Mike Nelson


The Deliverance and the Patience is a complicated piece, a labyrinth of different rooms and corridors. The rooms have an umber of identities. One room is a bar, one is built like a cheap, dirty travel agency, one is a gambling den with an early '70s poster, one is a corridor, etc., etc. This is a new work for the biennale. In William Burrough's book Cities of the Red Night, he talks of a pirate-utopia, a certain society of equals. I became interested in the idea of the seas, of pirates, of the societies that formed. I make an analogy between that sort of social structure of pirate ships, with slaves of the third world mixing with outcasts and criminals of the first world. The piece was constructed in Venice, but all of the stuff was collected in London. I usually collect the stuff in the foreign country, but in Venice that is a problem. There isn't that much there. (Even with a door you need hinges, handles, stoppers, knobs.) The construction had to be well-timed. There is so much bureaucracy that transport isn't easy. I don't usually plan out a piece ahead of time like this, but rather add as I go.