Liam Gillick


The day before the opening in Venice for the 2009 Biennale. I stood for this photograph with my hands deliberately placed to imply defensiveness—there are apparently stronger photos from the same series but none that so clearly catch the light and the sense of a person alone in a room with their work. The cat on top of the cabinets used to move. The night before this photo was taken I jammed its animatronic mechanism by stuffing the exhibition guide into its mouth and fixing it in place with a long nail. Finally the work was complete, and this was the last day I stood alone in the building. By the end of the opening days those trousers were torn and lost, my shoes were missing, and my sunglasses had been mislaid. For some reason, Jason was the only person to take a photo of me that included the work. In the manner of a continental European election poster (everyone else wanted headshots) as if you might find something out about the work by looking into the eyes of the artist. I am skeptical about such assumptions—which is why you could never look the cat in the eyes.