Following her purchase of the print of Mick with the sculpted head, Emma contacted Steve via his sleepyard tumblr to find out more about the photo-shoot and the inspiration behind it:
“Hi Steve, Your striking surreal Mick Karn print is a talking point for anyone who sees it. Mick had books on Dada, developing surrealist art. You write of the role of instinct in your music; Mick quotes Pirandello that ‘none of us can estimate what we do when we do it from instinct’. What attracted you both to surrealism? How significant is the role of the unconscious in your work? Do you see still your music and photography as reconciling your dreams with your rational life?”
SJ: “I’m not particularly aligned with surrealism, certainly not in so far as imagery is concerned.
Being in a position to follow my instincts creatively is valuable to me personally because its unpredictability keeps me motivated, but in terms of significance, without monitoring such things, I’ve no idea of the proportionality between instinctive and conscious, and to monitor would effectively negate the exercise. I don’t feel it’s important to know. I would point out that I don’t consider instinct to be unconscious, it’s deeply conscious in fact, without being so observable.
I’m not aware of ever stating that creativity reconciles dreams with rational life. I don’t really know what rational life means or why we would need to create a divide between being rational and being inspired.”
There were a number of other shots from this session which have been published previously – the one above of Mick on the swing was chosen by Steve to be included in the InGladnessAlone booklet (thanks to Craig Hamlin for the scan)
This one featured in the 1982 Parco Exhibition; “Mick put his hat on it and we put it in a workman’s ditch”
and this one, which was also featured at the Parco Exhibition, is available to buy via the imageshop http://www.stevejansen.com/imageshop/1097_karn_near_london_home_in_south_kensington_1.html