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SUMMARY

ARTiculA Action ART SEPTEMBER 2 0 1 3

Feel free to submit your artworks: just write to articulaction@post.com http://articulaction.yolasite.com/submit.php https://www.facebook.com/articulaction.artreview

IN THIS ISSUE

Jennifer Weiss

(USA) “My creativity is a powerful purpose in my life. During intensely challenging or joyful times, I channel and release my emotion into my paintbrush and onto my canvas. My art practice helps me climb to a meditative state as therapy for the twists and turns in my daily life.” 

Stephanie Booth

(USA) “Our recollections and family histories are human constructs created by our selective memory. Though often inaccurate they serve an important role keeping us connected to the past while tethering us to the present. Though these remembrances are inherently flawed, they orient us to our own accepted reality.”

Robyn Ellenbogen

(The Netherlands) Topp & Dubio is a multidisciplinary artist duo who live and work in The Hague, The Netherlands. Topp & Dubio study and scrutinize reality from a conceptual starting point, often arising from curiosity and a desire to explore parallel worlds

Montheit McCollum

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(USA) “I am drawn to the darkness of the night sky, the smoothness of surfaces, and the play of light and pattern that appear when I closed my eyes. Tactile and imaginary sense memories are formative wellsprings. Time and memory play an important role in my work as my perception of events continually shifts.

Topp & Dubio

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(USA) “My progression as an artist is tied to my work in many mediums, informing and influencing each other. I began my artistic career as a painter and musician, moving into film through my interests in animation and sound. In recent years I’ve become increasingly compelled to find new ways to re-interpret how time based work is created and presented.”

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(United Kingdom / Dubai)

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Simon Coates & Sarah Al Haddad

“My work explores the relationship between cultural plurality and a recycling of pop-culture, by layering different motifs from Science Fiction film stills and quotations from an art historical background, like Symbolism and color-field paintings. I see painting as the screen between the mental and the materialized zone. It offers the ability to fuse notions of past, present, and future into one field.”

(Hungary/Germany)

Tatiana Afonina

“My works are watercolour series and mixed media installations that focus on personal identity and the role of the individual within society. More recently, I became interested in personal boundaries in relationships. My installations are usually site specific, connecting mediums like aquarelle, video projections and real objects.”

(Greece)

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Alexandros Antoniadis

“Through a displacement of function I question the interpretation of the unique, rediscovering the object by freeing it from its original function and context or use. It then returns to a state of being undefined and opening to a sense of physical,

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(Hong Kong / United Kingdom)

Jolene Mok

“Instead of identifying myself as an artist, I feel more comfortable calling myself an experimentalist who has an open mind, willing to try various means for the communication of ideas. “

(Portugal)

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Leticia Sampedro

“My work focuses on the constant collision of opposite forces in our world. The sort of simultaneous acquiescence and rebirth of a pre-existing force to newly kinetic energies around it that yield unpredictable results. ”

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(Turkey) “ My artwork is based on personal history, on relationships and memory (dreams, space, geography, land). It is broadly related to memory, dreams, space and connotations. These topics are drawn from daily life as much as from unconscious thoughts. Essentially, I’m attempting to create images according to my own psychological needs. “

Feel free to submit your artworks: just write to articulaction@post.com


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Jennifer Weiss

Jennifer Weiss (USA)

an artist’s statement

My creativity is a powerful purpose in my life. During intensely challenging or joyful times, I channel and release my emotion into my paintbrush and onto my canvas. My art practice helps me climb to a meditative state as therapy for the twists and turns in my daily life. I create with spontaneity, as I trust my subconscious mind to develop a clear picture of my reality on canvas.  My visceral art often intertwines shapes within shapes, using vibrant colors to differentiate and build a constant sense of power and emotion.  I produce flowing forms, alive with expression, in an intricate dance between balance and energy. My recent works have a new depth and dimension with the addition of layering and transparency of forms, shapes and colors on each level.  Heavier paint on one layer and lighter in another builds a transparent effect.  I dilute my paint to get a watercolor effect in my background colors. My artistic influences are Joan Miro, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee.  I love the spirit and life in Miro’s expression. I sense familiarity in Kandinsky ‘s shapes.  I am drawn to Paul Klee’s great sense of color and form. Jennifer Mrozek Weiss 25 Murray Street, Apt 5G New York, NY 10007 917-697-1208 jenmrozekweiss@gmail.com www.jennifermrozekweiss.com 4


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A R T i c u l A c t i o n

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Jennifer Weiss

An interview with

Jennifer Weiss Hi Jennifer, welcome to ARTiculAction. Let's start this interview with our usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the feature that mark the contempora-riness of an artwork?

My unique and repetitive shapes & layers define my artwork & style from other artists. Art enthusiasts have mentioned that my forms look like underwater organisms floating on my canvases which have the spirit of life within them. The contemporariness of my art is marked by its pop art feel with an abstract style wrapped into it. Would you like to tell us something about your back-ground? Are there particular experiences that has impacted on the way you produce your art nowadays? Moreover, what's your' point about formal training? Do you think that a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity?

I started drawing and painting as a child and one of my art teachers in middle school said that she saw something unusual in my artwork & told me that I should continue to nurture this talent. My passion to create took off after I heard that comment. I tried a couple of art classes but I felt that the direction & critiques that I experienced hampered my passion to create. From then on, I did not want to get any formal art training as I knew that I had what it took to create what I wanted to create inside without any instruction. 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 set up process is fairly simple which is important for me. I paint in my residential loft in Tribeca, NYC so I have to be careful of the paint getting on the floor & 6

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walls. If I am planning to do an elaborate background, I will lay a tarp on the floor & walls. I have a fantastic tower of drawers which holds my brushes, paints & accessories so they are all in reach when I am sitting on my stool in front of my large easel. With this set up, my preparation time is limited and it helps me get into the studio more consistently. This simplistic set up also fosters my drive to create. Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with the recent Rebel Angels, that our readers have admired in the starting pages of this article: could you tell us something about your initial inspiration for this work?

I wanted to try something new with Rebels Angel. I started by diluting acrylic paint and pouring this onto my canvas in three different layers. I let this dry and then I placed my abstract style into different pockets of the canvas where I felt they fit into the composition. I had read about this diluting technique in an art journal so I decided to give it a try. I am really excited about the results and look to do this again soon. Another pieces on which I would like to spend some words are Cosmic Charlie and especially Blue Moon , a painting that I like very much: a visual of these artworks that has particularly impacted on me is the living blue, whose nuance are recognizable also in Ajax. By the way, any comments on your choice of palette and how it has changed over time?

Aside from my fine art & painting, I like to draw on the iPAD and create designs in Photoshop & Illustrator. The concept for Blue Moon originated from an illustration that I created in Photoshop. I was drawn to the blue, gray & white colors as they produce a calming effect for me when used together. I also liked the way the forms reflected & balanced each other throughout the painting. The concept for Cosmic Charlie came from an IPAD drawing that I did. I felt drawn to using the blue & red primary colors because they compliment each other and I felt compelled to layering the shapes on top of one another. When I do this I tend to build a transparent effect between the layers by differentiating the paint color where the shapes overlap. This creates a sense of depth in the painting. In regards to my palette, I have always been drawn to using bright colors. I think it has to do with the way these colors lift my spirit. 7


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Victory, Acrylic on Canvas, 60" x 48"

As you have remarked in your artist's statement, your art practice helps you climb to a meditative state as therapy for the twists and turns in your daily life. I have to admit that interviewing lots of artists has given me the chance to notice that this is very recurrent... and I often ask myself could Art offer us something to grasp while we are inexorably falling down... Is an exaggeration to state that art has even a curative effect?

I definitely think that painting has a curative effect on me. It has always created a very positive outlet for me and I feel a sense of relief when I am finished in the studio for the day. It is a non-verbal way to communicate my thoughts, feelings & emotions to others. I love the puzzle Lottie Da, 2013 Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 60"

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effect that painting creates in that the art viewer is tasked with trying to figure out what the artist was trying to say or express when they were creating the painting. The interpretations can be endless sometimes.

Mayakoba, 2013 Acrylic on canvas, 36'' x 60''

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Jennifer Weiss

And I cannot do without mentioning another interesting artwork: Mayakoba, which is definetely one of the my favourite ones. I love the nuances of the red that gives pulsating life and moreover, I noticed that in many of your pieces red is a very recurrent colour, as in Merry Melody and especially in Lottie Da: would like you tell us something about the genesis of these stimulating pieces?

I created both Mayakoba and Lottie Da this year so they are very recent paintings for me. I wanted to try something new and steer away from my usual variety of forms & shapes. I tried to apply patches of paint in varying bright colors to different areas of the canvas. I then diluted some paint, dripped it on to the canvas and then started to build hints of my abstract style on top of that. When I was painting Lottie Da I used a spray bottle filled with water to provide a diluting and dripping effect. Over the last year or so, my creative process seems to have evolved and I am trying lots of new techniques. I like the freedom that presents itself by doing this. My core fundamental style always seems to carry over to any new technique that I try which I love. Your artworks have been awarded and exhibited many times: in particular, I would like to mention that you have recently received an Honorable Mention Award at The Power of Black & White exhibition, from Leading Artists Gallery. It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

I think that receiving feedback on my work is important and is something that I really like to receive. However, I do not put much thought into how my audience will receive my paintings when I produce them. I have an intense internal urge to create everyday and I trust that what I create has a great purpose in this world. My creativity is a gift from my higher power and nothing happens in the world without a purpose & meaning. I am not in control of when that purpose will become known but I do believe in myself and my artwork & that is all I really need. Not Fade Away Oct 2012

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There's a clichĂŠ question, that I often ask to the artists that I happen to interview, and I have to say that even though it might sound the simpler one, it gives me back the most complex answers: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?

This is simple. I love the way that I feel when I finish a painting and look at it in completion. There is an all encompassing feeling of happiness, serenity & accomplishment. My work makes my world dazzle when I look at it. Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Jennifer. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I am participating in the Story of the Creative Exhibition in New York City this summer. This exhibit opens on July 25th at 7PM. The event will take place at the Angel Orensanz Foundation located on the Lower East Side of Mahattan. Between July 26th and September 10th, the Story of the Creative exhibition will be on view at the See // Exhibition space: 26-19 Jackson Avenue Long Island City, NY 11101

Stella Blue - July 2011 11


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Stephanie Booth

Stephanie Booth (USA) an artist’s statement

Our recollections and family histories are human constructs created by our selective memory. Though often inaccurate they serve an important role keeping us connected to the past while tethering us to the present. Though these remembrances are inherently flawed, they orient us to our own accepted reality.

For me, there is an undeniable urge to connect to the past and uncover my roots and origins. However, the past which we did not experience will always be a mystery. My use of appropriated family photos, stories, and genealogy in my work references the constructs of history and memory. History is part fact and part fiction and it is difficult to differentiate between the two. My work struggles with discovering the undiscoverable.

www.perstef.com http://perstef.blogspot.com/

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A still from Lyford, video installation

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An interview with

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Stephanie Booth Hello Stephanie, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this is interview with my usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

The root of art is expression. I’m drawn to work that has a feeling of playfulness, ingenuity, or experimentation. Sometimes a piece of work just stops you in your tracks and you become immersed in it. That’s the experience I want to have with art.

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that have particularly impacted on you as an artist? I have read that you hold a BA in Studio Art and Art History, and you have recently earned a MFA that you have received from George Mason University: what's you point about formal training? Do you think that artists with a formal education have an advantage over self-taught artists? Sometimes I wonder if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity...

I actually went to school to study historic preservation, but my interest in art and education quickly took over. My undergraduate degree required me to take a class in every area, ceramics, painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture and textiles. I wasn’t talented in every area, but having to learn all of them and work in a interdisciplinary manner made a huge impact on my current art practice. I don’t pigeonhole myself to being a “photographer” or a “video artist.” I choose the media that best suits my concept and go from there.

Stephanie Booth

© Craig Beyers

thods, etc. is essential to affording myself all the tools I need to express myself. Sometimes that education comes from a formal setting like a class or degree program, sometimes it’s about personal research Jennifer and initiative like reading a manuals Sims

I wouldn’t be so bold as to judge an artist’s choice in education, but I think artists do need to have a natural curiosity to learn and create. I find, especially working in digital media, educating myself on new techniques, programs, printing me14


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A still from Lyford, installation

Before getting in the matter of you artistic production, can you tell us 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?

When you see a final piece of mine, if it’s a photograph or a video, there are usually several failed itterations behind it. I gather inspiration from a variety of sources, a vital statistic in my family tree, an old photograph, or a conversation with my grandmother. Then I start formulating what the piece is trying to say and figure out the medium that voice should be in. The key to my work is to keep editing and not be scared of failing. If the piece doesn’t work right the first time, I generally let it sit for a while and then go back to it. I try my best to learn from the mistakes I make and incorporate what I learn into the final piece. A final product, like Hair Stories, can sometimes take years before I’m happy enough to display it. Other solutions, like ReCorded ReMembered can happen relatively quickly. Now let's focus on your works: I would like to start from Lyford, that our readers have admired in the starting pages of this article: what was your initial inspiration? A feature that has mostly impressed is the the effective lighting techniques which gives to the yellow grading such an onirical atmosphere and an irreal appearance… It seems

or watching a tutorial. I’ve worked in all classrooms from Kindergarten to the University level and I know that art education done right doesn’t have to be stifling. It’s just about opening minds up to new opportunities of expression. 15


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Stephanie Booth

(USA)

Safety Film

to flee from the darkness, but the act of fleeting itself turn the darkness into a special place: I would go as far as to say that this piece in a way gives body to the concept of Art practice as a pilgrimage: searching for something gives birth to a light that irremediably changes something around ourselves...

Lyford was a turning point in my work, it was the first narrative video I created. I had been studying genealogy for a while and was grappling with how my family fit into American history. There is this rediculous feeling of false pride when you find these great figures in American history in your blood line. But there’s also feeling a guilt when you find people who are not outstanding moral figures. The window and the lighting serve a as a barrier in the piece; a way to force the viewer into a voyeuristic role. This mimics the relationship we

ReCorded ReMembered

have with the past, a disconnected and obstructed view. Before Lyford, I was working more with photographs, but I felt that I needed the moving image and the narrative to complete the piece. Another works of yours on which I would like to spend some words are the videos Safety Film and Recorded ReMembered. Could you take us through your creative process when starting these pieces? By the way, how you get the initial ideas that inspire the pieces you create? Could you tell us something about your imagery? Â

Both of those relate to issues with preservation of memory and problems with both analog and digital media like recordings and photographs. We embrace media to aid our ability to remember. Old videos and photos represent times past and people lost.

Another still from ReCorded ReMembered

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A still from Unwinding

which I have to admit is my favourite one: how did you come up to conceive this artwork?

Thanks! The projection Unwinding is an abstract exploration of hair and genealogy. The strands of the hair as they unravel from one another create a galaxy of lines that swirl and expand in the projection Unwinding actually started as a photography series. I was working on shooting hair on light boxes playing with the idea of present vs. past and the DNA stored in hair being the bridge between them. As I was playing with the hair, I thought that there was real beauty in the what would normally be a repulsive object, a hairball. The piece then evolved into a video that looks very abstractly at our family ties to the past.

But what if the media fails? Cassette tapes degrade and stretch, photographs fade and tear, memory cards and hard drives fail. The way that we make images is in continual flux and like our ability to remember, media is both fragile and fallible. Most of my work deals with my female ancestors or relatives and their stories, these two videos both deal with my grandfathers. ReCorded ReMembered focuses on a lost recording of my grandfather that died when I was just a baby and Safety Film shows the destruction of my other grandfather’s negatives. Both videos show the difficulty of preserving memory for the future. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, there is an undeniable urge to connect with the past and to discover one’s roots: this clearly emerges in Unwinding.

Safety Film

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Unwinding, installation

It's more than I while that I ask myself if one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal hidden aspect of our reality, offering us an Ariadne's thread that would allows us to find what we missed while going back to things we have seen before, or even to solve the mystery of past not experienced ... in this I can recognize such a political function of Art... whats your point about this?

I traveled in Europe for a month this summer and one of the things that grabbed my attention, more than I expected, was how art functioned in context. How different it was to see ruins in the Roman Forum and later that same day see statues removed from that context in the National Museum and trying to work out how we functioned with the objects in those different spaces. I agree, I think art at its best allows us not only to expierence a past not experienced, but also to see the world through the eyes of different people. I see it more as the humanitarian function of art and one of its greatest challenges and ambitions. Besides producing your Art you have also gained a wide experience as a teacher, and you are currently Adjunct Professor at Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University: do you think that being a teacher, with the consequent direct contact with your students, has -in a wayinfluenced your Art practice?

Absolutely. There is something about being around creative energy that’s nourishing. I know a lot of teachers and professors who do the bulk of their work on breaks, but I actually find I do more ofJenniferHair Stories, installation Sims 18


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A still from Unwinding

mine during the academic year. Sometimes it’s from doing research for the classroom, like looking up new techniques or finding an artist that I think would be a good person for a student to explore and then finding something new for myself. Other times it’s just simply being around young artists that are excited about their work. It’s infectious.

And here's my cliché question, that I often ask to the artists that I happen to interview: is there an aspect in particular of your work that you enjoy the most? And what gives you the biggest satisfaction?

That’s a hard question. I love the moment when it just hits you how you need to finish a piece that you’ve been struggling with. I love it even more when it works! There’s also sense of final satisfaction with putting the images of the final piece on my blog or website and getting feedback and criticism. Let me thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Stephanie. My last question deals with your future plans: what direction are you moving in creatively? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I have work in a couple of shows coming up this Fall. Unwinding will be on display at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey next month and Common Threads will be part of a exchange show with some very talented Turkish artists at the Mason Atrium Gallery in Fairfax, Virginia.

I have a couple of videos that are in the middle of shooting and editing phase so check back in and see how they turned out! 19


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Simon Coates Sara Al Simon Coates is an English artist. He has been living and working in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates since the beginning of 2011. Coates works in paint, installation, print, text, sound and film. He was educated at the University of Westminster and Plymouth College of Art & Design, both in the UK. His artwork is in private collections worldwide. He has been a visiting Fine Art lecturer at the American University in Dubai and curates Dubai's Gallery of Light, the city's only non-profit space.

iving and nce the

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Haddad

Sarah Al Haddad received her BFA in graphic design in 2011 from the American University in Dubai. She was shortlisted for the Sheikha Manal Young Artists Award, and was also a finalist in the new era introducing competition in the year 2011. Al Haddad's solo exhibitions include 'bursting at the seams' (2012) and 'i know, i knew' (2013) in Dubai; her group exhibitions include a film collaboration with simon coates in FIVAC (festival internacional de videoarte) cuba and 'HYBRID IDENTITIES' uk, 'new positions' switzerland and 'SIKKA art fair' dubai in 2013. personal emotions, feelings experienced on a daily basis inspire al haddad’s artwork. as an advocate for the use of negativity, insecurities, doubts and fears, her artworks touch upon these aspects of our emotional selves; aspects that society might deem as weak and unacceptable to express especially as a female. she targets our weakest points as human beings, our inner emotions, the ones which we tend to keep inside in fear of judgment. through the use of the most unattractive part of our emotions, negativity, al haddad pushes for the acceptance of reality, which leads to self-empowerment.

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An interview with

Simon Coates & Sara Al Haddad

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Hello Simon, hello Sara, I am happy to welcome you to ARTiculAction. Before starting to focus on your artistic production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your backgrounds? Are there particular experiences that has lead you to start your careers in Art?

Simon: I’ve lived in Dubai for just over two and a half years now and am originally from London. Sara and I met when she took part in a residency program in the gallery where I have my studio. Sara was born in Dubai and is the eldest of five siblings, one of whom is a female weightlifter who has been driving her crazy recently. Both of you have received formal training: Sara has earned her BFA majoring in graphic design at the American University in Dubai just few years ago, while Simon has studied at the University of Westminster and Plymouth College of Art & Design, in the UK. How has these experiences informed you as an artist? And how has your art developed since you left school... by the way, I have to admit that it's more than a while that I happen to ask to myself (and to the artists that I interview) if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity...

likely to enter into higher art education than someone who is far more talented but has less money. Now I would like to spend some words about your stimulating work entitled "We lived and We saw" whose stills can be admired in these pages. Could you take us through your creative process when starting this collaborative project?

Sara: My course made me realize that I didn’t want to study graphic design. It lacked the rawness which I have found in art, which made leaving it behind a huge relief. The art that I make now is very different from the art I made at school. My work is based on feelings, which obviously change as I get older.

Sara: It started as part of my residency work in the gallery in Dubai. The work was originally a film called It Became Everything and was about how projections become realities. I wanted to make a film and I asked Simon to help me out since he has background in that field. We discussed the idea and decided that the film should be of me seJennifer Sims

Simon: I have no time whatsoever for formal art training these days, especially in Dubai. Art education should be based on talent and talent should be nurtured. However, if students have a chequebook and/or rich parents they’re far more 50


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reality, maybe steering people's behavi-our... what's your take about this?

Sara: I agree. I think successful art touches people in a strong way, making them either agree or disagree. Subconsciously it affects how they act with things and to people. I think our film reflects on the condition of Emirati women in a very conscious way. The way I’m sitting, what I’m wearing – both these things are very traditional and are easy to associate with by people from the region, specifically the Emirates. I don’t think the film represents negativity because I find comfort in scenes like this. When I see women in this way I think that they are shaping traditions, some of which we barely have any more. Simon: I think there’s a lot of tension in the film, so my view differs from Sara’s. To me this piece asks a lot of questions about the role of women in Middle Eastern society as well as on an international level. I think one of the reasons that it’s been shown in so many different places across the world is because it has an intriguing edge to it; it somehow draws the viewer in. Taken as a whole, the sound builds to create a clear contrast between what is seen and what is being heard.

wing, shot both from the back and the front. He layered one set of footage over the other, which added a sense of transition.

Now let's focus on the sound, which plays a crucial role: as you have remarked, soundtrack has its basis in a field recording that Simon made at an Emirati wedding in Dubai... any technical consideration about the way you have manipulated the sounds?

Simon: Sara showed the film during her exhibition and afterwards we decided to add sound. I had a field recording from an Emirati wedding that I thought would be somehow appropriate so I used that as a starting point for the film’s soundtrack.

Simon: The way I make any of my sound pieces is completely hit and miss. In terms of technicality, I wilfully use programs and software that are rough around the edges. I hate the idea of hearing something that’s been built in Ableton or Garageband.

It goes without saying that this work is marked with clear sociopolitical references, especially as concerns the condition of women: even though I'm aware that this might sound a bit naive, I'm sort of convinced that Art could play a role not only in speaking about social issues, but also and especially in finding a way to change our

The original recording was made on my phone, then transferred to a laptop. From there I’ll build loops and sections that end up as components of the final piece. 51


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ARTiculAction As our readers have already noticed, you often give birth to interesting collaborative projects: if look at the online ecosystem, we are stricken by an enormously great number of web services that present works which are accessible for immediate feedback on a wide scale and attract massive attention. Their authors rarely claim them being the works of art or seek a legitimacy from the artworld, even they often act anonymously... maybe that the challenge could be to rethink individual authorship so that it is no longer synonymous with capitalism but rather with what Guattari calls ‘resingularisation’, an individual or collective struggle against homogenisation of institutional domains... what's your take about this?

Simon: I really like the idea of working that way. I’ve made artwork under a pseudonym before and released it digitally via Facebook just to see what happened. It was a way of exercising an alter ego but it also showed how vast and incomprehensible the internet still is. Thinking from a Marxist viewpoint, authorship is almost like owning the means to production; why not at least contemplate contibuting to a and/or any debate without worrying who you are, or what personal contribution was made? I also think artists can be too precious about their work at times, and that it’s okay to give the ego a day off once in a while. Embrace something new, whatever the consequences may be. And dealing again with clichés, contrary to a recurring one - according to which there's a dichotomy between tradition and modernity - this video creates an interesting symbiosis between past and present. Do you think that such dichotomy still exist?

Sara: I am a living example of such contradition, which i believe requires a lot of flexibility. Living in a country where there is a struggle to maintain a balanced lifestyle between old and new, one can often disre53


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By the way, Simon, as you already told us in a previous interview, you have worked for a while in the music business I woul dare to ask you: what are in your opinion some of the challenges for a sustainable relationship between the business and arts?

disregard the effect this conflict has on the shaping of one’s personality and beliefs. The simple act of performing in the film, the hand-sewing on the floor crossed legged, allows for tradition to be present, which in retrospect becomes part of modern life.

Simon: I don’t think the link between art and music will ever disappear. So, for me, the relationship is as healthy as it ever was, and is well sustained. I do feel, though, that the arts business could learn a good deal from the changes that the music business has undergone in the past decade or so. Musicians have had to change their approach and artists would do well to examine less traditional ways of presenting – and even selling – their work. Art’s traditional routes to market will have to disappear at some point, and now is as good a time as any to think about what’s next.

And even though I'm aware that you have been asked about this a thousand times, I cannot do without asking you: what are the main differences in the art scenario between Dubai and Europe? And especially, what can we learn from the Eastern scene?

Simon: There’s a time lag between the art scene here in Dubai and elsewhere. Dubai is very much about aggrandizement and progress in general, from architecture to international commerce, and the arts scene reflects that. As a relatively young nation it’s only natural that it’s going to take a while for things to develop.

Moreover, as I'm sure you already know, here in the Occident we have been conditioned from infancy to a stereotyped idea of Arabic countries, while in the recent years we have been told all the time that the interest in Art is rising steeply, with huge investments...

That said, art flourishes in paucity so I do wonder whether Dubai will ever find itself in the same position as, say, Paris or London when it comes to art. In terms of regional art, the Arab Spring has helped underscore the relevance of art as a voice for change, something the west in general seems to have forgotten.

Sara: Regardless of the stereotype or what may be believed to be true, there has been an emphasis onJennifer the cultural investment in the Sims 54


Simon Coates & Sara Al Haddad

arts in the region in the past few years, which has been recognized by the west. The art scene in the Arab world, Dubai in particular, is very young and is slowly but steadily growing, with high regards to the upcoming representative generation of young artists. Nevertheless, an educational structure is very much needed to be able to nurture the young generation of artist and prepare them for the reality of international art, including quality.

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another film together. I always wanted We Lived and We Saw to be more than just one artwork that was shown once and never seen again. By programming it elsewhere, the first film showed me that we’ve put together something that intrigues people, so I want to explore that further. I want to see who else we can intrigue. Sara: The film was my first collaborative work. I am interested to further invetisgate the possibile outcomes both Simon and I can come up. While keeping in mind how others will react, I am also very much interested in finding out how the two of us will respond to things that we both feel strongly about and would like to conceptualize in an artistic form

Let me thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Simon and Sara. what direction are you moving in creatively? Is there anything coming up for you professionally that you would like us to be aware of?

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Topp & Dobio

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Topp & Dubio (The Netherlands) an artist’s statement

Topp & Dubio is a multidisciplinary artist duo who live and work in The Hague, The Netherlands. Topp & Dubio study and scrutinize reality from a conceptual starting point, often arising from curiosity and a desire to explore parallel worlds Their projects flawlessly deal with fact and fi ction, the concept of art and daily life, the personal and the public, observation and participation, history and documentation, the romance of imagination and the absurdity of reality. Topp & Dubio do public interventions, exhibitions, sitespecific installations, audience-interaction, books and all sorts of (audiovisual) Documentation. Topp & Dubio have shown their work in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, United King-dom, France, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, United States, Canada, Russia and Ukraine.

New Crop 2013 Site specific installation

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an interview with

Topp & Dubio Hi Topp&Dubio and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, do you think that there's still a contrast between tradition and contemporary?

Every work we make, is a new definition of art for us. We don't use a standard definition or a principle to live by or to work with. We do like theories and arguments, but theories stand until you find the next one. Theories are temporary ideas just like any other perception of reality. Definitions are rules that people share to make sure their results can be measured or compared to the results of others. We don't think that is of much use to the art practice. Creating art is much more a practical and experimental endeavour than a theoretical one.

Topp & Dubio

Guess that this 'odd-one-out' feeling brought us together. Art academy is a good way to start and helps to find your way, but it is important to realize that you are being trained with somebody else's experiences and theories. So after a study, it is important to start from scratch and to redefine who you are and what you want to be.

We think there never has been a sharp difference between tradition and contemporary. If you do a certain thing more than twice, you are starting a tradition. Contemporary art also is full of traditions. They just don't exist that long yet. Maybe one could say that traditions start when everybody is used to a certain condition or method. Most artists old masters like Rembrandt or van Gogh were certainly not considered traditional in their own time.

Our collaboration started by making an underground magazine on interpreting photographic images. Later we started organizing art projects and exhibitions. By working together on all aspects of these projects, we found that we could work together on anything and we decided to join our art practices and become one artist.

Would you like to tell us something about your backgrounds? Are there particular experiences that impacted on the way you produce your art? By the way, I would like to ask what's your point about formal training in art and especially if in your opinion a formal training -or better, a certain kind of formal trainingcould even stifle an artist's creativity...

We started as Topp & Dubio in 1995 by making short 8mm films and creating a context in which these films could make any sense. We have always liked to do things we are not formally trained in, which goes back to what was probably the best lesson we had in art academy: never stop learning!

One of us was trained to be a photographer, the other studied painting and graphic design. But we actually met later in a cigarette factory where we were the only workers who didn't smoke. 30


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Three Months of Dust 2013 Performance

Before getting in the matter of you art production, can you tell us 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 you get the initial ideas that inspire the pieces you create?

This is a fairly slow process. Working individually, one could be much more impulsive, probably. But we tackle this problem by letting enough room for improvisation and impulse during the final execution of the work. We never work with totally fixed plans. We also need to be curious on how things will work out.

All of our works are in a way the result of what happens in the space between us. We are constantly sharing our thoughts to find the ideas that are the most urgent. We basically sit around the table and tell each other what's on our minds. Then ideas go back and forth and after a while they get mixed up or collide into something new.

Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would like to start from New Crop and Three Months of Dust: what was your initial inspiration? Can you describe a little bit about your creative process for these pieces?

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Three Months of Dust 2013 Performance

fore. New Crop started by coming home with a fairly large sum of money after doing an exhibition in Russia. We weren't sure if we should change the Rubles into Euros or save them for the next planned trip to Russia. Either way, the money was meant to make new works with. By changing the money into Euros its value would become concrete and visible. In Russian notes its value was much more abstract. We then decided to plant the money as a manifestation of its potential. We installed it on an open field in the city centre, where we work every Saturday. Since nobody knew how much it was worth, the value of the work was purely visual. After presenting the work we were looking at somebody else's work a couple of hundred meters further on the field. Then some people vaguely asked about the value of the Rubles. After telling them, their view on the work changed. Suddenly they thought it was quite a risk to leave it on its own. We were convinced the money was worthless as long as nobody knows how much it is. A similar process of revaluing is happening in Three Months of Dust. A vacuum-cleaner has the same sort of functionality as a piggy bank. It saves up the most worthless material you have gathered doing some work. We were wondering about the potential value of this dead material. We decided to empty the dust bag and see if that could become a valuable work of art also. It is one of the most New Crop straight forward works we have done. Three months of dust 2013 is exactly what it is. Site specific installation

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Another work of yours on which I would like to spend some words are Three Degrees and Red City In particular, I've found very stimulating Red City, and even though I'm aware that this might sound a bit na誰f I would dare to ask you some details about the choice of this particular tone of red...

We didn't choose a particular tone. We chose red in the most basic form. Maybe even more as an iconic colour. A symbol of different meanings. Therefore it should be a clear and unquestionable red. We gathered all the red objects that were laying around in our studio. These objects became the building blocks to create an urban structure. Red City also refers to the idea of Soviet urban planning and utopia. An uncompromising self made world. Three Degrees started with oxygen tanks we saw lying around in an elderly home. We have used tanks like these on a project that needed Helium, but the tanks from the elderly home probably contained the last breath of people. That instigated our desire to use them. Suddenly they became sort of human to us. Our initial idea was to create a sort of a girl group singing their last song. Girl and boy bands often consist of a variety of visual styles (blonde, brunette, dark or matching but slightly different cloths) to make sure most people can relate or identify with them. That's why we dressed them up with a variety of accessories in primary colours. Some people were surprised to see us making such a formal work using these colours and made a comparison to Mondrian.

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Three Degrees 2013 Site Specific Installation

We thought that was funny, because we totally lack the strict formality and discipline of artists like Mondrian. But there might be some truth in this comparison. Red City and Three Degrees are the first works in which we use colour as a leading principle to make a work. And right now we are working on a project that is based on the colour purple. This could be the start of something new. As you have remarked in your artist's state-ment, your artworks aim to study and scru-tinize today's reality from a conceptual starting point, often arising from a desire to explore parallel worlds. So it goes without saying that experience as starting point of artistic production is a recurrent characteristic of your works, in particular the one that we are now taking into consideration: But is in your opinion experience an absolutely necessary part of creative process?

Red City 2013 Site Specific Installation your artworks are the space in which your audience, a large number of people, enjoy your pieces: so, how important is the role of your audience for your artworks? When you conceive a piece, do you happen to think to whom will enjoy it?

Experience is absolutely necessary for us. We always try to work with things (materials as well as subjects) we have some sort of relationship with. If not, then we should at least have an uncontrollable to start this relationship. We cannot work on something we don't care about. At the same time one could say that there is a lot that interests us. The unknown is very attractive.

In our larger projects we often start with our desire to interfere with other worlds or social structures to which we do not belong. We like to get ourselves into trouble and to interact with others. Sometimes this results in presentations in which an audience becomes part of the work. We like to be on the same level with our audience. This interactive approach also leads to ideas for new works.

It goes without saying that your artworks are strictly connected to the chance to create a deep interaction, since rather than modify the space,

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used to looking at art. They are harder to convince, which is good. Besides that, they don't have preformatted opinions on what they see. They take more time to perceive the work. Regular art audiences tend to label you very fast. We don't think art is something one should get used to. I personally find absolutely fascinating the fruitful collaboration that you have established together: especially because it reveals a symbiosis between two apparently different approaches to art. Could you tell us something about this effective synergy?

We are very different, which is something we try to use. Dialogue, interaction and tolerance are the main ingredients of our work. It's never about Me, Myself and I. But more about 'You say PO-TEY-TO, I say PO-TAH-TO'. We think it is great that people can look at the same thing and have totally different views or opinions about them. It is one of most profound qualities we have as humans. It forms the basis of every culture. We think we should use this quality instead of seeing it as the source of all evil. Problems are there for our excitement and to not get us down. A knife can have very different uses, and art is one of them.

A lot of our work is based on the principles of action and reaction. That is one of the reasons why our projects regularly get out of hand. We once invaded an Indonesian restaurant with the purpose to explore it for four months, but the work kept us in the restaurant for 18 months. And the concept of a fictional tennis club that we started in Kaliningrad was meant to last for just two months, but it generated so many ideas that we have worked with this construction for four years and created more than 25 projects out of it. We have always tried to reach new audiences that are not

Red City 2013 Site Specific Installation

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Red City 2013 Site Specific Installation

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 two artists?

Just tell us when and where he has said that and we will sue him. OK, he's probably right, but for the discussion it would be much better if we disagreed. We have a long lasting desire to start some sort of fight with other artists. Purely for art's sake, of course. Sometimes we wish we lived in the 1910-1920's, when artists slammed each other with manifests. But a trial would be a nice piece of art. It would make a gallery out of a court room. There's a clichĂŠ question, that I often ask to the artists that I happen to interview: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?

The best moment is when things come together and you finally know how to do it. This usually ends a period of research and a lot of trial and error. This is the moment when the actual work of art is conceived and you get the feeling this might be the best idea you've had for years. Then the juices start to flow and you can't wait to finish it or to take it one step further. It's great to be curious to see the end results of your own work.

Three Months of Dust 9

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Topp & Dubio

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Three Degrees 2013 Site Specific Installation

Let me thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Topp&Dubio. My last question deals with your future plans: What’s next for you? Are there any new projects on the horizon?

We have two major projects to work on right now. One of them takes place in Charleroi, Belgium where we were invited to respond to the current state of the city with one or more site-specific works. This project will be presented in about 6 weeks from now. The other one is a slowly developing project we are working on since 2008. We have started a posthumous artistic dialogue with the remaining works of the Russian artist Yuri Lunacharsky who died in 2008 at age 30. We are preparing a large exhibition in Russia that includes all of Lunacharsky's works and our //responding works. It will be a sort of retrospective exhibition on a close relationship that never really existed. We have made exhibitions from this project before, but in October we'll present the grand finale.

Topp & Dobio Self-portrait

More info: Hotel Charleroi - www.hotelcharleroi.com Topp & Dubio vs. Yuri Lunacharsky, National Centre for Contemporary Arts Russia - www.ncca.ru Three Degrees 2013 Site Specific Installation Topp & Dubio website: www.topp-dubio.nl 10


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Monteith McCollum

Monteith McCollum (USA)

an artist’s statement

My progression as an artist is tied to my work in many mediums, informing and influencing each other. I began my artistic career as a painter and musician, moving into film through my interests in animation and sound. Although I’ve continued to work in many mediums simultaneously the bulk of my recognized work is as a filmmaker and film composer. In recent years I’ve become increasingly compelled to find new ways to re-interpret how time based work is created and presented. My new performance entitled “Hidden Frequencies” is a melding of three mediums, sound performance, film, and sculpture. It’s a multi-media event exploring the intersection between language, technology, and music through contemporary and vintage communication technologies. “Mary Wore Jane’s So-Called Hat” is the first of three distinct movements within this work. Composed and structured according to morse code patterns, the violin, Instructograph, tuning forks, and telegraph oscillators all utilize morse as a form of musical structure. The rhythms are composed to complete the phrase "Mary Wore Jane's So-Called Hat." This phrase is an exercise from a 1940's instructional morse code record that’s sampled live during the performance. This coded language dictates the root of the first musical performance. All three movements of utilize a combination of video projection, sculpture, and sound to illustrate the fragile nature of performing with antiquated processes and technologies. The low-fi properties of these early objects are placed in contrast to the intangible processes of digital instrumentation and wireless sensory devices. The first movement is introduced by a short film that focuses on the esoteric nuances of shortwave radio, from abstract coded frequencies to fragments of personal narratives. The film includes a voice over by sound artist Ingvar Loco Nordin discussing his attraction towards the illusive qualities of shortwave radio as a musical form. The visuals within the performance utilize both pre-constructed imagery and live video feed from the sound objects. The series of movements guides the audience through a set of unique technologies encompassing over a century of experimental innovation in regards to language, communication, and transcribing systems. Presently the most important element for me as an artist is the connection many artistic mediums can share with each other, finding ways in which they work together transforming the aesthetics and conceptual development of a work. A common theme much of my works share revolve around aspects of technology and landscape. Often histories are explored through the context of personal stories. I enjoy finding a tension in work pushing documentary narratives into an amorphous, fictitious arena. Within many of my films I’m interested in revealing esoteric tales, finding new ways to illustrate the mundane or overlooked. In my music and sculpture I’m bound through the elements of texture to find unique juxtapositions working with a collage sensibility. I enjoy letting my ideas grow and not be limited by materiality or medium, allowing processes to inform and invigorate, bleeding into the flow of artistic development.

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Monteith McCollum

An interview with

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

I would say that a sucussful piece of Art should pique curiosity, engage imagination, and maybe even stimulate the viewers sense of humor. It doesn’t have to be beautiful but it needs to have aesthetic balance and importantly- a strong physical presence. That is, the viewer or listener should feel physically engaged. With sound, our bodies respond to sonic vibrations, with sculpture and film/video, the image needs to be felt as well. It should have a texture that is worked or marked, by the artist or by other forces. The work should also have more than one layer of meaning. If the work compels me to look at it on a deeper level and see multiple layers of thought and process, then I value it as an inventive work of art. This doesn’t mean that it has to be structurally complex. Even a simple form done well, a chair or a metal clothes line on the side of the road, can drawn you in and make you consider an objects materiality and history anew.

Monteith McCollum

sciplinary artist? I would dare to say that you are a post-disciplinary artist...

The second part of this question is difficult for me to answer. Much of the art that resonates with me is often work that defies classification. I honestly never worry about contemporariness of works that I make or see from others. Sometimes work strikes me as specifically contemporary because of it’s it’s attempt to clearly differentiate itself from older practices through use of material, process, or dialogue with current social issues. But these qualities alone don’t determine the success or failure of the work. There is something ineffable about a piece when it really speaks in a way that feels “present”. Sometimes I find it in art from an earlier period, which can be surprisingly pleasing in itself.

I spent much of my adolescence on a farm in Iowa isolated from artistic culture, so I looked to other aspects to draw on. Fortunately my earliest years my parents, who were music, teachers took me to Scotland and Australia as part of a foreign exchange program. These two experiences and places have defined much of my work. Early travel opened my eyes at a young age to a sense of the wonderfully diverse world beyond the farm. It gave me an appetite for learning about others and seeing variety in landscape. I also saw the farm in a new way when I returned. The rural Iowa landscape is a blending of mechanics and nature. It’s a meeting of contra-dictions, natural and artificial, organized and in various stages of decay and threatening chaos. Growing up, I was surrounded by fields impeccably groomed Jennifer Sims

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that have particularly impacted on the way you make Art nowadays and that lead you to be a multidi-

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Din Din Back

to the point that they almost seemed machined, while machines littered the large barns in states of decay that made them feel like a kind of natural landscape of their own. I believe my interests in mechanisms and technology are linked to my early exposure to the much of the strange machinery I played around as a child. In regard to art making, as a kid I wanted to be a painter even though music was primary in my family and I was always expected to work at it. When I found cinema as a young adult, it appealed as a way to fuse painting and music. With installation and performance- sculpture, presence, and interactivity join the mix. Being able to work in any medium and not be feel defined by a particular discourse feels very liberating- though sometimes daunting. There is always so much to learn, technically, with each new project! I see the value in developing ones craft in a focused and incremental manner. I just seem drawn to a more chaotic/ diverse orientation.

have received from the Syracuse University, you have studied in many other colleges: what's your point about formal training? Do you think that artists with a formal education have an advantage over self-taught artists? Sometimes I wonder if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... As an undergrad, I wanted exposure to many different artists and approaches. I didn’t want to settle for a narrow view and I used this as an excuse to travel. Early on I was curious about the differences between smaller liberal arts colleges, larger universities, and art schools. I attended all three kinds of institutions at some point. I ending up at the School or the Art Institute of Chicago. As a teacher I always keep in mind the experiences I valued most in my own education, keeping the artists, teachers, and work that inspired me alive.

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30 Hz wide

Formal education is a kind of amplifier or accelerator. So many opportunities, social and technical, are presented in a small space and during a short period of time. It presents an opportunity for some pretty rapid growth if you are open to it. Of course, no one likes art that feels “academic” or “hot housed”. You need life experiences and an art practice beyond the institution to continue to develop in a more complex way. For some people, the academic environment is just stifling. It really depends on the individual and the institution. Mark Twain once quipped “Don’t let your boy’s schooling interfere with his education.”

CNEMA Theatre Sweden

Before getting in the matter of your artistic production, can you tell us 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?

As a teacher, I try to keep a balance. I have to straddle technical and creative processes continually and encourage social interaction (artistically) amongst the students. I want my students to listen to me but I also want them to take risks and be tuned into themselves. A good school will also foster a critical environment and a knowledge of history. You have to really go out of your way, if not in school, to find those things. Outside of school, surrounded by friends, a critical environment can be harder to find. Many students don’t know how to take criticism or don’t know how to open up and be honest enough to give it. It takes work. Some people don’t need it, but I think that for most it can really aid growth- even if the criticism is wrong! I spend a majority of time designing my classes so they become a conduit for creative development. I try to help guide students to a place where they have a good launching point to continue on their own.

Since I straddle many mediums at once, I have to simplify process at the start. If I’m working on music composition, I’ll focus on simple motifs with particular attention towards rhythmic, timbre, and textual variations. Texture is an element I look at throughout many mediums. It’s a component that can really help guide and structure work along with the primary concept. The first stages of any project always involves a bit of exploration and failure. However, if I limited myself only to techniques previously explored, I don’t progress

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Me. I’ve been thinking about integrating elements of live sound performance and sculpture with film for many years. The difficulty has been in figuring out how to build this work involving so many different elements simultaniously. Both film and sound require a significant amount of singular time. I need to be able to spend a good month exploring aesthetic and structural elements in both mediums. Initially I planned to make a feature length film that integrated live sound into the structure. But then last year I was asked by the Slamdance Film Festival to be part of a collaborative project. Six filmmakers from around the world were asked to participate in the creation of an Exquisite Corpse. We had to make a film that considered elements from a small segment of someone else’s film that was provided. As I began making this short, I found it to be the perfect work to begin to think about how to integrate this performance model. I wanted to explore short wave radio in the abstract sense. I began thinking more about older communication technologies and how they’ve have developed. This was a great launching point for me to begin to think about using some of these technologies as musical instruments. Morse code in particular stood out as something that could be utilized in a performance

as an artist. Technology always has a way of shaping process, that’s one wonderful aspect I enjoy. Part of this is the nature of mixing digital and analog processes. Some of the analog I have a long term, working knowledge of. But it’s still a challenge to integrate the old with the new. Some projects take just a few months, others years. It depends on the length and complexity. Now let's focus on your works: I would like to start from Hidden Frequencies, and I suggest to our reader to visit your personal website at http://www.monteithmccollum.com/#!about /c240r to have a more precise idea of this stimulating project: what was your initial inspiration? Could you take us through your creative process when starting this work? Yes, “Hidden Frequencies” is a unique change for

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antenna with stars

since the unit is ryhthmically played. It also became a way for me to think of the overall structure of the work and focus my explorations on oscillators and frequency. The film I initially made at Slamdance’s request also stands on its own and has been screening in film festivals. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, a crucial aspect of the 2nd movement is to focus on translating what we hear into a visual we can see. I have to admit that this has reminded me Baudelaire's concept of "Correspondance"... I'm sort of convinced that music brings a temporaral aspect to a sculptural work while sculptures bring a physical aspect to music: could a symbiosis between two apparently different media give birth to a completely new kind of art, or just reveal hidden features of what we use to call "tradition"? That’s interesting, I like that. I do hope to keep sculpting the performance to see how far I can push this multifaceted experience. It’s the balance of dialogue between these distinct mediums that really intrigues me. I’m not sure if anything is completely new, or needs to be. But a partial feeling of “newness” is a great thing! “Tradition” is part of the dialogue of humanity as a whole, and is interesting, when played off of other traditions. I don’t run from it, but don’t always consciously play with it either. After the fact, I notice my allegences. I agree about the physical and temporal in relationship to sculpture and music. It’s all vibration, on some level! When this is made visible of visceral- I think people strongly feel it as “true”. Both music and sculpture are physically fragile in their balance, construction. The fragility is something I work with in both as one performance within sculpture. I also think that it is this fragility that often most resonates with our own.

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The live performance part of Mary Wore Jane's So Called Hat entails violin, telegraph, Instructograph, turntables, and also an Animoog iPhone app performed by yourself: I must confess that I'm always happy when I discover synergies between Art and Technology. Moreover, I would go a far as to say that the more time it passes the less there are concrete differences between Art and Science... what's your point about this? Do you think that nowadays still exists a dichotomy between art and technology? Art and technology are like family. There are so many likenesses that they can’t pretend to be strangers - although they sometimes might like to. A painter fifty years ago couldn’t ignore the influence technology had on the tools, medium, and thematic evolution of concepts. And for a while now, software has tried to look like painting- and film, old instruments, etc- in texture and process. Then there are the similarities in the pursuit of creative innovation on both sides. They’re hard to separate in lots of ways. The dark flip side is a consumer driven desire to have the newest, shiniest, art making toy. It can get out of control and pull us away from critical engagement, since the change is so rapid and constant. As an artist I value re-visiting and contrasting older technologies with newer ones. This back and forth is where I gather the most inspiration. The bigger picture of technologic change can push concepts forward in fascinating ways. There’s a big groundswell at the moment within small cottage audio / video industries to re-invent modular systems that originated in the 50’s and 60’s. Maybe that’s a way of dealing with rapid change- to pull back and embrace the slow over the fast, but I think we can see and hear the past with new eyes and ears -and that perspective is essential to the future.

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Red record

Your artworks have been awarded and exhibited many times. It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an awardcould even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces? I try to conceive of projects that allow me to work with materials at hand, or ones that are not beyond my means to acquire. That way I am not reliant on grants and awards. They are really helpful when you get them--and always worth trying for, but you would be shooting yourself in the foot if you counted on them. But I also don’t sustain my self financially soley as an artist. I have a day job which allows me some luxury in following my own way and not needing to sell an idea before pursuing it. There is also a certain aesthetic that goes with working on a small budget. You are embracing an art making practice that is smaller scale, in a way, and more common to normal life. Extravagant art is impressive and thrilling, but it takes a certain kind of person to do the work needed to pull that stuff off- and all art certainly doesn’t need to be that way. About feedback- it is important but can’t influence you while conceiving or working on a new project. I can only think for myself. I’m not so arrogant as to assume that I know or can make something that is going to impress certain people over the work of others. I make my work and let it go. When positive re-inforcement happens it is bolstering. When it doesn’t it is depressing. Hopefully, the times people appreciate the work helps through the times when they don’t. Artists are vulnerable, they put them-

Listen Still

selves out in a personal way and then have to listen to the multiple judgements that return. It doesn’t mean the work process changes because of it. Ultimately, any individual artist is constantly criticising there own work all the time anyway. I often have other artists I respect watch and listen if I’m having problems seeing the work clearly. Knowing what to do with criticism is an art in itself. I’m still learning. Besides producing your Art you also have a wide experience in teaching: do you think that being a teacher, with the consequent direct contact with your students, has -in a wayinfluenced your Art practice? Certainly, I’m sure it has. In the process of teaching, exciting ideas can come forward. I spend a good deal of time helping my students shape their projects, finding provocative work by other artists that can inspire them to think about the world and art a bit differently. The process continues to inspire me as well. I’m always looking at new technologies and I always allow my teaching to influence my art. I strong-

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of getting to know the sound artist Ingvar Norton Loco. When I showed my work in Sweden, he dropped by. I would like to collaborate with him in the future and look forward to the opportunity to discover others who might be interested in collaborating in ways that I haven’t even thought of yet, as new projects present themselves. I often form new friendships as I pursue new subjects. That is an area of pretty great satisfaction. Let me thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Monteith: what direction are you moving in creatively? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

“Hidden Frequencies” will take me a few more years to complete as I plan on having at least three movements exploring different sonic concepts visually and aurally. I want to take the time to allow myself to really understand the complexities that can exist working with an array of objects in this live form. I still need to make two additional short films and keep building and expanding upon the instruments I build. I’m trying to perform as much as possible with this work-in-progress to get a better understanding of possibilities and how to grow the work. In October I’ll be performing part of “Hidden Frequencies” at Transient Visions Festival here in Binghamton and in Korea at the Seoul NewMedia Festival. I also plan on screening some of my work and doing a performance at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in Buffalo, NY this December. Aside from the performance work I do have an ambitions to begin making another feature experimental work that’s been in my thoughts for a while. I’ll begin picking away at this sometime in the near future.

y believe that to grow as an artist I have to have a transparency between class and my own artistic processes. If I’m learning something new in my personal work that is exciting, it makes sense to bring it into class. This correspondence is a two way streak. It is a way to get myself learning new things as well as the students. I also get to know work processes better after I have to present them in a way that is useful to the students. Teaching a topic is a great way to get yourself to think more deeply about it. Also the students response often pushes me into new directions. The may ask a question that I don’t know the answer to, and I have to engage with that question and grow from it. And here's my cliche question: is there an aspect in particular of your work that you enjoy the most? And what gives you the biggest satisfaction? Not knowing where it will lead me artistically. Also the opportunity to meet and learn from others. During the making of “Listen” (which is the film portion of “Hidden Frequencies”) I had the pleasure

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Simon Coates Sara Al Simon Coates is an English artist. He has been living and working in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates since the beginning of 2011. Coates works in paint, installation, print, text, sound and film. He was educated at the University of Westminster and Plymouth College of Art & Design, both in the UK. His artwork is in private collections worldwide. He has been a visiting Fine Art lecturer at the American University in Dubai and curates Dubai's Gallery of Light, the city's only non-profit space.

iving and nce the

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Haddad

Sarah Al Haddad received her BFA in graphic design in 2011 from the American University in Dubai. She was shortlisted for the Sheikha Manal Young Artists Award, and was also a finalist in the new era introducing competition in the year 2011. Al Haddad's solo exhibitions include 'bursting at the seams' (2012) and 'i know, i knew' (2013) in Dubai; her group exhibitions include a film collaboration with simon coates in FIVAC (festival internacional de videoarte) cuba and 'HYBRID IDENTITIES' uk, 'new positions' switzerland and 'SIKKA art fair' dubai in 2013. personal emotions, feelings experienced on a daily basis inspire al haddad’s artwork. as an advocate for the use of negativity, insecurities, doubts and fears, her artworks touch upon these aspects of our emotional selves; aspects that society might deem as weak and unacceptable to express especially as a female. she targets our weakest points as human beings, our inner emotions, the ones which we tend to keep inside in fear of judgment. through the use of the most unattractive part of our emotions, negativity, al haddad pushes for the acceptance of reality, which leads to self-empowerment.

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Hello Simon, hello Sara, I am happy to welcome you to ARTiculAction. Before starting to focus on your artistic production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your backgrounds? Are there particular experiences that has lead you to start your careers in Art?

Simon: I’ve lived in Dubai for just over two and a half years now and am originally from London. Sara and I met when she took part in a residency program in the gallery where I have my studio. Sara was born in Dubai and is the eldest of five siblings, one of whom is a female weightlifter who has been driving her crazy recently. Both of you have received formal training: Sara has earned her BFA majoring in graphic design at the American University in Dubai just few years ago, while Simon has studied at the University of Westminster and Plymouth College of Art & Design, in the UK. How has these experiences informed you as an artist? And how has your art developed since you left school... by the way, I have to admit that it's more than a while that I happen to ask to myself (and to the artists that I interview) if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity...

likely to enter into higher art education than someone who is far more talented but has less money. Now I would like to spend some words about your stimulating work entitled "We lived and We saw" whose stills can be admired in these pages. Could you take us through your creative process when starting this collaborative project?

Sara: My course made me realize that I didn’t want to study graphic design. It lacked the rawness which I have found in art, which made leaving it behind a huge relief. The art that I make now is very different from the art I made at school. My work is based on feelings, which obviously change as I get older.

Sara: It started as part of my residency work in the gallery in Dubai. The work was originally a film called It Became Everything and was about how projections become realities. I wanted to make a film and I asked Simon to help me out since he has background in that field. We discussed the idea and decided that the film should be of me seJennifer Sims

Simon: I have no time whatsoever for formal art training these days, especially in Dubai. Art education should be based on talent and talent should be nurtured. However, if students have a chequebook and/or rich parents they’re far more 50


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reality, maybe steering people's behavi-our... what's your take about this?

Sara: I agree. I think successful art touches people in a strong way, making them either agree or disagree. Subconsciously it affects how they act with things and to people. I think our film reflects on the condition of Emirati women in a very conscious way. The way I’m sitting, what I’m wearing – both these things are very traditional and are easy to associate with by people from the region, specifically the Emirates. I don’t think the film represents negativity because I find comfort in scenes like this. When I see women in this way I think that they are shaping traditions, some of which we barely have any more. Simon: I think there’s a lot of tension in the film, so my view differs from Sara’s. To me this piece asks a lot of questions about the role of women in Middle Eastern society as well as on an international level. I think one of the reasons that it’s been shown in so many different places across the world is because it has an intriguing edge to it; it somehow draws the viewer in. Taken as a whole, the sound builds to create a clear contrast between what is seen and what is being heard.

wing, shot both from the back and the front. He layered one set of footage over the other, which added a sense of transition.

Now let's focus on the sound, which plays a crucial role: as you have remarked, soundtrack has its basis in a field recording that Simon made at an Emirati wedding in Dubai... any technical consideration about the way you have manipulated the sounds?

Simon: Sara showed the film during her exhibition and afterwards we decided to add sound. I had a field recording from an Emirati wedding that I thought would be somehow appropriate so I used that as a starting point for the film’s soundtrack.

Simon: The way I make any of my sound pieces is completely hit and miss. In terms of technicality, I wilfully use programs and software that are rough around the edges. I hate the idea of hearing something that’s been built in Ableton or Garageband.

It goes without saying that this work is marked with clear sociopolitical references, especially as concerns the condition of women: even though I'm aware that this might sound a bit naive, I'm sort of convinced that Art could play a role not only in speaking about social issues, but also and especially in finding a way to change our

The original recording was made on my phone, then transferred to a laptop. From there I’ll build loops and sections that end up as components of the final piece. 51


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ARTiculAction As our readers have already noticed, you often give birth to interesting collaborative projects: if look at the online ecosystem, we are stricken by an enormously great number of web services that present works which are accessible for immediate feedback on a wide scale and attract massive attention. Their authors rarely claim them being the works of art or seek a legitimacy from the artworld, even they often act anonymously... maybe that the challenge could be to rethink individual authorship so that it is no longer synonymous with capitalism but rather with what Guattari calls ‘resingularisation’, an individual or collective struggle against homogenisation of institutional domains... what's your take about this?

Simon: I really like the idea of working that way. I’ve made artwork under a pseudonym before and released it digitally via Facebook just to see what happened. It was a way of exercising an alter ego but it also showed how vast and incomprehensible the internet still is. Thinking from a Marxist viewpoint, authorship is almost like owning the means to production; why not at least contemplate contibuting to a and/or any debate without worrying who you are, or what personal contribution was made? I also think artists can be too precious about their work at times, and that it’s okay to give the ego a day off once in a while. Embrace something new, whatever the consequences may be. And dealing again with clichés, contrary to a recurring one - according to which there's a dichotomy between tradition and modernity - this video creates an interesting symbiosis between past and present. Do you think that such dichotomy still exist?

Sara: I am a living example of such contradition, which i believe requires a lot of flexibility. Living in a country where there is a struggle to maintain a balanced lifestyle between old and new, one can often disre53


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By the way, Simon, as you already told us in a previous interview, you have worked for a while in the music business I woul dare to ask you: what are in your opinion some of the challenges for a sustainable relationship between the business and arts?

disregard the effect this conflict has on the shaping of one’s personality and beliefs. The simple act of performing in the film, the hand-sewing on the floor crossed legged, allows for tradition to be present, which in retrospect becomes part of modern life.

Simon: I don’t think the link between art and music will ever disappear. So, for me, the relationship is as healthy as it ever was, and is well sustained. I do feel, though, that the arts business could learn a good deal from the changes that the music business has undergone in the past decade or so. Musicians have had to change their approach and artists would do well to examine less traditional ways of presenting – and even selling – their work. Art’s traditional routes to market will have to disappear at some point, and now is as good a time as any to think about what’s next.

And even though I'm aware that you have been asked about this a thousand times, I cannot do without asking you: what are the main differences in the art scenario between Dubai and Europe? And especially, what can we learn from the Eastern scene?

Simon: There’s a time lag between the art scene here in Dubai and elsewhere. Dubai is very much about aggrandizement and progress in general, from architecture to international commerce, and the arts scene reflects that. As a relatively young nation it’s only natural that it’s going to take a while for things to develop.

Moreover, as I'm sure you already know, here in the Occident we have been conditioned from infancy to a stereotyped idea of Arabic countries, while in the recent years we have been told all the time that the interest in Art is rising steeply, with huge investments...

That said, art flourishes in paucity so I do wonder whether Dubai will ever find itself in the same position as, say, Paris or London when it comes to art. In terms of regional art, the Arab Spring has helped underscore the relevance of art as a voice for change, something the west in general seems to have forgotten.

Sara: Regardless of the stereotype or what may be believed to be true, there has been an emphasis onJennifer the cultural investment in the Sims 54


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arts in the region in the past few years, which has been recognized by the west. The art scene in the Arab world, Dubai in particular, is very young and is slowly but steadily growing, with high regards to the upcoming representative generation of young artists. Nevertheless, an educational structure is very much needed to be able to nurture the young generation of artist and prepare them for the reality of international art, including quality.

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another film together. I always wanted We Lived and We Saw to be more than just one artwork that was shown once and never seen again. By programming it elsewhere, the first film showed me that we’ve put together something that intrigues people, so I want to explore that further. I want to see who else we can intrigue. Sara: The film was my first collaborative work. I am interested to further invetisgate the possibile outcomes both Simon and I can come up. While keeping in mind how others will react, I am also very much interested in finding out how the two of us will respond to things that we both feel strongly about and would like to conceptualize in an artistic form

Let me thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Simon and Sara. what direction are you moving in creatively? Is there anything coming up for you professionally that you would like us to be aware of?

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Tatiana Afonina

Tatiana Afonina an artist’s statement I was born in 1992, Yekaterinburg. I've been drawing and playing music from my childhood. Harmony of sound and color fascinates me, and gradually I`ve begun interesting in a problem of synthesis and perception. I always passionate about shape and combinations of colors, full of energy and influenced on emotions. I've begun to engage a computer graphics from technique of collage since 2007 year and without any additional materials since 2009 year. But finally my style has emerged in 2012. And exactly in this time the realization of own artistic process and what I want to tell people by my creativity has come to me. My art isn't figurative, it's abstractive. But as for me, abstraction is the esthetics of unsaid and charm of art is in search of meaning. And that's why I propose every spectator to find something own in every artwork, something, what's according to one's soul and build own associative links. I only point a movement by the names of my paintings, but not impose. And the objects in my creativity are feelings, emotions and processes. All what's impossible to understand and explain unambiguously. So, the contemplation turns to the travel into oneself, to dialog with self and with painting. In 2009 I won the second prize in Hugo Create. In 2010 won in Russian Art week, in Ukrainian and Berlin Art weeks. I took part in the International in 2011 festival of media art "Terra Nova" in Minsk. In 2013 I was included in catalogue of contemporary art by Italian art-critic Salvatore Russo. Exhibitions 2012. 4th Minsk international festival of media art “Terra nova”, National library of Belarus, Minsk 2012. Exhibition “Yekaterinburg – Greece: trip in time and space”, Belinsky's Library, Yekaterinburg 2012. MOCA: The Museum of Computer Art, New York, on-line 2011. Berlin art week, Berlin, Germany 2010. Ukrainian art week, Kiev, Ukraine 2010. Russian art week, Moscow, Russia

Awards 2011. Berlin art week, 2d place in nomination “Avant-garde computer graphics” 2010. Ukrainian art week, 1st in nomination “Avant-garde computer graphics” 2010. Russian art week, 1st and 2d places in nomination “Avant-garde computer graphics” 2009. Hugo create, 2d place in Russian Federation Projects 2013. Participation in a catalogue of contemporary art “I Segnalati”, written by Salvatore Russo

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An interview with

Tatiana Afonina Hi Tatiana, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the feature that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

background? Are there particular experiences that has impacted on the way you produce your art nowadays? Moreover, I have read that you have studied at Ural Federal University, in Russia, yur native country: so what's your point about formal training? Do you think that a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity?

Hello, thank you. As for me, a work of art is the “unit”, which has aesthetic value and what promotes to spiritual growth of people. A work of art is contemporary, when timeless and spaceless meanings in it are expressed by new artistic funds and all it can be perceived by contemporary person.

If to say about artistic background, the color gamma of Van Gogh and a direction “abstract expressionism” by Vasiliy Kandinsky are close to me. If to say about background in general, likely, I’m interested in a problem of associative links. Non-figurative art is more attractive Jennifer Sims

Would you like to tell us something about your

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Revival of the Phoenix, 2012, 100x100cm. Adobe Photoshop CS5.5

for me, because it brings more opportunities of interpretation.

My speciality, art history, isn’t directly related with my creativity, and so, in my case I can say, that education enriches and inspires me.

Yes, I’m studying in the Ural Federal University and will graduate in 2014. Frankly speaking, I can’t divide education on formal and unformal, as for me, this process is always personal.

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The global net, 2013 100x100cm. Adobe Photoshop CS5,5

tendency to artistic search and freedom. 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 haven’t any "rules" for making my artworks besides what I’d like to express in that moment of time, what emotions I’d like to reflect. Therefore, own process depends on the level of propinquity of an original idea to the final result; it can last for several hours. I never leave a work on the half of the way and always finish what began, so an artwork isn't created several days. I mainly focus my attention on harmony of colors, forms and lines. And that’s why, all process is in constant search of determinate composition, when I have no desire to add or take off something.

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Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with the recent Ad Nescire Ad Non Esse, that our readers have admired in the starting pages of this article. Could you tell us something about your initial

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circumstances influence of different people and their vital positions are hidden behind an obvious order of events. If to look closely on the work, you can see how two “ways”: something orderly and predictable and something dynamical, that we cannot see; are crossed and all events, which make us to say this phrase, happen on their junction. Another pieces on which I would like to spend some words are Hollywood and especially Broken Relations a piece that I like very much: a visual of these artworks that has particularly impacted on me is the living blue, whose nuance are recognizable also in Exhibit. By the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

Thank you very much; it’s very pleased, that you like my work. Blue color is my favorite. If to say about the work “Broken relations”, all light fragments are only nice memories, which already absorbed by blue as a symbol of melancholy, sadness. Honestly, I can’t say that my choice of palette is changed with time and that I have periods, which

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inspiration for this work?

I often say the phrase “Ad nescire ad non esse” when something strange and wondrous things happen, and every time I’m wondered of the deep of meaning. Concatenations of different

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Asphalt. The Movement of the Motorcycle, 2013 size: 3779 x 3779 pixels

can be divided by color gradation. I get inspiration from everywhere, for example, from colors of collection Jean Paul Gaultier, from works from some exhibitions, which I saw, or color gamma of nature, when I look through the window. The only one, what I can say, – I prefer contrast colors, because it more lights and it perceives easier. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, abstraction is the esthetics of unsaid and charm of art is in search of meaning. I'm sort of convinced that in a way, Art could offer us a way to snatch hidden meanings of our reality, which in a certain sense need to be deciphered: maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal these hidden aspects of the world... what's your opinion about this? Hpt Day, 2013 100x100cm. Adobe Photoshop CS5,5

I think that artist can help spectators to see hidden aspects of the world, pay attention to this. But any creativity is full of allegories and allusions, so spectator always enriches meanings by one’s own experiences. It’s important to me, when a spectator sees that moment, which he

read in the name of work, tries to realize it and enter this in the context of composition. And I cannot do without mentioning another interesting artworks: Hot Day, which is defiJennifer Sims

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colour, as in Circus and especially in The Portrait: would like you tell us something about the genesis of these stimulating pieces?

Thanks a lot. The nuances of the red are not only pulsating life, but something excessive. In “Hot day” it’s swelter, when body is weak from the heat, when you can’t hide anywhere from the scorching sun, when air trembles from stress. The red shows intensity of process in “Portrait”: or it’s the moment of creation either the moment of destroy, it seems that something strained to the limit. The red symbolizes a culmination and the intensity of emotions or positive either negative in “Circus”. Your artworks have been awarded and exhibited many times. It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audi-

netely one of the my favourite ones. I love the nuances of the red that gives pulsating life and moreover, I noticed that in many of your pieces red is a very recurrent

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in correctness of the creative way and it’s a big impulse to the next creativity. I always think about people, who will see my works, because each work is a message, if I can name it so, and a response in my spectator’s soul is important to me. There's a cliché question, that I often ask to the artists that I happen to interview, and I have to say that even though it might sound the simpler one, it gives me back the most complex answers. What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?

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Probably, I’ll be trivial, but I enjoy the most a process of creativity, search, work with colors and forms, realization of idea. But I get the biggest satisfaction when I see the result, which I own like.

ence? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

And exactly this moment gives me a right to finish my work on a piece of art. And when, the next day, I still like it, I’m pretty happy!

Any recognition adds confident in your powers,

Thank you for your time and for sharing with

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Venetian Mask, 2012, size: 100x100, Adobe Photoshop CS5.5

us your thoughts, Tatiana. My last question deals with your future plans. What direction are you moving in creatively? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

all exhibition on the big screens.not to stop and constantly move forward: take part in competitions and calls for artists. I prefer to do my best, change, but in the limit of my own style, but it don’t except some experiments. And, of course, the one, what I’d like the most is my own person.

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Alexandros Antoniadis (Greece) an artist’s statement My work is all about the discussion between the old and the new. My inspiration is the current world, who has changed very fast. I am dealing with fictional cities contrasting with the old, something like old ruined houses. I try to show the rapid changes in the world of the old houses in new, high-rise and luxury buildings such as skyscrapers. I use some surreal elements, to show the irony of this current world, with a way such as to equilibrate houses on top of buildings, turning upside down the old houses or the skyscrapers or put one inside the other, putting the viewer to reflect and think of giving their own way to solve the problem. I painting on paper with pencil and colour pencil because that materials are giving me the way to show the aesthetic result from black and white and putting in some of them the colour such as the red or orange, strengthens the work, with a result to surprise the viewer. I was born in Greece in 1990.I graduate at Fine Arts at Aristotle university of Thessaloniki. I Live and work in Thessaloniki. Selected Group Exhibitions: 2013 Group International Drawings Exhibition < Kunstverein Tiergarten | Galerie Nord > Berlin , Germany ( 24 March - 20 April ) 2013 To be conceived‘: from past to imagination < http://www.theoldpolicestation.org/#!exhibitions> , London 6-17 March  (voted 10 of the Best art venues in South London by The Guardian) 2012 Museum of lithography,Sundby Gard Huddinge , Stockholm, Sweden 2012 Municipal Art Gallery, Mykonos  2012 4th international art exhibition, Colors Gallery, Thessaloniki, Greece

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An interview with

Alexandros Antoniadis Hi Alexandros, and welcome to ARTiculAction. Let's start this interview with our usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the feature that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

Well I found you, In my opinion, a work of Art defined from the words: aesthetic, beautifull, interesting, creative, amazing. Is a production of Fine Art. As for the contemporariness of the artwork, I thought that is a work that created now. According to given current art, with a new elements. Would you like to tell us something about your background? I have read that you have studied Fine Arts at the Aristotile University of Tessaloniki, your native city, where you are currently based. How has this experience impacted on you? By the way, what's your' point about formal training? Do you think that a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity?

Since when i was child, in seven years old approximately, I have been painting with my father in the countryside, in the rivers and this made me happy and so from that time, i was aimed to study in Fine Arts. I liked to paint with ink and pencil landscapes and old houses, because that i have as a daily picture in my life. In University that I study, I learn many important thinks. It is a very good organized school with many projects to the students. Also it is a sufficiently active school, such as organizing exhibitions to the students.The teachers are always near to the students, speaking and advising them. I thought that the formal training it is not so much a good way to teach to the student , because I believe that it is better to let the student free, resulting in fills confidence, and thus to become more creative. And so my answer about if this way of traing could even stifle the young artist is of course yes. 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 works, I created them basically by the pencil. But also i use 68

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the charcoal in some of them and the colour pencil in my last works.I use this items, because i like the operation of them. I facilitated to conjure up them, even using my hand ,with the result to give the desirable outcome that I want .The time that I spend to do a piece of work is enough. The time it takes me to think the idea is more than to create it. So in total I need about three to four days to finish. Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with the recent Impossible, that our readers have admired in the starting pages of this article: could you tell us something about your initial inspiration for this interesting work?

The initial inspiration of this work was my old drawings of my childhood. For this reason because I liked to paint old houses with ink, and when I entered at the Art school I'd leave this issue, looking for another issues like landscapes with trees, I saw that I could not get to the desired end result to my works, I thought to restore again the old houses in my painting but now with new elements. So I put in conversation the two diffrents and contrary things. And now with this work, I feel confident about the final result, and I have a pleasant feeling when I finish a piece. Regarding the specific work,Impossible, the title have as an inspiration the

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Alexandros Antoniadis

The World

skyscrapers that are with this way in the painting, upside down, ironically, putting the viewer to wonder and give thought if eventually the old prevail the new or the opposite. I use the white so as not to create the hole but brings forward, approaching the viewer's eye to the first. In a few words, the aim of this work is to show how these skyscrapers coming and pushing the old houses showing us the replace one of the other. And finally, also it shows the match that gives the old to remain on life.

The Red House

on the palette and so I love it very much. Has the property to attract the eye at the first glance. Also has the ability to bring the image in front, going the rest back,bringing them to the second place. So at these works, The World and The Red House, the purpose is to show the viewer what is the important element which should show interest and give thought about it. In the first work the skyscrapers and at the other the old house. In the first work, I try to show how the world locked up in a ball, and the skyscrapers comes to break the chains. And in the other, how the old house, is strong and alive, in this complexity world.

I would like to mention a couple of pieces of your recent production that has particularly impressed me: The World and The Red House. The feature that has mostly impacted on me is the red color, very recurrent in your palette, which far from being the usual flaming red, achieves to communicate a visceral sensation of contrast, and that seens to emerge from the canvas... Any comments on your choice of palette and how it has changed over time?

Yes, rightly: we can see the red very often in my works, and that because it is a very strong color 70


Alexandros Antoniadis

ARTiculAction

could effectively play a role in steering peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s behaviour, I believe that of course play an important role.And seeing that, when producing a work of art expressing what you have inside you, as your feelings, the problems you face in your time, so your purpose is to see the public your feelings so that changes its behavior on some issues. Another works of yours on which I would like to spend some words are The Irony and The Contrasting Worlds, which I have to admit, are my favourite ones. I like very much the way you have been capable of snatch the sense of absurdus, and besides this aspect, the nuances of By A Thread are really amazing...

This works are and for me my favourites. In my work The Irony I want to show how this hut with donkey comes into conflict with the new building with the pool. There is the tragic Heron that donkey LOOKS nostalgically the pool, showing us the difference of two different social classes, putting again the viewer to said us Whose side are. About the other work The Contrasting Worids is the same think but with diffrent way,now I put the new luxury buildings down and the old houses I put them over in a way as to hover, seeing that have

It seems that you constantly ask to spectator to actively participate, not simply to enjoy your artworks, which look like more as a spur than a mere guide. It's more than a while that I wonder if Art could effectively play a role in steering people's behaviour... even in facing social questions: what's your point about this? By the way, when you conceive a work, do you think to your audience?

Yes , itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true,I ask to spectator to participate in my works. My aim is when I do the artwork , to put the spectator to think about the problems that my works give to solve. I leave the viewer to give his own solution. Now for if Art

The Irony

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A R T i c u l A c t i o n

ARTiculAction

Alexandros Antoniadis

The upside down house

greater value. Finally, the work By A Thread have and this as a purpose to shaw the difference between the old and the new, here the thread is the important element, because gives the sence of the unsure of that if finally keep alive or cut and torn down forever. As you have clearly expressed in the starting lines of your artist's statement, your work is all about the discussion between the old and the new and you try to show the rapid changes in the world. Do your think that still exist a dichotomy between Modernity and Tradition? I'm personally sort of convinced that artworks like yours shows an effective connection between these apparently separated worlds...

I thougt that, now in this time there is no dichotomy between the Modern and Tradition. I take the view that the right balance is to use the tradition with new elements such as I try to do this by this way. 72

Untitled III


Alexandros Antoniadis

ARTiculAction

The contrasting worlds

There's a clichĂŠ question, that I often ask to the artists that I happen to interview, and I have to say that even though it might sound the simpler one, it gives me back the most complex answers: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?

Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Alexandros. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

Thanks very much,as you know i just graduaded my F.A of University of Thessaloniki and now my aim is to participate in many exhibitions, particulary in Europe, (London , Berlin) I am searching for many opportunities and now i am waiting for answers.

I enjoy the moment when I begin to shape it by my hand or with the cotton and push up the tonicity of the black. And of cource the biggest satisfaction is when i finish it and then i sit on my bed and i watch it for many hours. 73

Profile for ARTiculAction Art Review

Articulaction Art Review - September 2013  

Articulaction Art Review - September 2013  

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