Not Random Art - Page 61

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15

In both ways I am trying to represent memory and collective consciousness. The images are viewed in the same way as the recollection of a memory.

There are many other ways to represent time and motion. By nature, video does this, just spread out over a longer time span and absorbed in a different way. The internet also represents collective consciousness and the memories of the world, spread over a web. My work takes one single strand of this web, and pulls.

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?

Yes, having constraints is a way to guide the work. Staring at a blank page or screen with no rules is daunting. Any time you can give yourself a framework to create within, it also produces a consistent look across my body of work. I pick an anchor in each image that holds everything together. My photos will all capture at least a portion of this anchor, which is then aligned in the final work. For example, with my streetscapes the anchor is often the name of the shop or other signage. I will bend and skew each image to the will of the anchor. This creates a sharply focuses section in each image, that gets progressively blurrier and faded towards the edges. I also use objects as anchors, such as windows, canopies, etc.

For my portraiture, the anchor is almost always the eyes, as they are the most expressive part of a person. I aim for the most important aspect to be clear. At times, I have also experimented with mouths and other body parts as anchors. In both options I use a minimum of 30 layers.

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 intellectual aspects of my work target the mean, median, or average of the subject. The build-up of soft layers means only repetitive or base elements are emphasized. I try to see how far abstracted something can get and still retain its meaning. My work also leaves traces of how it was created. In my opinion, all authentic work shows its craft in the finished product.

On an emotional level, since my work focuses on pop culture or iconic imagery, people who have had some emotional experience with the subject matter in the past will have the strongest emotional response. These images trigger past memories. The ghostly figures and ephemeral scenes make the observer feel the passage of time. A great expanse of time is beholden in a single view.

Together, the emotional and intellectual aspects create an immersive experience. The many layers mean you can look at the image for a while, and discover new things. I am not trying to create hidden meaning, but there is a subtlety to my work, by nature of the process.

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?

Since my work is rarely commissioned, I am not taking an audience response as a driving force in my work as it is being created. On rare occasions I will choose subject matter based on suggestion, request, or popularity. Mostly, I am looking more broadly at what the world is considering to be the important figures and iconic symbols of our current culture. This is made possible by the internet.

Once subject matter is chosen, I have no idea of what the final image will look like. I don’t tailor the piece to look a certain way, but it is more of a product that results from the process and the framework.

I then put it out to the world through social media and online stores, and see what sticks. It’s often a surprise to see which images get the best reception

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

Since my work revolves around time and motion, I’m working on utilizing video in two ways.

First, I’ve been taking iconic and memorable moments from TV and movies and distilling those 1-2 seconds of film into one image. Think of “I love Lucy” eating chocolates off of a conveyor belt, the Matrix bullet-time scene, the last two seconds of the Sopranos, or any other iconic moment that is a mere 1-2 seconds long.

Second, I am producing short videos based on existing works. My work is a process of adding layer after layer to form a coherent whole. The videos will start with the bottom layer and then gradually build up, until you finally see the finished work. At that point, the video will start to peel the layers off, all the way back to the beginning.

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, regarding what type of language is used in a particular context?

Until others see it, artwork is not truly finished. A dialog about a painting brings it to life for both the artist and the viewer. These conversations allow me to see more deeply into the work, to realize the subconscious elements I may have added. For instance, I painted a barren gray landscape with strange, colorful plants growing in clumps on the surface. I thought it was just a scene from a dream. But, my husband looked at it and said it reminded him of middle school. As soon as he told me, I could see it too, the image resonating so much stronger for me than a simple alien-scape. I can remember that day, at eleven years old, starting at a new school, feeling so alone and alien in a gray world, while the other kids huddled together in their social groups.

Each person who looks at "Middle School Cliques" will have a different reaction to it, a personal story or experience that describes the painting for them. I don't want to define it for them, but instead, have each of us share our ideas with the other.

ht 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.