Not Random Art - Page 74

I am also interested how the viewers perceive the work. Being in this interview is also a part of that. I don’t really know how to explain it but my work is in some sense not really idea-driven. I am interested in different ways of communication, other ways of thinking, a more holistic way of thinking, but I don’t think I would go so far to say that communication could happen on an unconscious level during the viewers´ experience. I’m not sure if this answers your question but I am more interested in poetry rather than ideas or explanations. I would like to work with someone who can write poetic and powerful without being overly explanatory. Text that can function both as contradiction and in line with the work, maybe also incorporated within the work itself. So if you are a writer reading this please do not hesitate contacting me. 

How do you see the relationship between emotional and intellectual perception of your work? Do you see it as a merge and rather agree with the idea that emotions, which per force belong to the individual experiencing them, should influence the cognition of attributes belonging to an artwork? 

The emotional and intellectual perception is probably a merge as you say. The emotional and intellectual also merge in the process of the making. But there are different stages and at first I try to not analyze or over think too much because nothing interesting will come from that. Salvador Dali once said in an interview that he was to intelligent to be a good painter. There is maybe some sort of truth in that or at least applied for him. I think he was referring to painting as a quite physical act. I like that my abstract work is more open in this sense, it makes it easier to manifest new layers in the presentation in an exhibition.

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?

There isn’t any simple answer to this question. Art is a multidisciplinary field and you have artists working with art in so many different ways. There are for example artists producing shelters for the homeless as artworks. So my answer would be yes but if you want to make a greater change for other peoples future It would probably be better if you do work for organizations that are working with helping others and not trying to make it as an artwork at the same time. Most of the time art doesn’t make sense of these questions, it often creates even more complex stories. On the other hand maybe art can point out injustice from a different angle and force or provoke us to think about it again.

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

At the moment Im working on a series of paintings inspired by wastelands. I have plans for making a book of the work Mörkt oljud/ Black noise. Hopefully this will come true by the end of this year. A book feels like a good strategy to define the material and collaborate with others so the book can function as a work of art itself. I also think my work will take on more three-dimensional form and I would like to find a way to combine painting with photography and film.  

e 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.