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February 2015

Special Issue

Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo Owuo Atwedee / Life, 2013


SUMMARY

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

F E B R U A R Y

http://articulaction.yolasite.com/submit.php https://www.facebook.com/articulaction.artreview

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Margaret Withers

IN THIS ISSUE (USA)

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" In part, our capacity to make sense of something is rooted instorytelling and because we’re constantly processing the everydaynessof our existence we come to see life as layered stories that fold togetherto make up our identity."

Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo

KAZA

(United Kingdom)

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" Each project stems from the discovery of untold perspectives, lost histories and unique personal experiences to explore new ground. " (Christopher Amaning)

(France/Morocco)

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"My work is often inspired by the female form or human masks. I’m looking for both a harmony, sensuality, in motion, in the colors and textures. I want to transmit positive energy. For me, creation is a challenge, adventure and renewal. "

Uriya Jurik

(The Netherlands / Kazakhstan)

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"Away from home, Art becomes a place to live. It’s my universal language to share with the world the stories about the exotic and once powerful nomadic culture."

Marija Lopac

(Croatia)

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" In my work as a visual artist I focus on themes of our minds, memories, ideas , happines, or fear, imagination.Everything what is our intime thinking, in our mind. My medium is linocut or woodcut, prints 1/1 big dimensions. Making friese of memories, narative thinking , psychology analisys , doubts... My work is my visual diary. "

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SUMMARY

(Montenegro)

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Anja Radulovic

"The landscape sometimes gives me finished paintings and often resolved visual relationship between the colors, surfaces and textures. I try to start the process of creating from the solutions from nature. Through layers I change the external landscape that I had captured and create my own nature."

(USA)

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Maria Vesterinen

"In my work, I react to and discuss the wonders around me. The development of our cultures, the limitlessness of imagination, human behavior and the triumphs of science, are all subjects that I explore. "

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(Germany)

Ebrius

"It begins with an inspiration that can come from anywhere. Sometimes I feel enough, to start the painting directly on canvas. No preliminary work, not too many thoughts and pure intuitivity. "

(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


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Margaret Withers (USA)

"In part, our capacity to make sense of something is rooted in storytelling and because we’re constantly processing the everydayness of our existence we come to see life as layered stories that fold together to make up our identity. Interrupting the flow of abstract shapes with simple flat houses and telephone poles breaks the viewing pace, as if a light bulb pop across the setting of the implied narrative —pulling the viewer into a space undefined where they can figure out the story or pretend a new one. It is the unfolding of a narrative that I’m interested in painting. "

Margartet Withers Margaret Withers is a visual artist who lives and works in New York city. Her paintings are fragments of stories found in an imaginary landscape that captures in the abstract the conflicting ideas of joy and melancholy, as well as community and aloneness in regards to the concept of home and communication. Including undertones of play and humor in her work is her way of engaging the viewer, extending an invitation to spend some time in this space and figure out the story, or to pretend a new one. Her web based transliteration project is based on cultural shifts in the 50 United States. Originally from Texas, Withers has exhibited her work throughout the country and internationally in Brussels, Australia, Berlin, China, Vienna and Russia. Her artwork is included in multiple private and corporate collections and has won numerous awards including a 2013/2015 resident fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center, a fellowship to the Millay Colony, and a 2013 USA Project Grant.


160 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

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Gold, (background detail) Cosmic ruminations marshaled into minute particles, 2013 Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, flashe vinyl andde ink on2011 canvas frompaint Esprit Femme 40x40x2"

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Margaret Withers

An interview with

Margaret Withers Hello Margaret, 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, as an abstract painter, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artwork as a piece of Contemporary Art?

It's difficult to nail down what defines a work of art, especially when it crosses over into conceptual art. For me, the more intriguing question is, if a piece requires an explanation, delivered as either a title, gallery tear-sheet, museum statement or critic's review, then is this verbal component or "dialog" part of the artwork? And how could that component be manipulated as a medium unto itself? I've been exploring using my monthly eblast, which is emailed to mostly strangers, as an art form. The responses are mainly positive but I’m intrigued by the responses that are baffled or slightly offended. One time I sent an eblast that contained a short story about a wrong number that ended with the phrase, "Ho, where you at?" An Army General on my list responded in all seriousness that it was grammatically incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition. In another eblast, I ruminate on the concept of how repeating a word over and over again causes it to lose meaning, specifically the word "thumb". This caused one critic to respond, "WHAT KIND OF INFANTILISTIC DIDDLE IS THIS!?" I was a bit surprised that this elicited an all-caps response from an art critic, who unwittingly gave me the title for this series. Eblasts, as well as

Margaret Withers

other fading advertising mediums, like banner ads and other types of click-throughs are ripe for repurposing as contemporary art forms. Would you like to tell us something about your background? You hold a BA of English Literature that you received about ten years ago from the Texas A&M University: how has this experience influenced your development as an artist and on the way you currently produce your artworks?

When I decided to go to college I choose to major in literature because I loved to read. But


Margaret Withers

ARTiculAction

I Fell Asleep in a field reading Aristophanes, The Clouds; A play in five parts at La Bellone in Brussels, Belgium, 2014

I also studied ceramics and photography, which I've been involved with since my early twenties. I had a bathroom darkroom setup and printed a lot of infrared black and white film, and shot a lot of long exposure night shots using Kodachrome 64. Working with film taught me a lot about color, composition and how to manipulate negative space. All of my work contains some degree of literary influence, most evidently in the titles I choose and as the basis for many of my series. I think that everything I experience influences my artwork to

some degree, at least I try to stay open to that possibility. 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 start a painting I'll already have an idea of direction and some guidelines based on


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Margaret Withers

Auriga, charioteer in search of Hippodamia; 2014; vinyl paint, ink, pigment on paper; 22x30"

whatever series I’m working on. For example, with my New American Folktales series, I'm creating folktales based on each state motto and an historical character from that state. The painting is a visual folktale. In keeping with my other series, they are not true narrative paintings, but instead, they are an echo of a story, or how you might hear and internally visualize a folktale as it's being told. I paint intuitively based on how I hear the story in my head, letting the “characters�, or motifs, find

their role as I paint. The electric current :: amp, tumbling houses and glass houses series are more free form where the story emerges as I paint. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from Tempo::Electric Current::Ampere, an extremely interesting series that explore the subject of home and communication that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our


Margaret Withers

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dreamy for lupinus texensis while wind whipped skirts flutter up to bonnets bended; 2013 vinyl paint, ink, pigment on paper; 22"x30" readers to visit your website directly at http://margaretwithers.com/electric-currentamp in order to get a wider idea of this stimulating project... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis of this series? What was your initial inspiration?

Every summer I do a series that focuses on a medium or style that I'm not technically familiar with, so, four years ago I did a series of 135 pen and ink drawings. This series got me working

on paper and working with ink and watercolor. The houses and telephone poles came from a very conscious decision to add recognizable shapes to an abstract field and I wanted these to be an echo of a narrative instead of an actual full narrative. What interest me is to find the intent of my visual language that utilizes narrative tropes, such as, houses and telephone (background detail) poles, mouths, eyes andGold, abstract marks, and

from that intention to figure out an Mixed Media oninternal canvas, 2012


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Margaret Withers

water, baby, you get the idea; 2014

dance the round robin who can forget it; 2013

vinyl paint, ink, pigment on paper; 30 x22"

vinyl paint, ink, watercolor on paper ;30x22"

translation that's also on the outside of these motifs, a type of cultural transliteration.

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

Although marked with an effective abstract feeling, the paintings from your Tempo::Electric Current::Ampere series deal with daily experience. In particular, I have highly appreciated the way you have been capable of symbolize through the idea of telephone poles the contrasting concepts of emotional connection and social alienation: so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do

I think that the only thing that separates art created by humans and art created by a computer program is the authenticity that comes from experience. Tricksters can certainly fool people, but I believe that, in general, people relate to the human experience that they naturally sense behind an intriguing piece. One of the features of your paintings that has mostly struck on me is the dynamicity, the sense of movement that you have been capable of impressing on the canvas... and


Amanda Mendiant

the nurse men; 2014 ink, vinyl paint, pigment on linen Summer at the Potomac 61.5x49.5x2 12


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Margaret Withers

black holes leaping in and out of existence; 2013; gouache, vinyl paint, ink, watercolor on paper; 22x30

I have highly appreciated the way the effective mix of tones that in your I fell asleep in a field series creates a synergy rather than a contrast, suggesting such a channel of communication with an oniric dimension: by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

I derive great pleasure in solving painting problems that can crop up with palette choice and from using different water mediums. Some

of my best work has come about because I was forced to stick to certain color choices, for example, because I was out of white paint or I had a lot of pinks and reds in my studio, or because I just wanted the challenge of painting without using blue or only shades of grey. One major shift in my palette, for my works on paper, occurred two years ago when I started using washes. The use of washes soon evolved to density and layers, which you can really see in my ouvre la bouche series.


Margartet Withers

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Gold, (background detail)

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creatures of silent pressing; 2014 Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 vinyl paint and ink on paper 30x22"


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Margaret Withers

Transliteration project::revising the fifty US state seals for the digital age This project utilizes Google Translate, Google Earth, and Google NGRAM as a basis for reworking the mottos and seals of the fifty states. Each motto is sequentially translated through the five most prevalent spoken languages in a given state. For example, Virginia's state motto is 'Thus always to tyrants'. I plugged this into Google Translate and went from English to Spanish, then from Spanish to Korean then into Vietnamese, then Chinese, then Afrikaans and finally back into English where the motto morphed into - 'Therefore it is always a tyrant'. Each seal is created from a landscape satellite image of the area where Google Earth dropped the pin for that state. I selected the specific images as representative snapshots of a given state or motto, or some combination, based on my own impressions and aesthetics. As a footnote, a chart is included for each state that tracks the usage over the last 200 years of each state motto as determined and generated by Google NGRAM viewer, which is a phrase usage graphing tool that charts the yearly count of selected ngrams (letter combinations) or words and phrases, as found in over 5.2 million books digitized by Google. This project originated as a studio based question that I asked myself for my annual summer project: How would my voice and artistic style, which on paper and canvas is tactile and intuitive, translate into a digital medium that is non-tactile and empirical?

And I couldn't do without mentioning your United States Transliteration project (that our readers can discover at http://www.transliterationproject.com a work that I definitely love and that has recently debuted at the NYC Poetry Festival. I daresay that your investigation about the way features typical of a physical work as a painting can be transduced into the ephemeral digital realm, brings a new level of significance to the concepts you explore. In particular, I have highly appreciated the way this work creates an effective symbiosis between a solid idea of Art and the outcomes of modern Technology... By the way, I'm personally convinced that the boundary between Art and Technology is becoming more and more blurred and I would go as far as to say that in a way Technology is assimilating Art and viceversa: what's your point about this?

My Transliteration project was a summer project where I wanted to explore how my very tactile style would translate into digital art. It was a lot of fun to do because it was different and somewhat obsessively data driven. We are in a visual age, driven by technology, so it would make sense that technology would influence art. I think that if the digital output is driven by imagination then something engaging will be produced.


Margaret Withers

United States Transliteration Project United States motto, from many one, transliterated​ into more Summer at the Potomac 12


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Margaret Withers

Your works have been extensively exhibited in many occasions, both in the United States and abroad: from Germany to China, from Russia to Australia: could you tell us something about the impressions that you received in these occasions? By the way, it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting 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? By the way, I was just wondering if the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... and I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

Overall, It's been an invaluable learning experience to expose my art outside of my culture. In Brussels, some people saw the mouths in my paintings as a symbol of the EU gobbling up villages and homes, and in California, my glass house series was sometimes perceived of as a commentary on the housing bubble. I think that you should guard against the influence of collectors and dealers, because when you paint you really only have room for one voice in your head, and if that voice isn’t your own voice then why paint? However, I do think that you can use feedback as a question in your practice. A rite of passage for some New York artist is to have your portfolio critiqued by George Adams, so two years ago I met with him and came away with the feeling that he absolutely hated the eyes in my paintings, he called them cringe-worthy and typical of a selftaught artist. But, instead of immediately pulling the eyes out of my paintings, I focused on them, making them larger and more obvious. I did this because I wanted to figure out why they got such a strong response from him, yet, had also sold well at art fairs, and more importantly, I wanted to figure out why I felt they were needed.


Margaret Withers

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paper pushing timestamp Gold,of (background my being; detail) 2013 Mixed Media canvas, 2012 gouache, ink, watercolor, onon paper; 22x30"


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Margaret Withers

He was also curious to know what was going on inside of the houses and felt that if I could get to that answer then I would arrive at the heart of what I was trying to accomplish in my paintings (I’m paraphrasing here). His question gave me the idea to give the house a voice or internal dialog, as it were, so from that I started my New American Folktales series. When I initially start a series I might think about an audience, especially if the series is for a specific exhibition. Having said that, once I’m in the studio and painting, the only audience that I’m aware of is myself. However, once a painting has been completed I switch hats and become the painting’s guardian, and in that role it becomes my responsibility to find it an audience. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Margaret. 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 solo show right now in the main gallery at the Port Washington Public Library in Long Island, a group show at the Monmouth Museum in New Jersey and a group show at Arcilesi | Homberg Fine Art Gallery in New York City. Thank you for interviewing me!

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


Margaret Withers

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I Fell Asleep in a field reading Aristophanes, The Clouds A play in 5 parts at La Bellone in Brussels, Belgium, 2014 Summer at the Potomac 12


Christopher Lutterodt


- Quarcoo

Gold, (background detail) Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

160 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

from Esprit de Femme Hertz, 2013

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Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo

An interview with

Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo An interview by Dario Rutigliano, Curator

Hello Christopher, and 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?

Hi ARTiculAction thank you for having me, people have spent centuries trying to define what art is and are still debating the nuances. In its simplest and broadest form, art is an exploration of thoughts, opinions and experiences. By definition contemporary art is the representation of its present culture; emerging mediums, technologies and developing processes, the great thing about the lack of a definition is the pick ‘n’ mix nature of contemporary practitioners. Would you like to tell our readers something about your background? You have a solid formal training: you hold a BA Hons in Design for Interaction & Moving Image from the London College of Communication and you are currently pursuing a MA Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art. Moreover, I think it's important to remark that you have travelled a lot: you have lived in Egypt, Yemen, Cameroon, Kenya and Ghana... How have these experiences influenced you as an artist and on the way you currently produce your works?

I spent the early years of my life living and visiting a breadth of countries in Africa, eventually settling back in the UK which at some point we lived in North, East and West London while finishing off my education. It’s fair to say that those years were the most influential in every aspect of my life. . . a privilege that I don’t take for granted. Its impact on

Christopher Lutterodt-Quarcoo speaks about Hertz


Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo

Khol & Bun, 160 cm x 135 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

, Doc-Con London, 2014

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Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo

Grannie 145 cm x 200 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2012.

Hertz, 2013

my work has been paramount, there’s a defining feature of storytelling that’s rooted in african culture as a primary means of learning and communication which I have integrated in all my work, as well as a focus on symbolism and metaphors. What brings an extra dimension to my work is its diversity in mediums, which I give credit to

my BA course for the freedom to explore and experiment with different formats to find which medium communicated best. 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


Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo

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

Each project stems from a discovery of ; untold perspectives, lost histories, unique experiences, there’s a shift in mindset through each project, from a subjective

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comprehension of the experience to a objective or critical process in clarifying its communicative devices for the audience. I’ve found bouncing between these two positions help create a poignant piece of work when dealing with unconventional narratives. It’s in the earlier stages that I Gold, (background detail) really try and know as much as possible Djungle Telephone Media onso canvas, about the subject I'mMixed dealing with, I can 2012 135 cmx 170 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

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Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo

Purge, 2014

best channel the emotions, action and development effectively.

of this work? What was your initial inspiration?

Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Hertz, an extremely interesting docu-drama based on the symptoms of Musical Ear Syndrome & Phantom Sounds that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: an I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at www.cl-q.com in order to get a wider idea of your poliedric artistic production... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis

The idea to make Hertz a documentary came about through the process of me writing a fictional narrative based on my cousin who became deaf at a young age, highlighting his isolation from the world around him. It was through my research I came across the condition ‘Musical Ear Syndrome & Phantom sounds’ and that’s where I discovered all of these amazing case studies, which resulted in ‘Hertz’ as you see it today. I looked through the multiple iterations of it recently. . . it was an interesting journey.


Amanda Mendiant

Organ Queen 160 cm x 200 cm. Acrylic on canvas. Summer the Potomac Commissioned workatStudio Acusticum. 2012. Purge, 2014 12


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Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo

Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your art practice: you produce photographic works as well as videos and transdisciplinary projects, as the interesting sound installation entitled Purge, which explores the concept of acoustic palimpsest... while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realise that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

Great question, you absolutely right, the transdisciplinary nature of my projects are a developing methodology in the feat to create the ultimate empathetic experience, whether or not I will achieve it I don't know, but I'm getting there. Your works are strictly connected to the chance of establishing a deep involvement with your audience, both on an intellectual aspect and -I daresay- on a physical state, as in your recent sculpture entitled Nice Knowing You?! in which you suggest that the ritual of a handshake is a physical manifestation of a montage... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

When your trying to articulate someones experience, circumstances or opinions it definitely helps to have been through something similar, likewise to an actor who has to channel particular emotions or events in order to portray their characters emotions and responses. As a director, designer or artist however people wish to categorise me I need to not only understand the experience, but get as close as possible in knowing how a character would react. I recently invited to gave a lecture at University of the Arts London : London College of Communication on ‘The Art of Storytelling’ highlighting where and how stories are formed, the construction of worlds and character development, which needs to be authentic to successfully suspend disbelief. I imagine the relationship between a narrative and the audience very much like a character and the situation they face. . . an oscillation between questions and answers.

Nice Knowing You?!, 2014


Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo

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Gold, (background detail)

Djungle Telephone Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 135 cmx 170 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.


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Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo

Palimpsest, 2014 Another interesting work of yours that I had the chance to admire and on which I would like to spend some words is your video Palimpsest, a short film that delves into the illusion of destiny and the pit falls of its allure. Maybe I'm going wrong, but I can recognise such a subtle but effective sociopolitical criticism in it: 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?

I'm the biggest fan of art that brings awareness, in my opinion art is at its most powerful when addressing topics that others


Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo

can’t or haven't touched on, most recently the documentary ‘Concerning Violence’ is a great example. Palimpsest in particular is a response to the belief that history always repeats itself, questioning what does it take to prevent it from doing so. The main character is on a journey, but his conflict lies with the

exploration the past, to understand his present so he can live for the future. My most recent project ‘20 and odd’ follows suit, this time exploring the immigrant experience in western society in a speculative scenario to spark debate about the scars of memory and its impact on contemporary society. Summer at the Potomac


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Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo


Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo

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Djungle Telephone 135 cmx 170 cm. Acrylic canvas. “20 on and odd", 2013. 2015

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Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo

And I couldn't do without mentioning Owuo Atwedee / Life, an extremely interesting project that has particularly impacted on me: as you have remarked once, this installation interprets a staircase as a metaphor of mortality regarding the sense of touch as a destructive force... I personally find absolutely fascinating the way you have been capable of re-contextualizing the symbol of a staircase and I would go as far as to state that this piece utilises the external reality, to paint the inner reality, that of the unconscious, archetypical and unspoken... and I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this? For now, the exploration of this philosophy is speculative and hypothetical, and that’s where I find my current interest lingering. For me I imagine the deciphering of these encrypted narratives or data requiring an amalgamation of ritualism, mysticism and science. As an artist and cultural enthusiast, history tells us of people who were looked to as conduits between man and nature with expert knowledge in contemporary technology. I'm currently exploring if a such a person were to exist today or in the future what would their methodology be. It would take a practitioner interested in the cross sections of numerous fields to pursue such a goal.


Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo

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Djungle Telephone Owuo Atwedee / Life, 2013 135 cmx 170 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

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Christopher Lutterodt - Quarcoo

During these years your works have been internationally exhibited in many cultural events and exhibitions, and I think it's important to remark that you have been awarded as well... It goes without saying that feedback and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how important is feedback from 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...

The relationship between business and art can be great if the artist is business conscious, if your goal is to have everyone like you work then I believe compromises will be made at some point. Personally I strive for my work to challenge and engage the audience, of course I need to make sure it is interactively conscious, but I would hope to leave an impression with the audience, very much like an lingering after taste. I’m personally still discovering success, but from what I have learned so far it makes a big difference when you involve people/companies with mutual interests allowing for funding and exposure for both parties. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Christopher. 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?

It’s been a pleasure, with the official release for Palimpsest over I’m finding myself heading in a new direction as part of my Masters, as we highlighted above my most recent piece is exploring the effects of genetic memory, which I hope to release early 2015, at the same time there are two major pieces of work I am working on a slightly larger scale, combining all aspects of my practice. How will it turn out? We will have to wait and see.

Epiphany, 2013


Amanda Mendiant

Summer at the Potomac


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KAZA (Morocco / France)

Born in 1966 in Morocco (Casablanca). returned to France in 1980 to Nancy. Marketing Studies (BTS). 1992 -2002 Multimedia Designer 2002 - 2012 visual communication Consultant, graphic designer I navigate between abstraction , raw and figurative arts. .... Oil, acrylic and mixed media. My work is often inspired by the female form or human masks. I’m looking for both a harmony, sensuality, in motion, in the colors and textures. I want to transmit positive energy. For me, creation is a challenge, adventure and renewal. I also take the risk that confuse people who follow me. This winter I felt the need to reconnect with some figuratism , work the sensuality of bare skin from age model walls . This is another way to work on the concept of different beauty.


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Gold, (background detail)

FreedomHumanity Sensuality, 2014 Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

160 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

from de Femme Exhibition « Trait d'Union » inEsprit Neufchateau (France)

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KAZA

An interview with

KAZA An interview by Dario Rutigliano, Curator

Hello KAZA, and 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?

For me what defined a work of art is his "humanity". André Malraux said that “art is the shortest way from man to man”. I have no definition of contemporary art but I am wary of the tendency to intellectualize or institutionalized conceptualization of art. Modes, schools, churches "correct vision of the moment" scare me. For me art is a work on oneself and the other. I want to share, understand the emotions of the artist, but most felt. Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that particularly impacted on your developement as an artist and on the way you currently produce your artworks?

I remember my early childhood and my father teaching me to draw a stylized man. This emotion that produced the pencil materialize a universe. But in my family, this artistic activity was perceived as a distraction at best and often as a waste of time. Having spent my childhood in Morocco lees opportunities for plastics arts seemed nonexistent. My entourage all stopped to explain the interest to be good at mathematics, something I've never understood nor successful! So I tried to find the nearest way to artistic creation and thought to graphic advertising. At no time painter of the activity seemed feasible, having even been refused at the School of Fine Arts.


KAZA

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"Lola" series and Kaza (photo Sandrine Hatton )


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KAZA

Sweet Lady series, oil on canvas and acrylic on paper

But my dream never left me. The info-graphic work is interesting, but deprives us of the sensuality of materials, like paint and a canvas. I painted in an apartment. But when I got my studio, my work has taken on a new dimension that I found interesting.

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


KAZA

preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

My work share personal reflections and emotions of the moment. So it seemed to me that I was working more on energy and

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dynamism in summer. In winter I could surch more sensuality. Thus the serie "Goddesses" is she born in summer and the "Sweet Lady" serie in winter. In one working acrylic knife, the other oil brush. Gold, (background detail) Mixed Media on canvas, 2012

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KAZA

From the Sweet Lady series, "red armchair", oil on canvas

Then most technically I happen to vary the materials and support. The first series of Human Mask was developed on insulation's panels. For other series I prepared wooden supports and frame. And then there are the classic canvas or frame where I have no special preparations to make. The manufacturing time are highly variable and difficult to identify. Some works are continuity others. Sometimes ask me some problems I can not resolve. I am forced to put aside the table and sometimes several weeks after me appears the solution!

Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Sweet Ladies an extremely intresting series that I had the luck of discover and 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.kaza-do.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 project? What was your initial inspiration?

The Sweet Lady serie was born from a


Amanda Mendiant

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Sweet Lady " red chair " Summer at the Potomac oil on canvas 120X100cm


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KAZA

Sweet Lady (detail) oil on canvas 70x100cm

My works are much oriented on interpretation of beauty and femininity beyond the cultural approach and marketing, I wanted to work on models of mature women. A friend who embodies the image of this mature style accepted to pose for me. So it is still a work that originated from the privacy of my life.

of impetus that would in a certain sense chased a stereotyped image betraying the female identity itself... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

The female character is in the center of the Sweet Ladies series and I daresay that you draw inspiration from real, strong characters who -rather than adapting to a stereotyped vision of women- definetely crave and demand their space, and express their sensuality without need of showing that kind

Indeed, for me the main materials of the artist, when he is in a sincere approach, it is his life, his privacy. This is also what makes the exhibitionism of exposure difficult times. Each series represents a step in my private life, love or spiritual. The Sweet Lady serie is also a


KAZA

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Sweet Lady (detail) oil on canvas 70x100cm

reflection on the beauty, the difference. The woman depicted in his fifties is a sensual woman, worthy, energetic and sweet. It's also a mother and even grandmother! And that made me the gift of his image because she found my painting "nice." I am very grateful to her. 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 that reminds me of Jenny Saville's early production... and I have highly appreciated the nuance of red tones which creates an interesting synergy rather than a

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

I love the work of Jenny Saville, I have discovered it fairly recently. I feel his work as a vision of femininity, the weight of the physical body. I also see as a therapy. She represents herself, often uncompromising. (I'd love to meet him, and see one of his exhibitions) in some series the colors, the movements are present to a certain harmony to give a feeling of positive energy solar. Gold, (background detail) Mixed Media on canvas, 2012


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Amanda Mendiant

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Freedom humanity sensuality, 2014 Summer the Potomac (France) Exhibition « Trait d'Union at » in Neufchateau 12


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From the Goddesses series « I feel good »

From the Goddesses series « Set me free »

Another interesting works of yours that has particular impressed me and on which I would like to spend some words are from your Déesses series: what has mostly impacted on me of these pieces is the way you are capable of establishing a presence and atmosphere of memories, using just little reminders of human existence and effectively perception of the real and the onirical dimension...

pride, dignity, strength and sensuality me. The choice of colors is always paramount. I try to have a harmony between hot and cold color. Personally, I can stay a very long time looking at one of those tables ....

YES, the goddess serie is a work on emotion. Feminine shapes are almost abstract. Some of the not see ... and it is not very significant degree in... yet it has real form, expresses some

From the Goddesses series « I am what I am »


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KAZA

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

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« Human Mask » Series : acrylic on panel 6 X 70X100 cm

And I couldn't do without mentioning your MASK series: I have appreciated the way you have been capable of going beyond the artificial dichotomy between Tradition and Contemporariness, which incorporate elements from traditional cultures, creating a deep synergy between... by the way, do you think that still exists a boundary between Tradition and Contemporariness?

approach. Then I seemed to have developed some unique thing in my studio, I would come to suspect imposture, much like the recipe that it seems to create and which one see it has existed for a long time! Today I am calmer, I seem to have developed my own identity even if the different style between sets can confuse the viewer or the gallery.

All that we are, all that we do, is in line with our culture, our past. Personally I feed my experiences as my meetings, my artistic emotions. But, I'm embarrassed when I see an artist painting “in the style of ... “. At first, my anxiety when I went on a fair, was to find an artist who will work in my own way by having the same

During these years your works have been shown in several occasions: it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting 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? By the way, I was just wondering if the


KAZA

expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... and I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

As I have said, I work in graphic communication. There, the public, the target is my first concern. In my paint job, I'm a total disregard of the public and its tastes . I accept the fact of not pleasing. But I like analyzing public reactions as well in adoration or detestation! In both key, I tuch intimate and often this dimension escapes me. I rarely understand what triggers an impulsive purchase intent. But discution with an interested public often allows me to have a psychological approach to the rather amazing person. I totally

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renounced determine what type of population can love my job! And I am regularly surprised by the profile and the choice of buyers. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, KAZA. 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 will have a personal exhib. At the SWISS ART PLACE (Lausanne) in February...I will confirm the dates An interview by Dario Rutigliano, Curator articulaction@post.com

Summer at the Potomac


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Apple tree (Oil, acrylic, metal leaf on canvas, 180x120cm)


160 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

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Uriya Jurik "Away from home, Art becomes a place to live. It’s my universal language to share with the world the stories about the exotic and once powerful nomadic culture."

Gold, (background detail) Cosmic ruminations marshaled into minute particles, 2013 Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, flashe vinyl andde ink on2011 canvas frompaint Esprit Femme 40x40x2"

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An interview with

Uriya Jurik Hello Uriya, and 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 artwork as a piece of Contemporary Art?

Most people live in the world as it is; an artist lives in the world created based on his/her personality and experience, and shares it with others. Contemporary Art is an endeavour to explore new ideas; it is limitless freedom of self-expression. In my opinion, contemporary art is not a license to be ignorant of the skills and technique of a traditional art, but defy those boundaries to make a statement. Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that particularly impacted on your developement as an artist and on the way you currently produce your artworks?

Born in Kazakhstan, I have endured the challenges of the Soviet Union, where any beliefs not consistent with communist doctrines were prohibited, and of the subsequent transition to an independent nation, an evolution that is still in process. Now I live abroad, travel extensively around the world. This life-enriching experience grants me a unique perspective on my native culture. I am both an insider and an outsider. As a nomadic nation in the past, we have not inherited many of written and material evidence of our rich traditions. Therefore, in my art I explore the nomadic culture. With the synergy of exotic Central Asian subjects and western art techniques I try to engage people in a dialogue that raises their curiosity to that once powerful culture. I am grateful for having the opportunity to have access to different art tutors and trainings. In Kazakhstan, I had an academical, so called “Russian school� training, but I have also been influenced by my Kazakh art tutor

Uriya Jurik


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Margaret Withers

Blezik II, oil on canvas 60x80 cm

Gulzhanat Kabizhanova who is among the first to develop traditional nomad felt and batik craft to an art level. Since I regularly visit the States I use the opportunity to participate in workshops with famous American artists that keep me up to date with innovative art techniques and media. Currently I live in The Netherlands with its rich art heritage and edgy conceptual art. Without a doubt, the totality of this eclectic experience impacts my art. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell our readers

something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece? In particular, I have read that music is an important technical aspect of your work is that music is an overwhelming part of your creative process...

Initially, I get fascinated with an idea that is quite vague. I work through books, my photographs and memories, anything, in search for a subject that


Margaret Withers

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I lose patience and as a result I have quite a few unfinished pieces collecting dust. In other words, if I am well prepared, the work flows without any struggle and that’s a true blessing. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Blezik I (bracelet) (Oil, acrylic, metal leaf on canvas, 115x75cm), Blezik II (Oil, acrylic, metal leaf on canvas, 60x80cm) and Kapsirma (earrings) (Oil, acrylic, metal leaf on canvas, 50x70cm) - the artworks that I had luck to discover and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: I would suggest our readers to visit your website directly at http://uriyajurikgallery.com in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production... Meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis of these pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

My inspiration here is traditional Kazakh jewellery that used to be massive, allegedly had magical properties or pointed to a certain status. Jewellery was made in rough “on road” conditions. I exaggerate the size, and use metal leaf to add glamorous shimmer. As a result, these artworks have a fantastic 3D effect that magically changes depending on the light source.

Blezik I (bracelet) (Oil,acrylic, metal leaf on canvas)

reflects the concept. I soak in it for days until I am finally ready to produce. Then I work fast before the obsession is gone. For a mother of three, it is hard to stay focused but as kids grow older it becomes easier. Music helps a lot to create the right atmosphere. Luckily, I have collected a huge library, so it could be anything from Soviet time songs and Kazakh ethnic rock to classical, lounge music or yoga chanting. Nostalgic music inspires a lot. I have a nicely organised studio right in my house, it is very important to go with the flow. The artwork is usually finished within just a few days otherwise

I have highly appreciated the nuance of red tones in Apple tree (Oil, acrylic, metal leaf on canvas, 180x120cm) which creates an interesting synergy rather than a contrast: by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

This work is dedicated to my home city Almaty (the name comes from “alma” - “apple”). It’s believed that apples originate from the area. The surrounding hillsides where once covered with the world’s largest apples, a variety called “Aport”. My fervent hope is that the growth of this fruit for which Kazakhstan's largest city was famous, is revived one day. I “borrowed” the technique of priming my canvas with red or orange gesso from and


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Margaret Withers

Syrga (earrings) (Oil, acrylic, metal leaf on canvas, 50x70cm)


Amanda Mendiant

Apple tree (Oil, acrylic, metal leaf on canvas, 180x120cm)

american artist, Caroline Jasper, whom I was lucky to meet in person. Glowing through or just left visible, the red canvas makes the painting stand out. I even have a painting of a Dutch winter skating scene made in the same technique, that makes snow look exceptionally shiny. Additionally, gold and red are the royal colours in many cultures, that makes the work look rich. As for my palette, I generally prefer warm colours. I hardly ever premix a colour, and I prefer mixing brilliant straight from a tube paint directly on canvas. Over time, I have tended to favour bolder and more vibrant colors. Two paintings Tazi ( Oil on canvas 50x60 cm) and Kusbegy (oil on canvas 50x50cm) mostly struck me with dynamics, the sense of

movement that you have been capable of impressing on the canvas...

The traditional hunting with golden eagle ('kusbegy' in Kazakh) and Central Asian hound “tazi� is a dying tradition in Central Asia nowadays. Some people might find these way of hunting brutal. I find it more humane then using guns. Kazakhs used to say: "A true man should have: a fast horse, a hound, and a golden eagle". I am fascinated with the beauty and power of these animals as well as the tradition. The relationship of the animals and their master ('berkutchy') is mesmerising. It takes a long time to find the trail of wild animals and then everything happens very quickly. My intention was to share the dynamics and excitement of the process with the viewer. the nurse men; 2014 ink, vinyl paint, pigment on linen Summer at the Potomac 61.5x49.5x2


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Uriya Jurik

Tazi ( Oil on canvas 50x60 cm) I have been impressed with the way your approach is capable of forcing the viewer to re-elaborate and to re- contextualize the idea of landscape and environment in Berkutchi (oil on canvas 100x 70cm), Yurt I (Mixed media on canvas 60x80cm), Yurt II (oil on canvas 20x30 cm)‌ so I would like to stop for a moment to consider the "function" of the landscape suggested by your works: most of the times it doesn't seem to be just a passive

background... and I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal the harmony underlying the boundary between Nature and our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

I always reminisce about Kazakhstan’s great


Uriya Jurik

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Kusbegy (oil on canvas 50x50cm)

nature. It is the world’s ninth largest country with a total area of more then 2,3 million square kilometres! In that respect in my paintings there

is usually a single subject like a yurt, a horse or a person in the vast landscape as a background. I love the feeling that you are just a tiny particle


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Berkutchi (oil oncanvas 100x 70cm)

Margaret Withers


Uriya Jurik

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Yurt I (Mixedmedia on canvas 60x80cm)

dwarfed in nature and the nearest human being is hundred miles away. It is impossible to avoid the mixed feelings of loneliness and connection to the universe while travelling in Kazakhstan. That is impossible in densely populated Holland for example. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, you have been through challenging transitions in your homeland Kazakhstan a country that is still experiencing a transformation period to an independent nation: I wonder if there's a subtle sociopolitical criticism in your stimulating

pieces: by the way, although I'm aware that this might sound a bit naïf, I'm sort of convinced that Art in these days could play an effective role not only making aware public opinion about socio political issues: I would go as far as to say that nowadays Art can even steer people's behavior... I would take this chance to ask your point about this. Do you think that it's an exaggeration? And what could be in your opinion the role that an artist could play in our society?

the nurse 2014 I don’t think it’s an exaggeration. Artmen; has always ink, vinyl paint, pigment on linen been a powerfulSummer tool if that’s an Potomac artist’s intention. at the 61.5x49.5x2


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Uriya Jurik

Yurt II (oil on canvas 20x30 cm)

Of course, it takes more effort and responsibility rather than to create a simply beautiful or a decorative piece. The powerful art piece is always edgy that leads to a certain controversy, especially in countries suppressed by a repressive regime or strictly religious societies. I am out of politics, my focus is culture, I am reaching for hearts. My art is not critical but stimulating. Since the traditional Kazakh culture practically vanished during the Soviet era, nomadic culture remains exotic, even for myself. The only truly authentic Kazakh tribes remaining are found in Mongolia where I hope to visit one day. Anywhere in the world people have a certain idea about Japanese, Indian or any other culture considered to be exotic but

not many are familiar with nomads. In my opinion, to become a strong nation we have to revive our identity‌ I couldn't do without mentioning Despair (oil on canvas 60x80 cm), A man is never lost in the steppe (oil on canvas 60x80 cm) and Survival (oil on canvas 60x80 cm) a piece that I have to admit is one of my favourite works of yours: I have appreciated the way you have been capable of going beyond the artificial dichotomy b e t w e e n Tr a d i t i o n a n d Contemporariness... by the way, do you think that a boundary still exists between Tradition and Contemporariness?

These are my very special artworks, inspired by


Uriya Jurik

movies of a very intelligent Kazakh director, Ermek Tursunov. I share his ideology as an artist. He is a true example of influential art. In A man is never lost in the steppe, a wise man hopes: “When at the very bottom, the only way is up�. Despair is a story of a girl who is forced into an arranged marriage. Here I share hope for a new generation to become more intelligent and responsible, free of social dogma and materialistic values. In Survival, a wolf represents mother nature and a human is a beast. Survival is a reminder to

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people that man is not dominant, we are part of the nature and universe, we must learn balance and respect from nature. At the same time, there is an understanding that all of us can change depending on the situation and it’s time to change to survive. Would you like to tell to our readers something about the impressions that you have received from your exhibitions....It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: how much important is for you the feedback


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Berkutchi (oil oncanvas 100x 70cm)

Uriya Jurik


Uriya Jurik

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Despair (oil oncanvas 60x80 cm)

Lost

of your audience? Do you ever think to who will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces? By the way, I was just wondering if the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... and I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

paintings. But I personally believe that at the end, a winner is the one who stays true to himself. It is really inspiring when a commissioned painting fits my style.

I am blessed to create what truly inspires me. I live to paint, not paint to live. My audience is anyone who is curious about Kazakhstan and nomad culture, or simply likes me, my style and my ideas. When it comes to promotion, this is a challenge. The art market is flooded and highly competitive therefore any interest or feedback, that makes someone stop, think, learn or enjoy, is highly appreciated. Of course, in order to stay self sufficient I occasionally do commissioned

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Uriya. 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 very excited to share with you as this year is exceptional for events: February 17-19th - I am exhibiting in Vertigo Art Salon in Manhattan, NY ; March 27-29th - Framed Exhibition in London; July 912th - Art Monaco, Basel and Berlin are also possibilities for this year. Thank you very much for the nurse men; 2014a your interest. I wish ARTiculAction and your readers ink, vinyl paint, pigment on linen great year. Summer at the Potomac 61.5x49.5x2


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(USA)

In my work as a visual artist Im focus on temes of our mind, memories,ideas , happines, or fear, imagination. Everything what is our intime thinking, in our mind. My medium is linocut or woodcut, prints 1/1 big dimensions. Big dimension because Im traying to fill all gallery spaces with prints, my intension is that audience fell my energy, feel exact ideas what I have in my mind. Gallery space is intime space of analyzed things. My works – exhibitions – installations are : Insomnia – where I make linocut roll in all gallery space – length 24 m ( prints 1/1), Imagination of disappearing ( Vietnam) was more than 3000 different circles in all gallery space, Insomnia 2 was lenght 32 m. Making friese of memories ( or circles), narative thinking , psihology analyze , doubts... My work is my visual diary."

Marija Lopac


Gold, (background detail) Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

160 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

from Esprit de Femme

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Marija Lopac

An interview with

Marija Lopac Hello Marija, 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, as an abstract painter, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artwork as a piece of Contemporary Art?

Hello, good question, what is art? IĂŹm thinking today is time when you donĂŹt need to go to gallery or museum, to see some art work. Great things are around us, for example street art with great corporartion with audience, or social activities, when we can see how art changes people minds, opinions. It is my opinion is that today Contemporart Art is very broad term, the first is what was the intense of artist, concept of work. My opinion is also that audience must feel artwork, somehow influence, sugesting. Asking... For me the biggest compliment is when audience told me that they feel good when are inside my exhibition- installation, when they are souraunded with my works. Would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training: you a MA that you received about five years ago from the Art Academy in Zagreb, moreover you have been granted with Art residencies in Thailand and Vietnam and you participated to a workshop in France: how have these experiences influenced your development as an artist and impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks?

I graduate in Acafemy of Fine Art in Zagreb,Croatia MA. Department of art teacherclass of printmaking,In that period one semestre I was in Academy of Fine Art Ljubljana class of painting, Slovenija as a excgange student scholarskip. After graduate in Zagreb , I work in

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lots of art field as a teacher, lector, especiallly leader of children creative workshops and In my own studio. After few years I realise its time for big changing. So I quit my job and start travel. When I was very far outside my home, I feel big intense of craetivity and freedom. That is something what I woud sugest everyone, travel as more you can, new experience, you will “grow “, as a private, but as a professional. First I come to Thailand, have great experience, small exhibition and artist talk ,then come to Vietnam, I meet so great artist who become my great friends, and in residency there white meeting with other artist, and doing my own art work I realise that I find my way. In France I were in studio workshops in theatre. We prepare puppets marionettes and shadow theatre, that was very interesting for me because good practice in art workshops for children with disabillities. 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?

Technique that I usually use is printmaking linocut and woodcut, but all prints are only 1/1 unique pieces.Monotypes. Process is that in big dimension of linopad (linoleum)or wood with knives and drill I carve , drill and punch linoleum and making matrix- mold.I dont have chech, it how I fell in that moment. Then with rollers I put colours, paper and mold put in pressmascine. I must say that never I had one time press- print in the same paper, every time are different, Im canghing every time, have lots of linopad so all my feelings I put in the way i want to.My technique is printmaking graphic, but as I writte before, my every prints are 1/1, in way of action expresionism , but with lots of different materials. I have freedom for action, saying without words. In first I was traying that everything goes very clean ( what is tipical for this - linocut), but then


Marija Lopac

I realise that that diference in approach is sincerly. That approach then I start to elaborte and making big dimensions monotypes..trying to wrap all gallery space with my work, like put on my work in walls. Exept this, I making prints not only in paper, but in canvas, and making art

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piece with functions.. I make my own bags, name of this are NightMare. It's hand made bags, linocut prints 1/1. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from Insomnia an extremely


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Marija Lopac

interesting work from your painting series that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at http://www.marijalopac.com in order to get a wider idea of this stimulating project... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis of this project?

And what was your initial inspiration?

Insomnia was idea of broad term, analyzing before dreaming, when we can not sleep, we thinking about lost of things... fears, hapinnes..ideas.In first about it everything start with name Anatomy of city ( that was first prints lenght few meters)2009. when I was still in study, then it become Anatomy of rush.(I add


Marija Lopac

new prints, and it was bigger dimensions and new prints in older one). In the end it was 24 mt. I make in press maschine prints in sguare 60 cm x60cm and after that I fix it one with another and make big dimension - lenght.That was in 2009. In 2012. I again start doing the same project, but as i was older start in old prints making new one, Then I realise name Insomnia. I exhibit new ones in Bruxelles, Belgium in 2012. Again after that in the end of 2013,in Thailand I kad little exhibition Line up and artist talk in Chiang Mai and I have so great coorporation with audience about my prints, I elaborate everything about technicques, about speed & action of printing... starting doing again, and deffinitly period in Vietnam was my own feedbeck for printmaking ( Imagnation of disappearing) , but when I come back in Zagreb my hometown, I had exhibition Insomnia 2 with 32 m lenght prints 1/1 monotypes, what is until now my biggest artwork. Intense is to put on all work in all gallery space from beginning until end. In space/room Im puting my work and

change it, in one way “ erase� corners and walls, make fiction from facts.Something like neverending story, narative way, this friese you read all time when you re in gallery, and when walking in gallery its present all time. Insomnia 1 was purely the continued frieze linocut color square format, later in this project, after I went a step further as a Insomnia 2. Abstract frize brokenly lines, forms and colors that blend really are all known representations that we vibrate in front of shuttered in that unconscious state between waking and sleeping irrational crack between fantasy and reality. physical and metaphysical own world of imagination. Because of its straight lines, square means stability and security balance. As the most powerful symbol has a number of connotations, from solar principles through symbols of eternity, symbols wheel as the idea of progress to the most common symbol of the circle, the principle of life. Strong coarse lines, energetically cutting into the matrix of his


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temperament but also underscored painting elemnet for the violence that goes into ekspesionistic phase, it can be interpreted as resist of the rules that consciously or unconsciously we have to have in life. Im traying that successfully conveys visitors acting meditative, almost therapeutic. Although marked with an effective abstract feeling, your paintings, through a stimulating exploration about the themes of memories, happiness and imagination reveal an intense relationship with human, live experience: as you have remarked in your

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artist's statement, your works are your visual diary. So I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Creativity we can develope, Its our own way. I think creativity is very important.Especially as a artist, then it is our unique aprouch., but If you have intense, idea, yes. Everything is possible. In may way, only with personal experience I can do some of my work, I must be envolve in everything about my art.


Marija Lopac

Another interesting project of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled Imagination for Disappearing: in particular, I have been impressed with the way your abstract approach is capable of forcing the viewer to re-elaborate and to re-contextualize abstract shapes and colors... it is a very large installation, of more than 3000 different circles that pervades the gallery space, which in a certain sense is the environment where your works are: so I would like to stop for a moment to consider the "function" of the abstract landscape suggested by your works,

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which is far to be just a passive background on which life happens... and I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a wayto decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal the harmony underlying the boundary between Nature and our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

When I start making thisGold, installation I only have (background detail) idea about circles, but In first it was similar.As I Mixed Media on canvas, explane about technique.When I doing that, 2012 I


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Marija Lopac

realise lots of problems in techniqual way, and that was disiccion, Im on my own, must realise from this the best as I can. ( with all help of other artist and my friends) but that was my problem. I focus on printnig.I was in Vietnam, preparing this exhibition. Every day , all day long. I enjoy. I was so focused in this that I forgor eat, and sleep very little, also I was so tired that saw circles in cominication with other people. But, I meditate in that field, I focus my energy in that production.Im proud of myself because I do very hard work there,. First I make matrix with drill and knives without skeches, after I print ( in

press maschine) every paper in lots of times ( changes matrix and colour), then I cut circles and then fixed on wall. Gallery space was cca 700 m2, I have different circles ( different colours, dimensions) so I must make composition for all space.In period of printnig I realise my concept about this work. All gallery space represent our head, brain, and every circle is different idea what floating in our mind..Some of ideas disappear if we dont do anthing with them.. I was suprised when one woman in exhibition ask me do i meditate? I realise that audience feel my energy in my work. I want that people feel good


Marija Lopac

when they see my works, and exept to feel good to feel some questione about himself, some changing. Artist can comunicate without words. Thats important. Im searching borders in my work but was very suprissed because that period I was doing behond my own border. Border in mind and body.My friend s told me that exhibition start when I start doing it..al that process for them was interesting.Like I say, my way in graphic linocut is different, I do it how I feel in that moment, actione expresionism.I dont like rules in my life, so thing in my work thats the same.

One of the features of your paintings 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 way the effective mix of tones that creates a synergy rather than a contrast, suggesting such a channel of communication with an oniric dimension: by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

About my paintings in canvas I usually use pure colours from tube, lots of times bright. Theme are figurative and abstract forms, but in stylized


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Marija Lopac


Marija Lopac

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Marija Lopac

way. The same whas in painting murals very big dimensions. I do it in Dubrovnik ( 10m), Madrid, Mali Losinj, Zagreb, Bangkok, and new one in Tirana. In printmaking I do with lots of different colours and I realize how I feel in exact days somehow colours are the same in exact days.So, when I see my work after few days, I can realize what prints I do what day…Soon I will go to residency in Belgium there I will make prints with fluorescent colours with uv lamp, so this is my new way of approach of the same theme. Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your approach and I have highly appreciate the way you are capable of creating such an effective symbiosis between elements from different techniques, investigating the expressive potential of different materials: 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?

I think that artist must be open for new fields, new intense, every time asking himself, does it ok, can I doi it better? Before my installation of linocut where I m putting prints in all gallery space- wrape it. I made only paintings and drawings, that was few years doing in my studio (after graduate )But as I work more and more, my field is changing...Right now Im doing something new , I mix sound, video with linocut. Everything is possible if you have imagonation. Freedom in approuch is important, must be selfcontience and try all time. During these five years works have been exhibited several times: could you tell us something about the impressions that you received in these occasions? By the way, it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting 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? By the way, I was just wondering if the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... what's your point?

I had lots of exhibitions, some of my first exhibitions were small, only for friends, I think thats good practice to be envolve with audience, then you can considered, making changes... Bigest exhibitions and important are what I analize before Imagination of disappearing and Insomnia 2, also there was exhibition in City museum Varazdin Croatia – When you leave 2012. ( that was combnination of paintings and prints linocut 1/1). The theme was the same – analyzing when you have someone lost, sadness, the same my intime diary, in that time my father died, so that was sincerly very intime exhibition, and name and theme was because this) Exept exhibitions every day practice in studio is very important, you need to have discipline, realise that being artist is 24 hours job.Lots of time in studio I dont have will to start, but after some moment it starts to develop.In working in studio also important is discuss about work,good connections also there are facebook, web page...Other practise as an artist talk and have time in artist residence outside your home town.. Thats important because then in another atmosfere, enviroment, another people you are more open for learning, and we learning all life. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Marija. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

In time of writting this Im in Tirana, Albanija, working in project of creativity behond borders, working art workshops with children with special needs, orfange and with old age people in rest home, its combination of social art work, and I very enoy because here I see good coraboration with audience, and I can meke it that they feel better in they every day situation. Creativity & art are healing, thats great things about being artist, you can change things a lot, Change peoples way for observe a world. In January 2015. I go to Belgium in Glo art residency , there I will make 5 m circle ( printmaking) name of this work is Into my dream ( what is extension of older works) .


Marija Lopac

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


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Marija Lopac

As a curator and autor of exhibition Memories –exhibition of Croatian contemproarty artist. so I will be again in Vietnam in autumn 2015.in gallery New space arts fundation Hue. In gallery Ring – Croatian association of artist Zagreb – I will have exhibition – indroduce Le Brothers ( vietnam artis colective- his Red project) what is part of my project Other side – intorucing Vietnam art and culture in Croatia and croatians art in Vietnam. When I was in

Vietnam I realise that people from Croatia are very the same like Vietnam people in the queastione about war, war finished in Croatia long time ago , as are in Vietnam to, but memeories are still there.. So mian focus is how to accept that and heal.We can not heal if not accept problem first, and it will be interesting to showing art work about this teme for the first time in Vietnam. And for the first time present to them Croatian art scene as a group exhibition.


Marija Lopac

For the same year I will have exhibition Into my dream in Insonesia. ( in preparation) In Croatia my project Open space- artist in residence program in open eco enviroment, AIR program, exhibitions, artist talk,educational program, workshops for local people in island Mali Losinj and village Vinkovec near Zagreb ( more about this project in Fb page Open space). Right now Im making new works again big dimensions (linocut, monotypes), mixing with

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new media as a video and sound- name is Vertigo and exept this im very courious about putting uv fluorescent colours with rollers in matrix- linopad. Exept of this Im working in art practice workshops usually with children with special needs, because realise that creativity healing, its simple way to solve problems.With this I had great experience almost 10 years.


Gold, (background detail) Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

160 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

from Esprit de Femme

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Anja Radulovic

An interview with

Anja Radulovic Hello Anja, 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, as an abstract painter, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artwork as a piece of Contemporary Art?

First of all I would like to express my joy that I am part of the ARTiculAction review. One work becomes artistic work when the creator experiences it so, appoint it and add emotions in the work so that work becomes an expression of psychological state or a reflection of the inner world of the creator with all the issues, problems and themes that are dominant in its specific world. I also believe that in today's time it is necessary to have a concept of artistic creation. I think there must be a reason, explanation why are you doing the research within the field of certain problems and how you came to those specific ways of describing it and turning ideas into action, works of art. It is not enough to do art for art, but to have a concept-no matter is it emotional state, critique to society, political problems, global problems‌ Motives vary and change together with the changes of society and all of the movements are reflected in the world of art. Would you like to tell us something about your background? You hold a bachelor degree that you received from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Cetinje: how has this experience influenced your development as an artist and on the way you currently produce your artworks? Ever since early childhood, I manifested a capacity of artistic creation and received awards as three-

Anja Radulovic

Year-Old in the field of caricature. So, since then I started to shape my poetry and artistic poetic forms. Even then I have devoted attention to the observation of the world around me and tried to show it in the way I have seen it and experienced it. In the first cycle of study I was started to solving one of the biggest "problems" of an artist: create my own style, the ability to recognize the inherent poetics and sensibilities and express personal artistic handwriting. At the academy in Cetinje


Anja Radulovic

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Gravitacija, 2011 100x70cm, akrilik na platnu

were conditions in which I could totally feel free to express my poetics and use all materials available. I had a studio for myself so I did not have to worry whether toxic chemicals do harm anyone else but myself. In such circumstances, I did not care for the health because the creative process was (and it still is) a special state of mind- hypnotic so for me nothing else mattered. The space, in which artist creates at the beginning of the research, and the freedom in it is very important.

Also to the freedom of creation certainly contribute the help of mentor who was there to

allow the “passageâ€? of my ideas from my inner world in this outer world. I must mention authentic atmosphere of Cetinje as a small Montenegrin town. It consists of the art academies, cafĂŠs, a small cultural program, insufficiently promoted cultural heritage and funniest people of Montenegro. Such an environment has given me the way to build a personal attitude about the relationship between the nature, people and landscapes in which people live and create their own world from it.


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Mikro, 2013 100x70cm tecnica mista

Anja Radulovic


Anja Radulovic

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

The desire to speed up the inertia of everyday life led to the expressiveness and a little nervousness in the way I create art. Yes, I would definitely describe the atmosphere of the studio in order to give the readers insight into my work. I keep thinking about art and visual landscape values in which I live so I pay attention to its smallest parts. I take photos of those small pieces so I could memorize the ideas that I connect to the landscape. The landscape sometimes gives me finished paintings and often resolved visual relationship between the colors, surfaces and textures. I try to start the process of creating from the solutions from nature. Through layers I change the external landscape that I had captured and create my own nature. In the studio I need the floor the most, a large area of the floor. After I put canvases on the floor I start to work several images at the same time. I spill acrylic colors directly onto the canvas. Their mutual intermixing and movement through space of canvas hypnotize me. I watch movement and mixing of colored masses with different densities and thus mutual destruction, which encourages me to continue the movement. Sometimes I forget to stop so it can be difficult to recognize the layer that should be the last one. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from Gravitacija and Mikro, a couple of extremely interesting pieces from your painting series that our readers have already started to admire in the Gold, detail) introductory pages of this(background article. Would you like to tell usMixed something about the 2012 Media on canvas,


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Anja Radulovic

Caption

genesis of these projects? What was your initial inspiration?

Gravity is one of my first abstract paintings. I remember that my photos of the building under construction gave me a motive for work. Building, here has a symbolic meaning: ending the unfinished was one of my first stimulation for the creation and forming the theme that I am still developing. Micro is an image from a series of works that means connecting the outer and inner landscape. With it begins research on the relationship between micro and macro cosmos. Also within this topic I started to accept nature as a personal

touch to the work. I created on the basis of energy that was given to me by my domestic landscape and later I add parts of landscape of foreign cities that I've seen. With special attention I analyzed tumbledown houses, buildings- all objects that were once home. Such dilapidated and deserted buildings give special emotions, evoke sadness and nostalgia and the issue of stability, survival, violent change, survival ... Another element that is important to observe these former homes and it is the time that passed through objects and gave them the function of silent witnesses. All these elements are built as visual elements in the last layer of nearly demolished house, facades. And that


Amanda Mendiant

Mi ricordo, 2014 200x150cm tecnica mista

a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

becomes the initial inspiration. Thought of such diverse events which these homes testified is also present in my studio while I'm working and as an emotion is visible in the series of paintings made under the influence of these motifs.

In general I think the attitude about the other people's personal experience could be initiation for creating. The manner in which the artist perceives other people's experience influences the attitude and in that way people's experience becomes the initial force for the work. But personal opinion is one that directly affects the way of creation and perception of art issue concretizing ideas. Personal or experience of other people can affect us to make an emotional the nurse men; 2014 attitude and start with artistic process. ink, vinyl paint, pigment on linen Summer at the Potomac 61.5x49.5x2

Although marked with an effective abstract feeling, your paintings as Mi ricordo, which is an italian sentence that could be translated as "I can remember" reveal an intense relationship with daily experience. So I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that 12


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Anja Radulovic


Anja Radulovic

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As my process of creation is concerned it has to be personal experience from the beginning to the end. So even in the phase of collecting photographs: I have to hold the camera in my hand and I personally have to choose pieces that I recorded. I always reject other people's proposals for the continuation of the work as possible solutions, because it does not make me feel like the only creator of my own artwork. Another interesting works of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words are entitled Subacqueo and Guardare in Alto: in particular, I have been impressed with the way your abstract approach is capable of forcing the viewer to re-elaborate and to recontextualize the idea of landscape and of environment in general... so I would like to stop for a moment to consider the "function" of the abstract landscape suggested by your works, which is far to be just a passive background on which life happens... and I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a wayto decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal the harmony underlying the boundary between Nature and our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

Environment in which I grow up affects the visual perception of the external environment and form an expression which I transfer on to the canvases. I remember traveling with parents when I was a little girl and I was impressed by the quick movement from Montenegrin authentic rocky landscape to landscape above sea towns. By the time it has carved in my subconscious. Indecisiveness of nature to belong to a uniform landscape has affected me and the way I work. It is difficult for me to follow just one idea, always paint on few canvases at the same time, sometimes elaborates two completely different theme, techniques ... Now features of landscape where Gold, (background detail) I live recognize in my works. Mixed Media on canvas, 2012


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Guardare in alto 2013 150x200cm tecnica mista

Anja Radulovic


Amanda Mendiant

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Summer at the Potomac


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Anja Radulovic

Noa, 2012 54x10cm tecnica mista

Physical boundaries between inner and outer nature is our body which processes emotional content through the experience by adding a new experience to the old. So the body becomes the link between external and internal landscapes. Content that we carry within us from the birth "educates" itself through the surviving the experience of all elements of the environment we live in. And all the elements are the most evident precisely in the landscape, in the widest term of landscape: from urban cities to rural villages, including their smallest parts. All the processes that take place around us are taking place in us. The body is like a mirror that reflects these processes in two directions: from

the cosmos to us and from us to the outer world. Thinking how does the process look like in the largest area we know - in the cosmos – I found the abstract representations of the world and from then those images become part of my personal creative process. One of the features of your paintings 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 way the effective mix of tones that in Noa and in Essere Sempre Qui creates a synergy rather than a contrast, suggesting such a channel of communication with an oniric dimension: by the way, any


Anja Radulovic

comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

Changes in palette happened while my emotions have been changing. Also changes in nature in the middle of the day or a year lead to changes in my palette. All the main changes in nature are visible trough colors. Way of changing my palette depends on that how I am able to read the scenes in front of me. When the general atmosphere is changing the atmosphere in my studio is changing also. Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your approach and I have highly appreciate the way you are capable of creating such an

effective symbiosis between elements from different techniques, investigating the expressive potential of shapes as in the extremely stimulating La natura ci ha fatto in questo modo? series which has particularly impressed me: 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?

At the beginning of my artistic research I felt incomplete during the technical part of creative process. Classical materials or supplies for painting weren’t enough to achieve the effect I wanted, that I felt inside of me. Summer at the Potomac


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Anja Radulovic

Essere sempre qui, 2013 100x240cmtecnica mista

So I started to visit buildings under construction, abandoned beaches, ruined places, villages and I got familiar with a little bit less expected materials such as: sand, cement, adhesives for tiles, silver, nets for isolation, varnishes for facades… Technical synergy took over my whole way of working and that is how multidisciplinary become main feature of my works. I enjoy discovering new ways of interaction between different techniques, feeling how that process reveals me new point of view in resolving technical “problems”. I feel that is the only way I can create. During these five years works have been exhibited in several occasions: could you tell

us something about the impressions that you received in these occasions? By the way, it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting 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? By the way, I was just wondering if the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... what's your point?

My exhibitions are visited by mixed audience, by people from different fields of interests. It creates interesting reactions, completely different from person to person. It is always interesting to watch


Anja Radulovic

La natura ci ha fatto in questo modo?, 2013 25x17 cm tecnica mista

how people put so much effort in discovering the meaning of my works. While I am working in studio I don’t want to think about creating specific audience as a result of my creative process. Also I don’t want to make modifications in my works based on assumptions how audience is going to react. That would produce bunch of unnecessary boundaries and it would make my researches unsuccessful. That is my attitude and kind of recommendation to other young emerging artists. As an artist of contemporary art I should constantly gain and reveal the meaning of NEW in technical or conceptual sense. Sometimes audience isn’t ready to accept new movements but that mustn’t affect the artists .

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Anja. 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 working with a different medias so I would like to expand their applicability. I considered fashion design or furniture design. I want to experiment with shapes, forms, textiles and textures that could be attached to human body or it can upgrade it. Now I am studying at the Accademia Albertina, Italian academy of fine arts-master course. I am preparing an exhibition so I could be recognized in the Italian art scene. the nurse men; 2014 ink, vinyl paint, pigment on linen Summer at the Potomac 61.5x49.5x2


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Maria Vesterinen (USA) An artist's statement

The universe is magnificent. It is actually quite strange how people go through their everyday life without remembering all the wonders around them where ever they go. The fact that the coffee cup you pick up in the morning is made of the same stuff as the sun shining through your window or the fact that in the same way you are related to carrots, are such amazing things! The truth is, our world is filled with so many possibilities and unbelievable truths, that it is hard for an artist not to get inspired. In my work, I react to and discuss the wonders around me. The development of our cultures, the limitlessness of imagination, human behavior and the triumphs of science, are all subjects that I explore. My inspiration comes from all aspects of my daily life; the music I listen to, the books I read, the people I meet, the things in the news etc. There are of course things that I carry with me all the time such as my northern culture and my fascination with science and fantasy (a strange combination some might say). These things are always there in my works and I believe that is one of the leading factors of my own unique style. Most of my work also carries a Gothic tone, for they are dark, gloomy and often depict fictitious scenes of something slightly unnerving. I am confident with 2D styles of working and most of my work consists of painting and drawing. I have always been fascinated by creating ‘windows’ to other fantastical dimensions. Still, I choose the medium most suited for the idea I am working with. As I grow older, my art grows with me. I project my ideas and perceptions out into my work, and hope someone else will engage with it and consider the issues in it for themselves. I don't have the brains to fully understand the mathematics behind the science that inspires me, but my art is my way of contemplating it. I just have to be part of it. When I stand under an open night sky and look at the stars, with the knowledge that I am staring right into a time machine.. the sublime feeling I get, is what I aspire to carry onto my work: the combination of mystical wonder and astounding science.

Maria Vesterinen


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Metal tragedy, 2010, oil on canvas


ARTiculAction

An interview with

Barbara Bervoets Hello Maria, 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, as an abstract painter, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artwork as a piece of Contemporary Art?

Hi, I'm so happy to get to be part of the ArticulAction Biennial edition. Defining a work of art is a tough question. I've had many a debate with my friends about that issue. I remember once a teacher of mine said that what makes a piece of art is that 'a piece of art is made with the intention of making art'. But I think there's more to it. We make art because we can't not make art. It comes from something within. So I would say that what defines a piece of art is the artist; you can't really fake good art in the sense that you can see if the artist does not have passion for their work. Contemporary art is made by the people who live in the contemporary world. You can't exclude the influence of things around you in the art that you make. Works that look at things in new, unexpected angles achieve more in the contemporary field. Would you like to tell us something about your background? You hold a Bachelor's degree from Monash University, Melbourne, and you are currently pursuing your MFA in Fine Arts at the Kingston University in London: how have these experiences influenced your development as an artist and on the way you currently produce your artworks?

I strongly recommend anyone who has the

Maria Vesterinen

chance to travel to do so. Seeing new people and new places really opens your mind. Moving to Australia definitely opened mine. Melbourne is a multicultural haven and the wave of new experiences that I got to take part in made me look at the world in a new way. The difference in style of education between countries is interesting, I think I benefitted from getting tought in all of these. It has given me the means of looking at art in multiple ways and to seperate different cultural influences in reading and desiphering works of art. With making art abroad I could see how my own culture started to show through in my works. At first I thought it was due to me being home sick but the references to the north kept coming up. I understood that I was finding my style, which cannot disclude my heritage (and of course now, my expiriences since). In Australia I also started to get interested in science. My sister lent me books by Dawkins and Hitchens and through them I found deGrasse Tyson and Krauss. I visited the Sydney obervatory with my boyfriend and went to Think Inc in 2011 with a friend. I realised that I wanted to make art that has


Maria Vesterinen

(The Wonders series), 'Sotka' (2012) 28cm x 36cm, Oil on canvas

depth and has something to say. Eventhough I still draw inspiration from mythology and fiction I try to combine my slightly surreal imagery to real issues. I also started exhibiting during my Melbourne years. Melbourne has many interesting smaller galleries. The city and the surrrounding areas all have art around. After graduating from Monash University I moved back to Finland where I worked as an assistant to a gallerist in Helsinki. When I moved to London to continue my studies I got introduced to a new setting and a new group of people. The trip my class took to Cologne was deeply inspiring. We visited

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(The Wonders series), Ma'ii (2012) 28cm x 36cm, Oil on canvas

museums and galleries around and I got enchanted by the exhibition 'Beneath the Ground. From Kafka to Kippenberger' which was held at K20 in D端sseldorf. Every time I see an artwork that I really love, I get a tingly feeling in my fingers which makes me wanna make art myself. London is filled with amazing galleries and museums which are full of interesting art and events. I recently went to see an exhibition of Sigmar Polke, another one by Lawrence Weiner and I even got to see the Hadron Collider exhibition. Living there has enabled me to experience contemporary art at first hand. Being back in Europe itself has made accessing


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Maria Vesterinen

art easier, because travelling to other countries is less of a hassle. And since travelling has always been part of my life, I have taken full advantage of it as often as I can. Being able to explore new places and stumble on to new experiences, is something that I've always loved. Just last summer I stumbled on to a wonderful sculpture exhibition by Jan Fabre, on my first trip to Mallorca. It's so wonderful when your travels give you much more than you could imagine. 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 don't work fast. I like to take my time with each piece I'm working on, develop a kind of relationship with them. That's why I prefer oil paint, you can take your time with it. I like to work with my hands and painting is my way of doing it. I like to touch my works, get my hands physically in there in some way. Even the photographic pieces I make, I sign by hand to have contact with them. Even though the process is very different to painting, I find drawing as much of an intimate action. It also allows me to be physically in the work and take my time. Every time I start a project is different. The inspiration for a certain piece defines the way in which I work, but it always includes research. I try to find out as much as I can of any area that I'm working on by reading and visiting galleries and museums. I sketch quite a bit before I come up with a visual that works, though the visual always comes from my mind. In a way, as soon as I come up with a concept for a piece I get the image of what I want it to be in my mind, but it takes some work to get it out. The image is sort of fuzzy and it takes some trial and error to make it real. Depending on the specific piece this might take from a few days to a few months.

Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from Metal Tragedy, an extremely interesting work that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at http://www.mev-art.com/ in order to get a wider idea of your artisti production... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis of this intersting piece? What was your initial inspiration?

I made this piece when I was living in Australia. I was still trying to find my place there and I was probably a bit home sick. I like metal music and that scene in Melbourne is quite different than the one in Helsinki. Metal culture is relatively popular back home and it's never really difficult to find bars and events with good music. In Melbourne it took me a while to find the places that catered to my taste. Metal Tragedy was a slightly 'tongue in cheek' sort of comment on me getting used to the new enviroment. Another interesting works of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words are from the Wonder series. In particular, I have been impressed with the way your abstract approach, through an effective exloration of the intimate dimension, is capable of forcing with finesse the subject suggested by these stimulating works... 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 the harmony underlying the boundary between Nature and our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

I'm with you there. Art is a wonderful way to explore issues and aspects of any kind. In 'The Wonders series I was discussing the comparetivness of myths and legends of history and today.This 14 piece work raised


Barbara Bervoets

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The wonders series Peter, Oil on canvas, 2012


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Maria Vesterinen

developments in science to a similar level with myths about the world. I was trying to highlight the fact that the incredible things that we find out through science about our world, are just as (if not more) incredible as the beautiful myths that the old cultures invented. The initial inspiration came from the discovery of the Higgs-Boson. I remember reading about it when the news came out and I got this overwhelming desire to celebrate this new discovery and participate in some way. And so I started to plan the concept for 'The Wonders' series. I reserched myths from different cultures, particularly focusing on creation myths and stories that explained natural phenomena. I red beautiful stories from all over the globe and finally narrowed them down to 6 that I could contrast with scientific developments. For example I juxtapozed the finnish Kalevala story of the creation of the world with Aristarchus's theory of Heliocentrism and the story of the discovery of fire by the San of Africa to the discovery of the electicity of lightning by Benjamin Frankling. I find that the layers of visual semiotics make the work more interesting, so I didn't want to be too obvious with these. I also titled them with either just the first name of the discoverer or the name of the myth (Sotka, Aristarchus, Kaggen, Ben etc.)

Guardian Angel (2012) 25,4cm x 30,5cm, Oil on canvas board

Although many of your works, as Myths and Guardian Angel depicts elements from a fantastic imagery, you have remarked in your artist's statement, inspiration comes from all aspects of your daily life, as in LanternSummernight I: so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

personal expirience. I belive that inspiration comes from something that you have a connection to. This can be anything from seeing something on the news or reding something and getting a strong reaction to it, to actually going through something that affects you. For example, I've made a piece that comments on child abuse and the inspiration came from a friend of mine who went through a rough childhood. I didn't personally expirience that, but I got emotionally connected to the issue through the things I heard from my friend. As another example I could mention 'Celloist', a painting that was inspired by Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray. I got inspired by the way he wrote about the tragedy of the artist, and responded to this by combining it to my love of music.

I suppose that depends on what we count as

At least in my works the inspiration always

I still get exited and inspired by new leaps in science, like the recent Rosetta mission, and I think back to this series as the launch of my science relaited art.


Barbara Bervoets

Myths, 2010, oil on canvas


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Maria Vesterinen

Lantern- Summernight I, 2013 oil on canvasboard,19cm X 24cm

comes from something I feel strongly about, but it can be remote or close. In the painting 'Lantern' I was mirroring the summers of my childhood which I got to spend in the finnish countyside. My parents took me and my sister to the rural areas of finland and I learnt to appreciate nature. 'Guardian Angel' is also connected to my childhood. It's a parody of an existing artwork that was wery popular in my grandparents generation, pretty much everyone had a print of it. When I was a child I was really afraid of it. The angel stalking the children in this creepy setting, it was terrifying. All my friends remember this picture as well and they also felt unnerved by it, so I desided to make a new version of this work as it relly seemed to me.

So obviously I had a wery personal connection to both of these works. Then again, 'Myths' was a very research based work, without much personal connection. Being a fan of mythology I had learned that many anchent symbols had changed their meaning through the ages. I collected symbols that had


Maria Vesterinen

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Chatter, 2013, patel on paper

originally held a meaning of something good and had been turned into something evil, mostly because a new religion had taken over. I thought all this was really fasinating and made for an interesting hstory of culture development.

One of the features of Chatter 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 way the effective mix of tones of red of the background creates such an effect of dissolution of the


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Barbara Bervoets

Red, 2013, oil on paper robin readbreasts' bodies, establishing a synergy rather than a contrast, suggesting

such a channel of communication with an oniric dimension: by the way, any comments


Barbara Bervoets

on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

Pastels are a very hands on medium as well, and as I've mentioned, I like to get 'physical' with my works. I have always enjoyed good paper, and sometimes find wonderful handmade sheets. 'Chatter' is a part of a series of bird pastels I made on handmade paper I found in Fiskars (Finland). The sheets called for organic, light works with their lovely earthly quality. I didn't want to cover the papers surface, so I used it as a part of the work itself. The aesthetics in my works often play with surrealism. I enjoy making 'windows' to a different dimension, where things are not just as they seem. It is a wonderful feeling to create a setting where you can decide how things are, as you can in your dreams. Combining fact and

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fiction is what I like to do, to make something that is not quite as it should be, but makes you think. Playing around with different ideas is how I came to make my toy series. 'Red' is part of this series of paintings that I made in 2013. Being a slightly quirky person, I used slightly quirky toys, such as 'Red' a beanbag dragon toy I have. These works went to a group exhibition in Finland just before Christmas, which I thought was quite fitting. Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your approach and I have highly appreciate the way you are capable of creating such an effective symbiosis between elements from different techniques, as in the recent Not all who wonder, often re-contextualizing images through elaborated patterns as in your extremely stimulating work entitled Gut


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Maria Vesterinen

Feeling... 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?

I have indeed dabbled with a few different mediums. I have wanted to try everything and anything I can, I have even made an artist's book on a printing press. It is important to find the right medium for the work I want to produce, the change of medium would change the atmosphere of a piece of work. I think that with more expirience and expiriments I have, the more confident I become with choosing

mediums. For 'Not all who wonder' I wanted to create a cohesion between the 3 methods, they all radiate their own enrgy wich creates an interesting atmosphere for the complete piece. This triptych was one of 5 such works I made for a solo exhibition in Helsinki called 'Iron Will and a Way'. This exhibition took place last year in Galleria Saima and it was a continuation for my first solo exhibition which took place in 2012 in Melbourne. The idea behind the exhibition came from the sublimity of the world around us. The 'main character' in the show was a set of keys, which hinted that there are numerous locks in the world but that we have the keys to


Maria Vesterinen

find them, open them and get the answers. Iwanted to promote the serch for knowledge and widening our worldviews. 'Iron Will and a Way' had the combination of photographic works along side paintings, drawings and a few sculptures. The synergy of different mediums made an interesting whole of the exhibition, so I would say that it is a powerful tool to use to create a more contemporary feel to a space. I definitely think that it is the only way to create a certain atmosphere, and I enjoy combining multiple mediums together. It is facinating how a piece changes when it is in connection to another.

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Since you graduated in 2012 your works have been exhibited in several occasions, both Europe and in Australia: you participated in many group show and you recently had the solo Iron Will and a Way at the Galleria Saima, Helsinki. Could you tell us something about the impressions that you received in these occasions? By the way, it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting 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?

To have been able to have the opportunity to


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Maria Vesterinen

Silver drops of stardust, 2013 digital photoprint

'Stories of imagination', (2014) photograph, 25cm x 45cm

exhibit in multiple countries, has been amazing. It's wonderful to see and be a part of the multiculturality of the artworld. I have met delightful people who are aspiring artists, just like me, and it creates a sense of unity. The aspiration from artists to make the art communities everwhere the best they can is inspiring. Hearing feedback from your peers

and viewers can only be a benefit for an artist who is just starting out. Every time someone buys my work, I'm so happy that they enjoyed it as much as I did. The pieces I make are always layered with hints to reserch behind the work and can thus be hard to approach sometimes. I enjoy getting comments on my work, it's hard to seperate yourself from your own work and look at it with 'fresh' eyes. When my works are available to be viewed, I always learn more about them through others.


Maria Vesterinen

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thorny heart, 2012, oil on canvas

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Maria. 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 for having me, this was fun. I have another exhibition opening at Galleria Saima this year, this is a collaborative show with an Australian song writer Andrew Cass. We are combining music and lyrics with visual art.

The exhibition, which is opening in the beguinning of June is titled 'The Third Voice' and it deals with anxiety about he world and the inner voices that we all have. I am also participating in a group exhibition in Espacio Gallery in London later this year. Otherwise, I'll be concluding my studies in Kingston Univesristy and getting my Master's degree. Hopefully I will be able to continue to have amazing opportunities to exhibit my works and have people connect with them.


Ebrius

Red-Land-Dinner


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An interview with

Ebrius Ebrius produces interesting paintings whose main feature is the way they resist all arbitrariness and reveal his interest in exploring the Surreal dimension, enlighting the difference between archetype and copy, sign and signified; these are probed by Ebrius in defiance of the onslaught of decoration... Hello Ebrius, 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, as an abstract painter, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artwork as a piece of Contemporary Art?

Hi Everybody! First of all I want to thank ARTiculAction for selecting me. What defines a Work of Art... It´s a hard question. I think everybody has his completely own definiton of art. So I can´t give a basic answer. For me everything with soul is art. Everything that people do with their full heart and with no other motivations that their project is art. Art can be redeeming, uncompromising, delicate, rough, bitter, sweet & bittersweet. But real art is timeless, because it´s stronger than all the selfappointed experts. Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that have particularly impacted on you and influenced your development as an artist and on the way you currently produce your artworks?

Yes there need experiences. Some are good and some are not so good, but I think one of my biggest influences was the PC game "Age of Empires" when I was 7 or 8 years old. It opened my eyes and since that, I have just drawn the

whole day . And of course Art! I always loved art. but the discovery of Surrealism was like a door to a completly new world. In social medias I got contact to great and very talented artist who made me rethink my understanding of art. Everything is possible! But it is a never-ending journey between experience and development. The wild trip goes on! 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?

It begins with an inspiration that can come from anywhere. Sometimes I feel enough, to start the painting directly on canvas. No preliminary work, not too many thoughts and pure intuitivity. -Let's Go for it! But there are also cases in which I search for infromations about the topic i want to paint. Mostly I use the internet and books to get different points of view. I often make sketches in my my old notepad. And after mental preparation I start to paint. I don´t think that i have technical aspects that I mainly focus on. My motto is: Just do it - and no, I dont sell sport shoes. I can´t really say how long a development takes. It depends on the subject and of the statement and is also dependent on the day's form Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from Red-Land-Dinner and the tree house of the Innocent, an extremely interesting work that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your personal page directly at https://www.facebook.com/EbriusArt?fref=ts in order to get a wider idea of your artisti production... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis


Barbara Bervoets

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Die Entwicklung aus dem S채urebad


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das Baumhaus des Arglosen

Barbara Bervoets


Barbara Bervoets

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the terracotta prophecy

the dead inner child

of these intersting pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

Another interesting works of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words are "the terracotta prophecy "and "the dead inner child". In particular, I have been impressed with the way yourapproach, through an effective exloration of the intimate dimension, is capable of forcing with finesse the subject suggested by these stimulating works... By the way, I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal the harmony underlying the boundary between Nature

The inspiration for "Red-Land-Dinner" is the arrogance of the more privileged toward the destitute people. It's about a merciless lifestyle. The lifestyle of abundance and excess parallel to the absolute necessity. The faceless mass of the poor is swept under the table. "the tree house of the Innocent" is about somebody who does his own thing away from the mainstream. A kind of hermit who has created his own empire and because of that he lives guileless in the day.


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Barbara Bervoets

and our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

Yes, I'm also your opinion. I feel art as a kind of converter with which I can implement my own interpretation of the environment. But I also think that the boundary between nature and our inner nature is smooth. My job is to integrate the seen and experienced in my art and to build another world. Most of your works, as "der Weg der Verzweifelten" and "das Baumhaus des

Arglosen" depict elements from a fantastic imagery, so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I think experience can be a good trigger but i don´t think that experiences are the only way to get good inspirations and ideas. I think it rather depends on how you look at things and what you want to say with your art.


Barbara Bervoets


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der Weg der Verzweifelten

Ebrius


Ebrius

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Barbara Bervoets

One of the features of The guardian of the last red rose 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 way the effective mix of tones of red of the background creates such an effect of dissolution, establishing a synergy rather than a contrast, suggesting such a channel of communication with an oniric dimension: by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

Hmm... I think I paint in very garish colors. Flashy tones are always present and i really enjoy to work with them. It´s exciting to paint a thoughtful or melancholy topic in that style. But I also like muted and more naturally tones. I like a varied color palette but it depends on the subject. light-dark, warm-cold, clean-dirty... Contrasts are also stylistic devices that I like to use .But to be serious, I paint just what I feel, without thinking much about it - In Surrealism nothing is impossible! I have been really impressed with the way your effective use of allegories, especially in the conquest of the shell and in der verwirrte alte Mann: artists are often asked about the inspiration for their work... Can you tell to our readers your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work?

feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting 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?

I think a critical feedback is great. The communication between audience and the artist is one of the best things in art for me. However, I will not let me influence of external influences too much. Maybe when you think to much about your work and about whom will see it, you will change your ideas to make it more "consumer-friendly". This goes against my definition of an honest and undisguised art. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Ebrius. 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?

My biggest plan is to improve my painting skills and to realize my (future) ideas. It would be nice to be a part of exibitions and I hope to get more into the art-scene. I am very interested in oil, airbrush and tattooing. So i hope the future will be exciting and colorfull. Thank you very much and Peace to everybody!

I am very interested in History and Ethnology but also in the modern Pop-culture. It´s hard to tell the biggest influences, but i really like the infinite cultural wealth of the earth. It's almost like a tick, to watch countless pictures on the internet or in books. It is also not matter if there are illustrations from the 19th century, photographs of native South Americans or paintings of the old Dutchman - the main thing is input! Now as usual I would like to pose some questions about your relationship with the audience: it goes without saying that

the evolution in an acid bath


Barbara Bervoets

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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

2


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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.


BBB Johannes Deimling

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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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BBB Johannes Deimling

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.


BBB Johannes Deimling

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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


BBB Johannes Deimling

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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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BBB Johannes Deimling

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


BBB Johannes Deimling

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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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BBB Johannes Deimling

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


BBB Johannes Deimling

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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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BBB Johannes Deimling

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-


BBB Johannes Deimling

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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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BBB Johannes Deimling

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.


BBB Johannes Deimling

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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BBB Johannes Deimling

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


BBB Johannes Deimling

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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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BBB Johannes Deimling

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


BBB Johannes Deimling

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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


Svetlin Velchev

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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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Svetlin Velchev

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


Svetlin Velchev

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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 February 2015