Amelia’s Magazine | Tate Shots: Jared Schiller’s Dream Job


Jared Schiller with David Byrne

All photographs and videos courtesy of Tate Shots except where otherwise stated.

Back in 2002 whilst still a skint student, cheapest I started what was then my idea of a dream job: ticket seller at Tate Modern and Tate Britain. I got to see great art and even meet the odd artist or two. I remember Gustav Metzger insisting he paid to see Barnett Newman, and Tony Oursler successfully blagging a freebie to the Turner Prize. Bridget Riley even gave us a personal tour of her exhibition. Fast forward five years and I’ve landed a job helping Tate Media launch a new video podcast: TateShots. These days I produce and commission the TateShots series, in which we interview artists about the business of making art, and talk to famous gallery-goers about their favourite art shows. The job has given me the opportunity to nervously meet heroes of mine like Jeff Koons, Laurence Weiner and Martin Creed, as well as artists I’m less familiar with but who become firm favourites.

We’ve made 150 episodes of TateShots so far, and it now comes out weekly. This week we launched a new strand called Sound & Vision. The series took the films’ director, Nicola Probert, and I, all over the country to interview musicians who make art. Billy Childish, Lydia Lunch, Mark E Smith, David Byrne, Jeffrey Lewis and Cosey Fanni Tutti all helped us with our enquiries about where art and music collide.

me-and-JeffJared Schiller with Jeff Koons

Billy’s interview was probably the most memorable. We filmed him in a cramped bedroom he uses as a studio in his mum’s house in Whitstable, surrounded by stacks of paintings. There was hardly enough room for him to paint, let alone for us to film.  Billy’s musical and artistic reputations arguably couldn’t be more different. As a musician he is cited by bands like The White Stripes as an influence – his dedication to lo-fi recording and performance make him the very definition of authentic.  On the other hand, as an outspoken critic of conceptual art, his standing in the art world is a little harder to pin down. Because of this big difference, Nicola had the idea to get Billy to interview himself.  So Artist Billy asked Musician Billy questions (e.g. “Do I have an influence on you?” Answer: “No.”), and explains how he went through a ten year stretch of only painting to the music of John Lee Hooker (almost). The whole experience made me think that it’s only a matter of time before Billy Childish is unmasked as the ultimate conceptual artist…

Going forward I would love to make more videos about pop stars with a taste for art. Before we embarked on this series we had already spoken to Alex James from Blur about Ellsworth Kelly, and John Squire from the Stone Roses about Cy Twombly. Apparently Jay-Z is a massive Richard Prince fan, so perhaps he should be next on my list.

meJared Schiller photograph courtesy of Simon Williams/O Production

What Jared likes:

Places: Moel-y-Gest, a hill near Porthmadog in North Wales

Food: Pizza. My dream is to build a pizza oven in my back garden. It will never happen but I keep hold of the dream..

Drink: An Islay Whisky is the perfect late night tipple.

Website: (of course)

Music: Currently the new Four Tet album.

Books:  Currently reading ‘Then We Came to an End’ by Joshua Ferris. I mainly have a weakness for any kind of exhibition catalogue or artist’s monograph.

Film:  I’m looking forward to Chris Morris’s ‘Four Lions’.

Shop: Alter 109 is a really good men’s boutique in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Categories ,art, ,Billy Childish, ,conceptual, ,contemporary art, ,Cosey Fanni Tutti, ,Cy Twomby, ,david byrne, ,Jeffrey Lewis, ,Lydia Lunch, ,Mark E Smith, ,music, ,musician, ,painting, ,Tate, ,Tate Britain, ,Tate Modern, ,Turner Prize, ,video

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