Not Random Art - Page 57

Lisa Kristine stated: My work is about the establishment of trust. For someone to share their authenticity with me is a soul-to-soul thing. It's not a lens-to-soul thing.

Can you relate anyhow to this words? Could you tell our readers more about your perception of authenticity, which seems to be the core concept in your work?

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to be a part of Not Random Art. I feel, being an artist gives me a voice and a means of communication. I explore my identity through my artistic practice which revolves around my research on social theory. This provides me with a foundation and framework to create and grounds my aesthetic within my subject matter.

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 grew up in a working class Irish family and neighborhood in inner-city London which I feel has shaped me as a person and therefore shaped my artistic practice. I now live in Galway in the Republic of Ireland where I entered third level education as a mature student. I'm currently in the middle of a masters program which is allowing me time to take a step back to observe and solidify my practice.

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?

Not so much an artwork initially. My very first project in art college was an urban landscape project, looking at the built environment and it developed from there. It was only after when attending exhibitions, researching other artists and literature, that led or influenced my practice. During art college I was looking at painters like

David Hepher, Luc Tuymans, George Shaw, photographer and film maker Tom Hunter among many others. I was also interested in documentary and social realist films by directors like Ken Loach and Mike Liegh.

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 work is produced on places I've lived, walked through regularly or visited so I suppose memory comes into play through nostalgia, recollection and the experience of residing in that place and so memory forms a connection. The buildings are also recognizable at times to viewers who also have their own memories and connections.

What is the role of technique in your practice? In particular are there any constraints or rules that you follow when creating?

I usually use research as a starting point and begin by taking photographs and collecting information. I get as many images as I can and cover my studio wall with them, I then use the photographs to work from and the painting process begins. I don't follow rules or any singular technique as such, apart from when I'm painting, a ritual comes into play.

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?

I feel my work is quite accessible. I like the way people in the past have identified with my work because they have recognized the buildings or place, even if they're not from the locality. I remember while working on my degree show in art college, I had a series of paintings of brutalist buildings close to where I grew up. Three students from both Poland and Germany said that they resembled places from their cities of birth which made me think many cities must share a similar visual experience so therefore similar issues. I know my paintings are not aesthetically 'beautiful'. I was standing beside one of my paintings at a group show once and heard two ladies discussing my work. One lady stated that she found the image too depressing while the other lady argued that art didn't have to be beautiful. I took the negative reaction as constructive criticism and at least it formed a conversation. For me personally, I feel my exploration of social theory intellectual, while my paintings are more emotional.

Seeing the city landscapes present in your works, I could not help but thinking about Peter Osborn and his article "Non-places and the spaces of art", where he talks about "the idea of non-places as the spatial dimension of a general conception of ‘super- modernity’ as a culture of ‘excess’, denied by an ‘overabundance of events’, in which the very idea of individuated culture, ‘localised in time and space’, has become redundant. Can you relate to his words anyhow?

6.) 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?

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.