Anna McNay

Interview with Glenn Ligon


Ligon: Call and Response

Arts Centre

October 2014 – 11 January 2015

Ligon (b1960) is famed for his thought-provoking works which combine text,
silkscreen painting, neon and video and explore themes of identity, racism,
sexuality and civil rights.

first solo exhibition in the UK, now on show at the Camden Arts Centre,
presents new works based on the plight of the Harlem Six and using footage of
the comedian Richard Pryor.

new series of enormous black and white silkscreen paintings are based on
composer Steve Reich’s taped-speech work, using the recorded voice of Daniel
Hamm, one of the Harlem Six, describing how he had to puncture one of his
bruises to prove to the police he had been beaten. Layered up so as to obscure
the text, creating a rhythm that recalls Reich’s musical piece, the works
dominate the large gallery at the Camden Arts Centre.

new neon piece takes from the same source material and demonstrates Ligon’s
technique of creating ‘black’ neon.

a seven-screen video installation uses footage from the comedian Richard
Pryor’s stand up show, Live on the Sunset
, from 1982. Removing the sound, Ligon forces viewers to observe
Pryor’s lively and exaggerated body language, exploring an alternative means of
communication and self-expression.

spoke to Studio International before the opening of his exhibition.

To watch the interview, please go to: