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ART H A B E N S

We glad to announce the winners of the third edition of ART Habens: this season edition has focused on a recurrent paradox in contemporary art: the vague and ambiguous but thoroughly entrenched boundaries between the different practices of new media. In particular, we have selected artists dealing with process-driven changes in our society, who pair their observations with new media technologies to produce their art projects: this competition aims to give the impetus and opportunity to artists (fine art, media, architecture, design, music, theatre, visual communication etc.) to work between the boundaries of Contemporary Art.

C o n t e m p o r a r y

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arthabens@mail.com

A r t

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Nicolas Vionnet (Switzerland) Nicolas Vionnet is fascinated by irritations: interventions that approach and create a nonhierarchical dialogue with the environment. This dialogue opens up a field of tension, which allows the viewer an intensive glimpse of both these phenomena. Vionnet uses this approach and strategy for his installations. Irritation and integration. A fundamental confrontation with the history of a place leads to a subtler and more precise intervention of the object.

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Rewot Wint (Portugal) Siberian Sleep is a rendering of dreamawareness. Speech string and mod ulations of everyday life regurgitated into the openness of an i nfinitely white surface. Collecting audio samples from personal recordings and films, we search for a rhythmic dislocation of focus between randomized mantric listening and hypnotic dissolving sights. Body. Blank. Absent. dream is an area of undefinable perception... a space of blank and a whirlpool of voices and sounds that speak to us from somewhere....

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Robyn Ellenbogen (USA) I work in varied formats, drawings, paintings, books, digital imagery, photography and sculpture, all based in an abstract language. Over the past few years I have been working in metalpoint and egg tempera. Both of these practices are based in 12th century techniques. Metalpoint was used in drawings, preliminary sketches for paintings (often egg tempera) and calligraphy.


Scarlett Bowman

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(United Kingdom) The role of the landscape within Scarlett’s work is of great importance as by employing nature’s DNA as a tool to make the work, she uses nature as her canvas. With a large focus on materials and their relationship to process, Scarlett works with both resin and aluminium sheet metal taking three-‐dimensional casts of the earth’s surface which combine real material from the site such as tree bark, fungus, and dirt with paint and resins, that offer new interpretations of the environment.

Kenneth Susynski

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(USA) All of my personal experiences impact my work more than any past or present master. I paint what I know – and what I know is my life, one which has been peppered with unforgettable sights, world events and most importantly, distinctive personalities. I paint whatever takes my soul and puts a blowtorch to it, for better or worse. I’ve been fortunate to spend my formulative years growing up in Germany yet have also lived in Turkey, Korea, the UK – and my work displays those connections.

Meike Lohmann

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(Germany) By merging several seemingly incompatible worlds into a new universe, Lohmann absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice. This personal follow-up and revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation. Her paintings establish a link between the landscape’s reality and that imagined by its conceiver. These works focus on concrete questions that determine our existence.

Gregory Kramer

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(USA) At a lecture on€the possible existence of€real €angels in €the modern world, I was made aware of the "historical" perspective that angels €did €not €always €have €humanity's benefit €in €mind, €but €were €actually €resentful €and €sometimes €hostile €to humankind. This €group of angels €known as the€Nephilim was the €inspiration €for €this €piece €which features€a spinning €object, floating €and lurching €in €space, glaring in€the€darkness€like a malevolent heavenly body.

Jenny Van Gimst (Belgium) “Art has always been my passion. I knew from a very early age art was going to be the most important in my life. It takes practice and patience to be a full time artist and I am finally able to devote as much as possible to my studio work. I want to take the object out of his usual environment and put it in a new one, as if I can decide how it has to live or die. For me the object stands for the individual so if I take the object out of his usual environment and put it in a new one, I can rule his life.

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Nicolas Vionnet Vionnet’s preferred medium is acrylic on canvas. His chiefly large-scale works play with space and expanse. Although almost always realistic, his paintings have more in common with abstract images than real landscapes. He paints disruptive grey strips across his clouds and allows coloured surfaces to drip down the canvas in accordance with the laws of gravity. Vionnet is fascinated by such irritations: interventions that approach and create a non-hierarchical dialogue with the environment. This dialogue opens up a field of tension, which allows the viewer an intensive glimpse of both these phenomena. Vionnet uses the same approach and the same strategy for his installations. Irritation and integration. A fundamental confrontation with the history of a place leads to a subtler and more precise intervention of the object. Take for example his manmade grass island at the Weimarhallen Park (Weimar, GER), which ironically intensified the park’s own artificiality. In ‘Close the Gap’ (Leipzig, GER) he bridged the space between an old-town row of houses with a printed canvas image of the now much frowned upon prefabricated building. A reference to changes in time and aesthetics.

Text by Jordanis Theodoridis,

A still from The Day of Departure

widmertheodoridis, Eschlikon (Switzerland) A New Found Glory 41 2

(2013) with Wouter


Nicolas Vionnet

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Sibum (Rotterdam) 42

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A New Found Glory (2013) with Wouter Sibum (Rotterdam) paddling pool, fountain pumps, LED lights, ivy, dimensions variable, courtesy the artists

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Nicolas Vionnet

An interview with Hello Nicolas, and a warm welcome to ART Habens. To start this interview would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any particular experiences that have impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks?

I grew up in the region of Basel, Switzerland, and I completed my education at the University of Art and Design Basel and at the Bauhaus-University, Weimar. During the first few years I have been mainly dealing with painting. Decisive for my current artistic practice was my two-year stay in Weimar, where I graduated from the Public Art and New Artistic Strategy Master’s program. During that time I was given the chance to realize my first major interventions in a public space. It was an exciting and a very intense time where I mainly learned to perceive my environment in a completely different way, to react and to undertake artistic interventions. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

The principal approach in nearly all of my projects is quite similar, but the final work can differ greatly. In the context of an exhibition I often get a proposed specific place or I have the freedom to choose from a range of different locations in public space. My process usually begins with photo tours and walks where I am trying to become familiar with a place. Important questions for me are: how do the citizens use the place, what is its function and what role does it take in everyday life? Are there any special circumstances or other conspicuous issues? In the next stage I start an exhaustive research, go to the library or the city archive and try to clarify the historical background of the site.

Nicolas Vionnet Nicolas Vionnet lives and works in the Zurich area. He graduated from the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Basel. He graduated in 2009 from the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar with a Master of Fine Arts degree after studying on the university’s Public Art and New Artistic Strategies programme. Vionnet has participated in various exhibitions at home and abroad since 1999, including at the Kunsthalle Basel, the Neues Museum Weimar (Gallery marke.6) and the III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art.

During this period I normally have the first clear ideas and I start to do visualizations with Photoshop. If an idea is strong enough and can survive for several days or weeks, I move to the final phase where I start to test and to work with the needed material to finally realize the work. 44

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Nicolas Vionnet

Men after work (2012) road construction warning light (red), 45 x 20 x 15 cm, courtesy the artist and widmertheodoridis, Eschlikon (Switzerland)

Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from A New Found Glory and Men after work, one of your earlier pieces that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at http://www.nicolasvionnet.ch in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of these interesting projects? What was your initial inspiration?

was conceived one year later in a closed public toilet known as the Muellloch (litter-hole) next to the Herbruecke at the Donau in Ulm. For years, this non-place is closed off for the public. It gathers more and more garbage and is overgrown by weeds and wild flowers over the years. We were looking for a funny response to the still unresolved problem and decided to install a fountain in the middle of the forbidden zone. A fountain that was only just visible for the passersby, but once looked into the hole reveals to be filling the space completely. Thus, not only surprising the passersby - at the same time also a touch of festivity and glory returned to the old city wall in Ulm. The second work, Men after work, was a minimal intervention that I have realized in the project room of WIDMER + THEODORIDIS contemporary in Zurich. The room consisted of a long, dark passage, which finally ended in a court-yard in the heart of the old town of Zurich.

The first project you mentioned, A New Found Glory, was realized together with my friend Wouter Sibum from Rotterdam. We both graduated from the Public Art and New Artistic Strategies program in Weimar and since then, often working together as a duo. For example we realized the work Colour me surprised as part of the III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art in 2012. A New Found Glory 23 4 5


Nicolas Vionnet

ART Habens

A New Found Glory (2013) with Wouter Sibum (Rotterdam) paddling pool, fountain pumps, LED lights, ivy dimensions variable, courtesy the artists

you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

On the one hand, I was referring on the exhibition title Men at work. On the other hand, the small but noticeable road construction warning light has flashed in unfamiliar red light through this dark alley and had a magnetic effect on passersby. I have to underline that we only know road construction warning lights with yellow appearance in Switzerland. Therefore the red light was irritating and many of the passers-by saw it more like an indication of a red light bar. Furthermore I found the idea of a road construction warning light very charming and narrative: it is clocking-off time; the light is set to red. Come on in!

It is indeed the case that my work tries to sensitize the people for their immediate environment. My works are often restrained, unobtrusive and directly embedded in the landscape – my work would not be readable without a specific surrounding. So it is always about this dialogue, the positioning, interaction and what can come out of these situations. This forces the viewer to perceive the environment from a new perspective.

One of the features that has mostly impacted on me of Jacuzzi, is the way you are effectively capable of re-contextualizing the idea of the environment we live in, which is far from being just the background of our existence: your Art in a certain sense forces the viewers' perception in order to challenge the common way to perceive environment... so I would like to ask

Unimportant and inconspicuous becomes suddenly important and intrusive. Now to your question: Our experiences shape us throughout life. I see this like a simple classical conditioning. Our experiences are a key factor of how we perceive our world and how we behave in certain situations. You thus always have an impact, even if we are not always aware. 21 4 6


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In this sense, I don’t think that a creative process can be really disconnected from experience. Multidisciplinary is a recurrent feature of your artistic production and I have appreciated the effective synergy that you create between different materials, as in the stimulating Extent of reflection: while crossing the borders of different techniques have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts? I must admit in all honesty: Yes, I actually work with synergies, but it was never intended to do so. I very often rely on my gut instinct and just try to bring the work to a coherent state. One advantage of your mentioned interdisciplinary approach is that a work, through the interaction of different techniques, automatically focuses on several aspects and thus can be read on several levels. However, I am not consciously looking for these multiple layers.

Jacuzzi (2014) electric air pump, spiral hoses, building fences, motion†detector dimensions variable, courtesy the artist and Kulturort Galerie Weiertal Exhibition: Yesterday - Tomorrow, Kulturort Galerie Weiertal, Winterthur (CH) 22 4 8

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Nicolas Vionnet

Every beginning is difficult (2012) pool stairs, spotlight, audio dimension variable courtesy the artist Auf & Abklären: Kunst in der Kläranlage, Uster, Zurich (CH)

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Nicolas Vionnet

Another interesting work of yours that have particularly impressed me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled Warum Denken traurig macht, and which is a clear example of what you have once defined as "nonhierarchical dialogue with the environment". By the way, although I'm aware that this might sound a bit naĂŻf, I can recognize such a socio political aim in your Art: a constant stimulation that we absolutely need to get a point of balance that might give us the chance of re-interpreting the world we live in... and our lives, indeed...

Out of sight, out of mind (2011) shredded paper, audio, dimension variable, courtesy the artist and widmertheodoridis, Eschlikon (Switzerland). Exhibition You are leaving the area of responsibility Begehungen No. 8, Kunst-und Kulturfestival Chemnitz

In 2011, I have realized the installation Out of sight, out of mind in a former Stasi prison in Chemnitz, Germany. The work consisted of a huge mountain of shredded paper, with which I have filled a former interstitial space knee-high. As additional audio-element there were hectic noises of steps and shredding machines. The whole work addressed the last days of the Stasi shortly before the fall oft he wall in 1989. The Stasi tried to destroy as many secret documents as possible. Even today, there are thousands of bags with shredded paper remnants that are now reassembled laboriously by hand. A hilarious story. In this sense you can see my work as a staging of the last hectic hours of the Stasi in 1989.

My work often focuses on the topics of integration and irritation. In other words, I'm trying to integrate something new into the existing environment and thus to irritate at the same time. However, the confusion should be subtle. The phrase "nonhierarchical dialogue with the environment" describes my conviction that the artwork itself may never be dominant. Indeed, there should be no hierarchy. Ideally, there is a balance between work and environment. This balance allows the viewer to perceive both components simultaneously. 21 411


Nicolas Vionnet

The installation Warum Denken traurig macht in my view is an oddity among my works. This project was shown in the so-called art box, a typical white cube in the shape of a container that is shown in different locations in the city of Uster.

Warum Denken traurig macht (2013)

Due to the physical presence oft the box, there was already an existing hierarchy, which I could not prevent. However, I wanted to follow a particular path. Many artists before me have used the box a simple white cube to showcase their existing works. In no case I wanted to do the same. I have decided to give the box a new residential function and to turn it into a retirement home. The whole room was papered, the walls were decorated with old family photos and at the door there was a cloak hanging. In between, the phone rang and you could hear the radio. The people have actually thought that the box is inhabited.

Exhibition

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wallpaper, floor covering, furniture, audio dimension variable, courtesy the artist and widmertheodoridis, Eschlikon(Switzerland).

Warum Denken traurig macht, akku Kunstkiste, Stadtpark Uster, Zurich(CH)

During these years your works have been exhibited in several important occasions, both in Switzerland, where you are currently based, and abroad: and I think it's important to remark that you took part to the III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art... It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? I sometimes wonder if it could

By the way: the work's title referred to the samenamed book from Georges Steiner, an American literary critic, essayist and philosopher. 21 12 4


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Nicolas Vionnet

Extent of reflection, 2014 translucent glass, measuring cylinder, mirror, 50 x 15 x 40 cm, courtesy the artist and widme

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Nicolas Vionnet

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ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

Absolutely. An artist needs an audience; I think that's probably one of the most important things. I want that my work can be seen! Art is destined to be shared! It is not that much important to me that I can sell my work, however, I am more interested to exhibit my work in a professional context and on a regular basis. Sales may of course also have a negative influence on the artist's way of working. Many artists argue that they are completely independent - I see that as utterly false. Let's be honest: If you feel a large interest and for example you can sell a complete series of works at once, there is a high probability that you go back to your studio and start working on similar pieces again. I think this is quite normal. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Nicolas. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I would like to thank you for your interest. My work is currently shown at several locations. At the Kulturort Galerie Weiertal (Winterthur, ending on September 7,2014) I present two installation works in a magnificent park (one of the works is the above mentioned Jacuzzi). Furthermore I participate in a group show entitled Small Works at Trestle Gallery (Brooklyn, New York, July 18 – August 22, 2014). There will be a group show entitled Trovato, non veduto at Ausstellungsraum Klingental (Basel, November 1 – 16, 2014). Moreover I am very excited to do another project together with Wouter Sibum (Rotterdam). We will present a major intervention in the sea as part oft he 4th Biennial Aarhus exhibit called Sculpture by the sea. This show will start in June 2015. You are cordially invited to visit my website www.nicolasvionnet.ch, where you can find more information and all exhibition dates.

An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator

rtheodoridis, Eschlikon (CH)

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Rewot Wint Marisa Baptista and Nuno Barreiras Siberian Sleep is a rendering of dreamawareness. Speech string and mod ulations of everyday life regurgitated into the openness of an i nfinitely white surface. Collecting audio samples from personal recordings and films, we search for a r hythmic dislocation of focus between randomized mantric listening and hypnotic dissolving sights. Body. Blank. Absent. dream is an area of undefinable perception... a space of blank and a whir lpool of voices and sounds that speak to us from somewhere.... where is that in our minds in a collective mind to which we seldom have access we travel through what our bodies collect... Jubilee line, sirens, everyday sounds, magic tricks, time machines, a cosmic smudge... I' m not sure Sound design and master in collabor a tion with Hugo Santos aka YLS.

A still from The Day of Departure Exercise 2: WordS (2009-2011) installation photos rewot wint 2011 4 125


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Siberian Sleep + Apple of Sodom installation photos at the exhibition New Constellations On Repeat May-June 2013 at The Old Police Station, London rewot wint 2013

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Rewot Wint

An interview with

Marisa Baptista and Nuno Barreiras

Hello Marisa and Nuno, and a warm welcome to ART Habens. To start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any particular experiences that have impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks?

Thank you, this is a very interesting opportunity for us, and we are very happy to accept your invitation. Both of us have had an interest in photography and film since an early age. Even in Portugal in the 1990s, mostly every high school had available for their students video editing equipment as well as photography dark rooms. Both of us, while still in our separate worlds, made use of these equipments in our first explorations, dissecting the still and moving image. These experiences have propelled a growing interest in the dimensions opened up by images as forms of communication and expression. This interest leads us also to explore the image at its origins, (de)composing a scenario that encompasses images we create as well as found footage, the images we find in our era's ever growing archives. We started working together under the influence of this (re)search along with our different academic backgrounds, archeology and architecture. We met with very different and varied concerns that seemed to complement each other: their mutual premise being the need to experiment in order to shape a creative process which grows between being aware of a sort of imperfection and insufficiency, and the will to test out some possibilities within that lack. In that sense, our learning process is never closed, it is rather a DIY development of hypothesis lead by a trial-error process.

Siberian Sleep + Apple of Sodom installation photos at the exhibition New Constellations On Repeat May-June 2013 at The Old Police Station, London rewot wint 2013

In 2004, along with other friends such as Marcos Valverde, and Nuno Gonรงalves aka f-actor, we started producing short video loops that we use in video performances connected mainly with electronic dance music acts in night club venues and party environments. That brought our attention to the multiple possibilities of video montage, and the communicative power of a sort of "innocent" image conveyed as apparently aimless in these environments where people are mainly searching to amuse themselves. As we remix and reuse our own images in these performances, we realize that our image archive contains an infinite number of pos

sible combinations, originating and deploying diverse but interconnected narratives that are built more on sensation and non-signifying meanings than on rigid rationality. It is a process of constantly raising different questions through images, instead of trying to find answers. These questions, that are wrapped in the seemingly closed circuit of the loop -- our main videographic unit -- make us recognize that every image holds a veiled value, unseen in the moment of its capture, that will reveal itself as we interconnect several of these apparently unvalued images. This fascination has led us to become "daily archivists," capturers of 18 4


Rewot Wint

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Siberian Sleep (2013) video and sound installation film stills

#N17 #London #Ivan - detail

rewot wint 2013

moments and phenomena that reveal the worldhood of what we see/hear/feel; connections and relationships across the human and nonhuman dimensions of the world. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

these initial ideas grow out of discussion. In that sense, our process is a process of being-with, of resonance between people, and we try enlarging these resonance scales towards encompassing "universal consideration" (what Matthew Calarco calls an ethics of all sorts of matter, inanimate and living, nonhuman and human). This notion that everything might influence our process, the recognition of this universal interference potential to which we are subject, poses the questioning of a certain notion of anthropocentrism in our projects, a question we face as a sort of prompt for a new human definition and positioning in the world. It might have been that in the beginning of our practice, the image was the preponderant starting point but maybe because our work has always been highly connected with music, quickly sound, be it word or not, became a structural line in our process, guiding interweaving narratives. There are many layers of work: the capture of sounds and images, the constitution of an atmosphere we aim to achieve, and the understanding of

Our process is tied up in the same entanglements that we seem to recognize in each image.It is mainly open-ended, and originated by the impact of a certain change or mutation in our experience. Since we are never just one person working alone, 23 1 9 4


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a myth. It always involves some research to try and contextualize that initial idea, which means following back the net of relationships and connections that brought up that thought. In that way we connect something that comes to our minds, in an apparently random way, with a sort of archeology of what is caught in our memories, recollections, fabrications. Siberian Sleep, for example, started from the initial idea that drives another video work, Apple of Sodom, often shown as a parallel installation. The sentence "something you can never reach" was haunting us for some time. By following that sentence we arrived to a biblical story, also featured in John Milton's Paradise Lost. This sentence is about a fruit - the apple of sodom - that turns into ashes if you touch it. That is a powerful image, of lust, desire, ambition, greed and darkness. But it is also something related with concepts of faith, belief and other forces that pull you through in your life. To us it meant mainly the revolutionary potential in the way we can face the precariousness of the future. In every sense, social, economical, creative, we see a deterioration of values but at the same time there's the potential to deeply pursue a structural change. Following something we can never reach means changing the terms of our searches, how and what we look for. the technical requirements in terms of photography, video and sound. The main technical aspects also stem from space itself, the installation is the way the works suffer a second montage over the places we intervene. Selecting the equipment for installations provides us a third moment that guides us to more abstract ideas related with hardware and the infinite possibilities of machines and circuits. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Siberian Sleep that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at cargocollective.com/rewotWint in order to get a wider idea of it. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of these interesting pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

Exercise 2: WordS (2009-2011)

Each work comes out of a different context. There's either an image that calls us, or a more abstract idea, like a sentence, an experience, or

installation photos rewot wint 2011 21 20 4


ART Habens

Rewot Wint

We thought this sentence belonged to an impossible image. And then we flew over Siberia on a trip back from Japan, and we saw that immense frozen landscape where human presence acquires a radical new meaning. That landscape suggested another body, and other places, as if we could look inside our heads, listen to that infinite. One of the features that has mostly impacted on me of this work, is the way you have been effectively capable of re-contextualizing the idea of environment we live in... which is far from being just the background of our existence...and I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

It seems to us that we live in a moment in which everything is being re-contextualized constantly, fleeting information is our natural environment, and that may have come to alter (our) Nature. Artworks explore a point of estrangement of oneself, a moment of doubt of our nature and of our notions of reality. The natural environment has become strange to human beings, more and more an urban species. What lets us preserve the link to our Nature is maybe a movement between wonder and disillusion. Examining either intangible states of perception as dream or sleep, or social constructions as language itself, we keep questioning ourselves as beings. Our double video channel installation Exercise 2: WordS, looks for those "encrypted" ideas hidden in language, in images and in concepts, only to question the value of bare existence. If languages structure our realities with dead meanings, sterile symbols, how can we define ourselves without sterilizing our beings? Wonder and disillusion are the poles between which we swing, as you say the unexpected sides of Nature that shatter convictions and dogmas, the symbols of an encrypted society that finds itself without a code. By the way, as you have remarked in your artist's statement, Siberian Sleep is a rendering of dream awareness and a dream is an area of undefinable perception... I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

If we think again about what can be understood by Nature in a context of constant shifting of meanings and understandings, and in a media world, we can

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also question what is direct experience. Can we experience through film, news reports, cassette tapes? we believe virtual and mediated experience shapes our subjectivity in the same way of a childhood memory or a physical experience. And at the same time, we may ask if our direct experiences aren't always mediated, filtered by our own mechanisms of protection and understanding. In any case, we believe there is an encounter that brings the work about, and that encounter is in itself a personal experience of the artist. Siberian Sleep is a work that comes into being from multiple encounters, some physical, as the sight of that landscape, and some more virtual, encounters with literary works, with


Rewot Wint

CINEMA

the singing voice we found in the hiss of the Jubilee line trains. And behind this, the desire to create an atmosphere of altered consciousness, like a dream, to try to approach the way in which different stimuli get caught in our minds and incorporate our beings.

film stills from broadcast spot for CINEMA video art exhibition

The creative process stems mainly from the experience of a lack, a gap one wishes to explore and understand in a different way. That lack is then filled by multiple recordings, captures of images and sounds, repetitive exercises of attentive observation building a collection of registers, that are played over and over until edited. It is a study that registers these images and sounds in our minds as indelible experi

June-July 2012 rewot wint 2012

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Rewot Wint

Exercise 2: WordS (2009-2011)

lement naturally adapts and shapes the process, what means that disciplinary boundaries dissolve. It is a learning and reinventing energy between people. We collaborate with many people who are also our friends, like Hugo Santos aka YLS, with whom we organize several events, and also collaborated in the sound master of SS, and other works.

dual channel video and sound installation film stills rewot wint 2011

ences. We wonder if in our case, direct experience isn't always mediated by a recording device... I do believe that interdisciplinary collaborations as the one that you have established together in these years is an ever growing force in Art and that that most exciting things happen when creative minds from different fields of practice meet and collaborate on a project... could you tell us something about this effective synergy? By the way, the artist Peter Tabor once said that "collaboration is working together with another to create something as a synthesis of two practices, that alone one could not": what's your point #N17about #London this? #Ivan Can- detail you explain how your work demonstrates communication between several artists?

We definitely believe in multidisciplinary collaborations and in organic processes. Working together is also a symbiotic relationship, every e

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Artistic projects generate connectedness, and collectives face a more polyphonic evolution of the work, maybe more unexpected. We also think the "audience" needs to be involved, the work needs to enter a "community." With that in mind we cofounded, along with 8 other artists and friends from varied backgrounds and professional fields, a cultural association plataforma download in Portimao, Portugal. In that sense, we wish to extend the synergies we enjoy while working to the public, we recognize a great value in the involvement of artists and the communities where they work. Our association is called a platform because of that aim to join several strands together in a space of communion. We organize cinema cycles and the download pop-up events around town in the summer, aiming to deliver a free, independent, and non-institutionalized format of cultural content.


Rewot Wint

It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

ART Habens

Exercise 2: WordS (2009-2011) installation photos at CINEMA video art exhibition Casa Manuel Teixeira Gomes, PortimĂŁo, Portugal June-July 2012

ness and Art, we have a very particular vision, maybe formed because our artworks are not exactly easy to acquire. Installation works seem to stand in a strange position when it comes to the commodification of art, and that may have a liberatory effect since we are never concerned with the commercial potential of our work in the first hand. Awards and the outcome of open calls, are on the other hand, of extreme importance to create an exhibition network for each artist and to find new collaborations in some particular intersections. Standing detached from the art market, these events come up as genuine opportunities for the development of our artistic practice, and allow us to value our independent status.

Well, we don't really think about who will enjoy what we do, when we are doing it. But, in every way, the public is always there, the artwork is not really an artwork if no one can appreciate it. Feedback is very important for us, in its every form, it can be a person we meet at an exhibition, or an award or selection process that has a positive outcome. It is from those experiences and opinions that we keep on working. In what relates to the relationship between busi 21 24 4


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Rewot Wint

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Marisa and Nuno. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of? For the future, we are always curious to see it unfold – we like to advance without great expectations. But anyway, we have some projects ongoing and we are working on them, a film and some other audiovisual installation projects. In October, we will be participating in a joint exhibition that will take over the shopwindows of a neighbourhood in central Lisbon, Avenida Intendente, it is called. And we aim to continue with our associative projects, mainly to organize the second edition of our biennial exhibition CINEMA, and to keep on reconquering urban space.

Captions An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator arthabens@mail.com

April 2014

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Rewot Wint

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Robyn Ellenbogen I work in varied formats, drawings, paintings, books, digital imagery, photography and sculpture, all based in an abstract language. Over the past few years I have been working in metalpoint and egg tempera. Both of these practices are based in 12th century techniques. Metalpoint was used in drawings, preliminary sketches for paintings (often egg tempera) and calligraphy. My work challenges traditional concepts of representation. I use an assortment of metalpoint and metallic wools. Metalpoint may include metal wire in a stylus and the use of flat and three-dimensional pieces of metal such as coins, plates, spoons and assorted jewelry. I draw with everyday objects and build dream-like images in which fiction and reality meet, meanings shift and past and present fuse. Who can say what memory is? My images occur from intuitive and internal gestures. These gestures generate seemingly tranquil images that straddle the real and the imagined. My paintings in egg tempera continue to explore inner states of mind. When I was a child, my internal dialogue often centered on loss, absence, the inevitability of dying and a sense of absurdity. Egg tempera paintings are often combined with the use of metalpoint. I rarely work from a sketch or a plan but more often a generalized feeling, thought, or emotion. Making art allows me to grasp the world as a paradoxical break with familiar acceptance of reality. Phenomenology and Zen Buddhism are touchstones in my art practice. When I first realized there was a philosophy to support my sense of wonder and curiosity regarding perception and a practice to enliven my sense of compassion, here is where my artistic pilgrimage really deepened. Art practice is a pilgrimage. Every studio day is a kind of return to what I don’t always know. Master Jizo asked Hogen, “Where have you come from?” “I pilgrimage aimlessly,” replied Hogen. “What is the matter of your pilgrimage?” asked Jizo. “I don’t know,” replied Hogen. “Not knowing is most intimate,” remarked Jizo……. A still from The Day of Departure

Case 20, The Book of Equanimity

Robyn Ellenbogen Summer 2014

“Xanthos,” assorted metallic wool, silve 4 227


Robyn Ellenbogen

ART Habens

video, 2013

rpoint on red Plike paper, 40” x 26”, 2014 228 4

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Robyn Ellenbogen

“Woman, Man” bamboo, metallic wool, acrylic on colored gesso panel, 48”, 2014

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Robyn Ellenbogen

An interview with Hello Robyn, and a warm welcome to ART Habens. To start this interview would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any particular experiences that have impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks?

I attended art school in New York City at a time when it was much easier to survive as an artist. This particular time afforded me the opportunity to develop and mature as an artist without the stress of needing to make significant money. What a luxury! I was deeply influenced by my studies with Louise Bourgeois and Ronnie Bladen when I attended the School of Visual Arts. The messages they both imparted placed great value on the freedom to explore and experience materials, emotion and one’s inner life and at the same time neither of these artists provided a road map. I was exposed to phenomenology, an insightful approach to begin to comprehend the world and examine the process of art making. Phenomenology’s descriptions of embodiment, sensation and perception corresponded to the concerns emerging from my work. I worked at both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA as an educator and lecturer. In each of these situations I was able to spend time meditating on artworks without any interruptions and this gave rise to encounters with the silence of seeing and eventually lead me to Zen Buddhism. Zazen, seated meditation, is a face-to-face encounter with your self and it felt natural to relate this to the feeling of making a painting.

Robyn Ellenbogen I am drawn to the darkness of the night sky, the smoothness of surfaces, and the play of light and pattern that appear when I closed my eyes. Tactile and imaginary sense memories are formative wellsprings. Time and memory play an important role in my work as my perception of events continually shifts. I aspire to translate these feelings, perceptions, and sensations into something palpable, a dialogue with my inner self and existence. Currently, I work as an artist in residence at several children’s hospitals for Artworks, The Naomi Cohain Foundation. I work primarily with chronically ill children, young adults and their families. This is the social aspect of my practice as an artist as well as another opportunity to practice compassion. The French phenomenologist, Merleau-Ponty, suggests that “the child lives in a world which he unhesitatingly believes accessible to all around him nor does he suspect that all of us are limited to one certain point of view of the world.” (Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception) I enter intimate spaces and make art with children who are often dying. To date, I have not yet met a child who did not want to make art.

My experience as a long term Zen student has deepened my appreciation for the impermanent nature of all materials (including myself) and underscored my ongoing interest in the process of transformation. I worked as a jewelry designer and while I was working at a bench I used to experiment with the different metals to see if I could draw with them. I had little awareness of the history of silverpoint as it was not taught in art school at that time. I was much more interested in the possibilities of metal as something to draw with rather than making jewelry. Many of the metalpoint materials that I work with oxidize over time. There is no way to clearly know how the color of the metals that I use to draw with, silver, aluminum, copper, gold, pewter and platinum, will shift and change over time. Transformation depends on the support and exposure to the air or lack of moisture.

Robyn Ellenbogen resides in New Jersey. Her work can be seen at www.robynellenbogen.com and on facebook at www.facebook.com/robyn.ellenbogen She currently writes two blogs about her practice as a teaching artist at www.robynellenbogen.tumblr.com and a journal of her books, digital images and photography at www.robynellenbogen.blogspot.com

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Robyn Ellenbogen

“Buoyant,” vellum, lighting gel, tracing paper, sewn, 60” x 40”, 2014

I also work with bamboo that changes color and #N17of #London surface pattern in a brief period time. #Ivan - detail Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

or anything else the mind or body can conjure, may turn up and disappear. Since I am not inclined toward a final destination, there are qualities that emerge and reveal themselves. My responsibility is to be present and allow things to unfold. There is an inner language within a work that begins to speak and sometimes I am listening closely and paying attention (ah ha a rhapsody!) and sometimes I am a stumblebum and that is okay, because I still show up in my studio. The preparation that I do, as technical issues go, is focused on preparation of ground, supports and keeping my tools sharpened. I work simultaneously on several projects and this includes artist books, photography, animation, digital images, textile and a daily commitment to drawing. Drawing is at the core of all my actions and is a means for me to tune into myself. I am amazed at the range of time involved in making different works, some are urgent and finish themselves quickly and there are some projects that I work on for several months.

My work is process based with reductivist tendencies and my currency is free play. I have been influenced by the art of improvisation and typically I do not have a preconceived idea or a final result in mind. My work set up is less technical and based in the spirit and vitality of the moment. The beginning of any work, no matter what the material, suggests an opening. If it doesn’t, I aspire to locate an opening. In my way of thinking about process, all forms of phantoms in the shape of emotions, sensations, memories, 23 31 4


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ART Habens

“The Weight,” , 26” x 21”, 2014 assorted metallic

“Unwinding,” assorted metallic wool, silverpoint, on

wool, silverpoint, on colored gesso panel

red Plike paper, 21” x 9”, 2014

Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from The Weight and Unwinding, that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at http://robynellenbogen.com in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of these interesting projects? What was your initial inspiration?

remain unseen. The things that are unseen are often the things which I am drawn to. There is a mystery which is generated and I think it is not readily definable, akin to gazing at a full moon or a droplet of water through a microscope. These source images easily relate to my abstract imagery. “Unwinding” suggests the motion of unfolding and turning, movements frequently associated with microscopic creatures. “The Weight” was recently honored by the Williams Prize for Drawing with a jury selection award.

“The Weight,” was inspired by my thinking about heartbeats and breath and how each beat and breath is something different that we rarely notice. I was reading the late poems of Paul Celan and found them difficult, challenging and unknowable. I was moved to learn more about his life and discovered that in his later years he was obsessed with reading books on geology. This connection to the physicality of the earth is related to recent imagery. Over the past few years, I‘ve been taking pictures through a microscope attached to my iphone and this has deepened my appreciation for the phenomenal biological processes that are taking place everywhere, all the time and yet

Although marked with a clear abstract feeling, your works seem to reveal such a struggle, a deep tension and intense emotions... and I think it's important to mention that you work as an artist in residence at The Naomi Cohain Foundation... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

My work as an artist in residence at many children’s 21 32 4


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Scarlett Bowman

“Tenderly,” assorted metalpoint, metallic wool, colored pencil, on white Plike paper, 12” x 12”, 2013

hospitals for Artworks, the Naomi Cohain Foundation is a powerful experience and a continuing source of inspiration. I make art with sick children and young adults. Many do not have long to live. I’ve never met a child, no matter how ill, who did

Summer 2014

not want to make art. The experience of working intimately at bedside with a child and family members has provided unique insights into the importance of art. It is clear to me that making art is a matter of life and death. I frequently work collabora-

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ART Habens

Sponge,” assorted metalpoint, metallic wool, on clay coated paper, 12” x 12”,2013

tively with a patient and the sense of freedom that emerges is no less thrilling than what I often feel while working in my studio. I have learned that even while dying a person still has all the difficulties of being alive.

This includes opportunities for self-expression and exposure to the inherent richness of sensory and tactile experience. It seems that while we advance technically, we increasingly lose our ability to be Captions with the dying.

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Robyn Ellenbogen

“Absolute/Particular,” assorted colored paper, sewn, 65” 65”, 2014

The creative process is a form of transmission #N17 #London #Ivan - detail and it is a direct experience. From a Buddhist perspective, everything is a direct experience, whether or not we know it. My circle format for drawings, paintings and bamboo reliefs were partially inspired by watching very young children begin to draw and paint. Their bodies instinctively make circles which translate to their hands. Circles brings up a wealth of metaphors and symbolism, steeped throughout all cultures. “Lush Life’ and “Appearing-Vanishing” were intended to evoke the sense of primacy and re-turning to the fundamental point which suggests that we are all going to die and not to waste time.

on paper and egg tempera, as in the stimulating Sponge and and Tenderly: while crossing the borders of different techinques have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

Multidisciplanary feels about right although paradoxically I am really only doing one thing at a time. I combine materials in unconventional ways. Traditionally, silverpoint was used underneath egg tempera paintings. I use metalpoint and metallic wool on the surface of egg tempera which enhances the paint’s innate luster and definition through incised lines. My work is abstract and this is a break with the historic traditions of both these materials. My drawings may employ the use of stencils, rubbings, scrawled lines and gestural marks. Both of the drawings that you mention “Sponge” and “Tenderly” employ several different media. Over the past few years, I have created hundreds of stencils cut out of aluminum and cardboard and made

Multidisciplinarity is a recurrent feature of your artistic production and I have appreciated the effective synergy that you create between different materials and techiniques as drawing 21 35 4


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ART Habens

Installation View at the InFusion Gallery, Brooklyn, N.Y. 2014, “Opening To You-An Exchange Project”

rubbing plates from both found and organic material. Metallic wools, used in fine wood working, are a wonderful discovery that I use to create painterly and evocative space. I recently found a way to work with stainless steel wool on a ground of transparent gesso and this has opened up new possibilities on birch panels in which the pattern of the wood shows through and becomes part of the image. “Tight Connection” is an example of the stainless steel wool on a birch panel. Another interesting work of yours that have particularly impressed me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled Xantus, that our readers have already admired in the starting pages of this article and which I have to edmit is one of my favourite pieces of your recent ones: in particular, I have been strucked with the effective mix between red and white that you have been capable of creating a synergy rather than a contrast between different tones: I can recognize such interesting

“Tight Connection,” stainless steel wool, acrylic on transparent gesso, birch panel, 14” x 11”, 2014

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Robyn Ellenbogen

“Vein,” assorted metalpoint, metallic wool, colored pencil on panel, 6” x 6”, 2013 feature also in Vein...By the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

what invariably emerges. However, synergy is more nuanced and offers more layers of interpretation. Contrast is something that invariably happens but a cosmos is where I hope to get! “Xanthos” evokes patterns in moving water.

“Xanthos” was drawn with assorted metallic wools and silverpoint. The medium is significantly difficult to photograph with its subtle hues and reflected light. The lines are luminous and this is an important part of the magic of this medium. Yes, synergy is a word that I think applies to this drawing. A contrast is a place to begin and tension is

Summer 2014

The title was taken from the Iliad. Xanthos is the river god angered by all of the killing that is turning its water red. The red background is very intense and required strength not to be taken over by it. “Vein” has a similar sense of layering of close tones. 21 37 4


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ART Habens

“Lush Life,” assorted metallic wool, silverpoint on colored gesso panel, 40”, 2014

I have painted on colored grounds for many years and I am most drawn to black grounds which best evoke the sense of space emerging from itself. My palette is often minimal. I usually focus on the lines and shapes that emerge.

positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

During these years your works have been exhibited in several occasions… It goes with-out saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of

The spirit of sharing my work is critical in many ways. Audience feedback often helps complete a work of art. There are often aspects of work that are too close to the artist and difficult to articulate and 21 38 4

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Robyn Ellenbogen

it is possible for viewers to deepen one’s understanding in surprising ways. We have grown accustomed to speed looking but I am interested in slow seeing and noticing that perceptions alter and shift with time, experience and circumstance. My work is best experienced in real time and requires a willingness on the part of the viewers to not necessarily know what they are looking at and at the same time to be able to feel an intimacy that comes through. I think it is possible to enter the marketplace with empty hands, or to put it another way, without great expectations. Grasping for success causes the artist difficulty and inevitable suffering. It seems pervasive that no matter how great a business success is realized, artists experience dissatisfaction. This is a human condition. Nowadays, everything seems to indicate big problems between business and art and I think it helps to maintain a healthy skepticism and a sense of humor. It would be wonderful to realize financial reward. It would mean much to be able to better provide for the people I love through my work. I favor building an authentic relationship with one’s work which is at its best an intimate act of unknowing. Regardless of whether the world of business bestows merit or not, my intention is to sustain the vow to make art that I made to myself when I was 5 years old. 9) Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Robyn. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of? I have been in a productive period with my work and currently I have an installation at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Brooklyn. This work represents a years effort. The show is entitled “Opening To You-An Exchange Project.” The work includes bamboo reliefs which contain metallic wool drawings and new, elaborate layered sewn paper pieces. The work was inspired by my encounters with a young woman who passed about

July 2014

“Falling Through,” assorted metallic wool, silverpoin

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a year ago. Inside each stalk of bamboo there is a loving kindness message. Everyone who comes to the Cancer Center, patients, families and loved ones are invited to take a message and return a self-created message or drawing in its place. At the upcoming reception in September, the accumulated messages will be projected on a screen and read out loud. The show is up until October 2014. This exhibition represents another facet of my engagement with the community. Additionally, I am looking forward to a one person exhibition of recent metalpoint and egg tempera drawings and paintings at the George School in Pennsylvania. The show is tentatively entitled, �Pulse.� The exhibition is in September. I will be offering workshops to the students combining Zen meditation and the arts. This fall, I will be launching the Art Mind Project (AMP), a not-for-profit organization with a mission to create opportunities for children and young people in low income immigrant neighborhoods to experience the arts. I will be employing many young artists in different disciplines to be a part of this program. I am ashamed by the ever-widening disparity that exists between the haves and the have-nots and it is apparent that the arts are unfortunately included. There is no way we can move forward together unless everyone has similar opportunities and it has never been clearer to me that artists need to take a position in these difficult times.

An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator

t, on colored gesso panel, 12�, 2013

arthabens@mail.com

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Scarlett Bowman The role of the landscape within Scarlett’s work is of great importance as by employing nature’s DNA as a tool to make the work, she uses nature as her canvas. With a large focus on materials and their relationship to process, Scarlett works with both resin and aluminium sheet metal taking three-‐dimensional casts of the earth’s surface which combine real material from the site such as tree bark, fungus, and dirt with paint and resins, that offer new interpretations of the environment. These ‘transmutations’ take a different direction from their intended purpose and gain new associative, metaphorical and symbolic values. This idea of appropriation surrounds much of the artist’s practise, borrowing or re-‐using existing elements to form a new image, allowing the viewer to re-‐ negotiate the meaning of the original in an entirely different context. This approach to contemporary archaeology serves to show the power and almost majestic process that is outside of human control. Growing up in a media saturated universe, the ease at which anyone can edit and filter an image creates a visual language where the colours of landscape, artificial light sources, tints, bleeds and flashes are alien to the eye. This inaccuracy of information has been a large source of creative inspiration to the young artist, who ultimately strives for a synthesis of process, material and concept, allowing the former to guide the latter, a constant curious approach to medium, method and technique that is inquiring and curious of its relationship to the natural world and its process.

A still from The Day of Departure

(Scarlett Bowman)

Summer 2014

#SW6 #London #Rainbow #APC - detail 421


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ART Habens

video, 2013

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Scarlett Bowman

#E8 #London #Metal #Rust - detail

Summer 2014

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Scarlett Bowman

An interview with Hello Scarlett, and a warm welcome to ART Habens. To start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any particular experiences that have impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks? In particular, have your studies at the City & Guilds of London Art School, modified your approach to Art?

Hello! I guess I have had a rather abstract route into the art world, I applied to art school late having already had a semi career working as an actress before committing myself full time to art practise on my own. I think having a lot of experiences behind me definitely impacted my own production of work. My senses are constantly stimulated wether I'm travelling, walking, stuck in traffic, the list is endless and I think as artists we are a direct result from all of this. Studying at City & Guilds was great in terms of defining and refining my practise in a larger context, the studio is quite a solitary environment and having tutors and fellow students to test ideas on was a real learning curve, however there is nothing like developing your own work in the confines of your studio.

Scarlett Bowman Scarlett Bowman (b.1985) studied at City & Guilds of London Art School graduating in Spring 2013 and has since been working out of her studio at The Old Laboratories in London, before embarking on her MA at Chelsea College of art in September. Appropriation surrounds much of Scarlett’s practice in its act of borrowing or re-using existing elements to form a new image, allowing the viewer to re-negotiate the meaning of the original in an entirely different context. Taking three dimensional casts of the earths surface combine real material from the site such as tree bark, fungus, and dirt with paint and resins, that offer new interpretations of the environment once placed in the context of the ‘gallery’, serving to show the power and majestic process that is outside of human control. The role of the landscape within the artist’s work is of great importance as by employing nature’s DNA as a tool to make the work, nature becomes her canvas and in the process, these ‘transmutations’ gain new associative, metaphorical and symbolic values.Travelling is largely fundamental...which is constantly evolving.

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

I suppose my process is constantly on going as I use my iPhone for documentation on a daily bases. I take snap shots of various organic textures/colours/surfaces that I see in my immediate environment - this can range from tree bark, rust, peeling paint, eroding concrete etc and then from this I filter them to try and dismantle them from their original context. I work with various materials notably aluminum, resin, silicone, wax and paper and it is from these images I will choose what surface will pair with which material. In terms of preparation, it largely depends on what material I will be using. If its aluminum the preparation is sourcing the surface and applying various filters to the image until 44

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Scarlett Bowman

I'm happy with it. With my resin sculptures its an entirely different process. It really is a process with various stages, the silicone takes 24 hours to cure, same with the resin and then the wax so it takes a while! When the surface is cooking and the materials are curing I have to be patient and when you are never sure of the results I get rather impatient! Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from #1 and #2 that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at http://www.scarlettbowmanstudio.com/ in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of these interesting pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

#N17 #London #Ivan - detail

Sure - in the surrounding areas of my studio is a large area of derelict land and brick work that provides me with endless inspiration. The infamous Old Laboratories are set against the backdrop of the gasometers that were built in 1824! So you can image these buildings are full of character. Being so old the time texture or marketexture (to reference Schnabel) of the landscape is unique and so I try and incorporate this into my work. These pieces were created from an old brick wall that miraculously is still standing! I suppose initial inspiration for these came through the medium of photography. I started documenting these surroundings with this idea of sourcing a landscape within a landscape, and from here I began to add several abstract light sources. Then I sourced this form of sheet metal that enabled me to recreate the sort of surface I wanted. One of the features that has mostly impacted on me of your works, is the way you have been effectively capable of re-contextualizing the idea of landscape, and in general of the environment we live in... which is far from being just the background of our existence...and I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

Hmm interesting‌ I guess the thing that amazes me about nature is the majestic forms it creates

Cyborg, detail 23 5 4


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ART Habens

#SW19 #Transfer #Polypore - detail

outside of human control. I guess I sort of see myself as a vehicle to show this in many ways. In the same way some of my materials cure without human hand is the way nature evolves without us humans. In relation to the information and ideas you mention being encrypted I did have a thought quite recently when executing a piece of work on paper that was taken directly from one of my resin casts and what appeared seemed to me to be some sort of language, in terms of the mark making it was slightly repetitive but each mark was unique - sort of like the alphabet or how I imagine operating systems on computers to work. All the individual characters create the single form. Did that make sense?! I also work outside due to the toxicity of my materials, so there is sort of a nice circle there in the sense it all comes back to nature.

Katsuhiko's piece 'Sumi' which consisted of lines of charcoal which aimed to eliminate the act of making - the burning of the wood was a great example of leaving the creative process up to nature. That's not to say I strictly limit myself to forms created just by nature as I will often take mundane texture such as barbed wire and metal fencing. I guess what I ultimately strive for is synthesis of process material and concept, allowing the former to guide the latter, a constant curious approach to medium, method and technique that is inquiring and curious of its relationship to the natural world and its process. Multidisciplinarity is a recurrent feature of your artistic production and I have appreciated the effective synergy that you create between different materials, as alluminuim and acrylics: while crossing the borders of different techinques have you ever happened to realize

Similarly their was a group of Japanese artists in the 60's & 70's, the Mono-Ha, who used both natural & man made materials, specifically Narita 21 4 6


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Scarlett Bowman

Untitled (SW13 series)

July 2014

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Scarlett Bowman

ART Habens

that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

Completely. I have recently started incorporating wax with resin and this has lead to some really interesting results. There is something powerful about the combination of various materials to form the same work, both aesthetically and conceptually. I love to experiment and push materials as far as they can go. Much of the material I work with is employed by builders, architects, even hairdressers and once again its taking them out of their context, their comfort zone and utilising them for something else. Sometimes the best pieces I have made have been mistakes and its this unknown territory, this lack of preconceptions of what the work will look like that causes me endless excitement.

#N17 #Ivan

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Scarlett Bowman

I'm happy with it. With my resin sculptures its an entirely different process. It really is a process with various stages, the silicone takes 24 hours to cure, same with the resin and then the wax so it takes a while! When the surface is cooking and the materials are curing I have to be patient and when you are never sure of the results I get rather impatient! Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from #1 and #2 that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at http://www.scarlettbowmanstudio.com/ in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of these interesting pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

#N17 #London #Ivan - detail

Sure - in the surrounding areas of my studio is a large area of derelict land and brick work that provides me with endless inspiration. The infamous Old Laboratories are set against the backdrop of the gasometers that were built in 1824! So you can image these buildings are full of character. Being so old the time texture or marketexture (to reference Schnabel) of the landscape is unique and so I try and incorporate this into my work. These pieces were created from an old brick wall that miraculously is still standing! I suppose initial inspiration for these came through the medium of photography. I started documenting these surroundings with this idea of sourcing a landscape within a landscape, and from here I began to add several abstract light sources. Then I sourced this form of sheet metal that enabled me to recreate the sort of surface I wanted. One of the features that has mostly impacted on me of your works, is the way you have been effectively capable of re-contextualizing the idea of landscape, and in general of the environment we live in... which is far from being just the background of our existence...and I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

Hmm interesting‌ I guess the thing that amazes me about nature is the majestic forms it creates

Cyborg, detail Untitled (SW13 series)

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Scarlett Bowman

#SW6 #Kryptonite

As you have remarked in your artist's statement, in urban environments "Growing up in a media saturated universe, the ease at which anyone can edit and filter an image creates a visual language where the colours (...) are alien to the eye."... I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I agree that personal experience is an indispensable part of the creative process. It can't not be - we are walking talking living senses who absorb our immediate environment through our eyes, nose, ears and hands so automatically this will enhance, influence and shape the work we create wether we realise it or not. The subconscious is a powerful tool! Ever since the invention of the internet and camera phones I feel art has significantly altered with this group of post internet artists who have responded to this in some way, wether they realise it or not. I personally document everything with my phone I probably take about 40 snapshots a day of

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ART Habens


ART Habens

Scarlett Bowman

#SW6 #APC #Walden

Summer 2014

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Scarlett Bowman

ART Habens

things that catch my eye when walking down the street whilst writing down ideas etc it acts as my notebook! I think my work would be very different without it. It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

Good question. I guess everyone is different but with me in the early stages of my career feedback to me was of vital importance and could be critical to my work going forward - in both positive and negative ways. However now I feel I'm at a place where I will take bits from everyone and discard the rest. You have to be in control of your own ship so to speak and so if you are constantly adapting your work to suit various gallerists/curators/investors then whats the point? Its important to be confident about your work but also to listen to the advice and suggestions offered by those around you. I tend not to think to much about the type of audience that will appreciate my work as I don't feel that is important to the creative process. With regards to a genuine relationship between business and art, sadly I don't think so‌, to quote the critic Clement Greenberg art will always be attached to money by an umbilical cord of gold. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Scarlett. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

As we speak I am prepping for the Christie's 'Illuminating The Future' pop up in association with The Old Vic as I have donated a piece to the auction. Then I will be working on a commission for the Soho House group before starting my MA at Chelsea College Of Art in September. I will keep you all updated through twitter https://twitter.com/Bowman_Scarlett and my website. An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator arthabens@mail.com 21 52 4


Kenneth Susynski

A still from The Day of Departure

grabhügel • 2014 • 24h x 30w", oil and glas

little talks • 2014 • 36h x 18w'', oil and glassine collage on calvas 4523


Kenneth Susynski

ART Habens

video, 2013

sine collage on canvas 4524

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ART Habens

Kenneth Susynski

with such name as nevermore • 2014 • 36h x 32w'', oil and glassine collage on calvas

Summer 2014

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Kenneth Susynski

An interview with Hello Kenneth, first of all, a warm welcome to ART Habens. To start this interview would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any particular experiences that have impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks?

All of my personal experiences impact my work more than any past or present master. I paint what I know – and what I know is my life, one which has been peppered with unforgettable sights, world events and most importantly, distinctive personalities. I paint whatever takes my soul and puts a blowtorch to it, for better or worse. I’ve been fortunate to spend my formulative years growing up in Germany yet have also lived in Turkey, Korea, the UK – and my work displays those connections. By the way, you are basically self-taught, but I think it's important to remark that besides your own art studies you had the chance to visit many Art museum in Europe... so I would take this occasion to ask your point about formal training: I sometimes happen to wonder if a certain kind of formal training could even stifle a young artist's creativity...

Many have told me about the negatives in a formal art education and I’m sure having such listed on a CV impresses some folks who rate a resume over a rack of work, and yet whereas I would have loved the chance to pursue scholastic study when I was younger, I have learned i’m too fiercely independent – like most creative types, formal structure and forced methodology produces the rebel. Therefore I cannot say if formal training stifles truly creativity, yet as someone else whose words I value more than any other recently stated to me, you can’t stifle a connection – especially to one’s individual artistic aims.

Kenneth Susynski

Kenneth Susynski was raised abroad in Germany, Turkey, South Korea and the United Kingdom, and interweaves his cultural experiences with individual stories of great love and torment into gestural abstract compositions.

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? By the way, why do you prefer fingers, tube and palette knife to the more traditional brush?

He has had numerous solo and group shows of his work both nationally and internationally, including the Seattle Art Museum, PONCHO Invitational and the 2015 Palermo Biennale. Oil is the blood of his work and in his most recent series he paints random imagery onto glassine paper and transfers them onto canvas with freshly layered paint.

My recent work mixes media yet stays glued to the majesty of oils. The representational elements are all painted individually and randomly upon glassine paper. I cut those 56 4

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ART Habens

Kenneth Susynski

#N17 #London #Ivan - detail

the queen bee marries the winter of your year, 2014, 24h x 30w'', oil and glassine collage on calvas

images and tack them to a wall in my studio – often there may be tons of pieces of glassine on the wall, randomly placed. From there I stretch canvas and underpaint as per usual, and apply thinner layers of oil as background color base – and then the fun begins. It all starts from a singular experience or memory of mine – I have this experience in my thoughts when I start studying all the glassine imagery on the wall, and from there I work out the compositions using other random imagery, and then apply those images to the canvas. Glassine is wonderful – holds oil paint well and if you want to cut the head off a figure, for

example, it’s easy. What begins as a personal experience turns into a form of theatrical play – my works are intended to have a thespian quality, a snapshot from an act or a scene, and the images are both props and actors forming a completely separate end experience. I’ve always been more hands-on with paint – I prefer to touch it, move it, tease it, be gentle or forceful when applying it, using any tool that creates a desired or spontaneous effect. There’s no need to be restricted in any aspect of art and I’ve never liked working with brushes. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from your recent series entitled The 23 57 4


Kenneth Susynski

ART Habens

peace and chicken grease • 2014

super yum yum • 2014

46h x 36w'', oil and glassine collage on calvas

34h x 26w', oil and glassine collage on calvas

Last Romantic, that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at www.susynski.com in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of these interesting projects? What was your initial inspiration?

pain and the lovely pain – and this series is about finding the final answer to the question, what is the fate of romance? I expected the result to be its tombstone, romance as it was in the time of poets is dead – until I discovered to my unparalleled delight that I am not the last romantic after all, there is one who has also kept the flame of romance alive in her heart. Once I learned there was another like myself, the series ended on its own with the painting „Grabhügel“ – which means burial mound, an appropriate denouement of the series.

This has been the most deeply personal series i’ve undertaken – the underlying thesis behind it being the death of romance in the social mediafueled narcissism of the 21st century. I’ve talked about the process of how my work is derived from personal experience – this series has been the most soul-searching I’ve done, told through my eyes which have witnessed a transformation over time with how men and women seemingly fail to invest in each other when Cupid aims his passion-dipped arrows. I’ve learned so much about the human condition from the both the

Although marked with a clear abstract feeling, your works seem to reveal such a struggle, a deep tension and intense emotions... and as you have remarked once, for your recent works, you have combined gestural abstraction based upon narrative events and unforgettable experiences of these past three years.- the emotional relationship between heart and color.... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an 21 4 58


ART Habens

Kenneth Susynski

adams morgan • 2014 • 36h x 30w'', oil and glassine collage on calvas

Summer 2014

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Kenneth Susynski

ART Habens

doña • 2014 • 30h x 36w'', oil and glassine collage on calvas absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

inspire me. I know when I look at fine art for my own interests, I’m immediately gravitated toward works containing raw emotional presence, that tell a narrative and invite the viewer to interpret from within their own selves. And it’s not just still-lifes – I would include unfocused pure abstractions. You see, when painting from direct experience one is therefore subconsciously creating from Captions their own distinctive style and approach – if that connection to experience is absent and one is me-

Since you’re asking my opinion, the answer is easy: in my work personal experience is crucial in order to attain the desired effect that you hit upon, deep tension and intense emotions. That is from where the power of my work derives, for that is my personality. It would be easy for me to disconnect from direct experience and paint still-lifes of dutch apples, yet such art does not 22 60 4

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ART Habens

Kenneth Susynski

mléko • 2014

der affe • 2014

36h x 30w'', oil and glassine collage on calvas

36h x 30w'', oil and glassine collage on calvas

rely painting to just sell a piece to hang in a corporate office, the emptiness in the work is too noticeable and offers nothing new.

loying different techniques – such as, what is the purpose of each mixed-in element, to support a piece’s concept or to just produce the shockquality geared toward more instant gratification than lasting interaction? So whereas an artist must be open like a cracked egg to all elemental possibility, the key is to really understand why it has a place in the painting. It’s a path we painters all travel at some point in our creative timeline.

Multidisciplinarity is a recurrent feature of your artistic production and I have appreciated the effective synergy that you create between different materials and techniques: while crossing the borders of different techinques have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

By the way, I daresay that one of the ideas underlying your work is to unfold a compositional potential in the seemingly random and chaotic structure... Even though I'm aware that this might sound a bit naive, I'm wondering if one of the hidden aims of your Art could be to search the missing significance to a non-place... I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to

I wouldn’t say its the only way – each painter is unique and brings his or her own ideas and concepts to mixed media. Sometimes a multidisciplinary approach is not appreciated – I once had my gallery reject a piece deemed too controversial due to the elements incorporated into the piece (cookies, condoms and blood). I realized there is a balance required for emp-

Summer 2014

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Kenneth Susynski

ART Habens

how you shivered like callas soaked • 2014 • 30h x 36w'', oil and glassine collage on calvas

decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

others, that is our role. I’m especially fortunate that I have one who unwraps the unexpected for me and adds spokes to my color wheel. Beauty within inner nature is not a smartphone, not a reality show, not a war, it is not instant gratification, not intolerance nor ignorance. It is treasure and I have a big, golden shovel.

Creatives of all talents possess the gift of peeling back the unseen and unexpected for the greater benefit of all, our goal is only to depict the pristine beauty we see daily because we feel the obligation to release these joys to

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ART Habens

Kenneth Susynski

stained with cheap lipstick and i'm falling toward the sea • 2014 • 30h x 36w''

Another interesting work from The Last Romantic that has particularly impressed me and on which I would like to spend some time are adams morgan, and especially peace and chicken grease which I have to admit is one of my favourite pieces of your recent ones: in particular, I have been strucked with the effec-tive mix between intense blue and orange that creates such a symbiosis rather than a contrast with the delicate tones that I can admire in the right of the canvas... and I noticed that you have

Summer 2014

used the same structure in with such name as nevermore

There two changes I made in the middle of the series that were designed to achieve such a symbiosis – one technical, the other conceptual. On a technical note I added thick, juicy texture before, during and especially after applying the glassine imagery, to mold the two together rather than contrast. Conceptually, something lead me upon impulse to use children in my

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Kenneth Susynski

ART Habens

the five second dance • 2013 • 30h x 36w'', oil and glassine collage on calvas

feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

compositions as innocent reflections of contemporary adult behaviour and personality. It changed the tone of the latter pieces of the series with full intention to build toward the ending crescendo that is the final painting, Grabhügel. During these years your works have been exhibited in several occasions and you have recently had a solo at the Hanson Scott Gallery and that in 2011 you were finalist at the Medium Artist Fund Grant ...It goes without saying that

Any form of recognition or accolade is always positive and personally-rewarding, yet I’ve learn21 64 4

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ART Habens

Kenneth Susynski

the mirror of taste is a portal • 2013 • 24h x 32w'', oil and glassine collage on calvas

Summer 2014

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Kenneth Susynski

ART Habens

a symbolic opera among convicts • 2013 28h x 24w'', oil and glassine collage on calvas

A relationship between business and art is mandatory yet they are opposite forces which if not juggled with skill can sap the creative process. One force is alive and never will die, one wears a suit and tie. Thanks a lot for your for this interview, Kenneth. My last question deals with your future plans: are there any particular projects on the horizon?

Yes, I was recently part of a successful group show in Los Angeles with Minan Gallery and recently had two pieces in the Last Romantic series ( Hooking, Der Affer) selected for inclusion in the 2015 Palermo Biennale. In the meantime I’m going to broaden my current direction, take my art to the next frontier by painting the most beautiful woman in the world. an interview by arthabens@mail.com 21 66 4


Meike Lohmann Meike Lohmann (°1980, Frankfurt, Germany) makes paintings and drawings. By merging several seemingly incompatible worlds into a new universe, Lohmann absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice. This personal follow-up and revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation. Her paintings establish a link between the landscape’s reality and that imagined by its conceiver. These works focus on concrete questions that determine our existence. By contesting the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, she investigates the dynamics of landscape, including the manipulation of its effects and the limits of spectacle based on our assumptions of what landscape means to us. Rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination. Her works bear strong political references. The possibility or the dream of the annulment of a (historically or socially) fixed identity is a constant focal point. By exploring the concept of landscape in a nostalgic way, she uses a visual vocabulary that addresses many different social and political issues. The work incorporates time as well as space – a fictional and experiential universe that only emerges bit by bit. Her collected, altered and own works are being confronted as aesthetically resilient, thematically interrelated material for memory and projection. The possible seems true and the truth exists, but it has many faces, as Hanna Arendt cites from Franz Kafka. Meike Lohmann currently lives and works in Nuremberg and Ludwigsburg/ Germany.

A still from The Day of Departure

Meike Lohmann

Fabrik, 33 x 41 cm mixed media on paper 4 627


Meike Lohmann

ART Habens

video, 2013

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Meike Lohmann

Meike Lohmann (photo by Tobias Ziegler)

Summer 2014

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An interview with

Meike Lohmann

Werkstatt, 120x155 cmAcrylic/ egg-tempera on canvas Hello Meike, and a warm welcome to ART Habens. To start this interview would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any particular experiences that have impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks?

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

I’ve studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg/Germany with honor as “Meisterschueler” and at the Academy of Fine Arts Budapest/ Hungary. After leaving the Academy I moved into a studio at a former factory complex, which has developed into a new and fresh creative artist community. I was a fellow at residence programs in the USA and in the Chez Republic, and both were great experiences for me.

I’m not a spontaneous worker and need some time to prepare my ideas before I start my paintings. It’s an intuitive process. I collect different things to use as clues like old photos, frazzles of newspapers, my sketches, and snapshots. The process of working is an essential part of my painting. I want the viewer to notice artificial lines, dripping colors, scratched and 70 4

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ART Habens

Meike Lohmann

#N17 #London #Ivan - detail

o.T. 41 x 43 cm Acrylic on wood Cyborg, detail ly at http://www.kauftmehrkunst.de in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of these interesting pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

over painted textures. I work with a mix of eggtempera and a variety of other media, like acrylics, colored crayons or oil colors. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from #1 #2 and #3, one of your earlier pieces that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website direct-

Those small pieces have a very reduced color palette. I wanted to portray a calm situation to allow your own thoughts to enter the work. 23 7 1 4


Meike Lohmann

ART Habens

Captions

o.T. 41 x 43 cm Acrylic on wood

ers' perception in order to challenge the common way to perceive environment... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct expe-rience?

I love to create abstract locations and a subtle moment. One of the features that has mostly impacted on me of your landscape pieces, is the way you are effectively capable of re-contextualizing the idea of the environment we live in, which is far from being just the background of our existence: you Art in a certain sense forces the view-

Well, the main content of my work is time, or more precisely, space and time. That’s a very philosophi21 72 4


ART Habens

Meike Lohmann

boy, ca. 130 x 100 cm mixed media on paper

Summer 2014

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Meike Lohmann

ART Habens

writer‘s house ca. 100 x 130 cm mixed media on paper

cal but also a very existential concept. The existence of time is nothing I can avoid and is a physical experience. Buildings and landscapes are the perfect witnesses of time and events, which preserve properties of experiences.

I painted this piece during my residency in the USA. It was one of the buildings there. Ultimately it is the space – or should I say topos – that is itself subject to changes from the passage of time. In my painting of a workshop with the small lines of a hinted square, you might see the construction of someone’s dreams for the future as well an already passed location.

Within this context is the small painting with yellow firmament. It is symbolic of man's impotence when confronted with the forces of nature. The house on the right side is a small and undistinguished building. Another lone building is set beneath a massive and cloudy sky. But they are transparent like fading fragments of memories.

By the way, I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to 22 74 4


Meike Lohmann

ART Habens

#N17 #London #Ivan - detail

Parkbank, mixed media on canvas 30 x 30cm reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

Multidisciplinarity, in the wide meaning of the word is a recurrent feature of your artistic production and I have appreciated the effective synergy that you create between different concepts, using different techniques, as egg tempera, acrylics, crayons and even collage… While crossing the borders of different techiques have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some

I’m not spiritual but I think we should pay more attention and give greater respect to our environment. Even the simple things often reveal wonderful and great moments. Many people feel this way. It’s not at all surprising to me that a sunset is the most often photographed natural phenomena. 21 75 4


Meike Lohmann

ART Habens

Palmensee, mixed media on canvas 30 x 30cm concepts? What's your opinin about this?

During these years your works have been exhibited in several occasions, and I think it's important to remark that you took part in many residencies...

When I started to study art I thought oil paint was the ultimate. Eventually I discovered so many wonderful art materials and fell so much in love with many different techniques.

It goes without saying that feed-backs and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way,

I want to use as many of them as possible. They’re an important tool for me to support my vision of content and time. 21 76 4


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Meike Lohmann

lost, ca. 82 x 70 cm mixed media on paper

Summer 2014

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Meike Lohmann

ART Habens

Reh, 41 x 39 cm Acrylic on wood 21 78 4

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ART Habens

Meike Lohmann

Berg, 7 x 10 cm Colored crayon on paper

Summer 2014

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Meike Lohmann

ART Habens

Boot, 41 x 42 cm Acrylic on wood

how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t proud when someone offers me positive feedback. It’s a personal matter to create something and then show it to other people. And it’s very satisfying and gratifying when someone tells me that they are so happy to own an artwork from me and want to view it every day. Sometimes it’s hard to part with a painting I like very much but lately, and happily, that’s my job. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Meike. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I’m a new mum and accordingly it wasn’t possible for me to work so much the last months. But I’m very happy to get back this fall with a solo-show at a gallery and to be a part of a group exhibition. An interview by arthabens@mail.com

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Gregory Kramer At a lecture on€the possible existence of€real €angels in €the modern world, I was made aware of the "historical" perspective that angels €did €not €always €have €humanity's benefit €in €mind, €but €were €actually €resentful €and €sometimes €hostile €to humankind. This €group of angels €known as the€Nephilim was the €inspiration €for €this €piece €which features€a spinning €object, floating €and lurching €in €space, glaring in€the€darkness€like a malevolent heavenly body. €The €audio €is €comprised €of €tense and dissonant guitar lines €layered €with €the €manipulated €field €recording €of €heavy €machinery. €The largeness €of €the €sound invokes the€restlessness and balefulness€of giant divine beings. All video and audio materials€were created €by €myself. Gregory Kramer

A still from The Day of Departure

A video still from Nephilim 81 4


Gregory Kramer

ART Habens

video, 2013

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ART Habens

Summer 2014

Gregory Kramer

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Gregory Kramer

An interview with Hello Gregory, and a warm welcome to ART Habens. To start this interview would you like to tell us something about your background? By the way, you hold a BFA in Film/Video that you received€from Pratt Institute: how has this experience impacted on the way you currently produce your works?

I enjoyed going to art school for the basic reason that I got an overview of various types of media, especially sculpture which I’ve continued to work in. In my academic concentration with film and video, I worked with animation and also got to experience the immediacy of video which allowed me to try out ideas quickly and cheaply. Cinematic music and my interest in storytelling also plays a part in my creation. During my first year, I won an electric guitar and that started my music making trajectory. That led to me playing in bands and later to improvising and exploring sound in general. Initially, my music concentration was in raw, high energy styles like metal and punk. I found the fringe of these styles with their various sub genres and hybrids to be a good springboard from which to explore. Coming from that place of exploring sonic textures and deconstructing sound including found sounds like field recordings, I’ve come full circle to working with video again and exploring it from the same vantage point. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

Gregory Kramer Gregory Kramer was€born€in€Philadelphia and€moved to New York € City,€ where€ he received a€ BFA in Film/Video€from Pratt Institute. He €garnered favorable reviews from €the€likes of €Pitchfork.com€and Signal€to Noise €with his€band, €Wetnurse. €Decibel magazine €gave Wetnurse's self-titled album€ a€ 9 out of 10€ and voted Wetnurse's Invisible €City €album €#8 €out €of their €Top 40 €Extreme Albums €of €'08. He €has €exhibited drawings in€a touring group€ show including work€ by David Byrne,€ Ozzy Osbourne, H.R. Giger, €Richard € Serra, Raymond Pettibon and € R. € Crumb, € shown € in € New York, London, Austin, €San Francisco and currently€on view at Museo de€la Ciudad de Mexico€in €Mexico €City. €In recent €live performances €of €his €ambient drone€music, under €the name € Bliss Freaks,€ he has€ performed €with € projected visuals €and €continues to explore €this €avenue. He €was a €featured €composer €in €Vox €Novus' €60x60 €New €York Minutes€mix,€part of€The €New €School’s€Earlids€show. € Taking €inspiration €from €his €archaeological €curiosity of abandoned €places, €he searches €for €ghosts €among the ruins and seeks€ to€ unearth€ evidence of forgotten histories through€ sound. € In€ creating images, € he € is drawn toward cryptic € depictions, which € suggest € a story.

It varies, but often my process starts simply with finding something which catches my ear or eye and building from there. Having played in bands for years, I’ve been more involved in sound and music, so that’s usually the first element I’ll construct. I carry a portable recorder around to record interesting sounds, and I may use them as a foundation. For example, I was washing a metal bowl and it had such a nice tone that I decided to record several versions striking it in different places with various amounts of water in it. That wound up becoming a piece for Vox Novus’ 60x60 New York Minutes Mix. Or, I’ll be playing guitar or synthesizer and come up with a figure which I like and want to develop. 84 4

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ART Habens

Gregory Kramer

A video still from Nephilim

jects? In particular, what was your initial inspiration?

So far, I’ve made the video pieces to accompany sound, but I’d like to try the opposite, scoring to image.

In the case of this particular piece, I started by playing with dissonance, lowering and raising the tension on my guitar string to set up a pattern. I also had recorded some heavy machinery and manipulated the audio, adding it to the guitar lines.

Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Nephilim that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k_XtsSTiRA in order to get a wider idea of it. In the mean-while, would you tell us something in about the genesis of these interesting pro-

July 2014

The video part is based on a ride at a street carnival. The motion of the lights from one of the rides caught my eye, so I recorded it. In processing it, it reminded me of a heavenly object. 23 8 4 5


Gregory Kramer

ART Habens

reality: so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I think that personal experience can inform the creative process, and to an extent, this happens whether we’re aware of it or not. It certainly can enrich your process. But, I don’t think it’s indispensable. Actually, I would say that creating outside of personal experience is a good way to explore new territory, led by your imagination. And, even personal experience is filtered through personal interpretation. Multidisciplinarity is a recurrent feature of your artistic production and I have appreciated the effective synergy that you create between images and sounds… While crossing the borders of different techinques have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts? I’m intent on exploring different kinds of media to see what their strengths and limitations are and also because you never know how one medium might inform a seemingly unrelated medium. In the realm of sculptural materials, I’ve worked with metal, wood, glass, paper and clay, which all came from my curiosity for exploring different types of matter.

I had gone to hear a lecture by Maja D’Aoust, The White Witch of Los Angeles on the existence of angels in the real world. She had talked about the Nephilim, a race of angels who were actually resentful of and even hostile to humanity. I thought the machinery and dissonance went well together as these malevolent, supernatural beings. One of the features that has mostly impacted on me of Nephilim is the way you are effectively capable of challenging the viewers' perception of 21 86 4


ART Habens

Gregory Kramer

A video still from Nephilm

And, of course, sculpture involves playing with light which brings me back to video and exciting hybrid forms like projection mapping.

expression. There’s an obvious bridge to noise and experimenting with sound. Years ago, a guitarist friend of mine and I were both in between bands and talking about how we’d like to be playing, but neither of us had found the right group of people to play with. He was more familiar with musique concréte, experimental and improvi-

As a musician, I’ve come up through punk and metal, and in its evolution, rock has assimilated sounds which were initially undesirable like distortion and feedback and turned them into devices of

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because improvising was a good muscle to flex. We played shows in galleries and later my band Wetnurse played a lot of shows in non traditional venues like basements and living rooms. I like playing outside of the typical club set up. The non-traditional context is stimulating. In the recent shows I’ve done as Bliss Freaks http://blissfreaks.bandcamp.com/, I’ve used guitar, field recordings, laptop and synthesizer. Sometimes, I barely listen to the field recordings before I set up to play to them, so that there is still an element of surprise for me to improvise to. For the live shows, I may have a rough idea of the order in which I want the field recordings to play or effects I want to use, but it’s flexible. I’m reminded of the quote by Hassan I Sabbah, “nothing is true; everything is permitted”. There are various perspectives on its meaning, but one which particularly resonates with me, is it’s logic-jamming capability. If “nothing is true” is true, then something is true. And if something is true, then “nothing is true” is false. It appears to be self-contradictory nonsense. The statement subverts itself and points to the limitation of language, another discipline. Language is a useful tool, of course, but it’s sometimes limited in its attempt to articulate things which exist pre-language. The secret power of nonsense! And here is a possible access to a new understanding.

sed music, and he suggested that we do an improvised guitar duo, but completely free-form. I was initially uneasy with the idea since I wasn’t used to getting on stage without knowing what I was going to play. We started playing shows initially under the name Default and then Sentient, and I’m glad we did it

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Untitled #2 paper, cellophane & gold thread

Untitled #1 paper & gold thread

As you have remarked once, your work searches for ghosts among the ruins and seeks to unearth evidence of forgotten histories through sound: #N17 #London #Ivanby - detail the way, I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

becomes like my partner in an improvisational duet. Some of the recordings are perfect as they are, and I could just zone out and listen to them over and over again. I also strive to be present and demonstrate to people the subtle beauty which is available in simply being conscious of the present moment, especially in a culture which often tells us that what we have is not enough. So much suffering is created from that kind of thinking.

There is a literal side to this in that I actually like to explore abandoned and forgotten spaces as well as artifacts. And that’s a jump off point to imagine what could have been or might be. The exploration involves all senses, and focusing on one, like listening for example, can lead me to interesting places. When I isolate a field recording, I may notice aspects of the sound which I hadn’t before. I can then try various treatments to manipulate the sound and bring out certain characteristics or take it to a completely different place. If I choose to play an instrument in accompanimentthen the recording

I think it’s worthwhile for people to practice choosing to stop taking a certain thing for granted, whether that’s an object or a person or a situation or whatever. It could be a ruined building or a mundane sound or an everyday object like a telephone. In focusing on it and considering it, we can can cultivate an appreciation for it and the confluence of forces which brought it into existence. With the infinite number of possible ways in which life could have gone, they went a certain way and made this happen. You can consider someone in your life this way too and have a deeper appreciation for them. 21 89 4


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Jenny Van Gimst

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During these years your works have been exhibited in several important occasions... It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

Feedback is important to me because I do want to know how what I’m saying is being received. Whether I let that affect my work is another story, but at least I get an idea of whether what I’m doing resonates with people or not. It’s not my intention to be an island. And, a person’s feedback may even spark an idea which sends me in another direction. (As for awards, sure, that could be supportive. Ideally, one can stay true to one’s self, navigating to make worthwhile work.) Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Gregory. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

In August, I’m traveling to an island off of the coast of northern Norway to participate in a co-lab on site-specific art run by Røst AIR with eleven other artists and theoreticians. We’ll be learning to create musical instruments from found objects and then exploring the island to make site specific installations which may turn parts of the island into immersive instruments themselves. I’ve recently seen some inspiring interactive and avant garde theater performances, and it’s made me curious about working with performers. I’ll continue to create sound/video pieces, and would like to put out an album. Anyone interested in putting something out, please get in touch.

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An interview with Hello Jenny, and a warm welcome to ART Habens. To start this interview would you like to tell our readers something about your background? Are there any particular experiences that have influenced your development as an artist and on the way you currently produce your artworks?

I started at the Art Academy of Antwerp when I was 16 and stayed there for a total of 10 years. For me, the academy (a former monastery) was coming home and the symbiosis between the young students themselves vital. The training that I got was for jewelry designer, this was for four years and after that, (with a few years in between, Higher Institute) Higher institute was really fantastic, you get your own studio and at the end of the school year you show your collection. In the end I did not jewelery anymore but more jewelery design, which in itself were small paintings. After and during my studies I also ran a restaurant out, I did this nine years, I closed an entire period in the winter each year to work artistically. After the restaurant, I began to miss my drawing and painting, I began working as an illustrator for magazines.

Jenny Van Gimst

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

“Art has always been my passion. I knew from a very early age art was going to be the most important in my life. It takes practice and patience to be a full time artist and I am finally able to devote as much as possible to my studio work. I want to take the object out of his usual environment and put it in a new one, as if I can decide how it has to live or die. For me the object stands for the individual so if I take the object out of his usual environment and put it in a new one, I can rule his life. For me the object becomes an individual who in a group, the group as a social family, is much more powerfull than standing alone. This is why I call my work families: my settings / associations / stones / connexa / silent/ stagione morta / BOX / they are all moments of balance where the structure of the surface is for everything different. But no less important. Therefore, I have to reflect everything differently and the best possible. My way of working is to display the caracter of the object as faithfully as possible. I prefer working with things lived, used, rusted, broken, since it’s these things that make the greatest challenge. A broken piece of glass, old paint, photographs. These things painted correctly gives them a new life, a dimension more often. Beauty is hidden in everything, you only have to see it. So if I can seduce the viewer, is this not the intention of making art? The audience provided that he or she takes the time to stand still. “

This process depends on several factors, which may have been a book, a program, someone has said something, a lecture or a philosophical thought and gradually an idea becomes a form. All my life I think in pictures, shapes and colors, so at some point I know it's ok or not. Sometimes I also need a lot of time, I never begin the same day on a work, and also I like to work in series. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from La Force, an interesting series that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at http://www.jennyvangimst.be in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about 96 4


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the genesis of these interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?

wing ideology that dominates the western world, we are better than the rest. So if you look closely you will get small groups who think they are all unique but oh so wrong and so the same. WIR HABEN ES NICHT GEWUSST !

My idea behind the serie: LA FORCE group, the fact that some people are so similar, and often they stand as a group behind a particular idea that they all follow, in this way wars are born, perhaps it is better to call "the masses" followers . The right-

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BOX 7 OIL ON PANEL 45-45CM capable of re-contextualizing the idea of the objects we live with, which are far from being just the backgrounds of our existence: you Art in a certain sense forces the viewers' perception in order to challenge the common way to perceive environment... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative

process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Yes I do think and believe that personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative proces, the life you live is so important of how you art is developing, I can say I had a full life, and this is the way I look at existance, LIVE 21 98 4


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CONNEXA OIL ON PANEL 80-80CM Yellow, Red and Black: while crossing the borders of different techinques have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

YOUR LIFE and live everyday as if it was your last. I could also say I had a terrible life, my work would be completely different. Multidisciplinarity is a recurrent feature of your artistic production and I have appreciated the effective synergy that you create between different materials, as in the stimulating

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ART Habens

INTRO OIL ON PANEL 45-45CM and - I daresay - on a physical one, as in the interesting Connexa series . So I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process both for creating a piece and in order to "enjoy" it...Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

achieve is capturing the texture of the object I am working on, try to imagine it is a portrait, each protrait is different but the technique is the same. Your art practice strictly connected to establish a deep, intense involvement with your audience, both on an intellectual aspect

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#N17 #London #Ivan - detail

LA FORCE D’UN GROUPE ROUGE OIL ON PANEL 60-60CM I have been impressed with a line of your artist's statement, where you remrk that you prefer working with things lived, used, rusted, broken, since it’s these things that makes the greatest challenge. One of the features of your Art that has particularly impacted on me is the way you are capable of re-contextualize the idea of objects...

humans, individuals, we are very much capable of living our life our way, but we need each other, we are stronger in groups, in families. This is for me what is the most important in life, being accepted, being someone, being part of a social existance. So personal experience stands for life, so art is inseparable from life. 121 423 01


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LA FORCE D’UN GROUPE NOIR OIL ON PANEL 60-60CM By the way, I can recognize that one of the possible ideas underlying this work is to unfold a compositional potential in the seemingly random structure of the space we live in... Even though I am aware that this might sound a bit naïf, I am wondering if one of the hidden aims of Art could be to search the missing significance to an apparently insignificant

object, giving it a new life...

you could say that but my work is all about recognition, and I want to be recognized as a human being. It is there my search for the missing significance to an apparently insignificant object, so I control his life by giving him a new one. 102 21 4


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LA FORCE D’UN GROUPE BRUN OIL ON PANEL 60-60CM During these years your works have been exhibited in several important around the world: from the Netherlands to Germany, from the United States to Italy... It goes without saying that positive feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the

Summer 2014

expectation of positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

Yes positive feedback is wonderfull, negative 121 403


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feedback is terrible, I do think every artist as a problem with negativism, most of the time it is hard work and costs a lot.

About the relationship between business and art you are so right, between business and art will never exist a real friendship, only a opportunistic relationship. It was not allowed in my training if you used the word “commercialism”, you had to die poor in the attic, in a small dark room fully loaded with work.

A few weeks ago I was in Paris to collect a diploma with ARTS SCIENCES LETTRES to go the next day to London for an exhibition. 121 404


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THE ARCHITECT 2 OIL ON PANEL 80-80CM Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Jenny. My last question deals with your upcomin projects: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

upcomming project is a solo exhibit in Amsterdam STAM GALLERY September 2014, Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, SC 7 - 28 November 2014 with Realism Guild USA United Society of Artists in London- Members Autumn Exhibition

It was a pleasure doing this interview, my

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Bankside Gallery November 17 - 23 2014 Carrousel Du Louvre 11 - 14 December 2014 99 rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris with Société Nationale De Beaux Arts de Paris

An interview by arthabens@mail.com

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ART Habens Art Review // Special Issue