Interview: artist Gregor Wright on taking over an office complex for his latest project
'Offices are funny in the first place but when human presence has gone, they become really eerie'
For his solo show at CCA, Gregor Wright has been making work in an empty Victorian office complex on Buchanan Street, using a corridor of rooms to create a body of life-sized foam figures, sculptures, wall drawings and paintings. ‘I had the whole floor of 20 rooms to myself, and about 15 of them were completely identical, all off this big, long corridor,’ Wright says. ‘It had a funny kind of vibe to it because it had become a bit shabby. Offices are funny in the first place – they’re unnatural spaces – but when the human presence has gone, they become really eerie and creepy.’
Wright’s work is informed by interests including science fiction, computer games, gambling culture and elements of chance, logic and luck. ‘Luck crosses the boundary between superstition and reality; it’s not real, it doesn’t actually exist, but people project it,’ Wright adds. ‘It’s a human trait of pattern recognition. There’s a human need to read meaning into things in a semi-superstitious way, to imagine that something’s either lucky or it isn’t.’
Luck and chance feed into all aspects of Wright’s thinking and making processes, he says. ‘I openly invite chance into my work. I let things happen and my role becomes about controlling and directing them,’ he adds. ‘I do have a strict framework, but I’m not hell-bent on imposing it on the work. I’m happy to let chance elements come into play, and I steer them.’
The exhibition has a series of related events, including a screening of Bertrand Tavernier’s 1980 sci-fi film Death Watch, which was shot in Glasgow. ‘It shows the decaying grandeur; you get to see Glasgow from then and see what’s changed, and there’s a strange sense that nothing has,’ Wright says. ‘It shows you something you’re very familiar with – normal, rainy Glasgow – and gives it an unusual edge.’
CCA, Glasgow, Fri 19 Sep--Sun 2 Nov.