Proustian questions to Lucas Blalock

Stefano Pirovano

Asked whether he thought his photographs should make people laugh, Lucas Blalock mentioned the films by Buster Keaton as an example of how humour can be the perfect strategy to enquire about cinema itself; and effectively, in the case of his recent solo show at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen in Brussels entitled “A Farmer’s Knowledge“, we found that most pieces are easily approached through their irony, which works as a sort of pretext for the viewer to step into a metaphorical three-dimensional space where the vision can wander across the different moments of the image production. We met him just before the opening of the exhibition when he answered to our revisited Proust questionnaire.

Do you have a favourite subject?

I guess right now I have to say it’s objects, I am just very interested in looking at them.

Do you believe in abstraction?

Abstraction is a pictorial position I am not chasing in my own work, and more generally, as a category of art making, it makes a lot more sense to me in painting than it does in photography.

Which is the most inspiring place for you?


Which is the quality you prefer in an art dealer?

I like the ones that work in the basement.

Which in collectors?

No idea (laugh).

Who is an artist whose work you feel close to?

I am always interested in Torbjørn Rødlands work, who is also a friend.

Is there any old master you like?

I’ve been learning a lot about early renaissance painting. They achieve these really awkward, bodily spaces before the conventions around one point perspective had really taken root.

Is there any colour or shape you hate?

Funny question (laugh). I can say squares are really hard.

What makes an idea become and artwork?

It is often quoted, but I love a phrase by the American poet William Carlos Williams that is no ideas but in things. It points to the way that an idea is not really anything, doesn’t have terms, before it takes a form. In my work, I usually don’t start making from an idea, it is rather the opposite.

Is there a novel that is comparable to your idea of art?

I really like to read, but if I were to name one I would have to say Moby Dick.

What would you do if you were not an artist?

Maybe I’d be a writer. Or just something exhausting, like a boatsman (laugh).

March 10, 2020