Solomon Garçon in conversation with Tamar Clarke-Brown
TCB: Okay so. Hi!
The name of the show is S N I T C H. That’s a crazy title. What’s it about for you?
SG: Well, when I think about the word ‘snitch’, I think about a sort of break in a pact or a sort of disruption to some sort of formality...
TCB: Interesting... I’m really curious about your relationship to noise and to sound and to source.
SG: There’s this really great quote by Louis Chude-Sokei. I’m gonna let you read it:
TCB: “If sound is birth and silence death, the echo trailing into infinity can only be the experience of life, the source of narrative and a pattern for history.”
Such a good quote!
SG: So good!
This ongoing narrative that doesn’t actually stop is something that I’m interested in terms of S N I T C H. That this breaking off doesn’t mean it stops. Maybe it just makes an exit or turns.
A sound is only that waveform or shape because of the bodies, walls, materials, clothes of people in the room… The way that sound treats everything in this exact same way. It tries to permeate every body, every surface, every material. And if it can’t, it just bounces back.
What did I say to you before? ‘Democratic dominance’. That’s what I think about when I think about sound.
My research was about the body as an echo chamber and the first point of listening. And then my expanded sensibility that actually the House has its own listening potential. Now I’m bringing that to the gallery space and experimenting with its listening potential.
TCB: So you’re thinking about the House as a panopticon? A structure that’s built so everything is viewable, or captureable, perhaps most commonly seen with regards to prison architecture…
SG: Yeah, and the fact that it feels as if we give information away freely. I was reading about the body as an echo chamber, and straightaway I started thinking about my house as the body in terms of the echoes or the trail that I’m leaving. We emit all of this information from the house. It now feels like total surveillance to the point where it’s almost permeated the body.
Weirdly also, both Siri and Mumblerap were coined or came about in 2011. There’s this moment where the voice becomes recognised as data and where equally people are choosing to mystify or abstract their voice, even embodying a sort of otherness. Mumblerap speaks to another type of person. It became this other… utterance.
TCB: How does this relate to your ongoing interest in interior and exterior myths and their reverberations?
I mean in the myth, Echo is doomed to repeat the words of Narcissus forever. But like you say, actually, an echo isn’t a straight reflection of the source. It’s really determined by the space that it’s projected back into and the qualities it takes on through this.
TCB: Like your gurgle…
You’re gurgling… I guess what your insides are feeling.
SG: The Gurgle.
TCB: The Snitch.
SG: I mean, with the sculpture too. It was based on a body camera stabilizer. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen how ‘exoskeleton’ those are. There’s a spine and the frame to hold you up but there’s also this sense that everything has been depleted… There’s clearly a body missing.
The colour of the space is also based on the colours in my house. I moved into this ex council house with my kids, Anderson and Denim.
TCB: I forgot about your kids.
It’s so crazy to me that you have kids. One of the first references you shared with me was Octavia Butler, who explored this notion ‘Xenogenesis’; the negation of reproduction and possibilities of free transformation unlike the parent or previous generation, the rejection of the source I suppose. Also because you work with shifting monikers…
SG: Shape shifting, yeah…
TCB: Do your sons love The Matrix?
SG: Not really, to be honest.
TCB: A rejection of their source material?
SG: I think so, unfortunately. They’re the glitch. They’re like, you know, I escaped this forced reality.
Solomon Garçon (b.1991, London) lives and works in London. His practice deals with the mythical underground, technology and the ‘textualised body’. Garçon’s sonic, sculptural and performance works explore how fiction can inform reality and how bodies can become a transformative tool to propel our individual and communal potential. S N I T C H is his debut exhibition.
Photography by Theo Christelis