Not Random Art - Page 41

How much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience? How important is for you the feedback from the receivers of your artworks?

When I am working on a piece, I am never thinking of the audience. First and foremost, whatever I am working on needs to please and move me in some way. That said, I absolutely love getting feedback about my artwork. I use social media religiously to keep everyone in the loop about what I am working on. The fact that something I have created can move someone to feel a reaction is a glorious feeling. But again, I always create for myself first, and the rest is bonus.

It is impossible to avoid the topic of body consciousness, embodied emotions and the image of body that we see on your drawings, which stays in real opposition to the images presented in mass media. What are the bodies appearing in your artworks – fragmented, languorous, lethargic…? What inspires you to such representations of the human body?

I find myself to be very in tune with reading body language. It is amazing the subtle ways humans can emote themselves. The eyes are very telling. It’s very hard to hide true emotions in your eyes. People used to always ask me “why are your drawings all so sad? Why are they never smiling?” I guess you can say I’m fascinated by the moments in between the laughter, and this is what I try to capture: moments when we are alone and have time to think; to reflect. Sometimes I think that it makes people uncomfortable to see this because it’s honest. Sometimes emotions that are honest are not always pleasant. I love drawing women in all their curvy, sensual glory. This has evolved from my own acceptance of my body and everything it has to offer. Women can be soft and yet very strong. There is something amazing about this combination. There has definitely been a shift in how women are beginning to look less to mainstream media for the definition of beauty and more towards each other. For the first time in a long time I feel like we are beginning to empower each other to be our true beautiful selves.

Before taking leave from this interesting conversation, we would like to ask if, in your opinion, art can change the future for racial and ethnic identity? How can art help to make sense of these complex histories?

From the beginning of time art has been there. It tells the story of human kind. As long as people all over the world are given the freedom to continue creating, our story as a civilization will be chronicled. There is something very universal about art. Images are a language that everyone can speak and understand.

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

Thank you so much again for allowing me to be a part of this. I am currently focusing on drawing as much as I can, and networking. I am working toward having a solo show, hopefully this winter. It’s hard to say how my work will evolve over time as I tend to go with the flow. I am very excited to see where the current will take me!

that take these and turn them into something generative and refreshing. Before we started interaction, our work was mainly concerned with generative forms that were inspired by nature. We haven't art a dialogue and to see if they agreed or not.

Another thing that hugely impacts us are the sciences and their technologies. Sometimes we joke around and ask eachother why we aren't scientists, but to be honest, in a way we are. We just explore and try to link the three different worlds that most people think are conflicted: Society, technology and nature.

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?

Everybody wants to eat but few are willing to hunt.

This expression simply represents our identity as it grew from personal and artistic experiences. It has been quite a long journey to reach this moment in our lives and after months of back and forths, differences and compromises we form a perfect team. We definitely contrast on many issues, but the combination of our perspectives tends to lead to a piece of work that is both meaningful and significant to the pair of us. We are the best of friends and probably the trust and support we offer each other makes us both brave enough to stay sincere to ourselves in the art world. As humans and as artists, sincerity is a positive trait. Our professors are a good example of this and initially they showed scepticism of using technology in this way, but we managed to convince them in our first few years when we applied it to visual interactions and invited members of the public to join in. The feedback we got was great and the professors eventually came round to the idea that we were doing something worth pursuing. This allowed us to pursue our bachelor and masters degrees using technology as a media of art. It was because of our persistence and our dedication that we continue to make our own path and convincing the professors was a great achievement for us. It was also a great boost to our confidence and a kind of self-affirmation. We realise that we have made it tough on ourselves, our work is based on some very complex principles that have daunted humans far more intelligent than us. Questions of philosophy, of being, of the mind and creative ideas. This, combined with thousands upon thousands of lines of code has made us truly appreciate every step we take and every little bit of progress we make going forward.

We always deal with instability in our work, sometimes unintentionally, but, as we deal with cultures and changes that are, by their nature unstable, we cannot avoid it. Our last work was called "Love", where we dealt with long distance relationships. Not just between partners, but families and children throughout the globe. It dealt with physical distance through points in time, but it also dealt with non-physical distance, about mental disconnections and absences. With change comes uncertainty, comes irrationality and comes instability. In politics we see this all of the time. We try to provide a stable environment in our interactive work, we attempt to present its value and overall increase the happiness of our societies. We presented a work in the USA called "67-Inch", where we built an interactive forest in this beautiful part of a busy city in the USA to remind people that not everything is urban and that they were in fact surrounded by forests and plains and land that was as wondrous as the forest we built. The feedback we got was very positive and our hope is that we changed the way some of our visitors thought about their city, whilst encouraging them to look outside of it sometimes.

Being Polish, and born in a capital city that has so much history behind it definitely helps to form our aesthetics. One can't not be born to a place and experience it as a daily routine without it influencing major parts of themselves. There isn't so much tendency in Poland to think about art, life is more about character. We're known as being a stubborn, proud and hospitable country and that, in an ironic kind of way, has a major part to play in our works and aesthetics.

Urbanoiz is a project of making a “culture” not just for artworks. I’m interested in various fields like fashion, music and merchandising…etc. And if it’s story about our life in the city, I always hop on to work on this project regardless of any creation form. Recently I’m preparing for really interesting project, so that people can interact with my art work more closely in the city. I will make more efforts to let people find this “urban noise’ everywhere in the city. This is going to be very hard, but I am thrilled to continue this project.

t all started at the Academy of Fine Arts in Trondheim, Norway, in the mid 90's and with my research in Video Art and the History of Video Art. During that period, I experimented with the cameras available at the time, such as Hi8, Super-8, and DV. I learned how to edit using Avid and produced numerous small experimental art films. Conceptually, I was inspired by video artists such as Nam June Paik, Bill Viola, and Bruce Naumann amongst many others. I used effects and experimental sound in my films. It was a very exciting time for my development, and I explored all kinds of filmic work, from 80's video art to more experimental directors of the time, such as Peter Greenaway, Jim Jarmusch, and Hal Hartley as well as the greats such as Federico Fellini, Luis Buñuel, and Jean-Luc Godard. So my work was shaped by this strange hybrid of influences: everything from animated MTV shorts to deeply conceptual post modernistic cinema.

Later on, I started to build video installations, combined with photography, objects and performance. From this, I started to become involved with stage art and independent dance and theatre. Several directors have given me the time and space to experiment using multiple video projectors, and my work has become an active element onstage, sometimes interacting with the performers. Every project has been useful in some way for exploring and refining my ideas. Now in my capacity as film director, I'm able to call upon my experiences gained from working as a cross disciplinary artist.

Your artworks are revolving around the problem of social identity and cultural affiliations. 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 belong to a minority group in society and that identity is always a part of me and my work. I don’t believe my artworks are changing due to unstable times but that I'm working my way through a theme and a method over time. The content of my work is becoming more and more personal and I think that is because I dare to be more honest with myself. What I find interesting to work with is in my immediate presence. When I collaborate with stageartists, we often focus on a current political theme. In these collaborations I work more as an art activist and have a broader openess for the aesthetics. My work is then more experimental with research on different ways to develop live presentations in the space.

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?

“Revolted 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.