Not Random Art - Page 89

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Another major influence is the book Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by Stephen Nachmanovitch. Its outlook on how to become a vessel for true creative expression not only as an artist, but as a human being, is fundamental, and I highly recommend reading it. I'm a huge fan of spontaneous inspiration, whether it happens on the street, in a museum, in social interactions, or in the shower. I love positive surprises, and that keeps me excited about art. It never gets old. I guess everything that makes me feel more connected to the universe informs the way I think about myself as a participant of the visual culture.

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

Of course technique is the foundation for any kind of art. I like to compare the role of technique to tools you use for building a house. The fact that you possess a hammer doesn't automatically imply you're able to place a nail into the wall. You have to know how to use your tools. It's not about showing off the fancy tools that you have, it's about what you do with them.

Only rattling of technique is not art, it's ego. You have to transcend technique in order for it to be art. Technique for me is a catalyst to create the most genuine expression possible. Technique should be freeing, and not confining. Having a good technique allows me to not think about how I express what I want to say, but to just focus on what I want to say. It makes me trust my instrument. It's like a medium through which I can channel my true expression without having my worldly mind interfere with my higher self.

I don't want to say that I take my technique for granted, because that could come across as ignorant – it's more like I assume that it's just there, without thinking about how much I know or don't know.

Practicing technique is different from creating something. Practicing is all about gaining trust in your instrument, whereas the actual act of creation is just a flow of expression, fully trusting your toolkit. The only rules I really follow in my artistic process are the rules of integrity and genuineness. When it comes to technical rules, I think there is something to the concept of “Knowing the rules and breaking the rules”. One without the other would be ignorant – if you only know the rules, but never bend or break them, your art won't go anywhere. On the other hand, if you only break the rules without really knowing what they're about, your art will be uninformed and shallow. I believe that no matter how “simple” the artwork seems – if the artist knows what he or she is doing, it will always come across. Anyone who has a brain can learn techniques. It's the intention behind it that makes the difference. Yes, it's “just” a line, but what do I want to say with it? What is the context I put it in? Being real is the key.

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 strive for my art to be as immersive as possible.

For me, emotion and intellect are connected. In art and life we need both to perceive and act in an informed way. And it's important to be conscious about the interaction between our mind, our emotions, and our intuition in order for us to live a balanced life.

I want my art and my life to be as holistic as it can be. Because nothing is exclusively just one thing. There's sadness within happiness, and there's happiness within sadness. We can be intellectual and emotional at the same time. We are a part of the entire universe, and the entire universe is within each one of us.

Before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

Audience reception is one of the last things I'm thinking about during my process. My process starts with the goal to be as genuine as possible. If the intention is genuine, then the product is genuine, and this integrity will resonate with people, consciously or subconsciously. Honesty will evoke emotions, always. If you want it or not. What I do consider is how I can best get my message across. I'd like my audience to understand what I'm talking about, and therefore I try to find the language that conveys my intention in the best way. How they interpret it or if they like it though is totally up to them.

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

Besides some exciting new projects around tap dance music, I definitely have the intention to make and share a lot of visual art in the upcoming months.

I'm currently working on a series called Particles, in which I use the framework of astronomical particles to create different surface textures, and I'm planning to make and sell prints of this series.

I'd also like to experiment with some new mediums. Right now I'm mostly working with ink pens, charcoal, and pencil, but I'd love to get into some watercolor to explore new visual dimensions.

I see myself doing some big-scaled works in the future. The idea of filling entire walls with elaborate patterns is very appealing to me.

In general, I see my art evolving towards more and more honesty and integrity, just in the same way I develop my existence as a human being. Both in life and in art, my highest goal is to let go of all unnessecary fears, inhibitions, and negative beliefs so I can get as close to the source as possible.

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.