Alexandre Perigot talks to Rosie Lesso about Elvis, chance and his installation at Glasgow’s Tramway
Rosie Lesso For this exhibition in Glasgow you will be creating a full-scale replica of Elvis’ house, Graceland. Why did you choose to recreate his house in particular?
Alexandre Perigot The first time I came to Glasgow by plane I landed in Prestwick, the first European airport where Elvis Presley landed before going to Germany. Elvis’ house is also the most visited house in the world. Thousand of people make a pilgrimage there, but there is nothing spectacular regarding its architecture - it’s a traditional Victorian style. But when you say it’s Elvis’ house everybody thinks differently about it. I am interested in how the cult of celebrity changes things, creates new and often poor mythologies.
RL There will also by a musical performance by Glasgow-based choir The Parsonage within Elvis’ house.
AP Yes, Elvis’ house is travelling, like a rock tour - we build the same empty house in each city and invite local bands to perform inside. The collaboration with the choir is based on contemporary attitudes like appropriation, humour and distance. The choice of the Elvis song ‘If I Can Dream’ is also linked with the famous Martin Luther King speech ‘I have a dream’.
RL You will also be showing the installation, ‘Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose’.
AP This is specially created for Tramway. It’s a sound piece with an object traveling at high speed through a series of plastic pipes which spells out a sentence - the audience draws the sentence in sound, if you like, with many meanings. Your understanding becomes like a game of chance; sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. The installation will reflect the many meanings of this sentence, so I’ve asked 50 artists from Glasgow and all around the world to respond by sending me visuals and texts for a book that will be shown alongside this piece in the gallery.
Pipedream, Tramway, Glasgow, Sun 8 Jul-Sun 5 Aug.