12 May 2022
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to provide a letter of support for Jessie Bullivant’s work, ‘[Body Pressure (Bootleg) (2018) Edition of 300 digital prints on 80gsm paper. Unauthorised restaging of Bruce Nauman’s work (Body Pressure, 1974). Exhibited in A Thousand Times The Rolling Sun, curated by Gabriel Curtin, at The H.M. Prison (Beechworth)].
Jessie gave me the poster in 2018 to replace the Bruce Nauman ‘Body Pressure’ poster I had from Hamburger Bahnhof, which was damaged from the Blu Tack® I had used to display it.
Despite my good friend, the artist Jimmy Nuttall, telling me it was ‘very second year art school’ to have the Nauman poster on my wall, I was somehow attached to the words and the pale pink – a colour I usually steer clear of, and kept it up long after the Blu Tack® began to leech into the paper.
Seeing Jessie’s bootleg version of the poster, I do not think of Bruce Nauman at all, but rather of the year I met Jessie. We studied together in Melbourne in 2015. I preferred their studio to mine because it had a window, so they graciously let me share it with them – we called it ‘hot desking’. When I googled where that term came from, I found out that it is thought to derive from the naval practice of hot racking, where sailors on different shifts share the same bunks (“This may become a very erotic exercise.”)
That quote, the last sentence of Jessie and Bruce’s respective posters, is the only part of the text that sticks with me (I am away from home and the poster at the moment so I cannot look at it while I write this). I love how kind of throwaway the line is, and I think it is that cheeky confidence that connects both works. The making a bootleg version of the work sees the audacity of Nauman’s gesture and raises the stakes in the way only Jessie can – cunning yet classy.
It is without reservation that I support Jessie Bullivant in every endeavour. Please contact me if you have any questions about this letter.
This letter was written on the lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. I pay my respects to their Elders past and present and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.