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Special Issue

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

Girls' School interactive installation , 2012 a work by Allison Kotzig

A r t

R e v i e w


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

Jonathan Goldman

Cybil Scott

A r t

Allison Kotzig

R e v i e w

Emilia Maryniak

Helen Roberts

Harsha Biswajit USA

My ecological curiosity was first sparked researching on climate change while pursuing a MA in International Political Economy. The lack of political will seemed to suggest there was a deeper ideological problem of perception towards the environment that science, despite its numerous findings, was not able to change. Somewhere along this path of translation in a “hyper-technological” society, meaning gets lost in information.

Israel

USA / The Netherlands

USA

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Goldman's work process challenges conventional techniques and materials, implementing experiments that stretch the boundaries of the media in which he works. It is the encounter with the materials, the dynamic work process, and the transformations that occur in the work from the formulation of the concept to the finished object, that fascinate Goldman and constitute the heart of his artistic practice.

My current work draws on both biological and artificial systems, and is guided by the related methodologies of mapping, information preservation, and pattern recognition.

Much of my work is strongly feminist, examining and highlighting undercurrents of misogyny in our culture. Humour, toys and iconography are used to examine, ridicule, and expose how concepts of ‘other’ have been used to pigeonhole and isolate over the centuries.

Art for me is an incessant process of asking questions. Whether it’s based on a visible world of nature, or the imaginary world of physics and its underlying philosophical concepts – it’s always about the mystery of existence. It is about a tangible world and the way it takes us to its secrecy, so we cannot see what is real, and what is not. It is about the human need of understanding the state of one self, through the physical body, and a self-memory.

Situating ceramic ware in the outdoor environment is why I make sculptural pieces. Considering the achievable colours available when glazing at high temperatures & structures designed to withstand the weather, are major aspects in the production process. Work ranges from individual tall decorative pieces to planters. Themes that have inspired me so far include bringing together ideas of historical & future aspects of mankind’s involvement in changing the landscape.

The automation of thought and cognition due to interaction with technology is a growing trend in my work. Drift is a key concept in my practice– between techniques, materials, and disciplines.

My work comes to me intuitively but then I spend a lot of time considering how to express it both conceptually and experientially.


In this issue

Jonathan Goldman Lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel Installation, Performance, Mixed media

Cybil Scott Lives and works in the Netherlands Mixed media, Installation, Public art

Emilia Maryniak Lives and works in London, UK Performance, Installation, Mixed media

Allison Kotzig Lives and works in London, UK Mixed Media, Video, Documentary

Lindy Mรกrquez Lives and works in Medellin, Colombia Performance, Installation, Mixed media

Harsha Biswajit Lindy Mรกrquez Naomi Gilby

Sherrelle Munns United Kingdom

The focus of Naomi Gilby's practise is based around our relationship with our most intimate environments, this includes a wide variety of places or 'non-places'. She has previously worked with installation and performance, but more recently exploring the depths of film creation and the many ways this can be installed to create an enthralling other worldly environment.

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Colombia

United Kingdom

Sherrelle Munns ' practice reflects upon art and humour, and the relationship between written and visual language is explored through model making and photography. Humour operates within her practice by being the first layer in her work using scale to make it humorous. The second layer in her work is a story that she would like the audience to connect with and that they recognise the humour and see what it brings to the work.

Lives and works in New York City Installation, Fine Art Photography, Mixed

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Review comprises a set of pieces from of my artistic process, which are: Universe (which itself has a procedural drift I call the GestureAttempt). It is approximations to memories and imaginary childhood and experiences live (self-referential facts) that reveal the magnitude of a past that reaffirms its presence in the present, through the body, gestures and the games that my sister and I do, in order to give presence to childhood and their relationship with memory.

Helen Roberts Lives and works in the United Kingdom Sculpture, Installation, Mixed media

Sherrelle Munns Lives and works in Luton in Bedfordshire Mixed media, Installation

Naomy Gilby Lives and works in Leeds, UK Performance, Mixed media, Installation

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Special thanks to: Charlotte Seeges, Martin Gantman, Krzysztof Kaczmar, Tracey Snelling, Nicolas Vionnet, Genevieve Favre Petroff, Christopher Marsh, Adam Popli, Marilyn Wylder, Marya Vyrra, Gemma Pepper, Maria Osuna, Hannah Hiaseen and Scarlett Bowman, Yelena York Tonoyan, Edgar Askelovic, Kelsey Sheaffer and Robert Gschwantner.

On the cover: Girls' School, installation by Allison Kotzig


Jonathan Goldman “Artistic practice for me is a process of transformation and a complete disconnection from any aim” In his work, Goldman combines asphalt, chemical laboratory materials, plant roots, wood and readymade objects with Electronic equipment, led lights and sound sensors. His work process challenges conventional techniques and materials, implementing experiments that stretch the boundaries of the media in which he works. It is the encounter with the materials, the dynamic work process, and the transformations that occur in the work from the formulation of the concept to the finished object, that fascinate Goldman and constitute the heart of his artistic practice. In his work process, Goldman uses drawing as a point of departure for translating images that capture his imagination into the visual dimension. Henceforth, the original meaning of the images becomes fluid and they undergo a transformation that develops them into objects. In his installation Goldman uses loudspeakers, emitting sounds that have been recorded and processed from the environments in which he lives and works. Like the visual images in his work, which are composed of both memories and random daily encounters, the sounds can also be either recordings of voices from Goldman’s autobiographical past or sounds created during the installation’s development. Goldman’s work has evolved to include a deeper investigation of the conceptual relationship between the audio and the visual dimensions of his work. The sound sensors, the lighting and the organic materials and unique sound that make up the work come together to form a unit with an inner engine, an engine that feeds on energy and on acts of conversion and transformation. The resulting rhythms that accompany the site-specific installations connect the objects in the space, while the loudspeakers serve as a kind of sound box for the creative process itself. In his first museum solo exhibition L.A.N.D Jonathan works as an alchemist. He distills his imagery, extracting its essence and infusing it with new life via a multi-disciplinary practice which prods all the senses and flows from one medium to another: from oil paintings on wood, through wall installation, to a mesmerizing installation in a dark space. The installation he created for the exhibition includes a laboratory in which he grows tiny floating mountains in glass jars inside green-turquoise liquid. "The sounds illuminate the mountains from within; the lighting responds to the sound of the sea, repetitious sounds of nature. The simple acts, such as dripping or knocking, are, in fact, cyclic acts which illuminate the mountains and 'make them grow' as it were, until one day they may become continents themselves." Goldman regards art as research grounds for relationships in reality, proposing an alternative underlain by optimism and naïveté, a natural habitat for new continents.

L.A.N.D // 2014 // installation view // Wilfrid Museum, Is

Jonathan Goldman

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Jonathan Goldman

ART Habens

video, 2013

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ART Habens

Jonathan Goldman

An interview with

Jonathan Goldman Tel Aviv based artist Jonathan Goldman accomplishes the difficult task of bringing a new level of significance to the relationship between the audio and the visual dimensions.

While he defines his practice as a complete disconnection from any aim, his effective investigation about the dynamic of creative process, urges the viewers to challenge the perceptual categories and to subvert the way we relate to the sensorial dimension: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to his mutifaceted artistic production. Hello Jonathan and welcome to ART Habens. I would start this interview posing you a

His insightful multidisciplinary approach conveys the evokativeness of organic materials and the expressive potential of new media to a consistent unity that reveals an unconventional and autonomous aesthetics.

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Jonathan Goldman

ART Habens

artist? In particular, do you think that being exposed to a wide, international scene may have informed the way you relate yourself to art making?

Hello and thank you for having me here for this interview. I would say that these experiences have definitely informed the way I relate to art and the process of art making. Being an assistant to the artist Peter Waddell at such a young age ignited my curiosity toward art and experiencing art which influenced my vision. I believe that everything we are exposed to in our life leaves its mark on us. Everything we experience in our lives , in our own personal evolution, shapes us continuously forming our present selves. As humans, we change and transform all the time, due to the circumstances and the environment surrounding us, molding and forming us into who we are. What we are is a direct cause of how we reacted to those circumstances in our changing reality As our readers can notice visiting http://cargocollective.com/jonathangoldmana rt, you are a versatile artist and the hallmark of your experimental approach is an incessant challenging of conventional techniques and materials that you combine in an unconventional way, to provide your works of a dynamic life and an autonomous aesthetics. While superimposing such a wide variety of viewpoints and crossing the borders of different artistic fields, have you ever happened to realize that an uncoventional symbiosis between different techniques is the only way to achieve some results, to express specific concepts?

An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Katherine C. Wilson, curator arthabens@mail.com

couple of question about your background: you have a solid formal training and after having worked for two years as studio assistant to Washington DC based artists Peter Waddell, you nurtured your education with a Diploma in Graphic Design and with a BFA of Multidisciplinary Arts, that you eventually received from the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design. How have these experiences influenced your evolution as an

It’s a good question. I started my artistic path as a painter and I considered myself a painter. It took me quite a while to adopt new methods in order to refine the expression of my ideas

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L.A.N.D // 2014 // mix media installation // detail (photo by Dor Even Chen)


Jonathan Goldman

ART Habens

and to broaden my artistic language. Working in my studio on realizing my visions helped me understand, that with all the passion to the brush, it is very difficult for me to touch the subjects I wish to deal with through painting. I feel that painting deals first and foremost with the painting itself; as a process and as an act. A painting will always be a painting and treated as one, no matter what the subject of the painting is. So I had to find other ways to express myself, and new techniques [in order] to bring my artistic ideas into the visual dimension... into life.

“Floating Mountains” I call them.

For me Art itself is the medium. Being an artist is the medium. The techniques I use in order to create art should be reinvented again and again every time. In that manner, the process and the narrative can transform and evolve in the most natural and honest way.

This story was my starting point for this installation.

A conceptual place where one could start life all over again. where one could have a clean sheet, new start, with no history and residues, no opinions and no boarders.. It is a story about a scientist who grows those potentials, “floating mountains”. Little mountains embryos inside glass jars, feeding them on sound and on natural beats. In the installation I used sounds of dripping water, repetitive sound of waves hitting on the shore and rhythmic melodies, all compiled together into one complete composition.

I really wanted to make people feel the idea rather then just see it. I wanted the viewer to stop and observe, to be there for an ongoing moment, and to get to a state of mind where he could believe this scientific story I invented.

Working with no medium boundaries enabled me to approach the creation process from a different perspective, which heartened and emboldened the conceptual procedure.

While working on the installation I enabled the process to lead the way. I felt that this would be the only way to make things work. That only the creation process itself could lead me to find the path bringing all the elements of the installation to stream together perfectly as one entity.

I would start to focus on your artistic production beginning from L.A.N.D., an interesting installation shown at the Wilfrid Museum and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught my eyes - and not only my eyes, indeed - of L.A.N.D. is the way it establishes a channel of communication between a wide variety of sensorial experiences, in order to provide the viewers of an extension of our perceptual parameters, challenging the way we relate ourselves to the reality we inhabit. I would ask you to shed a light about the genesis of this work: in particular, did you conceive it in an instinctive way or did you rather structure your process in order to reach the right balance?

It became a fundamental rule in my art making process. To observe and to examine the procedure and the changes and to enable things to transformation naturally. I start with an idea but the process itself creates the transformation and constitutes the furtherance of bringing the art to life. In particular, your exploration of the liminal area in which audio and visual find a point of convergence urges the viewers to relate all the information to a single point of view. But, as a viewer, I soon happened to realize that I

I started this installation from an idea I developed. It is a story about a laboratory for the manufacturing and growing of new continents, alternative lands.

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had to fit into the visual rhythm suggested by the work, forgetting my need for a univocal understanding of its symbolic content: in your work, rather that a conceptual interiority, I can recognize the desire to enabling us to establish direct relations... Would you say that it's more of an intuitive or a systematic process?

Both of course. My main interest in being an artist, is to find a way to make people notice the present moment. To be, to feel, to observe the momentary occurrences for a brief moment. It is there constantly surrounding us, however, it’s sheltered from our consciousness. I feel that it is a just cause and It is triggering my imagination . In order to capture the viewer’s attention and to create that atmosphere in the work, a communication must be established between the work and the viewer, a relationship and a direct one, as you suggested, should bound them for the moment. Everything is intuitive in that millisecond of the slippery present. In that moment, there is only us and the circumstances and anything can happen . It’s a moment that isn’t part of the past, but does not belong to the future either . this is the liminal area where we truly live. I would say that this moment I’m talking about, the concept of it’s idea, is the essence of what my creation process is based upon. The transformation of an idea into the physical dimension, into an object, into an art piece, is an evolutionary process. It is a systematic process but intuitive at the same time. A crucial idea that pervades your artistic production is the idea of transformation: although I daresay that you don't want to surprise the viewers, many of your pieces, as the intersting A.L.A.B shows the unexpected consequences of manipulation and the unstability of the concept of significance. As the late Franz West did in his installations, A.L.A.B communicates a process of deconstruction and assemblage of a variety of ideas you draw from universal imagery and seems

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Jonathan Goldman

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This is what I think about the situation 2015 // installation view // Gabirol Gallery, Tel Aviv (photo by Dor Even Chen)

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A.L.A.B // 2012 // sound installation // Shenkar collage of engineering and design (photo by Dor Even Chen)

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Jonathan Goldman

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to urge the viewers to process of self-reflection. While you have remarked once that for you artistic practice is a process completely disconnected from any aim, I can recognize a subtle attept to provide the viewer of an Ariadne's thread to investigate about the nature of the formation of significance: do you agree with this analysis or do you think it's like stretchnig a bit the point?

I do agree. When I say that , for me, the art making process is “disconnected from any aim”, I mean that there isn’t an end point I direct to in the conceptual journey of the work or in the visual aspect. But There is always an aim, a target ,a purpose for the creation. even if it’s invisible to the eye parts of the time. Usually before the work gets to its mature stage, the cause of it’s creation would be revealed, therefore the ongoing transformation keeps on reforming the piece and it’s concept. A.L.A.B was my final project as an art student at Shenkar College for Art and design. It all started as an idea to create a M.D.M.A drug laboratory as an art piece. M.D.M.A is the main substance of Ecstasy. a drug which has an empathogenic effects. I can’t really tell you what triggered the idea to create this installation, but somehow I naturally started investigating the subject and exploring how and what is needed for the creation of such a drug. The task wasn’t so hard, thanks to the fact that the police tend to upload pictures from their drug laboratories raid scenes. Quick zoom into the pictures, some googling and reading and you are ready to be a young potential drug lord. I collected all I needed and started establishing the lab in one of the rooms I could take over in Shankar's arts facilities. Soon I realized that I got everything I needed for

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Jonathan Goldman

the production to take place, except of the will to really create the drug, I am an artist after all, not a chemist. At that point things started to happen and to evolve. I began working with all the equipment as if I would start the production of the M.D.M.A substance. During that time I observed the chemical laboratory own rhythms, and noticed the sounds and beats that accompanied the procedure. Sounds of liquids dripping, boiling , spraying, things were happening and that gave me the notion of what this work is really about . I started collecting loudspeaker and sound equipment in order to capture and to manipulate those sounds. Sound sensors and L.E.D lights were implanted into the lab glassware and shortly after, there was full communication between the sounds created by the act to the visuals of the process itself. It was very important for me not to know how and what the final work would be until the process revealed it organically. The sounds in the room were changing all the time and there was a dripping beat that connected everything together. It was the “heartbeat� of the work. It connected all the objects into one existing entity and at the same time it was constantly changing. It was all about the present moment and the continuous change of the circumstances in which we live and create. The M.D.M.A , the drug lab ,the sound equipment , they were all katalizators to the realization of the real meaning of the work. Later I realized that the interaction between the viewer and the work was also a fundamental part of its parturition process You draw a lot from direct experience and another intersting work of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled If

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Jonathan Goldman

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I can hear you 123 2012 // mix media on wood // 65x90 cm (photo by Dor Even Chen)

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"If you really care just ask" // 2013 // 6 channels sound installation // artists' studios, Tel Aviv (photo by Dor Even Chen)


Jonathan Goldman

ART Habens

explore. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion, personal experience is absolutely indispensable as part of the creative process? Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I wouldn't know if it absolutely indispensable. Art making is a very individual and a very subjective process. I guess that every artist, carrying his own philosophy would have a different approach to this subject and a different answer to this question. For my process though personal experience is an important part of the creation, because I believe that the creative process and the transformation are based on one’s experiences. Who are we at the present moment, if not a direct result of our past experiences? The work you mentioned; “if you really care just ask“ is all about that subject. In this installation I dealt with the surrounding environments of my studio. NO sound no memory

During the time I was working on this installation, my studio was in the Florentine neighborhood in south Tel Aviv. This industrial area is where most of the welders and carpenters are located and it is in a constant change and development.

2014 // mix media installation // 45X30X15 cm (photo by Dor Even Chen)

You really Care Just Ask. The way you juxtapose elements both from the Florentine district in Tel Aviv you inhabit in and random noises, probes the relationship between the notions of memory and experience and reminds me of the idea behind Thomas Demand's works, when he states that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". While the conception of Art could be considered an abstract activity, there is always a way of giving it a sense of permanence, going beyond the intrinsic ephemeral nature of those concepts you

I remember sitting in my studio one November, it was raining on the tin roof and the sound was extremely loud, you couldn't hear anything but the dynamic sound of rain, it created a very isolated feeling in the studio. When the rain stopped I noticed it fade into a roaring noise, it was the sound of the soccer fans applauses from the soccer stadium near by. I remember how amazed I was by the effect of

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Jonathan Goldman

Evidence of corruption, 2014

Evidence of corruption, 2014

plant and found objects from a Military industry

plant and found objects from a Military industry

abandoned base // 64X40X15 cm (photo by Dor Even Chen)

abandoned base // 64X40X15 cm (photo by Dor Even Chen)

so many people making the same noise together, there was something holistic about it. Suddenly another sound came into my attention, it was a man singing, the muazzin prayer just started at the mosque down the street.

some how my attention was focused on the mixing of those sounds in that moment, and it changed everything for me. And In that moment I realized, that everything is happening all the time, non stop, the world is out there doing it’s thing, and all the difference is in what I decide to put my attention, my focus, on

This specific moment was very special for me. when all those sounds accidently mixed together naturally, as part of the environment surrounding me, creating the circumstances. Everything was happening so ordinarily in the neighborhood, everything was so regular but

Summer 2015

The installation“ if you really care just ask� is a 6 channel sound installation, in which the sounds I mentioned, were compiled together

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Home is a different place // 2014 // wood string and white oil paint // 140X120 cm (photo by Dor Even Chen)


ART Habens

Jonathan Goldman

sound ocean wood // 2014 // wood assemblage // 520x180 cm // at the Wildfrid Museum , Israel (photo by Dor Even Chen)

into one composition . The sound for this work were created with a good friend and a genius musician Asaf Sanzer. Together we found the exact balance that would bring that special moment I had in my studio, into the gallery space. The sounds were played from different loudspeakers installed in the room, and were mixed

Summer 2015

with a live “heartbeat”, the dripping system I created in the exhibition space. The name “ if you really care just ask” is based on the the gap that exists between the artist point of view and the viewers point of view. What triggers one to create a work and the dissonance it might have in the way the final work triggers the viewer's mind.

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Jonathan Goldman

ART Habens

pieces of yours as Sound ocean wood I can recognize a reverse transition in this process that alters the dynamic of your usual workflow. This has lead me to rethink about the apparently simple idea of finished work: while an artwork always contains tracks of its evolution it is not usual that these track are the principal aspect of a piece of art... what I find absolutely fascinating about your works is such instability that always offers to the viewer a reminder to the process that lead you to the final work...

It’s true. ‫״‬Sound Ocean Wood‫ ״‬started as a record sound and later transformed back into a two dimensional drawing and then into a wood assemblage. The idea of playing with the order of things and with the transformation of the medium occupies my mind alot. The work visualizes the sound of the waves crushing on the Herzliya beach where I used to live. It all started from an installation I made for the Herzliya Museum a year before, called “See Sound” . In this installation I programed a small microprocessor connected to a solar panel and a microphone and placed it between the rocks of the Herzliya Marina. the system captured the sound of the water hitting the shore and transmitted those sounds to an object I places in the museum's hall. The idea of taking a natural sound that we are so used to and putting it out of it’s context, “in the center of the stage”, disconnected from it’s origin, seemed to me like the right way to give it the attention it deserved. I regard that sound as an evidence, as a reminder to the fact that we are living on a land that is constantly changing and that is constantly being transformed by the laws of nature and by the process of evolution.. It is a very slow transformation, one that our human mind is too narrow to notice. After exhibiting “see sound” I recorded a short part of the sound it captured and printed it onto paper as an audio graph. This act was the beginning of “Sound Ocean Wood”. For a long time I collected wooden beams from my surroundings.

The installation was full of sounds and so fluid in the room that there was no need to understand what the mixed sounds were all about, so if you really cared, you would just ask! As you have remarked once, you use drawing as a point of departure of your process: while for the works we have been discussing so far visual evolves to sound, in other interesting

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Jonathan Goldman

White sound, 2014

floating mountain #1, 2014

wood assemblage // 110x70 cm

oil on wood // 124X100 cm

All my carpenter neighbors abandon lots of materials everyday, so I started collecting them and shaping them into the audio graph of the sea’s sound, of the waves sound.For me, all the works I create are actually just one long evolutionary process. Each work triggers the beginning of the next one and like that the transformation is on going.

what type of language is used in a particular context?

I’m happy you ask that. As an artist I spend alot of time isolated in my studio, surrounded by my works and by my creations. It is a very lonely feeling and it is a very problematic issue for me. Friends, colleges, curatores and clients visits the studio regularly, but the work itself, the creation process itself is very long and very isolated. I spend hours staring at my studio’s wall thinking, listening and observing.

Over these years you have intensively exhibited your works, including two solos. So before leaving this conversation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of

Summer 2015

When a work of art is being exhibited, it is allready been created, the process of its making is done and what the viewer is left

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The West Border // 2015 // video // 7 min' photo by Evyatar Hershtik


ART Habens

Jonathan Goldman

with is an object, the final outcome of the artistic process. There is no direct communication between the artist and the viewer. Unlike musicians which create and perform their art live, in front of their audience , in the visual art world the process of making and the moment of exposure are two different things, so I had to find a way to bridge that gap and to unify the two. I wanted to create a communication, a relation between the viewer and the work, to keep the work’s “heart” beating while it is exhibited So I transformed my installation into an ensemble of performing objects. They are art objects but at the same time they are separate elements that work together as in the live composition, as a band. Things change in the installations, circumstances transform all the time. There is a relationship between the sound and the visual, there is a symbiosis, the two react and manipulate one another .

tion that would relate to the personal history of the Kibbutz and its members. It is important to mention that Yad mordechai is the last village on the western southern border between Israel and the Gaza strip. A very unstable area revid with tension from all directions, as you might imagine. The Kibbutz was founded in the 1930’s as one of the base point for the jews that came from poland, escaping the european anti semitism and pogroms. Those people, my grandparent's generation, came here with a vision. They left everything they had, in order to fulfill their dreams and to come to this place, to establish the state, so that today I would have a place to call home. It took me a few long months to research and explore the specifics of the kibbutz's story in order to find my own point of view and to start a creative process.

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

This research took me on an unexpected journey, and the most significant one so far. A journey into the history of the land I live in and into the source of the ongoing, unsettled IsraeliPalestinian conflict.

These days i'm working on my next and most important exhibition so far. The opening is in September at the Dana Contemporary Gallery in Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, curated by Ravit Harari. For this exhibition I decided to build a raft and to sail it along the Israeli coast. A coast which is also the naturall west border of Israel. To sail, as a symbol for a journey finding hope, planting seeds for a new place, for an alternative land. I took the story of the floating mountain laboratory I started a year before (for the exhibition at the Wilfrid Museum, 2014) and developed it into a personal journey. The idea started when Ravit Harari the curator of the Gallery invited me to create a solo exhibi-

This project started as a response to the Kibbutz Yad Mordechai story but grew into a project that is far beyond what I expected it to be. A project that made me search into the long history of the jewish people and their affinity to this specific place. A journey that made me search into the history of the palestinian people and their affinity to this specific place. A process that guided me in finding my own voice in this complicated situation.

Summer 2015

An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Katherine C. Wilson, curator arthabens@mail.com

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The West Border, 2015 video // 7 min' photo by Evyatar Hershtik


Cybil Scott My current work draws on both biological and artificial systems, and is guided by the related methodologies of mapping, information preservation, and pattern recognition. The automation of thought and cognition due to interaction with technology is a growing trend in my work. Drift is a key concept in my practice– between techniques, materials, and disciplines.


Cybil Scott

ART Habens

video, 2013

022 4 Summer 2015 Installation view of Chamber @ Vrije Academie Gemak, Den Haag, 2014


ART Habens

Cybil Scott

03 4 Summer 2015 Summer 2015 Installation view of Chamber @ Vrije Academie Gemak, Den Haag, 2014


Cybil Scott

An interview with An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator arthabens@mail.com

Many artists from the contemporary scene attempt to investigate about between the apparently opposite sphere of Art Technology and Art: but while most of them just uses cutting edge techniques as tools to explore concepts, Cybil Scott's approach reveals an incessant exploration of the inner nature of the variety of medium she probes, to unveil the elusive relationship between biological and artificial systems. In her work entitled Chamber that we'll be discussing in the following pages, she accomplishes the difficult task of highlight the nature of human perceptual process creating an unconventional aesthetics: we are particularly pleased to introduce our readers to Scott's stimulating and multifaceted artistic production. Hello Cybil and welcome to ART Habens. To start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and after your studies in Art History, you nurtured your education with a MA Fine Art that you received about two years ago from the prestigious Kingston University London. How have these experiences influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural background as an American artist living in the Netherlands informs the way you nowadays relate yourself to art making?

Cybil Scott

and video games were how I came to know the outside world (as well as virtual ones). It was pre-internet. It’s only a relatively recent period that I decided to focus on art making directly. Being in the Netherlands is not exactly influencing the subjects of my art directly (at least not consciously), but I do have a great network to bounce ideas back and forth with and that’s very important for me; collaboration in terms of building ideas and works. I think The Hague has a very lively contemporary art scene. Its an international city and not too far from other art hubs like Amsterdam, London, Brussels

I started out studying biology and nearly completed my degree in it, before I studied Art History. I think from a young age I’ve had an interest in the natural world and observing its patterns, and art was the way in which I could put those observations into motion. I didn’t really grow up surrounded by artistic influence. I was from such a small place in the Rockies that reading, television

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Cybil Scott

etc. I am also very pleased to live close to the Mauritshuis! You are a versatile artist and we have particularly been impressed with the multidisciplinary feature that marks out your multifaceted production, that ranges from installation to mixed media, from sound to video and I would suggest our readers to visit http://www.cybil-scott.com in order to get a synoptic view of the variety of your projects. While superimposing techniques and concepts from apparently opposite spheres, as Art and Science, and consequently crossing the borders of different artistic fields, have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between different viewpoints is the only way to achieve some results, to express specific concepts?

Between is a word I find I use a lot when talking about my artwork. I try not to get too comfortable with one medium. It comes down to whatever is best for the conceptual part of it. I also don’t want to make it too complicated, because I can easily get lost in a medium. I try to leave my works alone as much as I can in order to keep my initial givings somewhat clear. That’s how it works the best for me. I spend a lot of time just thinking around things, mulling over subject, medium and format. Then when I’m ready, bam! It all comes out. Though, that’s not necessarily saying I don’t spend a lot of time working through something when it finally does come into physical form. In terms of subject matter, learning about things other than art is really inspiring for me as well, like reading essays and texts about science and philosophy. I think people tend to get caught up on what art should be about or look like, and I try to explore this. I’m fascinated with the things that information technology can do, and what humans are doing by ritualizing its possibilities. Its really a bizarre mirror

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Cybil Scott

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Seated view from Chamber, photo credit: Ed Jansen, 2014

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Cybil Scott

Installation 2015 view of Chamber @ Vrije Academie Gemak, Den4 23 0 Haag, 5 2014 Summer


Cybil Scott

ART Habens

sometimes, and I try to translate somehow using both traditional and new media. I would start to focus on your artistic production beginning from Chamber, an interactive project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. Moving from the concept of perceptual deprivation, elaborated by German psychologist Wolfgang Metzger, you have created a piece that challenges the elusive relationship between perception and experience, bringing to a new level of significance to role of consciousness: would you like to introduce our readers to the genesis of this project? In particular, how did you developed the initial idea?

I’ve known about the Ganzfeld experiment for some time, but it’s considered to belong to the realm of parapsychology; a pseudoscience concerned with the investigation of paranormal and psychic phenomena. Basically people attempted to communicate with each other using only the power of the mind while under the conditions of the experiment. In other methods though, it is also considered to be a way to hack, or make the brain hallucinate, under non-chemical circumstances. Its also called the prisoner’s cinema, and many people think the geometric patterns found in ancient cave sites are due to the hallucinatory capabilities of our brain when our senses are deprived in total darkness.

Journal Entry from Chamber experiment, 2014

log/journal to translate their thoughts or experiences. People were very willing to share. Your investigation about the relationship between biological and artificial systems probes the capability of a medium to explore a variety of constructed realites: while questioning about the disconnect between physical experience and the immateriality of simulation of physicality, you seem to refer to the necessity of going beyond symbolic strategies to examinate the relationship between reality and perception, but that we should focus on the nature of the medium in order to understand the way it offers a translation of reality. Do you agree with this analysis? Moreover, I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion, personal experience is absolutely indispensable as part of the

For Chamber, I wanted to try to set it up a replica Ganzfeld experiment inside an artistic setting, but with the variables being the subjectivities of the users. I wanted it to take on a new kind of ‘elevated’ context. Instead of using the eyes as the primary form of perceptual intake, they alternatively became repurposed as a backdrop/screen in order for the mind’s ‘eye’ to project onto them, promoting a different kind of seeing for the subject. At the end of their experience I provided them with a

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Cybil Scott

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

I find that translation is a key element in my works. Going between things, like there’s always some sort of metaphorical membrane coming into play. Experience is of course indispensable from creative process. Art is a subjective field, but it’s the air of objectivity you can breathe into it which makes it relevant to other people. I think it's an artist's job to be a weather vane and I want to talk about what is happening currently. I suppose I’m trying to refer to mass culture without doing it in a poppy way. I don’t want to be the kind of artist whose work is convoluted or inaccessible unless you’re an art expert. We’re all experiencing similar things, and I think that certain realities are becoming more translatable between individuals because of technology. A work of mine titled, 'its fine keep it with the rest' is an unedited print-out of a whatsapp conversation over six months which documented the end of my long distance relationship. Its unedited and readable. Over time, my phone became the lifeless substitute for my partner. My emotions became automated and attached to a device. In a technological relationship nothing is ever quite right. I think it resounds without a lot of people who rely on information technology to keep in touch with people they love. Unfortunately our bodies don’t adapt as fast as our brains think of new tools, so we’re trying to create extensions of ourselves in the meantime. The tools we have invented for these kinds of things are not that good yet I think, but it’s the way humans evolve and we’re always looking to make better tools.

Automatic Drawing Series 1/4, 2014

opportunity to rethink about we interact with technology and what actually could be hidden between an only apparent determinism. In particular, you seem to highlight the creative potential of aleatory process in the construction of meaning. While walking our readers in performative aspect of this work, would you like to shed a light about the role of randomness in Automatic Drawings and in your approach in general? In particular, do you think that chance could play a creative role?

Another interesting project of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled Automatic Drawings: in particular, I have appreciated the way it offers an

Summer 2015

Some of my works oscillate around automation while trying to explore emotion, imagination, or creativity. I’m interested in the moments where people fall into habit

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Charles Ligocky

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Automatic DrawingSummer Series 2/4,2015 2014


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Cybil Scott

Automatic Drawing Series Close-up 2/4, 2014

and operate without really thinking. I spend so much time creating or just being on the

Summer 2015

computer that one day I looked down and noticed that my mouse movements were

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Cybil Scott

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straddle two worlds here, existing virtually but still needing physical tools to hold on to while we do it. And I thought it was strange that the patterns I was making with my mouse had no relation to what I was doing on the screen. It was a random pattern. They have software programs now that can also trace your mouse, but the physical etching was what made it nice I think. Being able to create something physically also while I was doing it virtually. I made several of these drawings during the time I spent online to try to see some sort of pattern. I didn’t really find one. But this is on a very small scale. I suppose though, on a greater scale, there is always a pattern that emerges even if it seems chaotic or like chance at first. Even harmony and chaos balance each other. Your Untitled series highlight how the impetuous way modern technology has came out on the top has dramatically revolutionized the idea of Art itself: we are urged to rethink about the intimate aspect of the materiality of an artwork itself, since just few years ago it was a tactile materialization of an idea. I'm sort of convinced that new media will definitely fill the apparent dichotomy between art and technology and I will dare to say that Art and Technology are going to assimilate one to each other... what's your point about this?

I don’t know if I spend more time thinking that art and technology will assimilate into each other, but rather I’m more concerned that in the future with all the use of information technology our thoughts will have less incentive to be creative and will become automated. There’s two great essays I want to point out that touch on this point, The Neuroplastic Dilemma: Consciousness and Evolution by Franco Berardi, and Conditions of Visuality Under the Anthropocene and Images of the Anthropocene to Come by Irmgard

wearing away a spot on my desk. And that’s what gave me the idea. We’re still trying to

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Objects from a demolished artist initiative building, 2014


Coded Newspaper (1), 2014


Cybil Scott

ART Habens

some way or another. And recently, thanks to Google, computers have started ‘dreaming’. A world where copies are originals, computers are dreaming, and humans are becoming robotic….Interesting twist on things I’d say. I believe that interdisciplinary collaboration as the one that you have established with Sevan Nigogosian is today 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 about this? Can you explain how your work demonstrates communication between several artists?

Collaborating with artists is one thing, and collaborating with people outside of the art world is a different animal. Its more of an intuitive collaboration when working with other artists, but for instance I like to reach out to programmers to ask them questions or make works with them, and it’s a very different type of communication. Often they have a hard time understanding artistic thinking and production, just like I have basically zero knowledge of code. I really have not much of an idea on how most of the technology I am operating really works and this is a big gap that is only growing larger in societal terms. But somehow programmers and I always intersect and find stable ground for discussion of possibilities. There’s an inherent curiosity to understand how other people view society. I feel like collaborations between art science and technology is really the new avant garde; visiting other realms to bring back enriching information. I mean in a larger sphere all this stuff connects

Coded Newspaper (2), 2014

Emmelhainz. According to Franco Berardi, it is the core goal of the Google Empire: to capture user attention and to translate our cognitive acts into automatic sequences. The consequence is the replacement of cognition by a chain of automated connections, seeking to automatize the subjectivities of users. I’m always questioning if this is really happening, and my artwork tries to come to terms with it in

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Cybil Scott

Untitled, Midden Series, oil, 9 x 5 cm, 2015

Untitled, Midden Series, oil, 9 x 5 cm, 2015

anyway, we’re just in the first stages of understanding things from a specialized and data-oriented viewpoint.

recontextualized discarded image, challenges the viewers' perception in order to going beyond the common way to perceive not only the outside world, but the way we relate to it... 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

Midden is a project that you conceived few months ago while at North and Found, Virtual Residency: the way you

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Cybil Scott

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information than we are willing to notice. I also think thats the role of the artist to change our ideas or shape them into a different form. To make you look twice. For the online residency, ‘Midden’ is a word that is used to describe an archaeological trash pile. I asked people to send me their iphone photos that they were about to delete. I wanted to look through this unwanted digital detritus and recontextualize it into a form of image that commands more, or a different kind of attention. What we choose to remember, what we chose to keep (or throw away), defines who we are. I’m always on the search for what it means to be human, and whether or not it’s becoming more obvious with all the new technology we are inventing to suit our needs. Over these years you have extensively exhibited€your works, including your recent participation to TermsOfService, at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts: the hallmark of your works is the capability to establish direct relations with the audience, deleting any conventional barrier between the idea you explore and who receipt and consequently elaborate them. So before leaving this conversation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

Untitled, Midden Series, oil, 9 x 5 cm, 2015

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?

I think maintaining a sort of personal aspect to my work is important for me. Not that I expect people to care greatly about what happens in my life, but to understand that there is something which strings us together, or that I’m trying to poke at a deeper part of you. Its an artists

I am very much concerned with how commonly accepted things hold more

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Cybil Scott

Generator, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 15 cm, 2015

Dual Processors, print, 2013

your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

social need perhaps, to be part of society but also exist outside of it. Like in a constant state of critical awareness. And for me yes, I do keep an imaginary audience in mind. If I can’t think of how to engage them somehow its not really exciting for me either.

I hope my work continues to evolve and that the scope of my work will become bigger. I have a few more projects lined up for the end of this year, so stay tuned!

An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Cybil. Finally, would you like to tell our readers something about

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and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator arthabens@mail.com

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Naim El Hajj

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21 its fine keep it with the rest, printed whatsapp conversation on polyester film, 84 x 350 cm, 2013 Summer 2015 06 4


Emilia Maryniak

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Emilia Maryniak

Art for me is an incessant process of asking questions. Whether it’s based on a visible world of nature, or the imaginary world of physics and its underlying philosophical concepts – it’s always about the mystery of existence. video, 2013

It is about a tangible world and the way it takes us to its secrecy, so we cannot see what is real, and what is not. It is about the human need of understanding the state of one self, through the physical body, a self-memory, and the construction of ego. It is a constant question: What are we the most, Summer and what is 022 4 2015 the essence of our being?


ART Habens

Emilia Maryniak

Daddy, Daddy, Sleep, Sleep, Sleep Cause What Is There It's Our Fear Installation 03 4 Summer 2015 Summer 2:25min sound 2015video on mix media collage, acrylic on paper, nest made of natural branches, glockenspiel


Emilia Maryniak

An interview with An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Ralph Landau, curator arthabens@mail.com

Through an effective multidisciplinary approach, London based artist Emilia Maryniak accomplishes a refined investigation of the themes of the ephemeral nature of existence and the way we relate to the reality we inhabit. She guides the viewers into a liminal area in which memories and perceptual reality blend together, to highlight the ubiquitous role of our cultural substratum in the way we question apparently simple concepts, such as memory and the unstable dichotomy between dream and experience. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Your approach is marked with a deep synergy between several practices and viewpoints, which provide your works with dynamic life and autonomous aesthetics. I would suggest our readers visit http://www.emiliamaryniak.com in order to get a broader idea of your multifaceted artistic production. While superimposing concepts and images, crossing the borders of different artistic fields such as painting and installation, have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between different viewpoints is the only way to achieve certain results, to express specific concepts?

Emilia Maryniak

for me to expand and cross edges between fields, because I don’t know any other device to reflect the multifaceted, complex and complicated world within and around us.

I don’t know if that’s the only way, but it is the way which works for me, and I realized this a long time ago within my practice. Going through many different perspectives to phrase a general idea of particular project may sometimes bring new directions, questions and issues I didn’t expect at the outset. Multilayered artistic activity, in terms of media and concepts, is my method of attaining synergy, of reaching a specific combined effect by creating interactions between paintings, drawings, everyday objects and living vegetation. It is important

I would start by focusing on your artistic production beginning with Daddy, Daddy, Sleep, Sleep, Sleep - Cause What Is There It's Our Fear, an interesting project featured in the introductory pages of this article. What most impressed me in this project is the way you have created a point of convergence between references to reality and a particular kind of oniric dimension, establishing an unexpected equilibrium between what appear to be opposite concepts. Did you conceive it in an instinctive way or did you rather

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Emilia Maryniak

structure your process in order to reach the right balance?

It is always a balance of both. I start every new project by writing down my thoughts and thinking about the process, forming some structure through asking questions. But again, I never know in advance which part of this first, written stage I will keep or change, or which will change me, and lead somewhere else. With Daddy, Daddy… instinct played an essential role. On recorded video, I played the old Polish nursery rhyme entitled “The Old Bear is sleep, sleep, sleep” on a children’s glockenspiel, which I later used as an object in itself by putting this instrument in the middle of the nest I wove. While working on this project, I lived surrounded by a natural environment, so I was able to walk to the forest not only in order to collect branches for my installation, but also with the aim of observing my reactions and emotions. I made a collage as a back-screen for the video, partly of the book from my childhood called “Fairytales of the People from the North” where the main character was a bear, lived in the forest and acted as a very beastly creature. I read so many northern legends and stories which contain the oldest fears and dreams, I could only understand them through my instinct. In this installation I wanted to look deeper into memory, to test the relation between collective and autobiographical memories. It seems to me rather unclear: what is the connection between our own sensation of past and what we think about it, and something which comes from a general idea of the past, some co-memory of us as a species? How much of it is the story we are telling today? Where is my fear, the one to be found in the forest, coming from? It brings up questions not only about the vanishing, the disappearance of something we think was true, but also about the

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Daddy, Daddy, Sleep, Sleep, Sleep Cause What Is There It's Our Fear

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Emilia Maryniak

Daddy, Daddy, Sleep, Sleep, Sleep Cause What Is There It's Our Fear

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essence of our being. What is that story we remember happening and where is it now? To what extent is our identity dependent on such susceptible perceptions? This way you challenge the ambiguous dichotomy between memory and experience reminds me of the idea behind Thomas Demand's works, when he highlighted that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". While the conception of Art could be considered an abstract activity, there is always a way of giving it a sense of permanence, going beyond the intrinsically ephemeral nature of those concepts you explore. So I would like to ask, in your opinion, is personal experience absolutely indispensable as part of the creative process? Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience? Moreover, what is the role of memory in your process?

I don’t think it is possible to separate selfexperience from the creative process in order to create more objective art. It is only a matter of how much we want to make it visible, how much we understand it, and how much we are able to act with it. The creative process is based on the need to compose some new value, but there is much material and only what we are given, and that is what we think and feel through, thanks to which we exist. Memory as a past, or a number of past facts, doesn’t have a key role in my art, but it doesn’t mean it is separate. Sometimes, it works subconsciously, and when I see it I want to make something of it. Memory itself fascinates me as a nondefinable process, as something ephemeral upon which we still build our self-existence. In Heaviness of the Nest I can recognize a suggestive and successful attempt to establish a dialogue between materials marked out with opposite features, both for

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Heaviness of the Nest No4.fr - Kamienica Nowogrodzka 4, Warsaw nest is a home an inside source interior built of birds and songs without the music score without the faith in fall wings are pink and long gone it's always here when you think it's not you're weaving it deep but it's still and it's strong Installation iron net, natural branches, eggs painted in pink, cast iron weights painted in pink


ART Habens

Heaviness of the Nest Summer 2015 No4.fr - Kamienica Nowogrodzka 4, Warsaw

Emilia Maryniak

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Emilia Maryniak

their intrinsic physicality and for the role that they play in universal imagery. Although I am aware this might sound a quite naïf, I have to admit that at first such composition had unsettled me a bit, especially through the evocative juxtaposition between the idea of a nest and the presence of a weight that suggested me the idea of a Sword of Damocles ... as in Franz West's installations, Heaviness of the Nest reveals an unconventional aesthetics that comes out from a process of deconstruction of accomplished concepts in order to assemble them in a collective imagery, offering to the viewer a sort of Ariadne's thread which draws us into a process of self-reflection. An interesting artist I had the chance to recently interview remarked: "Artists are always interested in probing to see what is beneath the surface". Maybe one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal the unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your view on this?

ART Habens

myself. When I started to work on Heaviness of the Nest I wasn’t sure where exactly this project would take me. I was invited to create a three-dimensional art object inside a historical tenement building in Warsaw. It was abandoned and devastated with only few mosaics, marble stairways, some wallpaper left, and there was something absolutely wonderful about this house. For the installation, I chose a three-room apartment on the fourth floor, in which the main room had a broken fireplace. It occurred to me to weave a huge nest, as the object contains so many opposite associations, especially with the word “home” which is truly powerful and allows us to tell almost everything about ourselves through this one word and through the way we feel about it. This installation doesn’t need more words, because it is about our emotional states and questions we reach in correspondence with it. Another interesting body of work of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled Bio-Elusive Art; I have to admit it's one of my favourite works of yours: what appeals to me the most about this multi-art project is the way you accomplish the difficult task of investigating the ephemeral and at the same time elusive nature... when I first happened to get to know this work, I tried to relate all the visual information and the presence of a primary element as water to a single meaning. I later realized I had to fit into the visual unity suggested by the work, forgetting my need for a univocal understanding of its symbolic content: in your work, rather than a conceptual interiority, I can recognize the desire to enabling us to establish direct relations... Would you say that it's more of an intuitive or a systematic process?

As John Berger said, a long time ago: “The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled”, and that knowledge is liberating for the viewer, the artist and the artwork itself. We don’t have to follow what we believe is true, we can let ourselves connect and experiment with different views. Art is meaningful only if we allow it to be. I don’t think we need to understand it fully, but we need to be fully open to engage with it. Art is a dialogue, it is a conversation, not so much with the artist, but with ourselves through the artwork. So if I think about the role of the artist, I would say my role is to create a tool which you can use or not, but if you do you may discover some unexpected part of your inner or outer nature. The collective imagination is made up of recognisable notions and connotations, but it is also a process. There are symbols and signs, but the understanding of them is evolving. I like this association you made with a Sword of Damocles, I didn’t think of it

I would say that the Bio-Elusive project is more intuitive than systematic, although it

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ART Habens

Emilia Maryniak

Bio-Elusive Art

started with scientific curiosity and paradoxically, compared to my other works, this one is the most about seeing. The paradox came from the fact that this project

Summer 2015

is about something we cannot experience directly, something we need to let ourselves be drawn into, that underlying level of premonition, but through observable nature.

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Bio-Elusive Art Summer 2015


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Emilia Maryniak

Bio-Elusive Art

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Emilia Maryniak

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There is no single meaning, just like the primary element is not something perceptible. And it is about a forthright relation with the work itself. It is also about my passion for and connection with painting, and about my understanding of it. Probing the evocative potential of the medium you incorporate in such an unconventional way, you provide the viewers with an extension of the usual perceptual parameters, which allow you to go beyond any dichotomy between Tradition and Contemporariness, as in the interesting Inextricable, establishing a stimulating osmosis between materials and techniques from a contingent era and an absolute approach to Art: do you recognize any contrast between Tradition and Contemporariness?

We could say that everything that exists is Contemporariness, because Tradition contains thoughts and ideas through which we can express our current and present selves. So there is no contrast, it is only a constantly changing narration. I see Tradition as the notion of endless possibilities, which cross lines between understandings. It gives me, as an artist, a deeper and richer context with regards to what I do now. I am deeply fascinated by ancient Greek philosophy and myths. I use them to create new values and to talk about issues which are vital for my present artistic invention. Your practice is intrinsically connected to the chance of creating an area of intellectual interplay with the viewers, who are then urged to move on from the condition of a merely passive audience. So before leaving this conversation, I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making

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Emilia Maryniak

process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

I wouldn’t say that audience response is a crucial component in my decision-making process, but it is important for the artwork, especially in a co-participation context. While I was working on the For-Gossip installation, in which I used Polish words, I was interested in the idea of naming things, but I didn’t know in which language this idea would affect me more. I started with linguistic associations and word-playing, but those conflations were not the essence of that work. And even if it was, at first, understandable only for a Polish speaking audience, it was also carefully translated and explained. When this installation was exhibited, people's reactions were striking to me and it seems that those linguistic games where not essential, what was more important was the grass itself, the unpleasant touch of it and the fact that it was inescapable. So not the intellectual, but the physical experience of this work was more significant. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Emilia. Finally, would you like to tell our readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

My next project is going to explore the subject of human identity through the biological body, something I started with my series of works entitled “Transformation”. Previously, I created many drawings and traditional paintings and I feel there is time to research and include other media in order to discover some new areas of perception. This subject is engaging me deeply, so I will not only create a spacial piece or video, but I wish to work with the body as an object itself. I am very excited about it!

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Emilia Maryniak

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Bio-Elusive Art

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Allison Kotzig Kotzig Much of my work is strongly feminist, examining and highlighting undercurrents of misogyny in our culture. Humour, toys and iconography are used to examine, ridicule, and expose how concepts of ‘other’ have been used to pigeonhole and isolate over the centuries. I use sex store vaginas as media, which in itself is a discussion on the reductionist tendencies of our culture. As well, the vaginas are freed from their intended purpose as sex toys and given their own voice in an art context to create a dialogue around the notions of reductivity, feminism, sexuality and power. Another series I am currently working on is entitled Ouroboros. Ouroboros, the snake eating its tail, represents cyclicality, Infinity. Pelvic bones are used, symbolizing this concept in that although they are bones, representing death, they protect the womb and are the house of creation. These represent both the life held in death as well as the death inside Life, a beautiful spiral of Infinity. The Vagina, obviously, is the gateway to procreation as well as the passageway for new life. The Venus symbolizes fertility, the Nest, safety and a place for both the generative act to occur as well as the place where life bursts forth and is nurtured. The prescription bottle is of Clomid, a common fertility drug. This panel holds a broken pelvic bone that has been wired together, symbolizing both the essentially mechanical nature of life, and the artificial means that can be used to induce naturality. Additionally, the wires are twisted to recall the shape of DNA and are behind the bones, hidden, like the mechanics so essential to life. Allison Kotzig

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Allison Kotzig

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video, 2013

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An interview with

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Allison Kotzig

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Allison Kotzig

An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator

ART Habens

unexpected but ubiquitous points of convergence, in which the viewers are urged to explore the idea of sexuality and identity in the contemporary age: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to Kotzig's refined artistic production.

and Katherine C. Wilson, curator arthabens@mail.com

Allison Kotzig accomplishes an insightful exploration of misogyny and the reductionist tendencies of our culture: far from being an end in itself, the strong feminist that marks out her artistic production, urges the viewer to question the reductionist tendencies that pervades Western culture, highlighting taboos, often ridiculing them and always showing us

Hello Allison and a warm welcome to ART Habens: the hallmark of your approach is a multidisciplinary symbiosys between several visual disciplines, wisely combined together in a way that gives a dynamic life to your pieces, and I would suggest our readers to visit directly at http://www.kotzig.com/ in order to get a

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ART Habens

Allison Kotzig

wider idea of your multifaceted artistic production. While crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

Yes, absolutely! I have added installation, video and other media in order to express the depth of my vision. In particular, I love to show my work in installation, creating an environment within which the work can express itself more fully and the viewer can either be lost in the magic of a created environment or be impacted more strongly by the same. Irreversible Forest is one of my favourite work of yours: in particular, when I first happened to get to know with this transdisciplinary project I tried to relate all the visual information to a single meaning. But I soon realized that I had to fit into the visual rhythm suggested by the work, forgetting my need for a univocal understanding of its symbolic content: in your work, rather that a conceptual interiority, I can recognize the desire to enabling us to establish direct relations... Would you say that it's more of an intuitive or a systematic process?

My work comes to me intuitively but then I spend a lot of time considering how to express it both conceptually and experientially, so I have to say that it is both. The multilayeredness of my production is important to allow both a more immersive experience, where the viewer can understand not only my intended meaning but meanings of their own generated by the interaction of their own experience and philosophy, as well as allowing me to deeply explore the meanings being expressed. Irreversible Forest was a project born out of inspiration by the beauty of the woman in

Summer 2015

the video,Radka Panisova, a noted Slovak folk singer. Initially, images of her in the forest came to me and I wanted to capture those and they turned into a conceptual narration from there. On this video, I worked

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Allison Kotzig

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same time lively visual translation of the issues that pervades western culture: far from being an end in itself, the strong feminist that marks out your approach is intrinsically connected to the chance of

with Istvan Szilagyi, who did the cinematography. I like the way your careful investigation about misogyny offers a rigorous but at the

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Allison Kotzig

creating an area of intense interplay. While conceiving Art could be considered a purely abstract activity, there is always a way of giving it a permanence that goes beyond the ephemeral nature of the

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concepts you capture. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process...

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disconnected from direct experience but at the same time, it is impossible because we are all products of our experiences and how to divorce that form your perception, inspiration and methodology. It is a dialectic. Work inspired from a dream or trance state is something that I have been exploring more and this, while technically removed from physical experience, still is rooted within perceptive experience. Your insightful exploration about relationships between body and the depersonalization in the contemporary age, with explicit reminders to ancient myths, in Dark Ouroboros seems to invite us to a progressive discovery seems to urge our perception in order to challenge the common way to perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension... I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" as microscopic grains of sand in the environment we live in, so we need 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's a very exciting idea. Perhaps our mitochondria are the real artists, directing us from within dreams or through sudden flashes of intuitive comprehension. I think that artists see the future or rather that they can pick up unconsciously the direction in which our society is heading. This is why I am so interested in contemporary art. It can be seen as a map of the future. Another interesting work of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled The Closet aka Centaur Forest: I have appreciated the references to an emotional but at the same time universal imagery suggested by the fruitful synergy between Eroticism and Plasticity seems to remove any historic gaze from the reality you refer

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

This is a beautiful philosophical question. Yes, I do think creative process can be

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Naim El Hajj

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to, offering to the viewers the chance to perceive in a more atemporal form. In this sense, I daresay that the semantic juxtaposition between sign and matter that marks out your art, allows you to go beyond any dichotomy between Tradition and Contemporariness, as in the interesting Inextricable, establishing a stimulating osmosis between materials from contingent era and an absolute approach to Art: do

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you recognize any contrast between Tradition and Contemporariness?

Obviously it exists, but is no longer relevant. The insightful, humorous way you recontextualize the idea of vagina, transcending the common stereotypized concepts, and urges the viewers to evolve from the condition of a merely passive audience to a more conscious participant.

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The straight reference to cultural taboo turns into in a subtle but effective social criticism: this a not easy task that few artists really accomplish. Do you consider that your works are political or do you seek to maintain a neutral approach?

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political, for instance, Irreversible Forest and Dark Ouroboros I would consider as nonpolitical in nature. I am working now on an installation piece that will bring attention to the extreme form of persecution that women detained in immigration centers are suffering under. Interestingly, I have faced a lot of censorship of my work that uses vaginas as a media. Initially I was quite

Thank you very much. My work is absolutely political. I consider myself a protest artist and I use my work to make points about society. Not all of my work is overtly

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shocked, as I had naively considered he art world a place of open exploration. Although each of your project has an autonomous life, there's always seem to be such a channel of communication between your works, that springs from the way you juxtapose ideas and media: as Thomas Demand once said, "nowadays art can no longer rely much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological narrative elements within the medium instead". What's your point about this? And in particular, how much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your works?

My works come to me as flashes of inspiration and it is only later, as I am building the piece that the meanings are more fully exposed to me. During these years your works have been exhibited in several occasions, both in the United States and in Europe. So before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a a question about the nature of the relation with your audience: in particular, do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process in terms of what type of language for a particular context?

No, not really. In my politically-based art, obviously I want the viewer to understand my point but other than that I assume my viewers are intelligent and adult and can either choose to explore or to ignore on their own. As well, it is not really my business what other people take from my work, that is an alchemistic process arising only between each individual and my work, so that it is a separate entity. Thank you very much for this stimulating interview, Allison. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your

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future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Gemlucart in October and I am hoping to have a small work in metal ready for those. It will be a metal version of my Ouroboros mixed media piece. I am really obsessed with this concept of the Ouroboros and want to delve into in more but on larger scale and with different types of media. Ideally, I will be able to show all the pieces of the Ouroboros series in a large multi-media installation.

Thank you so much! I am very honored to be speaking with you. Especially I love the very interesting questions. I would like my work to evolve to be bigger and to incorporate more video and interactivity. Larger installations that create discrete environments. More political art. I am working on an installation for The Projects at FAT Village, an artist area in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida that is very exciting. It will open in October this year. As well, I have a show at Art Monaco in July and at

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An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Katherine C. Wilson, curator arthabens@mail.com

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Lindy Mรกrquez Review comprises a set of pieces from of my artistic process, which are: Universe (which itself has a procedural drift I call the Gesture-Attempt). It is approximations to memories and imaginary childhood and experiences live (self-referential facts) that reveal the magnitude of a past that reaffirms its presence in the present, through the body, gestures and the games that my sister and I do, in order to give presence to childhood and their relationship with memory. All these processes based on performance, are eventually formalized in Video or Videopremises for form part of a process "larger than a single being", since it is proposed as a set of relations between my twin sister and I, allowing revive our identity, everyday associations with memory, childhood and the experiences that you can only give, in living together.

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Being Stone (Ser Piedra) / Photo / 50 x 70cm / 2014


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03 4 Rescue (Rescate) (stills)/Video-Installation / Dimensions variables /00:09:54 (loop) /2014 Summer 2015 Summer 2015


Lindy MĂĄrquez

An interview with An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator arthabens@mail.com

Hello Lindy and welcome to ART Habens. To start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and and you hold a MA of Plastic and Visual Arts and you are currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the Antioquia: how did this experience influenced your evolution as an artist? Moreover, since you also teach I think our readers will find interesting your viewpoint about formal training both on students and on teachers, indeed: in particular, have ever happened to find inspiration from your students?

Definitely all my artistic process has been marked by the academy. It has influencedmy concepts, questions and researches about two interests that have arisen from life itself: Childhood and memory. I have always thought that art and life are a unit, for this reason it is necessaryto learnhow to translate what happens in life into art. So I have taken my life to the academy, mixing it with theories, images, concepts, and forms, with the ideas and art work of other artists and right there, I manage to see my life different: strange, surprising, unfocused, a mystery that I have the challenge of revealing through a serious, thoughtful and creative process of writing. Writing understood as a text, as a gesture, that finally becomes an art work.

Lindy MĂĄrquez Photo by Maria Luisa VĂŠlez / TIMEBAG

continuous artistic formationprocess. For me they are the true teachers, because they teach me a more pure, sincere and really free form of art, without prevention, far from the formality, the rules and the art market.

Now, it is essential for meto talk about my process as a professor, and I love that you have asked me about it, because my students are very important for my

It is very unusual, but I don't give them lectures,I play the role of a child who questions my students about their opinions,

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feelings and ideas. I do this because I know that they have all the answers and all the knowledge that comes from their experiences and intuition, and I am certain that I can learn from them. Honestly, they inspire me; push me to moveforward, making me reinvent my conception of art, to think differently and above all to create artwork, not only as a manifestation of art, but also as academic material. You are a versatile artist and your work is based on a deep synergy between several practices and viewpoints, that you combine together with a performative approach to provide your works of a dynamic and autonomous life. I would suggest our readers to visit http://www.lindymarquez.com in order to get a wider idea of your multifaceted artistic production. While crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between different viewpoints is the only way to achieve some results, to express specific concepts?

I think that a symbiosis between different viewpoints is not the only way to achieve results, like an artwork, but it is my way to express myself, perhaps because of my few skills with other artistic mediums. I do everything by halves, half a drawing, half a recording, half of a performance, half of the photos, half of the writing, I amhalfof entity (my other half, is my sister)... That is why, a drawing turns in a performance, a performance into a video, a video intoan installation, etc... A medium complements the other medium, or even better, thanks to the sisterhood of different mediums, my thinking and imageries become possible in the

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A still from Being Stone (Ser Piedra), 2014 Video-Installation / Dimensions variables /00:12:25 (loop)

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A still from Being Stone (Ser Piedra), 2014 Video-Installation / Dimensions variables /00:12:25 (loop)

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artwork. Sisterhood that I see and verify inthe nature of these mediums and the way the fit together. I would start to focus on your artistic production beginning from "Being Stone (SerPiedra)", an interesting videoinstallation that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What most impressed me in this project is the way you have create a point of convergence between a functional analysis of gestures and autonomous aesthetics, highlighting the contrast between reflexive aspects and experiential ones. Did you conceive it on an instinctive way or did you rather structure your process in order to reach the right balance?

In my process everything materializes, it is like magic... I cannot deny that a serious and committed research process facilitates the clarification of impulses, imageries and images that happen inside me, which are externalized through the work, but this process is also intuitive, one seeks and investigates something that you do not know what it is...In conclusion, all my artwork is based on an intuition fed byan investigative process. In being stone, particularly, I started with the verb “move� that I saw as common in the various archive imagesabout the tragedy of Armero, that happened in Colombia in 1985 (reference). This showed me a force and the illusion of life by leaving the stillness. A stone is a metaphor, in this situation, it is inert, but there is a humanity that is tryingto move it.

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A crucial aspect of your work is centered around revelation the magnitude of a past that reaffirms its presence in the present: your successful attempt to investigate about the nature of gestures reminds me of the idea behind Thomas Demand's works, when he states that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". While the conception of Art could be considered an abstract activity, there is always a way of giving it a sense of permanence, going beyond the intrinsic ephemeral nature of those concepts you explore: so I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion, personal experience is absolutely indispensable as part of the creative process? Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I am going to respond in capital letters, PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IS ABSOLUTELY INDISPENSABLE in my creative process. Like in any creative process, personal experience is the only thing able to give a particularity to what we do, otherwise everything would be a copy, like something created by a machine. Personal experience allows us to take a position facing the world. I believe that all the art work in some way is self-reference or basedon personal experiences, because eachartist shows in their artwork her or his particular form of understanding and interpretingthe things that moves, seduces, and inspires her or him. Therefore, I consider that a creative process cannot be disconnected from personal experience. Me, I have always said: art and life are a unit. I definitively love the way urge the viewers' perception in order to challenge the common way we perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension as well, as in the interesting CuantosCuentosCuento series. Your

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Give Wings / Video-Performance / 00: 10:00/2008

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Universe/ Video-Intalation by TIMEBAG/2015

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exploration of the liminal area in which childhood dimension blends with a surrealistic gaze on our perceptual process brings a new level of significance to the concept of memory. This way you seem to provide the viewer of an Ariadne's thread that, to quote Simon Sterling's words, force things to relate that would probably otherwise be unrelated. Maybethat 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?

Art has a power: it reveals the humanity... This power gives voice, form, body, and presence to things that are conceal, hidden deep, things we don’t know they exist. This is why art is a different extension of ourselves, and it allows us to see what we all have in common. I recall something that the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges once said in the text Art poetic: “Sometimes in the evening there’s a face that sees from the depths of a mirror. Art must be that sort of mirror disclosing to each of us his face”. This is what I want my artwork to be, a mirror that shows both the other and myself. The way your performative approach elaborates on everyday gestures suggests me an attempt to go beyond a mere interpretative aspect of the reality you refer to. As the late Franz West did in his installations, this work seems to reveal unconventional aesthetics in the way you deconstruct and assemble memories in a collective imagery, to draw the viewer into a process of self-reflection. What is the role of memory in your process?

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Blow (Soplo) / Photo / 50 x 70cm / 2013


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Lindy Mรกrquez

Respite / video installation / Children's Hospital San Vicente de Paul, Medellin / 00 24:50 / 2011

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The Role of memory... is one: to be a space, a zone of crossroads between times, reminiscences, oblivion, imageries, feelings and experiences which mix all together in this space and they become artistic entities. In other words, the role that memory plays is that of a creator, for it has the power of change; so to remember, to repeat is tocarry out and rework the past into the present in order toestablish new stories and experiences, a form of private poetization guided by sensitivity and experience. WimWenders said it well: "The only truth is the memory, but memory is an invention" (Lisbon Story, 1994). So, in my process, memory transforms everything I am (remembrances, moments, feelings, thinking, images, etc) what brings art, and through it invents another version of me... By definition video is rhythm and movement, gesture and continuity: your time-based video performances induce the viewers to abandon theirselves to personal associations, that comes from the way you draw in the universal imagery, offering to the viewers the chance to perceive in a more atemporal form. How do you conceive the rhythm of your works?

The rhythm of my work is thatsomething that allows it to generate connections and tensions with others (viewers). In the videos nothing seems to happen, but it happens. There are simple movements that hide their complexity; there are common gestures that are strange at the same time... So, it is the rhythm thatmakes it possible for the bodyto become something else. It allows the bodyto be extended, prolonged,to become time, space, infinity, and all these things that

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Stone (Piedra) / Mixed (hair and ink on paper)/ 18 x 30 x 5cm / 2013

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Innocence / Video / 00:07:32/ 2013

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itcanonly be through the video, because the performance really getsits rhythm in the edition process, in the new time set by video recording. In conclusion rhythm is something that makes "a slight blow turns a hurricane". Another interesting project of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend osme words is entitled Reflejada, and I definetely love that way you have in a certain sense rejected an explanatory strategy, and focussing on the expressive and communicative potential of aesthetic. This way you create a compelling narrative that stimulates the viewer’s psyche and consequently playing on both a conscious and a subconscious level. How important is the aesthetic problem in relation to the narrative one when you conceived Reflejada?

I confess that making Reflejada was very difficult, because in this project there was ahuge problem: the distinction of being twins could exceed the reflexive intentions of the work, in other words, that the audience seesthis duality that twins represent as more than a relationshipwith childhood, memory, and identity. This is whythe narrative was so important, it allowed me to transcend this particular trait (of being twins) with gestures that question what is human, the fragility of interpersonal relationships, and life itself. The performative nature of work is based on the chance of establishing a deep intellectual interplay area with the viewers: so, before leaving this conversation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial

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Lindy Márquez

component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

Definitely the audience is very important in my artwork.Though my work is somehow intimate, I always think in "the other", not only in the possible ways “the other” could identify himself with the artwork, but also how he could be part of it. I see the audienceas if they were a group of children that I have the privilege to have with mefor a limited amount of time, and because of this I need to capture their attention quickly, but stillleaving them free to interpret the work.My artworkinvitesthe audience to play with us, and this game allows us to get to know them and to share with them a piece of our lives. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Lindy. Finally, would you like to tell our readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I don't know... My projects are adventures that simply happen... Now I only have impulses, intuitions about different gestures in relation to the space. I don't knowwhere exactly to find them, but I think itis necessary to find them using the memoryas a map and childhood as means of conveyance. Finally, I want to express my gratitude for the way you have treated me and the reflexive study you have given to my artwork. I am really surprised by all these things that you have found in it and how you have contextualized it with others references. Wonderful opportunity! ... Thank you very much...

Artist and Proofreader: Catalina Salazar Mora

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Harsha Biswajit Biswajit The animal is absent (elephant in the room) is a video sculpture that explores the human perception of change. It is a meditation on time, and a world that is bound by it. Taking the form of a fiberglass sculpture of an Elephant lying down, hand drawn images are projected and mapped onto the body acting like the skin of the Elephant. The conventional narrative of time is distorted and stretched beyond human-time, creating an everchanging and evolving object whose intrinsic character remains imperceptible to our senses. My ecological curiosity was first sparked researching on climate change while pursuing a MA in International Political Economy. The lack of political will seemed to suggest there was a deeper ideological problem of perception towards the environment that science, despite its numerous findings, was not able to change. Somewhere along this path of translation in a “hyper-technological� society, meaning gets lost in information, as Baudrillard would argue. Our inability to perceive the changes in our environment creates a gap between humans and nature (if such a thing exists) that forms the epicenter of the narrative so far. Technology, to a limited extent has allowed us to detect changes, but it has also reshaped the nature of our environment thereby causing more uncertainty in an already uncertain atmosphere of fear. There exists a gap that cannot be filled by mere mathematical abstractions, and thus enters the role of art in today’s society. Rather than categorizing my work as being environmental, I think what I am really addressing is the ecological mind of today, which is different from thinking environmentally in the 20th century. It requires us to break our most unquestionable presuppositions - What constitutes our environment today? What is nature? Should the concept of nature be extended to include technology? - and thus reshape our mind for the 21st century.

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video, 2013

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An interview with An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Katherine C. Wilson, curator arthabens@mail.com

Hello Harsha and welcome to ART Habens. To start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and after your studies in Economics and in International Political Economy, you moved to the United States where your nurtured your education with a MFA of Computer Art, that you received from the prestigious School of Visual Arts, New York: how have these experiences influenced your evolution as an artist? In particular, do you think that being exposed to a wide, international scene may have informed the way you nowadays relate yourself to art making?

Hello, I would like to begin by thanking you for giving me this opportunity to share my work with you. I grew up in India in a creative household where both my parents being artists, my mother a traditional fine artist and my father a cartoonist, exposed me to art from a very young age. However despite this I had never taken an art class or even considered becoming an artist until the very end of my Masters in International Political Economy at the University of Warwick, UK. I was writing my thesis and I had chosen to focus on the environmental challenges facing us today, specifically climate change. I was always curious by the fact that despite numerous scientific findings and an almost unanimous acceptance of the environmental damage caused by human activity there was still so much uncertainty surrounding the whole dialogue. The aim was to set out to get to the core of the issue, but instead I was directed to focus more on the political and economic issues surrounding this debate, which coming from an academic perspective perhaps was understandable, but it infact left me more confused about the nature of problem. Unsatisfied with these academic limits, it was then that I realized that I needed to move towards art, which in my opinion offered a more

Harsha Biswajit

open platform whose boundaries really depended on the artist. In a way I was going back to my roots. I then spent a year and a half back home in India where I was working mainly on a 2d medium creating mixed-media digital prints that incorporate photography, hand drawings, etc. which ironically is what I am working on now, but more technically evolved and refined thanks to my 2 years spent at SVA. There is no doubt that being part of an international community In England, and now in New York has shaped the

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way I think and approach my art, but consciously or subconsciously I continue to draw inspiration from my culture, which I think is what makes my work unique. You are a versatile artist: ranging from traditional disciplines as drawings and sculpture to contemporary fields as digital photography and video, your approach I marked out with a deep multidisciplinary feature that reveals an incessant search of an organic, I daresay intimate symbiosis between several techniques, as well as between different viewpoints that provides your works of a kaleidoscopic nature and I would invite our reader to visit http://www.throughthecaffeinatedwindow.c om in order to get a wider idea about your multifaceted artistic production. While superimposing concepts and images, crossing the borders of different artistic areas, have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different viewpoints is the only way to achieve some results, to express specific concepts?

This is an interesting question since I think everything in life is interconnected, and I don't mean it from some spiritual point of view, but very literally. For example, with regard to an issue like ecology, which is at the core of my work, “the animal is absent’, it is almost impossible to approach it from a singular perspective. The increasingly unsustainable relationship between humans and the natural environment is an issue that has filtered across entire systems of intellectual, political, social and artistic field of thought, since such is the magnitude and interconnectedness of the dialogue. If we split the environment into two for the purposes of simplicity – the natural and the man-made, we find that while the natural environment dwells in a geological time-space where changes occur over millennia, the manmade environment (our urban everyday surroundings) is conditioned within a much shorter scale of human time. This leaves us blind to the changes in our environment. Scientific and technological advancements have given us the ability to observe the changes in

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the environment and link them to human action; yet man seems to be in denial. What seems to be clear is that the vastness of this dialogue cannot be reduced to mere mathematical abstractions, and thus there is a space and need for art to fill this gap of perceptual awareness. The challenge then for me was to take this information/knowledge that I had acquired in an academic context and translate it into an experience. Something that I have been exploring in the last few years is this notion of an “anti- environment”, a concept put forth by Marshall Mcluhan in the 1960’s where he argued the need for ‘anti-environments’ as a mode of perception, since “environments as such are imperceptible.” More importantly he saw the arts as being key mirrors to such anti-environments. The central idea being that it creates an awareness of the invisible nature of our environment. A simple thought experiment would be to look at the excess CO2, caused by the burning of fossil fuels needed for current patterns of human consumption. Imagine that we lived in a world where this ‘smoke’, instead of disappearing into the atmosphere, lingers on as thick black clouds visible to all. I presume in such a reality the relation between humans and nature would be very apparent and the anti-environment would be the one we currently call reality. Yet we do not live in such a reality. Instead we live amongst layers of invisible environments/forms and we need anti-environments to act as a guide through the labyrinth. Thus I think good art not only draws from different viewpoints, but also allows itself to be interpreted in many ways. I would start to focus on your artistic production beginning from the animal is absent (elephant in the room), an interesting work that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. Questioning about the nature of time in a way that has reminded me of Parmenides of Elea's philosophy, this project moves about the dichotomy between the perception of change and the way we relate to such phenomenon. First, I would ask you why did you choose animals to give a representation

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of contemporary society. In second place, as the late Franz West did in his installations, I can recognize that the animal is absent shows unconventional aesthetics in the way it draws elements from collective imagery in order to recontextualize them: what exactly fascinates you about the process of deconstruction and the new level of significance it gives to the concepts you explore?

I am not exactly sure why I choose animals but it seems the most natural thing to do. It fascinates me to think about the sheer variety that the evolutionary process has produced for us to get to where we are. In a sense it represents a living history of the past; an idea that change is a constant feature of life, and that the human species is not the full stop at the end of the sentence, but rather like a comma, that makes you pause for a second before you continue on. More importantly it displaces us from the center, which in the age of the anthropocene is essential. Observing them gives us some distance but at the same time there is still a deep connection that cannot be described, which I think allows you to explore ideas with less of a bias. In regard to your second question, one of the main factors in trying to deconstruct the 21st century environment was so that I could try and get a real grasp of the ecological age we live in today. I wanted to stray away from creating work that was merely ‘environmental’ in the sense that it depicted either some beautified version of nature or evoked an idea of man desperately needing to restore nature to the way it once was. This whole romanticized idea of nature forming the background against humanity itself is a mere ideological construction of the romantic period as recognized by Timothy Morton in his book ‘Ecology Without Nature’. The point is that if art is to move beyond being purely a platform for ‘aesthetic’ expression, and make a real contribution to the ecological dialogue, we need to move beyond such thinking and recalibrate our minds to the world we live in today. So this kind of thinking allowed me to scratch beyond the surface and question

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what seem to be our unquestionable presuppositions - What constitutes our environment today? What is nature? Should the concept of nature be extended to include technology to finally be able to break the distance between humans and nature?

from various fields of study as well as technically, juxtaposing the stillness of the sculpture object, and the expectation of movement that comes from video projection. The projected images are independent hand drawn images that are similar but different from one frame to the next. They change very slowly over time mimicking change from a geological point of view. Unless one spends a few minutes observing this closely, it feels like the object remains unchanged. It is this aspect that eludes us and yet in my opinion forms the epicenter of the whole dilemma. Thus the elephant in the room acts a reminder of this invisible phenomenon that is taking place right in front of us, yet it is

Our environment it seems not only consists of the traditional human-nature dichotomy, but there is another factor – technology –, which continues to shape the nature of our environment and the way we perceive it. It was the interaction of these factors that I was interested in exploring in the animal is absent in order to illuminate the way we perceive change. There is an interplay both conceptually, drawing

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something that goes almost unnoticed, unaddressed. Despite many artists from the contemporary scene, you do not reject traditional heritage and I have enjoyed the way you probe both the expressive and the evokative potential of the medium, involving a crucial role of modern technology, as video projectors and fiberglass, to provide the viewer of an extension of usual perceptual parameters that allows you to go beyond any dichotomy between Tradition and Contemporariness, as in the interesting Inextricable, establishing a stimulating osmosis between materials and techniques from a contingent era and an absolute approach to Art: do you recognize any contrast between Tradition and Contemporariness?

I think what interests me most here is, as you've mentioned, the question of technology and the role it plays in art today. The dilemma today is that technology has infiltrated art, just as in life, so much so that what we find natural, without even being aware of it is the very fabric of technology. I think every artist today makes use of technology, irrespective of whether it is reflected in the final form or not. It has almost become an extension of our daily lives; therefore even so called traditional art could be termed contemporary if we expand our idea of what it means to be contemporary. Does it include just the final form, or the process as well?

technology continues to become more like our second skin. The layer of video projection also acts as the skin of the elephant; but what kind of a skin? The skin that surrounds us all today -€the skin of technology.€

On a more specific note, technology certainly allows you to push the boundaries of perceptual awareness but it is also easy for the idea to get lost in the spectacle that is technology. It is for this reason that I like to work towards a balance between the traditional and the modern. For example while working on the animal is absent it was important for me that while experimenting and integrating different media, I was constantly aware of its presence such that it did not interfere with the message of the work. But having said that, the work completely depends on the technology. So I think there is still a contrast between the traditional and contemporary but it is about treading on this fine line, which is continuously getting blurry as

Unveiling a point of convergence between a functional formalism and a severe gaze on human perceptual process, the animal is absent reminds me of the idea behind Thomas Demand's works, when he states that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". While the conception of Art could be considered an abstract activity, there is always a way of giving it a sense of permanence, going beyond the intrinsic ephemeral nature of those concepts you explore. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion, personal experience is

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Harsha Biswajit

absolutely indispensable as part of the creative process? Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

could in the past. This global perspective is the reason that the earth, or our environment itself became the focus of artist in the 1900’s. With the animal is absent, I wanted to move beyond the symbolic and into the experiential realm, which in the progress of the ecological dialogue within art I think is inevitable considering the technologies available today. However as I mentioned earlier, one has to be cautious about not allowing art (the creative process) to be consumed by the very environment (direct experience) that it is trying to reveal thus failing to act as true antienvironments. I think my approach or contribution towards this would not really be

In short, I don't think it is possible to disconnect the two. If you remove direct experience from the creative process, I think you are left with something that doesn't belong in our time. Art seems to always reflect issues and ideas of the time it was made, since that is what was experienced. Today especially with information so vastly available and distance almost completely abolished, you can directly experience much more of the world than you

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‘environmental’ but rather addressing the ecological mind of today. Thinking ecologically in the 21st century, in my opinion is not a question of choice, but of necessity. It is very different from thinking environmentally in the 20st century. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are already doing so.

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Every time we forget to switch off the lights in our house, or talk about the weather, we are reminded of global warming (whatever our understanding of it maybe). So I guess I am trying to address this gap (or the lack of it) that exists between humans and nature.

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Harsha Biswajit

I totally agree with you when you stated that Art has the ability to affect public perception, and I would go as far as to state that Art can nowadays steer people's behaviour: many artists as Thomas Hirschhorn and Michael Light, use to convey socio-political criticism and sometimes environmental messages in their works, that often goes beyond a mere descriptive point of view on the issues they face: it is not unusual that an artist, rather than urging the viewer to take a personal position on a subject, tries to convey his personal take about the major issues that affect contemporary age. In such grey area, a particular care should be payed, since Art may even stop to be an independent tool to interpret and relate with and becomes a dedicated vehicle, which lies in the liminal area in which criticism blends with propaganda... Do you consider that your works are political in this way or do you seek to maintain a neutral approach?

ART Habens

do we utilize this enormous collective creative force for change? However moving in this direction requires treading on a very fine line between ‘art for art’s sake’ and propaganda, which then becomes nothing more than a form of the political environment. Another interesting work of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled I Once Took A Walk Outside: your investigation about the beauty of urban environment shed a light its long-term sociological consequences on the relations between on people who inhabit ever growing New York's urban conglomeration. What I mostly appreciate in the poetics that pervades this series is the way it provides the viewer such an Ariadne's thread that draws us into a process of intimate self-reflection. Artists are always interested in probing to see what is beneath the surface": maybe one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your view about this?

I completely agree. The last thing I would want is for my work to become nothing more than a form of propaganda. At the moment, I would not consider my work as being political in that sense. I think what I am attempting to do through my work is more about bringing awareness. Having said that I have always wondered how art could play a more pro-active role within the existing world structure. I think the environmental challenge does not lie economically (there is plenty of money available. For example, a study found that the public money spent on the banking bailout would have been sufficient to cover the world’s low carbon bill for a decade or more), nor is it technological. In my view it is partly political, and partly an ideological problem of perception towards the environment. So to attempt to address the two, I would like to seek to reach a point where it goes a step beyond merely being a personal position, but in what capacity remains an uncertainty. Joseph Beuys experimented with such an ‘extend concept of art’ for social change, but I suspect his environment was not yet ready for people to accept this idea. But today, events such as the Arab spring shows that such a collaborative act can have a difference, and the question is how

Yes, I believe that one of the roles of an artist is indeed to probe into the unknown depths of oneself in an attempt to reveal something about our experience of the world. Once again this comes back to the search for anti-environments as mentioned before. While the elephant in the room was in essence about the flow of time in an abstract and global perspective, here through photography, time becomes constant, real and personal. There is an eerie poetic stillness that takes over these images that form a visual narrative of the world we live in today. I have always been interested in documentary photography- the idea of capturing a moment in time, as it exists today - but I wanted to push these boundaries by adding a part of myself in them, yet remaining true to its original intention. Therefore they are composed of photographs that are untouched as well as ones that have been drawn upon, but nonetheless real; perhaps even more so. I think your experience of reality is more than what just exists in front of you. It is much more complex, including layers of information, ideas, feelings that one projects into the world that adds to the total experience. The drawings take on this role

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Harsha Biswajit

of this invisible experience and act as a second skin or a mask that the characters take on, adding another layer to their already mysterious persona. Together, they instill doubt as we begin to question reality, and even the validity of a photograph as a true document of life, thus leaving it completely open to interpretation, just as life is, as we wander down its unknown path. Your works is based on the chance to create a direct involvement with the viewer, establishing a vivacious intellectual dialogue and over these years you have exhibited€internationally, showcasing your work in several occasions, including a participation at Zero: One’, SVA Chelsea Gallery, New York City. So before leaving this conversation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

I actually tend not to think too much about these things while I am creating work. What is more important to me is trying to work out what the best medium would be to express a certain idea. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Harsha. Finally, would you like to tell our readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

At the moment I am working on “I once took a walk outside”, which is still an ongoing project. I would eventually like to publish a book with these images, but I wouldn't hold my breath for that since I see this as more of a long-term project. I have begun experimenting with sculpture once again, and I am planning to work on smaller versions of the (elephant in the room), integrating sculpture and projection mapping. So far there have been certain themes that I have naturally and subconsciously been attracted towards, some of which I have discussed here and I think I would like to further develop and work on those in the years to come.

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Helen Roberts Roberts Situating ceramic ware in the outdoor environment is why I make sculptural pieces. Considering the achievable colours available when glazing at high temperatures & structures designed to withstand the weather, are major aspects in the production process. Work ranges from individual tall decorative pieces to planters. Themes that have inspired me so far include bringing together ideas of historical & future aspects of mankind’s involvement in changing the landscape. The ghostly, rugged Scottish Highlands have featured a lot in my work, where in history balancing human existence with the elements has been harsh & exhausting. The spectacular pictures taken of galaxies, the planets and their surfaces are also intriguing as is the science that goes with them. Discoveries that hinder or help in everyday life. I don’t want to copy what I see, completed designs are different aspects of themes mixed together to produce something totally different. After completing my Ceramics Degree at Plymouth College of Art and Design in 2000, I worked from studios in Plymouth before moving to Dunstable and have taken part in many exhibitions throughout England. Helen Roberts

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Helen Roberts

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video, 2013

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An interview with

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Helen Roberts

Helen Roberts

Summer Helen2015 Roberts www.toweringceramcs.co.uk 403 Summer 2015


Helen Roberts

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Left to right:

Smug Shark Standing Stone

Rock Face, Night Watchman, Glum

48cm x 24cm x 42cm

An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator

discussing in the following pages, her unconventional approach to sculpture draws the viewers into an area in which perceptual dimension and imagination blends into an unexpectedly consistent unity. One of the most convincing aspects of Roberts' practice is the way she establishes an area of vivid interplay between memory and perception, inviting the viewers to explore the unstable relationship between human intervention and freedom in the contempo-

and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator arthabens@mail.com

Helen Roberts accomplishes the difficult task of extracting a compelling narrative the combination between references to environmental elements and a lively abstract gaze on art making. In her recent work Smug Shark Standing Stone that we'll be

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Helen Roberts

Photograph of my workshop & new unfired work

rary age. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Helen and welcome to ART Habens. To start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that has particularly influenced your evolution as an artist and that impact on the way you currently conceive and produce your works?

Boc Globules – Bringing outer space to planet earth

My roots in ceramics started at Barnfield College, Luton & this is how I learned early on to love the process of research & producing large scale ceramic pieces. The techni-

Firstly can I thank you very much for the exciting opportunity of being represented in this ART Habens edition.

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Charles Ligocky

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Trees – 102cm x 32cm x 28cm


Shoreline


Spring Summer Autumn Winter


Helen Roberts

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Caves The West Highlands scenery & the surprises it hides within its landscape & stories

Landscape – A vertical image of the land

cian at the time who is now a very good friend & amazing ceramicist Ruth Pinney, taught me about glazing & wheeled into the front loading kiln my first efforts of large scale ceramic production! I then moved to Plymouth College of Art & Design, where once again researching my modular topics & making these pictures a reality was helped by the college’s technician John who put up with a lot more difficult lifting & wheeling around of strange huge pieces of work!

area of interest by making quick or detailed pictures, collages or maquettes, to watch ideas develop. This is important at the time & fascinating to look back on years later as artworks in themselves. My work nowadays is linked to the natural landscape & how mankind can beautifully or not, alter its original design with architecture, life, death & progression. Your works are produced to be situated outside, and you take a particular care to produce piece capable of resisting to weather and temperature change. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up

During education my appreciation of research & learning about new topics always went on to convince me I had done everything possible in order to go on to the next stage of making my idea real. I record an

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Helen Roberts

START – Inspired by the process of the birth of stars

Gargoyle castle – in workshop unfired

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?€

pansion during cold weather therefore the pieces will not cack. I use hand-building techniques such as coiling and slab building. Combining the specific clays used, these techniques give almost unlimited freedom to any shapes and designs I want to create.

The clay is highly grogged which allows strength when making weird shapes, rather than the floppy, plasticity of clays used in schools. The finished piece is fired to 1260C making it a Stoneware temperature, this means there will be no shrinkage or ex-

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The large scale work is usually made in 3 sections. The work grows up from the first

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Waterfall – At the workshop in Plymouth called Flameworks Artist Cooperative


Helen Roberts

ART Habens

What has at soon caught my eyes of your animation style is the way you create a convergence between reminders to universal imagery, as environmental elements, and a conceptual gaze on the elusive concept of shape. Such compelling combination reminds me of the idea behind Thomas Demand's works, when he states that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". While the conception of Art could be considered an abstract activity, there is always a way of giving it a sense of permanence, going beyond the intrinsic ephemeral nature of those concepts you explore. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion, personal experience is absolutely indispensable as part of the creative process? Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Sculpture in clay for me is about capturing both still images & moving objects in permanent stationary forms. This can be based on personnel experience or something I have never experienced myself. What happens for me is a need to know more about subjects that interest or touch me. The learning process of discovering fact & new feelings on new issues does not need to be something directly from experience, to allow a person to create.

Waterfall

section which in design has to be the strong foundation. It is always a question of cultivation, literally from the floor to the sky & the stability of the works expansion. Sketches aren’t altered when nearing the actual making stage but pieces when being built will develop & change from the original drawings & test pieces. I find to involve other ideas & themes means the growth of design improves, from the first stable section.

For this special issue we have selected Smug Shark Standing Stone that has been featured in the introductory pages of this article: when I first happened to get to know it I tried to relate all the visual information to a single meaning. But I soon realized that I had to fit into the visual unity suggested by your approach, forgetting my need for a univocal understanding of its content: in your pieces, rather that a conceptual interiority, I can recognize the desire to enabling us to establish direct

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Helen Roberts

relations... Would you say that it's more of an intuitive or a systematic process?

The names of my pieces often explain where the inspiration came from but what I am trying to achieve is allowing the person who stops, to ask questions about why they’re looking. Whether they like it or not? What the name means? What bits of the decoration are for, do they mean anything? When looking through many different artists & their work the first thing I want to know is where people found their ideas and how they worked through them to create the finished piece. I like to mix feelings & objects together that don’t usually match or have not been considered together before. I am quite systematic with my approach to the first stage of design, however in the building stage the piece often evolves & changes when physically creating the drawings. These two different processes differ greatly & also work very well together, when seeing the piece taken out of the last firing from the kiln. Your approach a successful attempt to go beyond a merely interpretative aspect of the contexts you refer to and although you draw inspiration from outside reality, you remarked once that you don’t want to copy what you see. As the late Franz West did in his installations, Smug Shark Standing Stone shows unconventional aesthetics in the way it deconstructs perceptual images in order to assemble them in a collective imagery, offering to the viewer an Ariadne's thread that leads us to a process of self-reflection. Artists are always interested in probing to see what is beneath the surface: maybe one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your view about this?€

Bricks – 63cm x 23cm x 17cm

work with is for the onlooker to choose to take the time to get involved with, either by stopping for just a second to see or by standing & reasoning with the nature of the theme & what has been portrayed in the finished piece. An artist whose line of investigation into areas that I found very different & interesting is Harriet E Brisson. Talking about her piece the Schwartz Surface Unit she said “Now I

Art is about how you want to communicate themes &/or emotions. The area I select to

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Night Watchman


Cities – Different moments in time, different architecture, different people


Helen Roberts

ART Habens

explore this subject & start to make my ideas of kinetic energy, gaseous globules or the Eagle Nebula a weird reality plonked right in front of you. I like to put finished designs in places to hopefully create surprise or encourage questions, regarding what the piece is or what’s the point of it.

am utilizing the mathematically derived Schwartz Surface that curves continuously in all directions to create a form that divides space in half. The space between the forms is identical to the form itself. The form has been placed in the space between the four that meet at their circular openings. If one were to enter the form here, they would find it impossible to move into the other half of this space. I find this intriguing -- magical.” It’s a personnel way of looking into a personnel interest with her personnel reasoning. She is deriving emotion from a purely mathematical form, which I wasn’t expecting when I started reading about this piece. So yes I do agree with art having the ability to reveal a sometimes unexpected way of interpreting & presenting ideas.

Exploring photos offered by the Hubble Space Telescope for example are stunning but in 2D, limited. Interpreting information together with these beautiful pictures & maybe fictional ideas, then turning it all into a 3D construction is what has happens when making some ideas real. Your work reveals an incessant search of an organic, almost intimate symbiosis between several viewpoint, as in the extremely stimulating Night Watchman: moreover you also seem to remove any historical gaze to the reality you refer to, offering to the viewers the chance to perceive in a more atemporal form. In this sense, I daresay that the semantic juxtaposition between sign and matter that marks out your art, allows you to go beyond any track of contingency..

While your ideas comes from perceptual reality, I have particularly appreciated the way you subvert the viewers' perceptual parameters to urges us to challenge the way we relate ourselves to the environment we inhabit in: and I think it's important to remark that the reminders to real shapes you incorporate in your pieces, and I'm thinking especially to Boc Globules, unveil an unconventional narrative that captures the viewer's eyes, urging to elaborate personal associations. What do you try to communicate in your works? And in particular, how much important is the aesthetic problem in your process?

Night watchman is from subject matter that cannot be explained with facts, the thoughts of ghosts, death & the dark, the unknown of being watched or protected? Cities is a piece of work inspired by architecture & the millions of people that build & use it around the world, people mixed together treading the same pavements but living different lives. Where rules apply & freedom is limited in the games that make up everyday life for all.

All large scale or small pieces are to be walked around & touched, seen from every angle. Texture is very important & so is allowing the audience to walk right up & feel the shapes in the surface design. Outer space & our progression of knowledge in this subject is something I’m very interested in, Boc Globules is part of a series of pieces relating to the life cycle of stars. Not having done so well in science at school, it was however very easy for me to

Your captivating animation style is connected to the chance of establishing a spontaneous involvement with the viewer, aiming to delete the frontiers between the author and the spectatorship. So, before taking leave from this interesting conver-

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HelenRoberts

sation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relation with your audience: in particular, do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process in terms of what type of language for a particular context?

Ideas are put into practice with only the thought of why I want people to see what I’m doing. How my work is perceived when finished is up to the viewer & I am always interested in opinions. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Helen. Finally, would you like to tell our readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Many thanks again! At the moment I am concentrating on putting my first solo show together. I will be working on new large scale pieces. Evolving from the unexplained history of ruins, where the architecture still stands but the lives & stories have gone, trying to mix this with the expanding of knowledge the universe.

An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator arthabens@mail.com

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Eagles Gallery, Bedford – Trilogy exhibition with 2 painters: Stacey Stock & Aike Wright

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Sherrelle Munns


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Sherrelle Munns

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Sherrelle Munns

An interview with An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator arthabens@mail.com

Bedfordshire based artist Sherrelle Munns accomplishes the difficult task of exploring the relationship between written and visual language, creating an area in which emotional dimension and perceptual reality coexist in a coherent unity. Her evokative and direct approach invites us to investigate about the relation between reality and the way we perceive it. One of the most convincing aspect of Munns' practice is the way she creates an area of intellectual interplay between perception and memory, that invites the viewers to explore unstability in the contemporary age: I'm very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Sherrelle and welcome to ART Habens: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? In particular, you are currently pursuing your BA Honours in Art and Design and you will graduate from the University of Bedfordshire in the summer of 2015: I would like to ask how training has influenced your evolution as an artist and how it informs the way you currently conceive and produce your works.

Sherrelle Munns

Sherrelle Munns lives and works in Luton in Bedfordshire and will graduate from the University of Bedfordshire in the summer of 2015. Her practice reflects upon art and humour, and the relationship between written and visual language is explored through model making and photography. Humour operates within her practice by being the first layer in her work using scale to make it humorous. The second layer in her work is a story that she would like the audience to connect with and that they recognise the humour and see what it brings to the work. She makes books of her stories and she also uses photography to display the best single shots.

Hello, first I would like to say thank you for taking your time to contact me and you are correct in saying that I will be graduating from the university of Bedfordshire in 2015. Regarding my background, I would like to start off by telling you that I'm dyslectic and this has inspired me to record my memories and thoughts through pictures instead of written words, as I find that more difficult. All my work relates to me in some way but I would like the viewer to have their own thoughts and perspective on it. I would start to focus on your artistic production beginning from The Little

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Sherrelle Munns

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People go to Paris, an interesting work that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What mostly appeals to me of this piece is the way it conveys humour, and a subtle but effective socio-political criticism that are combined to provide your work of a dynamic and autonomous life. Do you conceive it on an instinctive way or do you rather structure your process in order to reach the right balance?

The little people go to paris shows some of my memories from my trip to Paris laced with the sarcasm of being a tourist. I also like to delve into what I believe is going through people's heads or what little people that they possibly have in their lives. I work in many manners, sometimes being inspired by places and people that I think of while sleeping or day dreaming. Regarding the instinctive verses the structural, I usually start off with an instinctive feeling and go and shoot photos in whichever location takes my interest, I then take a lot of photos, usually over 100, and then go through those pictures and structure my work around the photos that I believe are best for the work that I have imagined. Your are a versatile artist and I would invite our readers to visit https://sherrellejademunnsyearthree.wordp ress.com in order to get a wider idea of your multifaceted artistic production: in particular, I like the way you create a point of convergence between written and visual language. This combination reminds me of the idea behind Thomas Demand's works, when he states that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". While the conception of Art could be considered an abstract activity, there is always a way of giving it a sense of permanence, going beyond the intrinsic ephemeral nature of those concepts you explore. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion, personal experience is absolutely indispensable as

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Sherrelle Munns

part of the creative process? Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Everything is based around some sort of experience I believe but by the time that you reach the end result then that experience could have been erased and you can be left with something else that is irrelevant from this experience that you began win. I believe that ideas can be manipulated to create different ideas. Also without research I believe that beginning work can be difficult, as this plays a large part of my practice. I enjoy beginning with puns and one liners and then representing these in my images, such as my work “still on the shelf.� At a first sight, it seems that the main message you would like to communicate in "The Little People All Washed Up" is a sharp position on the isolation of individuals in the contemporary age: but at the same time, I recognize a suggestive attempt to go beyond a mere interpretative aspect of the reality you refer to. As the late Franz West did in his installations, this work seems to reveal unconventional aesthetics in the way you deconstruct and assemble symbols in a collective imagery, to draw the viewer into a process of self-reflection. Maybe one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of the world, especially of our i own small worlds... what's your view about this?

The work is to a certain extent trying to be funny but then behind this I would like to give a moral to the images. Such as Maritzo Catalan I begin by drawing my reader in with humour and then once they look closer at the images I believe that they will see the moral behind it. I feel that we all have our own reality but to everyone else it is just perceived fiction. In Fiction and Reality I recognize a suggestive attempt to go beyond a mere

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interpretative aspect of the reality you refer to. As the late Franz West did in his installations, your work reveals unconventional aesthetics in the way you deconstruct and assemble memories in a collective imagery. Although each of your projects has an autonomous life, there always seem to be a clear channel of communication between your works, springing from the way you combine ideas and media. In particular, how much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your works?

I may possibly be showing parts of my memories that change and develop over time with aspects of my imagination. When it comes to narrative in my works I start with one idea that develops into a narrative. My work shows my own story but I hope when the viewer views my work they have their own twist on it. Most of your works are open to various interpretations: in particular, you seem to accomplish a process of deconstruction, recontextualization and assemblage. What is it specifically about deconstruction which fascinates you and make you want to center your artistic style around it?

I have a vision in my head and I will keep going until I get there. I deconstruct my work until I'm happy with every last detail. In public places this can be difficult and take hours to get one image I am happy with because for example at the Eiffel Tower I sat there and took almost 700 photos of the same frame with people crowding around and moving. Also, in public, it is difficult to get the correct lighting because of nature and this can alter my vision. I have really enjoyed your refined exploration of the psychological nature of the collective imagery: I daresay that the surrealistic qualities that blend with your hyperrealistic approach are in a certain sense representative of the relationship between emotion and memory. I find it truly poetically engaging and I have to

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Sherrelle Munns

confess that it suddenly forced me to relate myself to your works in a different way. What is the role of memory in your process? And in particular, do you try to achieve a faithful visual translation of your feelings?

At times when making my work I do not see the relation to a situation in my life until the work is finished. Memory plays a massive part in my work even if it is unintentional. I would not say that it is a full translation of my feelings, but they are, in one way or another, imbedded within my work. Your work is based on the chance to establish a deep connection with your audience: so, before leaving this conversation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

It is important to me that the audience have a connection to my work as I hope that my work provokes feelings. However, I must admit that I occasionally enjoy creating my work for myself, however, once I am finished, I make sure to consider whether the work is only relating to me and whether I can alter it to make sure that my audience can relate to it also. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Sherrelle. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I am in America for the summer and this has giving me a lot of inspiration and ideas for the future. At the moment, I am unsure of my future projects but I am sure that by the end of he summer I will be full of ideas for my next projects.

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Naomi Gilby Gilby Naomi Gilby is a cross disciplinary contemporary artist, currently located in Leeds, UK. She works nationally and internationally. The focus of her practise is based around our relationship with our most intimate environments, this includes a wide variety of places or 'non-places' such as our minds, bodies, social constructs presented to us each and every day, and that feeling of the in-between. She has previously worked with installation and performance, but more recently exploring the depths of film creation and the many ways this can be installed to create an enthralling other worldly environment. For her, art is an experience, and one which should be shared, spread, documented and narrated. Naomi Gilby

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Naomi Gilby

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Naomi Gilby

An interview with An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator arthabens@mail.com

After having explored the expressive potential of a wide variety of disciplines, Leeds based artist Naomi Gilby is now accomplishing a suggestive investigation about the depths of film creation: such a difficult task, that she effectively carries out creating video pervaded with a compelling narrative that often reject an explanatory strategy but that forces the viewer to elaborate personal associations: in her recent video Lie back that we'll be discussing in the following pages, she explore the elusive boundary between memory and childhood, in the unstable contemporary age. As she uses to remark, "art is an experience" and her stimulating works provide us of an extension of our perceptual parameters, offering to our eyes a multilayered experience in the liminal area in which memory: we are particularly pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Naomi, I would give you welcome to ART Habens with a couple of questions about your background. You are currently undegoing formal training from the prestigious Leeds Beckett University: how has this experience influenced your evolution as an artist? In particular, you did your first performance during a foreign exchange in Estonia: does this experience impact the way you relate yourself to art making nowadays?

Naomi Gilby

changed my creative perspective for the better, and encouraged me to trust myself and my creative choices. This was the first time I had been abroad in about ten years, and by myself, emmersing myself in other cultures and directly observing how other art scenes function was a key point in my life, which encouraged maturity and growth in more ways than one. This was a postive turn in learning, through art and self discovery.

The tutors have always been incredibly understanding and proactive in helping your understanding of different methods of making and how to employ these into your own work, this has vastly increased my understanding of various avenues of exploration which apply to my practise. My performance in Estonia was the first time I really let my personal relationships have a direct impact on the subject matter, it

Over the years your art practice has embraced a variety of media and

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Naomi Gilby

disciplines, ranging from site specific installation and performance to illustrative poetry: you recently started to explore the depths of film creation: the cross disciplinary feature that marks out your approach provides your works of a manifold nature, and I would suggest our readers to visit http://www.naomigilby.com in order to get a wider idea of your multifaceted artistic production. While crossing the borders of different disciplines have you ever happened to realize that it is the only way to achieve some results and to explore concepts?

I feel that working as a cross disciplinary artist requires a lot of commitment compared to exclusively using film making or performance due to the multitude of constant thoughts/ideas and possible avenues to execute these projects. It also requires a lot of self trust and determination, which are the more difficult qualities to obtain on a constant. For this special issue we have selected Lie back that our readers had the chance to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: when I first happened to get to know it I tried to relate all the visual information and the reference of childhood dimension to a single system of reference. But I soon realized that one of the most crucial feature of this interesting piece stands in the way you subvert the common imagery related to childhood. Rather than a conceptual interiority, I can recognize the desire of enabling the viewer to establish direct relations: would you say that it's more of an intuitive or a systematic process?

My original intention was to subvert the usual imagery concerning children, as we live in a constant saturation of images and media it can often be difficult to obtain audience focus. There was a systematic process to it, as I wanted to create an uncomfortable relationship with the viewers,

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however remaining relatable and sincere due to the age and innocent demeanor in the children. I believe that up until a certain

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Naomi Gilby

age, children are pure and their minds are as close to original as it possibly gets, I think this is why I connect with Nan Goldin’s series

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Children so much. Have you conceived the visual rhythm of Excavations on an instinctive way or have

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Naomi Gilby

you rather structured your process in order to reach the right balance?

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perception of time reminds me of the idea behind Thomas Demand's works, when he states that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". As you have remarked once, art is an experience: but I would like to know your opinion about the role of direct experience as an absolutely indispensable ingredient for the creative process: I mean both for creating and for enjoying a piece of art?

It is always instinctive, as I’ve previously said, it is a constant journey concerning medium and the execution. However, the gut instinct always wins. While merging reminders to universal imagery you walk the viewer to a conceptual gaze on the elusive concept of age. Your successful attempt to subvert a variety of categories bound up to the

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Naomi Gilby

And in particular, what is the role of memory in your process?

I have previously made work that has derived from personal experiences and how these have affeected me a person,which can be important, but not always. I don’t necessarily need to connect on a personal level with a piece of visual art to enjoy it, appreciate the craft, and its presence within a space. However with conceptual art, I feel it is important to have some form of emotional enjoyment. Experience is what happens there and then, and what you are left with is the memory. Film making draws more upon memory, where as performance is using experience to create a memory. Another interesting work from your recent production on which I would like to spend some words is the video Mars: your investigation about the relationship between the outside and our intimate environments offers an insghtful reflection about the concept of non-lieu that French anthropologist used in reference of real place. In particular I have appreciated the way you have extended this concept of our inner landscape, offering an Ariadne's thread that draws the viewer into a process of selfreflection: maybe one of the roles of the artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

By using objects found inside the home and alienating the imagery, they become a foreign concept, this encourages exploration of our own relationship with ourselves, our emotions and experiences. to day experiences so much easier and enjoyable? I think as intelligent beings, constantly striving for more information and intellect, that is embedded in our human nature, a thirst for knowledge. This is why it

Often it is easy to look at objects and dismiss their impact on our lives, such as my coffee pot, I use it every day; so why not take the time to appreciate and respect the inanimate objects created to make our day

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choose an explanatory strategy: you rather urge the viewer to elaborate free interpretations and personal associations: this seems to highlight the experiential gaze to the reality you refer to, offering to

is so easy to become complacent around our every day environments, when there is so much material for creative outlet. In Nothing to worry about you didn't

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the viewers the chance to perceive in a more absolute form. Would you like to introduce us in the genesis of this video? What was your initial inspiration?

The video is made entirely of offcuts from other completed works, however I was completely reluctant to remove these fragments of video from my hard drive, I am a digital hoarder in that respect. In relation to the alfred hitchcock speech, I was working in a contrasting way, as through creation I find inspiration, whereas hitchcock is implying the mind has to rest and do nothing to find ideas. When I was creating this piece, the work felt unconsequencial in comparison to the process which for myself was theraputic. Your captivating approach is aimed to establish a multilayered involvement with the viewer: so, before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a a question about the nature of the relation with your audience: in particular, do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process in terms of what type of language for a particular context?

The relationship between the audience and myself as an artist in my original performance piece hadn’t influenced the actual work prior to the performance, however, now I am concious of audience and performance portrayal. However, I have no regrets with how I executed my dirt performance, as it was raw, unexpected and natural in regards to audience participation. However, within film projects, the audience is a lot more considered especially in terms of visual language, in some cases the work is made for the audience, if the people can not feel a personal connection to a film, they will not continue to watch, especially online. In a gallery situation, people are more inclined to stay longer due to setting and experience, but you have to be concious.

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

I am currently working on a small

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Naomi Gilby

documentary, which will see updates on my website, it is still in early production stages. I am also currently planning a performance which will be video documented, involving the ‘recyling’ of some of my old work, I’m unsure how this will culminate, but that is

ART Habens

part of the excitement. I feel that anyone’s work evolves as their life does, which is also a huge mystery.

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ART Habens Art Review // Special Edition // August 2015  

submit your artworks to: arthabens@mail.com

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