Not Random Art - Page 78

Hello Pier and welcome to NotRandomArt. 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?

Hello NotRandomArt, I was born in Paris in the eighties.

Skateboarding, graffiti and sneakers where my passions. In 2007, I was working in an advertising  agency and I had a scooter accident, which kept me in the hospital for one year with a brain injury. I discovered mosaic art through ergotherapy, while re-learning how to do everything with my left hand, my only functional hand today. Since 2010 I’ve been creating  around diverse themes: sneakers, game boy, scrabble, work tools, junk food, bowling pins, 9/11, web culture, and most notably my series «My View», ten pieces based on Youtube hits screenshots, and my series « My Nyan Cat », recreating Stop Motion with Mosaic.

Your artworks are revolving around the problem of pop-cultural, 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?.

Through confronting 21st century cultural symbols to the ancestral art of mosaic, I create pieces of work by playing with this time-enduring material.
In my series «My View», which reproduces a still image taken from a Youtube video viewed by millions of people: each pixel materializes as a square tile and inscribes this ephemeral image into time and space.
The choice of mosaic, with over a hundred hours of work required for each piece, is at the exact opposite of our present day obsession with fast creative or consuming processes. With this technical stunt, I invite my audience to reconsider the way we consume things or images.

Your approach constantly tests several viewpoints to reveal an incessant search of humancondition: revealing its social identity but also in the attempt of tearing off the artificial masks, created by culture. While walking our readers through your process , we would like to ask you where do you place your artworks: as a political statement, bringing back the political voice to groups that are being not heard, manifest, a sparkle that aims at being the beginning of a revolution? What are the most important issues you would like to confront your spectators with?

I’m part of this new generation called the « Post-internet generation » ;

I belong to the lucky 5% on this planet, I have electricity and enough to eat.

My « political voice » is not capital in this world.

If what I produce brings spectators to come together, take time to really see it in the midst of this fast paced world we live in, appreciate or maybe not appreciate my work, move them to a reaction, to reflect on their vision of society, then that is very gratifying to me.

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?

I don’t create for a special public; I want my work to be able reach anybody. My way of creating is very open. I want my work to be seen by people from any background, especially an audience that is curious and thirsty for innovation – whether their feedback is positive or negative, it doesn’t matter, as long as it provoked something.

My art is very much linked to my personal story, the choice of mosaic, piecing tiles together one by one, is the consequence of an accident, whose stigmata I continue to carry. The modus operandi for mosaic testifies of a traumatic experience, the experience of having a broken body.

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

My new series « My Nyan Cat » is the next phase of a project called « My View ».

Its concept revolves around the look at one’s self and a testimony of civilization, articulated by the phenomenon of viral films. For me, viral films and graffiti art have a common denominator, the notions of creations which are free, shared, are composed with avatars and with a great sense of freedom. The concept of « mutuality » also known as « balance » is an integral part of this series. The « My Nyan Cat » is a GiF video composed of 12 images, 12 mosaics which are then stop motion animated. This stop motion video is launched online which enables it to give back to the web culture it originates from, whilst respecting and contributing to the home made spirit. On the other hand it is an experimentation of the future of mosaic, dematerializing it so the tile becomes a pixel.

An analog creation for eternity and a digital one serving its own time.


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.