Click portrait to access the interview
Elliott Linwood, born in Massachusetts in 1956, was trained at San Francisco State University in the 1990s in Life Art, a practice with meditative and performance art tendencies that focuses an aesthetic awareness on everyday life. Through this approach, Linwood deploys cross-referencing techniques in his sculptural and photographic works to highlight the roles that causality plays, particularly with regard to time's effect on human bodies. In works such as Initiation, Resistance and Swarm (pictured), he has used this technique to explore his own response to living with HIV and the community's difficulty in dealing with AIDS.
Elliott's work is also informed by his studies in philosophy and visual literacy at New York University in the 1970s, and cultural anthropology at the University of Chicago in the 1980s. As Elliott notes, his photographic work, in particular, "investigates poetic forms of pattern recognition, as when a multiplicity of viewpoints are simultaneously presented in grids of photo imagery, or systems of ambiguous theory-based pieces are arranged for the audience to navigate in large scale installations". Works such as Blue Yonder and Floaters, which received First Prize in the juried 'Share Your Vision' exhibition, are examples of this work. These images are represented in the adjacent slideshow and discussed in Elliott's interview with Paul Sendziuk.
Elliott's work has been exhibited throughout the United States in venues such as the Alternative Museum and Artists Space in New York City; Randolph Street Gallery in Chicago; the de Young Museum, and Yerba Center for the Arts, in San Francisco; and the John Thomas Gallery and Highways in Santa Monica, California. It has also been reviewed in Art in America, Artforum, The Village Voice, and Artweek among other publications. Elliott has received numerous grants and awards for his art practice from institutions such as Art Matters in New York City and the California Arts Council. He has also received funding for his activism through an HIV Empowerment Grant that allowed him to attend New College School of Law in San Francisco and become a member of the California Bar in 2002.
'Lock', human hair, 48" x 48", 1993.
'Initiation', glass jar, honey and syringes, 24" x 24" x 24", 1993.
'Resistance', dead bees, AZT, bee hive, strobe light, perspex, bucket and flowers, 1993.