Not Random Art - Page 75

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15

Hello Anette and welcome to NotRandomArt. The current issue is revolving around the problem of communication and identity. You state, that your art explores “rittuals that helps us to create and support our own 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?

Hi, and thank you!

First, I do not think there is a difference between my identity as an artist and my identity as a human; they are very much the same, or they are in balance to each other. However, my aesthetics are very much influenced by my upbringing in a rural place south in Norway and by my strong relationship to nature. Perhaps it is more clear in my practise now, than before.

Despite this, I am not shielded from the events in the world around me. Much of the work I create is inspired by both my relationship with myself, those around me, cultural and political events happening in Norway and in the world around us. I am very much interested in the systems and rituals we as people create to have a purpose or to find meaning in life. These structures are the foundations that keeps us steady in life, which keeps us going. Even though the world is filled with chaos or disorder, we push forward. The systems and patterns in our daily lives are the paths we create to ensure the meaning of it all. The system will probably change from person to person, but most of us search for that place where we feel important. My practise has a close connection to nature, which for me is the absolute structure of them all. Nature provides us with not only water and food, but it keeps us warm and safe, we can build with the materials it provides. In nature, we work, and in our daily lives, we work, and working feeds me with the rituals I need to keep going.

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 believe I always have sought an artistic path; at least I have memories of talking about it to my parents. As a child, I was either inside reading books or drawing or outside, in the woods, seeking adventures or finding time to be on my own. Artistically, I planned to become a painter: as a young girl I was inspired by Edward Munch and Frida Kahlo. I did not learn of performance art until I attended art school. When I did, it just fell into place; performance art corresponds well with my personality.

I’m a very active person, and to clear my head I do mountain running. It is important for me to challenge myself both physically and mentally. Working with performance art allows oneself to be intuitive and in active at the same time.

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?

Being very minimalistic in my practise, or at least that is how I work now, early minimalistic art has had a strong influence on my work. Artist who has a passion for simple actions or sculptures or even dance, like Bruce Neumann’s “Stamping in the Studio” or the early work of Trisha Brown, has a strong impact on my own performances.

And I still have to shed a tear when I have the chance to experience Mark Rothko’s massive and intense paintings in real life

You find inspiration in the variety of systems we create to make sense of everything and how we act in order to realize our private and social missions. Since you transform cultural and psychological heritage into your artwork, we are curious, what is the role of memory and traditional, social and cultural background in your artistic productions? We are particularly interested if you try to achieve a faithful translation of these experiences and or if you rather use memory as starting point to create. Would you agree that Ritual is another word for fear, manifested in a different way?

I believe it's hard not to be influenced by background, traditions and roles, being an artist or not. I create work with references to myself as an individual and how I, as an individual, am influenced by global events. Therefore, memory is very important in my practice. However, memory is not certain or factual, memories are in a state of constant flux. Memories will always be affected by time, space and other energy waves. People’s identities change over time and from place to place. We can take on new roles; to be human is synonymous with development and change. This is where I believe the aspect of rituals fits in; created in order to make sense of the chaos. Chaos is not dangerous, it is even necessary to promote development and progress. But when it is at its worst, rituals and occasionally ceremonies can create balance and tranquility.

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.