BRIAN JAMES PRIEST
My interventions are constructed by inserting myself into the delicate social arrangements of a particular site and creating pathways for exchanges. Particularly spaces previously unknown to me. i am pulled to locations with a high emotional contrast and cultural contradictions. I want to make work because I have something to learn not because I have something to prove.
For Example Dazzledorf, a German Brothel was used to stage drawing lessons were the workers were taught drawing techniques while I posed as a live nude model. They were paid for their time, and I was allowed to keep the drawings. This activity created a pathway for me to experience the contradictions contained within a brothel: despair and pleasure, entrapment and empowerment.
Performances like Eastward Room, sought unity with fellow travelers from different religious backgrounds, by learning their rituals and exchanging artifacts within the multi-faith prayer rooms located in London airports. For these performances that encourage generosity and vulnerability, finding repeating genuine moments of exchange are essential to making a lasting effect on both parties.
Often I engage with political borders and public access as a focus. In Shoot, unable to see my audience as they worked behind one-way mirrored windows in the North Korean Embassy in Berlin, basketball was played over a large barrier fence at a goal attached to the back of the Embassy.
Sometimes my investigations explore public policy in action. Particularly social compromises in health and safety. In Poisoned Apple, I toxified fruit in public orchards to the maximum federally accepted legal limit for contaminants, or Fugitive where attendees were forced to aid-and-abet as a wanted criminal hid in plain sight at my exhibition.