Purple Interviews Miles Aldridge



Miles Aldridge on “(after) – Projects with Harland Miller, Maurizio Cattelan, Gilbert & George”

I meet MILES ALDRIDGE at Lyndsey Ingram Gallery  where his new show (after) – Projects with Harland Miller, Maurizio Cattelan, Gilbert & George hangs around us. Just the day before I’d done a reconnaissance style trip to check out the exhibition, which mixes Aldridge’s slickly nostalgic photographic style with artworks and guest appearances from three contemporary art icons. It turns out Aldridge also likes a recce, which sets us off on a good foot, and he is sprightly and engaging as we bounce around the rooms checking out the pictures:

JETHRO TURNER – What did you want to do with this show?

MILES ALDRIDGE –  I was invited by MAURIZIO CATTELAN who I knew a little bit through a mutual friend, to create a series of pictures at his exhibition last December at the Monnaie de Paris. He said to me that he had an exhibition and that it would make a really great backdrop for my photographs. To which I thought “wow, that’s a cool invitation”. So like you I did a ‘recce’ and scouted out the place, which is a very big classical baroque building, which was originally the French royal mint.

JETHRO TURNER – Yes, I saw the PAUL MCCARTHY show there, where he was ‘minting’ his chocolate Santa buttplugs inside. So what was interesting about what MAURIZIO CATTELAN had done there?

MILES ALDRIDGE – The space where MAURIZIO had positioned his sculptures made me want to bring a classical nude, from the period of INGRES, DAVID and DELACROIX back into the space and to confront the sculptures and kind of say ‘what the fuck?’. In the spirit of some of the classical heroines like the Furies or the Valkyries. So from the idea, I started with some simple drawings, which I sent to Maurizio and he loved the idea. We agreed that we’d meet at the museum at 7pm and go in together and spend the night there, with my team, the model and this fake security guard I brought along.

JETHRO TURNER – Were you there all night?

MILES ALDRIDGE –  Yes we were there from 7pm to 7am, and we did six pictures. It was a strange experience, because I’ve obviously worked a lot in Paris, but it was the first time that got the train over and then gone back without sleeping there. It was a weird feeling, but we came back with these great polaroids. I go into projects with drawings, so you have a kind of plan, but it’s not til you’re there that you have the scenario that’s set up and you know if it makes sense or not.

JETHRO TURNER – How was MAURIZIO involved?

MILES ALDRIDGE –  MAURIZIO’S role was first to give me permission to do it, but then he was there to add a bit of humour and playfulness to the evening. He’s kind of like a child that’s never grown up.

Read the full interview here