Astounding spectacle ‘engendered and empowered’ (words by Michael, Stephen’s partner) and encapsulated in a house /museum/studio/self-portrait and a cracking London’s secret. Just like the John Soane Museum, unapologetic and uncompromising in its bold vision.
No distinction between inside and outside. ‘My mind wandering is happening all the time’ Where does it start/end? Inner vision externalised, concretised, given form.
Politics, opportunities and challenges of label of ‘Outsider Art’: appropriating the aesthetics and lexicon of? Highly-trained (2 degrees in art). Do you mind being called an outsider artist? Stephen: ‘I don’t care about labels’. ‘There’s no right or wrong regarding the label of outsider art. CF Picassiette in France: outsider art scene. Website states: 'I am influenced by the spirit and freedom of outsider art, and in particular the outsider movement in france.'
Curator, custodian of house: people donate personal items. Curator of personal objects of self and others. Commentary on throwaway society. ‘A temple for disposed items’ (quote from film shown upstairs). Michael: Stephen likes the DNA’ of people’s belongings. Stephen: ‘Sometimes I can smell people in these’
Composition: ‘I only do busy’
‘I work very quickly, never make corrections, only throw works away when I don’t like them’
Another way to unpack ‘contribution’: inimitable typography (CF Bob and Roberta Smith)
Habitat, habituate, inhabit. Sensation, stimming, self-stimming. ‘I am doing this for myself’. Healing, grieving. Making, growing.
Is there a chronology to the house? Where does time/space specific to a work start/end? Where does a ‘piece’ start, end? How to map this world, this museum? What does an atlas of this museum look like? World within worlds; interior / exterior boundaries fuzzy. Private/public.
Film on Stephen: ‘not House of Dreams but House of Screams!’
Hall: ‘reading room’ (black text on white, white text on black)
Accumulation + addition as response to loss? (CF how hoarding is [lazily] pathologised?)