: Marcel Duchamp talked about the infra-thin. Do you wish to get on imperceptibility in your production?

DT: Not entirely.

TC: What does your work have in common with imperceptiblity?

DT: Some of the pieces I have worked on in the past- specifically the wall rubbings are faint. The gestures may seemingly appear fleeting- creating a sense of imperceptibility. 

TC: Do you create some trompe-l’œil?

DT: No, I try to refrain from any trickery of the eye.

TC: Could you bring up the melancholic and lyrical proportions involved in your whole production?

DT: If any melancholic proportions would arise I think it would only halt all production in my practice.

TC: Gedi Sibony says that he works with « abjection and elegance » as a starting point. Do you feel close to his point of view in your own practice?

DT: Yes, I do believe there is a particular abjection and elegance in my work.

Do you feel close to Harold Ancart’s work? What about Yves Klein’s fire paintings?

I have nothing to do with Harold Ancart’s work and rarely think of Klein. I feel closer to Homer, Whistler, and Twombly.

TC: What about Jannis Kounelis?

DT: I feel closer to Kounelis than Klein.

TC: How important to you are the movement of Arte Povera, Scatter Art and Process Art?

DT: Very important in a linear historical sense.

TC: Are your walls rubbing like a territory marking? Is there something linked to disgust - like, for example, sweat marks of a body leant a long time on a wall?

DT: I don’t see the wall rubbings as any sort of territorial markings, the works stemmed from occupying a space over a given period of time- yet they were never meant to directly relate to disgust or claim a space.

TC: Fire symbolizes passion. You only use leftovers and soot by your side: is passion over?

DT: I think passion is alive and well.  

TC: Do you think that Sp. 1 (2007) is a melancholic piece, like marks of a desperate act?

DT: Again, melancholia like nostalgia, is something I also have little interest in. I see Sp.1, which stands for soot-plexi 1 is matter of fact gesture rather than a desperate act of sorts.

TC: Do you think that the meeting between two brass fireplace tools (Northfolk Southern (2009)) would appear like a loving embrace, a brotherly one, or maybe more like a fight?

DT: Rather a formal collapse.

Daniel Turner
Norfolk Southern, 2009
Daniel Turner
Untitled, 2011
Daniel Turner
SP1, 2007
Daniel Turner
Mercury Release, 2010
Daniel Turner
Sooting Plexiglass, 2007
Daniel Turner
Untitled 5150, 2011
Daniel Turner
Untitled, iron oxide stain, 2011