Not Random Art - Page 92

for the viewer. Racial and ethnic identity is always a radical part of anyone's identity. I think that visual culture is a common international language speaking with the professional skills. We can see it even in a low level of instruction, between artistic craftsmen of very different ethnic, racial, cultural origins, the exchange and tolerance level is very high, and the same happens in artists milieu (not so much with singular artists suffering a bloating personality). In the past centuries artists and professional craftsmen were travelling the whole world bringing their knowledge to produce collective magnificences, this made possible new complex cultural environments. The most interesting cultures descend from positive alchemies of multiplicity. I think that the differences in art context are a big resource. As an artist I found enlightenment in ethnic and cultural contexts different from mine. All this said, I think that art is working always in a one-to-one dimension, this is its force but also its weakness, and I think that there can be crucial changing in this very private, personal plan.

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

II must admit I find this question incredibly hard! What defines a work of art??? I keep coming back to “originality” and “passion”. I think if someone has created something from scratch with his own hands, with passion, with heart and soul, whatever and wherever that spiritedness and desire stems from, no matter how beautiful or how ugly, you could call it art.

As for the contemporariness of an artwork, I don’t necessary believe there is a specific feature which defines the work modern. All art at one point in time was “contemporary” in comparison to what came before it. In the last two years I decided to leave Rome and to live and work in Sardinia to reach my partner, that's a violin maker. Here my career as sculpture teacher evolved, being able to work with older art pupils, making with them artworks that won many prizes for Italian Young Art Excellences. On the other side I experienced quite hard difficulties in making art, as I had to leave definitely my workshop in Rome and I still do not have a complete workshop to produce my main artworks, but only a studio were I do a lot of design and plans for my technically complex artworks. So I made a lot of drawings and projects, most of them to be realized with metal, in the meanwhile I have been working on very small pieces, very “private” artworks, from sculptures made of recycled materials to illustration, small pieces, most of them ephimeral, made to be donated or destroyed. This situation will change after September, when I'll be able to have a more appropriate space for production, and my big future project is to produce all the pieces that I drawn and planned in the last 2 years As a secondary project I hope to be able to open a new artists association in Sardinia, where I live now and I'm already collaborating with Momoti Puppet Art Theather to organize periodical local events on sculpture. Since the beginning of my career I intended art not only as a personal activity but also as a social possible way of development for people. With this aim in 2005 I opened with a small group of female artists a no-profit venue in Rome (Artetica, gallery and workshop), and a second one followed in 2014 in a small village near Florence, with the same group. I think that exchange of knowledge is fundamental for arts, I'm now dedicating also to redacting a book on art foundry techniques made easy for the small art workshop, intended to be for art students and artists wanting to manage independently the casting of their artworks.

Talking about the evolution of my work, from my first artworks on, the interest on the body has slightly passed from an investigation on the identity to a possible language. The ironic and grotesque associations in the years are more present, I realized that are a strong part of my “roman” identity. Although I do not search for this kind of expression, I'm glad it is always more present in my works, as I realize that is a fundamental part of my personality.

In the last times my projects are going in a couple of different evolution paths. One that I consider most important and significant, is relational sculptures and installation made of durable materials, arising from a strong necessity or mental image, and growing from design to artwork, developing it as much as I can by myself, usually using my technical skills at best. These works are my investigation project. I want to create the suspension of time that the child experiences when playing, that's the most similar to the one that the artist experiences when making art.

The second ones are smaller in dimensions and aims: these are getting smaller from time to time: some kind of paper sculptures, assemblages of objects-trouvees, drawings, paintings, ceramics, collages, many times ephymeral, that wants to be more poetical than significant, but that easier to produce in any kind of small or uncomfortable places, and that I developed much in those last years of continuous travelling and moves.

This small things have the advantage to be much loved by their small very private public.

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?

Definitely being female in this day and age influences my aesthetics. I guess you could say I am a feminist artist, not the bra burning, sign wielding type, but I certainly believe in equality for women, particularly in art. I empathise with women involved in the art world of history past and am awed by their courage and how far female artists have fought to shine through… but it still isn’t over yet. Through my art I believe I am conveying a woman's sense of self. Her individualism, her beauty, sensuality and mystery, her sexuality, strength and heart.

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.