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Anniversary Edition

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Unwritten, collaborative installation by NRJA, Rihards Vitols and Andris Indans 14th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Italy


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Michal Shelly

Mollie Delaria

Ziba Pashang

Aivars Kisnics

Pinar Kurt

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I am interested in the relationship between art and design and the fluid borders between them – How do they affect and feed on each other. For many years my work focuses on the theme of identity: what it is made of? What turns me into the person I am? What facets does it hold? How does the way I see my own identity meets the way others see it? In many of my paintings I am inclined to use carefully selected photographs from the family album as an inspiration.I like to paint from old photographs of the family album,To take images that are detached from there context and merge them together into a surrealistic collage, to create a new world.

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act of painting is there, for me, not in order to reproduce reality but in order to create an experience and feeling. I am interested in feeling. Although each painting has its artistic values of placing the color, composition and style, relating to a period in the history of art.

I use self-portraiture to explore the diverse relationships between the artist and spectator through silent discourse. I explore the nature of the shared experience in representing oneself through a photograph; leaving one self exposed to the spectator and thereby creates a connection with them. As the spectator views the self-portrait, they are confronted by several personalities: the artist and their experiences as an artist, the artist preforming before the camera, as well as the spectator’s own disposition and experience, with which they interpret.

Kisnics’s oil on canvas paintings are multilayered abstractions featuring abrupt changes in texture, fragmentation and traces of the expressive subliminal impulse. Formerly a ship navigator, Kisnics’s special relationship to the sea where he spent most of his adult professional life - is a focal point of his creative work. The meeting of sea and sky or ‘horizon’ appears as a reoccurring trope in his works, as well as an emphasis on the interaction between horizontal and vertical lines. Through variegated and fully topographical surfaces Kisnics employs water-like imagery along with a host of abundant associations: life and regeneration; erosion and decay; danger; the unknown; and the spiritual.

When I was four years old, I had a near death experience while having an open heart surgery.

The historical period in which a painting is created, does not change my vision, that a painting withholds knowledge of the artist rather than the artist knows about himself. The painter uses it in order to find out something about himself that is not psychological.

Art is not only the matter of creating or producing. It is rather the matter of thinking, seeing, and feeling differently. Art is one of the best ways to express. Hence, the artist may contemplate life better with the aid of this expressive instrument and play a major role in changing the way other people see life too. As Jeff Chang says: "They help people to see what can not yet be seen, hear the unheard, tell the untold." (who we be: The colorization of America). As an sculptor that started her work seriously in 1998 I was always interested in figurative subjects in regard to human beings: their concerns, believes, and thoughts.

Li Weinberg

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My heart stopped beating, my body temperature went low, a heart-lung machine kept me alive. Coming back from that threshold, I knew that opposites are bound together and that I encompass both. It left me fascinated with edges and yearning for meaning. My works are born from that same simultaneous sense of vertigo and stability. They deal with a dichotomous - the realization that one reality can reflect many and there is no one definition. The truth is endlessly evolving


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lives and works in Dusseldorf, Germany

Michal Alma Markus 36 lives and works in Ramat Hasharon, Israel

Mollie Delaria

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lives and works in New York City, USA

Michal Shelly

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lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel

Ziba Pashang

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lives and works in Teheran, Iran

Li Weinberg Rihards Vitols

Michal Alma Markus

H.C. Turk

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To create an art work for

As an artist I constantly question familiar elements, for example, a house or a wall. When I encounter everyday items, I have this urge to rediscover both their tangible and intangible characteristics. Familiar objects evoke reflexive and unconscious thoughts in any observer – it's what makes them familiar. To get to the core of these objects, I separate them from their function and deconstruct them to the point where this process is interrupted. The deconstruction results in visions that I approach in different ways, ranging from instinctive to artificial. Along the way, I create a new logic, which I then use to reconstruct the object to something that evokes both familiar and new thoughts.

What does the cry of a wolf have to do with the static portrait of a bee? Nothing until the artist presents the relationship. The intended and/or ultimate meaning behind these new relationships is part of the creative process. And though the elements are explicit (picture of bug, sound of wolf), the manner in which they relate is abstracted and evocative (more than vague).

me means not only to make a actual work but also to think about a process which will make the work. A process of creating a work often is more important than the result. I like to create things which are partly digital and partly physical. For the last two years my works are related to the environment, nature and ecology. One of my goal is to make things which we might use in the future in that way showing my point of view on how we interact with our environment now.

The emotions elicited will vary from spectator to spectator, and in that sense are unpredictable because they stem from individuals, not because they are generated by chance. In my work, chance is a disrespected underling I shun. I'm too much of a fastidious control freak to utilize chance.

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lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel

H.C. Turk

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lives and works in Summerfield, Florida, USA

Pinar Kurt

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lives and works in Istanbull, Turkey

Aivars Kisnics

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lives and works in Liepaya, Latvia On the cover Where is Home, Installation by Rihards Vitols

Special thanks to Haylee Lenkey, Martin Gantman , Krzysztof Kaczmar, Joshua White, Nicolas Vionnet, Genevieve Favre Petroff, Sandra Hunter, MyLoan Dinh, John Moran, Marya Vyrra, Gemma Pepper, Michael Nelson, Hannah Hiaseen, Scarlett Bowman, Yelena York Tonoyan, Haylee Lenkey, Martin Gantman , Krzysztof Kaczmar and Robyn Ellenbogen.

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R ihards Vitols Lives and works in Dusseldorf, Germany

An artist's statement

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o create an art work for me means not only to make a actual work but also to think about a process which will make the work. A process of creating a work often is more important than the result. I like to create things which are partly digital and partly physical. For the last two years my works are related to the environment, nature and ecology. One of my goal is to make things which we might use in the future in that way showing my point of view on how we interact with our environment now. I have a master's degree in new media art from University of Liepaja part of his studies he spend in Bauhaus University Weimar (DE). This year, I started my studies in Cologne Media Academy, where I will get a

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second master degree. Professional career I started in 2010 and since then I have participated in several exhibitions in different European countries: Belgium 2015 Mons European Capital of Culture official program exhibition Transformative Ecologies, Slovenia Maribor exhibition Virtuoso, Riga Exhibition Virtuoso, in 2014 co-author for Latvian showroom in Italy Venice Architecture Biennial, 2011 France Arlesa Transience exhibition. Since the 2015. January I'm chairman of the E-Lab Association and since September lecturer at the Liepajas University.

Rihards Vitols


Photo with work akA Cloudfarming from the exhibition North. Transformative Ecologies in the RIXC gallery, Latvia


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Rihards Vitols An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

Multidisciplinary Rihards Vitols' work ranges from electro sculptures to graphical works that are the result of an insightful combination between forgotten and everyday applied technologies, to inquire into a variety of ecological problems that affects contemporary society. in the project akA (Cloud-Farm) that we'll be discussing in the following pages, Vitols draws the viewers into an unconventional journey, urging them to explore the reality we inhabit on a differenr perspective, challenging their perceptual parameters: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to his multifaceted artistic production. Hello Rihards and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a very solid formal trainign and you have studied at the Bauhaus University, Riga Design and Art high school, Liepaja University and you are currently pursiung your MA of Media Art from the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. How do these experiences influence te way you conceive and produce your works? And in

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particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

Hello, my pleasure to meet ARTiculAction readers, and I am be happy to answer your thoughtful, questions below. Yes, my education is solid and I would say that it has has helped me to find my way how I can turn my ideas into artworks. My greatest thanks go to Liepaja University New Media Art program which I have graduated from both Bachelor and Master studies. Before my studies there I thought about art as an individual practice. Now I'm always open for a collaboration with others and looking for possibilities to experiment. My studies at KHM (Academy of Media Arts Cologne) I can't call yet as a background of my artistic practice, but I have noticed that the time spent here (in Cologne) has changed the way how I'm organizing my work. As for the work aesthetics and narrative, I believe that it comes from the environment that has shaped my understanding of the world. Both of my parents have education in the math and large part of my childhood I have spent in a farm and country side. I think that all also


Rihards Vitols Photo by Bella Unclecat


Photo whit work akA from the exhibition The Transformative Ecologies in the Maison du Design gallery, Belgium


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has influenced greatly the aesthetics and narrative point of my works – they are simple from the outside but the way to reach the simpleness is multilayered and complex. Your approach coherently encapsulates several techniques and it reveals an incessant search of an organic symbiosis between a variety of viewpoints. The results convey together a coherent and consistent sense of harmony and unity. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://makonudens.mplab.lv in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between different disciplines is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

I don't firmly assume that a symbiosis between different discipline is the only way but most certain that it is the most interesting way to express my idea. The very process of making the artwork plays a very big role for me. I agree to Manfred Mohr: “Even though my work process is rational and systematic, its results can be unpredictable. Like a journey, only the starting point and a hypothetical destination [are] known. What happens during the journey is often unexpected and surprising.” In fact, when I start to make the work the

goals are different then they are at the end. As for the akA (my 'Cloud Farming' project) at the beginning I wanted to collect data and use it as an input for a kinetic sculpture that would represent the clouds in a certain place on Earth. In the process of collecting the data I noticed the water was landing on the balloons. I found this discovery very exciting so I changed the concept of the work and built the narrative around the water. I wanted the work to be very similar to an actual farm, to a concept of something that could actually happen in the near future. I would say that also tried to approach the idea from a business point of view thus covering following parts: data collecting, data visualizations, construction of a farm. I think that allows to keep the concept together as well. I love to collaborate with people having very diverse backgrounds. And I do it while creating my works. Hera I have to admit that I am very thankful to all involved parties Ivars Veinbergs for his involvement in the Farm making, Reinis Nalivaiko for his help with the web page, Daina Silina for all the editing end production help, RIXC, MpLab, E-Lab, VKKF for funding and production help. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected akA (Cloud-Farm), a recent project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention is the way it

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offers a multilayered experience: as Jean Tinguely's generative works, this project accomplishes an effective investigation about the relationship between elements from universal imagery, as the clouds, and the way our personal substratum re-elaborate them. German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in particular how do you conceive the narrative that pervades your works?

A very good statement, indeed. Still – after what I have seen lately in the art scene I believe that symbolism dominates the contemporary art. Instead, I work in the field of contemporary new media art. The narrative definitely pervades my works, for example, my most recent works are related to the environment and ecology. Buy I have thought a lot about how to represent my idea without criticizing the current situation. In my work a farm in question is a very nice and calm imaginary place where people live collecting water from the clouds. The part with the video showing the process of collecting the water and together with the jar filed with the collected water brings us back to the ground and reveals the question – what has led us to the search of a such place.

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Rihards Vitols


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Frame from the video documentation made by Janis Jankevics of the work akA

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Photo whit work Liesma from the exhibition Virtuoso in Liepaja, Latvia

Narrative is not always equally important to all, I have heard a comment: “I don't care about what the work is about, I just like to look at the balloons.�

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akA (Cloud-Farm) also unveils and challenges the manifold nature of human perceptual categories and to draw the viewers into a multilayered experience. So we would take this


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Frame from the video documentation made by Janis Jankevics of the work Liesma

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

There are is no doubt that akA (CloudFarm) is related to my previous personal experience. And I know that this experience comes from the childhood – more specifically from the interest about the environment comes from the time I've spent in the countryside side while I was a kid. I believe that this experience has led me to the primary idea of the work, but the process of making the work has shaped it in what it is now. The

maximal psychological experience of the work can't just be based in the direct experience. For example, my work Flame, which is about the air pollution, and nothing of it is based in my previous experience. I literally took out a flame and built an installation around it. I guess this is a good example that shows that a creative process can be disconnected from direct experience. By the way, how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space? In particular, how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience?

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Generally people love to get involved – to touch, be engaged. But I believe that work has to be independent in its integrity and then it can be fully open so a viewer can get involved with it. In my own work I try to think about how I can create emotional link between a viewer and a work. For me it is important that a narrative is immersive and the exterior of a work is just a trigger that helps to make the immersive experience. Your work conveys a effective inquiry concerning both crictical ecological issues as well as the consequences the technology driven culture that saturates our contemporary age. But while artists from the contemporary scene, as Ai WeiWei or more recently Jennifer Linton, use to express open socio-political criticism in their works, you seem more interested to hint the direction, inviting the viewers to a process of self-reflection that may lead to subvert a variety of usual, almost stereotyped cultural categories. Do you consider that your works could be considered political in a certain sense or did you seek to maintain a more neutral approach? And in particular, what could be in your opinion the role that an artist could play in the contemporary society?

Photo whit part of work akA Cloudfarming from the ex

I have never thought about political side of my works. It haven't even crossed my mind before. I'm trying to hold to neutral approach. But of course if there is someone who see my work from that side I would love to

here it and discuss his opinion. One of the work goals was to give a hint about the potential future scenario using things that might be associated to or previous experience. As I mentioned I wanted to get the feeling

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hibition North. Transformative Ecologies in the RIXC gallery, Latvia

that it's a real farm. And this are reasons why it might give this almost stereotypical feeling. I believe that an artist should be an explorer/inventor. S/he should explore the boundaries of art, her/his perception, technologies

and/or other fields and stop being individually oriented or restricted to a certain medium. We have appreciated the way akA (Cloud-Farm), through an effective

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Photo with work Unwritten from the exhibition 14th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, Italy


akA from the exhibition The Transformative Ecologies in the Maison du Design gallery, Belgium


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synergy between Art and Technology, condenses physical gestures and ethereal perspectives into a coherent unity. The impetuous way modern technology has nowadays came out on the top has dramatically revolutionized the idea of Art itself: in a certain sense, we are forced to rethink about the intimate aspect of constructed realities and especially about the materiality of an artwork itself, since just few years ago it was a tactile materialization of an idea. I'm sort of convinced that new media will definitely fill the apparent dichotomy between art and technology and seemingly Art and Technology are going to assimilate one to each other... what's your point about this?

Art and technology are going hand in hand since almost the beginnings of the earliest machines were developed. If we are talking about technologies of these days they have aided the art process for almost 60 year and this art and technology topic is actual since then. I think the public has problems to accept the coexistence of art and technologies because they don't see the human input in the work. 60 years is a short period of time to change the perception of what we consider as art. In contemporary art this subject might be the topic of issue because of the growing involvement of technology in our lives. Consequently technology is not separated from art but gets more involved in it.

It's no doubt that interdisciplinary collaborations as the ones you have established with Ivars Veinbergs for akA (Cloud-Farm), are today ever growing forces in Contemporary Art and that the most exciting things happen when creative minds from different fields of practice meet and collaborate on a project... could you tell us something about this effective synergy? By the way, Peter Tabor once stated 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?

I know Ivars already for couple of years. Our first collaboration took place when he invited me to work with an architecture firm NRJA, for which he works, to build a work for the Exposition of Latvia at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. And I decided to invite him to help me to build the farm. I would agree with Peter Tabor. I could make everything by myself but would it be as good as it is know? The simple aesthetics of akA is a result of smooth collaboration. And I think that the reason for this is that we have different backgrounds. That means that we can only suggest things to each other leaving final decision in each field to the responsible person. Of course the previous cooperation experience allowed to fully trust with the given task.

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Over these years your works have been showcased in several occasions and one of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to create a direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

Of course, people get attracted to things to which they can associate. Creating my works I spend a lot of time to find the best language, that would precisely reflect my idea. I try to be objective when it comes to choosing what and how I will do to address the audience. That is as well the most complicated side of the works, that often stays invisible to a viewer and may show up only in the narrative of the work. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Rihards. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

At the moment I'm working on the Woodpecker project. The concept of the work is based on a science paper about trees producing sound emissions and how tree bark eating bugs are reacting to this sound. And there is another paper that talks about bird population in forests and how it changes the

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the first balloon launch for data collecting together with Eva Bukevica

infrastructure of the forests. I want to see if we can replace one species with the artificial one. At the end I will have small robots, experiments will result in different medium and sound installation. I think this project precisely shows how I want to continue and how my work methods will evolve in the future. I also see that collaboration with others, not only the artists, will be big part of my future work. An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com


Woodpecker in forest near Dusseldorf, Germany


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M ichal Alma Markus Lives and works in Ramat Hasharon, Israel

From the book "Our End to The Awakenings," 2010 Michal Alma MarKus Translator: David Herman

Lost to the wind, Mosaics lost to time, And between his tel and his projectile, Man in his loss A portrait of mosaic stones. In his presence are carved inscriptions inlaid in the mould of his dead images. History doesn't return from a thousand reincarnations History returns from a thousand mosaics. Postcards were sent from creation's strata A pain-choked delegation discovered in the present reality The plastering of the Divine Shechina on the strata walls One human bring resurrected from a thousand mosaics. The clearing- house site of the riddles of the Lord Stones, human fossils, bits of pieces How can the remains create a whole being from a thousand pieces? Stones roll down the slope between Isaac and Ishmael, Pieces of mosaic Shards of faces. This is still a task for those buried within the tel, The unburied souls live in the depth of the plastering Covered differently. And your portrait between my empty hands. Father-son shards in excavation stones On their surfaces, their faces, their faces before them. A human mosaic, ruins. To create the complete image of one man are required Tens of thousands of soulmosaics To the sound of a single Divine breath.

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Masks, 2012


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Michal Alma Markus An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Dario Rutigliano, curator articulaction@post.com

Multidisciplinary artist Michal Alma Markus' work accomplishes an insightful investigation into the psychological dimension to provide the viewers with a multilayered journey through the liminal area between reality and non-reality. One of the most captivating aspects of her approach is the way it unveils the hidden connection between the realm of imagination and perceptual reality to create a compelling narrative: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to Alma Markus' stimulating and multifaceted artistic production. Hello Michal and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview would you tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and you degreed from the Bet Berl School of the Arts : how did this experience influence your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

In order to tell about my background, I must explain that from a very young age I interpreted the world around me in a rather creative manner. In the Bet Berl School of Arts I was exposed to varied contexts and teachers. One of them was considered to be the guru of the establishment, and his name was Rafi Lavie of Blessed Memory. He already then

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described me and my works as an artist of "multiple worlds." One of the things that led me to begin to understand the unique nature of my thoughts was my preoccupation with writing about art and artists. After finishing my studies, I engaged in art research, and I wrote in the "Studio" and "Mishkafayim" art magazines of the Israel Museum and other places. I also drew and exhibited paintings. However, in practice, my studies did not lead me immediately to produce work of a definitive character. In the past decade I wrote three books of philosophical poetry and numerous articles, and I saw unusual things from the spiritual standpoint. Only then did I find the direction which suited me as an artist by creating digital art, a combination of photography and painting. The studies in the Bet Berl School of Art provided the basis, but the cultural infrastructure I developed in the course of many years, through autodidactic study, and also through a multi-aspect vision that contemplated the plains and mountains of the history of art ranging from past periods to the future. To what extent were the artists accurate in their search after the truth of their periods. Furthermore, the fact cannot be ignored that in the last two decades the world has become a global village due to the Internet, and the digital medium has become the central experience. This, too, I learned from the blog which I wrote on the Internet, and


Michal Alma Markus


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where, in addition to the writing, there appeared my digital works which combine the worlds. Your approach condenses an impressive combination between plastic art, literary theory and writing: the results convey together a consistent sense of unity, that rejects any conventional classification. We would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.michalma.com in order to get a synoptic view of your work: in the meanwhile, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up? In particular, would you shed light on the notion of Twilight time?

I shall answer as briefly as possible – the notion of Twilight Time, is a major topic which I define as a description of the period in which we live. This is a concept which, according to the Kabbalah, represents the time between light and darkness, between the time when the sun sets and the time when the stars appear. It is a mystical time in which are created also spiritual vibrations and elements which are not comprehended and which are beyond human control. This time describes the sunlight as a light of blood., a light which constitutes the essential significance of human beings, flesh and blood, and when this light sinks, then the darkness arrives. In the Talmud, in Tractate Shabbat, the twilight time is emphasized as follows: Twilight time is neither of the day nor of the night, neither is it wholly of the day nor wholly of the night. The period of the twilight time represents the combining between life and death. It is a subject which I deal with also in my poems. It also comprises both the photograph and the painting. My second book is called "Other Twilight Times," and all the poems in it concern sunsets and loves that disappeared in the descent into the darkness. Twilight time signals that man constitutes the center of the world; everything

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A woman in a mirror, stars, and watch Lost, 2015

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Algae room and a painter's palette, 2015

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is concentrated there, but where is man in reality? I created models and series according to topics all belonging to the twilight. Series revolving around nature which is being increasingly destroyed by man, on the globe which is in the process of destruction. On broken and destroyed rooms in which man lived and is no longer to be seen in them. Their name - "rooms of emotion." They are populated by fragments of realities or angels or irrational bits of nature that have invaded them. The equation between the land of the earth and that of the moon, or of other stars, including Mars. Through lack of order they have invaded the memories, the times have become mixed up. Many of the series are on trees and also on the female figure and the earth. And on the inseparable connection between "figure structure." The scope of the subjects is so great around the period of twilight time. Seeing that we are dealing with time without time, these places have no conventional classification. The places described are unknown. They are discovered and revealed as in archeological excavations and only by means of the digital art and not by any other techniques. We would start to focus on your artistic production beginning from your Twilight Series, a stimulating project that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of these pieces is the way the insightful juxtaposition between intense tones provide the canvasses with a dynamic and autonomous aesthetics, to communicate an attempt to transform tension to harmony, and it's really captivating. While walking our readers through the genesis of the Twilight Series, would you shed light on your main source of inspiration?

The Twilight Time period, as mentioned, is basically time that exists in every day of our

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Kitchen Life, partial view undecipherable, cut worlds, and Voynich manutscript , 2013

lives, in almost every place on the globe, when the sun goes down and the stars appear. Is this the source of my inspiration? Not exactly. It arrived as a symbol. The sources of my inspiration are derived from spiritual conversations which I hold with the universe, through my poetry and my art work, with the emotional and mental spiritual aspect as far as possible, and with searches after meanings. Perhaps fol-

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lowing spiritual events that I underwent and which caused pain to the soul, there came to me unidentified visions. What were they exactly?? Is man really alone in the universe? What is the source of the light and of the soul? Thus I received only a few answers, and I still have some questions, and so I search for other worlds, just as the scientists search for other heavenly bodies. And, as


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far as is known, every person knows that the twilight is an existing time, and even though it is not a lengthy time, it has become a symbolic time. The period of the twilight time leads to a type of interpretation. You may notice that in all my art works there is contrast between wild colorfulness and black and white. This is very important in order to create meaning. There is an amalgamation

between many nuances of color and light and darkness. The dynamic is created also due to the preoccupation with composition. The engaging in composition by Piet Mondrian led him to create a balance between the size of the surfaces and the shades of the color, like a world picture which was once correct. Will it also be correct in the future?

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The tensions between the colors in the world and the darkness, the tensions between the urban buildings and the wild nature, the tensions between man and his soul, the wars of destruction and terror, the climate change, and the soul of man lives and dies. The whole world is full of things that no one really sees Your hybrid techniques allows you to combine colors and visual patterns into an unconventional mix, in which we can recognize a dialogue that sums up a mixture of thoughts and emotions. How much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones you decide to use in a piece and in particular any comments on your choice of photographic "palette" and how it has changed over time?

I am pleased with your definition, “hybrid techniques�. Some people change their identity, even their sexual identity, and become different cross-breeds. Of late, people have been discovering this more and more. I think my work deals with the integration of form and color, much as thoughts temper feelings. Because I deal with conceptual and artistic research, I try to rely on facts. My psychological side plays a certain part in the deep creation process, but it is only a secondary role in this conceptual study, both because there aren’t many figures in my digital works, and because I feel a need to rely on the conceptual side and and to view the art I create not only on an emotional plane but also on a global one. It is a fact that light reaches the eye as a continuous spectrum of wavelengths, and it is the human sight mechanism that interprets it as colors. Animals see color differently than human beings. Consequently, humans can give a deeper interpretation to color than can animals, because they see a wide color spectrum. What I feel with respect to color is always relative. Temporal. That is what is called for, if

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Moon land and electric power lines, 2012

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Other place of Picasso's Guernica, 2014

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Michal Alma Markus


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the window in the trees requires the colors of sunset, it will have an orange hue in it. Therefore, all depends on what the created place demands, what the contents of the created work demands. I interpret color as symbolizing the light. For example, the marks of sunset are manifested as an orange color. In my work, reality is represented by photography, that describes reality, and by painting, which is represented as creative and manual toil that changes the appearance of reality. Photography and painting, mixed together, express themselves both by altering reality and by the patches of color, the contour, the outline, the composition and the light. A photograph cannot be a painting, nor can the painting be a photograph. But when the two are merged the form a new means of expression. I am continuously in search of the light. Without light there is no color, without color there is no light. When working digitally on a computer screen an integration is achieved between artificial lighting and basic colors and pigments arising from nature. While exhibiting a captivating vibrancy, your paintings often to reject an explicit explanatory strategy: rather, you seem to invite the viewer to find personal interpretations to the feelings that you convey into your paintings... this quality marks out a considerable part of your production, that are in a certain sense representative of the relationship between emotion and memory. What is the role of memory in your process? And in particular, do you try to achieve a faithful visual translation of your feelings?

One of the most hidden things in artist's work is the ability to combine self- awareness and control of the content among inscrutable and unknown new places to walk to.

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Often scientists and artists are compared, and for a good reason. Scientists are studying issues, reasons and circumstances, so are the artists investigating the exact same values, and come to new places which new tools are needed to understand. The viewer has its own DNA and he is not a single entity. Each person sees what he wants to see and interpret the content as it sees fit, however I do not create an abstract world, but an undefined world. There's a difference. The worlds I create rely on identified places, but other worlds are entering into, some are unknown, some are known, and they create a language of night between day, quiet between storm, urban structures between chaos and more. Therefore the transition is always from the places identified to the unidentified, and their interpretation can be discovered whether one delay on the subtleties. If we think about the viewer who comes to see archaeological sites, he sees dug places which parts of walls and ancient buildings are discovered and objects are found in the earth. The viewer needs to know what he sees and what period these excavations belong. But in fact he sees mostly gray ruins. Then he tries to understand more. Occasionally, there is only an assessment of the time of the archaeological site, without maximal accuracy, they say those years between these. And what exactly happened in those years? Who wander there among the buildings? Who really lives there? Do we see their faces? They know according to historical writings, and commentary based on the past. So does my works. Whether they are archaeological excavations for discovering metaphysical worlds, or parallel worlds facing the realistic worlds, it's actually quite similar. For example in the series "emotion rooms" the rooms are empty of humans, they have the nature that penetrated in, they have a body of a torso

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Rooms of the moons and sunsets, 2013

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Torso Roomswoman of the with moons fish and and sunsets, sea room, 2013 2014

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floating in the water with fish, they have marks of places of houses and buildings that appear on the walls. Are these memories of many individuals or these my memories? Do I feel or sense or remember? These memories are of most people who live in urban structures that nature and wildness have been forgotten from their hearts, and it is good for them as long as it does not interferes. I have the obligation to remember that nature have its own forces, which affect us and can even destroy us all. I consider myself as a man watching what is happening around the last hundred years and see among the good side of things and the technological advancement also concerned for the future of man on earth. I recall my childhood days, and the more innocent, simpler world, when things were less industrial and less onerous. I pass towards parallel places, I see other realities, I see us humans do not understand the future, hardly understand the past and wonder about what we do not know. Pablo Picasso, too, said he is constantly investigating, he is not looking to produce pretty art, he is looking to explore. I sympathize with the sentence he said "There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality". I less sympathizes with the sentence he said: "Computers are useless. They can only give you answers". Your artworks are rich of references as well as of subtle reminders to symbolism. When playing with the evokative power of reminders to universal imagery your approach establishes direct relations with the viewers that goes beyond any conventional symbolism: German

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Structure with objects and sunset atomic gas mask, 2015

multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in particular how do you conceive the narrative for your works?

The artist Thomas Demand created models and destroyed them after he photographed them. The phenomenon of construction and destruction for many artists, conceptual too, is familiar and known. The artist Francis Bacon destroyed all of his early works, Picasso also destroyed, as well as the conceptual pop artist Robert Rauschenberg who studied the boundaries and destroyed, because he was not satisfied with what he created, or wanted

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to decipher the importance of his art, until he came to insights. The matter of art work destruction is also a personal matter. There were artists who destroyed and painted on works of others, and there were those who destroyed because they tried to confront themselves. We must remember that all destruction also leads to establishment. Human culture too, in all the fields, produces new models all the time. They appear and disappear when more suitable or more interesting new models rise. This is the way of man to create himself interest, content and new language. I believe that in every work of art there is symbolism. Symbolism and images have


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psychological values and also personal and emotional meanings. The psychological values also have narrative values - stories which bond the psychological side of the artist to symbolism and to the story behind the work, In other words, their personal aspect to the public. Eventually it is possible to analyze any piece of art also by psychological aspects; the question is whether this will lead to new discoveries. I'm not sure about that at all. It will not illuminate anything, and maybe just cover the art itself. Naturally the artist chooses what to focus on. There are artists who choose to focus on the emotional and psychological side and they produce touching or particularly

sad characters. They produce emotional art which immediately facing the viewer very visibly. I do not produce such models. The personal psychological side is less on my mind, but not disconnected, as noted, my works also based on thoughts, knowledge and insights. I think that psychology is a good diagnostic tool of life stories. And it is also a good tool to promote people who are not at peace with themselves and seek for help. However psychology does not belong directly to the art, but to the artist's personal story. Just as mathematics does not belong to the art field, but for science, and yet there are artists who incorporated this theme in their works.

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If we relate a moment to crowd psychology, we can see a very familiar image of the reality that the "Pop Art" created them recycled series. They have become a series of repetitive images. Pop Art spoken in the language of crowd psychology. Eventually many artists speak in an individual language to the public; I am producing a new language through engaging in the confrontation between parallel worlds. My works are based on photographic reality of my surroundings, nor my surroundings. The surrounding is undergoing a transformation because of other worlds which are entering, that do not belong, do not always identified. I have an interest in a parallel reality. I do not desire to destroy however to rebuild what has been destroyed. I like to restore as an archaeologist in the apparent reality - a different reality. Before there was camera there were painters who painted the reality. They painted very accurate because there was no camera. Afterward the art went through major changes to values of dissolution, change and a different construction of reality. Nowadays electronic media affects the crowds, and also influences the handwriting of the artists. Many artists produce paintings according to pictures they shoot. I photograph the reality and something it leads me to other places. The human architecture blocks the ability to really see other worlds. Therefore perhaps it is partly destroyed and another one is built in its place. The only way to understand that the person do not see too much is through his mental and blocked rooms and also the realistic. This contrast is fascinating to me, as well as the search for him. Even if the reality created in my works is not pretty and disfigures the existing reality, even if it refers indistinct times, or the exterior of the interior. These are not my memories! But the constant search for answers on what one sees and what is invisible but might exist. I constantly keep searching; I verify

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The eyes of the abandoned house, 2013

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What happened to the moon balls, 2014

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Michal Alma Markus


Michal Alma Markus

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the equation between variables. Factually, parallel worlds exist physically. Works created by me produce a double meaning through multi modes visual and through the metaphysics and always the crowded and closed reality of us humans eventually breaks down. Your approach to digital art could be considered a point of convergence between photography and painting: it's no doubt that modern technologies has an huge impact on the way artworks are nowadays produced. But while artists as Olafur Eliasson use modern techiques to augment the immersive experience from the outside, your approach rather goes beyond a mere use of technology to urge the viewers to inquire into the nature of the image from the inside. In particular, we have been impressed with the way Window Sunset and A woman in a mirror, stars, and watch Lost unveil the consistency of the co-existence of imagination and perceptual parameters: how would you describe this relationship?

I have a high regard for the work of the artist Olafur Eliasson, who studies art through large-scale environmental works, replete with revolutionary ideas. He makes use of technologies in order create a fascinating dialog between art and science. He uses natural elements such as water, light and fog or sculpture, as well as the subject of light and the colors of the rainbow, the sun, turbines and miscellaneous instruments, and also works of earth inside buildings. He seems to have created a language that rejuvenates the nature of the relationship between the creating artist and the exploring artist – the scientist. He uses an aesthetic, scientific language to produce a fertile environment for future-building, open thought. In truth there is consistency and coexistence among entities. I deal in the fusion of past and future. I also deal in the fusion between languages. I wonder how Picasso arrived at the cubistic decomposition of forms, why he wanted to disassemble the known parts that together make up reality. How he discovered that reality can be disassembled, with no misgivings. He forged a new route.

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I am interested in metaphysical questions. I ask questions about the nature of reality. I try to understand how the human soul is an entity. I ponder about mankind’s place in the universe and ask, “Are we alone?” I ask about the existence of the world outside of human cognition, and about what the human being doesn’t know about what is taking place before his very eyes. I ask about the nature, and the natural or strange position of unclear places or events, and why does it seem strange when places are unclear. I coined a term, reality literature. The essence of this term is that reality has books written about it without human intervention. But a human being translates his own reality into one that he controls, does he not? I ask about fate, divinity and the influence of foreign forces, and to what extent Man is master of his fate. I produce searches that lead to parallel universes. I know that they exist all the time, because they have been physically discovered. They exist not as fiction, not as imagination. Imagination does not remain a dream. Rather, it is a kind of living force, composed of thoughts and secrets, therefore it is a type of energy one must know how to use in order to better understand the world. Imagination is a term or a word for whatever we think isn’t real, but it is also a power of calculated goals one must find a way to achieve. Some may think that there are dreamers who will not succeed because they only dream. But some of these dreamers have been able to prove that they could reach the moon. They will reach Mars, too, and they will keep discovering more and more about the nature of people, about the powers of the soul, about our not being alone. I am trying to produce a fusion between worlds that may seem different, and show a similarity between them. I ask questions about the question of fusion and separation between the

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Window Sunset, 2013

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Room with reed at sunset, 2013

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Michal Alma Markus


Michal Alma Markus

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photographic techniques and the painting techniques. Each of these represents a different language, an opposite. In trust, any photograph, once it is magnified, exhibits abstract elements. As the magnification is increased, its parts will become less understood. You will discover the obscurity of the amorphic hues, and as you continue to magnify it, it transforms into an unidentifiable location. If we adopt the assumption that reality is magnified beyond its boundaries, then even the known regions become abstract. But this abstraction has no place for imagination. Within this abstraction of reality there persists an energy of the concrete, which pulls in the direction of a new reality. Here is a question that comes to my mind foremost: To what extent is a photograph of reality, tangible? To what extent does a photograph, any photograph, really represent reality and to what extent does it represent only a selected segment of reality, one that is also frozen in time? In effect, you have repeatedly taken pictures of the reality of frozen instants, and what you are left with besides frozen instants of time? After all, time has frozen within reality. Time is a sharp instrument. It is always timeless. That is why I am involved with the timeless. As in an experiment on a computer screen, my hands work constantly. I enter into a blurred world, in which time has frozen, and it decides for me how I can involve myself with it. It tells me where to go. It is like walking in a fog, go grope with one’s hands towards something from the past = and then the future manifests itself. I go through the fog in order to get somewhere else. I go through a frozen reality in order to find within it a different reality, and the, sometimes, there are answers. I still believe in traditional painting, that had represented reality in the past. I have less credence for painting that depicts reality in the present, because it has competing alternatives. And I do not

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believe in photographed moments that have frozen in time. The worlds of reality as in television programs, too, have long since turned into quite hallucinatory places. In these worlds people have come to behave unexpectedly, in line with decisions made by the powers that be. There is no pre-set scenario, all can be expected and you may do what you see fit. We know that reality is unpredictable. Reality is an unknown story, and the plots it unfolds in all walks of our lives are unknown as well. It is as though they who tell the stories of this reality are not human beings but, rather, fate itself. The coexistence that you speak of is exactly the story of fate as I try to understand it. It is a fate that can be found between two parts, and it coexists with the living parts and those that are defunct, between people and that which they cannot comprehend – because time is, for the most part, like a fog. I have no interest in creating virtual reality. That can be created by the film industry in high-budget films. Nor am I interested in science fiction. I am trying to understand the metaphysical in a language between reality and our perception of it. 8) You often focus your attention on the theme of landscape, providing its intrinsic ephemeral nature with a sense of permanence, so we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

A creative process cannot be detached from direct experience or from reality. But it is an experience of itself. That is, a creative process can be disconnected from an

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external process, but cannot be disconnected from the internal one. In fact, it is connected to a number of parallel systems. Pressing the camera’s shutter button is not a creative process` it is a documentation of reality. The scene or scenes that I focus on are, usually, changing, dynamic scenes. They are not constant. One time the can be a view of trees. Another time it can be an empty landscape with electricity poles, adorned with decorations in the sky. Or it can be a strange view from the window or displayed on the walls of a house, or even the building walls. One time, the scenery is a photograph I worked on in order to convert it to a fusion of an outdoor scene, which is a photograph of reality, and a metaphysical scene. Another time the scene is one that I gave different colors and unidentified reflections together with something familiar. There is a case when the scene is one of the sea, and a case where the scene is one with buildings. I have tens of sets and the scenes in them vary, especially those that enter into buildings because the make a statement about the force of nature. There is a case where I added parts of a female body, like breasts, into a acene. In another the scene is a giant moon, or a torso., or a group of moons in a black puddle. Also, there is a system of machines of the Electric Company to which were added human brains and people mounting stairs with lamps – that, too is scenery. Scenes have no bounds. Sometimes a scene can change and look like a painting, other times it will remain seemingly more photographic. The definition of “scene” is something that depends on what I have at hand, by chance or design, because I had photographed it. Sometimes something


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A tribute to Leonardo da Vinci Vitruvian Man, 2014

urges me to scrutinize a scene and snap the camera’s shutter – and then, when I see how the photograph turned out, I saw within in, as I was working on it, other worlds. It is as though bombs had been discovered, with the sign of the atom.

response to Question 7) penetrates into a place that had frozen, and I walk in a fog until the time and the place become clear to me. Or they become ambiguous, because they chose to reveal themselves so, and then I leave them in their ambiguity.

When I was in the Netherlands or France, I took photographs of other scenes, but the works that finally came out were under subjects related also to twilight. I may be changing, but the basis remains under the same twilight.

A creative process can be detached from the direct experience. Likewise, artists can be detached from the direct experience. But a there is always a direct experience there, too, in the sense of direct choice and in the sense of a known, familiar place that had changed.

The direct experience belongs to the moment when the camera lens captures a certain place anyone else can capture, and, as mentioned above, I seek other signs or artifacts in it. The creative process I undergo (on which I had elaborated in my

As stated above, I have two different modes of work. I make the travel through time, but I also undergo the realistic experience, and then transition to another place that belongs to the exploring and discovering

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From the series Twilight United moon - Egg of the Sun, 2011

experience. On the way to seeking answers to questions, a new place, hitherto unseen and hidden from consciousness is discovered. I hope this answers your question about direct experience. I feel direct experiences even if they are not so defined. Every direct experience is subjective. Even when I work at a computer screen, that is a direct experience. The experience isn’t virtual, it is real, tangible and corresponds precisely to what was unveiled. Over these years your works have been showcased in several occasions, including your recent solo "Twilight, United Moon" at the Holon Institute of Technology: one of the hallmarks of your work is the capability to create an emotional and

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psychological involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

In truth, I have noticed that in various exhibitions where my works were displayed, the viewers would pause in front of my works and even approach them in order to examine them closely. I have a photograph, taken by a municipality photographer, which appeared in an Internet site and which I chanced to come across. In it, a viewer is


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seen standing very close to the creation, The Masks. In the photograph, the viewer appears to actually want to get into the picture and become a part of it. This is very interesting.

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

Nowfor the question of the audience. Like any artist, I too yearn for acceptance and for interest in my work. I think that audience is a very broad term. There are those who would find deep interest in my works because they appear to them to be interesting and different. To others, my works may appear strange.

Thank you very much for your interest in my work. This in itself is a special experience that you are making possible. I want to tell you that I hope that curators and art gallery or museum owners will show an interest in these works – art galleries as well as museums in Great Britain, Europe and the .USA

I do not think of the audience when I go about creating that which my art compels me to create. I create things as I have described before – from a very deep and real position, in order that interested people could see what I see, and that the message on secret places get to them, either consciously or subconsciously, either directly or spiritually.

My work is in need of additional interpretations, beyond my own that come from my position, just as an archeologist is aided by other archeologists in determining the place on the timeline in which to place his findings and to bring the to the public’s scrutiny. So, I am interested in exhibiting my Twilight .series (and there are quite a number of them) in different places in the world

I have come across very interesting reactions from people to my works, both from artists who engage in photography and from painters, and the all somehow connected to the metaphysical that is in my works. I have received wonderful responses to my work in many places. I was selected to take part in an exhibition hosted by the Electric Company, and my works were produced in a tremendous size and earned high praise from the curators.

Actually, I am continuing to work and am creating new works all the time. I examine and test the limits of what can be reached. There are works I haven’t yet unveiled, and there are others that I still have to examine because they are still in a pondering stage. I am working on a series called Layers, such .that in each layer there are different forms of life

I have never given thought to the public’s influence on my decisions. But I have work with the public that has turned into herds, and the herds have turned into apes. And there is the sunset window… I think people must not turn into herds that rush towards a target. They should examine everything cautiously, and digest it slowly. This is important for preserving the collective memory of all of humanity.

I am interested in physical and astronomical subjects, but also in studies of UFOs. I follow NASA assiduously and its discoveries on Mars and other stars. In addition to art, I continue to write poetry and content that ties together .twilight and other subjects that mankind is occupied with To summarize, I want to send you one of my poems, that deals with twilight. It .is a symbolic poem It describes the twilight era Thank you again, from all my heart!

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Mollie Delaria Lives and works in New York City, USA

An artist's statement

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use self-portraiture to explore the diverse relationships between the artist and spectator through silent discourse. I explore the nature of the shared experience in representing oneself through a photograph; leaving one self exposed to the spectator and thereby creates a connection with them. I employ a variety of aesthetic approaches to explore this topic, from highly stylized to candid, but always with the intent to explore the relationship the viewer has with experiencing the self-portrait.

As the spectator views the self-portrait, they are confronted by several personalities: the artist and their experiences as an artist, the artist

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preforming before the camera, as well as the spectator’s own disposition and experience, with which they interpret. I am particularly drawn to the surrealistic and fantastical – the realm of the impossible crossing into reality. The spectators are not intruding on normal life portrayed by the artist, but are given, instead, a window to my world and my creations. They are forced to find a new space within themselves with which to understand my world and how it could possibly relate to their own. I view my work as an invitation for viewers to join me there.

Mollie Delaria


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Mollie Delaria An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

Multidisciplinary artist Mollie Delaria's work accomplishes the difficult task of triggering the viewer's perceptual parameters to draw them into a multilayered experience. In her Self Portraits series, that we'll be discussing in the following pages, she induces the viewer to subvert the relationship between the perception of the self, challenging the elusive notion of identity. One of the most convincing aspects of Delaria's approach is the way it accomplishes an insightful inquiry into the liminal area in which the realm of impossible and perceptual reality find an unexpected point of convergence condenses the permanent flow of associations in the realm of memory to draw the viewer into new and unexpected experience: we are really pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating artistic production. Hello Mollie and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and you studied at the European Graduate School. How do this experience influence on your evolution as an artist and on the way you relate yourself to artmaking? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you deal with the aesthetic problem in general?

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After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in photography from Parson’s School of Design, I knew I wanted to continue my education, but was searching for the right way to formulate an integrative approach. While researching an academic paper on Robert Rauschenberg, I learned about Black Mountain College, whose founders believed in fostering the individual creative spirit as an integral part of both art theory and practice. I knew I wanted to find a place to study that seemed to have a similar spirit, so a friend turned me toward The European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. Given its location high in the snowy alps, it seemed like the ‘white mountain’ alternative. Coursework at EGS is structured to allow students to maintain a career while pursuing a higher degree under some of the worlds leading minds in their respective fields. The course work is done over several weeks during the summer with over ten hours of classes and lectures per day, seven days a week. The remainder of the year is spent working on the thesis in close correspondence with a board of supervisors. Studying at EGS has exposed my thinking to an incredibly broad scope of knowledge, from metaphysics to speculative realism, which in turn has influenced both my approach to and the process of my work. As new layers of thought unfold, I find myself in a sort of perpetual state of reinterpreting the relationship between my sense of self and how I communicate with and through my work. Currently, I’m working toward the development of a somewhat empirical


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Mollie Delaria

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theory of the creative process I like to call the artist’s “outpour.” Through my coursework in Aesthetics and Philosophy, I came to think of creating artwork as a metaphysical act rooted in space and time as it relates to being, perception and the creative event. My theory of “the outpour” centers around the idea that being an artist is not something one necessarily chooses, but is derived from an inherent need to re-imagine meaning. Ultimately, an aestheticapproach is developed through a process of decoding circumstances and re-interpreting contingencies, and “the outpour” is the moment of release – a breaking point, event, that hopes to force open the field of communication. The event of the outpour, no matter the medium, occurs when you can’t stop creating. For me, it’s like a force lingering beneath the surface of my skin. It subsides when I am satisfied with a work but always reemerges as the need to physically and symbolically manifest my thoughts, feelings and desires about how I am interpreting the world around me. Your approach coherently encapsulates several disciplines and reveals an incessant search of an organic investigation about the expressive potential of a wide variety of media: the results convey together a coherent and consistent sense of harmony and unity. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.molliedelaria.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your process and set up, we would like to ask you how did you develop your style and how do you conceive your works.

I think that individuals are always far more than what they appear to be, but life

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Mollie Delaria


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experiences and social norms tend to discourage us from exploring the multifarious, conflicting, and sometimes unflattering, aspects of ourselves. In my self-portrait work, each character I portray is a different, often exaggerated, aspect of myself. My ideas are endless and can be triggered by anything really, with no imaginary limits, however finding the right materials to execute particular ideas is a more complex issue, that goes to the crux of the creative process, and communication itself – maintaining the conceptual frame in the process, or movement, from imagination to physical reality. Cindy Sherman and Nikki Lee have been enormous sources of inspiration for their unique approaches to the self-portrait. Film and Television have also been integral in how I develop my ideas. Recently, I became fascinated with exploring Norse culture after watching The Vikings, a television series on The History Channel. When I have an idea for a new series, I usually begin by drawing out the different characters I want to portray and researching pertinent historical information that I might be able to utilize visually. I then go through the arsenal of costumes and clothes - makeup, props, wigs and accessories- I’ve collected or made over the years and start immersing myself in possibilities until I find everything that feels accurate for the character. In my Figments of the Imagination series, it was actually the sorting of the costumes that led me to create the concept. I had all these elaborate garments I barely ever used, so I based a character around each piece, dressed myself up and concocted a personality based off who might wear that particular item and the type of person they might be. I used a blue backdrop to represent the clouds or sky in order to

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create a dream-like state and paired it with flashes to bring out the shine of the backdrop fabric. As the pieces continued to develop, I used draping and gathering to create more tension with the backdrop and to find subtle ways to explore the balance between composition and subject. I would set up my flashes and then transform myself into the character. I become fully immersed in the reality of each character, much like a method actor might prepare for a performance, and then I begin to photograph. With this series, I manipulated several lights to create a spotlight and shadows on the character, as well as a vignette effect as the blue fades from the center to the edges of the composition and merges to a deep black. The black vignette fading into the shiny blue rippled fabric portrays the character’s coming out of the imagination and into material life one element at a time until they have reached their full expression. In the Female series, I sought to find those hidden transient moments in a person’s life that only they know exist. The approach for the Female series was completely different than figments. Instead of concocting a figment of my imagination, it was more a document of my inner conflict at that time. I always had my camera with me and when I reached a heightened emotional state, I found a space I could relate to, propped the camera on what ever platform was around creating skewed angles for the odd scenarios and then created a performance based around my state at that moment. Some of the spaces were done in my apartment, while on break at work in an office, and in other people’s homes. I randomly found many of the props and then utilized them as a disruption of the space. For example, the grey wig was found discarded in an office, and I thought it was quite exciting to imagine the circumstance under which it was left there.

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Otherwise, I used available and ambient light on this project and utilized natural shadows in each space. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected your Self Portraits series, an interesting project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention of your exploration of the relationship the viewer has with experiencing the self-portrait is the way it captures non•sharpness of physicality with an universal kind of language, bringing to a new level of significance the elusive but ubiquitous relationship between experience and memory: while walking our readers through the genesis origin of the Self Portraits series, would you shed light on your usual process and set up?

The narratives for my work can come from anywhere. Anything I see might trigger the memory of an experience or event that will be the catalyst for an elaborate imagined narrative. I have an ability to recall visual information from any time throughout my life, no matter how long I was exposed to itthis can be both a gift and a curse, but is always at the foundation of my process. How I approach the work is always dynamic and evolving, but each series is rooted in a single concept and is about exploring various aspects of that idea. As I imagine each scene, I always consider how the presence and the absence of specific visual elements will contribute to the meaning. For example how will location, natural vs. studio light, make- up, props, etc. work to convey specific emotions. By taking away the visual context of a scene and using a draped fabric, for example, as the only background, I am able to present the viewer a character, void of surroundings, and let them fill in the blanks. Or, I might

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fabricate the entire scene in a studio or on location in order to explore the character in relation to, and often disrupting, an established space in natural, or only slightly manipulated light as in Female or Silence Interrupted. Silence Interrupted in particular is specifically an exploration between experience and memory. I created the series while attending EGS seminars during two separate years. When I am in Saas-Fee, surrounded by the alps at such a high altitude, my sensory perception becomes heightened and I am enthralled by the experience of being in nature. Thinking of myself in relation to the awe-inspiring

scenery, I wondered if a trace of myself would be left behind, an essence or aura, and what I capture within the space as an archive of my intrusion. Ultimately, the entire series is based on the transient moments of my daily experiences, my presence in and movement through the space. My choice of black and white enhanced the concept of a transient moment; the series would not have been as effective in representing time in color based on the subject matter. My movement creates a visually blurry representation of my interaction in the space in which I either

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pick up an object making it my own or create a performance around the objects in the space. Memory is often associated with sensory perception, connecting our senses with our experience based on an event that is instantly transformed through our different modes perception. Self Portraits series establishes direct relations with the viewers: how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space? In

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particular, how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience?

I believe that art is meant to be experienced. My attempt at a conversation with the viewer does not affect the way I create my artwork. It’s like attempting to change the way you write. No matter how hard you try to change your handwriting typography it will always eventually revert back to its usual form. By inviting the


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viewer into my world, perhaps they will find something that relates their world to mine. Its not about what I want them to see, no one has control over that, each person sees something different and that’s the beauty of art, a shared silent discourse between what the artist created and what the person viewing takes from it for themselves, which is fascinating to me. When presenting new work to my peers, each would be transparent about their criticism and interpretation of the work: this is when I came to the realization of the viewer’s experience. In that intimate, trusted environment, a unique conversation arose around the work, in which people would share their connection to what they see or what it reminds them of. To be reminded of something, is in a sense, to be re- presented with an idea, notion, or memory that was forgotten creating a shared conversation of experience. As Bergson would say, a memory evoking another memory can create an expansion of consciousness. Art is a need that most people share in some form because it is a part of our culture, an instinct that we have in response to the world around us. People are drawn to the arts as a relief from their daily lives, an escape to stimulate the mind and reflect on our existence. It can communicate an idea that cannot be articulated by other means, a document that preserves an event at a particular point in space and time, a representational depiction of cultural identity or experience. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, your work approach forces the viewers to find a new space within themselves with which to understand your world and how it could possibly relate to their own: would you like to elaborate a bit this particular aspect if your approach: in particular, how do your ideas change in the while you conceive your works and you finally get the final results?

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When I build a character’s personality in an image, the process of photographing can take hours to days. The idea of the character develops in my mind and a shift can occur that will trigger a development in my approach within the characters through lighting, props, gesture, camera angles, scenery, etc... The shift can come from anywhere; usually surrounded with an overload of sensory perception during shooting. I’ll often have music blaring, television on mute, cat meowing nearby, and some aesthetics, a pop in visitor or phone call while I’m working that can trigger a change. Some changes in ideas can occur by mistake and end up being serendipitous: a minor shift in the angle of the light or camera can change the aesthetics of an image. Your Collages conveys a lot of references to human body and the dialogue established by such elements and texture is a crucial part of your style: in particular, the effective combination between thoughtful nuances of tones sums up the mixture of thoughts and emotions. How much does your own psychological make•up determine the nuances of tones you decide to use in a piece and in particular, how do you develop a painting’s texture? Moreover, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

I create collages during times when I need to sort out my visions and thoughts. Collages presents a creative space to experiment and focus my thoughts on a tedious task like ripping and gluing newspaper while the rest of my mind can focus on other matters. The texture of the collages are created with mainly newspaper and scraps left over from previous projects. In the first two, with the women, there is no paint; they are a strategic layering of newspapers with pen detailing. The third one, with an abundance of color, was created with watercolor, India ink, pen, and colored candle wax. The ‘yield’ collage is a layering and merging of found images and my own transferred to paper with acetone and burned at the edges. I mainly used marker, pen and India ink to create the

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textured effect in order to create harmony and balance between the images. The color palette in my paintings and collages are changing based my approach to representing the subject matter; it is an artists path to constantly evolve while still maintaining a recognizable style unique to the individual. Artists tend to be acute to the ‘event’, experiencing a broad range of emotions based on experiences and a different level of understanding that is translated into colors, symbols, shapes and textures. Color and palette choices are a strong visual factor for most people when judging the artist in relation to the work, but just because an artist uses an abundance of black textured paint do not necessarily mean they were angry or depressed during the artworks creation.

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You also produce interesting sculptures in which you often incorporate found objects that seem to play an important role in your practice: would you elaborate a bit about this aspect of your work? In particular, what is the importance of the stories that materials with a previous life convey when you combine them in your artworks?

Transforming a found object into a sculpture gives it a second life and creating an air of mystery around its origins. It not just about the material having a previous life, but how that found object relates to my own and by molding it I am able to leave my mark on it. I tend to gravitate towards objects with strong geometric shapes I can manipulate. When I sculpt it transports me back to a simpler time of childlike wonder, like when you are


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given clay for the first time and are mesmerized by the ability to create any form from a place of pure imagination. Growing up, I gravitated toward building blocks, Legos and metal wire puzzles; anything that I could take apart and put back together, the more complicated the better. It is logical that the toys we played with growing up take a part in the types of art we gravitate towards as they helped mold our cognitive ability, understanding of physics, motor skills and creativity. I’m currently interested in combining the different mediums I work with, like sculpture and photography; each medium presents its own unique experience. One of the challenges in merging mediums is the length of time it takes to create enough sculptures to produce enough images for a

photographic series. I have been working on the sculptures for several years and have amassed over twenty so far, but not all of them are complete yet. Eventually, I will be creating artificial environments around them, photographing them on large format film and exhibiting both the sculpture and photograph together. Your successful attempt to communicate without words unveils the flow of information through an effective non linear narrative, establishing direct relations with the viewers: German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in

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particular how do you conceive the narrative for your works?

I would say that [an] artist always needs to be true to themselves first and foremost, despite what the current trend is, creative endeavors should flow naturally and should not feel forced. To say one should or should not rely on a particular strategy can hinder the artists’ expression of self; art is an infinite chasm where anything goes. Taking the audience into consideration too much can be detrimental to the being of an artist and can cause them to loose sight of their vision. Art evolves over time as people do and with different art movements that are parallel to the cultural changes of the time lived in. Society has been obsessed with symbolic imagery throughout history and today we are swarmed with so much imagery in a day that the human brain has adapted to the sensory overload analyzing meanings through multiple symbols, working off each other and creating connections. Today, humans’ process imagery at a much faster pace with the wide array of technology available to us, processing thousands of images a day whether they realize it or not. The way an artists manipulates their medium of choice can enhance their narrative, but should not cater their work to anyone, just have hope that someone can relate to your vision. One of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to create direct connection with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision•making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

I can see how it might seem that way, but I do not take the audience into consideration during the decision-making process. I don’t create art for the audience; I create art because I need to create art

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just as I need to move or breathe. When I fall into the character, all of life distractions fade away and there is no space for anything else. My hope for a conversation with the viewer occurs after the art is created, when the audience is present and experiencing the work. The experiences and relationships we have with art can change a person, shift their outlook and inspire a new brand of thought. Even in our heightened technological era, full of interferences, people still flock to art exhibitions to experience the way an artist perceives the world. One of my first experiences was during a third grade field trip to Moma in NYC before it opened to the public, a rare experience to be alone with art away from crowds. As the class was given a tour we stopped for a conversation about Van Gogh’s Starry Night. The rest of the class moved on to the next painting, but I stayed behind and sat there in awe until my teacher told me it was time to move on. I refused and he sat beside me and asked me what I saw in the painting that had affected me so deeply: we sat there in conversation while the class finished the tour. That moment changed me at a very early age, creating a shift in my relationship with art from that moment forward and was even the basis of my entrance essay for Parsons. I hope to initiate the type of experiences I had with art in other people. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Mollie. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I have several ideas that I am working on for future self-portrait series both in and out of the studio. My sculpture serie(s) are nearing and I will be photographing them in environments that I will be fabricating. Evolution is inevitable; I am in a process of branching out even further in my mediums extending to writing and film. I am currently

finishing up a fiction/non-fiction philosophical novel called “ret.Ai.l..” based on my experiences in the retail industry, as well as an infusion of artificial intelligence… hence the fiction part. I have two books still in the development stages I will begin tackling soon. One will be called “The Outpour”, based on my theory I mentioned earlier, which will be centered on the need for an artist to create, how and why it occurs. The other is called “Serena”, which is based around the life of my great grand fathers sister, Dehba Halfon, who was a blind opera singer in Libya before the holocaust, but refused to leave so was inevitably left behind. No one knows what became of her and is a family mystery that I hope to unveil. Maybe I can track down a trace of her somewhere… I have been working with an up and coming filmmaker, Kamala Seals, who I met at EGS, helping to translate the vision of her scripts. I’ll continue to collaborate with her as a storyboard artist contributing to the production design of an upcoming feature she will direct. I will always have the need to create a wide array of artwork in various mediums because each idea lends itself to a different platform. I can spend years sometimes, developing an idea, mastering its techniques and then executing it. People have said that I use too many mediums, that there is no way to master them all in a lifetime and I say to them, if it’s a priority and need in life then you will make the time. Some of the most respected minds in history worked in different mediums; one of the only differences now is there are more external sources that distract us from focusing. To any young artists, I would say just be true to your own nature, question everything, and don’t ever stop creating. An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

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Michal Shelly Lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel

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he act of painting is there, for me, not in order to reproduce reality but in order to create an experience and feeling. I am interested in feeling. Although each painting has its artistic values of placing the color, composition and style, relating to a period in the history of art. The historical period in which a painting is created, does not change my vision, that a painting withholds knowledge of the artist rather than the artist knows about himself. The painter uses it in order to find out something about himself that is not psychological.

I see in my painting a tool to enhance an experience. The humane life start with an experience that is exchanged by concepts perceived by the cognitive abilities that mark it's outlines by creating a language: words, feeling, action, shape and form are based on experience. Still these actions are but a highlight of the experience itself, footsteps of what really has happened which is a one-time experience. Do we really understand the relation between opposites? It is difficult to perceive it because of the differences between opposites. In my art I keep the tension between the cognitive and the experience itself as opposites in life. To me, the question is: do we really understand the difference and relationship between opposites? I think that people have difficulty in understanding the relationship created between opposites, because of the differences between the two poles. Opposites such as in and out condense and contract, light and dark, black and white, male and female. The patterns of human perception are complex and I work with the complexity of these templates, while painting, to create an experience for the viewer, so he or she

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would say to themselves: "I found the pattern on my own." This is the out most intention I seek. In a state of 'not knowing' I go from chaos to a shape. I act in a realm of a paradox, because the shape is known as a vehicle for meaning, it is a tool that works in both directions, keeping the person away from experience and opening a door for a massage bringing him or her near to it. Although I use a visual language of contrasts, light and dark, intrusive and out reaching, Iuse shapes, not as a symbol of feeling but as a vehicle that creates feeling and excitement. Therefore, when I paint, I must be in a State of lack of cognitive thinking to prevent the enforcement of the templates and thoughts on my mind. When I give in to them I feel inauthentic as if it is a red traffic light for me, calling me back to the truthful track. On the other hand, there is a moment of release that I feel as authentic and right. This is when I reach the border between the figurative and the abstract. For example, I can imagine a woman with wings I do not seek its shape but let it influence me to resemble the force itself, keeping the image and as tension in between the drawing space. I create a space for the observer to become an active searcher, trying to find what he sees there, in this space. That is how my painting turns becoming an elevator descending to the unconscious and back to consciousness. Using painting, I lead other people to an unknown realm, for there are people that don't know their way there. When the observer is excited, I know I got my art to be done.

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Michal Shelly An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

Artist Michal Shelly's work inquires into the evokative power of the combination between abstraction and reminders to reality to provide the viewers with an unconventional journey through the liminal area in which subconscious level establishes a symbiosis between the conscious sphere. In her Urban series that we'll be discussing in the following pages, drawing from universal imagery, her abstract and expressive approach explores the relationship between urban environment and our most limbic perceptual parameters, to urge us to elaborate personal associations. One of the most captivating aspects of Shelly's approach is the way it incorporates both evokative elements and and rigorous sense of abstraction to trigger memory and imagination: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating and multifaceted artistic production. Hello Michal and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview would you tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and after your having graduated from the Ha'Midrasha L'Amanut Art College, you nurtured your education in the field of Art Therapy, at the Lesley College, Boston: how did these experiences influence your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way

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you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general? Your approach condenses a variety of mediums that you combine together into a coherent balance: the results convey together a consistent sense of unity, that rejects any conventional classification. We would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.michalshellyart.com in order to get a synoptic view of your work: in the meanwhile, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up? And in particular, how does your studies in the field of Psychology inform the way you inquire into the psychological dimension and into the aesthetic problem in general?

Background: Already during the beginning of my studies at the school/college of arts, I was surprised by the contents that emerged in the ‘artistic doing/production’; starting with spectators’ reactions and ending with my interpretation of my own self/work. For example, the spectator identified ‘anger’ where I recognized ‘sadness’... I realized that the artistic expression contained complex information as well as dissonance; the thought process is not dichotomous, in terms of ‘is’ or ‘isn’t’, ‘right’ or ‘not right’. This contemplative space interests me then and now, from the psychological and artistic perspectives . . . At the beginning of my studies in art school, discovering ‘art therapy’, which


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actually handles conscious as well as unconscious expressions, excited me and also sounded logical to me. My thesis focused on the parallel relationship between the discovery process, and the artistic creation. Today, 30 years since the beginning of my professional path as an artist and a therapist, I continue to create and to study Lacanian psychoanalysis. Lacan, the post

modernist psychoanalyst, treats linguistic signs, images and primordial subjective experiences that actually symbols cannot fully cover. The search for an image that conveys primal sensations is what generates creativity. The will to find meaning, to delineate shapes, also moves the spectator (calms an experience that often generates

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anxiety/distress that has no name or reference)

physical, sensual expression of motion, touch, and color.

Thus, in my paintings one cane see that the abstract and the physical touch each other.

Moreover, the will to dialog causes me to look for a language, a shape to express such emotions (that the image cannot satisfy).

For me, the ‘escape’ from tangiblerealistic painting is not motivated by the will to manipulate. There is an emotional level that the image cannot satisfy. The abstract language of the painting (color, composition, texture) represents a

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The communication with the audience/spectators has a role to play in staging my own ‘other’ against the spectator’s ‘other’, and in partially rescuing me from my isolation.


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We would start to focus on your artistic production beginning from your Urban series, a stimulating project that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of these pieces is the way the insightful juxtaposition between abstraction and subtle references to environmental elements provides these works with autonomous aesthetics transforming tension to harmony. While walking our

readers through the genesis of the Urban series, would you shed light on your main source of inspiration?

In my Urban series I was mainly thinking about the metropolitan environment that is more familiar to me, where I identify myself... Tel Aviv, which is a city that brings out excitement as well as isolation. The crane is an exciting motif of destruction and construction; power and vulnerability; the contrast between the sky

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and the water on the land, between dark and light, between noise to silence . . . all of which serve as examples of issues that inspired me.

spontaneously and wake up topics/sensations/images that were branded into the memory of my lived reality, and around the topic called ‘city’.

I didn’t use photos or dealt with the challenge to paint a ‘particular place’, but tried to immerse myself and concentrate in a dialogue that faces the shapes and the shades that appear on the canvas

Combining thoughtful nuances of tones, you works establish a dialogue between color and texture to convey thoughts and emotions. How much does your own psychological make-up determine the

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nuances of tones you decide to use in a piece and in particular, how do you develop a painting’s texture? Moreover, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

When I paint, I try not to plan ahead... the feeling is that the paint in my paint board ‘chooses’ me . . . my free hand motions . . . the brain focused on the sensations that

the topic/theme awakens... sometimes the ‘topic’ remains unknown to me, the paint spots, their texture, the color, the composition or the image that emerges, clarify to me what wants to be expressed... this is a conscious process that is in dialogue with unconsciousness. I suppose that my paint board is also moved by memory that is not completely con-

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scious, at times it seems to me that it belongs to primal sources of European aesthetics, German, even though I was raised in Israel since I was two years old. My colorful choice (My choices of colors?) is not connected to the concepts ‘beautiful’ or ‘not beautiful’. Most likely, I would have bought paintings by another painter who used different coloring (scheme). But when I create, my attraction to a specific shade is nit completely conscious. I prefer to leave the critique to the observer.

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Naturally, at each era, the series that materialize have structure and color that serve unconscious processes, bringing those to consciousness is always done in retrospection. While exhibiting a captivating vibrancy, your paintings often to reject an explicit explanatory strategy: rather, you seem to invite the viewer to find personal interpretations to the feelings that you convey into your paintings... this quality


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marks out a considerable part of your production, that are in a certain sense representative of the relationship between emotion and memory. What is the role of memory in your process? And in particular, do you try to achieve a faithful visual translation of your feelings?

The images emerge from an internal, sensual memory which visual expression does not necessarily depict or fit ‘reality’. There were series that dealt with symbols that presumably ‘possessed me’. The

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image ‘pops up’ and emerges from the white canvas. And from the nothingness. And the need to handle/paint it again and again is unclear’ surely not at the beginning of a series. Sometimes, in retrospection, I attribute some meaning to the symbol. Since I ‘count’ on the human stockpile of symbols, I handle a specific sign until it apparently gets my subjective meaning and that is how a series is created. For example, my last series focused on Pine Cones . . . during that period I went


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through many changes in my personal life. While on vacation in Italy, I was astonished to see in front of my eyes, in the Vatican’s courtyard, a huge bronze statue from the third century AD. Also, the name given to the gland in the center of the brain is the Pine Cone Gland, which represents the Holy Pine Cone that resides in humans; it is the place where the third eye appears in ancient Egyptian scrolls. The Greek mystics walked around holding wood canes topped with Pine Cones, to facilitate communications with the gods. I

was not aware of this information when I created the series. But it seems that this information is part of this unconscious human stockpile of symbols, which I share with the rest of humankind. The abstract shapes you elaborate in your paintings are particularly evokative: when playing with a variety of reminders to universal imagery your approach establishes direct relations with the viewers that goes beyond any conventional symbolism: German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand

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once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in particular how do you conceive the narrative for your works?

As I mentioned before, I can’t really rid myself of this human stock of symbols. But during the process I try to find my subjective relevancy. I hope that the observer will also experience the stimulation to connect with his own subjectivity.

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Another interesting series fo yours that has particularly impressed us and on which we would like to spend some words is entitled Erotic: we have appreciated the way the paintings from this series convey an emotional vision, wisely balanced with a careful attention to the equilibrium concerning the composition, inviting the spectatorship to snatch a sense of permanence to the intrinsic ephemeral nature of eroticism. Moreover, you also draw a lot from your experience as a musician, so we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable


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Michal Shelly


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Over these years your works have been showcased in several occasions, both in Israe and in France, including four solos. One of the hallmarks of your work is the capability to create an emotional and psychological involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

I have no obligatory attachments to taste/style, fashion and speculations regarding my target audience. I try to be honest and connected to my own private process, even if the price is to be ‘not marketable’. Nonetheless, it is clear to me that I live in a certain epoch and that I am influenced by my social surroundings. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Michal. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

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

The creative process is connected to my experiments and I rely on sensations, memories and experiences. When I paint, I am linked/connected to the present and my immediate sensations, in a sort of a meditative state. Thus, the connection between the creative process and my experiences is inevitable.

I hope to continue creating and finding ways to express my development/evolution as a human being and as an artist; to try to connect to various audiences in my country and around the world; to enable spectators to connect with themselves and those around them, in a language that crosses borders, religion, race and politics.

An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

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Z iba Pashang Lives and works in Teheran, Iran

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rt is not only the matter of creating or producing. It is rather the matter of thinking, seeing, and feeling differently. Art is one of the best ways to express. Hence, the artist may contemplate life better with the aid of this expressive instrument and play a major role in changing the way other people see life too. As Jeff Chang says: "They help people to see what can not yet be seen, hear the unheard, tell the untold." (who we be: The colorization of America). As an sculptor that started her work seriously in 1998 I was always interested in figurative subjects in regard to human beings: their concerns, believes, and thoughts. For that matter, I've always attempt to indicate the social and psychological aspects of human lives and take these kinds of issues into the account. I have given experimental use to variety of media and materials and eventually,

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these were bronze and fiberglass that I chose as my works materials. Being strong and resistant, these materials best represent the concepts of my work. I also prefer installation which essentially takes into account a broader sensory experiences: Experiences that are common between people from all over the world.This may leave space and time as its only dimensional constants, implying dissolution of the line between art and life. Hence, installation can be one the best and most influential artistic genres to express my concerns, that is, to designate contemporary human's state in life through art.

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Ziba Pashang An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

Using Art as a powerful expressive instrument to explore and contemplate life, Iranian artist Ziba Pashang's work challenges the most limbic perceptual parameters, investigating about the notions of memory and of plasticity on an unconventional level, to walk the viewers into a multilayered experience Her inquire into the nature of the resistent materials she selects allows her to accomplishes the difficult task to urge the viewers to rethink about the nature of artistic experience. One of the most convincing aspects of Pshang's work is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of unveiling a variety of social and psychological aspects of human lives , inviting the viewers to explore the unstable relationship between human intervention and freedom in the contemporary age. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating artistic production. Hello Ziba, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. We would start this

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interview posing you some questions about your background: you have a solid formal training and you graduated from Alzahra University, in Tehran. How has this experience influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum dued to your Iranian roots inform the way you deal with the aesthetic problem in general?

Since my BA education has been in handicraft, I’ve got the chance to get familiar with traditional arts of my country, arts such as woodcarving, pottery, etching etc. I also had the chance to get familiar with different materials via my major. Without any doubts, my today’s artistic outlook has its roots in the ancient culture and civilization of my country. I live alongside people with different ethnicities and a strong background of traditional values and customs; people who are also trapped within today’s modern society and try hard to adapt themselves with such a modern life despite such a strong sense of convention. The challenge between


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this modernism and traditionalism has been always one of my concerns. However, I’ve experienced this preoccupation somehow differently and uniquely in art, that is by getting involved in the differences between traditional Iranian arts and the modern art worldwide. The traditional art of my country, contrary to today’s art worldwide which is so conceptual and less aesthetic, is an audiencecentered and practical art that is also so attentive to aesthetic issues such as color, form, symmetry etc. This art has been very instrumental in the formation of my aesthetic outlook as far as I always pay a close attention to aesthetic aspect of my works besides their concepts to create a balance. You are a versatile artist and your approach reveals an incessant search of an organic symbiosis between a variety of viewpoints. The results convey together a coherent sense of unity, that rejects any conventional classification. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://zibapashang.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that such multidisciplinary approach is the

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only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

Since I had the chance to work with different materials such as wood, metal, clay etc. throughout my BA years, I think this versatility is quite

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natural in my works. I started sculpture by using wood and after finishing my BA education, I experienced with some other materials. I’m still experiencing and would like to continue using


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my learning and experiments with different materials in my works. For sure, this kind of multidisciplinary approach is not the only way of expressing what you have in mind as an artist. The material used could

change depending on an artist’s choice. Every new work needs a novel medium for expression. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected Justice and Culture, a couple of

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stimulating works that our readers have already stared to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention of this work is the way it accomplishes the difficult

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task of creating an harmonic mix between a figurative, realistic approach to the evokative reminders conveyed by the materials you combine together: when walking our readers through


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the genesis of Justice and Culture, would you shed a light about the role of metaphors in your process?

As a modern and industrial material, fiberglass for me is a symbol of

obscurity, artificiality, fragility and vulnerability. Meanwhile, bronze as a classic material which has a long history of usage in my country and a close tie with its art and

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civilization symbolizes culture, antiquity and tradition for me. Therefore, I’ve tried to avail myself of this paradox between these two materials in my work called Justice

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and Culture to convey the meaning I had in my mind. My purpose in this particular work has been the representation of the contradiction between the true meaning of


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justice, and what we see in today’s world as “justice.” Therefore, the judge’s gavel here is a symbol of justice in a grand and beautiful appearance while the cow is a symbol of ignorance-- generally speaking, in my culture-- about the true meaning of this justice. Your works could be considered as tactile biographies and while exhibiting a captivating vibrancy, often reject an explicit explanatory strategy: rather, you seem to hint the direction tot he viewers, offering them to elaborate personal interpretations to the ideas that you convey into your pieces... this quality marks out a considerable part of your production, that is in a certain sense representative of the conflictual relationship between human identity and our unstable contemporary societies: how much does your own psychological makeup determine the materials you decide to use in a piece? In particular, any comments on your choice of materials and how it has changed over time?

An artist is free to choose the material they want to use and obviously, they choose a material which is in harmony with the concept they have in mind. Therefore, materials are a means for artists to express their ideas. Fiberglass and bronze are two materials that I have been using for

many years in my works and so, I have a comparatively good understanding of their potentials that would help me best to express the concepts I have in mind. As you have noticed, I have repeatedly used some motifs such as cow-which is also a symbol of everyday life in my works-- made of these two materials. That’s because they have the potential of repeatability and proliferation which is in line with the concept of the repetitiveness of everyday life I have in my mind. When it comes to my psychological make-up as a reason behind my choice of any special materials, well, I’m afraid I cannot really put forward any sensible reason there since most of the time you just choose a material or go after a concept unconsciously since it comes from somewhere deep in your entity without any tangible motives known to you. Your investigation about the expressive potential of resistent materials as bronze and fiberglass highlights the need of dominating the creative process on an intimate level: while Michelangelo spent months to select the perfect piece of Carrara's marble, you create your material by your own. What lead you to this? And in particular, do you think that this is the only way to achieve the results you pursue in such effective way?

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I started mixing materials in the last years of my BA education. Differences between numerous materials have been always very interesting to me. This led me to take advantage of my experiences in working with different materials and so I began to combine them. The mixture of clay and wood, stone and glass etc. and the paradox between fiberglass and bronze fascinated me in my last works due to their potential for visual beauty and their being a perfect medium for expressing my ideas and emotions. However, since I have never believed in any kind of red lines in art, I do not consider the mixture of various materials as the only way to express my ideas. Maybe, in future, I’ll deem some other materials and innovative techniques more suitable for creating my works. Your work convey both metaphoric and descriptive research and the compelling narrative that pervades them invites the viewers to a multilayered experience, accomplishing the difficult task of constructing a concrete aesthetic from experience and memories and symbols, working on both

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

When an artist has a personal experience about an issue, they can express it better. But it has not to be necessarily so. Sometimes, an artist can create very impressive and creative works just by focusing on their environment and the problems of the society and its people. For example, I have chosen to concentrate on the “anxiety of brand” as a recent prevalent phenomenon in my country in some of my works since it has led to serious overlooking and overriding of human values and the masking of human and cultural deficiencies under the tempting veil of brands which is very tragic by itself. As you have remarked once, an artist may contemplate life better with the aid of this expressive instrument and play a major role in changing the way other people see life too. Maybe it sounds as stretching a bit the point, but we can recognize a subtle sociopolitic criticism about the elusive notion of value. Do you consider that your works could be considered political

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in a certain sense or did you seek to maintain a more neutral approach? And in particular, what could be in your opinion the role that an artist could play in the contemporary society?

Undoubtedly, my works have a political and social slant. I live in a society that its people are preoccupied with such issues and this atmosphere is influential in the attitude I adopt for creating my works. An artist is not separate from the milieu they live in. They can change the way people look at and think about different things by choosing some specific political, psychological and social issues. I don’t believe in art for art’s sake slogan because I strongly believe that art should be expressive of a concept and idea besides its visual beauties. Over these years you works have been showcased in several occasions, including three solos: one of the hallmarks of your projects is strictly connected to the chance of establishing a direct involvement with the viewers, who are called to evolve from a mere spectatorship to conscious participants on an intellectual level, so before leaving this conversation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience


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reception as being a crucial component of your decisionmaking process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

In my opinion, an art work is not complete without its audience and is absolutely dead without them. I do like to create works that people

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can communicate with. So, my audience has a special place for me throughout my creative process, and I have tried to show this by focusing on their concerns and issues. They become even much more important when I also have to consider their taste in creating my works. The reason is there aren’t sponsors for artistic works in Iran and so, almost all the expenses for creating art works should be paid directly by artists themselves. Therefore, it is important to create works which are both seriously minded and sellable. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Ziba. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

Art is an endless road. Happily, I have covered a path of progress and growth in art over these years. But, the further I get through, the more I feel the need to learn and experience. Yes, yes, I still need a lot of practice and study to create better and more ingenious works. I would also like to thank you for taking your time to talk to me.

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L i Weinberg Lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel

An artist's statement

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am interested in the relationship between art and design and the fluid borders between them – The way they affect and feed on each other. For many years my work focuses on the theme of identity: what it is made of? What turns me into the person I am? What facets does it hold? How does the way I see my own identity meets the way others see it? In many of my paintings I am inclined to use carefully selected photographs from the family album as an inspiration. Some of The works I exhibit in this show are painted with a blue background, that of the Israeli ID, passport and flag. The figures

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painted are from photographs of my family. The technique I use is that of collage, made of maps: climate, population, landscape, precipitation etc. This technique allows me to play with the borders of the maps and (as with life) create new boundaries, which merge the very many pieces of the maps into an image of multifaceted identities. I like to paint from old photographs of the family album, to take images that are detached from there context and merge them together into a surrealistic collage, to create a new world (maybe a better one). Li Weinberg


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Li Weinberg An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

Using a variety of media Tel Aviv based artist Li Weinberg's work accomplishes an insightful inquiry into the sphere of soul and emotions, centering her investigation on the notion of identity to provide the viewers with a multilayered experience in which they are invited to extract new relationships between the images and the background and between the images and themselves. One of the most captivating aspects of Weinberg's approach is the way it explores the relationship between art and design to create an unconventional narrative: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating and multifaceted artistic production. Hello Li and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview would you tell us something about your background? What among your experiences have mostly influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

I was born in the US to Israeli parents and spent the early years of my life struggling between my mother tongue of Hebrew and the English language surrounding me in the environment. This

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defined my interest in questions of identity from early on. When in the US I felt Israeli while when in Israel I felt American. It gave me a sense of alienation and questioned my sense of ‘belonging’. It raised question in me related to the space I live in and the people surrounding me – where do I start and when do I end, what is the distance between my inner self and my outer being, and between the multifaceted parts of my spiritual existence. The home I grew in was a fertile soil for plastic art creativity. From early on I visited galleries and exhibitions. My mother was a creative artist and is an art therapist and both my sisters are doing art too. Since I was very little I found painting as the best road for self-expression in a language which does not belong to a country or national identity and which is loyal to myself. My desire to develop this interest of mine led me to taking art lessons. First with a teacher who taught me very realistic techniques and helped developed my ability to observe. Later I attended a leading art high school, where I was exposed to conceptual art, art history and philosophical thinking pertaining to the theory of art. When I made my decision of the higher education I intend to pursue I was torn between the pursuit and further


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Univocal reference, 38x42, 2010

deepening of my art studies and between the studying of visual communication. I chose the latter aspiring to combine my art with the world of design. During my academic studies I learned how to turn my artwork be more ‘communicative’. I sharpened my aesthetic abilities and developed complementing techniques, such as the incorporation of computer work into my artwork.

For me art is a language and each and every new technique I was exposed to or acquired added another layer to the arsenal of my expressive tools. I also learned that art is a way of ‘touching’ people, of making contact, of creating a relationship. Of bridging different people coming from different backgrounds, and bringing different cultures together. In my artwork I investigate questions of aesthetic and occupy myself with the question of beauty and its

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characterization. I am influenced primarily expressionist and the surrealist art movements. Your approach condenses a variety of media and techniques that you combine together into a coherent balance: the results convey together a consistent sense of unity, that rejects any conventional classification. We would suggest to our readers to visit https://www.facebook.com/Liweinberg/ ?fref=ts in order to get a synoptic view of your work: in the meanwhile, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up?

My preoccupation with family and the immediate environment often serves me as a point of departure to dealing with questions of boundaries and identities: with the geography of the soul, pain, terror, memory, time and coping with time gaps, as well as my preoccupation with geographical location and the culture and society within I live. I carefully select photographs of various periods from the family albums. I detach the images from their existing context and create a new surreal reality. I do not work with sketches. I rather start with an overall guiding concept, which serves me to tell a story. The story develops while I work with associations. All too often such associations are coming out of the initial concept of the photos I choose, while sometimes they also come up during the process of creativity. The still photos, which freeze meaningful moments for me, are transferred to the world of painting: I

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desire to bring them to life, as to connect me to points in time that influenced my identity and meaningful connections in my life. The paintings deal with a point of view, which is going through metamorphosis in the process of turning the photo into a painting. Sometimes I am the object and the photographer is a different person and the painting is an attempt to follow that person’s perspective. Sometimes the photographer is me, and in the painting I am re-interpreting my own perspective. A collage of different periods in my family life is created in the work, where new narratives to the family history are created, along with new narratives to my own identity inside and outside of the family. The new relationships between the images and the background, and between the images and themselves, along with the technique, the colorfulness and the composition, apply new interpretations to the images and the original situations. Sometimes the images are harmonious in their new environment and sometimes they are detached and raise fear. I mainly work with the combination of acrylic, nail polish and pen, in a mainly expressionistic technique, that allows me to ‘x-ray’ and express the world of soul and emotions. About two years ago I started, as part of my work with photographs from family albums, to create real collages, using maps. It is a tool that allows me to examine my question of identity from yet another dimension. I cut and paste parts of maps along the formative marks of the images, and create for these ‘plots’ new

formations and new boundaries, dictated by the shape of the image. The collage, as a technique, empowers the game between alternative realities. The action of cutting and pasting allows me to disassemble the pre-assigned boundaries, as well as the materials and the object, and re-assemble them. Other collages I make are the combination between the painting and the computer. I see in the computer a material as in itself. I love the play and the composition of different materials that have sensual, raw and substantive qualities, with readymade visual imageries. The process is fluid, unstable and unfixed, and is attentive to the very moment of creativity, viewing the creative process as a single, unique event. This allows greater flexibility in the choice of the materials for the creative process. We would start to focus on your artistic production beginning from Identity and The Birth, a couple of stimulating works that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of these pieces is the way the insightful juxtaposition between intense tones provide each canvas with dynamic and autonomous aesthetics, to communicate a transformation of tension to harmony, and it's really captivating. While walking our readers through the genesis of these works, would you shed light on your main source of inspiration?

The inspiration for my work is the attempt, following expressionistic orientation, to process inner-soul materials into visual objects, which

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represent feelings, thoughts and intra psychic dilemmas, to give them a universal expression. In ‘Identity’ I chose blue shades for they are a symbol to blues and sadness, and fit my sensations and emotions while I was working on this painting. I have a particular interest in psychology. In Jungian perception, creativity in general, and artistic creativity in particular, is not a sublimation of tendencies, as Freud argued. It is rather an autonomous power embedded in the seed of ones’ self, and is demanding its realization with those endowed with the power of artistic creativity, as a way for the fulfillment of their real self. Jung says that: “For the artist creativity serves to merge opposites. As a result, to obtain integration in his character… in endless artworks he aspires to comprehend this internal agent, only to eventually find out that for ever he is unknown and an outsider, and that this agent is the invisible foundation of the soul.” My inspiration for the ‘identity’ painting was my method of processing emotional experiences and expresses them in the language of art through shades, materials and compositions. It was a continuity of the expressionistic tendencies. I processed emotional materials from my inner world into visual objects, which represent sensations, thoughts and intropsychic dilemmas. The map collage technique, as I previously mentioned, comes to map my world of soul and the boundaries between me and myself, and between me the other, also in a broader cultural and geographical context. My inspiration was to understand who and what I am – a process of searching for self-

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identity. How I am seen from the outside versus how I see myself from within. The works of art I absorbed over the years influenced me, and the aesthetics of my painting. Rodin’s “Thinker” and the way I found myself connecting to this sculpture were another inspiration to my artwork. Rodin took the sculpture off the pedestal. He placed it at eye level with the observer. He used the human body to express strong feelings of love and desire through the emphasis on the contradiction between beauty and anxiety and discomfort. To Rodin beauty is the reflection of internal conditions and a mirror to one’s personality. “Thinker” – his most famous sculpture, symbolizes the investigator, the person seeking meaning and knowledge. The sculpture is also the portrait of Dante Alighieri, the Florentine poet and philosopher who wrote the immortal “Divine Comedy:” The “Thinker” was supposed to sit across from the “Gates of Hell,” while thinking of its own creative work. ‘Identity’ is also an art-poetic work. Throughout history women were presented in art history through various gestures of softness, gentleness and feminine body language. In this work I seek to combine the two themes as a way of defining the femininity in my own identity, and maybe I wanted to be asked what it is I am thinking about..? In ‘The Birth” I tried to go back to that point in time when I was born, a point of which I have no memory of and of which I was told stories by others. This artwork is a combination of a few photos from my family albums alongside other, imaginary, images.

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For me, becoming involved in something which I experienced and which is recorded, yet, which I have no memory of, raises fear and curiosity. I tried to capture that moment and the emotions it brings in me. The birth of a baby is something, which greatly influences that baby development into a mature individual and to one extend or another shapes his personality. Further, a person goes through a few progressions of spiritual re-birth that can bring about great anxiety and fear.

this work of mine a kind of feminine reply to Pollock’s works which are perceived very masculine and I am obviously very much influenced by him and his works.

Unlike the conventional wisdom, culturally looking at birth as something, which is almost imposed on us, and which should make us happy, I see it as a far more complex, crucial event that stimulates great fear in me. The artwork constitutes a container into which unconscious powers are channeled, so the soul can be contained by creativity. The creative container enables the processes in one’s soul coming into being, the journey of the hero struggling with unconsciousness, the alchemist of destruction and rebuilding, of the regression for the sake of progression.

The comparison to ‘Identity’ is justified, as this work too is a collage, both in terms of the choice of photographs as well as in the technique applied. The technique consists of notebooks papers, partially with lines and partially with checkers, which are glued on canvas and on which I painted with acrylic, pencil colors, pen and nail polish. Here too, it was important to me to transfer the very complex events from the world of my soul, in an aesthetic and communicative manner, as far as the composition, the format and the shades of colors are concerned. That is to provide a stage for the expression of those complex events on the canvas. Both ‘Identity’ and ‘The Birth’ speak about types of femininity, bringing into conventional femininity an element of fear. The attempt to make both works as aesthetic as possible is pursued to enable the observer digest the difficult contents and substance embedded in those two works.

In the history of art and generally in cultures a lot of attention is given to birth. The birth of Jesus is treated in art history as something mystic, created by the Holy Spirit. There is a kind of halo created around the subject of birth, which I tried to break in my work, Jackson Pollock has a work named ‘Birth” that holds the same format as my work does. Indeed this specific Pollock work does not show ‘action painting’, but my work definitely corresponds with Pollock’s works through random leaks of paint, side by side with meticulous work of a far more precise and strict painting. I see in

As you have remarked once, the dealings with the family and the close environment are for you a metonymy to the society as a whole: we daresay that the universal feature that marks out your characters could be considered a metaphor for human condition. The multilayered experience to whom you invite the viewers gives a sense of permanence to the intrinsic ephemeral nature of the feeling you convey on your canvas. Moreover, you also draw a lot from your experience as a musician, so we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a

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

To my opinion a creative process does not necessarily have to be the result of a real direct experience. There are many artists and kinds of arts that I appreciate that are not stemming directly from an

experience, and are still brining curiosity and much appreciation in me. However, in my own artwork the personal experience aspect must prevail. It is part of my own creative process, and the interpretation I give while investigating different parts of my soul. It is my belief the personal and private is what eventually touch most in people

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and is not less political than works which are seemingly political in their intended message. The personal and private are in fact universal in that they express experiences that are shared by all humans. Further, art is an experience by in itself, and if it comes across to the observer it arises in him abundance of feelings and attachment to the work of art. As an example I can take “Family Portrait”, where in this work I took photos from various periods in my family life and soldered it into a new family story. I tried to create a mythological story in this work, which is based on the relations between the characters and the way these relations are expressed. These are not necessarily connected to real life experiences, but rather the experiences went through transformation – the relationships between the characters and the different events take life and create a new story and experience on the canvas – if it is the figure with several heads, or the characters riding the turtles that create hybrid-like figures, or the image of the pregnant woman looked at possibly by a man, woman or ‘creature’. This new experience is somehow a fantasy taken from my inner world and from my world of associations. I entertained the idea of re- assembling the members of my own family as part of an epos and really take the personal and private changing it into something mote universal. What turns about is that ‘Family Portrait’ is a direct outcome of a personal experience, which was processed and transformed. This kind of work provides me a kind of “potential space” in Winnicott’s phrase – ‘in-between’ area harbors culture and imagination, the

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objective and subjective, the outside reality and the inner world. It is like the creation of a daydream space where it is possible to build surrealistic reality through the use of fantasy. This process allows me play with reality, play with the different periods of my family life, fantasize an alternative reality, and create other, new combinations of realities and identities. I am not a musician, yet I work with musicians and sometimes design/paint covers to their music CDs. I find the dialogue created between the music and the words and between arts fascinating. That is because art provides with an interpretation to the abstract musical experience and expression, which once again turns into an artistic exercise, where I investigate where it touches in my inner world and that of the musicians and how it is that I serve this experience in my work. The dialogue established by intense nuances and texture is an important part of your style: the effective combination between vivacious colors that we can admire in Child sums up the mixture of thoughts and emotions. How much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones you decide to use in a piece and in particular, how do you develop a painting’s texture? Moreover, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

In my work ‘Child’ the shades constitute a king of thermometer, measuring and reflecting experiences and internal sensations. The child looks as if he was scanned through lens, which maps physical areas, coloring them in opposite colors: like marking the inner composition

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of the soul. The technique is that of watercolors, acrylic, nail polish, sparkle glue, and a pen that defines the colorfulness and creates texture. In ‘Child’ I tried to examine how I can map sensations, emotions, experiences and ‘areas’ in my soul through colorfulness and texture. Just like an MRI provides us with a way to see the exact formation of each and every part of our physical organism, I wanted to ‘scan’ the inner structure, to be ‘precise’ as to its zones, to give shape on the canvas to the emotional structure, and in it express the complexity of the variety of conflicting sensations of the human soul. My choice in the palette of colors I use is mainly intuitive, spontaneous and not pre-fixed (though, to some extent, I departed from this in my latest body of work). I usually want to get the characters out of their original context and to create a surreal world for them, emphasizing their detachment. That is the reason for intensive colors, opposite and sticking out colors, which serves to create fear, and other times harmony, as well as various other emotions. The pattern of my choice in different shades and textures stems out of the specific experiences I enjoyed at different periods in my life. Each period of creativity brought along its own shades and texture, and these naturally, changed and continue to change over time. I believe each painting invites me to find its own unique shades and textures, such that the change and variation in the technique is unavoidable, inevitable and even blessed.

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At a later period in my creative work I had a few choices of backgrounds, which repeated themselves in groups of paintings. Such is, for example, the choice of black background, to get across specific emotions of alienation and fear, or a blue background to get across sadness and blues. So, what started spontaneously in one painting, turned into a platform and base for a series of works, where the background and colorfulness themselves turned part of the common subject echoing throughout. We have appreciated the way your paintings convey an emotional vision, wisely balanced with a careful attention to the equilibrium concerning the composition: while exhibiting a captivating vibrancy, your paintings often to reject an explicit explanatory strategy: rather, you seem to invite the viewer to find personal interpretations to the feelings that you convey into your paintings... this quality marks out a considerable part of your production, that are in a certain sense representative of the relationship between emotion and memory. What is the role of memory in your process? And in particular, do you try to achieve a faithful visual translation of your feelings?

Memory preoccupies me for its elusiveness and the fact it touches inaccessible parts of the soul. A photograph is for me a freezing moment in time. That moment re-enters life in different contexts, wearing a new meaning. In my paintings I try to give interpretation to the same experience related to the specific context at the time of creation. Obviously, if I am to paint the same photograph at a different period in time it will take a different shape and


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meaning. I find it fascinating to document a process in which the seemingly closed and static narrative actually changes, and is fluid and slippery, taking different life each and every time. Some of the photographs in the album mark moments that I do not necessarily recall or even altogether recognize. This turns into curiosity, wonderment and sometime even fear. Such reaction takes over then, when I watch myself documented in situations, which are inaccessible to me in my memory or in my consciousness, or watching my loved ones in scenes I could not take part in. The painting and artistic process serves for me a container to such feelings and among other things enables artistic ‘filters’ give expression to these feelings. Further, they provide me with the possibility to touch those remote areas in my soul and get know them and recognize their very existence. The photographs I choose from the family albums for my work are usually those that touch on me and make me curious, as well as those that I believe can be processed -- turning into a painting or visual storytelling. Through the painting I try to bring to life the memory embedded in the photograph, or, alternately, to create from it a memory that I like to paint for myself -- to create a space of freedom, imagination and fantasy, in the framework of my work with the photographic documentation. I find it interesting to investigate the translation work between the mediums of photography and of painting. Among other things I try to understand the experience of the photographer (whether I know him or not) and give it a personal

interpretation. In the framework of the artistic process many questions arise. For example to what extent can one medium be translated into another? What kind of emotional need does it represent in me as an artist, and how the translation I come up with can influence the individual observing the work? In the process of creation I am investigating the sensations and emotions the work brings up in me, and the ways I can bring those onto the canvas. On the other hand I am trying to also leave the observers with an open space, through which they can look at my work through their own experiences and inner world. This way there is not one interpretation being imposed on the observers, but rather a wide-open space for reactions and experiences opens to the work in its relation with its audience. Turning a photograph into a painting involves a metamorphosis of perspective: when inquiring into the relationship between the subject and its representation, your work sheds light on the necessity to rethink such relation on an unitary viewpoint: how would you describe the nature of the cohexistence of such often conflictual and ambiguous aspects? In particular, German pioneer of visual arts Gerhard Richter once stated, "my concern is never art, but always what art can be used for": what is your opinion about the functional aspect of Art in the contemporary age?

Art for me is a work of translation to what is, to what exists, into various forms of representations, through diverse mediums, e.g. a photograph that serves as a medium in for itself.

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I believe art should ne accessible to the observer and communicate with his inner world, with the world of emotions and of unconsciousness. That is even if the observer’s inner world, and even more so the outer world surrounding him and the circumstances of his life, are different from those of the artist. My art is an on-going dialogue between the observers, between our emotional spaciousness and worlds and me. The dialogue does not include the ‘imposition’ of one clear and uniform meaning. In the modern age we live in there are various techniques from various mediums at our disposal, so we can use different tools and technologies to process things in a versatile way, turn art into a complex and multilayered experience, and transfer the artistic message with richness and in the most original manner (For example through video art and installations, displays and performances.) I do not believe that the place of art is primarily in an enclosed room of a museum. Art can and should be felt, experienced and integrated in our daily life. Such, for example, some of my works communicate with the world of fashion, and the potential relationship between fashion and the ‘on canvas’ art works. Among other things I printed original artwork on clothing item, and I am currently collaborating with a talented fashion designer who will design a collection incorporating my paintings. This way my art will receive visibility and presence outside galleries and museums – in the daily urban open space. This way my work becomes more accessible and is better communicating with the general public. Not less so, anyone who so chooses

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can actually wear my art, walk with my art and turn it into a material and direct part of their lives. Your paintings are rich of symbols and evokative elements: in particular, when playing with the evokative power of reminders to universal imagery, Broken hearted establishes direct relations with the viewers that goes beyond any conventional symbolism: German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in particular how do you conceive the narrative for your works?

I identify and agree with Thomas Demand’s statement, as I myself believe art today should be more ‘communicative; and synchronize with the modern Western culture, where there are more instant stimulus, fast rhythm and greater straightforwardness than in the past. In my work I try to connect to the modern human soul and investigate how it can be represented and present in the painting. This is, among other reasons, stemming from my attempt to better understand the inner soul and interpersonal psychology, which characterizes life nowadays. In my way of thinking, it is a complex emotional structure, erratic and more divergent than in the past, to the point it sometimes experiences and transfers overwhelming and a fragmented collage of imageries. In my ‘Broken Hearted’ painting I wanted to transfer a story through direct elements. In my attempt to get across the psychological experience of being ‘heartbroken’, I weave into the story recognizable visual motif from the world of anatomy.


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How does it look like? How can one paint such an experience? I used elements from various mediums. The theme is expressed through a collage made of diverse materials: images inspired by photographs from different periods, combined with anatomic elements. The play with the different materials: super polish, acrylic, marker and pen gives further complexity to the story and more layers of meaning and intent. It is a game between glossy and mat, between the realist and the surreal, between reality and imagination. The theme for the narrative is the contradictions, which dwell in our inner world: between the brain representing the analytical and the heart, almost torn off the body, representing the bleeding, eruptive emotions. The tension mounting between the sensuality of the flesh of the frontal image and the hollow skeletons painted in the background, all are meant to express that complex and full of contradictions heartbroken experience. One of the hallmarks of your work is the capability to create an emotional and psychological involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

Creative process for me is a therapeutic journey, and a way to process and understand my own feelings. I tend to use

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artistic techniques and languages that feel right and authentic to the artistic and emotional process I go through at the time of creation. The ‘artistic language’ changes, is diverse and uneven to allow me a broader range and space for expression. Art for m, then, is a way to a tool for ongoing expressions and search of self. As for the audience: I would like to think that art is accessible to them too, and turns to a diverse audience. Among other things, my desire is also to touch the viewer and arise emotional experience, along with the observer’s own interpretation and unique inner world. I believe different techniques and artistic languages touch the audience in a different way and manner each time. The artistic techniques-languages I experience are different ways for me to express and inquire situations and experiences. As art is also a dialogue, I believe the use of different art languages eventually enables telling a story to different viewers, in a more diverse, comprehensive, and precise way. And maybe allow each of the viewers put the story together in their own way. My art, while attempting to touch the viewers and be accessible to them, is not always simple. It often confronts the viewers with elements of fear and dismantling. Still, and maybe because of it, I do not shy away from dealing with such materials in my work and am trying to ‘tell’ them in my own personal way. I believe I do not ‘cut corners’ and make compromises to myself. That is even though my work can be perceived as hard or as bringing unease feelings with the

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observers, such as fear, terror or sadness. It is a meaningful part of what art can and should deal with – giving it shape and framework. I believe this is the way for other people to find an interest in dealing with such materials and confront their own inner world, from their unique perceptive and different point of departure. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Li. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I believe my art will continue to focus, among other things, in my self- observation and inner investigation, and of the ways I translate experiences and emotions onto the canvas. I would like to keep working with maps as a core raw material, to test the different variations which can be created working with maps, and improve my technique. Specifically I am fascinated with investigating the relationship between visual anatomy of the human body and the visualization of geography in maps. Sometimes they too can look like veins, arteries or like different body parts. A future project I am currently preoccupied with is around collaboration with a fashion designer, stemming from the idea of creating wearable art -- ‘Art to Wear.’ In the framework of this project we keep a dialogue on the interesting relationship between plastic art and fashion design. I am truly looking forward to watching the works developed and created out of this dialogue.

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Lives and works in Dallas, USA

An artist's statement

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hen I was four years old, I had a near death experience while having an open heart surgery. My heart stopped beating, my body temperature went low, a heart-lung machine kept me alive. Coming back from that threshold, I knew that opposites are bound together and that I encompass both. It left me fascinated with edges and yearning for meaning. My works are born from that same simultaneous sense of vertigo and stability. They deal with a dichotomous - the realization that one reality can reflect many and there is no one definition. The truth is endlessly evolving and expanding. I try and reconcile conflicts and contradictions such as beauty that encompasses crudeness, weakness as a source of strength and disillusionment that feeds innocence. The early works (“Red Heart”, 2007-09) are naïve drawings of bodies and situations, subtle yet disturbing. Minimalist figures floating in white space. With time, layers appear

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(“Illusions & Reality”, 2010-13). Through intricate drawings and installations I struggle to weave together the past, present and future. Recently I’m fascinated with transformation (“Release”, 2014-15). The Sisyphean process evolved to a new set of rules, which dictates different materials, gestures and speed. The new paintings are large and expressive, made in one continuous session, like an intense ritual. I see my studio as a cross between a womb and a lab. My practice is a tool for understanding myself as well as the world of phenomena around me. My goal is to generate a change that shapes perspectives and actions, thus enabling for something new to occur - symbolically, conceptually and tangibly. I have a distinct feeling that there is something beyond me, a life force, which I can’t put into words but I can channel into art.

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H.C. Turk An interview by Melissa C. Hilborn, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

Hello and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? What among your experiences have mostly influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to video making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

Hello, and thanks for inviting me into the bosom of your aesthetic investigations. My background? I began making art some decades ago: painting, photography, sound art (movies came later). I have never been very good at absorbing influence. Without specific intent, when I began writing fiction, I stopped reading it (for the most part). I think that paraconsciously, I determined that I would progress better without significant external influence beyond which I had already absorbed. The same pertains to the visual arts, especially movie making. I watched a Shirley Temple flick recently, but the work has no bearing on my own. Regarding my cultural substratum (which is of a recluse plying the solitary art lanes), it does indeed inform my work, in a sense unfortunately, because I tend to remain insular regarding my concern for the responses of my potential audience.

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Not showing evident concern for one's audience might be considered inconsiderate, dismissive and lazy, selfcentered, or self-protective. I understand that position. But the mindset doesn't hinder me in my current approach toward art, which is determining what to do next. After all those (39) novels and many many acrylic paintings and scads of digital images and songs and albums and sound art and screenplay adaptations and now videos, what to do next? More of the same? I'm still working on that problem. Your approach to video reveals an incessant search of an organic exploration of the aesthetic and potential of the combination between image and sound: the results convey together a coherent and consistent sense of unity: so before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit https://vimeo.com/hcturk in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your process and set up, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between different disciplines is the only way to express and convey the ideas you explore.

It's strange that so many supposedly innovative movies (works of motion imaging) emphasize the visual or the sound without treating both equally. However, isn't it true that even the


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crappiest conventional films do exactly that? It's meaningless to experience an average Hollywood flick by only listening to the sound or only viewing the imagery. Considering my own work, Dear Idea is literally a music vid, because the sound piece of the same title existed before the video. And though viewing the video without the sound is pointless, the symbiosis here is artificial: the sound generated the visual, not vice versa, and not mutually. "Artificial" in that sense means "stemming from the application of art." How do you relate yourself to emerging techniques and equipments? In particular, do you think that a new kind of equipment could influence the creative process?

Throughout the history of Mankind and its subsidiary, Artness, new technologies and equipment have inspired artists to create work they otherwise would not have envisioned (literally at times, such as microscope photography). A corollary is the rejection of new ways by old artists, such as utilizing film in cinema instead of pixels. Me, I like it easy. I had a darkroom in a previous century and now I am digital. I do not miss film. I scoff at film. Also, I once made quite a mess with acrylic painting, but now I go digital. I scoff at tubes of paint and brushes and palette knives. Ha. Some of this is because I don't like to get my hands dirty. However, there is the problem of paint having a satisfying longevity; whereas digital images tend to evaporate from one's hard drive without any warning or explanation. Oops, there went three weeks of work because global warming evaporated the Cloud.

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We would start to focus on your artistic production starting from Dear Idea, a stimulating work that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article and that can view directly at


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http://vimeo.com/101796987. What has at once caught our attention of it is the way it captures non-sharpness with a universal kind of language, bringing a new level of significance the elusive but ubiquitous relationship between

experience and memory, to create direct relations with the spectatorship: while walking our readers through the genesis of this project, would you shed light on the role of memory in your process? We are particularly interested if you try to

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achieve a faithful translation of your previous experiences or if you rather use memory as starting point to create.

Perhaps I should apologize to viewers for expecting them to remember a snippet in

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the beginning of an artwork (especially my novels) that returns far down the road of experiential art engagement as an "aha" moment. This is true in Dear Idea as well. An example is the approach of an animalistic sound at the


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piece's beginning. At first, the sound is exploratory. Later, it becomes confident, then confrontational. In the end, the same sound develops into an apocalypse. Regarding that particular, memory must explicitly translate initial experience into

ultimate encounter as tempered by time's developmental passage; in parallel, the developmental nuances of return and repetition are experienced as emotion as well as idea. In the greater context of my work, memory and emotion are elemental ideas to be manipulated and exploited during the creative process. Everything is an idea: memory and emotion are among the dearest. In the temporal universe, ideas provide monadic entities with essential identity. Defined as existential essence, ideas are what’s left of us after we take ourselves away. Emotion is a function of awareness, perhaps even an attribute. Emotion is the brain’s selfawareness protocol recognizing effects more than knowledge, basically a set of mechanical, noncognitive provocations whose purpose is to abet the (human) animal in its procedure. Danger triggers acute awareness, the bodily preparation of wide eyes, sensitized hearing, a hardflapping heart. Pleasure is an abstraction encouraging the animal to seek and/or continue beneficial activities such as eating and procreative intercourse. Though seemingly too darn funny to contemplate, humor is no more than a relief-and-recognition sub-function allowing the aware animal to painlessly absorb unavoidable inconsistencies. I feel that emotion is the mind recognizing effects more than knowledge, unlike thought in being related more to experience than examination; for thought is of strict facts, whereas emotion comprises those associated essences and relations that affect the person: body, mind, and soul. Regarding the genesis of Dear Idea, I began with sound. Right after concluding a music album and determining I don’t like my singing, I advanced to the

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retrograde position of eliminating this superfluous component, following in what seemed a perfectly reasonable extension by eliminating music. My replacement for both became sound (neither tonal nor atonal): animal, insect, and other nature sounds along with electronic companions. The ultimate progression was to animate this with visual associations: Upon encountering a scene with an aural theme redolent of quasi-natural sounds from animals that might have never lived and robotic voicings that seem part of the landscape instead of the speaking of its populace, a denouement of silence occurs when sound becomes a sight revealing that the ambience is ultimately human. Your work accomplishes the difficult task of establishing a dialogue surrounding the continuing life of film and analog imaging tools in contemporary visual arts: when highlighting the evocative potential and the emotional contents, you seem to urge us to challenge the relation between our cultural substratum and our limbic perceptual parameters: to quote Simon Sterling's words, this could force things to relate that would probably otherwise be unrelated. Do you agree with this interpretation? And in particular, what is the creative role that chance plays in your approach?

Forcing (maybe "coercing") the art spectator to confront new, ad hoc relations is part of the art game to those of us playing in left field. What does the cry of a wolf have to do with the static portrait of a bee? Nothing until the artist presents the relationship. The intended and/or ultimate meaning behind these new relationships is part of the creative process. And though the elements are explicit (picture of bug, sound of wolf),

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the manner in which they relate is abstracted and evocative (more than vague). The emotions elicited will vary from spectator to spectator, and in that sense are unpredictable because they stem from individuals, not because they are generated by chance. In my work,


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chance is a disrespected underling I shun. I'm too much of a fastidious control freak to utilize chance. Another interesting work of yours that has particularly impressed us and on which we would like to spend some

words is entitled Inventing The Real and can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/137967330. We have appreciated the way you play with reminders to symbolic characters belonging to universal imagery as Willy Billy and Bonny Bunny: German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand

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once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? What is the role of symbols in your work?

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Willy Billy and Bonny Bunny are examples of the symbolic strategy that creates with them universal innocents becoming worldly not through victimization, but through accepting and even exploiting negative influences they could not avoid, but should not have repeated. As soon as


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adventures of Willy Billy, the gingerbread boy, and Bonny Bunny, the rabbit babe: animated entities who lose their innocence by creating racism, romance, and reality.) To the greater world of the audience, the results are symbolic, pertaining to all of us not made of cookie crumbs and rabbit fur. In the movie, however, the effects are literal. When inquiring into the expansion of our understanding of what is possible in time-based practice, you seem to urge the viewers to rethink to the notion of time and space on an unitary viewpoint: how would you describe the nature of the coexistence of such aspects? In particular, German pioneer of visual arts Gerhard Richter once stated, "my concern is never art, but always what art can be used for": what is your opinion about the functional aspect of Art in the contemporary age?

innocence absorbs an attack, it becomes either injury or maturity. But there's a great difference between symbolism and symbolic strategies. Current artists rarely rely on symbolism because the audience is tired of that lazy, vague baloney. (Logline for Inventing The Real: The

No one has envisioned a new purpose for art in one zillion years. Since the first cavemen invented music by creating sounds as they tumbled stones down a hillside (rock & roll), artists have applied their objects and ideas to all forms of human endeavor. A classicist, however, might balk, insisting that the goal of aesthetic production is to manifest art's most important social function: providing beauty, which cannot be expressed in the culture of political protest. The work of this type of classicist protests against the falseness of spurious fashion. Their politics reject democracy's failure in promoting mediocrity as palatable while excluding excellence as elitist. They seek an elitist intimacy that compels extended sight, the deliberation of beauty viewed, beauty envisioned.

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One of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to create a direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

The direct involvement you mention (which is called "thinking") is readily provided by an audience who expect to actively participate in art. This participation is beyond mainstream involvement that only requires a stomach that will flutter and a heart that will pound while watching body parts fly across the silver screen. To expand upon my previous admission regarding audiences (for my own work), I have lost contact. That is a nice way of saying I have abandoned them as part of my decision-making process during art creation. I'm not trying to be inconsiderate, but I don't consider them. I'd be a liar to say I create art only for myself, because if that were true, I would keep everything private. But here we are, all together. Apart from that, I don't have to consider an audience in the sense of accommodating how they will absorb what I offer. Anyone interested in my work enjoys thinking, which is the unique mark of humanity. Bunnies and people poop, but the former can't think—unless they're in my movie. But that isn't real, despite the title; it's symbolic. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? Where do you see yourself and your work going in the future?

I am honored to share this time with you; please accept my gratitude. What's next for me in the way of art? As mentioned earlier, that's hard to figure. I have just completed another experimental animation/sound piece, and am plotting the creation of another. After that, I plan to write another screenplay, one for adults of all ages. But that's another story.

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P 覺nar Kurt Lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey

An artist's statement

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refer to called myself as an 'EMOTIONAL CONSTRUCTOR' These artworks related with my vision about constructive spaces and their feelings. I believe that, the structures where we are live in (it can be a house or a body) have a sharp

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and disciplinary forms. However, our feelings, acts and facts in these structures, adversely, have a organic and undefined forms. Generally, this component creates my artwork concept. P覺nar Kurt www.pinarkurt.com https://www.instagram.com/pinarix/


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Pınar Kurt An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

Artist Pinar Kurt defines her self as Emotional Constructor: her intringuing work is deply related with her personal vision about constructive spaces and walks the viewers into the liminal area in which symbolism and rigorous geometry find unexpected points of convergence: her approach rejects any conventional classification and crosses the elusive boundary that defines the area of perception from the realm of imagination, creating a multilayered involvement with the viewers. One of the most convincing aspect of Kurt's practice is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of creating a deep and autonomous synergy between our limbic parameters and our rational categories: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her multifaceted artistic production. Hello Pinar and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that particularly influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum dued to your Turkish roots inform the way you relate yourself to the aesthetic problem?

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My background is strictly graphical. I graduated from Bilkent University, Graphic Design Department. But of course my relationship between forms, shapes, architecture and phsycology comes from my early ages. On the other hand, I am a creative director in İstanbul. So my designer part also effects my thinking process as a visual artist. I think that being creative director in advertising agency, taught me a lot of things over the years. The most important one is probably the importance of being creative. It also gave me all the tools I needed to keep my art career up to date. When I look at my evolution stages; first of all, deep inside (because this is the thing that I really know) I am very passionate about collecting images, forms which are very irrelevant each other. I feel myself as 'image collector' most of time. I am also interested in collage technique which I create from different forms, thus creating a new whole. Since childhood, I remember using college technique with unconscious way and I was very pleased to see the 'contrast of harmony' and i’m always in love with well-thought, clean cut, sharp geometric forms including perspective lines and soft forms which are designed by nature; liquids, movements of air and consequently appearing designs.


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On the other hand, my spiritual part is very important for my works. Becouse I SENSE the form's power sensually and i also sense 'emotions' graphically. What I mean is; we see forms but we also sense emotions of the forms, because forms always give some expression to the viewer. In my works for example, the house has a construction that you can relate to the body. Louise Bourgeois, for example, made lots of drawings of the body as a house. That’s why, ‘forms’ or

‘constructions’ not only related with architecture. The form which I created in constructed way is sometimes a metaphor. However, forms also transform into another forms by people. People transform forms in two ways; physically (as we know) and emotionally (as I believe). Structures we live in, can change not only our physical sensations, but also our

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social and emotional expectations, as structure and people disappear from view and our sense of place is disrupted by an improbable curtain. So I want to put it together in complex, layered picture of the place where we live and the dynamic systems through which it is continually reshaped. When I am thinking about the structures, I began with form. Because, structures are occurred from combination of forms. This combination, in modern era, is graphically sharp.

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And when I come to the third question; talking about Turkey and its effects to my works; we can really talk about urban sprawl. Caotic urbanization, repetitive and prototype structures which has no reflection of people occupy them has been surrounding me since my childhood. The only evidence about life in these forms were the lights in the windows. There is no possibility to capture any information of the occupants except the laundry hung on the balcony. This is the


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only relation between the structure and people in my country. So this situation where closed constructions systems and minimal reflections of human life has effected my subconscious.

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This resulted in me questioning, searching for answers of whether is it possible that buildings are not only places where people live, but also something they can enjoy, cry or express themselves? How can architecture mirror


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the fast changing cultural patterns and lifestyles of a society witnessing accelerated urbanization? From that point of view; the interactive relations between contemporary art and contemporary architecture bring about a brand-new concept of art, i think.

With the complex interactions between man and the environment around him comes a new outlook on architecture and its aesthetics. So the audience recognize the various forms and cultural values of contemporary art through the

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comprehensive sensory experience of watching, listening, touching and thinking. Your work coherently encapsulates both ink, acrylic, paper and canvas: the

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results convey together a coherent and consistent sense of geometrical harmony and unity, that rejects any conventional classification. While walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you


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have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between opposite viewpoints as well as different techniques is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

Technically, there is no place for the second layer. Visually I find my works adequately layered and caotic. This is why I try to keep simple as I can in

production process. At least I am in this mood now. But of course I am willing to add third dimension in my future works including variety of materials, different collages. Ultimately, I am willing to create multidisciplinary projects, interactive structures where emotions turning into forms, etc‌.

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When we first happened to get to know your artistic production, the rigorous sense of geometry that pevades your works has reminded us of Manfred Pernice pieces and what has at once caught our attention of your approach is the way you accomplish the difficult task of establishing a channel of communication between the subconscious sphere and the conscious one, to unveil the manifold nature of human perceptual categories. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a

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

Although art came to be understood as an expression of the artist’s ‘self’, this pursuit resulted in what appeared to be art’s disengagement from social and political concerns and its retreat into esoteric and idealist aspirations. You know, there are two types of artists, those who conceptualize what they experience and want to express, and

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those who express the experience of feeling deeply connected to their world. By its nature, the second kind of artistic expression takes place in the present moment, without reference to the past or the future. I believe that, the impulse, the desire to communicate, is present. The potential is percolating in our minds. Then the words emerge from within us. We speak with our own voice and what we say feels like truth, like a deep rumble beneath the

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earth, like piercing sunlight. It is our experience. If we begin with an open, receptive, curious, attentive mind, free of judgment and the desire to interpret, the impulse to express will flow through us, vibrating with possibility. From this openness, unconditional expression is born expression process, may not be the beginning. It may be the middle. I have to find my way through it, but always while staying out of the way so it can unfold. It is a calibration. You are


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calibrating yourself so that whatever it is that you want to express is lined up with being in the present moment. As you have remarked once, your work is related with your vision about constructive spaces and their feelings and we daresay that it could be considered as visual translation of the abstract notion of shape. This brings to a new level of significance the relationship between experience and memory, to create direct relations with

the spectatorship: What is the role of memory in your process? We are particularly interested if you try to achieve a faithful translation of your previous experiences or if you rather use memory as starting point to create.

My starting point to create my works always comes from 'emotions'. I listen to myself and my emotions then my conscious come afloat.

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P覺nar Kurt


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Actually, what matters is the feelings & emotions I keep inside is the starting point of my creatives, not the events or the individual occurances in daily life. It is what the feelings that remain… For instance; I have a work I call ‘telephone call’. The work consists, the feelings remaining from the actual telephone conversation. The caoticness, the feeling of the overall conversation. It reflects the organic forms of the feelings. How do you use the creative potential of chance in your process? How do your ideas change in the while you conceive your works and you finally get the final results?

In many ways. First, solid constructions are expressed differently from their usual appearance, all the forms are shaped by my perception. I harmonize the geometric forms with perspective and organic forms. Sometimes I harmonize them by breaking the usual appearance by reshaping the geometric rules. On the other hand, when harmonizing two odds I integrate my subconscious and go with the flow. The final feeling is designed on paper through the process of harmonizing visual outcome. When inquiring into the blurred dichotomy between memory and visual signs, your work sheds light on the necessity to rethink such erratic concepts on an unitary viewpoint: how would you describe the nature of the cohexistence of such often conflictual and ambiguous aspects? In particular, German pioneer of visual arts Gerhard Richter once stated, "my concern is never art, but always what art can be used for": what is your opinion about

the functional aspect of Art in the contemporary age?

I believe in the depth of mind and its strength. There has always been a trigger for me to think in depth. Some are art pieces which affect me deeply. Artists not just with their work but the influence the audience with their acts and life sytles. Mind has to work in different dimentions to fulfill its use and capacity. Todays art draws the audience out of their comfort zone and enables them to re-think and question the life in multidisciplinary way. Also I strongly believe that; art can serve as a form of critique—reframing, redefining, or disrupting traditional ideas and expectations about art and/or society, such as beauty, originality, representation, and authority. Contemporary art often gives an unexpected twist to the known world and thus opens new horizons. Precisely the special, repulsive, disrupting and the elusive element in contemporary art intrigues people. And I think it inspires people to think about who you are and about principles for your own life. To get the best out of mind and conscious you need a trigger, something like a match to activate the potential inside. Art is definitely one of the triggers. Your pieces invite the viewers to independently question the meaning of contemporary art, what constitutes art and what defines an artist. What are your personal motivations, if any, that keep you going as an artist and excite you when you are working on projects or individual pieces?

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Like any other I live a routine daily life. I have taught behaviours, necessities, musts, and a social life. Besides all these I have a ideas, feelings observations which I cannot pass on to others. When you seclude all above remaining is me:) The

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main motivation is this: ‘facing myself’. Getting in conscious and subconscious me all the senses and feelings leaving traces in my memory. Ability to create the attraction of the discomfort from the harmony of forms


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which express a strong feeling is my major motivation and gusto. What are your current influences in the studio, and more historically speaking, do you situate your work within the traditions of abstraction?

I believe that, contemporary structures, literally, what is being created and produced right now is dynamic, meaning it’s constantly changing. It can be quite eclectic for this reason- it isn’t tied down

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to one specific style- it’s of the moment and borrows bits and pieces form a variety of styles and eras. When I look at the today’s contemporary structures; unique forms are all about showcasing individuality and personal style. In addition to this, unique forms often take center stage in contemporary space. You know, Abstract art is a collection of shapes, colors, and textures that are arranged to create a mood that is within us. It is like our brain, which has a conscious and a subconcscious- the subconscious would represent the abstract art. Every mark has meaning and it is very personal and unique.

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So I take undistorted visual information which they can known by other people and recreate these images with a keen sense of observation. I am making abstract art, but I wanted to simplfy the selection of materials, and to use them in a very economical way. Black and white. This is where I begin. An abstract. A simple deep effect. It looks complex it is really rather simple. My influence can be anything I see, music I listen to, a feeling I go through, or a look. There is no abstraction method I consciously use.


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Pinar Kurt


Pınar Kurt

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One of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to create a direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

I’m not sure I fully understand this question, but I’ll try and respond to the main point, which I understand the concern the gap between artists and participants. Yes. I think that the issue of audience perception is very important for my creative process, but in different way it might seem. The British critic Dave Beech has argued for distinction between participation and collaboration: participants are subject to the parameters of the artist’s project, while collaboration involves co-authorship and decisions over key structural features of the work. So if I take all the personal stuff out of an idea, it’s no longer just a private thing. You have to transform it to shift these ideas to another perspective for things to become a kind of universal So I make it for me, and through this for others, but not everyone. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Pinar. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

For me art has no boundaries. Now, I paint in both ink and acrylic, mainly on paper and canvas, but I can also express myself in a variety of mediums.

Because€I deal with architecture, nature, psychology, geometry and viewer’s perceptions thereof within all my work. That’s why; I believe I can expand my works to many different areas. Especially; collaborations in experimental or conceptual architecture. I am sure there is much more to accomplish in human&construction relation, to integrate solid and lifestyles. A big challenge is; creating a line where I discover the endless forms, their relativity to human life and their effects to eachother.. And finally, I have a project which I want to create binary relationships between showing and being shown for a live environment of sound and image where people could explore and create their own experiences. The empty space always would respond to the participation of the visitor and transform itself in myriad ways. Through the experience of being visual artist, I am continuously learning about myself and about my potential to express myself.€Art is a practice, it is an art. It takes a long time. I am always open to new collaborations. So keep in touch please and follow my works from instagram account and my website about the future happenings and works. Thank you for the comprehensive interview. An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

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A ivars Kisnics lives and works in Liepaya, Latvia

An artist's statement

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ivars Kisnics’s oil on canvas paintings are multilayered abstractions featuring abrupt changes in texture, fragmentation and traces of the expressive subliminal impulse. Formerly a ship navigator, Kisnics’s special relationship to the sea - where he spent most of his adult professional life - is a focal point of his creative work. The meeting of sea and sky or ‘horizon’ appears as a reoccurring trope in his works, as well as an emphasis on the interaction between horizontal and vertical lines. Through variegated and fully topographical surfaces Kisnics

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employs water-like imagery along with a host of abundant associations: life and regeneration; erosion and decay; danger; the unknown; and the spiritual. These works are at once sea and vessel, storm and ship, water and ether. Born in Madona, Latvia, Aivars Kisnics attended the Maritime College and spent most of his adult life navigating ships on the Baltic Sea. Now retired, he currently resides in Liepaja where he has been painting for over ten years.

Aivars Kisnics


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Aivars Kisnics An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Melanie F. Brown, curator articulaction@post.com

Artist Aivars Kisnics's work accomplishes an insightful investigation into the evokative power of abstract patterns he rigorously combines with intense nuances of tones. Despite he is a prolific painter, each of his works conveys a unique identity and is marked out with autonomous aesthetics, that urges the viewers to elaborate personal associations. One of the most captivating aspects of Kisnics's approach is the way it incorporates both emotion and balance to trigger memory and imagination: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to his stimulating and multifaceted artistic production. We would give our welcome to Aivars Kisnics to ARTiculAction with a couple of introductory questions. To start this interview would you tell us something about your background? As a basically self-taught artists, what among your remarkable experiences have influenced the way you conceive your works? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

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Thank you for the question and for your time. First of all, I’d like to start the interview saying that I absolutely do not have an art education, but I do have only marine education. I have been lucky to spend my free time at the city museum since the early childhood, because my aunt was working there. About my interest in art during the following years, I kept in touch with renovator Girts Kulberg. He “introduced” me art the artists of Liepaja of 70’s and 90’s. Since I remember myself, I have been painting with pencils, watercolors, gouache and around the year of 2005 I started to work with oil paints. With oil paints I painted nudes, flowers, landscapes, sea views and one when I felt that my work was not good enough I painted over new layers of paint and unwittingly abstraction in my life was born. I found it very interesting and started to experiment on colors and paints what I am doing until this present moment. I think, if I would have an art education, I would stick to particular rules and therefore would never be brave enough to make experiments like this. We would suggest to our readers to visit http://aivarskisnics.com in order to get a synoptic view of your work,


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that conveys a consistent sense of unity rejecting any conventional classification: you are a prolific artist and the way you unveil the expressive potential the combination between intense tones and abstract patterns draws the viewers into a multilayered journey. While walking our readers through the usual genesis your works, would you shed light on your main source of inspiration?

It’s a difficult and deeply question for me. I need to start with my personal story to explain my main source of inspiration. My mother was a dressmaker and my father was a technitian on a ship. In 1975 i did get a profession of a Navigator.I did develop my career further into a captain of the fishing ship on 1980 and the main working area was the Baltic Sea. In 1999 I retired and worked as a captain on a pilot boat in the port of Liepaja in Latvia. My intense inspiration was surely the sea, his movements, his lines, his contours and his colors. I spend all of my time seeing and painting the sea and the horizons. What has at once captured our attention of your works is the way their autonomous aesthetics communicates a successful attempt to transform tension to harmony, and it's really captivating. How do you begin the abstract paintings?

When I start to paint, I never know what will be the result; in each of my painting there are from ten to thirty layers of paint. It’s not the same artistic process, but my emotions lead the artworks. My

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abstract paintings follow the sea lines and the emotion that I fell in that moment. It is quite often when after month I remake the already finished


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painting just because there is

that I spent twenty four hours on. About

something I do not like in it. There are

the technical aspects, the important for

paintings that were made in two hours

me is the consistence of paints.

for example, and there are paintings

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Your paintings seem to sum up both spontaneity and careful attention to the global balance of the painting: abstract art often evokes emotions through composition and color: would

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you tell us how you use color and composition to evoke emotion in your pieces?


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and color themes that are close to my heart at the moment. I prefer to keep them me certain things. While exhibiting a captivating vibrancy, your paintings often to reject an explicit explanatory strategy: rather, you seem to invite the viewer to find personal interpretations to the feelings that you convey into your paintings... this quality marks out a considerable part of your production, that are in a certain sense representative of the relationship between emotion and perception. What is the role of memory in your process? And in particular, do you try to achieve a faithful visual translation of your feelings?

Sure. Basically the role of memory is important for me during my creative process because I keep in my mind that landscapes and certain feelings that I have seen and I continue to see every day. My perceptions are always different and give my personal interpretation about my thoughts. I am really pleased and excited to invite the viewer to find personal interpretations, and in the meantime, I’d like to know the feelings, what my artworks evoke. Normally I paint following my sensations and I don’t think to involve the audience, I am really unaware. I am sorry, but to be completely honest is impossible to give concrete comments because I make my works spontaneously depending on my mood

Your abstract paintings are rich of evokative patterns that allow you to establish direct relations with the viewers, in a way that goes beyond any conventional symbolism: German multidisciplinary artist Thomas

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Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements

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within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in particular how do you conceive the visual unity of your works?


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I perfectly agree with this philosophy. It’s my belief because I think that nowadays everything about the art world has been

conceived and imagined. Doesn’t exist symbolic strategies anymore and you could leave your track doing something different. The psychological and narrative elements

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within your medium could be an opportunity to be original and authentic. We noticed that red is quite recurrent in your canvass and we have

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appreciated its thoughtful nuances that seem to speak of passion as well as of a sense of greater expression: Is it important that your audience could recognize what you want them to see


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in your works? How important is interpretation to you?

The red you have seen in my works is a strong color for me and symbolize the expressive strength, energy that lead my hands when I paint something.

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Everyone want to see and recover itself and each person give a personal interpretation about my works. Any interpretations for me are meaningful because help me to deeply understand my paintings and unknown sensations that I could infuse. Dealing with your influence, if any, how important were modern western movements to your personal practice? Are there any particular artists like Willem de Kooning or Jackson Pollock that may have informed your process?

I was interested in art since school time, did partecipate in drawing as well as photography competitions and was awarded with state-wide certificates. Sincerely, I think that my works they were influenced by some of the most expressionist artists like Willem de Kooning or Jackson Pollock. Many people ask me if I have been influenced from Pollock, but I am not sure about it, because my works are completely different. I share with Pollock the unconscious gesture, the spontaneous and automatic action and I can feel the emotions and communicate with my artwork. To be inside my painting. Over these years your works have been internationally showcased in several occasions, including shows in New York, Moskow and London. One of the hallmarks of your work is the capability to create an emotional and psychological involvement with the viewers, swho are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So

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before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

I think the audience reception is an important component of the creation


Reagan Lake

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process, because you could learn more through people that appreciate your artwork, but is not essential. Therefore, you could use any type of artistic language, because the essential is your mood, your feelings following your heart in that moment. During my creation I don’t think anything, but I need to be concentrated, careful, just give my best.

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

Surely I will continue to follow my inspiration to broad my horizons and we will see what happens in the future!

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