ART CART Artist China Marks interviewed in Numéro Cinq
When the artist China Marks, who specializes in amazing drawings she does with a sewing machine, offered to interview the poet H. L. Hix for Numéro Cinq, I had no idea the interview would turn into a conversation, a mutual interview, and that the conversation would metamorphose into this wonderfully intelligent, cross-genre meditation on the foundations and process of art whatever form the art takes. Not only that but the conversation takes as its starting point an essay by the poet Julie Larios published on these pages, so that NC is part of the conversation, that is, as a catalyst and locus where artists and idea come together (across continents, across disciplines, you can hear the cultural tectonic plates colliding in the background). If we were on the Left Bank, NC would be a cafe and China Marks and H. L. Hix would be leaning across a marble-topped table sipping absinthe and talking intensely (and you would be listening, you, dear NC reader, at the next table). This conversation is packed with quotation, quotable lines, self-reflection — but China and Harvey are old friends, too, and that comes through, intense, intelligent conversation between friends. They take, as their starting point, a phrase from Richard Wilbur — confounders of category — which they both read in Julie Larios’s essay on riddles; and this conversation is all about confounding categories, crossing boundaries, connecting things that are not connected except in the minds of the artists, about play and the dramatic tensions inherent in confounded categories. A delight in every exchange — though my favourite is the bit about versos, the backs of works of art, especially the backs of China Marks’s sewn drawings.