Backyard teenage wrestlers, spook houses and eating contests are just a few of the themes that Cameron Jamie has explored through his escapist art. The Paris-based contemporary pioneer discusses over the phone with Alexandra Petsetakis, his upcoming ‘Barking Tar’ exhibition at the Bernier Eliades Gallery and his voyage as an artist.
You originally come from Los Angeles what is the contrast to living in Paris?
I moved to Paris because I loved the city and I felt a great deal of thinking space being here on my own. I felt a free solitude that I had never felt in living in the U.S., but I can assure you that France is not the place to go for any art career. When I made a decision to permanently leave Los Angeles, my close artist friends were questioning my sanity because Paris is still considered to be a very old-fashioned and outdated place for an artist of any generation to want to move.
With such a vast difference in artistic mediums such as live film performances, installation, photography and sculpture why have you chosen to focus on ink works for this exhibition?
The drawings are very much linked as an extension to my other works regardless of medium. I’ve always exhibited the drawings in small doses for quite a while. But during the past decade, the drawings naturally grew to become more significant and important to me, because they referenced my other works, interests, and feelings..
It’s your second solo show at the Bernier Eliades Gallery, what were your main impressions from your first exhibition?
I think the reception was surprisingly positive. The Greek audience felt a very sensitive energy which has to do with the connection that Greek culture has with their own history of mythology and ritualistic practices and they obviously felt it very strongly when they saw my work. This interested me very much…
Why have you chosen ‘Barking Tar’ as the title for the series of works that you will be exhibiting at the Bernier-Eliades gallery in Greece?
I’ve trained the black ink to bark, sit, roll-over, jump through hoops, and play dead. The tar is obviously a metaphor for black ink. I‘ve invented commands for the ink to do tricks that no else can perform but myself.
What is your reason for being an artist?
I naturally evolved as an artist during my youth because I had a lot of thinking time on my hands. I rejected pretty much everyone around me telling me throughout my life what was supposedly deemed good for me. This led me to start creating as an outlet and to express existential feelings and ideas. Not just about myself, but about culture at large. Even without an art audience my artwork would have existed.
Cameron Jamie’s exhibition Barking Tar at the Bernier Eliades gallery will go on till the 13th of November.