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April 2015

Special Issue

Dancer Armineh Hovanesian


SUMMARY

ARTiculA Action ART Feel free to submit your artworks, mailto: articulaction@post.com

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Armineh Hovanesian

IN THIS ISSUE (USA)

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" My photographs are not generally planned in advance, and I do not anticipate that the onlooker will share my viewpoint. However, I feel that if my photograph leaves an image on the viewer’s mind, something has been accomplished."

Constantin Galceava

(United Kingdom / Romania)

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" In my paintings, disposing of any figurative element, I try to give consistency sensations or emotions, materializing them in simple or sophisticated compositions, appealing to suggestions, excluding any reference to the evocative areas."

Pierre Schwarzenbach

(Switzerland)

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"I discovered painting as a way to express myself thank to my art teacher at school who was a well-known artist in ZĂźrich. I after school I spent a lot f time in his studio and he taught me all the techniques from lithography to oil painting. "

Cevdet Akman

(United Kingdom / Turkey)

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"My philosophy in my art is "Mankind". Struggle of Man, starts with birth of Mankind throughout their lives. War, starvation, technology,automation and cybernetics are some of these aspects. In our life; we get introduced with new technology everyday life."

Malu Schroeder

(Brazil)

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" Art is, in my conception, experimentation. It is about being in a constant search for something which provides the spectator a new dimension of reality. In this presupposition, I believe that art is the absurd, shaped in countless experiences we can perform around the world.I try to do it through my digital interventions upon real world images. "

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SUMMARY

(Japan / USA)

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Jave Gakumei Yoshimoto

"My work takes on the ephemerality of news and information and how the emotions we bring to each tragedy in the news cycle are swept away by the wave of information that floods the media. "

(United Kingdom)

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Paul Ashton

"Paul Ashton is a contemporary artist based in Leeds known primarily for his figurative oil work. An Alumni of Jacob Kramer and Leeds Met CAP course, Paul received a first for the work that was mainly installation and sculpture and video based. "

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(USA)

Jean M. Judd

"When asked, her medium is “thread on textile”. That can further be explained by whether the textile is a commercial textile, hand dyed textile, or an enhanced textile with rust pigmentation that was created in her studio. "

(Denmark)

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Johannes Deimling

“A stone gathers moss when it is not moving, when timecancreate its tracks and change itsidentity. Motion and still stand(or pause) are in constantinteraction andcreate a rhythm like the heartbeat which nobody knows exactly why it has started and why it actually stops.”

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(The Netherlands)

Svetlin Velchev

"When I look at art I do not really judge, but needto feelthe power of it and what kind of vibe it has.To accept it I somehow have to relate to it, try tounderstand why am I watching this and what themessagewould be about."

(Denmark)

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“ I show the world around me, whether seen in Denmark or on my many travels. I have a free and openattitude to photography as a medium, and I often experimentwith various artistic effects. Reality of photography issuspended and combined into new contexts.“

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Else Vinæs


From the Dancers series


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Armineh Hovanesian An artist's statement

My photographs are not generally planned in advance, and I do not anticipate that the onlooker will share my viewpoint. However, I feel that if my photograph leaves an image on the viewer’s mind, something has been accomplished. Armineh Hovanesian


ARTiculAction

An interview with

Armineh Hovanesian an interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator articulaction@post.com

One of the features of Armineh Hovanesian's work that has at soon impacted on me, is the way she effectively challenges the viewers' perception, accomplishing the difficult task of leading us to rethink about way we perceive the outside world, but also, urging us to investigate about the existence of unexpected relationships between opposites aspects of the reality we inhabit in. Highlighting the creative potential of chance, her a refined photography provides the viewers of an extension of the ordinary human perception, and gently invites them to snatch the spirit of hidden but ubiquitous meanings behind the world we perceive. I'm particularly pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating artistic production. Hello Armineh, and a very warm welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? In particular, are there any experiences that have particularly influenced you as an artists and impacted to the way you conceive and produce your works?

First and foremost I wish to thank you very much for the opportunity to be part of the ARTiculAction community. I’m of Armenian descent, born in Paris, raised in Tehran and Boston, with a stop over in Lisbon and now reside in Los Angeles. I consider my entire life experience the main influence of my being, thinking and the way I have turned out to be as a member of the human species. All of my life, I was (and am) surrounded by artists and their prescense also has played a major part in

Armineh Hovanesian

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

I am a mobile photographer, an iphoneographer and have been since 2009. I do not have much of a preparation to think about. My iPhone is always handy, ready and with me. All I need is to be situated in an environment or location where I can find moments I wish to capture and immortalize. Actually, the only preparation I need is to make sure the battery on my iPhone is full at all times and I have my charger with me.


Barbara Bervoets

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From the Elements of Vachag series


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Armineh Hovanesian

From the Elements of Vachag series

From the Elements of Vachag series

Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from "Elements of Vachag", an extremely interesting work that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit directly at http://armineh-photography.com in order to get a wider idea of your multifaceted artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?

He was born in New Julfa in 1956, settled in Soviet Armenia in 1971 and moved to the United States in 1981. His art is influenced by the frescos of the medieval churches of New Julfa, and the medieval Armenian churches, icons and sculptures of Armenia. The rich and irridescent colors of Vachag’s idiosyncratic art suggest a sense of immobility and timelessness. In his own words: Awareness of the past, that at least some of us remember faithfully. Awareness of the future, that at least some of us picture with hope. And finally, awareness of the present, the only truth of the instant, that is often clouded and far from us from the moment we were born. If the artist

I would like to start by introducing my sole inspitation behind this project, Vachag.


Armineh Hovanesian

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From the Elements of Vachag series

From the Elements of Vachag series

fails to become aware of the universal, he may immerse himself in the bland grayness of nostalgia and never attain the creative perfection of Art.

have then fused it with my photography. Most of the pieces I have used are my face or facial features. This fusion is called Art meets iPhoneography. Our first book is available on Blurb under the title, Elements of Vachag. We hope to have several volumes of this collaboration.

Elements of Vachag is a fusion work. It is a collaboration between a master artist, Vachag, and myself. What first attracted me to his work were the details, the emotions, the merging of past, present and future, the cultural roots, the colors and the overall feeling of nostalgia. It only took one look and I was hypnotized and awe-struck. What I have done with this project is I have photographed portions of Vachag's art work and

I would go as far as to state that "Elements of Vachag" takes such a participatory line on the conception and especially on the production of art. In particular, I have been impressed with your investigation about the concept of recontextualizations of images in a way that has reminded me of Thomas


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Armineh Hovanesian

From the Elements of Vachag series

From the Elements of Vachag series

Demand's works: this allows to the your images to go beyond their intrinsic ephemeral nature. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

experience. Our experiences give us the understanding, the know-how, the responsiveness, the ability to identify, to feel. My work captures a brief moment in time. The ephemeral, transitory, fleeting seconds we tend to forget. I would like to believe that my experiences play a role in helping me seeing what I see at any given time.

Personal experience IS definitely an indispensable part of any creative process. It is not possible for an artist to create something without it. It is something crucial, essential, vital and key. In my opinion, it is impossible to process anything in life without personal

I think that "Elements of Vachag" urges the viewer to follow not only the development of your process, but also and especially the cultural substratum on which you build your creations: I have particularly appreciated the way this forces us to evolve from being a


Armineh Hovanesian

From the Elements of Vachag series

From the Elements of Vachag series

passive spectator to more conscious participants... By the way, although I'm aware that this might sound a bit naïf, I have to admit that I'm sort of convinced that Art -especially nowadays- could play an effective role in sociopolitical questions: not only just by offering to people a generic platform for expression... I would go as far as to state that Art could even steer people's behaviour... what's your point about this? Does it sound a bit exaggerated?

but because sensitive perceptivity is part of their 'talent' of seeing. All the “isms” in art have been the products of changed behaviors in people, governments, and countries.

I do not believe your thoughts are exaggerated. Art has always been, is and will be the revolutionary. The best artists have predated society's changes due not to any clairvoyance,

That said, I can attest that I have noticed a change in people’s behavior toward mobilephotography in the past couple of years. For the longest time, what I did was never taken seriously even though I did have my work shown in exhibitions. The concept of mobilephotography as a medium was dubious for many years. Only in the past couple of years, due to the movement and the pioneers of this community, our voices are finally being


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From the Dancers series

Armineh Hovanesian


Armineh Hovanesian

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From the Dancers series

From the Dancers series

heard and our work is being considered as an art form. As photography. As art. As a medium.

much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your works?

As you have remarked once, your photographs are not generally planned in advance, so chance plays a crucial role in the way you explore the blurry boundaries between Memory and Experience: in particular, in projects characterized with a clear representetive mark, as "Dancers" you seem to take advantage of chance in order to disclose the unrevealed narrative behind the instant you capture. Accordingly, chance act as cornerstones for the fullfilment process of the viewers that has reminded me again Thomas Demand, when he stated that "nowadays photography 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

I wasn’t familiar with Thomas Demand’s view. I agree with him. The “eye” behind the lens shoots a moment which resonates with his or her psychological narrative. We are all products of our past experiences and baggages we carry within. Artists cannot create any body of work without these elements present. You can have two photographers taking photos of the same image and get two different results. I have experienced this phenomena first hand. My fellow mobilephotographers and I go on photowalks from time to time. We are all in the same location, taking photographs of the same objects or people however, when we look at each other’s work, we all see different images. That is what I love about photography. “I see what eye see” is my motto.


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Armineh Hovanesian

From the Dancers series

From the Dancers series

In "Dancers" I can recognize a subtle but effective investigation about the emerging of language due to a process of self-reflection, and what has mostly impacted on me is way you have been capable of bringing a new level of significanceto objects, recontextualizing the concepts behind them: and I would go as far as to state that in a certain sense your works as "Black & White" forces the viewers' perception in order to challenge the common way to perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension... 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 wayto 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?

three amazing choreographers. Each has given me permission to attend rehearsals and also to be at the wings during performances. This fulfills my love for the dance art form, the appreciation I feel and love about dancers and the ability to capture movement.

My “Dancers” shots are truly a privilege. I am quite fortunate to know and be friends with

The matrix we live in has all sorts of codes which are not always visible to the eye. I am not so sure if they are “encrypted” though. I believe it is all there but how we are trained to “see” and “notice” are the question here. As a photographer, I try to look beyond the subject when I have the luxury and that’s when I may be able to see through the veil and capture a glimpse of the reality which is unseen to the masses. I do believe that this is also what most artists do. The outside world and our inner dimensions merge, unite and that is how creations materialize.


Armineh Hovanesian

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From the Dancers series


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Armineh Hovanesian

From the Street Photography series

From the Street Photography series

Multidisciplinarity is so a crucial aspect of your approach and it's remarkable the way you are capable of creating such an effective symbiosis between elements from different techniques, manipulating language and recontextualizing images and concepts, as in the video Afternoon Nap: while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

Vachag. Also, in the mobile community realm, the photographers do numerous collaborations with each other. This community is filled with the most friendly, loving and non-competitive artists I know. We all have open dialogues with each other and are constantly sharing techniques and tricks of the trade. I have not seen such camaraderie, unity and love anywhere in the art world. I am quite proud to be one of the many pioneers of this movement.

Video and film medium are more of a “new� forms of expression for me. This is mostly due to a couple of applications available on iPhone which I have learned to love and utilize. What you mention in your question stands true. Collaboration is definitely a key element in what I do. You can see the evidence in Elements of

Before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a but clichĂŠ question, but an interesting one that I'm sure will interest our readers around the world... During your long career you have exhibited in several occasions: it goes without saying that feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of an important support, which is for sure not absolutely


Armineh Hovanesian

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From the Street Photography series


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From the Black and White series

Armineh Hovanesian


Armineh Hovanesian

From the Black and White series

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Armineh Hovanesian

From the Street Photography series

From the Street Photography series

indespensable, but that can stimulate to keep on with Art: I was just wondering if the expectation of positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist... In particular, how would you define the nature of the relation with your audience?

future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

Of course it is always enjoyable and important to receive feedback, positive and negative. In all honesty, there are only a selected few whose feedback has and will influence my body of work and how I process what I do. It is due to their constructive criticism and observation that I am where I am today. I am forever appreciative of my husband, Vachag and a few other artists and established mobile photographers whom I respect and admire. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Armineh. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your

My aim is to become a better photography each day. This is going to be an on-going challenge which I have vowed to take on for as long as I am breathing and vertical on this planet. As for the Dancers series, I hope to be improve my technique for capturing movement as it happens. My aspiration is to continue the ongoing project/labor of love with Vachag and our “Elements of Vachag� series. With the way the technology is moving forward, I look forward to seeing where mobile photography is going and how it will impact the art world as we know it. I wish to thank you again for this opportunity.

An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator articulaction@post.com


From the Street Photography series


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Constantin Galceava (Romania)

In my paintings, disposing of any figurative element, I try to give consistency sensations or emotions, materializing them in simple or sophisticated compositions, appealing to suggestions, excluding any reference to the evocative areas. I think in this way, the emotional charge that I try to fix on canvas in a artistic building, devoid of anecdotal detail, is much closer to the impulse that generated it and at the same time easier to transmit to receivers. In many cases, the building of painting requires a higher high degree of enciphers for the message, going to a total abstraction as a desire to express an idea in essence. Although rarely I watch the paintings that I painted in time, when this happens to me, I realize that each of them are always different, that each of them externalize another time, and also, each painting is a sentimental map, always changeable and uncertain, but essentially I recognize me in all of them, as a self-portrait in multiple poses, in a perpetual inner introspection, as in an act of autochirurgie, to a soul area hard to penetrate and sometimes impossible expressed otherwise than in colors. In essence, I try nothing else but I reveal myself. Obviously, some people can find themselves in my paintings and others don’t. Some people may find them interesting, or they remain indifferent to others. My paintings have their lives more intense or latency, depending on the eyes which concern them. Constantin Galceava


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Journey Through Time


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An interview with

Constantin Galceava Constantin Galceava's work is engaged in a deep search for aesthetic variations that creates a subtle but intense bound between abstraction and perception: through his eyes, we see the world as a kaleidoscope of shapes that evolve from an imaginary dimension to our reality. If we are asked to sum in a single word Galceava's approach, "freedom" should be the more appropriate one: despite of many abstract artists of the current generation, he avoids to drag the viewer in his personal imagery and let us to be free in the realm created by his skilful brush strokes I'm very pleased to introduce our readers to Constantin Galceava artistic production. Hello Constantin, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art? In particular, do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

I define artwork as a complex symbolic expression of feelings or sensations that the creator articulate them, in a way or another, to the his outside, from the desire to know himself and to communicate with other people in a constant sync attempt with them, in the deepest and intimate spiritual areas. It is, I think, a sublimated form of self that is required revealed to demonstrate its existence in ineffable areas, taking many different forms and trying to escape the limitations imposed by the physical, material reality. I think the contemporary work art is very difficult to define, and if you look overall artistic phenomenon worldwide, is a puzzle so diverse that any definition will leak and each


Barbara Bervoets

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Constantin Galceava


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Constantin Galceava

The New Expectation

artist will tell you something else, so obtaining a Summun definitions. In my opinion, no artist can escape from being in his expression than the contemporary with the period in which he lives, because his work is a facet of his life, impregnated willy-nilly by the realities of his time. In essence, I do not think there can be a real dichotomy between tradition and contemporaneity, because this contemporaneity will become in the future

'tradition', in relation to the future phenomena. It’s only an applicable appearance at a time to an abstract phenomenon, analytically and synthetically, expressed in a unique way through the artwork, most often giving birth to the questions and rarely responding to the unrests of the human being. Although the art was separated from religion by laicization, it follows essentially the same idea of eternal spirit, in opposition to the nothingness and the


Constantin Galceava

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Infantile Game

finite, notions that human beings refuse them. In conclusion, the artistic phenomena, viewed from the perspective of time, no matter how incongruent, innovating or nonconformist they are, are part of the same vector of the search of self, to finding the meaning of existence. Therefore, I repeat, I’m not inclined to believe in a separation between past and present in terms of the artwork. It's just a different

approach. The means differ, the fund remain the same in essence. Would you like to tell our readers something about your background? Are there any experiences that has particularly influenced you as an artist and impacted on the way you conceive and produce your works?

I returned often in time, looking in memory, in order to answer the question „why art?”, to find


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Constantin Galceava

Summer Rain

out what pushed me in that direction, very insecure and risky, and I admit that I have not found any viable response. I grew up in a rural area and I remember that I always liked drawing, making this as a play by yourself, probably to turn into images the heard stories and, later, the read ones. I don’t think it was a moment when I suddenly decide to go to this sinuous area, often arid and full of quicksand. Simply was and is a way of being for me.

Generally, for a painter or sculptor is more difficult to express in words about himself and his work, preferring the specific language of his art. And biography can often be devoid of spectacular events to mark his creation, the main spectacular phenomenon should be his art. So, I can only say that,for the most part, I wasn't detached from the childhood as a way to feel the world, and this „immaturity” helps me to express myself in my paintings, without


Constantin Galceava

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Landscape in the Mirror

painful constraint produced by concepts, taboos, trends, fashion or timing commands. In fact, I believe that freedom of expression against white canvas is the phenomenon that happened to me in a decisive way, when, pupil being at „art school”, must follow the rules and methods to learn „the job of the artist”. Fortunately, my teachers, artists themselves, were lenient with me, so I dropped slightly, searching my way with my own compass. There

was a moment when I quit the figurative representations. It came naturally, without making deliberate and without regret to previous stage. I think it was in my nature and so it had to happen. I never planned any direction. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and


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Constantin Galceava

Light effect set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

I don’t formulate a draft sketch before painting. I think in this only subconscious and intuition work. In front of the canvas I try to empty of other thoughts and concentrate on the first color spot, some of which are by chance. The

painting comes from additions and deletions. Draw and color the same time. Usually I paint at night. I start more canvases in a session. The next day, I watch each of them, continuing to add or remove lines and color spots from each began painting. Sometimes, it happens that I succeed a picture in the first session. There are days when nothing is materialized. I happened to return to failed paintings and finally I repainted them from a splash of color that


Constantin Galceava

ARTiculAction

Light Intersections

suggested me an expressive element around which to reconstruct the whole picture. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start with Light Effect and A New Morning has come, an interesting couple of recent paintings that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to visit http://www.artmajeur.com/en/artist/costgal

in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of these stimulating pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

These paintings are painted last summer, at a time when I try to change the color palette, and when I was in a serene mood. I tried to transfer two different times that I lived, in games of lights with reference to morning or late hours,


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Constantin Galceava

Feeling of Happiness

from a desire to mark the return of daylight, to reality, after the sleep fueled by surreal dreams. It is, somehow, a detachment from the oniric unreal to the real diurnal transferred in the paintings by alternating vibrant color. Another interesting work of yours that have impressed on me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled Feeling of Happiness: I definitely love the way this work conveys such a dynamic message, and

it speaks me about freedom both on an emotional aspect and on a formal one. I have been struck with the intensely thoughtful nuances that has suggested me a sense of dramatic -and I would daresay "oniric"luminosity that seems to flow out of these canvas that communicates such a tactile sensation, a feature that I can recognize also in Fluidity ... to by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?


Constantin Galceava

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Fluidity

In general I’m optimistic by nature, I hope this was clear in some paintings. Sometimes I want to convey an emotion appealing to a brighter palette and applying colors on the canvas as a field in perpetual movement and transformation, fluid and energetic charged, looking for his way through a universe full of amorphous and unknown areas. Perhaps that is why there is a tactile sensation, I try to print my thoughts into a certain materiality. In a way, it is a symbolism with dramatic accent but

essentially is dominant bright area, on which I built my palette, leaving preference for dark and sadness that have persisted long in my art. Sure, often dream has its role in my paintings, but it is a daydream, which I try to control it with the desire to make communicable. Although marked with a deep abstract feature, your works seems to refer to human nature more than a representetive pating could do. I daresay that you explorate the


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Constantin Galceava

Converted Shapes

implication of experience itself, the impossibility of a description that could prescind from the experience of imagination, and this seems to be clear especially in Converted Shapes and in Interior... So I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience from real world is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Always it will be found in the artist’s work a certain relationship between life experience and his creation. This is natural and demonstrates once more that the artist is, in essence, the narrator of his life, uploading the real happenings and feelings with meanings which he considers universal and communicate them to other people. I am consciously break from reality only when I paint, considering on the one hand I can concentrate only in this way, and on the other hand, it’s an intimate process when


Constantin Galceava

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Interior

I’m working and the potential spectators would attempt to this privacy. Anyway, it’s often very difficult for me to show some of the pictures about I’m not always convinced that each of them says something. I think life experiences and intense feelings need to be expressed in synthesized images, so passing through a required conversion to a total purification, and this is done by „ascetic” isolation while I’m working.

One of the features of your approach that I appreciate the most is the way you seem to offer such an Ariadne's thread that allows to discover the dimension of your imagery. You do not force the viewers to follow your process in a prearranged way: on the contrary, the sense of freedom that pervades your approach is gently transmitted to whom comes into contato with your canvas and allows to investigate about the nature of the work of art itself... in this sense, your approach has reminded me the way the work


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Constantin Galceava

Formal Game

of Franz Ackermann relates to the viewers, urging them to take active part to the construction of the sense... This aspect of your work has suggested me the concept that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

Obviously, the artist proposes a dialogue. The receiver becomes active and somehow interrelate with the artist by his artwork. Usually feedback in the painting is difficult to obtain. Anyway, I don’t intend to drive the public in one direction or another, I ask my audience to reflect, taking a respite from time to time in the frantic rush in wich we are all of us. If my paintings urges to the freedom of thought and feel, then it means that it reaches its intended manner. Today, the artist


Constantin Galceava

ARTiculAction

Fragmentation

philosopher, who treat their receptors from the height of a pedestal would’t impress anyone. I think that in a world where it is easy to communicate, paradoxically, this thing is very difficult, sometimes modern man seems to be sprayed in several directions, and the artist should try to make redial, proposing a more intense look inward, I think. Although marked with a recurrent abstract feeling, each work of yours is a self defining

entity and you often choose titles related to perception and memory, as Childhood impressions, that I have to admit is one of my favourite works of yours. How much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your images?

In a way, we are the sum of our memories, but many desires and aspirations are extensions of the past, which I perceive as a slide show recurrent, sometimes obsessive, and which


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Constantin Galceava

Morning Colors

compels me to project on canvas, linking them together in a narrative which I try to give it different ways, projecting them towards a future that is not configured yet clear, but that I try to imagine it. For some time, twilight moments during childhood are becoming more significant in my thoughts, turning me into that space of existence when the world around me have scent and color which I perceived innocence. This acute sense of childhood, I

think always accompanied me and helped me enlighten my palette from a time now. Now I would pose you some questions about the relation with your audience: during these years your works hve been exhibited in several important occasions around Europe. It goes without saying that feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of an important support, which is for sure not absolutely indespensable, but that can


Constantin Galceava

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Persistent Dream stimulate to keep on with Art: I was just wondering if the expectation of positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist... how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

As I said, the artist can’t remain indifferent to public reaction to whom it is addressed. Usually at an exhibition the reactions are

positive, but most often can be so politely, people very rarely occurs in accordance with how they think and feel. An evaluation criterion is also the desire of some people to buy a painting or another, as sign that they like and want to belong. However, regardless of how my art is received, I remain consistent with the way I try, and sometimes succeed, to express myself, rejoicing when others live a state of joy in front of my paintings, and sometimes they remain retinal long.


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Constantin Galceava

Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Constantin. My last question deals with your future plans: how do you see your work evolving? Anything coming up for you

professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

At this question I can’t give a clear answer. I hope I can paint in the future, but I don’t know how I evolve in my work still unpainted. It is


Constantin Galceava

possible to approach well-defined topics and work cycles on the same theme. The future is even more exciting with as little as you can plan. Whenever I sketched out a draft action, many times it has changed or they have canceled it turned into another. Proposals for

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exhibitions come from many sides, but I'm pretty reluctant, perhaps quite comfortable, I prefer to virtual exhibit on the Internet, thus interacting with the public and is easier and more constructive, the reactions of the public are released and less formal than in face-to-


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Pierre Schwarzenbach


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An interview with

Pierre Schwarzenbach An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator

Working in the tradition of the Zurich school of concrete art, Pierre Schwarzenbach's works react to the standardized nature of materials, investigating about their expressive potential: devoting a particular attention to geometry, order and balance, Schwarzenbach's multilayered experience gives life to a concrete aesthetic that engage viewers, while connecting emotional and rational approaches to art production. So I'm very pleased to introduce our readers to his stimulating artistic production. Hello Pierre, and welcome to ARTiculAction. To start this interview, would you like to tell our readers something about your background? Moreover, you have a solid formal training and moreover you have travelled a lot, living both in Ecuador and in Georgia: how have these experiences influenced you and impacted on your evolution as an artist?

Actually I discovered painting as a way to express myself thank to my art teacher at school who was a well-known artist in Zürich. I after school I spent a lot f time in his studio and he taught me all the techniques from lithography to oil painting. As I was brought up in an old Zürich “Silk Family” my father suggested expressing my creativity through fabric design. This was a way for me to combine my artistic soul with my family background, thus beside my successful work in fabric design, I continued working on my artistic expression. As I had the chance to visit over 35 countries I

learned, especially trough different trips to Japan, to concentrate on essential values, that less from what ever it is is most of the time more and that authenticity whether it is in your every day behavior or in art is more important than anything. On top of this a highly esthetic sensitivity never harms. My ultimate goal is to bring a peaceful quietness trough my artwork to the people especially that our world is full of destruction and aggression. After 27 years of creativity for the top level of fashion market, I felt, that quantity became more relevant than quality trough the years, so I turned definitively away from “commercial” oriented creativity to authenticity. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

An essential question. First I learned during many years. That especially in plastic arts the realization and transformation of an artistic idea into a concrete art piece has to be based on profound technical skills in order to achieve coherency between the immaterial conception and the materialized art piece and being consequent in may fascination for authenticity, that the most pure vibrations of colors could be achieved by developing a technique which obtains a surface which is the result of the sum of fine layers of pure color pigments without interaction with a media like oil or acrylic. It tucks me more than one year of experimenting to obtain a quality wise satisfying and long lasting result. The process I use today is a quit time consuming and the fixation time of the different layers can take up to a week. The base materials I use are pigments, graphite,


Pierre Schwarzenbach

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Pierre Schwarzenbach

Da sein II, tripticon, 3x50x50 cm Mixed technique on canvas

enamel, wax, sometimes combined with oil or acrylic or gold leafs. When I start a new painting I sit sometimes for many hours in front of an empty canvas until the painting is mentally created, thus when I start painting, I know exactly where I want to go, the sequence and the technique I am going to use. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start with Struktur und Fl채che, an interesting series that our readers have

already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to visit http://www.pierre-schwarzenbachart.ch/?gruppe=23 in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this stimulating project? What was your initial inspiration?

My whish to realize art with a profound esthetic expression with the principal less is more and a strong feeling of positive vibrations in the


Pierre Schwarzenbach

interaction of the viewer and the art piece. Your approach is rich of references to the Zurich school of concrete art, as well as to Bauhaus ideas: what could be the features that mark an artwork as a piece of Contemporary Art? In particular, do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

I was fascinated of the stringent approach of “Bauhaus� and the Zurich School, nevertheless

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I had the inner feeling of a lack of emotionality which for me is characterizing an art piece, whether it is Contemporary or not. Contemporary means to me that an art piece has to be either reflecting our societies or innovative enough to ad something to existing forms of expressions. The difference between tradition an contemporariness might be excellent craftsmanship versus innovation, though technique, media or optique.


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Pierre Schwarzenbach

Zen II, 130x130 cm

Babylon III, 130x130 cm

Mixed technique on canvas

Mixed technique on canvas

One of the main ideas behind the Bauhaus school was the creation of a "total" work of art in which all disciplines would have finally find a common point of convergence: I have appreciated the way you have given life to an effective symbiosis between elements from different techniques, manipulating languages and re-contextualizing concepts: while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

intense emotions as Europe II and Femme: so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience from real world is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Maybe this is what makes my work contemporary. While marked with an abstract feeling and with a decisive sense of geometry, your painting seems to be always pervaded with a subtle but deep narrative, and often reveals

If I look at my grand children paintings I am convinced the a creative process can be disconnected from direct experience, nevertheless I think, that my work is the reflection of my inner evolution due to a broad life experience. I daresay that such emotional geometry offers such an Ariadne's thread to the viewers, forcing them to investigate about the nature of the work of art itself... in this sense, your approach has reminded me the way the work of Felix Gonzales Torres


Pierre Schwarzenbach

Babylon, 140x120 cm Mixed technique on canvas


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Pierre Schwarzenbach

La Porte II, tripticon, 3x40x30 cm Mixed technique on canvas attacks art in order to discover not only its

your work has suggested me the concept

weak points, but also the creative potential,

that some informations & ideas are hidden,

urging the viewers to take active part to the

or even "encrypted" in the environment we

construction of the sense... This aspect of

live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher


Pierre Schwarzenbach

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?

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Tao first and a growing interest for Zen philosophy and Buddhism have certainly marked my way of expression. Everything is based on “vibrations� whether it is music, art in


Colors Mixed Technique on canvas, 40x120 cm


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Pierre Schwarzenbach

Autumn

Summer

Mixed Technique on canvas, 80x100 cm

Mixed Technique on canvas, 80x100 cm

general, thoughts or feelings. I am happy, if I can bring a little slice of serenity trough the vibrations of ma work into the life of ma customers and the people who take the time to let the interaction of my work and themselves happen.

by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

I have been struck with the intensely thoughtful nuances of tones that seem to create a prelude to the light that wait to springs from the canvas... This has suggested me a sense of dramatic -and I would daresay "oniric"- luminosity that seems to flow out of these canvas that communicates such a tactile sensation... to

During these years your work has been shown in several exhibitions and you have been awarded as well... It goes without saying that feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of an important support, which is for sure not absolutely indespensable, but that can stimulate to keep on with Art.

La porte series is as their name says the first group which is meant to have access to the inner vibration of the viewers.


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Winter

Spring

Mixed Technique on canvas, 80x100 cm

Mixed Technique on canvas, 80x100 cm

I was just wondering if the expectation of positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist... how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

evolving? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

No, positive feedback just happens and of course not from everyone, but in search of authenticity I am never led by the expectation of a positive feedback when I paint. Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Pierre. My last question deals with your future plans: how do you see your work

Keep on working... I have plans for exhibiting in Venice, Bale and Paris meanwhile I have quite frequently visits from collectors and guided visits in my studio. The real interaction between the viewers and my work happens when the people see them in reality as a part of the vibrations of the subtle superposition of thin layers gets lost in photos.


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Cevdet Akman (Turkey) An artist's statement

I was born in Turkey. I have been drawing and painting since I was a child. I found many ways to learn oil and water painting along the process. I discovered other techniques all by myself from the books and my own experiences. With my drawings I was searching for something different..Not to repeat but to create a unique piece of art with an interesting subject, new vision and idea which will open up a new page in art world. So I started to work with Ballpoint pen,did not use rubber while I was disciplining my techniques.I try to be perfect with my creations. My approach to art is not just traditional landscapes,it's unconventional, conceptual. When I m using public transports, my inspirations are always Man kind.I have been lucky to found some partially impairment people whom does not move too much and stay still.This was giving me practical ways of catching their's expressions while I was working with them.For example when I was working with a blind beggar in abroad it gave me limitless time to finalize my work. I developed a certain relationship with my models a "Blind-Robot"relationship within the framework of its concept. My philosophy in my art is "Mankind". Struggle of Man, starts with birth of Mankind throughout their lives. War, starvation, technology,automation and cybernetics are some of these aspects. In our life; we get introduced with new technology everyday life.Such as phones, computer, traffic lights,cables and so many of them. These aspects inspired me to blend with my creations. All my works and exhibitions where under the title of "MECHANIZATION of MAN". Before I finalize my work, I draw numbers of sketches until I am satisfied with the result... This various depends on subject and concept I am working on it. Some of my work took over a year to finalize, because my drawing techniques are finely detailed. I had 16 exhibitions so far and I fined it difficult to part from my work. Therefore I sold selective of my creations. Yet one need to make a living. "I believe that, art is not just the combination of colors and beauty. It is artist job that makes art lovers think with their heart and mind to see the combination beauty of art" That is main statement and my future goals are to be able to recognized internationally with my unique ballpoint pen technique.

Cevdet Akman


3a-War & Hunger.With Ballpoint pen.Size w 55 x h 55cm..


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An interview with

Cevdet Akman An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator

Few artists are capable of visualizing the hidden but deep symbiosis between Tradition and Modernity as Cevdet Akman does in his multifaceted artistic production: over and over again, his refined exploration of Mankind highlights the relation between the metaphysical feature of Contemporariness with elements of perceptible reality. But the creation of a living combination of colors and shapes is not the final goal of his process: what mostly impresses of Akman's art is the way he succeed in making viewers think in a way that spontaneously and autonomously reveals the main idea of beauty. I'm very pleased to introduce our readers to his stimulating artistic production. Hello Cevdet, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. To start this interview, would you like to tell our readers something about your background? You are basically a selftrained artiss and your learning process could be compared to a personal exploration through the years that has lead you not only to develope a unique technique, but also and especially to conceive an unconventional way to conceive an artwork... are there any experience that has particularly influenced your evolution as an artist?

I was particulatly influenced by French Cultural Ateshe's.When I approtched and was accepted for an exhibition in French Cultural Centre in Ankara (Capital of Turkey). During the prewiev of exhibition The Attech was very impressed with my work.After exhibition I was offered a scolarship in Paris by Ateshe. This offer made me honered and I was influensed by his positive reaction.

Cevdet Akman


Cevdet Akman

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Cevdet Akman

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

Before I finalize my work, I draw numbers of sketches until I am satisfied with the result..This various depends on subject and concept I am working on it. Some of my work took over a year to finalize, Because my

drawing techniques are finely detailed.Mainly I work with ballpoint pen which I developed this techniqque with my own dexterity to aim being unique on my own way. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start with your Oil Paintings, that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to visit http://cevdetakman.com in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of your stimulating


Cevdet Akman

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projects? From what do you use to draw your initial inspiration?

My oil paintings are usuly is part of my interior designs.The space I am going to work is giving me a wider imagination and the space are going to be used by public (human)is giving me stimulation to creat large scale of oil paintins.. I have been very impressed with the pieces from your Anatolian series: in particuar, I have highly appreciated the way you have created a coherent combination between the characters from the suggestive Anatolian

imagery and a unique contemporary touch through which you convey traditional heritage into modernity. I would take this occasion to ask you what could be the features that mark an artwork as a piece of Contemporary Art: in particular, do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness? Or are they the opposite sides of the same coin?

Lett's focus on I was born in Anatolia.Naturaly I was influenced by the seraundings around me.I couldn't escape this reality if I wanted to.


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Cevdet Akman

But as an artist I was influence from other artists's imaginations which gave me inspirations. I may imagine more wider and creat individualy to be different with my creative nature.This verios to see the two side of the coin in opposite perspective if nesessery. I daresay that your works invite us to extract a subjective vision of the reality we inhabit in and they often reveals intense emotions: so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience from real world is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative

process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I personaly woudn't separate my own experiances from my direct creative process.Because, my creativity allowes me to see intense emotions on peoples faces.. Another intersting project of yours that has particularly impressed me and on which I would like to spend some words is your Fantastic series: although marked with a surreal touch, the works from this stimulating project reveals a clear reference


Cevdet Akman


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Cevdet Akman

to our reality and are pervaded with a subtle but deep narrative... How much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your images?

I would like to explain this with one of my experiance:In one of my exhibiton a wiever asked me "why I create such an ugly face in my


Cevdet Akman

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My own openion in these work are only explaining the future life.Mechanizm of Man effects and changess on our lives involunteerily and unexpectedly.The cables and all other elements shows how we persive this changes.I tried to narrate these images explicitily in my work. One of the features of Ballpoint Drawings that I appreciate the most is such an emotional geometry offers such an Ariadne's thread to the viewers, forcing them to investigate about the nature of the work of art itself... in this sense, your approach has reminded me the way the work of Felix Gonzales Torres attacks art in order to discover not only its weak points, but also the creative potential, urging the viewers to take active part to the construction of the sense... This aspect of your work has suggested me the concept that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

First of all I would like to thank you for this part of the prequestion which you are explaining almost my total ideology about my art with Ballpoint pen in Fantastic series. My phylosophy always is to give the messages and make viewers to think right from the begging.Even some times the message is hidden in the image "encrypted'.Some times finalzing my work even surprizes me with an out come of a hidden message. I believe my work reveals the Nature's unexpected side of its inner.

work".Some wievers might not like surreall images.A few of my work has some part of disstorbuns to the others.I don't mean to point out the ugly site of human being.

I have been struck with the intensely thoughtful nuances of tones that seem to create a prelude to the light that wait to springs from the canvas... This has suggested me a sense of dramatic -and I would daresay "oniric"- luminosity that


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Cevdet Akman

seems to flow out of these canvas that communicates such a tactile sensation... to by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

This just depends on composition and my inspiration.Even the idea I am going to add to the concept.For the colours mainly I am using Ballpoint pen.From the beggining when I discoverd drawing with ballpoint pen I started only with one colour and at some stage this developed to various colours.My latest work "Life We Are Into"conteins veraity of colours. Please see this works at www Artfinder.com.

Currently I am working on a piece which conteince also many colours.My future projects will be mainly colored Ballpoint pens technique. As you have remarked once, one of the most important goal for an artist is to make art lovers think with their hearth and mind to recognize beauty: there's an extremely important pedagogic feature in this and I daresay that your work urges the viewers to evolve from being a passive spectators to a more conscious participants... By the way, although I'm aware that this might sound a bit na誰f, I have to admit that I'm sort of convinced that Art -especially nowadayscould play an effective role in social issues: not only just by offering to people a generic


Cevdet Akman

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Cevdet Akman

platform for expression... I would go as far as to state that Art could even steer people's behaviour... what's your point about this? Does it sound a bit exaggerated?

I share your thougts about art could play an effective role in social issues 100%. I believe a Nation's Goverment ought to take their part in these matters.I think you are not exaggerating at all.. During these years your work has been shown in several exhibitions... it goes without saying that feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of an important support, which is for sure not absolutely

indespensable, but that can stimulate to keep on with Art: I was just wondering if the expectation of positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist... how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

It gives me great pleasure to get feedback ( even they are critical) from the viwers.I always expect their honest openian I am open to different approches which are coming from them.Their oppinens motivates me to create and shows new way of a goal.


Cevdet Akman

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Cevdet Akman

I would like to point out, I create varios contenporery and uncoventinal approches in my interior designs. e.g:I created 3D onion as size of 150 cm hight on the cieling in a restaurant.Another exhample that I created a "place setting"on a ceiling... Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Cevdet. My last question deals with your future plans: how do you see your work evolving? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I would like to take thank you for giving me this opportunaty for the interview to explain my philosophy about my art.

I am pleased that you ask me this question. I am preparing my new creations's pictures. Some of my work are going to be 3D. I have a dream of creating a sellection of "Cyborg's"sculpture or robot . With all this new works planing and having to exhibit them in London and USA hopefuly soon.Up to now, I was more into interior designs recantly.But I am very passinet for having more exhibitions in future. My future goal is to be recognize internationaly.. Thank you very much for the interview...


Cevdet Akman

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Malu Schroeder (Brazil)

Art is, in my conception, experimentation. It is about being in a constant search for something which provides the spectator a new dimension of reality. In the book “The Myth of Sisyphus”, Albert Camus wrote about the Creator absurd and concluded that “if the world was clear, art would not exist”. In this presupposition, I believe that art is the absurd, shaped in countless experiences we can perform around the world. I try to do it through my digital interventions upon real world images.

Malu Schroeder

Leticia Isnard in “Godofredo Under Three Names” Shortfilm, 15´, directed by Malu Schroeder ( photo: Rafael Rosa)


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An interview with

Malu Schroeder An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator articulaction@post.com

Malu Schroeder's works provides the viewer of an access point to unexpected sides of the reality we inhabit in: she accomplishes the difficult task of leading us to rethink about way we perceive the outside world, but also offer us such an emergency exit, highlighting the subtle but omnipresent bound between Man and Nature. It's with a real pleasure that I would like to introduce our readers to Living Water 1, an extremely stimulating Schroeder's works, that we'll be discussing in the following pages. Hello Malu, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that has influenced you as an artist? And in particular, how does your studies of Communication and Cinema impacted on the way you currently conceive and produce your works?

First of all, I would like to say that it´s a pleasure to be here. I´m very glad! Well, when we talk about background we must talk about everything that formed us as an individual even before we have been considered an artist. I was born in São Paulo, but my family moved to a very small city in the interior of the State. It allowed me to grow up with freedom and connected with Nature every day during my childhood, able to try different activities and to make different kinds of experiments inside that universe. My parents were doctors, and by that time, being a doctor also meant being connected with Philosophy. They were highly educated


Malu Schroeder

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Malu Schroeder (photo: Fernanda Sabenรงa)


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Malu Schroeder

and were interested in several different subjects. While my father was interested in political and social issues, busy reading “The Cuban Revolution”, my mother loved classical literature like “Les Miserables”. My father was crazy about popular brazilian music and my mother loved to hear Chopin or Bach. Thus, in high school, I both studied classical piano and got a technical degree in Political and Social Economic Sciences. My very first contact with fine arts happened through my mother’s books. Specially because she had a collection called “Encyclopedia Museum”, where I could appreciate works from the greatest museums in the world. So, when I was a child, I spent uncountable hours looking at Louvre, Uffizi and others and even when I began to study Communication, during the basic cycle at University, we spent a year studying "What is art?". Later, I moved to Rio de Janeiro and got in contact with a different kind of Nature: the ocean. Coincidentally, that was when I decided to study Cinema. My first work at University was to analysis “Pollock”, the movie, so the contact with fine arts came back. In other words, it seems that life has just leading us in the ways that we really have to tread. The result is that any work I do, even when I want to make a film with a seemingly linear story, it is implied there is another way of looking at reality that, for me, is always fantastic. So I'm quite interested in fantastic realism. Another important thing in my existence is that I am Brazilian and it's important to remember that in Brazil it has always been very difficult to earn a living on any kind of art, including cinema. Then at the beginning of my professional life I worked for some years as First Assistant to a Director of commercials who is also an artist. We became good friends. His name is Dacio Bicudo and he has an amazing artistic production. Surely he was a great influence on my career. Even my video “Subversão” was

Living Water - Malu Schroeder-videoinstallation, dimens

created to integrate a collective work that was directed by him. All these episodes were very important when we talk about my artistic production.


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Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In

particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?


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Malu Schroeder

Living Water - Malu Schroeder-videoinstallation, dimensions variable

Initially the idea comes from a place that is not clear to me, but this process will certainly end after many hours imaging at the computer. Some people call this inspiration, but I really

don´t know what it is. If I were to guess, I would say it´s about some kind of intuition that later becomes shaped in images still in the realm of ideas. Actually, the images come as fragments.


Malu Schroeder

that existed only in the imaginary field. At this stage, I rarely get somewhere. Moreover, it is very common that I feel a certain disappointment when I confront myself with the first results. Then I go to the computer and start to work those images until I can see in them something of mine, something that goes beyond what I thought initially. I do not know how long I need to spent on the preparation or on the creation process, because they are very different from each other. For example, I started doing a video a couple of months ago, that is still stopped because I need a certain image that I still can’t find. I mean, I have done several, but none satisfied me, they don’t translate what I would like to say. But I can’t say what I really want before I find it. When I studied Cinema, one of my teachers was the great filmmaker Ruy Guerra. Ruy said in one of his classes, that what we call intuition and improvisation, in fact, is our background that appears at the right time when need. This is quite logical, because you can only create about something you already know. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from Living Water 1, an extremely interesting work that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit directly [https://vimeo.com/99141217] in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?

In a second moment I dissect these fragments and what kind of material I need so the first idea can be materialized. Then I gather the material and I start shooting some of these experiences

The first fragment of idea came when I was on a trip to Vancouver. I have been living in Rio de Janeiro for over 20 years, which is the most inspiring city I’ve lived in. Here, people and nature live together in providential harmony. In Rio, which is a seaside town, we have no Sea Aquarium. There is no justification for this. The reasons may be many, but there is something to be found that is: we experience the sea


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Malu Schroeder

Cena19-Subversão - Malu Schroeder scene from “O Bailado do Deus Morto”- First place in (idi) art fest 2014.

directly. In this city, when we meet the sea, we always find a way to take a dip in its waters, whether in your lunch break, late afternoon or even at night. We experience the sea. It is part of us. It is a skin contact. We use bikinis and flip-flops to go to the beach. I scuba dive and love it. The freedom that we find in diving is only limited by the lack of air. But during the time we are immersed in this vast universe, we can contemplate life in a broader way, so we forget ourselves. It's like another kind of breath; it’s the contemplation in pure form. Vancouver is a wonderful city, which also has a breathtaking nature, that leads us to contemplation. But the way people experience

the beach is completely different from the Brazilian. They care about the environment and ecological issues but, because of the climate, there is a gap between their lives and the marine life. They have a Sea Aquarium full of various species, which is stunning, but it´s obviously that the sea is most of the time watched from the outside. Of course, this behavior is shaped by climate that during most of the year is cold and rainy. So the first fragment of idea came through this finding. Soon after, I was in North Carolina and had the opportunity to be exposed to "Diaspora" a work


Malu Schroeder

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Cena19-Subversão - Malu Schroeder scene from “O Bailado do Deus Morto”- First place in (idi) art fest 2014.

by Jennifer Steimkamp. I was absolutely delighted! In this work Steinkamp uses technology to link the natural and the human worlds. Well, from these two sparks I began to think that was something I needed to say in a different way. It was the beginning of Living Water 1. A feature of Living Water 1 that has particularly impressed me is the way you have been capable of bringing a new level of significance to a concept, re-contextualizing the ideas behind it: and I would go as far as to state that in a certain sense your works

force the viewers' perception in order to challenge the common way to perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension... 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 wayto 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 your statement is perfect. When I look at something, I always have a visceral need to see same thing from different points of view. This requires time as well as calm reflection. It can indeed be translated as a need to make new


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Malu Schroeder

discoveries about things we already know and that we have seen several times. This curious approach should be part of everybody’s life, but unfortunately, we are immersed in turbulent system that does not allow contemplation. I recently read the book “Glittering Images: A Journey through Art from Egypt to Star Wars”, by Camile Paglia, where she says that we need to relearn how to look. I fully agree with this statement and I really think that art is a window that forces the viewer to see the world in a more contemplative way. Art requires the viewer to look in a different way, attracting his attention to the contemplation under new points of view. These new views presented by the artists, become a refugee to our look that is heavily bombarded by disconnected information. In this logic, art causes a new way to look, and this is exactly what I expect from my own work. Your Art reveals a remarkable synaesthetic approach: in particular, music plays a relevant role in the narrative of Living Water 1. I daresay that your work approaches the sheer lyrical quality of visual music. However, it would be more appropiate in your case to say that the starting point is not music itself, but musical thinking, which is at the same time philosophical and gestural. Could you introduce our readers to the multidisciplinary nature of your art?

This is a very interesting question, because I cannot conceive life without music, consequently, music would have to be present in some way in my artistic production. Brazil is a musical country, we have so many talent artists here. But unfortunately, I'm not a songwriter. Thus, I sought a partnership that could translate what I had thought to that piece. I met the work of Julio Santa Cecilia when he released “Unprepared Loops” (https://tvav.bandcamp.com/album/unprepared-

Tide Color - Malu Schroeder-videoinstallation, dimensio

loops). After that, he worked with me in “Subversão” (https://vimeo.com/122370179) and our connection was instantaneous, despite the generation gap (he is 21). I already knew his other TV / AV


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(https://soundcloud.com/tvavmusic) and found it very exciting and totally sensory. Searching, I saw that he uses in his electronic creations, elements from the 80’s, a time when I was his age. Our partnership was formed cyclical way.

In addition, Julio is the son of a plastic artist and he has always been in contact with art. I believe that because of this, our working method was quite natural. When my work was finished, I called Julio at my studio and showed it to him.


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Malu Schroeder

Tide Color - Malu Schroeder- videoinstallation, dimensions variable

In this conversation I explained what I thought were the necessary elements that should be present in his music, and I realized immediately that he had captured exactly what I meant. Then I left him free to create. During his

creation process he shared with me what he was working on. When the song was finished, it could no longer be dissociated from the image.


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introduce ou readers to these fundamental concept of your experimental cinema?

If life exists, there is repetition. On the other hand, there is a saying that you cannot dive twice in the same river. In Living Water 1 I use a ball of wool that is unwound during the video. During the Industrial Revolution in Brazil an expression appeared, that in a literal translation from Portuguese means to lose the thread ball of wool; but in English, it means to lose the train of thought. When machines began to be used to weave fabrics directed by human hands, they had a support for the yarn roll. The workers' responsibility was to catch the end of the yarn and put in the right position so that the machine began to manufacture the fabric. This job required concentration because the hole that the machine used to pull the yarn was quite small. It turns out that the rolls passed one by one at a considerable speed and sometimes the worker lost the "train of thought". Concentration and speed are somehow contradictory. Currently the speed which we receive an extreme amount of information does not allow us to sense time passing and it can be also too distracting. Returning the ball of yarn in my video, this wire tangle also reminds us of a web. If we are in a social network, for example, we are also bombarded by a lot of information, but curiously this information is repeated over and over once they fall on the network, because it comes to us from different sources.

The concept of repetition is a crucial aspect of your art research, and I have been impressed with your original and consistent vision of time and space. Could you

To me, life is about repetition in different ways. I made a short film that exemplifies what I think; it concerns repetition in romantic relationships through fantastic realism. The movie is “Godofredo Under Three Names� (https://vimeo.com/58535645) and the story is


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Mario Hermeto and Letícia Isnard in “Godofredo Under Three Names” shortfilm, 15´, directed by Malu Schroeder ( photo: Rafael Rosa)


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an adaptation of a short story by Murilo Rubião, a brilliant Brazilian writer. In this story, the protagonist is involved with three different women, but is always stuck to the same situation: the monotony of relationships. As the genre was fantastic realism, I used the same actress to play the three women. I definitely love the way, by heightening the tension between reality and perception, this work explores the concept of language and of direct experience... so I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

No, I really believe that every creative process relies intrinsically on personal and direct experience. I believe that creation arises from each ones personal background. Even when I make a less abstract work that seems to be far away from me, I can see clearly what motivated me to create it. For example, I wrote a script called “Epilogue”, a film that was not directed by me. The script tells the story of a homeless man that wanders an industrial district during a very cold night, where all that was around him was concrete. He was carrying a bag, the last two matchsticks, a last cigarette and a bottle of drink that brought a last sip. The film begins with a garbage truck collecting garbage around the streets, leaving them completely clean and deserted. In his journey into the night, the temperature is falling and the man smokes his last cigarette, and after a long walk, his last sip. Far from him, he sees the movement of a car, where two executives hide something and leave the place in a hurry. Then he goes there and finds a bag full of money. His happiness is immediate, but as he continued walking with the bag of money, always in circles, the temperature drops fast


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Malu Schroeder

and he realizes that there is no way he could spend the money. All shops are closed and there is no one around. Desperate because of cold, the only alternative for him is to use the last matchstick to make a fire with the money he found. This is the end of the story. It burns the money and sleep warm. Theoretically there is nothing in my experience that can be compared with a homeless experience. But if we look deeper, during the time I wrote this script, my mother had terminal stage cancer and I realized that there are moments in our lives that nothing that can be done to change its course. So, of course, I was present in the soul of that script. Now, as usual, I would pose you some questions about your relation with your audience. It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

Feedback is important as you are exposed to someone else’s comprehension. It is extremely gratifying. On the other hand, I do not believe that someone who feels the need of creating arts, can do it thinking of financial return or awards. These kinds of thoughts, in my opinion, are absolutely conflicting. If you produce something thinking of something else, your production can’t be genuine. I think that an artist first produces for himself, and the greatest happiness of an artist is to realize that at some point it goes beyond his world and is recognized by others. Although the artist needs money to live, I do not believe in art as business. In my case, I can dissociate the type of work I do. Some works are art, others not.

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

I am in constant boiling (laughs). Now I'm thinking about videos that will have as start the phrase “I’m only a housewife”, that in Portuguese can be translate by “I’m only a owner of the house”. This is an embryonic project, a fragment yet, but I can already see some images in my ideas. In parallel, I am producing an interactive children's book where the protagonist deals with all the words in a concrete way. It's a beautiful project, which has as an illustrator Silvana Soriano. In cinema, I prepare to direct my first feature, with an erotic theme, called “Fair Play”. I’m completing the script and it will be quite different from what is currently being produced in cinema in Brazil. For now, except the children's book, everything else is still very embryonic. Thank you for inviting me. It was a pleasure!

An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator

Mario Hermeto and Letícia Isnard in “Godofredo Under Three Names” shortfilm, 15´, directed by Malu Schroeder ( photo: Rafael Rosa)


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Jave Gakumei Yoshi (Japan / USA)

My work takes on the ephemerality of news and information and how the emotions we bring to each tragedy in the news cycle are swept away by the wave of information that floods the media. I address this social amnesia through my art with the work acting as a social memory for tragic events so quickly forgotten in our information age. My development of “Godzilla invading U.S.” series led to eventual refinement of my painting techniques. What initially started out as mimicking and paying homage to Asian art history evolved into my own personal graphic technique. While “Godzilla invading U.S.” series focused more on my personal struggle as an Asian-American citizen, my following project, “Baptism of Concrete Estuary” allowed me to reconnect with the Japanese heritage that I struggled for many years to forget. “Baptism of Concrete Estuary” is the culmination of my knowledge and techniques. Through years of striving to find the means to articulate my personal vision, a process that I found moving from small to medium sized paintings to this monumental work. My intention in creating a 30 feet scroll painting was that the audience would be able to have an intimate look at the painting as in traditional Chinese and Japanese scroll, while also feeling overwhelmed by the massiveness of the paper in comparison to the individual. Employing images of the overwhelming power of the Japanese tsunami and earthquake to inspire empathy in the painting’s viewers. I used visual color blocks and large fields to draw in the audience for a closer view, while the finer details of the piece keep the audience fixated and allow them to feel immersed in the painting themselves. Accompanying the large scroll, reproductions were created for distribution. These prints, their distribution and ubiquity are intended to serve as a constant reminder that events such as this should always be remembered, especially since there are those in Japan still in dire need of assistance. This gave birth to my current “Disaster” series, which ultimately represent my belief that art should be accessible to its viewers through humanist tales of struggle and survival as played out in the prevalent social amnesia of the information age. Jave Gakumei Yoshimoto


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An interview with

Jave Gakumei Yoshimoto With a marked multidisciplinary approach, the artist Jave Gakumei Yoshimoto aka 3540N draws inspiration from recent historical occurrences, focusing on tragic events, exploring the creative potential of the juxtaposition between real experience and a vivid, colorful utopian dimension. This effective combination allows him to produce works that act as a social memory, which succeed in compensating for the effects of information overexposure of contemporary society. It is with a real pleasure that I would like to introduce our readers to his stimulating works. Hello Jave, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what does in your opinion define a work of Art? In particular, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art?

I believe a work of art is defined by how a creative individual processes and digests their thoughts and emotions that are swimming in their minds, and then churning them out in a cohesive and clear manner that is personal and articulate. This can take any form, be it visual art, writing, music, performance… the list goes on. As far as what defines contemporary art, the artist must be keenly aware of todays and recent historic issues, and in turn the artist’s opinions, questions, or concerns on such subject must reflect in the works presented. But what defines a “good” or “strong” work for me was recently and perfectly described by my colleague and friend, artist Lauren Purje. She


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once said that artists must strive to create a riddle that can never be solved. I think this applies especially to visual artists to keep our audience enthralled. A piece of art requires the engagements of both the creator and the audience, and if it lacks one or another, it simply cannot succeed. Would you like to tell us something about your multi-cultural background? You were born in Japan to Chinese parents and immigrated to U.S. at a young age... so far you traveled a lot, experiencing life in various sides of the United States: how have these experiences impacted on your

developement as an artist and on the way you currently produce your artworks?

I have a complicated multi-cultural experience since I was born. My mother is from Taiwan, and my father was from Hong Kong (whom I’ve never met) and that created cultural crash and identity confusion from the get-go. The Taiwanese and the Cantonese people are of very different cultures, and when my parents initially met in Japan, they did not speak each others’ languages, so they spoke English to one another. This weird sense of in between-ness defines how I grew up, not being sure of where I belong, wherever I was.


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As a child, I was the Chinese kid growing up in Japan, so I never felt I fit in. When I immigrated to United States at the age of ten, I didn’t speak any English so again I felt out of place. This sense of displacement still continues today as I’ve moved around to different parts of the country. I’m always self-conscious of how I stand out, be it the tone or the accent I speak with, or the fact that I’m Asian in a very Caucasian town, and married to a Caucasian woman. As I’ve traveled, people have placed labels, or stereotypes on me based on their understanding of what an Asian person was. Most are friendly, some are bad jokes, and

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others are outright malicious. This experience of racism in America- accidental or inadvertent or not- and the feeling of displacement eventually led to my “Godzilla invading” series which I’ll elaborate on a little later. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

All of my compositions require research and


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personal reflection. I usually start out by writing down every single idea that comes to mind, and finding relevant images pertaining to such ideas, then I edit down until I get to some of the core points that I want to get across. Sometimes that means discarding ideas that I really love, because by eliminating some ideas over other ideas can have greater impact, clarity and purpose in the final image made. By this point, I would usually have a pretty clear idea of how the composition would go, so rarely do I make sketches before taking on my paintings. I won’t do a sketch unless I’m uncertain or questioning about some small

section of a painting that’s blank. I thrust a lot of trust into my intuitive process once I get started, because at the purity of my original ideas, my work becomes my most sincere and authentic voice. One thing I find funny is that a lot of people have asked to look at my sketchbooks and/or my studio, but there’s nothing really interesting about them. My sketches are best described as chicken scratches and my writings are grammatically terrible and illegible. Sometimes I can’t even make out what I wrote or drawn, so I find that fairly amusing.


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I also make work in my small home, where I have a work desk made of a door sitting on two saw horses, or my desk in my office. It’s not as romantically exciting as people who don’t know my work environment might make it out to be. I don’t have my walls plastered with inspiring images, as I can find them distracting when I work. I also usually work in silence for hours on end. In my practice, minimal environment allows me to maximize my production. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from your Disaster series that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this

article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit yur website directly at http://www.javeyoshimoto.com/ in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?

The inception of the “Disaster” series is a personal one. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I was born in Japan, and I was raised there through my early childhood, so when I heard about the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, I was in shock. Shock doesn’t even justify how I felt. I felt compelled to do


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something- anything- to help. Sure, there were a lot of charities that were popping up to send money over to Japan, and while I donated some money, I simply felt that wasn’t enough. I’ve lost sleep for a few nights as I read as much news and viewed as many images as possible regarding this tragedy. I’ve dwelled on this for a couple of months before finally deciding to paint about it. When I went to an artist’s residency called the Art Students’ League of New York Vytlacil campus spearheaded by Gary Sussman, I finally found the courage and discipline required to take on this topic. Gary provided me some mentorship and I had a roll of paper that was 30

feet (or 10 meters long). As I started painting the tsunami, Gary dared me to paint the entire roll of paper. 328 days later, my project, the scroll painting, “Baptism of concrete estuary” was realized. After the completion, Gary gave me a solo exhibition in New York City, in which I made digital prints of the painting to sell as a fundraiser. The proceeds were then donated to a non-profit organization in Sendai city in Japan where it was hit the hardest, to help start an art program for the youth. This whole process of awareness, personal reflection, and wanting to give back gave birth to the current disaster series. The paintings in


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these series are about man-made and natural disasters in the past few years. Your art practice takes a participatory line with the viewer and one of the features of Disaster series that has mostly impacted on me is the way you create a deep involvement with your audience, both on a on a emotional level, as well as on an intellectual one. Moreover, although inspired by the March 11,2011, Japan was hit with the catastrophic earthquake that upset Japan, you seem to remove the historic gaze from the reality you refer to, offering to the viewers the chance to perceive in a more atemporal form. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely

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

I don’t think it’s possible to remove personal experience from any creative practices. Even the minimalist works in art history still comes from a personal point of view and aesthetics that the artists themselves brought in. For my practice, without the personal experience, it’s incredibly difficult to attain a strong voice in the work, and without that strong opinion, it’s even more difficult to create an effective piece of art. Granted, what’s effective or good is completely subjective. It ultimately goes back to whether or not our audience can take away their own


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personal meanings, their own “direct experience” which can be different from the artists’ initial intention for the piece. It is like the saying, “no two persons ever read the same book.” The artist can guide their audience, but they can’t force the audience’s personal experience. I think in the end, if an artist really believes in what they’re making, creating pieces with sincerity and with their authentic self-identity, I think the work will take care of itself.

in Art Therapy, that you received from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and you have worked as an art therapist/mental health professional in Chicago: art-making involves a series of inner and sometimes "mysterious" processes and during these years, while interviewing lots of artists, I have often been told of such therapeutic effects behind these processes... by the way, you are prolific painter, and your works seem to be filled with intense emotion: is painting like a release for you or is it emotionally draining?

So the shorter answer is no. Besides your studies in Painting, Drawing and Fine Arts, you also hold a Masters of Art

I initially got into art therapy not quite understanding what it was. Before graduate school, I was making art on my own, and


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working with adolescents with behavioral and developmental disabilities. My mentor at the time- Jane Callister- suggested I take on art therapy as a possible route. When I started, I didn’t realize how much of my own demons I had to deal with. Art therapy was more about assisting people who need help express things that words cannot, it was about serving as a witness to my clients’ creative process and ultimately facilitating sessions to help them to come to an understanding of who they are and what they need to do to cope and move on from their issues and struggles. I was surprised at

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how quickly I bonded and earned the trust with those I was working with. The years providing art therapy allowed me to come to terms with my own colorful (and often regrettable) past, and reaffirmed that I wanted to become an artist above all. In college, I thought I knew and understood a lot about art by mimicking what’s popular or done in contemporary art. These days I’m only interested in making works that- as I have mentioned many times already- are sincere to my authentic self and true to my beliefs. Our audience is smart. I think the audience can


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easily sense and read works based on fallacy. Creating and presenting such dishonest works would be a waste of both my time and my viewers’. As far as whether painting is like a release or emotionally draining, it is both. Oftentimes my

paintings are cathartic, a means to relieve personal tension about certain subject matters that I’m concerned about. However, creating my paintings feels like a marathon, as it can take months to complete. To continually think about heavy emotional subject matters while working on a painting does take a toll. Over


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people in, but when the audience comes in for a closer look, they quickly realize how serious and heavy my paintings are. Sometimes, to escape from the long process of painting practices all together, I create smaller and minimal serigraphy pieces that only take a few days to create. It’s another technique I utilize in my practice to find balance and joy again. Another interesting series of yours that has particularly impressed me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled Godzilla Invading: one of the feature that has mostly struck on me is the dynamicity, the sense of movement that you have been capable of impressing on the canvas... and I have highly appreciated the nuance of intense, vivid tones create living dialogue rather than a contrast: any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

time, I would feel worn down, I would lose the joy I once had as an eager young artist. As a way to attain balance and equilibrium, I sometimes create or include things that are humorous on the surface. The juxtaposition of pop culture images and bright colors can draw

I briefly mentioned my training in college earlier, and I identify myself as a western trained artist due to that. I was trained to initially create photorealist works, then conceptual works, which I am very grateful for, but the works I was creating spoke nothing of my cultural identity. Because of my confused state of identity at the time, I felt ashamed of being Asian-American. For a short period, I was rejecting my cultural roots of being born in Japan, being Chinese by blood, and I distanced myself from those Asian roots as much as possible. It wasn’t until midway through my art therapy study that I became interested again in re-connecting with those roots. I took a trip to Japan and it was eye-opening. I was looking at my country of birth from a foreigner’s perspective. I again, felt out of place but took in as many visual inspirations as possible. I remember growing up in Japan watching Godzilla films. My mother often would work night shifts and I’m left to my own devices to watch the movie re-runs. As a matter of fact, one of the oldest objects I own is a hideous Godzilla toy from 1979. It was somehow


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traveled with me everywhere I’ve moved. I would always find this piece of plastic monstrosity put away in a box somewhere, so in a way, I was creepily and accidentally stalked by this toy that I keep forgetting about. When I found this toy again after returning from Japan, it just made sense to me to create some paintings based on this. In the films, Godzilla is always attacked wherever he went, even though he was merely looking for supper. From my perspective, he was always picked on, and I imagined that he was the loneliest creature in the world. I’ve also been experiencing labels, stereotypes and racism from moving from city to city in America, feeling like I stand out

wherever I was. I related and empathized with Godzilla and decided to paint myself-and my experience-as Godzilla, invading United States. Aesthetically, I wanted to reference my reconnection with my cultural identity. I wanted to somehow combine the Chinese brush painting, calligraphy aesthetics, and the text usage, along with the flat bright colors of the Japanese Ukiyo-e (floating world) woodblock prints. I was also drawn to pop culture graphics and images I would see on TV or the internet and decided that I want to incorporate all of these influences to my subject matter. Thus the “Godzilla invading” series were born.


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The series really focuses on my awkwardness trying to fit in with the local small town or city culture across America, my interpersonal relationships, and again, the feeling of displacement. The usage of Godzilla is usually comedic, which throws off my audience. Over time, there came a shift where Godzilla in my painting became smaller and more in the background as a cultural observer rather than the protagonist of the narrative, and eventually morphed into becoming part of the current “disaster� series.

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Your new project entitled Baptism of Concrete Estuary allowed you to reconnect with the Japanese heritage that you struggled for many years to forget: the well known Japanese artist Takeshi Murakami once stated that "the problem for the new generation of artists is to create original products without depending on an intellectual system for support, since we are aware of differences between the workings of contemporary art in the West and the way things operate in Japan" What's your point


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about this? And in particular, do you think that there's a contrast between Tradition and Contemporariness?

A lot of art students coming out of school relies heavily on the intellectual system and support that Murakami touches on, so he’s quite on point about that. Although I think he is speaking from his personal experience coming from an academic system himself, but to me, no. I don’t think young artists or emerging artists are necessarily aware of the differences he speaks on contemporary art of the west versus the art market or art world of Japan. I know I’m not. As I said earlier, I was trained on the standard of a western school of thought, so my understanding of Asian art world is quite limited. I’ve been told of how successful

western artists can be in the Asian markets in the past by various artists and curators, but I think that’s really limited to artists who look stereotypically western. While I consider myself an American artist, I don’t believe these rules would apply to Asian-American artists. As far as the contrast between traditional and the contemporary, I think all the traditional works in the past made were reflecting contemporary practices and issues of the era they were from. Granted, 20th century art world blew the door wide open for many experimentation, opportunities and variety of practices in our current times, but I think this focus on conceptualism and idea is another tradition that will be carried on into the future.


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how the emotions we bring to each tragedy in the news cycle are swept away by the wave of information that floods the media...I can recognize in this a socio politic feature and although I'm aware that this might sound a bit naïf, I have to admit that I'm sort of convinced that Art especially nowadays- could play an effective role in sociopolitical questions, as in human rights issues: not only just by offering to people a generic platform for expression... I would go as far as to state that Art could even steer people's behaviour... what's your point about this? Does it sound a bit exaggerated?

I think historically art has always tried to guide people’s perception and behavior, be it the French Lascaux cave paintings that narrates the tales of various animals people encountered long ago, to the Egyptian sculptures that depicted the rulers as deities, the Hellenistic sculptures of the Greek period that humanized the people’s sufferings, the propaganda works of communist countries… the power that visual art has to guide the thoughts of people are certainly undeniable.

So I would say that the two is more correlated than separated by contrast in the end. It may sound unusual that I would state this, because of my stylistic references I make with the Chinese brush paintings and the Japanese woodblock prints does refer to the older Asian traditional practices, but I find a lot of bright and flat colors in today’s artistic practices and in popular culture as well, especially in some of Murakami’s own works. So while I reference some tradition, stylistically it works as a façade and I consider myself a contemporary artist with my subject matters. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, your work takes on the ephemerality of news and information and

I however don’t think that the works of our current times are any more or less of an effect than the art of the past. A lot of art that has survived over the years were commissions of the religious or government entities, or collections of the wealthy. These works had intentions of portraying what’s important to the people- or rather, their clientele- at the time. There’s so many works created in history religious and political themes, which I sometimes have really strong feelings against, however, it is a precious visual and historical clues as to where we come as human species. The value of our cultural roots can be seen over such a long period of time is certainly immeasurable. On a slightly separate note, I believe artists work in very predictable ways given their time period that they live in, their circumstances, and the state of the world. If they are living in


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a period of prosperous times, joyful themed works are made. One example are the works of Antoine Watteau and Jean-Honore Fragonard of the Rococo period, who painted with lush colors and playful subjects. On the opposite end, if there’s strife in the world, the art works created again reflects such struggles, much like the works of Francisco Goya and Eugene Delacroix that had political undertones in their paintings in the 1800s. We are all packaged in the concerns of our times, and our “big picture” works are limited within that context of our limited, period based existence. However, this outlook shouldn’t prevent us from trying our best to address the problems of the world, in our own ways. During these years your works have been exhibited in several occasions: so, before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a but cliché question, but an interesting one. It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, encouraging him: I was just wondering if an award -or even the expectation of positive feedbacks- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

No, for me I’ve stopped worrying about what others thought of my work. Sure, awards, and funding can be helpful to an artist but in the end I think all of that is trivial. It’s not to say I haven’t received positive support, awards or commissions in the past, but I don’t wish to let others dictate my voice and vision. My beliefs stem from my personal experiences and that alone has value, and it’s not for sale. I don’t create my paintings to necessarily “please” my audience, but I wish to keep them engaged and create a memorable experience for them. The most dreadful thing for any artist is for their

audience to be indifferent. If I can’t hold my audience’s attention for at least five seconds to a piece, then I consider my work a failure. I want to touch upon the idea of influence you mentioned. When I initially started learning about art therapy years ago, I’ve learned to


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facilitate a session called “connecting with the creative process” at the Open Studio Project located in Chicago, Illinois. This process was originally developed by art therapists Dayna Block and Pat B. White and I still use this process quite often with people I work with. I’ll call it CCP for short.

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The idea with CCP is that feedback-regardless of positive or negative- can direct the artist’s creativity. Therefore it is a group art making session with no comments allowed. What’s fantastic is that it creates a safe space for the artist to make work, reflect on their experience to write out their thoughts, and in the end,


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share with the rest of the group. The rest of the members are there in the end to serve as witnesses to the creation that is made. Initially it can be a difficult process for anyone to participate in, because we want to have an opinion and be supportive, but we never take into account the potential damage that can cause the artists. That said, I never let someone interfere with my artistic processes. My journey is my own and no one else is invited. They are free to critique all they want after my pieces are done, but until it is, I don’t want to my journey interrupted, or influenced. I think the ultimate goal for any artist is to attain the freedom to be who they want to be, and pursuing the vision and subjects that are most interesting and close to their hearts. For me, that is a never-ending and relentless pursuit. All I know is that every time I complete a piece, I am one step closer to attaining that freedom that I am seeking. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Jave. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I have a few solo exhibitions coming up this year. The first one is located in Lincoln, Nebraska at the Iron Tail Gallery where I will be showing my disaster series for the month of March and April. In the end of June, I will be installing the same works at the Dittmar Gallery in Northwestern University in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois until August, and I will also have a simultaneous show exhibiting smaller works in the Nebraska Gallery in Portland, Oregon. I will also be participating in some small group shows. From June to November, I will be exhibiting serigraphy works in the public libraries in Boston, Massachusetts. If anyone wants more information, they can contact me via my website as well. Thank you for your time


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Paul Ashton (United Kingdom) An artist's statement

Paul Ashton is a contemporary artist based in Leeds known primarily for his figurative oil work. An Alumni of Jacob Kramer and Leeds Met CAP course, Paul received a first for the work that was mainly installation and sculpture and video based. Paul's ongoing practise pays tribute to and is influenced by the techniques and subjects of the masters Degas and Bacon come to mind... After being put out of action for a long periods over the last two years,once in Jail the other hospitalised.now seems like the time we can finally see the best of Paul and his work is being collected as it finished.... Driven to explore the limitations of the 2d aspect of his work he seeks to build work which just happens to be painted each of which take on its direction and narrative. A kind of 2D installation.I prefere to refer to my works as songs.each one has its own tune and lilting melody. Each work is a self defining entity, I never know what the end of the painting will become. preferring to let the story come about‌ Much of my work solicits questions around what happens next.....when that happens I feel that the audience is somewhat hooked, they take some of the mystery of the work away with them.i musical terms "its a good gig"... The themes within the work reflect my own sense of the rock n roll life style the tarartino come spaghetti western come to mind..... Often painted several times over each work builds from the few before...

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An interview with

Paul Ashton One of the features of Paul Ashton's painting that has at soon impressed me, is the way he effectively challenges the viewers' perception, subverting traditional portraiture heritage. Through hir refined practice, he seems to aim to provide the viewers of an extension of the ordinary human perception, in order to manipulate it and releasing it from its most limbic parameters. In particular, his recent Yellow Brunette, that we'll be discussing in the following pages, condenses the permanent flow of the perceptions of emotions and the events related to them, questioning their inner nature.. So I'm particularly pleased to introduce our readers to Paul Ashton's artistic production. Hello Noel, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art? In particular, do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

In answer to your opening question I'd say for me Art is making with an Idea as oppose to without . A cup of tea is just a cup of tea until you consider it. You may make a great coffee, which makes you a craftsman, an artisan, however if there’s no additional “aspect” it remains simply a beverage. I believe everyone is capable of being an artist and that to simply point is enough, whether its good or bad is subject to ones own opinion. Contemporary and traditional is considered a dichotomy for some it would seem. My feeling is that one is simple the continuation of the

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other. Would Leonardo be considered a contemporary artist these days, of course, as a maker in this time and truly a modernists through his use of new medium. Aspects other than the realism of the work and the mystery of the title come into play. Contemporary becomes traditional over time…. Maybe my work is post contemporary, if contemporary is just another term, another easy way of grouping. I think there is the need to abstract fully, to re evaluate and engage with terms such as absurd, stupid, blunt and foul to complete our whole experience, we then start over… Would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and after a successful career within the I.T. industry, you returned to Art and completed the Contemporary Art Practice degree course at the Leeds Metropolitan


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University that you began in the early 1980’s: so I would like if you could tell to our readers how did formal training influenced your development as an artist and the way you currently produce your artworks.

My formal training does continue to support my current work; specifically my figure drawing training under the tutelage of Michael Stewart at Leeds College of Art was key in learning to draw from observation to produce better measurement and correct proportion. This “base” toolbox of skills is the foundation of everything that follows, much like Picasso said “it took four years to paint like Raphael and a lifetime to paint like a child”…Id like to think I have this mentality. My art and my life are one and the same so I hope it will continue to develop in all kinds of ways and dimensions from a foundation, whilst also engaging with all that is against that. Another aspect of my formal training is the use of different materials. Certainly I was educated to use ceramics and etching, drypoint. These wonderful “skills of old” that I learnt long ago and didn’t really appreciate fully at the time have very recently been revisited and developed to give other dimension or aspect to the work currently being made. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

My process and set-up for making my artworks changes massively depending on what work I propose to produce. I was once described as a post conceptualist minimalist whilst making a series sculptural/installation works, so I guess I think


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about it a lot and then make as arresting and succinct a work with the minimum distraction as possible. However for the point of this interview I’ll concentrate only on the painted 2 dimensional work. Preferring to work in a serial setting as opposed perhaps to making a single instance piece, I would make a personal direction and follow that, for example construct and deconstruct an image/idea of your choice using material which as far as you know has NOT been used by any other practicing artist… quite a difficult proposition in one way or very easy in another way…. I also welcome the discipline of producing under “duress” with “limited” resource. Making art with limitations actually frees up the experience from having to consider other outside influence therefore focusing fully on the idea and then allowing aspects not normally prevalant to come to the fore. Aspects such as single instance or limited space can produce the unexpected and even the unwelcome, which I feel completes the work. Having made work with the walls of two institutions recently. These being as a hospital patient ( road traffic accident ) and a prisoner ( serving 12 months for money laundering) Both experiences were both welcome and phenomenally beneficial to my practice. Arte Povera comes to mind… With regard to the technical aspects of making the work I do make an outline “menu” of say ,ground material and colour, any additional mediums and chemicals. I do make some notes on the process and do archive through film and stills to attempt to document for my own purposes the process. Much of my work does end up incomplete or aborted and this I welcome. The time each piece takes to complete is not an aspect I take into account. I am aware of each stage and how

long things are left to soak, boil ,droop ,soak or whatever the step process may require. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start with Yellow Brunette, an interesting painting that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to visit http://www.artgallery.co.uk/artist/paul_asht on_2 in order to get a wider idea of your current artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this stimulating piece? What was your initial inspiration?

The initial inspiration for Yellow Brunette was a search for how innocence and or beauty are represented. What are traditional representations of womanhood. Having played with the images from the Virgin Mary in religious art to how woman are portrayed in “mens” magazines in the 70’s which is when I first become aware of the body. I found the base image for this piece amongst thousands I had collected and it somehow caught my eye, its Kodak colour hue together with its 70’s playboy almost pose. On closer inspection one can see the star of David which made me wonder if she was aware of the relevance of this. Was it simply a pretty thing on a necklace? Was it simply an object. Was she “just” an object ? Can there be layers in an image perhaps considered by many as soft adult material,given its surface representation? Another interesting work of yours that have impressed on me and on which I would like to spend some words is your diptych entitled Fibi Jane: in particular, I have been struck with the intensely thoughtful nuances of red that has suggested me a sense of dramatic -and I would daresay "oniric"- luminosity that seems to flow out of these canvas that communicates such a tactile sensation... to by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?


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My palette never stops changing .It is on its own journey. A few stars come and go, bleached titanium white was a stallwort of my palette a few years ago, now not so. With regard to Fibi Jane which has “a red” in it. This is a relatively new development and is really to balance the yellow. A method which is given over to the methodically. Your reference to oniric, which I take to mean oneiric, as in dreams, could be valid, certainly FibiJane is wearing nipple tassles and is in a

state of high excitement and abandon. A state of some seldom achieve. I like the passion of this idea and perhaps the “red” plays an important role in this depicture. I daresay that you explorate the implication of experience itself, the impossibility of a description that could prescind from everyday life, and this seems to be clear in Memorial Leeds... So I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience from


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real world is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

The question whether creative process could be disconnected from direct experience is not something Ive considered too deeply if at all. but as you’ve asked I can only say that as an artist I feel that Im both extremely lucky and equally cursed by the ability to be able to quite

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easily produce an idea into action. I view the “role” of the artist as that of a valve or perhaps a mirror or lens something that by its physicality who by their action makes a viewpoint, and by way of somehow considering the component or item which takes up a space in the conscious, art is created. I applaud tautological viewpoint and abhore the normality of the moral majority and fashion. Although no longer young in terms of my own genealogy I still believe the duty of the young is to rebel.


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The Memorial Leeds piece is an excursion from the work I was doing at the time which was centralized around figures and portraiture. Perhaps the experience of seeing a lot “sabre rattling” and ex soldiers announcing themselves Heroes in the present and consideration of the “war to end all wars” in the past encouraged me to make the piece. I think perhaps the universe plays a hand in all things and this piece was somehow called in to in existence. I considered the lives of those with little choice, the conscripted in the earlier part of the 20th Century against today’s volunteers who through there own will strap on a guns and fight for an idea of freedom… In light of recent developments throughout the world I also considered what this monument to the men of Leeds who gave the ultimate sacrifice really meant and what difference it had made…. The statue atop the plinth itself mirrors a change in mood. The original was “Victory” statue by Henry Charles Fehr complete with wreath and sword. This was replaced in 1992 with this piece “Angel of Peace”by Ian Judd. It now holds roses… Leeds itself was known for one of the finest collections of art post fin de cicle earlier in the 20th Century and indeed boasts one of the first ever civic purchases of a Francis Bacon Painting. Only the Tate London and the New York MOMO owned a piece by Bacon at the time. The city is spotted throughout with fine example of victorian statue and sculpture. A fine source for a figure painting. I have to admit that the first impressions that I received from Yellow Brunette are the same that I happened to experience on the very first time that I had the pleasure to admire Jenny Saville's works at the Bilotti Chapel nine years ago... I definetily love your intriguing exploration of human body, in

such a way that goes beyond the stereotypes of beauty and that I daresay that questions the idea of beauty itself... This aspect of your work has suggested me the concept that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

I am so pleased that you picked up on the question of beauty itself. I do want to explore the “doggo” of beauty. As a member of a cultured society I am aware of the treachery that can show it self due to blind acceptance of the “norm”and the seduction of luxury, which ultimately pulls us away from the enlightened beauty which abounds though seems unvalued all around. The idea of “god” in the smile of a child seems to be somewhat out of reach to many…. My “role” as an artist could be as a vanguard of truth, perveyor of the alternormal, idiot or sevant. Certainly I make despite any success or monetary gain. Taking control and advantage of different and sometimes opposite techinques, your approach goes beyond the usual but artificial dichotomy between tradition and experimentation: besides the stimulating that our readers had the chance to admire in these pages, you also produced a number of works in mixed media including video, sound and installation... in this sense, multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your approach and it's remarkable the way you are capable of creating such an effective symbiosis between elements from different techniques, manipulating language and recontextualizing images and concepts: while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?


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Control and synergy between tradition and experimental over alternate artist fields does seem to have its own challenges however understanding of aesthetic nuance is I believe a must…certain if we consider Steve Mcqueen’s ability to “take a good photo” has helped his work. Although I haven’t worked much away from the 2D recently I still consider the ideas through a 3D aspect. For example whilst I have made installation which engage which all senses I believe that my 2d still benefits from the inherent aspects of story line situation atmosphere narrative. Actually my latest paintings I refer to as songs, given that they have a storyline and to some extent melody,swell and a repeat idea or motif. Much like you know a quentine taratino film when you see it. I would hope my two latest piece “lil girl big gun” and “Bad Moon” do the same. During these years your works have been exhibited in several occasions, morover your paintings have been published in Rooms Magazine and you were awarded with a public commission by Morley Council for Leeds ... it goes without saying that feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of an important support, which is for sure not absolutely indespensable, but that can stimulate to keep on with Art: I was just wondering if the expectation of positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist... how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

With regard to receiving commissions. Yes they are great for paying the bills and keeping food on the plate. No artist worth there salt could possible argue with this? Except perhaps the likes of Jeff Koons who well.is Jeff Koons…A rich man who owns everything but being poor. The UK art scene has lots of middle class kids living on Mummy’s and Daddy’s wealth who mess about for a few years before settling down with a city boy. They play at poor.

We are all in love with the artist starving in his garret. I really do live this way. I live in a terraced house, which is in slum called East End Park in Leeds I have not “moved to London”. However wonderful critical feedback is in its fleeting warmth I think that making art for that reason is a desperate and addictive existence. I make art because I can; I make art to make a mark, however slight, on eternity… My audience may be nothing or millions but I doubt ill be around to know it… So the expectation of positive feedback is not something I would ever think healthy to depend or act upon. Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Paul. My last question deals with your future plans: how do you see your work evolving? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

My practice has now meant a further studio is required so we are now looking at taking larger space which I would hope mean larger work and more work. We are also talking to print makers to make very very limited editions, which may appear on product lines. I have been invited to show on behalf of the Green Party Locally to where I live, and a number of offers are still in the pipeline. My work I hope will be more easily available in future. I am very please to be able to announce we have finally agreed to not publish with Washington Green, the UK’s largest art distributor. We are just about to launch Paulashtonart.co.uk. Which will be a showcase and archive bringing together all my works, events, media and shows going back to 2007. A selection of my original work will be available through Saatchonline and my prints will go through Artpistol.co.uk (who are a very exciting independent and supportive online gallery from Scotland).


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Jean M. Judd (USA) An artist's statement

Artist and author Jean M. Judd has been creating textile artworks since 1990. She creates work for individual collectors as well as many works for fine art exhibitions across the United States, Canada, and Europe. When asked, her medium is “thread on textile”. That can further be explained by whether the textile is a commercial textile, hand dyed textile, or an enhanced textile with rust pigmentation that was created in her studio. The common factor in all of her mixed media artwork is that cotton fabric is the canvas and thread is her brush. They are used to create a piece of fine art with visual as well as physical texture. The design starts in the artist’s mind or with a dye painted fabric ground. It is eventually transformed over time into reality with the final stitch in the artwork. Many times the finished piece is nothing like the original inspiration. This just adds to the excitement and the potential for the next design. What started in the artist’s mind as a vague idea is transformed into a bigger, better, and more dramatic finished artwork than the artist ever intended. Each piece is a journey filled with the artist’s emotion and life experience. The hand of the artist is seen and felt in every inch of the artwork.

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Hand Dyed Grounds – composite -- © Jean M. Judd


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An interview with

Jean M. Judd An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator

What immediately impresses of Jean M. Judd's experimental approach is the way she effectively challenges the viewers' perception, accomplishing the difficult task of leading us to rethink about the way we perceive the outside world, urging us to investigate about the existence of unexpected relationships between opposites aspects of the reality we inhabit in. Through an incessant process of recontextualization, her multidisciplinary approach to textiles provides the viewers of an extension of the ordinary human perception, in order to manipulate it and releasing it from its most limbic parameters. It is with a real pleasure that I would like to introduce our readers to her stimulating works. Hello Jean, and a warm 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 you as an artist and have impacted on the way you conceive and produce your works?

Thank you for the opportunity to share my work with your readers. I look forward to a stimulating conversation about art and my own artwork. I started creating textile artwork on a part time basis, of my own design, in 1990 using commercially available textiles. The third piece I made sold before I finished it. I continued to work full-time in the book publishing business and made textile artworks for various clients on a commission basis evenings and weekends. Most of these textile fine art pieces were for

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wall display but there were a few initially made for presentation on a bed in a more traditional “quilt” sense, but they ended up on the wall instead in all of the cases. This was the beginning of a new path of exploration for me…textile work that would be shown exclusively as fine art on a wall. The opportunities for growth and experimentation were almost beyond comprehension. I was only restrained by the lack of time (due to my full time job outside of the studio) to fully embrace what was opening up to me as an artist. In 2004 I began submitting my private work for juried fine art exhibitions across the United States of America. I was accepted into six exhibits the first two years and won an important award for workmanship. This seemed like an excellent way to get my private work out of the studio and seen by fine art collectors,


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Fractured ‘Gello #3: From Autumn to Winter process - © Jean M. Judd


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Abstract Textures 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 – grouping - © Jean M. Judd

gallery directors, and museum curators across the USA. Because my studio time was limited and mainly focused on commission work, I didn’t have a large inventory of private work for these juried exhibition opportunities. In 2009 I became a full time textile artist as the world-wide recession hit the publishing

business full force. During this same time, I began experimenting with creating my own textiles using dye so I could be more fully involved in the entire process of truly making my own art. I began selling my hand dyed textiles overseas (mostly in Europe) to other textile artists as well as traditional painters,


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enough of the incredible excitement of exploration and creation that was now available to me. My college degree is in Financial Accounting, not in any Art discipline. I have not taken any art courses and I prefer to learn on my own; work in my own studio without distractions, and discover what works best for me and most importantly what excites me visually. There are no rules or constraints imposed by others. I like to make my own discoveries in exactly what I can do with textiles in creating unique works of art on my own time terms. I want to be free to focus on whatever aspect is currently holding my interest. If there is an unexpected development while exploring one thing, I may go off on this other tangent for several weeks, months or even years before coming back to where I had been before this new, intriguing side line. All of my artwork over the past 24 years has incorporated dense, intricate hand stitching. This signature feature gives each piece its own physical and visual texture. It sets the work apart from traditional fine art such as paintings as I am using textiles as the ground or basis for the artwork and then building on that foundation using dyes, rust pigmentation, sometimes more textiles, and finally thread to completely develop the work.

grew my commission business with private art collectors, and started to submit more aggressively my personal work for exhibition in juried fine art exhibits. I didn’t just extend my studio time to eight hours a day now that my outside job had ended, but I extended it to twelve or more hours a day. I couldn’t get

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your works? 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?

My process for creating my artwork changes with each piece I create. Sometimes I start with an inspiration from something I have seen in nature or maybe something in an art museum exhibition. Other times it may be a piece of hand dyed cloth that just calls to me for further


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investigation and manipulation into a work of art. Other inspirations have come from seeing an old piece of ironwork at an architectural store or at a junk sale. I have several works in progress right now that were inspired by the simple shape of a square and a rectangle. Fractured ‘Gello #2 and Fractured ‘Gello #3: Autumn to Winter are just two examples of investigating a shape and creating an artwork exploring this universal shape. Both of these pieces are examples of work that started in the very center and then radiated outward as I worked out from that simple single square. From there, the design ebbed and flowed into the artwork that it needed to become. Unlike many artists, I do not start out with a drawing or sketch of what I am proposing to do. In the instance of the two artworks just referenced, I started by pulling commericial textiles from my raw inventory of bolts and pieces of fabric. I had a color palette that I wanted to work with, so I strived to select a wide range of different color intensities. I then cut up these selected fabrics to create the building blocks that would eventually be sewn together to create the ground for the artwork. They grew into substantial pieces in the 50 inch to 70 inch range both in width and height during the creative process. For these specific works, these are the exact sizes they needed to be to achieve the scale and impact I was looking for.

unbleached muslin and polyester batting for the longest part of the creation process: the hand stitching of the physical texture of the artwork. This is accomplished using a small hand needle and a palette of thread colors specific to the piece. More detailed information and images of my materials and many specific processes can be seen easily on my website under the Studio heading and Process heading along with detailed information on every featured artwork in the Gallery sections or Commissions sections. I am a perfectionist at heart so every technical aspect of my work has to be at the Master level. To produce inferior work for commissions or potential exhibit work just isn’t allowed in my studio. I have spent thousands of hours perfecting my expertise in machine assembly, hand assembly and hand stitching of my artwork. My work is all very labor intensive and even the smallest pieces in a 12 inch by 12 inch size can take 40 hours or more to create. My large scale work can take anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 hours or more to complete from start to finish. This timeframe is why so many of my artworks have copyright dates that span several years. It can take several months up to a year alone for the hand stitching of one large scale artwork working 40 hours a week on just that one project.

They both are waiting for the next step in the creative process: the dense and intricate hand stitching that will add the unique physical and visual texture that makes each piece sing on its own.

I usually have several artworks in progress at the same time and one may need to take precedence over another one for a considerable amount of time. In other cases, I may be struggling with what the next step should be with a specific piece and it is moved aside on the design wall while I work on one that is flowing much better.

Other works begin with the actual dyeing of the ground fabric. Once that process is completed, quite often I add in the rust pigmentation or ironwork elements to further support the idea or to enhance the ground fabric. Once the ground fabric has reached what I see as its completion level, it is combined with

Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from Abstract Textures an interesting experimental work that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to visit your website directly at http://www.jeanjudd.com/ in order to get a


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Fractured ‘Gello #2 – process - © Jean M. Judd wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?

The Abstract Textures series came about in 2011 when I wanted to try to exert more control over the dyeing process of my ground fabrics. I had enjoyed the unexpected images, shapes,


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Abstract Textures 1.3 - (c) 2011-2014 - Hand Stitched Thread on Hand Painted Textile – detail

gradations, and randomness of my original process in creating the ground fabrics but I also wanted more depth. I wanted more direct contact with the fabric at even this early stage. My work was definitely of the abstract genre so this was a more extreme move in that direction. More of a gestural feel to the work; decisions as to color and placement of strokes happened quickly. For this particular sequence, I couldn’t debate too long on what to do next and what

happened within the work had to be dealt with and accepted. It was a big move outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to evoke a more painterly feel to it. I wanted to have the visibility of brush strokes which add to the visual interest of the piece. I was looking to show the “artist’s hand” even more in this specific series than just the artist’s hand that showed in the textural stitching.


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Abstract Textures 1.4 - (c) 2011-2014 – Hand Stitched Thread on Hand Painted Textile – 34.5" x 42.5" (86 x 107cm)

At the time no one else was experimenting in this way in the textile realm so I had to develop my own techniques and sourced out the equipment that I would need to bring to life what I was seeing in my head. The painting would be done flat on a large table surface using various foam brushes to hold the dye. I didn’t want to change the hand or drape of the fabric by using actual paint or a thickened dye mixture. I needed the completed dye painted

panel to still be soft, supple, and easy to push a needle through by hand. I wanted the dye enbedded into the warp and weft of the textile. My aestheic also required it to be washable in a standard clothes washing machine which is part of the entire process in setting the dye colors into the fabric as well as the threads used in the textural stitching. The first four pieces were completed in 2014


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Contaminated Water #1 - (c) 2010€- Hand Stitched Thread on Hand Dyed Textile - 20"x 42.25" (51 x 107cm)

and are now beginning to be submitted for exhibitions in 2015. Twelve more panels were dye painted in 2014 for this series and will be completed within the next two to three years. A third set of panels I plan to dye paint in 2017 and they will be in the seven to ten foot range for size, much larger than the first sixteen. I will be doing some reconstruction of my paint boxes and tables before these pieces will be created.

I am excited to see the continuation and completion of more of the pieces in this series. A wonderful discovery with the first four pieces is that they are able to fit together and become a unique multi-faceted work that has numerous configuration possibilities. The undulating stitching on all of the pieces connect them together and allows them to flow from piece to piece.


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convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a wayto 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?

The Contaminated Water series of work came about in February of 2010 only because of an experiment gone wrong. The first three pieces were originally an experimentation trying dye painting of my grounds on slabs of freshly cut wood from the forest. My vision for what could be created and what really happened were diametrically opposed and were ruined in my eyes at the time of doing this initial experiment. After spending several days sulking about the unsuccessful outcomes in creating the ground fabrics, I was poised to throw the three pieces into the trash, literally ready to drop them in the bucket and give up on developing a new technique. Something inside me insisted that I not throw them away but instead hang them up and wait. After several weeks I started to see things in the colors and composition of the three pieces. “Contamination” was one of the words floating in my head every time I looked at the panels hanging forlonely on the wall. This word I think was a direct reference to the failed experimentation that was still clouding my mind. “Water” was the other word going in and out of my mind.

One of the features that has mostly impacted on me of your approach, is the way you have been capable of re-contextualizing the dichotomy between visual art and sculpture, as in the interesting Contaminated Water: I would go as far as to state that your Art in a certain sense forces the viewers' perception in order to challenge the common way to perceive our environment... I'm sort of

The visions of water kept coming up in my mind and in one piece (Contaminated Water #1) I saw the shape of a fish on the upper edge. Suddenly it just snapped into a clear vision. In the middle piece (which became Contaminated Water #2: Pond Scum) I saw a scummy film that I had seen many times on the pond across the road from my studio. I enhanced it with the first experimentation of using copper wire to rust the fabric. The third panel (which became Contaminated Water


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Contaminated Water #2: Pond Scum - (c) 2010 - Hand Stitched Thread on Hand Dyed Textile - 15"x 42" (38 x 10

#3: Sludge) now looked like the sludge on the river banks just a few miles from my studio, when we had low water levels due to drought. This piece was the first experimentation with using steel wool to rust pigment the fabric with an additional design element. I started pulling out larger panels of hand dyed

fabrics in the blue and green range and the rest of the series came together from there. Each piece ended up being an experimentation in different rust pigmentation techniques to enhance the story of just what was happening to one of our most valuable resources: water. Changes were happening that was affecting not only the water itself, but also the plants and


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animals that called it home. I definitely love the soft nuances of your pieces, as the interesting Blocks of the Past and I have been struck with the intense and sometimes "oniric"- luminosity that seems to flow out of these pieces: while most of sculptures and paintings most of the time

need to receive a specific kind of illumination, your pieces, as the interesting Crushed Grapes, seem to hold an inner luminosity that just wait to spring out: any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

Blocks of the Past is one of many artworks


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Contaminated Water #3: Sludge - (c) 2010 Hand Stitched Thread on Hand Dyed Textile 15"x 42" (38 x 107cm)

that I have created that uses a heavy dose of black. Traditionally artists seem to steer clear of black in much of their work. I use it to help create more vibrant and luminous colors. In this particular piece, adding the dash of vibrant red works to catch the viewers attention and draw them further into the geometric aspect of the piece. This utizilation of black harkens back to my long-time infatuation with stained glass windows. Without the separation that the leading gives in the assembly of the sections, the colors would not be as vibrant as they are with the black. It provides a bit of separation and lets each color be its true self and not be diluted by other strong colors touching it. While doing this, it doesn’t detract from the overall image, but enhances it. Much of my work leans towards darker colors and hues along with black. My palette has

always been more brooding and reminscent of nightmares than “springy” or “sunshine and flowers”. Beauty can be found in any color and shade. I think what pulls that out is a visual and physical texture, change in shades, gradiated hues, and the occassional shot of “light” that draws our attention in for a closer look. The in-progress piece, Crushed Grapes, that you reference is one of several that glows on its own from the very beginning. This luminosity comes from keeping the ground fabric more of a subtle color. Not fully drenching the textile with color lets the natural color of the undyed fabric show through and influence the final piece with perceived highlights. Quite often, less is more and this is one clear example. The completed work Flaming Grapes has this same quality but leans more towards radiating. It is one of a few pieces were the ground textile that the rusting is done on, is in its original


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Jean M. Judd

Crushed Grapes – process - © Jean M. Judd

state as it comes from the textile mill. Inprogress piece Shadow of the Past is another example of this. These specific pieces had been originally intended to be incorporated into a larger whole, but I have decided to let them stand alone on their own merit. The surface design as far as color goes will stay at this minimalist level. The stitching will provide the majority of the impact and I have yet to settle on exactly what that will entail. The hand stitching creates crevices and hills that reflect whatever light is around the artwork and gives each artwork its own distinct shadows

and highlights. Quite often many of the artworks seem like two entirely different artworks based on the type of light it is viewed in as well as the angle and strength of that light. This aspect has quite often made it difficult for me to come up with titles for my work. It is quite frequent that I hear from viewers of my work that the title isn’t what they see at all. It has been suggested to not title my work at all and that it should be up to the collector to name it. In my view, the work isn’t complete unless it has a title and using “Untitled #?” just isn’t an option for me personally. My work is important to me and the title in my mind


Jean M. Judd

Flaming Grapes - (c) 2009-2011 – Hand Stitched Thread on Textile - 27.5" x 26.5" (69x66cm)

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indicates that it is finished. If a collector calls it something else, that is fine with me. Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your approach to textile and I have highly appreciate the way you are capable of creating such an effective symbiosis between elements from different techniques, manipulating language and recontextualizing images and concepts: while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

In my development as an artist, mostly in solitude, I have been free to take aspects from other artist fields as well as scientific ones and meld them together to create my own unique artwork, processes, and voice. I think that it has actually benefited me to not have gone through a university course of study concentrated in Art. I have had no preconceived ideas as to what I could or could not do in the creation of my work. Just because someone else hasn’t done “this or that” before doesn’t mean that I can’t do it. Stretching concepts, blurring the lines between disciplines has always been what artists and scientists have done throughout time. Several artists that I am most drawn to all have taken their medium and talent and went off into a new direction. Frank Lloyd Wright, Georgia O’Keefe, Claude Monet, Jackson Pollock, M.C. Escher, Alfred Stieglitz, and Nancy Crow are a few that I have used as artistic role models. They were unfazed by what others thought and stuck with the inspiration that was inside of them. They each broke new ground in their own medium and worked extremely hard, setting new artistic standards that many are trying to attain today. They found success for themselves by putting in the time to hone their skills and develop their talent. I have spent a great deal of time thinking and

experimenting with common items that will let me create specific aspects of my surface work. I don’t want to rely on computer and modern


Jean M. Judd

technology. Not everything in life or that is created needs to be made in seconds, minutes, or even days. There is a refreshing aspect to

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slowing down, having a process that takes time to develop. Being able to watch something slowly unfold, grow, change, develop, and


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Jean M. Judd

mature into a completed artwork that required the physical touch of my hand for the entire process is an amazing and uplifting experience. Each work contains the unique mark of my hand alone and is part of the legacy that will live on across the world in peoples homes, offices, and collections. When the completed work leaves my studio, a small piece of me goes with it and remains embedded in the artwork. I want viewers of my work to have to think and to explore each piece they see. Don’t take it at face value or first impressions. That is why I gravitate towards abstraction in all of my work. There is a first impression of anything that we see, but I want viewers to spend time, look at the work, study it, see some of the tiny, hidden nuances that aren’t visible from a distance or even in a photograph of the work. I want them to question what it is. Is it a painting? Is it a weaving? Is it a sculpture? What was used to make this? Why is it in this shape? Objects and life fly past us in a flurry all the time. Everything is rushed, everyone is in a hurry, we rarely see anything clearly as it is a blurr as we rush by on to the next meeting. There has to be objects that slow us down, make us take a second look or even a third one, make us stop and think: What is that? Why was that made? What is the creator trying to say or wanting me to see? Your works are intrinsically connected to the chance of creating a lively interaction with your audience, and as you have stated once, not all art has to be contained within a heavy wood or plastic frame: you use a tactile sensibility to provide such an Ariadne's thread that lead the viewers to evolve from a passive audience to an actively involved part of the piece of Art itself... so I would ask you if in your opinion personal experience an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process, I mean both for conceiving a piece and for enjoying it... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?


Jean M. Judd

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Rust Dyeing - process - - Š Jean M. Judd


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Contaminated Water #7: Lily Pads – © 2011-2013 - Hand Stitched Thread on Hand Dyed Textile - 26”x 41.75” (66 x 107cm)

Since my work is conceived, created, and centered on textiles which is intricately and intimately associated with all aspects of our lives, I want to maintain that sense of touch. I don’t want to hide the texture of the work behind a glass shield and weighted frame. I want the entire focus to be on the artwork itself. I want them (viewers) to work to see it unfold, find other, more personal meanings buried within the artwork. I love to watch people experience my art in

galleries and museums. It is exciting to see when an artwork has touched someone because it is very evident. They unknowingly physically start reaching out towards the artwork to touch it and stop suddenly; realizing that they shouldn’t be doing that. I hear from collectors all the time that one of the biggest thrills they get from my work is the physicality of it. Being able to now touch it in their own collection; feeling the texture, exploring the back of the work, and rotating the


Jean M. Judd work into a new orientation giving the work an entirely new feel. Several have told me they can feel my hand in the artwork. Personal experience is part of many processes in our lives and art is no different. Each person’s life experience is reflected in how they live their life. It is also reflected in how they view art and how they view creative process. My own life experiences flow into the art I create whether I want it to or not. If my life experience was different, my artwork would be different as well. My personal experiences have created a unique fingerprint onto each piece of art that I have created. That experience can’t be duplicated by anyone else. An example would be if you were in a room with several artists drawing or painting the same live model. Each one of the paintings or drawings would be vastly different from the others even though the subject was exactly the same. Each artists’ personal life experience will somehow be reflected in their individual work whether they consciously or unconsiously aware of it. During these years your works have been exhibited in several occasions: it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

I don’t create artwork for a specific exhibition. I create artwork that is my personal work and that specific work is what I put out for exhibitions. I match the exhibition to my completed work, not create or make my work for an exhibition theme. My personal work has no parameters specified by anyone other than myself, unlike commissions which can have certain aspects specified by the commissioner. My exhibition work develops according to my own ideas and feelings. I create commission work to satisfy the commissioner who is paying

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me. I create my own artwork for me, and me alone. If others see value in my work or are touched emotionally by it, that is a bonus to my own satisfaction in expressing a thought, feeling or moment in my medium: textiles, dye, rust pigmentation, and thread. A couple of times early on in my development, I tried to create work to fit a themed exhibition. It was the most horrible experience. I felt trapped, pressured to create something that I didn’t feel, and in a size that I couldn’t successfully work in. I learned quickly that these constraints were not good for my own personal creative process. Others can create this way, I can not. The feedback from the entire experience is helpful. It helps to validate that what I do, the contributions I am making to the art field as well as to society in general, are understood and appreciated by strangers. Sometimes I get useful comments from the exhibit juror about why they selected my work for inclusion or they contact me at a later date for an opportunity to work with them in some capacity. I am most focused on the attendees comments and feelings about the work as they are the ones who are purchasing my work to live with in their own private sanctuaries. I am interested in hearing what they feel and see when viewing the work. Almost without exception, someone tells me they see or feel something that I had not envisioned myself. The gallery and museum staff can also provide valuable feedback as well to comments they hear during the duration of the exhibit when I am not there. As much as many of us would like to think differently, there is a connection between Art and business. Without the physical selling and buying of the art itself, a commercial transaction, there would be no artists. Artists need the money that they earn from selling their work in order to survive, pay their bills, buy raw materials to create their artwork, be productive members of society who do their own part to support other businesses within their communities.


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Creating art can be a full time occupation (i.e. business) that can not be selfsustaining if it is not treated like the business that it is. As an artist, I deserve to be paid for my talent and expertise just like a cook, accountant, teacher, doctor, or construction worker. I just don’t get an hourly wage paid to me at the end of a pay period. As an artist, I receive monetary compensation only when someone purchases my work at an exhibition, through a representing gallery, from my studio, or asks for a commissioned piece to be created for them. If creating art full time wasn’t now my “business”, I would not have the dedicated time to create the exhibition work I do nor take on as many commissions as I do now. There are still just 24 hours in a day, seven days a week, and 365 days in the year. My mission for the next 30 years is to continue creating the art that I am doing now and to continue growing in my personal exploration of the textile medium. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Jean. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

As I mentioned earlier in the interview, I have twelve pieces in the Abstract Textures series to complete in the next couple of years. I also have several other works that have been patiently waiting for their turn at completion and I hope to whittle that pile down as well over the next five years. My commission schedule is already full through 2018 so there is lots of studio time already spoken for during the next several years. Never a dull moment or lack of something to be working on in the studio. I am currently on the home stretch of finishing my fifth book. It is slated for release in April of this year, 2015. My first four books: An Artist’s Journey: Books 1, 2, and 3 and Quetico: An Artist’s Experience: Book 1 are currently available worldwide on the Internet through Amazon in both paperback as well as in Kindle formats besides being available through independent book stores. I have two more books slated to be released later this year, including a childrens book about art. I will have to see how they fit into an already overflowing schedule. They may have to be pushed out to later in 2016. As for where I envision the direction of my work going, I still have many different directions that I want to explore with the dye painting. I see several years worth of work alone in that one direction. I also have many files filled with notes on further exploration in the rust pigmentation process and where that could lead in creating new processes. Thank you for extending the interview invitation and letting me share my artwork, thoughts, and processes with your audience. It has been a pleasure having this conversation.


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BBB Johannes Deimling A rolling stone gathers no moss is a new cycle of visual performances which BBB Johannes Deimling started in 2013. In these performances the artist focuses metaphorically on motion and uses very much the language of poetry to create these visual pieces. Following the fact that our whole life is based on motion as a consequence of a variety forms of repetition (e.g. breathing), Deimling creates performative statements talking about the coexistence of motion and its end. A stone gathers moss when it is not moving, when time can create its tracks and change its identity. Motion and still stand (or pause) are in constant interaction and create a rhythm like the heartbeat which nobody knows exactly why it has started and why it actually stops.


Krista Nassi

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Around the world #8, Cyprus InternationalGold, Performance Art Festival, (background detail) Nicosia, Cyprus 2013

Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

photo: Monika Sobczak

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BBB Johannes Deimling

An interview with

BBB Johannes Deimling Hello Johannes, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art? By the way, do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

Thank you and it is a pleasure to be here. Bertold Brecht stated “Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.”. I do agree that art is not a mirror but I believe in the force art has towards the shape of the reality. I would add the anvil to the metaphor of the hammer as it is tool which executes the given force. In combination with the anvil who transforms the force into shape both are getting into a productive and creative dialogue which is to me one important aspect of art. Still a common opinion is: art is something which is shown in museums, galleries and art institutions. According to Marcel Duchamps manifesto of the ‘creative act’ these objects are seen as the leftovers of a creative process where ‘art’ is no longer vivid. Duchamps idea was that the actual process of creating an art piece is the art and what is left is the trace of this act. In other words: not the painting is important, but the act of painting or not the sculpture is important, but the chiselling or hammering on wood or metal. This anti-materialistic statement is pointing on the act of doing art. A lot of artists enhanced these thoughts and expanded them into another ways of producing and perceiving art, the art work and the role of the artist. Here I would mention as one example Alan Kaprow and of course the concept of the Black Mountain College in the near of Asheville, North Carolina, US.

BBB Johannes Deimling

Around the world #8, Cyprus International Performance

The works presented in museums and galleries are in fact senseless or ‘dead’ if no one would go there and look at them. The audience, or the viewer are playing a distinct role in transforming and an art work into art. For my understandings it is not the art work which is the art, art appears within an active dialogue, in between the work and its perception. In this sense art is non materialistic. Following this thought art cannot be alone, art needs to be seen, perceived and needs to get into a dialogue.


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Art Festival, Nicosia, Cyprus 2013 | photo: Monika Sobczak

Art is a social and educational issue. A painting for example which got sold on the art market and is stored since then in a collection’s basement lost its soul as no one else can see it and has the chance to get into a dialogue with it. The market which is designed to own and trade art works is stealing the essence of art production as art works needs to be shared in order to offer the important dialogue which transforms it into art. The beauty, the fascination and the value of art is to me not measurable through money, status or connections.

Art is something very naive, fragile and disappears at the first attempt of wanting to understand it. With the appearance of Action Art, where artists were explicit focusing on the creative act and create art works which are not directly sellable, the awareness on what art was changed radically. Joseph Beuys’ idea of the Social Sculpture is still for a lot of artists a possibility to create a direct dialogue between the arts and the public. This thinking was also adopted by Performance Art a process based art practise with


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its ephemeral nature which celebrates the creative and active moment ‘NOW’. My understanding of art, art production, - philosophy and - perception is marked by these thoughts. Trying to expand and extend these thoughts in my daily work I wonder if nowadays art philosophy is able to formulate a similar statement or movement which can influence the work of artists in the future. Every art which is seen today as ‘traditional’ was at the time of its appearance contemporary and revolutionary. And every art which is today labelled with the term ‘contemporary’ will be in the future traditional. Categories are important for humans as they need to understand, but it is not important for the arts. Art follows its naive and organic nature and will always develop, renew, expand, explore, experiment with the time in which it is created as art has the urge to communicate, to reflect, to research and to respond. This implies that an artist is not anymore only a specialist in one discipline or handcraft, but in many - not only art related - fields. The intersections of various interests and professions opens new fields in which art can be active. The more art is intersecting the more it offers and provokes a dialogue. The nature of this dialogue is to widen the knowledge and to ask new questions.

Around the world #8, Cyprus International Performan

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that particularly impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks?

There are a couple of experiences which have influenced my art practise and I feel that still things are happening which are influencing the way how I produce my works. But of course some events which I describe now were milestones for me.

a rolling stone gathers no moss #6, Espai d´art contemporani de Castelló, Castelló, Spain 2013 photo: Monika Sobczak

I must have been 4 or 5. I remember sitting in the kindergarten in the ‘painting corner’. I took a paper, a brush and watercolours. I started with blue - as blue was and still is my favourite colour. After I took Jennifer Sims yellow for no particular reason.


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a rolling stone gathers no moss #6, Espai d´art contemporani de Castelló, Castelló, Spain 2013 photo: Monika Sobczak

ce Art Festival, Nicosia, Cyprus 2013 | photo: Monika Sobczak

I was completely thrilled by the fact that both colours yield into green. This visual sensation caused a huge fascination in colours. How much this has made an impact on me I can still see in the folder of my kindergarten paintings as I painted an enormous amount of pictures based on this phenomena. I remember very well my enormous fascination for collages when my art teacher introduced the topic in school. Supporting my enthusiasm he gave me a book and told me to have a closer look at it. It was a book about the German artist Kurt Schwitters and his ‘Merz’ - Collages, which became essential in my progress as an artist. As a young man I did a lot of collages inspired by Schwit-

ters’ works. I loved the possibilities to bring all kinds of materials together which I found, bought or collected and didn’t had to stick to one medium. Similar like the combination of blue and yellow I felt a huge potential of intersecting materials. I didn’t spend too much time waiting to create the next one as to me the process of doing this work like collecting the materials, the process of trying out and finally gluing them on the paper or cardboard was much more attractive to me than the product itself. I have never visited an art academy and don’t made any degree in art. I am a pure autodidact driven by curiosity and the enormous fascination and potential of creativity. My early studies were based on almost daily visits in the local library in my hometown Andernach, where I went very often and took books from the section “Art”. Looking mainly at the images of the books I tried basically to read them visually. I started trying to copy some of the paintings and drawings I saw, to study the form and colour language (For example: Martin Kippenberger, Sigmar Polke or Anselm Kiefer). I followed those aesthetics which I liked, names and styles were not that important at that time, but more the variety of visual possibilities. As well I went to all the exhibitions I could get into and tried to talk with


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BBB Johannes Deimling

youth, TJG – Theatre Young Generation, Dresden, Germany 2012 | photo: Monika Sobczak

artists in order to get more names of other artists and watch more books to see more and different images. My self-studies and the important conversations with my art teacher at school led me to go deeper into the world of Action Art as the joy of doing was for me already at that time much more bigger than the satisfaction after finishing the work. My parents were very supportive and allowed me to paint, glue and experiment in my room – even though it was often smelling a lot. Seeing my fascination in art and knowing the complications of this profession they asked me to do something of which I could make a living before I really start to dive deeper into universe of art. I decided to

a rolling stone gathers no moss #5”, 'Abierto de Accion', Centro Parraga, Murcia, Spain 2013 | photo: Monika Sobczak

study pedagogy and later on communication. At this point not knowing that this will influence my practise and my way of thinking a couple of years later. At the age of 18 I made my first public exhibition in a cafe in my hometown. I exhibited drawings and paintings. I felt a certain sureness about what I did and thought. I was sure that art should play a big role in my life. This sureness is still the motor of my artistic activities and till today I simply never stopped this process, this curiosity and this fascination. I still feel a similar sensation when I do my art today and if I would feel that this sensation would be gone I would probably do something different. Jennifer Sims


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

My main medium since years is Performance Art and Action Art. Even though I also draw, write poems, make video works this art form is to me the most adequate form to articulate my visions and visual concepts as it per se a process oriented form of art. The process implies that there is no goal to reach, but more a way to go, so even there is a presentation of my performance the process is still going on, guiding my thoughts and decisions even within the performance itself. This is because in Performance Art the ‘production’ is trying to sculpt the unknown. I never rehearse my performances before the public presentation, so even I conceptualize and think a lot of how the work should look like I have no concrete knowledge about how it will actually be. The absence of rehearsal is a distinct separation to other performing arts (theatre, dance, music) and focusses on the uniqueness of the creative act with all risks of failure. This requires that I need to take the process always with me in order to keep my awareness within the public presentation as high as possible. a rolling stone gathers no moss #3”, PAO Performance Art Oslo Festival, Atelier ANX, Oslo, Norway 2013 | photo: Monika Sobczak

The combination of curiosity and fascination in all kinds of artistic expression is each day an inspiration for me which can influence my concept of art. I get inspired by architecture, music, poetry, stories that people tell me, food which I eat or discover, objects which I find or see in shops, landscapes, sounds in the streets, politics, history, so almost everything which catches my interest and curiosity is part of my artistic research. I am like sponge which absorbs everything which comes along my way and try to include it into my artistic process and language. So even by writing these words I get inspired which can influence the way how the next art piece is produced.

BBB Johannes Deimling explaining ‘The Jar’ task to his students”, Oslo, Norway 2013 photo: Monika Sobczak


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To begin the creative process I form single images. The so called ‘acted images’ (agierte Bilder) consist of reduced, simple actions often with only one object, one material or one gesture. A visual alphabet of acted images accrues, allowing me to literally and visually write my art that is performance. Using the technique of collage I combine several acted images that allows me to play in a cinematic way with all of the visual elements by deconstructing the course of actions and putting the parts anew together. During this process various intersections appear in which unpredictable new images emerge. The term for this working method would be: ‘performative collages’. The quality of this working method is that there is no end result, each performance is unique which cannot be repeated and creates new questions which opens a new research. An open and free field of choices, responsibilities and possibilities. The process itself becomes the technique. “It’s not the action that makes the performance” is the title of a recent published catalogue of my work (an online version is available directly here: http://j.mp/PPLxX9). The title of this publication is a statement which includes the thought that even the artist and his body is a main focus in performance art, it is not the only quality. The combination of the present body with various artistic components (size, shape, colour, light, space, sound, ...) - and very important - time creates this holistic universe of a performative art work which - if it comes altogether - creates this ‘magic’ moments in which art is in direct conversation with the present audience. In all my works and as well in my philosophy I am looking for simplicity. “simplicity of complexity” is a term which describes my research on things, situations and moments. I am looking for an artistic language which can be understood by a lot people and not only by some. Looking on my work one can see that I use all day materials and objects. Transforming those simple elements in my performative works tries to shape an insight of complex subjects or feelings. The centre of my interest is the image as I see my-

a rolling stone gathers no moss #8,

performed together with Lotte Kaiser, Savvy Contempo

self as a visual artist rather than a “performer” or “performance artist”. The visual image transports and transforms my artistic vision. It is a great pleasure for me to have Monika Sobczak (www.mmonikasobczak.com) as my personal photographer who is following me since more than 4 years. Performance Art and Photography are sharing an interesting intersection. Both art forms are interested in moments. In this collaboration the Jennifer Sims moment is one integral meeting point of both art


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a rolling stone gathers no moss #8, performed together with Lotte Kaiser, Savvy Contemporary, Berlin, Germany 2014 photo: Monika Sobczak

relation with the audience and the artistic, aesthetic action and much more the atmosphere in one moment. This cooperation produces ‘after images’ which are more than only documentation of that what was happening. It is a dialogue between two persons and two art forms.

rary, Berlin, Germany 2014 | photo: Monika Sobczak

forms and creates something that is pointing beyond the two forms. My working method creates a tension which is needed for the intensity of the presence and focuses on the artistic action. As I never rehearse my performances the failure is always present. For Monika Sobczak this is a challenge and set’s her profession in a similar state. While not knowing what will happen next she is in a similar attentive moment like I am and tries to catch the moment that I am creating. Monika Sobczak needs to read and follow the acaction and to capture the spatial composition, the

Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from a rolling stone gathers no moss, an extremely interesting project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article, and I would suggest them to visit your vimeo page at https://vimeo.com/bbbjohannesdeimling in order to get a wider idea of it. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this works?

Since more than 20 years I am working with the concept of cycles or series in my performative art practise. ‘What’s in my head’, ‘Blanc’, ‘leaking memories’, ‘Around the World’ and ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’ are just a few titles of cycles in which I include several performative collages. The given titles are often metaphors for topics or themes which I cannot specify or extract in one art work. They are more like fields or landscapes on which I need to look from different perspectives in order to grasp their holistic meaning and potential. In several performances I try to shape this territory.


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all saints, place a l’art performance, session 7, Paris, France 2011 | photo: Monika Sobczak

This work is highly process based. Even though each piece of a cycle is standing for itself, each piece is transporting the experience of the performance before.

keep on evolving, changing without letting time impose its traces, on the other to be a perpetual wanderer implies do not have the capacity to settle down some necessary roots.

“a rolling stone gathers no moss” is a new cycle of visual performances which I have started in 2013 and have presented over 11 performances since then. In this cycle of performances I focus metaphorically on motion and use very much the language of poetry to create these visual pieces. Following the fact that our whole life is based on motion as a consequence of a variety forms of repetition (e.g. breathing), I try to create performative statements talking about the co-existence of motion and its end. The English proverb “a rolling stone gathers no moss” can have both a positive or a negative acceptation, on one hand being in a constant state of movement means to

Simple wooden chairs, a metaphor for the English proverb, are appearing in all of the performances within the cycle in various forms (piled up on a heap, standing in line or circle, …) and formally creating a repetitive form through the whole cycle. Other elements and materials are changing according to the stage of the research and process of the cycle. There is a connection between the single performances which underlines the quality of a series. It is mainly done by used materials or symbols which will be reused in one of the next performances. For example the swing I used in #2 appeared again in #3, #5 and #8. The white dress I used in #8Jennifer appearedSims in a different context in #9


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Or during the performance #10 – which I presented at the CREATurE festival in Kaunas, Lithuania – a choir with more than 20 young people appeared suddenly and were singing the anthem of Europe (Ode to joy). In all of my artistic works I try to talk about something which I cannot explain in words. If I could I would write or talk about it. I try to articulate through my visual language feelings, emotions, moments connected with my research on a broader topic and offer them in the shared moment of the public presentation to my audience. It is not important that the audience understands what I am doing, as I am not producing a direct narrative, but more important is to me to offer a dialogue about the unknown and that what they see and how they respond to it. all saints, place a l’art performance, session 7, Paris, France 2011 | photo: Monika Sobczak

and the melody I used in #9 was sung by a choir in #10. Different to other cycles in ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’ I am challenging myself with different tasks which should bring me out of my comfort zone as a performer and condense the created atmosphere. In some of the performances I build in one element which is embarrassing for me and in some performances I take other people to perform with me. In the performance #8 - which I have presented at Savvy Contemporary in Berlin as part of the ‘Present Tense series’ curated by Chiara Cartuccia - I performed together with Lotte Kaiser, a 15 years old teenager. I know Lotte since a few years as she took part in a few workshops I gave for young people and knew that she was able to do the performance with me. Her appearance was very important for the concept of the performance as I was using a memory and a picture of my great grandmother as the source of this piece. Lotte at one point taking the position of the shown photograph of my great grand-mother became a link between future and past.

Another interesting work of yours that have particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words is Around the world #8... By the way, I can recognize that one of the possible ideas underlying this work is to unfold a compositional potential in the seemingly random structure of the space we live in... Even though I am aware that this might sound a bit naïf, I am wondering if one of the hidden aims of Art could be to search the missing significance to a non-place... I am sort of convinced that some information and ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... What is your point about this?

“Around the world #8” is the last performance of this cycle and was created for the Cyprus International Performance Art Festival in Nicosia in 2013. Indeed the cycle is metaphorically dealing with space. The circle is a major form in these performances (similar like the chairs in the cycle “a rolling stone gathers no moss”) and is not an illustration of the world. The circle creates an empty space within its round line. This space we can see as the unknown as something we would like to discover as we might have a feeling what could be in the middle of it.


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Around the world #8, Cyprus International Performance Art Festival, Nicosia, Cyprus 2013 | photo: Monika Sobczak

All what we can do is to circle around the emptiness and perhaps we are able to shrink the circle, but each circle will be empty in the middle. In this emptiness is laying a lot of hidden information’s which indeed are encrypted as we mainly feel them and no words can describe them, therefore we use Art as a transformer to articulate them. The cycle ‘Around the world’ tries to find intersections of inner spaces within the human nature as all humans have common sensations, needs and desires about how they live on this planet. These personal, inner spaces are often in a conflict with political or economic interests. Encrypting your inner space allows you to react on the changes within societies, countries and global connections.

In the songs of Bob Marley (one of the research fields for the cycle ‘Around the world’) one can find a lot of thoughts about the roots that we shouldn’t forget as they give us security, stability and knowledge about ourselves. Those roots Bob Marley is singing of are metaphors for the inner space from which we create our identities all around the world. Besides producing your Art, you also gained a wide experience as a teacher: since 2012 you hold the position of associate Professor for Performance Art at NTA – Norwegian Theatre Academy at the Østfold University College: as you have stated one, although not everybody needs to get a performance artist”, to underJennifer Sims stand performative processes is a vital know-


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a rolling stone gathers no moss #2, performNOW!, Winterthur, Switzerland 2013 | photo: Monika Sobczak

ledge which can inspire one self, life and society and of course all other art forms... I sometimes happen to wonder if Art could play as a substitute of Traditional Learning: so I couldn't do without mentioning PAS | Performance Art Studies that our readers can get to know at http://pas.bbbjohannesdeimling.de

Art and education are in my opinion twins and when they are together they have an immense force. All started in 1996 when a friend of mine who worked as an art teacher in a high school asked me to give a workshop in Performance Art for her pupils as part of a project week at her school. Until this time my studies in pedagogy and communica-

tion were separated from my work as an independent artist which often caused quite a confusion inside of me. With this first teaching opportunity an incredible interesting process started which completely changed my direction in so many different ways. Teaching and Performance Art practice have a lot in common. The situation a teacher – in any subject – creates is very much the same alike the situation an artist creates who is creating a performative piece of art. Both are trying to point on something which is unknown until the moment the actual teaching/learning or creative act happens. Both are sharing a space within a certain time frame with people. Both are trying to transfer an experience. Starting from these simple similarities I started to


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The logo of PAS | Performance Art Studies, http://pas.bbbjohannesdeimling.de

research within the intersections of art practice and education now since more than 17 years. Teaching Performance Art became more and more important as young generations of artists were interested in this art form, but didn’t had a direct access or connection to this art form. Still in Europe for example there are just a few academies offering a BA or MA in Performance Art, but the interest in this art form in the past years has increased enormously. Performance is for young artists therefore important as it has massively influenced the production of art and perception of art within the past 30 years. Even though Performance Art is experiencing a boom right now, but still it plays a marginal role in the market – which perhaps is not the worst thing to happen. The strategies and philosophies of performative art practi-ce are useable for all kind of art practices. It can be seen as chameleon which has the potential to adjust in each artistic and as well non-artistic process. In 2008 I founded the independent, educational project PAS | Performance Art Studies of which since then I am the artistic director. The aim of this project is to provide interested people a comprehensive form of teaching on Performance Art, eve-

cleaning memories, city gallery, Bydgoszcz, Poland 20

rywhere in the world and always in coope-ration with Performance Art festivals, art aca-demies, museums and galleries. I have to admit there is too little space for to say more about this project as it has grown enormously since its foundation. But the readers are invited to look at the website of PAS | Performance Art Studies (http://pas.bbbjohannesdeimling.de) and get in contact with PAS if they have any further questions or are interested in taking part in one of the studies. Since 2009 I am researching and working as well with the intersection of Performance Art as an art form and the school as a system of education. Young people (in the age of 13-19 years old) can gain from a performative experience not only artistic skills, but more social competences and a problem solving mind set which is helpful as well Sims outside theJennifer arts.


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13 | photo: Monika Sobczak

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cleaning memories, city gallery, Bydgoszcz, Poland 2013 | photo: Monika Sobczak

It is a pity to see that in most societies on the globe public education is following a typical hierarchic order. First are mathematics and languages, than the humanities and at the end the arts. The economic direction education takes is dangerous as the following generations might lose their humanistic competences. There is no public school where art is taught on an equal level like mathematics. The systems are targeting on the head and see the body only as a vehicle to carry the head. We have bodies and we have an amazing knowledge about the body as an immense powerful tool. We know for example that experiences are mainly captured in our bodies and connected to our brains by body based memories. This simple and known fact should call our attention off the importance to connect the rest of the body with the head. Why not educating people to use first their bodies and after their brain intelligence?

This would allow us to follow an organic and holistic structure of education which I recommend. No apple tree produces first the apples and then the tree. Art education is the most important education and we will hopefully see in the next years an immense revolution in education which is following an organic and basically a human approach to education and with this a new entrance to knowledge and behaviour which focusses on the creativity of the individual talent in a dialogue of the society. In public education the physical education of the body is mainly covered with sports, which is at the first sight good. But under different viewpoints, mainly the social aspect, sport is focusing on the success of a single person, the one who can run or jump better. Sport is excluding those who have not a sportive body, because they are not well shaped or simply have not the condition for the different disciplines. Performance Art or better said a teaching in perfor-


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Around the world #3, NTA - Norwegian Theatre Academy, Fredrikstad, Norway 2012 | photo: Monika Sobczak

mative processes allows everybody to gain physical experiences. In Performance Art it is not needed to have a special body that can achieve the goal. A handicap or a specific look as well as overweight or skin colour are not an issue at all, but much more usable as strength in the artistic articulation and rather a potential than a handicap. The person with his or hers given body conditions are the centre of attention and nothing needs to be changed for to pull out ones strength. It is all about transformation, to turn those so called handicaps into tools from where a physical understanding of oneself can start to grow into an understanding of the own and the social body. We can only take from what we have experienced otherwise we would respond only with illusions or

pretending to know. Our whole life is based on made experiences and therefore it is very important to transfer those made experiences to others as no one needs to have made the experience of war to know that this is a cruel thing. But personal made experiences are burned in our bodies and in our minds and prevent us of doing mistakes and foreseeing dangerous situations. They make us masters of the experienced situations or moments. Some of us will have made the hurtful experience by touching a hot iron even the parents warned us before. Not seeing the heat raised a curiosity and by touching the hurtfulness became immediately Jennifer Sims and experience that we will never forget. In a creative process we have only the chance to use


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Around the world #3, NTA - Norwegian Theatre Academy, Fredrikstad, Norway 2012 | photo: Monika Sobczak

that what we know and have experiences with and with them we are able to experiment. If we would disconnect the creative process from the experience we would stay on the level of illusion, fiction and interpretation. This might be a possible way, but this would generate a hypothetic knowledge which is not based of real made experiences. If I would give a lecture about how does it feel to fly an airplane I can just guess as I never have done it. I could ask pilots, sit in a fly animator and could try to come as close as possible to that experience, but actually I would be not able to really talk about as I have never done it. The cycle “Blanc” started in 2000 and is inspired by short notes in newspapers which are describing horrible and tragic situation in just a few sentences

Those so called ‘fillers’ are often connected with death, suffer, violence, struggle, ... . The distance of reading about those extreme situations creates a sensation which inspires the imagination as those well composed words creating images in the head of the one who is reading them. But those sensational journalistic words are not at all delivering even a tip of experience, they are preventing us from doing experiences which means here as well being really interested. This all goes along with the fact that there are just a few witnesses left who made direct experiences with the second world war and here in the future interpretation will take the role of made experiences or eyewitness reports. Blanc is a cycle of long durational performances which are often a couple of hours long. Laying still


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and moving in slow motion generates a certain atmosphere in which my body undergoes various stages in which I collect at the moment of the performance a certain body and time experience which I directly give back to the viewer. During these years your creations have been shown in several occasions, in many different countries... It goes without saying that positive feedbacks are capable of supporting an artist: I sometimes happen to wonder if the expectation of a positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist, especially when the creations itself is tied to the involvement of the audience... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

I don’t have expectations on how people perceive my works. If so I probably would be very often disappointed as expectations can be fulfilled or not. I do have expectations towards my own practise which generates the offer towards someone which implies that I need to formulate my offer in a way, so that the other is able at least to receive it. If I am in France for example and speak Polish I cannot expect that people understand me, but I can expect from myself that I learn French in order to be understood. The question here is: What is positive? I don’t know all the people who are coming to my performances and I don’t know with which feelings and experiences through their days and lives they arrive to see my work. If I do an action that someone likes or dislikes is to me the first step receiving a reaction. If those reactions are generating a dialogue I am already happy as I don’t follow a narrative in my works which creates an understanding of a certain issue. I think my art is not made to be understood or made to please people but designed to provoke any kinds of reactions, questions and opinions. This is what will extend my art work and this is my minimum aim. Looking on a positive or negative impact would blur my research, my articulation and my positioning’s. But of course it makes me extremely happy if people who have witnessed a performance by me are inspired.

Around the world #8, Cyprus International Performan Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts with us, Johannes. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I am happy that my schedule is quite filled this year and that I have the chance to continue working on my cycle ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’ which I will show in Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia and Canada this year. I will continue working on this cycle until I decide to find an end, which I cannot foresee now. Jennifer Sims


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ce Art Festival, Nicosia, Cyprus 2013 | photo: Monika Sobczak

With PAS | Performance Art Studies we are going in October this year to Calgary, Canada as we are invited by the M:ST festival to realize a PASyouth studies with teenagers which will present their performances developed within the studies as part of the festival. This is a really rare opportunity made possible by the festival organizer Tomas Jonsson to let teenagers perform at the festival where established artists are presenting their works. This is for me not only a nice gesture, but more a statement to offer the audience an insight about the process

of performative works which will be in the dialogue possible to witness. I am sure there will come some more projects up in this year, so the readers are welcome to visit my regular updated website in order to stay informed about my activities and hopefully I can welcome the one or the other to one of my performances or studies. Thank you very much for this interview. An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator articulaction@post.com


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Svetlin Velchev (The Netherlands)

Svetlin Velchev is an independent performer/choreographer based in The Netherlands. His current residency is Rotterdam,after an extensive dance education in NUTI Sofia and CODARTS Rotterdam. Since 2008 he has been part of Cultural Centre OT301 Amsterdam where he is still working till nowadays. At the moment he is also involved with the dance organization CIRCLE Rotterdam as well as with the development and coherency of his personal work. In 2012 Svetlin founded MANIFEST Dance Company, which has a mission to extend arm to broad audiences, inspire other artists, provoke interest in young or non-pro auditorium and provide cognitive understanding for dance in the ordinary public.


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Svetlin Velchev, photographer Theo van Prooijen

Gold, (background detail) Svetlin Velchev, Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed 2011 photographer TheoMedia, van Prooijen

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Svetlin Velchev

An interview with

Svetlin Velchev Hello Svetlin, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art? By the way, do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

Hello there! Thank you for the kind invitation as I am feeling thrilled by your interest in my work and to talk about art with me! To tell you honestly - find it difficult to define what contemporary art is, especially nowadays when so many subjects, concepts and ideas has been explored in many ways and repeatedly used as an inspiration and theme. Even for a trained eye of an expert is not easy to understand what the current state of art is actually about. I know it must have certain qualities and social functions, but still very often they are simply not there or just hard to notice.The audience have seen so much stuff that its getting harder for an artist to be innovative and original, but luckily not impossible of course. Generally it is not certain anymore whether life imitates art or art imitates life. Art can be everything and nothing. Sometimes we have so much art flowing around us outside on the street and on the other hand a lack of it inside the museums and the theaters. Most important for an artwork perhaps would be the strong coherence by which is executed. It just has to make sense even if it is only in the imagination of the artist. Another important aspect would be I guess the means of expression and if that fits to the context of what you want to communicate across to the public. Clarity and personal signature for me plays major role in an

Svetlin Velchev, photographer Theo van Prooijen

artwork and that is what makes it significant, memorizable and recognizable. When I look at art I do not really judge, but need to feel the power of it and what kind of vibe it has. To accept it I somehow have to relate to it, try to understand why am I watching this and what the message would be about. I do not think there should be any actual dichotomy between the traditions and the contemporariness - the one can only support the other. Besides if you want to create good contemporary art you should be familiar with the art history and traditions even if you decide that they should remain obscure. One cannot only invent , one may as well recycle or remake and that has to do with the past and what has been established by recognized artists before. If you’re unaware you


Svetlin Velchev

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Monologues, Contemporary Dance Platform DI U&A, photographer Richard Beukelaar

might trap yourself at doing something already done, thinking that you are discovering when actually you are just repeating what is already existing. I guess what makes an artwork contemporary is the intention behind it, the social or political charge of it and how that resemblance to our daily life literarily - something that can easily connect to everyone at this moment of time. Something that the society is going through right now, contemporary art would reflect on.

Our decade is way different from what it was in the 90’s, technology develops rapidly and values are changing constantly, therefore is very easy that one stays behind with criteria, tendencies and approach to his creation. Would you like to tell us something about your background? After studying contemporary dance at the NUTI National School of Dance Art Sofia, you moved to the Netherlands where you are currently based and you studied at the CODARTS Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Rotterdam: how have these


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Svetlin Velchev

experiences -and especially moving from Bulgaria to the Netherlands- impacted on the way you currently create your pieces?

I am born and raised at Sofia, Bulgaria. Being involved with theatre, art and performance from the age of ten when I started studying in my secondary school, which was profiled with animation, puppetry and drama by Small Puppet Theatre “SLON”. After a couple of productions with them I was genuinely directed towards what I was found to be good at - movement and dance. That is how when I became 13 years old I got into a professional ballet / contemporary dance school NUTI. The follow up was an engagement with the National Ballet of Sofia for three seasons by the time I’ve graduated from my education. By 18 I was sure that I will not continue with the classical ballet as it was completely not of an interest for me. I knew it is a strong foundation for my further experience in dance so I appreciated it, but did not want to be focused on. I had friends dancers, which were also eager to discover the modern dance, which was not yet introduced that much to the Bulgarian art scene, so we’ve end up as a small collective chasing a common dream, all curious in the same direction and as a fellowship we’ve created several experimental performances like ‘Something else’ and ‘Metamorph’ under the umbrella of Dance Lab ‘Elea’, which was founded by the Bulgarian choreographer Elissaveta Iordanova together with us. A short while after that I had as well some very enlightening exchange with European companies from abroad like the Cypriot ‘Amfidromo’’, the Italian ‘Fabrica Europa’ or the Swiss ‘Cie Linga’’, which I think contributed to shaping my taste and opinion about what contemporary dance is and could be, seeing so different and super inspiring examples of it wherever I went. When our young experimental company ‘Elea’ separated I had some time to reconsider what do I want to do and should out of my dance career further on and since there are not much

opportunities for such an artists in Bulgaria, the question was really if I want to continue doing it there or somewhere else, where I could get the sufficient amount of information and knowledge in order to grow. All I needed was a possibility for implementation. Meanwhile figuring that out, solution was on its way. I was working for two seasons at the National Musical Theatre of Sofia, dancing at Miss Saigon and Czardasz Queen. We went on a European tour for few months, after which I didn’t return to Sofia, but left to Amsterdam, where eventually I stayed and organized my life for good. Coming to live in The Netherlands has a deep impact just as much as a turning point in my life and really think it changed my future. I got a chance to seek for what I mostly wanted - art, freedom, independence and knowledge. Quickly became part of an art collective, named OT301, where I am till nowadays and where in the embrace of my colleagues and the building’s strong statement and ideology, I found support and understanding. Two years later, after quite intense search of the right school and unsuccessful auditions, at 2009 I was accepted and followed the Choreography Studies of the Rotterdam Dance Academy CODARTS, where I’ve graduated successfully in 2011. Even though I have never considered myself a good student as I was quite rebellious, I have managed to finish it. I had the urge to express and was always interested in making my own pieces not realizing I took it less seriously in the beginning of it all, but very soon after I knew why I want to do it and what I wanted to share. And you can see somewhat that in my creations now - they always has to expose free spirit and will. I only needed back then clearer vision and style. Since my years at CODARTS I am getting closer to the essence of my art. Surrounded by inspiration and access to plenty of data sources everywhere really gave me a push in a proper direction and I just became more literate and


Breaking Habits, 24UUR Cultuur Rotterdam, photographer Max van Pelt


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Svetlin Velchev

Dialogues, Het Huis Utrecht, photographer Richard Beukelaar

could easily put my ideas into exploitation. Trying to highlight the qualities I have and enhance everything I have created. While still being a student at Rotterdam had to cover my living expenses and education, so I worked parallel as a tech for the quite known Bulgarian performance artist Ivo Dimchev. We toured on some of the best festivals across Europe where I have seen some very fascinating performances including his own ‘Som Faves’ and ‘Lily Handel’. I would need another interview to tell you all about that experience as it was tremendous. Next time.

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

My artwork is a fusion from light, sound and bodies in space and its all about creating a movement or moving image out of those elements, under a specific theme or concept. Rarely using text or speech in my performances. We were once singing in my performance Serenity


Svetlin Velchev

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Monologues, Het Huis Utrecht, photographer Richard Beukelaar

from the program Mind in Motion, but that was one-time case. I am much more intrigued by the symbiosis between the design of the lights, the choreography and the music, merged together and used to achieve powerful visual effect and specific atmosphere, which carries symbolic, metaphoric or personal values. Sometimes I can be elaborating with props or stage-set, but that varies by the different occasions. The performances I make are rather abstract and open for interpretation. If I choose to be using narrative it is most likely to be an absurd work as one of my shows All is everywhere was. In terms of being diverse I try to

reinvent myself with each next project, using different types of media from photography/video to installations, projections, dance on location or the traditional stage performance. You might as well refer glimpses of the underground subculture and the hip-hop street culture in my creations. To start up a creation always happens I think in a way that it is mostly depending on what the assignment is, what is the initial inspiration, how much time there is to prepare it, how long the final result should be and what all the rest of the circumstances would be regarding performers, rehearsal space and deliverance. These are factors which would influence my idea and decisions.


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Svetlin Velchev

Dialogues, Het Huis Utrecht, photographer Richard Beukelaar

In many cases the period of preparing the actual piece is short, which can either make the work more exciting or tough to complete. However from the moment of having an idea to the moment of really getting onto making it and how might take some time so that really evolves first in my head until it seems ready to come out. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Monologues / Dialogues (2014), an extremely interesting project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article, and I would suggest them to visit your

website directly at http://www.svetlinvelchev.com in order to get a wider idea of it. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this project?

Monologues / Dialogues is a spectacular show in two parts with a bunch of incredible artists participating - a result of the initiative ‘The Boiler Room’ by Contemporary Dance Platform DI U&A which is organized on a monthly basis at Utrecht, The Netherlands. It is a project, which has already statutory terms and conditions for making it. The artistic director


Svetlin Velchev

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Breaking Habits, 24UUR Cultuur Rotterdam, photographer Max van Pelt

Iris van Peppen invited me in December 2013 after one of their shows to participate and create one of the next editions so that is how I got to present it in May when the premiere took place. This rather alternative project is almost considered as a curatorial - it is an art experiment of improvisational meetings between musicians and dancers where they share skills and contribute to an unconventional ways of expression and performance experience. So I decided to invite a group of vibrant artists dancers, musicians, dramaturges, a photographer and a graphic designer to come

together and create the work. I came up with a principal idea,structure and frame for the show, so that I put it all into a certain context. And that was explicitly the theme of Contradictions as a nature of reality. Monologues / Dialogues is the two sides to every story. Containing and opposing each other at the same time, both of the perspectives which neither one of them exclude the other - they eventually contradict each other. So you can as well see that in the complete stylizing of the work - in the flyer design , in the show construction, in the artists cast - that there are


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Svetlin Velchev

Breaking Habits, 24UUR Cultuur Rotterdam, photographer Max van Pelt

always two meanings and it is not said, which is right or wrong, because we need both for balance. Monologues / Dialogues has been officially selected to be presented during the next edition of Baku Biennial ‘Aluminium’ in December 2014, which was the greatest accomplishment for this creation so far. Another interesting piece of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words is Breaking Habits: by the way, Choreography is intrinsically based on artistic cooperation, and I do believe that this is today is an ever

growing force in Art and that that most exciting things happen when creative minds from different fields of practice meet and collaborate on a project... could you tell us something about this effective synergy? By the way, the artist Peter Tabor once said that "collaboration is working together with another to create something as a synthesis of two practices, that alone one could not": what's your point about this? Can you explain how your work demonstrates communication between several artists?

Breaking Habits was last year CIRCLE production for Breaking Waves Festival Bergen and later on


Svetlin Velchev

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Breaking Habits, Breaking Waves Festival Bergen, photographer Max van Pelt

presented during 24 UUR Cultuur Rotterdam in September 2013. The official first performance was taking place on the beach at Bergen during sunset. Inspired by the title and the theme of the festival, Breaking Habits is symbolizing the urge to let go of old unconscious patterns and explore one's self-awareness.This dance piece has an architectonic composition based on choreographed improv. Full of meandering spirit, the essence of the work is defined by the habitual actions of the dancers, which are struggling to overcome these, forming different spatial structures through beautiful movement sequences. Wanted to express strong emotional

intelligence leaving everything behind and look ahead to new horizons, challenging myself to take different approaches and risks - something we shouldn’t be afraid to do. Peter Tabor said it well - I was completely influenced by the collaboration with the performers and their affiliation, as they brought the piece to its final destination. The right synergy was there. One of my main responsibilities is of course not only to guide and direct, but also to listen and perceive anything that could perhaps suits the process., the idea and the piece.I really prefer to share responsibilities and evoke


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Svetlin Velchev

Street Fighters, photography Svetlin Velchev

conversation with the artists I am working with, so that we all leave our footprints at the creation. Each of my works is practically characterized by the people participating at it and this is very important to me - to give the freedom of one’s artistic talent and personality. Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your art practice: and I have been asked to sum up in a single word your artistic production, I would say that it's kaledoiscopic In particular, I have highly appreciated the way you are capable of establishing a so deep symbiosis between Art and Choreography... while

crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

It is indeed and I like your comparison to Kaleidoscopic. Also because of the geometry of it, which is so inspiring to me and a visible feature of my work.This is very much an image, which is tangible to my creations and my attempts to perpetuate several layers to complete a visual artwork. For me in our contemporary times multitasking and


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Street Fighters, photography Svetlin Velchev

multidisciplinary are keywords to art. If we say that these disciplines are options supporting the quality and resonance of my show then they must be by any means used. As an artist I am trying to bring excitement and complexity too, through the integration of each aspect bulging the concept of the piece. Dance is only one of the elements as the rest of the equally important ones - costumes, light and sound to fulfill the bigger picture. Not to be misunderstood though the best way I create is to first have plenty and afterwards subtract of what is unnecessary or too much, keeping it simple, accessible and pure.

And I couldn't do without mentioning Street Fighters, a dance video that you captured in the streets of Sofia: I have highly appreciated the way it reveals the freshness happiness of people who, as you have remarked once, are still doing what they love and happy with what they have... maybe I'm going wrong but I can recognize such a subtle sociopolitical criticism in this: I mean a constructive criticism... and although I'm aware that this might sound a bit exaggerated and naive, I'm sort of convinced that Art could play an active role in moving people awareness... what's your point?


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Street Fighters, photography Svetlin Velchev

Street Fighters is a very spontaneous video project pulled up completely out of the circumstances surrounding it - the places and the people, which consist of. Inspired by the street underground culture, I have even a little bit of a sentimental attachment to it as it was filmed out of the blue in my home town Sofia with close friends, which I know well and spend long time with. I was impressed by their persistence to do what they want and are good at, which I as well admire very much. I was visiting Sofia during the Christmas holidays and for some reason had a revelation - I

remember how striking the struggle of the youth was, how powerful the instinct for survival, the absence of justice, the beauty of uncertainty, the specific street sights of the city and the typical atmosphere were, which you might even sense through watching the video. And still on many levels people remain warm-hearted, empathetic and compassionate. So I felt like capturing and sharing this so special and unique spirit. And as you said above, there is a touch of a criticism that non of that is ever revealed in any way - there are not only negative sides of a poor country to focus on - there are as well talent, strength, love and


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Dialogues, Het Huis Utrecht, photographer Richard Beukelaar

dedication, which no one seem to notice. And that is a shame. Nah, you are not exaggerating - I absolutely share the opinion that good art can affect the publics opinion, broadening their views and open their minds and hearts. Your performances are strictly connected to establish a deep, intense involvement with your audience, both on an intellectual aspect and - I daresay - on a physical one, as in the extremely stimulating Fresques. So I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part

of a creative process both for creating a piece and in order to "enjoy" it...Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I believe so and completely agree on providing an intense inner involvement of the audience. No matter what situation I put the audience at to observe and perceive, its very valid that their imagination should be activated. I cannot say that there is much interaction with the public or provocation of any kind during my shows, but the connection is most certainly established. And I hope that everyone can enjoy his personal journey


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Svetlin Velchev

Limitation Sky BIACI 1st International Biennial of Contemporary Art Cartagena de Indias, photographer Rita Szili-Torok

watching my stuff. I only wish anybody can find and recognize himself for a moment in my world. I mean there must be something about my art that should resemble to anything in the life of the artists I work with or the audience attending the performance to be able to touch their hearts and minds. It is all an ongoing process. I want to energize the viewer. The creativity and the direct experience are walking hand in hand, depending on each other.

Cartagena... It goes without saying that positive feedbacks are capable of supporting an artist: I sometimes happen to wonder if the expectation of a positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist, especially when the creations itself is tied to the involvement of the audience... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

During these years your creations have been shown in several occasions, in many different countries and I think it's important to mention your recent participation at the BIACI 1st Biennial of Contemporary Art

Yeah! I am very glad for the chances I got and grateful for the experience last couple of years the times right after I’ve finished my studies at 2011. See The Netherlands is in a transition period of the cultural sector since then and for


Svetlin Velchev

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Fragment #3 BIACI 1st International Biennial of Contemporary Art Cartagena de Indias, photography BIACI Colombia archive

quite sometime already as that started exactly the same time of my graduation. So hasn’t been fun all the time and ain’t much easier earning a living either, but I guess that was all worth - in the end beliefs, effort and constancy pay off. On a small land as Holland with so many good artists the aim is not to be just good, but to be better. Been part of small to big scale events, made shows at remarkable venues, presented work on some of the well known local festivals like Fringe, Balkan Snapshots and State-X New Forms. My previous dance video Breathe On got to be presented in Honk-Kong, L.A. and Berlin. And last, but not least my recent exhibit of both of my solo works Fragment #3 and Limitation Sky

during BIACI 1st Contemporary Art Biennial Cartagena De Indias at Colombia. Feedback and constructive criticism are best for me. In fact I can’t really deal without them. I learn to listen to the valuable opinions and expertise of people without prejudices. Sometimes people just judge for the sake of it, but I believe only in the honesty and good intention of somebodies objective remarks. I easily compromise in the name of the perfect solution and not afraid of change. I also believe in the power of mistakes as I think mistakes like anything else happens for a reason to tell us something right. For every artist is important what the public thinks or feels. Communication is a teacher for the artist, because creating a


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Svetlin Velchev

Fragment #3 BIACI 1st International Biennial of Contemporary Art Cartagena de Indias, photography Makers Magazine New York

dialogue can be very helpful. And each work can be oriented towards specific target group or either reach to a wider range of audience, which I most definitely prefer. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Svetlin. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

Thank you too, the pleasure was all mine! Hope you get to hear more from me in the near future.

So after the launch of my latest work Monologues / Dialogues in May, I have been invited to perform it during the next issue of Baku Biennial at Azerbaijan upcoming December. 2014 was a prominent year for me and looking towards even a better one in 2015.

an interview by Dario Rutigliano, Curator


Svetlin Velchev

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Fragment #3 BIACI 1st International Biennial of Contemporary Art Cartagena de Indias photography Barbara Krulik

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Else Vinæs (Denmark) an artist’s statement

In my photos I show the world around me, whether seen in Denmark or on my many travels. I have a free and open attitude to photography as a medium, and I often experiment with various artistic effects. I am particularly fond of working with montage, exploiting the many possibilities of Photoshop. Reality of photography is suspended and combined into new contexts. I often print on canvas. I have been a photographer for 25 years, and my works have been exhibited in Denmark and abroad. It is a unique feature in photography as compared to other branches of visual arts that the camera can register an object in great detail. Anyone working with photography will know how to take advantage of this, but for me the process really only begins here. It is the final result – and the final result only – that counts. The greatest moment is always just now. I am a member of the arts photographers’ group Vingesus (”Whirr of Wings”). For members of the group the camera and digital processing are tools in a creative process, just as brush and canvas are the painter’s tools and notes are the composer’s. Visual arts in whatever appearance is characterized by one common feature – the desire to create and to convey an expression. Members of the group wish to step aside from conventional photography and show reality that never existed and never will. Our pictures do not appear as objects or any reality registered by a camera. Instead, objects are separated and combined so that reality is suspended and a new and fictitious reality is created. The arts photographers’ group Vingesus does not seek harmony and beauty. The group seeks articulation and wishes to show how photography can express itself in new manners. For further information please visit www.vingesus.dk

Else Vinæs


Krista Nassi

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Gold, (background detail) Mixed Media on canvas, 2012

From Identity Lost


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Else Vinæs

An interview with

Else Vinæs Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past. If all time is eternally present All time is unredeemable. What might have been is an abstraction Remaining a perpetual possibility Only in a world of speculation. What might have been and what has been. (From Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot 1935)

Hello Else, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

Else Vinæs

To me a work of art can be defined as the expression of human creative skill and imagination. The artwork may be characterized in terms like mimesis, its reflection of life, expression, and communication of emotion or other qualities. To me, the process itself is very important. A work of art is universal as an instrument of awareness. The work must express a feeling.

In my photographs I interpret the world around me, working in the field of tension between fiction and reality, searching for the tracks and traces that we leave behind. Using experimental as well as conventional means of expression I seek to create a visual language where fiction and reality merge into one new whole. Art should be the eye of the viewer, reflection is important.

Contemporary art is not only characterised by the fact that it is created in our own time and often with unconventional means of expression. It is also created in an interaction between the artist, the spectator and forms of art that already exist. Modern artists are experimenting with new ways of seeing things and with new ideas about the nature of materials and functions of art. Over time, there has been a tendency to move away from traditional narrative styles of art towards abstractions, so characteristic for much modern art. I do not think there is any discrepancy between those two periods of art.

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that have particularly impacted on the way you produce your art nowadays? By the way, I would like to ask your point about formal training... I sometimes happen to ask to myself if a certain kind of training could even stifle an artist's creativity...

I have a degree in literature from University of Copenhagen, but in terms of art photography I am self-taught. However, I have been studying paintings, photographs and the history of art for a long time.


Else Vinæs

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From Nærvær/ Presence

I have worked seriously with photography for 25 years. When I read poems and novels a lot of pictures arise in my mind. Literature is often an important source of inspiration for me. As a photographer you often discuss your works with other photographers. These kinds of discussions are often very inspiring and rewarding. Through the years I have worked with photography as an artistic expression whether in the darkroom or at my computer. In the beginning I made experiments using various analog techniques. Now I only work on a computer with all the possibilities that it gives me.

Formal training is important, but as an artist one must be sensitive. An honest approach to a subject is the most important thing. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

My photographs may be entirely manipulated, representing a staged reality with a wide range of


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Else Vinæs

From Nærvær/ Presence

expressions where reality is suspended and a new and fictional reality is created. Or my photographs may be based on harsh realism, showing the beauty of decay and disaster whether that be in Chernobyl or in an abandoned building far out in the countryside. Reality is suspended and a new reality created by natural objects. Camera and digital possessing are tools in a creative process. Using experimental as well as conventional means of expression I seek to create a visual language where fiction and reality merge into a new whole. My raw material is often found on my travels. When I am away from everyday life I feel more ‘awake’ and open to my surroundings. It is impossible to tell how much time I spend on making a series of

From Nærvær/ Presence

photos. Returning from Ukraine I waited two month before I studied my photos from Chernobyl. I cannot analyze my photos when I am too much involved. I don’t count the hours when I am working at my computer. Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with Nærvær, an interesting project that our readers have started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article, and I would suggest to visit your website at http://www.elsevinaes.dk/billeder/naervaer/ in order to get a wider idea of it... From Nærvær/ Presence

In the meanwhile, could you take us through

Jennifer Sims


Else Vinæs

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From Nærvær/ Presence

details, and with the special atmosphere of the place you can imagine history from the past 120 years. The buildings were used as a hospital during both World Wars, and later on they were used as quarters for Soviet troops until the early 1990s. As far as I know the place has been put up for sale, but I don’t know what price they ask.

your creative process when starting this stimulating project?

Nærvær/Presence and Identity Lost are based on motives from Beelitz near Berlin. At the end of the19th century an epidemic of tuberculoses occurred in Berlin. Several sanatoriums were built in an attempt to cure the patients. Beelitz, where 1200 patients could be treated, was the largest. It is located in the middle of Brandenburger Wälder south of Berlin. Endless galleries lead to fashionable halls with decorated columns. Light is “floating” through those wonderful derelict buildings. Here you can discover fascinating motives in structures and

I have visited Beelitz several times, but I cannot explain what happens at my computer afterwards. Each work consists of photos from more than one building. Nærvær/Presence also contain photos of old rusty cars from Sweden, and in Identity Lost some kinds of ghosts appear. I find it important that the viewer/spectator is free to decide for himself where to begin and where to end in the field of tension between fiction and reality. Over the past few years I have worked with prints on canvas to emphasize the atmosphere of some of my photographs, and to some series I have used a special kind of glossy photo paper. Although it might seem apparently static a feature of Identity Lost that has particularly impacted on me is a subtle reference to a dynamic human element: so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process, both for ceonceiving an artwork and in order to enjoy it... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience? By the way,


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Else Vinæs

From Identity Lost

how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

I believe that personal experience has a big influence on the creative process. My personal background, my feelings at the time, my impressions on the spot and circumstances in general are important for my choice of photographic motives. In places like Beelitz or Chernobyl I get a kind of feeling of the people who once lived there and who may perhaps return – who knows? I don’t think I could have created the same kind of photos when I was younger. Maybe other artists can distance themselves from previous experience,

From Identity Lost

Jennifer Sims


Else Vinæs

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From the Petra series

but I find the theories by Freud and Jung important in conceiving art. I cannot imagine the creative process being disconnected from experience. It is also very important that the the viewers use their own experience and feelings in their interpretation of works of art. Another interesting works of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words are from the Petras series: this work has reminded me the concept of non-place elaborated by French anthropologist Marc Augé. And even though I'm aware that this would sound a bit naif, I'm wondering if one of the hidden aims of your Art

could be to search the missing significance into a non-place...

The Petra series is different from some of my other photo series. There is not a living soul or for that matter a dead one – a statue – in any of the photographs. Marc Augé coined the phrase "non-place" to refer to places of transience that do not hold enough significance to be regarded as "places". He has an example from the new Metro in Copenhagen. Petra is a place of emptiness. There is only red and yellow rock and the burning sun. Petra is a historical and archaeological city in southern Jordan.


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Else Vinæs

From the Petra series

The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812. In 1845 John William Burgon described the place as ‘a rose-red city half as old as time’. Even if Petra is all man-made you don’t really feel it that way. Petra is a non-place in the sense that it no longer has any function – apart from being an attraction in itself. Moreover, its original function remains unknown. Could be tombs of ancient kings or perhaps a large complex of temples. We simply do not know. But in terms of its own natural and/or man-made beauty Petra is definitely a place that holds a lot of significance. Ancient structures have collapsed. Erosion has taken place through many centuries due to flooding and harsh weather conditions. Improper restorations of ancient structures have added to

this mixture of natural and man-made beauty. One could say that nature is reclaiming Petra in a slow but steadily ongoing process, thus demonstrating the weakness of man – who incidentally is absent in my photos from Petra. A feature that I recognize in your work, especially in Antelope Canyon, is the perception of the common in our environment and the challenging of it in order to create a new multitude of points of views: I would like to stop for a moment to consider the "function" of the landscape, which most of the times in your works do not play just as a passive background... I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, Jennifer so we need -in a way- Sims to decipher them. Maybe


Else VinĂŚs

From the Antelope Canyon series

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?

That could well be the case. In a place like Antelope Canyon one can feel the impact of ancient times, of peoples and cultures that have passed through the place since the dawn of ages. Peoples and cultures known or unknown to us today, maybe expected or maybe unexpected, but all long gone. Every time you take a photo, something new and hitherto hidden or unknown is created, even if you stay for a long while in one and the same place. Light is changing, colours are changing, shadows are changing. This applies to Antelope Canyon as well as to your own back-yard and creates a lot of artis-

From the Antelope Canyon series

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Else VinĂŚs

tic opportunities whereever you are. The interaction between man and nature is important for revealing the unexpected sides of both. That is why landscapes are not merely passive backgrounds, to use your own phrase. Instead landscapes are active partners in a ping-pong with humans, often gaining the upper hand. And I couldn't do without mentioning SporTjernobyl, an extremely interesting series that I have to admit is one of my favourite project of yours... I appreciate the way you have been capable of establishing such a synergy between the recall to the disaster and a simple, immediate idea of beauty... as you have remarked in your artist's statement, "reality of photography is suspended and combined into new contexts"...

You are quite right. I did not want to describe the terrible things that happened at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Pripyat is a ghost town close to the power plant where the disaster happened in 1986. The area has been empty since then. It bears the marks of ravages of time and traces of deliberate destruction and vandalism. Nevertheless the buildings are deeply fascinating. In the hotel trees are growing in the rooms and out of the windows. In the concert hall is a lonely piano that played its last note many years ago. In the school books are scattered around and somebody have amused themselves with ravaging

From the Spor - Tjernobyl series

the woodwork room and the library. In the nursery teddy bears and rattles are scattered around.Gas masks lie all over the place. In the Soviet Union they were prepared for a bit of everything, just not the blowing up of a nuclear power plant. When I started working with my photos I found a lot of subtle colours in the midst of the destruction, and the idea of beauty you mention in your question was born.

From the Spor - Tjernobyl series

So far your works have been exhibited in several occasions and as your recent exhibition at the Fotogalerie Friedrichhain in Berlin... It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I


Else VinĂŚs

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From the Spor - Tjernobyl series

Thank you for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Else. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I was in Cuba this January and came home with more than 4.000 photos. I am working on some of these photos now, and I intent to have some of them printed on wood. Others may be printed on tiles.

was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- could even influence the process of an artist... what' your point about this? By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

Not in my case. Place of exhibition or awards have no influence the process of my work at all. I enjoy discussing with my audience and I had a good time both in Oslo and in Berlin at the openings. People took plenty of time to study the exhibitions. I look forward to participate in the opening of NordArt.

In June I have an exhibition in central Copenhagen, and I look forward to meeting people there. I have planned other exhibitions in Den-mark over the next couple of years. My husband is also a photographer, and we often travel and work together. The next place to go may be Cyprus or Egypt, but we have not decided yet. I am certain that you will meet us somewhere, some day. Finally, I do appreciate the invitation to answer your questions and allowing me to share a few of my thoughts with a community of art lovers.

An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator articulactionart@post.com

ARTiculAction Art Review April 2015  
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