Not Random Art - Page 41

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Hello Ingrid and welcome to NotRandomArt. The current issue is revolving around the problem of communication and identity. Is there any particular way you would describe your identity as an artist but also as a human being in dynamically changing, unstable times? In particular, does your cultural substratum/identity form your aesthetics?

I use my identity as an artist to discuss how our identities are scattered in this mediated world. My personal identity is partly influenced by the reluctance I feel to conform to conventions, and with conventions I also mean the way we are pushed to communicate in this era with available technology. The construction of the identities of many singers as well as artists are influenced by the need to create a persona that is used as a tool to determine what a lot of other people desire to be. That is why the thematics around (internet)identity are subject of my interest.

Would you like to tell us something about your artistic as well as life background? What inspired you to be in this artistic point in your life when you are now?

I discovered that in the work I make now, I am exactly doing the same things that I was doing as a child. I used to make a lot of drawings and paintings, I made radio shows with my sisters, I made staged photographs and I liked to dress up. I was to shy to perform but I wanted to. I also always have been writing lyrics, stories and songs, but not even my parents knew about it.

The elementary school I went to was based on the principles of a Steinerschool, but the quality of teaching when it came to serious matters was quite poor. On the other hand it opened a world governed by creativity were playing and experiencing various mediums from a young age on was the main focus.

Could you identify a specific artwork that has influenced your artistic practice or has impacted the way you think about your identity as a participant of the visual culture?

I think I’m more influenced by other things than art in my artistic practice. Like the book ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley. He was able to describe an impersonal future society ruled by technology, where rationality rules out individuality and emotional experience. And as a participant of this current visual culture, I feel like the emotional experience of any event is diluted by all media that are involved when we are trying to capture it. The music of Michael Gordon as composed for the movie Decasia by Bill Morrison, also inspired me a lot.

Mary Reid Kelley’s work intrigues me, because of it’s theatrical elements and the way she is able to develop intricate and smart dialogues in a playful manner. Like me, she uses a wide array of media and techniques and she emphasises the feminine point of view throughout history.

Your artworks reveal stimulating search of an organic symbiosis between different levels and layers of representation as well as wide range of media that are used by you. The results convey together a coherent sense of unity, that rejects any conventional classification. While walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have ever happened to realise that such approach is the only way to express and convey the ideas you explore.

When I start working, I always start with collecting a lot of material that is not necessarily linked in the beginning, which makes me really confused at times. But after a certain point, I’m starting to see connections that make me decide what restrictions to give myself in order to continue. I am currently most interested in conventions in the use of; the female voice, annotation in songwriting, music performance and contemporary theatre. In order to research these thematics I collect screenshots of video’s, texts, quotes, sounds that I find or record, pictures, or physical materials that have an aesthetic appeal. But I am never able to focus only on on thing, like now I am writing pop songs and tunes that have nothing to do with some of my collected material. I think my method of working in a scattered manner, makes me better equipped in finding unconventional solutions in my work.

You use an overlay technique to represent a different vantage point on the built environment. What is the role of technique in your practice? In particular are there any constraints or rules that you follow when creating?

I never rule out any technique while working, If I don’t know how to do something it only triggers me to explore it. In most of my performances or video’s I use a wide array of techniques, like painting, sewing, photography, sculpting and music composition. I also try to use and adapt existing techniques of representation from other disciplines, such as scriptwriting techniques or the use of a teleprompter format. When I comes to the use of materials, I don’t rule out anything as well. An example is in the video; We like your hair, that is based on a compilation of reconstructed photographs. There was an element in the background of one of the pictures that looked like a carpet, and I reconstructed and repurposed this element by making a caramel structure, that I coloured with different sorts of marzipan.

I don’t only use different techniques and materials, but I also work in different disciplines. In my latest work, called; BLACK OUT, I somehow decided to make an experimental theatre play where I reversed the traditional notions of theatre. The stage directions as written in the script were given a major role, and the prompter the second leading role. The stage directions are wooden stage attributes that I wanted to have lit up in the dark, this is when I started working with black lights.

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.