Not Random Art - Page 24

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14

How do you see the relationship between emotional and intellectual perception of your work? In particular, how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience?

Ideally, I would like the viewer to relate to my work the same way I do, in a direct and physical way. From a phenomenological point of view, this might be unavoidable, but I prefer amplifying this effect rather than diminish it. This is something I consciously play with in my works, that often have an uncanny aspect to them, and which always, one way or the other, relates to the viewer’s body. I enjoy evoking fleshy, hyper-realistic effects, to let veins emerge through thin, fragile skin, to focus on little flaws and letting them shine rather than trying to hide them, to allow wrinkles and folds to tell their story. I like playing with the extreme phases and stages of the body, human or animal. Birth, aging and death, illness and deformation. I think the way consumer societies tend to look away from anything sick or deformed, and to suppress the fact that we are all aging, we are all dying, is deeply unhealthy. Maybe I am trying to compensate for that. The overlapping nature of physical and mental pain and pleasure, all connected by our nervous system, is an inexhaustible source of wonder, that might be spotted in some of my works. The immediate feedback I get from the viewers, is often a 50/50 mixture of attraction and repulsion, I take that as a good sign.

I am not overly interested in whether the viewer understands my work intellectually; I think our bodily experience might be just as valuable, even if the work has a theoretical base, even if it is political. The physical understanding or perception of a work can also emphasize an eventual intellectual perception of it. Sometimes I work with a specific theoretical intention in mind, other times not, but due to my intuitive method, the mood comes before the idea. It is a cliché, but I do prefer the work to stay open, ask questions rather than provide answers. So, to answer your question, I consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience to be an essential, if not crucial part of my work, and of how I experience art.

Before leaving this conversation, we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

I guess part of this I already answered in the last question. But no, I do not consider the issue of audience reception as a crucial component of my decision-making process. That would not work well with my intuitive approach. Which does not mean that I don’t care about audience reception. I hope that the fact that my process is direct and physical, will lead to a direct and physical experience, at least for some viewers. So, of course I consider it, but I strive to keep that problem as separate as I can from my artistic process.

Since my work is mostly figurative, it can be considered somewhat easily accessible, which can be both a blessing and a curse. For an untrained art audience, it can work as a gentle trap, which I think is a good thing. But there is always the chance that a more experienced eye will consider it too accessible, even superficial. But at least on a conscious level, I try not thinking about that while I am working, and most of the time I succeed.

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Kamilla. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Thank you for the opportunity!

I have been working a lot with figurines in porcelain and stoneware lately, detailed, fastidious work. Based on previous experience, a period like that usually results in some sort of reaction, an urge to do the exact opposite.

At the very moment, I am working on a collaborative project with photographer Martin Losvik, making an exhibition that will display some of my figurines, as well as Losvik’s narrative photographic interpretations of some of my sculptures. I find this an exciting way of showing sculpture, and out of my comfort zone, since I am usually very much in control of my own process and results.

The next couple of years, I know that I will be more involved in curating. Together with my partner in the curating duo “K”, Sigrid Høyforsslet Bjørbæk, and with the support of the organization Barentskult, I am in the process of developing an exciting project, involving artists from the Barents region. This is now in a preliminary phase, and will be an essential part of my professional life the next few years.

So, I see my work evolving randomly, in fits and starts, as always depending on time and money. The best I can hope for, is that I continue to find my professional artistic life as rewarding and interesting as I do now.

Your art seems to be a quest for “balance between abstract and realism, manipulating lines and colours to create a kaleidoscopic feel while remain a meticulous sense of order using acrylic and mixed media.” What is the role of technique in your practice? In particular are there any constraints or rules that you follow when creating?

The very beginnings of inspiration for a new painting is to look for a pose. I will often troll through images of Avant Garde fashion photography, ballet, dance, naked portraiture and/or body-scapes to find just the right one. Once I have the pose that strikes me (YES!) I take it from there, drawing up a rough sketch adding patterns and geometrical shapes which contrast the lines of the main silhouette.

From there I sketch my plan on to a blank canvas (always making changes and additions to the new layout). Once I am happy with that I start to add colour. My fine lines are all executed without masking; using a small brush, even hand, and steadfast concentration. Then I apply layer upon layer of colour until I achieve beautiful unyielding saturation and impeccable print-like quality.

How do you see the relationship between emotional and intellectual perception of your work? In particular, how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience?

The emotional and intellectual relationship of my work always begin as two very seperate things. At first glance, my art may seem frivolously aesthetic .The colours are vibrant, and deliciously arresting. But then you look a little closer, even through the simplicity of the block colour and basic lines of geometry and pattern, there is always a story within… and that is when the emotional and intellectual perception of my art merge and the true beauty is discovered.

olted by the Thought of Known Places… Sweeney Astray” by Joan Jonas was one of the first performance installations that really made a huge impact on me. I was living in Paris during this time, in the early 90s, with a lot of influences from different cultures. It became the starting point of my own work. Joan Jonas practice has explored ways of seeing, the rhythms of ritual, and the authority of objects and gestures. Jonas continues to find new layers of meanings in themes and questions of gender and identity that have fueled her art for over thirty years. She is a great inspiration still today.

It is impossible to avoid the topic of body consciousness, embodied emotions and the image of body and personal identity that we see in your practice. What is the function of the identity appearing in your artworks – is it a canvas used to present your ideas or rather the subject of the art? What inspired you to use this as a theme in your practice?

I have been developing my visual imagery since I began studying art and film - from conceptual thinking, composition, using light and colour in different ways, through all the different techniques I've utilised over the years in my work and in my collaborations with stage artists such as dancers, musicians and actors. My approach is always developing through exploring these things. Visual imagery in essence is your way of experiencing what you see and transforming it. This is my world that I want to share and express through my art. The body consciousness, embodied emotions and the image of body and personal identity is part of this visual imagery, the emotional essence in my practice. Always present and always developing in different themes and projects.

Marina Abramovic stated: You see, what is my purpose of performance artist is to stage certain difficulties and stage the fear the primordial fear of pain, of dying, all of

which we have in our lives, and then stage them in front of audience and go through them and tell the audience, 'I'm your mirror; if I can do this in my life, you can do it in yours.'Can you relate anyhow to these words?

de-identify myself, by losing my roots, my culture, I would be very happy. Unfortunately the human being does'nt choose the place where he is born. He grows up in a society that automatically identifies, through education, culture, family... More than ever I think it's more important to go on a way of self-knowledge with the aim to meet “the other”.. This other without which we can not exist. It's the same for the artist. It is more important for me to be focused on my practice than to try to define it according to esthetic criteria of identification. It's probably the reason i like to remember the painter Matisse who said or wrote that an artist must never be prisoner of himself, prisoner of a style, prisoner of a reputation.

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Could you talk a little about experiences that has influence the way you currently relate yourself to your artworks?

All my way is influenced by encounterings.

It began by the meeting with my professor of literature at school. More than giving French or Literature classes, she brought us to discover texts, movies, plays, visual artworks and to think about on what we saw or read.. Thanks to her that I met Pierre Vincke, a theatredirector who was worjink in the tradition of Grotowski ... Both of them have led me to go to theater school. In this school I had meetings. Meetings with artists but also and especially human beings that made me discover. I always need o discover rather than to master a practice. It's probably the reason my encounter with Monica Klingler and Boris Nieslony was decisive for me and led me on the path of Performance Art which is a form still difficult to define. Each performance artist has a different definition of what it is...

Could you identify a specific artwork that has influenced your artistic practice or has impacted the way you think about race and ethnic identity in visual culture?

No I don't have a specific artwork that has influenced my artistic practise but many.

I'm influenced by some philsophers as well as poets or musicians or dancers or visual artists but also by some places or landscapes or atmospheres ... For some years, I was used for example to go to India where I was used to follow some traditionnal muscians or to learn bharatanatyam and practice vipassana meditation... Of course this experience has impacted my art work.... This brought me to think and work differently... My experience in India brought me to discover traditionnal strong art and paradoxally to the way of Performance Art. But there I see one common point: to make no separation between art and life and to be here and now, without projection on the future.

It's difficult for me to speak about race and ethnic identity. But I can say that today we miss more and more this notion of “to be here and now” which is more present in some cultures ... By practising Performance Art, it's my way to be connected to this way of thinking. And even in this field actually it's more and more difficult. The society and the art world brings us more and more to plan in advance, to define our work, more than to do. Just to do. To do what we deeply need.

And of course, my encountering with Black Market International and later the notion of Open Source or Open session via PAErsche have also a big impact on my work. When we go on that, each of us perform by sharing time and space but without trying to convince each other on some common way. This is for me a wonderfull way how we can meet each other, regardless of our origin, our race or our “identity”...

Many of your works carry an autobiographical message. Since you transform your experiences into your artwork, we are curious, what is the role of memory in your artistic productions? We are particularly interested if you try to achieve a faithful translation of your previous experiences or if you rather use memory as starting point to create.

My memory is clearly a starting point to create. I don't have any autobiographical message. I use my personnal experience ( what I feel , what I see, what I learn, what I ear...) to work. It's a motor or a material. I'm not able to paint, so I can't do something with red or white or yellow or black colors. All I have is life, a body alive. And I need to do something with that...

My sensation about life sometimes is too intense then I need to transform this intensity in some action. Some artistic action... If people can take something from this action this is great... but I don't want to give them “a specific message” or to control the translation of my experience.