Paul Hutchinson
21 Poems and 16 Pictures from L.A.
2023

Limited edition portfolio including 16 inkjet prints and 4 double-sided text plates on cardboard
Folder: 42,5 x 30,5 x 2,5 cm (closed)
Each print: 42 x 29,7 cm
Editon of 15 + 5 AP

EUR 3.500,- (VAT excl.)

When you arrive at a foreign place how do you cope with it? How do you process the infinite number of impressions your eyes register, the strange noises your ears record, the smells, the warmth, the voices, people. Away from daily patterns, I personally try to make sense of things by creating a record of whatever I feel or think about in this new environment. I note down details that stand out to me in the flush of new impressions, things that my body or my mind reacts to. This written record doesn’t necessarily relate to reality. Often it is fictional. A thought that came to me because I saw something I, at home, possibly wouldn’t have seen. A sentence in my head. A word. A picture.

When making new work abroad, I try to do these initial reactions justice. And, mostly, I fail. Sometimes though, when I re-approach the forest of unfiltered production that I made – which often happens much later –, I spot something that makes me relive these first raw, undirected feelings. And when I notice that, I dive into it. Dig into that world deep inside of me and bring it out, somehow. Ironically, after all the effort of steadily taking notes, being on the road, seeing new things, over time I realize it is not so much the being away that matters to me or that in any way improves my work. Or the unknown, foreign environment. But, simply, being aware. Anywhere.

In early 2023 I spent six weeks at the artist residency Villa Aurora in Los Angeles.

Copyright the artist; Photo Paul Hutchinson
Copyright the artist; Photo Paul Hutchinson

farewell

heading home on sunset
watching the sun set
roaming through another night
and all its lights
been thinking about what you said
that last time
when you promised
it will be tough
but it will be alright

this city of hollow ghosts
and broken charms
made each day seem far
though the way you sounded on the phone
made me certain I am
clearly gone
but I am not alone

so I continue walking amid
empty stares
of a tired man
listening to his screaming
about how things were
and how things are

about how things used to be
for him
and his kind
living against all odds
being told
everything is fine

they say it doesn’t rain here
but I saw thunder in his mind
clouds in the palm of his hand
a wrinkled face, torn
like the streets of this town
scars on his forehead
and blood from his mouth

empty gloss trying to shine a light
on someone just trying to get by
a landscape of tents
red shadows and me walking by
the man still sitting there
what’s your name I say
when he asks me for a dime
he goes
I am the quake waking you up at night
the hundred purple shades that dawn shines each time
I am another lost soul waiting for the dole to arrive
a father with dry tears in his eyes
I am another one of those failed tries
of an army of hopeless scattered in the streets left and right
you’ve been bathing in sunsets my friend, he says, and that’s fine
but don’t you dare think you’ve seen anything
of me
or of my insides
you walk blindly here
in your rented car and with your sunglassed eyes

go home now boy
it’s time

I heard a rumor once
about sadness and about the way we talk
that it’s connected
and that it’s been too long
since we tried laughing
and being free
and that it doesn’t help
if you’re too close to me

Copyright the artist; Photo Paul Hutchinson

certain I was

funny how things grow big
from little thoughts
funny I’ve been thinking again
about the way you talked so
calm and strong and
without the urge to be heard
makes everyone tilt their heads
until they’re near, certain I was
I never thought a thought about you
crimson skies look pale
and you do too
traffic stops
and gutted people wander about
still wonder
why
you can’t hear me
when I shout

At the Studio

Copyright the artist; Photo Paul Hutchinson
Copyright the artist; Photo Paul Hutchinson

teargas in your hand
your mother always told you
to take it along when you go out
better than standing square, useless
trying to shout

when they come for you
she said
hold it tight
don’t be sure it will help
but it might

Copyright the artist; Photo Paul Hutchinson
Copyright the artist; Photo Paul Hutchinson
Copyright the artist; Photo Paul Hutchinson

sundown
and four fingers
resting on a steering wheel

tail lights
and the music feels right

wonder my father

in these parts
it seems there’s a particular type of the american dream
something
I had never witnessed or seen
but often heard of since
I was little, I wonder what
an irish dream would feel like my father must have dreamt
one day far away
would it be similar
to the polish or turkish dreams of my friends or what does
a german dream look like even
in these parts I see big cars with big trunks loaded with junk
shattering waves in the distance and sunrises at 6 am
the time it takes for the traffic signals to finally
switch
seems much longer, too long as we’re sitting in my car and
KCRW tells us it is going to be
just fine

About Paul Hutchinson

In his works, Paul Hutchinson considers phenomena of modern day urban life such as youth culture, social housing architecture and conditions of social mobility.

Other Artworks by Paul Hutchinson

Explore more Photographs