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Anniversary Edition

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Moment, 2015 Installation by Ritchard Allaway


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Veronica Dragnef

Myrte van der Molen

Andrey Ustinov

Naomi Middelmann

Piotr Pandyra

KC Tidemand

Canada

The Netherlands

Russia / Germany

Switzerland

Poland

USA

We live in a world made from visual contents, the streets are flooded with advertisements telling the viewer what is the ideal merchandise, what is beautiful and what is socially acceptable, photography as a medium lets people see the ideal world through the lens. As spanish photographer Joan Fontcuberta said, " Every photograph is a fiction with pretensions to truth. Despite everything that we have been inculcated, all that we believe, photography always lies; it lies instinctively, lies because its nature does not allow it to do anything else." So, this portfolio is a reminder of all the things photography can do as a tool to provide a different perspective on our own society.

The codes are hidden as if they are a secret. When I was younger it felt like the others knew the rules and I didn’t, good thing I liked my own rules better anyways. But when you don’t know the rules you can’t communicate. I had to learn.

Process of it’s perceiving. To make the perception visible and/or hearable, I assemble image or soundreproduction constructions out of context-specific components. These constructions become technical extensions of the natural senses. A heartbeat becomes a drum (Heart Dance), a mouth becomes a loudspeaker (Medium), ears become a TV antenna (The Mobile Séance). Secondary Art is a recycling of overproduction. Each piece of art can be socially useful when it is made a public utility: an old telephone box transforms into a lantern (The Luminous Box), a broken solar fountain becomes a public outlet (Plug-in Fountain) and an artist’s piss becomes a movie screen (Narcissus).

Naomi Middelmann’s

As far as I can remember I have always been interested in fabric and its unlimited possibilities. In the first stage of my artistic experiences I focused my attention mainly on designing clothes and technological realization of the project. Clothes and the fabric are the material grown together with the human body and its everyday rituals. In the first place, I've been fascinated by intimacy of the projects I've been working on. In my art practice I try to break traditional methods and create paying attention particularly to formal variety and each of the following projects becomes for me a separate ideological and technological task. I've exchanged classical drawing tools for untypical ones such as a needle and a sewing machine.

How can root and fungal formations teach us how to become better citizens, to escape the normative molds that restrict our creative and empathetic qualities? This question is at the heart of my art practice. It forms itself around a two-part construction, firstly of visualizing the power structures that arise from a stratified knowledge production, and secondly, in manipulating these systems. Such power structures are found physically, through architecture and natural topography; psychologically, through cultural norms and immaterially, through the virtual world of the internet. They affect us by shaping our collective and individual behavioral patterns, but we in turn affect them. We traverse these networks in and out, like a needle weaving itself within a grid of threads, and sometimes we can manipulate these systems, causing a paradigm shift in the social fabric.

Now I know and now I might even have become a little expert in these social codes and rules. It fascinates me and it is my obsession. I want to know all the rules and master them. I want to master them so well that I can even play with the rules and in this way create my own freedom. As an artist I take this life long obsession and use art as a form to even examine this further and to share my fascination.

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work explores the theme “displaced." The definition being something or somebody being moved or put out of the usual and proper place because of necessity, choice or by external forces. By combinating and juxtapositing disparate images, formats, forms, surfaces and textures her work opens up new experiences in which space, time and place are displaced from their usual context. In this way, she puts into question our sense of perception and of identity. Middelmann refuses to limit herself to one medium. She draws, paints, sculpts and assembles as a multi faceted exploration of the theme.


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live and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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KC Tidemand lives and works in New York City, USA

Piotr Pandyra

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lives and works in Cracow, Poland

Claudia Dorninger-Lehner 78 lives and works in Perchtoldsdorf, Vienna, Austria

Ritchard Allaway

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lives and works in Stockton-On-Tees, England

Andrey Ustinov Helena Teixeira Rios

Ritchard Allaway

Claudia Dorninger-Lehner

Brazil

United Kingdom

Austria

There are no possible ways we could possibly express our consciousness and besides that our memories are involuntary. Thus there are no stories, no realities, there are only sensations and feelings. This photo essay has been devised and developed from the sensations and tensions found in Francis Bacon´s work. He intends to neutralize the storytelling, the illus- tration and the figuration. In this work, we present images I have taken using a scanner table. Rubbing my head on the scanner glass, I copied my face several times. The members were added or deleted provoking disfigurements with the intention of creating “volatile” images, which go dissipating, mixing with or deconstructing my face.

At present my practice is based in installation that encompasses the use of fluorescent light as its main medium of projection. The material/immaterial of artificial light I use to explore the relationships that can occur between objects, subjects and space. For me these encounters evoke a hypnotic and thought provoking experience that demands greater material and conceptual investigation. This research into how my audience engages with an aesthetical, sensorial, experience drives meditative dialogue through the occurring relationships. The contemporary Sublime plays an important role throughout my practice, as it questions our knowledge of knowing our place within space.

Perception and apperception of architecture in the context of time: What exactly do we see during the lapse of time we perceive as the present? What would a picture look like that melds all visual impressions of the time span we experience as the present? The photos constitute the attempt to give answers to these questions and to detect new artistic and emotional qualities in the aggregation of different perceptual images. The intention is to trigger a deliberate contemplation of how we see the world. Usually we only experience our visually registered surroundings as one of the many possibilities of a reality that appears different to everyone and we never capture the reality itself.

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lives and works in Cologne, Germany

Naomi Middelmann

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lives and works in Lousanne, Switzerland

Veronica Dragnef

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lives and works in Brossard, Canada

Helena Teixeira Rios

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lives and works in Belo Horizonte, Brazil On the cover Moment, 2015, Installation a work by Ritchard Allaway

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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M yrte van der Molen Lives and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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he codes are hidden as if they are a secret. When I was younger it felt like the others knew the rules and I didn’t, good thing I liked my own rules better anyways. But when you don’t know the rules you can’t communicate. I had to learn.

Now I know and now I might even have become a little expert in these social codes and rules. It fascinates me and it is my obsession. I want to know all the rules and master them. I want to master them so well that I can even play with the rules and in this way create my own freedom. As an artist I take this life long obsession and use art as a form to even examine this further and to share my fascination. Trough taking my own experience and using my surroundings I create experiments, invent solutions or search for meaning and answers.

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To make myself understood and to understand myself video, sound, photography, performance, sculpture etc. are a perfect way to make my experiences concrete. Once the idea is solid I can explore this further and further until something is created that I couldn’t have predicted on forehand. Why are we so depending on these rules? Wouldn’t it be so much more interesting if situations could be unpredictable because we would do what we want, regardless of the long-term goals? Humans are civilized but what I miss is our instincts and true feelings. I feel that all the rules and codes cause us having to give up our freedom. We must be able to do and say what we want even if this is not socially desirable. Myrte van der Molen


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Myrte van der Molen An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

Multidisciplinary artist Myrte van der Molen creates experiments, invents solutions or search for meaning and answers. Her works draws the viewers through an unconventianl and multilayered experience: in her recent project I want to be selfish again that we'll be discussing in the following pages she urges us to recontextualize the notions of Self in relation to the social rules that mark out our unstable contemporary age. One of the most impressive aspects of van der Molen's work is his successful attempt to trigger the viewers' most limbic parameters, to challenge their perceptual categories: we are really pleased to introduce our readers to her multifaceted artistic production. Hello Myrte, thanks for joining us and 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 graduated from St. Joost Academy of Art in Breda with your short documentary "OUT OF MY HEAD". During your studies you did a minor Fine Arts at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design in Norway. How do these experiences influenced your evolution as an artist? 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 having me and the great introduction. Studying at the AKV|St. Joost in Breda, The Netherlands and studying at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design (Norway) have both been a very big influence in my life and work. I think this is unavoidable when you are studying arts. At the AKV|St. Joost I studied Film. My class first consisted of 30 students which eventually slimmed down to 11 students. Our group was super close in the end. A funny fact is that I am sure my classmates knew more about me than my parents and best friends at a certain point. A lesson could exist out of talking about the subject of your film or your ideas. But this especially in my case is always personal and can get very emotional. You really dig into your own personality, life and view on society to form your vision as an artist / film maker. I think that, without this study I would have been an other person. I feel like I have really gotten to know myself in those years. I don't think I would have been anywhere close to the way of thinking that I behold now. In Norway the experience was much more about experimenting outside of only Film. My teachers rather called me an Artist than a Filmmaker. I was in Norway to leave my comfortable surroundings and to jump into the unknown to see what I could do in Fine Arts. I also wanted to challenge myself


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by putting myself in a very insecure social situation of knowing no one and not knowing the surroundings. I was never fully conscious about my background of social issues being the reason why I ended up at AKV/St. Joost to study film. I always loved film but I didn’t really know why. From the start, I was making projects including the subject of socially desirable behaviour, without knowing I was doing so.The funny thing is: when you are experimenting in the beginning of your artistic development you do a lot out of instinct. It is only when you look back and add things up you are being confronted with something that was apparently down there and is inspiring or frustrating you. My experience is; there is always a reason why you make art or why you ended up making art. It was not only the form of film that intrigued bye, but also my opinion and the ability to form a story from there From that point on once I found my vision and positioning in art and film. I could dig deeper in my projects and achieve finding focus. For me, the whole process is something that influences both me and my work. The difference between those two aspects isn't that big. They go hand in hand. This can be difficult because you can not rest or let go of your work. But, because of this you have to love it and find a way to make it positive even when the theme or subject is hard. This is as well a very big learning experience that is playing a big part in my life. Your practice is marked out with a multidisciplinary approach and your work involves both video, sound and

photography. The results convey together a coherent and consistent sense of unity: before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.myrtevandermolen.nl 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 approach is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

For me it started all with film because this was my lifelong obsession since I was a little kid. But I soon started to realize once I started my studies that sometimes another form can tell the story just as good or better. I really like to immediately start once I have an idea. Once I have an idea or concept for a work I rather experiment than to make some perfect idea and realize it. For me it works the best if I don’t know what will come out of an idea. And I think if I limit myself to only film that would be less exciting. My teachers said more than once “You are not a filmmaker but an artist.”. At first I really didn’t like this because I was studying film and it felt like they were saying I wasn’t in the right place. But what they meant is that video art or other disciplines, were more fitting to my experimental working method was matching my experimenting working method better. Most of the time, my concepts don’t have a linear story telling. When I was making film it was sometimes hard to find a good structure with a strong beginning, suspense and ending. With my short documentary

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“OUT OF MY HEAD” with which I graduated, I challenged myself to do the thing I was not the best in doing. Luckily I found an editor;“Jose van Koppenhagen” who helped me with finding a good structure. During the making of 'out of my head', I was very dedicated to research the possibility of making a short documentary in an experimental way. I don’t like it when there are rules and structures which you have to follow. This limits the experiment in my opinion. Therefor, a multidisciplinary approach suits me better. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected I want to be selfish again, an interesting video that demonstrates social attachments to take social rules into your own hands and 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 inquiry into the sphere of social rules is the way it triggers the viewers' perceptual parameters to rethink the notion of self: when walking our readers through the genesis of this project, we would like to ask you how did you deelope the initial idea.

After I graduated with my documentary “OUT OF MY HEAD” I missed my experimental short video’s so I wanted to make one of those again, like I did a lot during my studies. The theme of my documentary had to do with socially desirable behavior; how free are we really?, how much have social rules influenced me? Etc. These questions form for a big part me as a Filmmaker and I could never find the answers in one

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documentary. I will probably have these questions my whole life and I will probably examine them further and further. In my documentary, I focussed on the training for social skills that I participated in as a kid. The reason I made the documentary was because I always felt that since I did this training I wasn’t my free self anymore. But I knew as well that these social skills had brought me a lot of practical advantages in life. I was asking myself for a whole year; “Was the training good or not good?” “Are social rules good or not good?” “Would it have been better to have stayed unknowing?”. After focussing so much on these questions I was it bit done with it. I don’t like to focus on negative things too much. I wanted to find a solution. So I let my fantasy on a free loop. What would I like the world to be like? What would I like to do the most in these social situations? After this I gave myself and the project some space and there was some time in between. After this period I found an old notebook from my first year at the art academy. In my notebook, I found a drawing of a cap that had a curtain that could roll down over someones face, as well as a drawing of a backpack with a big curtain to pull over yourself to make your body disappear. These concepts had been an assignment for my 3D subject to make an attachment to give the human an extra skill. I remember the teacher telling us to think of animal behaviour. I knew that in certain social situations I don’t like it when I feel conscious of myself and I think people are watching what I am doing. A kameleon can make

herself disappear / less visible. That is what I was trying to do here. Thereby I had to think of one of my first films which made me love film “Harry potter and the philosopher's stone” where Harry had a invisible cloak. This is how I came up the the backpack with the fabric. Funny thing is I didn’t make both of these attachments. I chose to make something else because I also can not stand certain sounds (I think I might have misophonia). So I made a special system so you could filter all sounds and still hear the sounds you wanted. Bottom line is when i saw these drawings and I got very excited and felt like I had to still make them. So after graduating four years later I ended up making something I thought of in my first year. This confirms the unconscious / instinctively part of an artist for me about what I talked earlier. An artist even a beginning one has a voice only you have to get conscious and get to know it. I then came to the idea to make more of these kind of attachments as an solution for the social situations that I don’t like. I wanted to make it simple and just instruct or show people the attachments. It almost could be a commercial for the object. When questioning the notion of Self in our unstable contemporary age, I want to be selfish again accomplishes an interesting process of deconstruction that captures non-sharpness, going beyond the elusive relationship between experience and identity in our globalized mundanity. 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

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creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

For me my personal experience makes this a true source and I know from out of this starting point I can research more and make my approach bigger. I like it when a personal issue becomes a bigger social issue so that it isn’t only about me but about everyone. If I wouldn’t have had my personal experience in this subject I would not have had the direct deep urge to make this video. As well as the vision I show in my video, this really comes forth out of my whole life. For me this video is a deep layered personal project and I could never have made this without that history. But maybe in other projects of course you can tell a story without having the direct experience because you can show your vision on a subject. Only in this case that would have been hard, it would have been a totally other project then. Your approach induce the viewers re-elaborate their personal substratums and the universal imagery that you subvert to create a an effective non linear narrative. 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 visual and rhythmic narrative for your works? The psychological, narrative elements in art that Thomas Demand speaks about are for me the very interesting part in a

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work. Only using the form and material research wouldn’t be enough for me. I understand his statement especially because there is already so much art. If you want to make something in which you can discover and come to new findings in art, you have to do something more that what is already done. For me the psychological part really adds another layer. Sometimes when you see a work of art you love it and you read the text next to it and then you hate it or you love it even more. I think this a good example for if this statement good be right or wrong. Sometimes a work of art doesn’t need that extra layer of research because it can just touch you by only it’s form. But sometimes the psychological, narrative elements and the whole story behind it can add so much to a work that this is essential. For me the rhythmic narrative is more in line with the way I develop my work and how a project comes about. The feeling, concept or ongoing research that I am most of the time busy with while working on a project, suits an experimental form better than a linear way of storytelling. Most of the time there isn’t a red thread that is going towards one answer in the process of my work. It is much more in waves and I want to be open for every experiment during my process. I think the rhythmic narrative symbolizes the waves here. I think the process is much more interesting than the result or answer. Therefore I rather show this than that we only work towards the end. Your work accomplishes an uceoventional and efective exploration of the human condition: while lots of artists from the contemporary scene, as Ai WeiWei or more recently Jennifer

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Linton, use to convey open sociopolitical 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


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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?

Probably the reason why my work doesn’t convey open socio-political criticism is because my opinion about

the subject in my video isn’t so black and white. For me I made the video “I want to be selfish again” as a solution for a problem I already cope with for a long time. But it isn’t really a protest against the problem. That is probably because of my love/hate relationship with the theme I make projects about. My whole

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documentary “OUT OF MY HEAD” was a research to find out if I was against the way social systems work in the case of autism. But in the end the answer wasn’t so black and white. There are goods and bads and that is why I don’t take a big stand in this case. I think it could be interesting to do so and I would love it if my work would go that direction another time but I think you shouldn’t force that. When an artist has an exceptional or sharp view on a matter in contemporary society I think this could be of great value. The art could influence and change political matters or they should work together with the other party. I think artist's should be taken very seriously and especially in the future I hope artist will have more influence. Drawing the spectatorship through an immersive experience, you seem also to address them to explore the relationshio between the inner and the outside: how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space?

The interesting thing about showing art in a public space is that the people and the surroundings begin to play a part in the work. This is like a present for the artwork especially in my case when it is about social rules and situations and some discomfort. The work can immediately confront the viewer and make them apply the content to their life and surroundings. Therefore it can play a huge role but still I think in the case of a video it can also work when people see it at home. I myself can be very distracted when other people make noises around me or are blocking my view. When you

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are at home and in your full comfort and concentration a work sometimes can even be better absorbed than at another time and place. Therefore I like both ways and don’t want to exclude either one of them.


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Over these years your works have been showcased in several locations, both in the Netherlands and abrod, including your recent show at the The New Bohemian Gallery, in Brainerd and your

participation at the North Portland Film Festival. 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

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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-

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

When I start with a project I don’t think from out of the audience yet. That comes a lot later. But when I compare works I


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is what I have learnt. The reason I like art so much is because you can tell a story without telling a literal story or writing it down. You can do more than that. And when an audience understands you better in images and sound than in language I think that is a beautiful thing. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Myrte. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Thank you so much for this interview! It is really nice to hear some interpretations and some good questions to put me on sharp. At the moment I am working on a project of self portraits that are about self reflection after dating. This again is for me about social rules, structures and the malleability of the human. At this moment it is a research in photographs but it could easily involve into a video project. That is what makes it exciting for me that I can tell the readers a bit about the subject but the outcome is unknown for even myself.

made with spoken language and non spoken works I must say I feel that the last one is a lot better understood a lot of the times. You shouldn’t underestimate your viewer

I think I still evolve every day and there for my work evolves with me. Now that I am doing more research into the subject of dating I am getting to know a lot more social rules. And every day when I communicate with people or observe others I see new habits, rules, personality’s etc. My own life and obsession with socially desirable behavior is an ongoing learning experience and that has a direct influence on my work. An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

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An artist's statement

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ow can root and fungal formations teach us how to become better citizens, to escape the normative molds that restrict our creative and empathetic qualities? This question is at the heart of my art practice. It forms itself around a two-part construction, firstly of visualizing the power structures that arise from a stratified knowledge production, and secondly, in manipulating these systems. Such power structures are found physically, through architecture and natural topography; psychologically, through cultural norms and immaterially, through the virtual world of the internet. They affect us by shaping our collective and individual behavioral patterns, but we in turn affect them. We traverse these networks in and out, like a needle weaving itself within a grid of threads, and sometimes we can manipulate these systems, causing a paradigm shift in the social fabric. To do so, one first has to visualize the boundaries shaped by society, and then

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to play with said limits and disrupt the flow. This is what my work attempts to do; it mimics systems, yet it includes glitches or adaptations in order to change the visual outcome. My art often finds itself on a larger scale, such as room installations and in ways that beg for visceral interaction and visual investigation of the space. Using as few and as basic materials as possible, such as wood, plastic and sheer labor, my art-work center around the notion of production and expansion. I draw influence from the polarity between reductive and emergent systems, where the former is characterized by its hierarchical networks while the latter is a decentralized web of connectivity. Using these two contrasting networks as a tableau for my work, I play with the limits of their visual properties and through this, explore how they affect our behavior through liberation or restriction.

KC Tidemand


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

Highly stimulating in its communicative concreteness, Blow Up Room is an extremely interesting site specific installation by cross disciplinary artist KC Tidemand. This work rejects any conventional classification and triggers the viewers' most limbic perceptual parameters to draw them through a multilayered experience. One of the most convincing aspects of Tidemand's approach is the way it successful attempt to go beyond the dichotomy between artist and spectatorship urges them to evolve to conscious and active participants. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to his stimulating and multifaceted artistic production. Hello and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. We would start this interview posing you some questions about your background: you have a solid formal training and after having earned your BA Philosophy and Studio Art, you nurtured your education with a MFA of Fine Arts, that you received from the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York City: how do these experiences influence your evolution as an artist? Moreover, 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?

Thanks for the warm welcome! After my BA from Skidmore College, I went through a phase of working in the art world without making my own art. I knew the challenges that artists faced and wanted to see if I could feed my need for art by simply working with artists and within the art-world. This lead to a string of jobs at museums, galleries and art councils in NYC. When I decided that this was not enough and my desire to make my own art was greater than I had originally understood, I decided to go back to school and get my MFA. At this juncture I knew not only what I needed for myself, but also what I wanted to make and the work I wanted others to experience. I was not satisfied with the art I had made previously, mostly twodimensional work, it felt static and made it too easy for the viewer to take a passive stance towards the work. I knew if I were to go back into the world of art making, I had to change my approach. I decided that a rigorous two year study would help me break away from my previous pattern. At SVA I was both encouraged and challenged in this pursuit, I started working with transparent materials like


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mylar and plexi. Mostly drawing and painting on these surfaces, layering and playing with ways of installing them in spaces. I wanted to physically move bodies in the room, force an interaction and make the viewer an active part of the pieces. I think New York City made me more aware of the relationship architecture and the human body have to one another. The constant power play between a hard and imposing building against a soft and small being. The forced route that one takes to avoid crowds, buildings and traffic. And of course, the natural sense of acceleration that NYC embeds in its subjects. All of these very physical yet invisible powers fascinated me, and also disturbed me. It all started seeping into my work. My final year at SVA, was one of constant reading and making. I was enthralled by philosophers like Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, by the thought of nomadic structures and counter cultures. The idea of breaking away from the structures that limit the individual by encouraging a state of play and disruption of rules. I started making inflatable rooms, both walls that grew and bubbles you had to zip yourself into. Always starting with a question: what would it be like if walls were soft, if rooms were round, if I could see you, but you could not see me? What happens when our assumptions of space changes? You are a versatile artist your experimental practice encapsulates several techniques, ranging from installations and sculptures to

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drawings, photographs and paintings, it 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: so before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://kctidemand.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your usual process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that such multidisciplinary approach is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

When it comes to making art I do not like to adhere to norms, constraints or rules. I use them only to later break and manipulate them. So for me the materials and media I use are always a means to another end; a way to produce a feeling or experience within the viewer. When I make a painting or drawing, it is usually to change my daily practice of making installations and sculptures and to remind myself to go back to a more meditative state. A sharp hand-drawn line can be a tranquil activity, a remedy for the mind with bustling ideas and thoughts, especially in a city like NYC. Ultimately, all the work I make speak to the same issues and dichotomies: the organic and mechanic, the still and fluid, reductive and emergent systems. I think only by constantly experimenting and questioning your

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previous steps can you break new ground; so yes I think a varied and fluid art practice is more in line with my way of thinking and making- namely, think first, then figure out how to make it. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected Blow Up Room, an interesting site specific installation 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 successful attempt to change the equilibrium in a room is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of challenging the perceptual parameters of the viewers, to establish direct relations to the everyday: while walking our readers through the genesis of Blow Up Room we would like you to tell us more about the importance that for you has the reference to real and perceptual world.

Blow up room was a labour of love, an honest attempt at deciphering our relationship to architecture. What do divisive structures, like walls, buildings and partitions do to us? For me it seemed natural to start by making the walls transparent and soft, the two attributes that seemed to oppose most spaces. Moreover, plastic has become one of the most prominent materials in our daily lives, a material that is both attainable and ubiquitous in our culture. I started by making these rooms with fully transparent plastic, only to realize it was too thin and transparent. It did not transform the space as much as add to it, almost like a new layer of skin. This was not what I had intended, so I decided to work with a thicker, more opaque plastic; a material that had a distinct voluminous

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presence as well as an etherial character. In entering the space the viewer becomes engulfed by the plastic, turning the visual field into a hazy landscape of soft, yet imposing plastic. Ultimately, the visitor is required to have a physical interaction with the rooms limitations; forcing them to act decisively, with a determination to experience and investigate without a clear expectation of what is ahead. The opaque plastic triggers both isolation and the loss of depth perception, meaning multiple people can be present in the room and not be aware of each other. This creates a space that visualizes what architectural structures do to us, by simultaneously erasing and highlighting the difference between private and public space. What I came to realize at the final stage of production was its dual characteristic, what I call “the line of flight� (a term taken from Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari). If the viewer decides to lift up the plastic, walk under the tarp and into the other side of the plastic, a whole new dimension arises; everything and everyone in the room become visible, as if they enter an omniscient dimension. This immediate transference of control only happens when the viewer chooses to break from the assumed route. It is an almost panoptic experience, where they can see everything that happens in the room, without being reciprocally visible to the people still within the plastic folds. Ultimately, this duel characteristic means that the room visualizes space relations by confusing them. Blow Up Room could be considered a multisensorial biography that univeil the

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aestethic consequences of a combination between tactile, concrete reality and the abstract concept of symbol, exploring unexpected aspects of the functionality of language on the aesthetic level: as Gerhard Richter once remarked, "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 would never want to reduce the act of making art into one usage or one function. Its power lies in its adaptability, its etherial nature, the fact that art can never be fully pinned down to a single point or defined within strict parameters. Having said that, I do think art has more power when it does not simply act as decoration, as it allows for passivity within the viewer. I want my work to force an experience within the viewer, a sensory as much as an aesthetic one, making them an accomplice or participant to the work. The goal is to be able to challenge the viewer, to force a proactive relationship to the work and hopefully facilitate a sense of wonderment. You have remarked the importance of using simple tools and materials to highlight the phase of transition from one fixed state to another: offering a set of immediately fruible elements you draw from universal imagery that triggers the viewers' primordial parameters concerning our relation with physicality and with everyday life, inviting us to a multilayered experience. So we would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a

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

For me an experience in front of a piece of art means it needs to trigger an emotion or emotions, and this in turn makes all my efforts in the studio worth it. And the act of making something is always inherent in the work and when a person experiences the final product, that process of making is still dormant in the work, for it was conceived and erected in that space, namely the studio.The studio and its attributes never fully leave the artwork, it simply obscures it, either by being presented in a white cube or placed on a pedestal. So the work should reflect this, not try to hide it. I want to be honest with the viewer and often the less intricate the work is and simpler the material, the easier it is for them to focus on the actual experience. However, when the piece has left the studio, has left the safety of the womb, the work becomes as much about what the viewer interprets as anything else. Each participant will read their own history and experiences in the work, so at that point it is not my experiece of the creative process that counts but theirs. It is this etherial nature, this malleability that makes art so powerful. Each person sees their own reality in the art and takes home what they need from the work. One persons’ suffocation is another persons’ liberation, and so I can never be certain of how their experience will take shape, the most important thing is that is does indeed produce an


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experience. I find Daniel Burne’s views on the studio from his essay “Function of the studio” highlights this point. “All the same, it is in the studio and only in the studio that it is closest to its own reality, a reality from which it will continue to distance itself. It may become what even its creator had not anticipated, serving instead, as is usually the case, the greater profit of financial interests and the dominant ideology. It is therefore only in the studio that the work may be said to belong. The work thus falls victim to a mortal paradox from which it cannot escape, since its purpose implies a progressive removal from its own reality, from its origin. If the work of art remains in the studio, however, it is the artist that risks death... from starvation. ” Obviously, Burne’s is a bit dramatic in this piece of writing and I think he places the issue at its most dramatic point in order to drum up a response in the reader, but there is truth to this paradox. There is the experience I have of the work and the multiplicity that arrises once it leaves my sanctuary. So to answer your question, no I think experience is all we have in this world, and to seek anything else in the creative process is to short yourself. Another interesting installation from your recent production that has particularly impressed us and on which we would like to spend some words is entitled Da Dome: we have appreciated your inquiry into the

liminal area in which the feelings of protection and claustrophobia find an unexpected point of convergence. The ambience of this captivating sitespecific installation has reminded us the notion of non lieu elaborated by French anthropologist Marc Augé. Capturing non-sharpness with an universal kind of language, this piece unveils the elusive but ubiquitous relationship between experience and memory: 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.

Usually memory is not a kick starter in my work, but funnily enough it was pivotal to this piece. I started with the dichotomous feeling I had making snow caves in Norway as a child. The mixed sensation of safety with claustrophobia as I lay in a space I had made. I felt that at any moment the excavated space could crumble and trap me, but simultaneously I felt safe and warm from the wind and falling snow outside. I wanted to create something similar and introduce an aspect of this to the inflatable dome that would intrigue the visitor and keep them in the space long enough for them to have this mixed sensation. Memory does not usually take such a distinct role in my other projects, but rather I start of experimenting with a lot of different materials and ideas for how they can be used. The ideas I get from reading philosophical texts and literature in general also informs a

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majority of my work. I think it allows for a steady injection of new layers of meaning and new avenues of possibility. Da Dome provides the viewers with an intense, immersive experience: 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 and how much importance has improvisation in your process?

The public sphere and art in the public space too often mean commercial objects that take up a great deal of space, the motto often seems to be “the bigger the better”. And even when there is a social and critical aspect to the art, it seems to loose it when erected in public. Even projects by Thomas Hirschhorn, like his Gramsci monument in NYC, with all its social political intent seems to loose a lot of its value when activated in the public space. How one can avoid loosing the original thought and intent with ones work is hard once placed outside of the studio or even outside of the theoretical. In many ways the gallery space is a safety blanket in this sense, a temporary womb for the fragility of an idea; it gets handled in a sterile milieu, with white gloves by curators who care deeply about its safety, something that cannot be kept once placed in the public sphere. However, that does not mean that it is not the most noble of acts, to place a work of art for the public to experience is truly to fulfill art’s deepest need, namely to be of some intrinsic value to society. To think of art as simply a consumer good or an investment

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is to belittle it. With art moments like “Relational- Aesthetics� responding to the intense consumerism that arrises from the bloated art-market, art fairs and auction houses; it is no wonder that this question is so pivotal to the contemporary dialog about art. In response to these issues, I try to find a middle ground; to make work that can only be activated by the viewer’s participation and to create works that question the status quo-the deeply consumerist relationship we have to art and which infiltrates almost all aspects of our daily life. When it comes to improvisation, well I think it is more a question of listening to the demands of the work. The materials I use inform the process and I am constantly consulting with it to figure out what the work requires of me and of itself. Most of the time I have an end product that is slightly different from what the sketch I started off with. Gravity takes a toll on a lot of my installations and I have to consult with it when I take the next steps, especially with my air-based works. Your successful attempt to produce a dialectical fusion that operates as a system of symbols creates a compelling non linear narrative that, walking the thin line between conceptual and literal meanings, establishes 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 particular how

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do you conceive the visual unity for your works?

I think an understanding of not simply the concept, but of the history of the medium you are using and the concepts that arrises from using them is crucial. For example my use of plastics carry with them an array of meaning and strata that needs to be uncovered and explored. I cannot simply use it and not touch upon the intrinsic erosive and abusive power that comes along with it. It carries with it ideas of practicality, modernity, temporality and most of all fast-paced consumerism, however it is a highly toxic, synthetic, (in the most destructive sense), and almost completely undecomposable. These dichotomies and traits are embedded in the work not matter what and I would be amiss to not address them honestly in the process of making.

my drawings and paintings. I often seek to draw a subtle line between these oppositions, but find my work blurring the line more often than not. For example, for my “Taxonomy color” installation, -a collection of all the plastic caps from my building’s trash for a period of a month; organized in a taxonomical way, (as if the plastic caps had their own evolutionary chart), are exhibited in an aesthetically pleasing manner. They are but trash, a collection of materials that are used for a short period of time and have a life span much longer than ours, which end up, more often than not, in the ocean, turn into smaller units of plastic and eaten by fish, only to be later eaten by us. This new synthetic circle of life has made plastic its own major player on earths surface and our relationship to it remains shallow and disposable. The final stage of this installation is to bury the plastic collection in a community garden in NYC with mycelium spores, a fungus that is known to break down plastics and turn it into organic material, and allow the plastic to become the nutrients for plants. The reason I am giving you this long winded explanation is that when I started doing research on plastics, I did not intend on finding an organic solution, let alone connect it back to my fascination with emergent systems like fungal networks. But these relations seem to find me or I find them, and they converge rather than stand as oppositions to one another.

Even if I choose to ignore them I find these opposing characteristics bubble up and always inhabit my work, even in

It's no doubt that interdisciplinary collaborations as the exchange program with a Bushwick community

I completely agree, I think it is not enough to simply apply aesthetic and symbolic strategies to ones work, or one can, but it does not hold the same weight as more conceptual works often do. Art that digs deeper into the psyche of both the individual and the culture of its time, the zeitgeist, has a tendency to be more interesting and lead to more questions, than more “digestible” art. In that way art is similar to philosophy, a good piece of writing or art leaves you with more questions than you started of with.

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center 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 several artists?

Art Theory Project (ATP) is a collective close to my heart, a group of artists and I saw the need to integrate the art community with the local community in lower income areas, such as in Bushwick, Brooklyn. As rent goes up and artists are forced to move further and further out into the farthest corners of NYC, we tend to not integrate as much as occupy these areas with our apartments and studios. We wanted to join forces with community organizers and leader, in order to blend local artists with local communitiese. Not simply to start galleries and pop ups, but help and nourish our community in all its forms. So ATP started an exchange program, where in return for teaching kids art classes we get to invite local artists and curators to exhibit in different public facilities. We also have reading and discussion classes on contemporary art and philosophy. And we are now expanding into new borough and communities. We are a very open collective, who see dialogue as key to our success. Rather than closing ourselves to new people and new ideas

we keep an open mind to everyone and everything, no idea is too weird or too difficult. I love that about this collaborative team, we became friends at SVA and all had a drive to see real practical and visible change on the community and to prove that art has the power to change things for the better, to know that it could have a social and political effect. Over these years you works have been exhibited in several occasions, both in the United States and abroad: your practice is strictly connected to the chance of establishing a direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a mere spectatorship to conscious participants on an intellectual level, 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?

Yes definitely, I always have the participant in mind, I often call them viewers, but hope that they will take the further step towards being a participant, an activator of the art. I don't actually think my work is successful otherwise, this is definitely true about my installations, and one of the biggest reasons I make them. I want to change the normal relationship art has to the viewer, to make them question what they are seeing and how they are understanding the work. I once had a strangers come out of my Blow up

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Room and tell me they had met a stranger in the room and felt so isolated and invigorated by the installation that they ended up making out in the space. Mind you, this was a busy opening night with several people in the gallery as well as in the installation. But they felt so secluded and in awe at meeting a person in that space, at that moment, that they felt the only right thing to do was to make out for a second. I love that so much, the extent to which my work can surprise me and create connections, both conceptual and physical. And of course it also happens that people experience my work and don't take the time or don't care to understand the work. And in that case I usually have to ask myself what it was about the reception of the work that left them empty handed. At the end of the day I have to consider the works effectiveness or ineffectiveness on the viewer to determine its success. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

I am still working a lot with air and gravity. I love the challenge it gives me and how it can surprise me as much today as it has done before. In particular, I am working on trying to make strings of paper and plastic that blow out and tickle the viewer, as well as pieces that hang from the ceiling and create rooms of hanging colors. I see these as small jungles of installed

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paintings that hide and simultaneously enhance the rooms’ four walls. I am also using more lights in my projects. I am currently working on an iridescent plastic piece, with copper pipe structure and lights inside of it. It looks rather otherworldly, like an energy source we are yet to discover. Both projects are yet to be finished and are a part of my current experimenting. Video is another new medium I am working on, as I have learned that installations are a lot of work with a very temporal application, which can be frustrating and difficult to transport internationally. An intimate video that captivates the viewer can often be as mesmerizing as a large scale installation. So this is definitely a new challenge for my art practice. I saw this tiny video installation by Pipilotti Rist at Louisiana in Copenhagen a few years back and I was captivated. It never quite left me. So I think it is a worthy challenge for me to make video art that can be as engrossing as my full scale room installations. Other than these projects I am also thinking of spending more time on my “flatter� pieces. I had a recent solo show of only two dimensional works, which was rather satisfying, just because I tend to forget to appreciate them in my all consuming relationship to my installations. They create a different relationship to the viewer, a more intimate one, based solely on the application of sight, rather than with all senses. I saw how people took time to investigate and look closely at the works, proving that they evoked a different kind of study with the viewer, maybe a more quiet and introspected experience.

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P iotr Pandyra Lives and works in Cracow, Poland

An artist's statement

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s far as I can remember I have always been interested in fabric and its unlimited possibilities. In the first stage of my artistic experiences I focused my attention mainly on designing clothes and technological realization of the project. Clothes and the fabric are the material grown together with the human body and its everyday rituals. In the first place, I've been fascinated by intimacy of the projects I've been working on. The whole process of creation of the outfit is a meeting with another human and his or her individual expectations, experiences and emotions. The work with the geometry of the body, analysis of advantages and disadvantages. In my art practice I try to break traditional methods and create paying attention particularly to formal variety

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and each of the following projects becomes for me a separate ideological and technological task. I've exchanged classical drawing tools for untypical ones such as a needle and a sewing machine. Background for drawings has also been changed. Traditional paper has been replaced by untraditional backgrounds such as: haberdashery, nets, glass fibre and so on. In the world of the constant need for the novelty and originality for me everyday life reality becomes an inspiration. I'm interested in a human being, his or her condition, emotional and physical efforts with reality. In my works I use records, notes, history of art, fragments of reality‌ Piotr Pandyra pandyra.piotr@gmail.com


Exhibition 'Expressionism Over and Over Again" Nuremberg House Gallery, Cracow 2015 Photo: Michał Kęskiewicz


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Piotr Pandyra An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator articulaction@post.com

Many-sided and captivating in it's cross-disciplinary nature, artist Piotr Pandyra's works rejects any conventional classification to draw the viewers into a multilayered experience. His approach encapsulates both traditional heritage and unconventional sensitiveness and allows him to produce pieces marked out with a strong reference to contemporary. One of the most impressive aspects of Pandyra's work is the way it provides the apparent staticity of an object with autonomous life and aesthetics: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to his stimulating and multifaceted artistic production. Hello Piotr and welcome to ARTiculAction: we would start this interview with a couple of questions about rich and multifaceted background. You have a solid formal training and you graduated from the Faculty of Arts at the Pedagogical University and from the School of Art and Fashion Design in Cracow. How do these experiences influence the way you

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conceive and produce 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?

Hello, I'm really pleased that I can tell about my experiences connected with my work in the special edition of ARTiculAction. When I graduated from secondary school I was immature and unaware of what I wanted to do. Lack of artistic background influenced my choice of School of Art and Fashion Design in Cracow. Partially, my choice was influenced by love to fashion, manual works and fascination of such icons as Coco Chanel, Christian Dior et ecetera and partially by a need to commune with art. At once I noticed what I was interested in most. Namely the whole process of realization, starting with drafts, prototypes, through choice of details and final effect at last. I think that if we want to professionaly do our job we should know all the phases which a given product goes through. You don't need to be a master of a given craft


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but the knowledge of the area we move within gives us awareness and know-how and helps in finding new artistic technological solutions. Studies at the Faculty of Arts at the Pedagogical University were the next step in developing my skills and knowledge of graphic arts. Skills acquired in earlier years I could use in a completely different way. In a paper workshop, at my professor prompting I replaced a traditional pencil with a sewing machine and it started the process I'm dealing with till today. On purpose I've used the word 'craft'. Times when the artist was called a craftman are gone. Nowadays we use the word 'craftman' to emphesize that someone is not an artist. That's why I ask myself this question; if I'm more an artist or a craftman. I Identify myself with both. The final result of the modern pieces of art depends on countless various elements. And the details themselves make a difference. Your practice is centered on the expressive potential of fabric and its unlimited possibilities: the result of the constant evolution of your materials combines together figurative as subtle abstract feature into a coherent balance. Would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up? In particular, would you tell our

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readers something about the evolution of your style?

Yes, fabric is material I choose most often. I can remeber that beginning from early years of childhood I liked looking inside a wardrobe. I was fascinated by dresses, coats and skirts hanging there. I liked to try them on to fold and touch. Most of these things were a part of our everyday life, some were for special occasions while the rest were a proof of passing time. I like fabric because it is something most natural, I feel at ease with it. I don't have any concrete, worked out methods. I work at a pretty irregular basis but intesively. It's a process that takes place on at least two planes; that is when I think about an object and when it is created. While the process of creation has its time frame, the process of seeking lasts continuously. Personally, I don't like team work but still meetings with people are important for me; the possibility to see how they work, to learn how they work, their way of thinking, designing and realization. Professor GraĹźyna Brylewska has had the great influence on the way I've perceived art. She's always emphesized that honesty and fidelity of the mesaage are the most vital. She can direct you with skill taking into consideration individuality of a person. It let me to break down many schemes and limitations I was

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trapped unabled to see a broader perspective. For the last few years I have been interested in creative potential of paper. I'm interested in handmade paper its formal and narrative possibilities. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected Always a Fragment an extremely interesting works that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of your work is its dynamic and autonomous aesthetics: in particular, it seems to communicate a successful attempt to transform tension to harmony, and it's really captivating. While walking our readers through the genesis of Always a fragment, would you shed light on your main sources of inspiration?

In the case Always Fragment the starting point was an interpretation of my emotions.Succumbing moods is commonly thought to be bad or even blameworthy. For me such a variation is interesting and human like in the first place. Observing people and mainly my own feelings, I'm trying to note down in the simplest way moments that won't come back any more. I like everything what is intuitive, simple and clear. The title of the work comes from the poem by Polish poet by Tadeusz Róşewicz Always

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Fragment. I tried to use as little formal media as possible. I desired the visual aspect just to be a background for an interpretation. A Self-portrait has shown up in my works from time to time. I perceive my creative activity as autobiographic. As Louise Bouregeois said: The art comes from our horrible failures and terrible needs. It shows difficulty in finding your own identity (...) Art is a possibility of getting to know yourself. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, clothes and the fabric are the material grown together with the human body and its everyday rituals: we have been particularly imprssed with the way your hybrid approach accomplishes the difficult task of transferring into a liberated expressive realm the imagery you refer to. When developing a multilayered language, you capture nonsharpness and bring to a new level of significance the elusive still ubiquitous relationship between experience and memory. What is the role of memory in your process?

I think that its role is great, predominant I would say. For me memomry is awareness, inner record of where I come from, everything I've gone through, everything I've come across. For me a tradition, cultural output the thing


Always a fragment, 2016 machine and hand embroidery


Always a fragment, 2016 machine and hand embroidery


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of the past and the present. These two areas intermingle in my artistic awareness. Inspiring power of the pieces of art contributes to creation of the following ones. The relation of the new artistic choices with the ones of the past may take a form of repetitions and reinterpretations. Such a nature the exhibition Exspressionism over and over again had. In my return to expressionism I didn't mean only to remember its achievements but rather reflect on repeatibility of themes and forms in art. Lapse of time, in spite of wonderful achievements of modern science and technology hasn't changed to great extend destiny of people. The works chosen by me have been elarged a few times, I've taken their colours away and added contemporary elements creating new contexts. The dialogue established by shapes is a crucial part of your style: in particular, the effective combination between both delicate and 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 texture? Moreover, any comments on your choice of "palette" of tones and how it has changed over time?

Wanting to say something about the way I create my works again I come

back to the wardrobe from my childhood. Such a wardrobe accompanies me everywhere. I constantly open and close it, I take something out, I put something on and put it aside and fill it with something new. It happens in various ways. Sometimes I know at once what I want to tell about and choose the right materials and I work with them so long till I can tell if the thing is readable for me. If my works are supposed to convince someone else in the first place they need to convince me. Sometimes a starting point is a book, memory or an image that shows up in the head and comes back and torments me. Then I start to wonder, analize, interprate I gather feelings and everything circles around the theme that interests me. I look for the right materials I start experimenting. I'm fascinated by all kinds of art the present and the former. I think that each activity may become inspiration. Of course it's the best to commune with art directly, reproductions rarely influence a receiver in the full spectrum. Within the last years I've noticed in my work stability and changeability at the same time. On the one hand, I keep to simple colouring, different hues of white, grey and blue. On the other hand, I reach out for new materials (new for me) prints, expressive colours and shapes. I think that to the great extent the

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theme I'm working on influences these choices. Strictly speaking, it would be not possible for language to replace the visual and tactile, but your works, as the interesting Alter Ego seems to go beyond such dichotomy to trigger the viewers' primordial parameters concerning our relation with physicality: as Gerhard Richter once remarked, "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 read somewhere once that a good piece of art is an applied art. Opposition between so called high art and applied art is something seeming. I agree with that even if it is an abstract painting it has some influence, (i.e. it makes us laugh or sad) on the person who is looking at it and this way becomes an applied art. In my cycle of works corresponding with German expressionists, coats presented in the gallery space are autonomous objects. In each moment you can take them and put on and go to a cafe. I think that they don't lose the power of influence in any of these two situations. Your practice is a successful attempt to break traditional methods that rejects any conventional classification and that

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Alter Ego, 2016, machine and hand embroidery

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Alter Ego, 2016, machine and hand embroidery


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Alter Ego, 2016, machine and hand embroidery

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invites the viewer to explore the liminal area between Tradition and an insightful approach to contemporary sensiveness. What is in your opinoin the relationship between Tradition ad Contemporariness? Do you think there's a contrast or do you rather think that Contemporariness could be considered an evolutive stage of Tradition?

Tradition and Contemporaneity. Contemporaneity and Tradition. Can one exist without the other? I reckon it can't. The beginning of the 20th century, postulates of the futurists propagating total severance from traditions, burning museums down, were supposed to be a proof of authenticity of introduced decisions. Throughout the innovative solutions the artist seemed to be original and creative. But is such a chain of infinite precedencies possible? Avant-garde strategies were repeated in 1950's and 60's of the 20th century. One of the form of repetition is the use of some artistic tactics. Other form of repetition is processing the concrete works by other artists. The most radical form is a complete appropriation of them and presentation as own ones as Sherrie Levine did. Of course you can argue and state that some authors simply repeated what had already been told. But as ancient saying goes if a given thought was

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Intimate Record I, 2015, Photo Agu Markiewicz - Burek

worth uttering once is worth repeating. Your interested in the relationship between the emotional and physical

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spheres provides your works with a sense of permanence to the intrinsic ephemeral nature of everyday life experience you draw from. For


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Intimate Record III, 2015, Photo Agu Markiewicz - Burek

example Intimate Record series could be considered as an attempt to unveil a channel of communication between the

subconscious shere and the conscious one. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an

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

There are many concepts about creative process. According to Goethe a human is a a creature that forms everything he or she comes across so it's not enough to choose some elements from the surrounding environment but you are supposed to combine them skillfully. Creation itself is a will of speech, the need of ordering, the need of approval or objection. Wanting to tell something about another person I must observe myself in the reality where I live. Sum of these experiences is definately very crucial in my work. On the one hand, it gives me possibility to picture the surrounding world, on the other hand it is a form of learning how to deal with different situations in life. Over these years your owrks have been exhibited in several occasions, including your recent show 'Expressionism Over and Over Again', at the Nuremberg House Gallery, in Cracow. One of the hallmarks of your work is the capability to create 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

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The Book for Virginia Woolf, 2016

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what type of language is used in a particular context?

projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I don't consign to the stock drawer because it would be as if I was talking to myself. I like showing my works, you can say I like showing off. In the exhibition there are some specific rules, space, display possibilities that influence the reception to great extend. Sometimes I'm myself surprised in a very positive ways but in a negative one also pretty often. The receiver should express their objection, approval, irritation or own method they would do it. Their influence should be only inspiring, motivating not deciding. Submission would become a form enslavement of your own personality.

Currently I'm working on my PhD thesis. I think that it won't be surprising if I say that the theses is going to be personal, again I'm taking myself on work. In childhood we want to be characters from fairy tales, series etctera. In the wardrobe I mentioned before I wanted to find the door to fairy-tale Narnia. As an adult man I discover that behind these doors there is world of arts of past epoques and I have a chance to live there for a moment. To change roles with someone, to try someone's clothes. Of course in the world of art it's not a discovery some artists have worked in this was for example: Cindy Sherman, and many more. The world changes and the contexts, problems... You can always try, look for something new.

I think that no one is free from influence of others, their suggestions, definately not me. But in later stages it becomes filtered to great extend and my individual approach wins. In a diiferent way I approach my other forms of artistic creations when I'm working on sewing the ordered dress I'm trying to take into account all suggestions made by a client. It's so called a happy medium. It's a kind of art to take someone's exceptations and realize this such a way to add your own element. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Piotr. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future

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Thank you very much for a possibility to talk to you. Best wishes.

An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator articulaction@post.com


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C laudia Dorninger-Lehner Lives and works in Perchtoldsdorf, Vienna, Austria

The presence of four seconds

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erception and apperception of architecture in the context of time: What exactly do we see during the lapse of time we perceive as the present? What would a picture look like that melds all visual impressions of the time span we experience as the present? The photos constitute the attempt to give answers to these questions and to detect new artistic and emotional qualities in the aggregation of different perceptual images. The intention is to trigger a deliberate contemplation of how we see the world. Usually we only experience our visually registered surroundings as one of the many possibilities of a reality that appears different to everyone and we never capture the reality itself. Viewing a photo should invite to piece together one’s own conception of things and to individually discover the enlaced environment of them. The photos that I had exposed for four seconds made me curious to find out which visual impressions people put together to create a single picture.

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Focusing on architectural images I uncovered the discrepancy between the clear lines of modern architecture and the flowing picturesque dissolution of the lines within our perception. Though these photos also only present what the chosen section within the flow of time offers, I hope they will give an impression how we inwardly come to see what we individually think to see. It was my intention to encourage people to sometimes pause for a moment, watch the world from a new perspective, or, even doing better, internalize what happens and contemplate the perspectives. Max Frisch, well known architect and author, is attributed to the saying: most people confuse attending something with experiencing it. I do hope that my pictures will contribute a little to experience photography and to rouse the curiosity to ponder the idea what real objects are meant to be.

Claudia Dorninger-Lehner


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Claudia Dorninger-Lehner An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

Vienna based artist and photographer Claudia Dorninger-Lehner draws the viewers through an unconventional journey to rouse the curiosity to ponder the idea what real objects are meant to be. In Scenery of a human mind that we'll be discussing in the following pages she accomplishes the difficult task of inducing the viewers to rethink to the relationship between their perceptual process and the outside reality, showing autonomous aesthetics and coherent unity. One of the most impressive aspects of Dorninger-Lehner 's work is her successful attempt to trigger a deliberate contemplation of how we see the world, urging the viewers to evolve to conscious participants: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating and multifaceted artistic production. Hello Claudia and welcome to ARTiculAction: we would start this interview with a couple of questions about rich and multifaceted background. You have a solid training and you graduated about two years ago. How does this experience influence the way you conceive and produce 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?

Many thanks for your kind invitation to contribute to ARTiculAction. To

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understand my artistic background one has to know that I had studied architecture and have been very much influenced by my experiences in this area. Crucial concepts like conceptual thinking, three- dimensional perception, pattern of relations between people, space and passages of movements and how to react to different necessities, all so common in architectural reasoning, constituted a basis for my photographic work. During my training to become an artistic photographer I have learned to apply and transfer my architectural knowledge to represent my surroundings and impressions by photos. Moreover, my training in “Prager Fotoschule�, which I had attended for six terms, had offered the opportunity to me to get to know the work of many other colleagues and their concepts, this way triggering my need to develop a pictorial language of my own and to distance myself from other concepts and ideas. I am very much indebted to my teachers who steadily encouraged me to develop my own ideas and approach to art. Of course, I had also been influenced by my parents, my mother a painter who favored water colors and mixed media, my father a scientist with interests in philosophy. You are a versatile artist and your approach coherently encapsulates several viewpoints to accomplish an incessant search of an organic investigation about the relationship between outside reality and our perceptual process: the results convey together a coherent and consistent


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sense of unity. Before starting to

http://bildgegenwart.com in order to get

elaborate about your production, we

a synoptic view of your work: while

would suggest to our readers to visit

walking our readers through your

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process and set up, we would like to ask you how did you develope your style and how do you usually conceive your works.

During my last term studying photography I had arrived at a point, where I stopped being keen on taking pictures, mainly, because I had never achieved the artistic level I had set for me and because I seldom had been content with the photos I had taken. So I decided to make a clean sweep and begin anew. I started experimenting, and this time my main goal was to look for a possibility to depict my inner outlook of the world. Every day I tried to hold down momentary impressions by exposing my camera at random for a short time, without any specific strategy, just simply following my eyes and where my gaze rested. This meant reducing the art of photography in an archaic way neglecting any standard of quality. I purposely wanted to distance myself from all the experience and knowledge I had gained during my photographic training, I just wanted to be surprised by what was to be exposed later and give room to any fortuity. I was very much intrigued by the non-linear process of approaching motifs. This way time exposures emerged which somewhat resembled pictures that had been painted or blurred by computer graphics. Though I always adhered to the same general concept of spontaneity and long exposure I started to select and study the places for my ventures in order to get a first impression of the atmosphere and genius loci. The photos taken there were meant to transport what I had felt, imagined and seen within the short time my view was engaged. As it turned out within my experiments and is also ascertained by neurologists: the time our gaze rests on an object and its surroundings is between two and eight seconds. I have committed myself to four

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seconds. This way my concept of rendering the four seconds of experience we sense as presence was born. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected The presence of four seconds an extremely interesting body of works that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of this project is its dynamic and autonomous aesthetics: in particular, your inquiry into how our limbic parameters induce us to relate to perceptual reality seems to communicate a successful attempt to transform tension to harmony, and it's really captivating. While walking our readers through the genesis of The presence of four seconds, we would like to ask you what is the role of chance in your process: how much improvisation is important for you?

At first glance one might get the impression that randomness governs my photos but it is the compaction of time that always leads to new astonishing consequences. Very often it is my curiosity for the outcome of a time exposure that pushes my work. In general I spontaneously take photos on site, begin experimenting with the motif at hand and allow for surprises which might teach me new lessons. If one analyses the process of my taking pictures more precisely one can find out the following: With my four second exposures the camera exactly follows the movements of my eyes, and these movements are not at random, they are intuitively focused towards what I decide the subject should be and would demand. Proceeding this way the spatial extent

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Nordbahnhof - Bildungscampus

within the situational context and the atmosphere which I want to capture always determines the sequence of my


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views, which is mostly following its natural flow. As we all know, the way we experience a space visually is often

connected with our own perception and background. In my case I see all buildings with the eyes of an architect.

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Therefore, one cannot say that my photos are the product of an unintentional process, but certainly one can always sense an element of improvisation. This is mainly owed to the fact that I do not use a tripod. In an innate way the tremor of my hand during the four seconds exposure is incorporated in my pictures. This is why it is not possible for me to produce two identical photographs, even if I could arrange everything to secure the same conditions for the process. We have been particularly impressed with the way your hybrid approach accomplishes the difficult task of transferring into a liberated expressive realm the imagery you refer to. When inquiring into how memories transform to suit the perception of oneself, you capture non-sharpness and bring to a new level of significance the elusive still ubiquitous relationship between experience and memory. What is the role of memory in your process?

Most of what we see depends on our individual experience. If one looks at a building of contemporary architecture like presented in this work, no one can escape his or her own recollections with modern constructions of steel, concrete and glass. Hence it is not possible to take in the sight of a building in an unprejudiced and non-biased way. This means that there is no impartial perception that leads to an objective recognition. With my photos I intentionally display objects – often well known to many people - in an unfamiliar and unusual way in order to create a potential for the viewer to see the objects with such an open mind that the forming

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of new insights might smoothly follow. How we cope with a situation is very much influenced by our former experiences, and in particular, this applies to the way we interact with pictures: At first sight as well as with lingering before a picture optical impressions are processed and interpreted cognitively by associations and previous knowledge. During this process our recollections also have a strong influence on which parts of a picture we concentrate. This is the reason why the sharpness on some sections of my photos which were interesting for me is unintentionally increased and will therefore arouse the interest of the viewer. The immediate coherence between picture sharpness and visually outstanding parts then evokes former recollections but also generates new experiences. Drawing from universal imagery from modern architecture, The presence of four seconds combines accessible elements and abstract feature condensing a symbiosis between intuition and freedom of composition. Your approach reveals unconventional features in the way it deconstructs perceptual images in order to trigger a deliberate contemplation of how we see the world: while inviting the viewer to elaborate personal interpretations, you do not reject a gaze on aesthetics: the dream-like quality of suspended time creates a lively combination between conceptual and beauty. How important is the aesthetic problem for you when you conceive a work?

My work “The Presence of Four Seconds� follows the stringent concept of making visible what everyone perceives in the

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short time span of visual experience we recognize as presence. I think the setting of four seconds of exposure itself induces a specific kind of aesthetics. Moreover, I mainly select objects which I suppose will be suitable in respect to my personal aesthetic aspiration level. For many viewers it is the aesthetic character of my photos that facilitates the understanding of my work. Therefore, I often select those pictures for display that are compositionally pleasing - but to make such a choice is anything but easy. You have once remarked that you aim to encourage people to sometimes pause for a moment, watch the world from a new perspective: as the late Franz West did in his installations, your work shows unconventional features in the way it deconstructs the viewers ‘perceptual process in to urge the spectatorship to a process of self- reflection. Artists are always interested in probing to see what is beneath the surface: maybe one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your view about this?

Nowadays, the perceptual speed in all circumstances of life is alarmingly high and often leads to a sensory overload. In my opinion one of the main problems with this overstimulation is that there is a steadily growing discrepancy between the amount of information we get and the efficiency of its impact. Artists can contribute with their work to reduce this gap, encourage the spectatorship to challenge what they are just doing, give thought provoking impulses and bring to the surface what might lie underneath. All this is a matter of great importance to me and a major concern of my

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photographic ambition. With this project I want to keep hold of the viewer, redirect his vision to other perspectives and lead him into a further dimension of experience. My time scale is four seconds and within time slots of four seconds the viewer undergoes complex processes of perception which I want to guide with my photos. I want the viewer to decode my pictures consciously by seeing, contemplating, reasoning and drawing conclusions. Since all this takes far more time than a quick glimpse it might contribute to slowing down a hectic life for a short while. A further intention is to provoke the viewer to think about his own situation and state of mind. With my photos I try to break down usual patterns of perception by combining three levels of time in one: the fleeting moment, the instant moment and the future. This way usual paths of awareness are misaligned and deconstructed for a short time giving room to build a complex relation between subject and object submerged within the viewer.

immediate influence on sentiment and behavior. The objective of art is always to point out, demonstrate and accomplish. Within the public sphere projects affect different groups of people, not only people who are interested in the arts, but also the accidental passerby. Therefore, projects displayed in the public are far more prone to conflicts than projects displayed in exhibitions. Public art influences everyday life and confronts people with contemporary art they would never have come across otherwise. One of my photos had been projected on a big house wall near a station of the underground railway in the center of Vienna. (The photo was displayed in the course of a series “Talk of Art� of a Viennese art society.) I had been very pleased to see passengers viewing the huge image as they waited for the underground or surfaced to the street. Some wondered what they saw, some started to comment on the picture, but all took their time. That is what I liked best.

Providing the viewers with an immersive experience you address them to a process of individually discovering that induce them to extract a personal narrative behind the images you select: inquiring into the interstitial space between personal and public spheres, your work provides the spectatorship with an immersive experience that forces such a contamination the inner and the outside: how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space?

The equilibrium concerning the composition of your works gives them a permanence to emphasizes the dialogue between artistic practices and a quiet presence between artwork and viewers, who are drawn through a multilayered experience. 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?

One of my early interests in architecture was architectural and public space art, a field where the level of quality has an

With every artistic process personal experience is essential. Taking portraits one can only be successful if one can

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establish a relationship to the model, for architectural photos one has to study thoroughly buildings and their surroundings. As for my photographs of the edifices on the area of the former brewery Liesing, I have been familiar with the place many years before I started taking pictures, not only because I had been interested from the architectural point of view in the new urban concept that should be accomplished there, but also because I lived in the vicinity of this area and could witness the progress. This is the reason why I took my first photos in the course of the project “The Presence of Four Seconds� there. My experiences from that time very much helped me with my photographic ambitions at other projects. It would be ideal for an artistic process if one could directly transfer spontaneous perceptions. I always experience somewhat in this direction when I give courses for children in photography and architecture. Children can be very creative without worrying about the outcome of their attempts, they put into practice their ideas in a way they spontaneously judge as appropriate without giving any thought to mirror their sensitivities. Their constructs then often much deviate from a realistic representation. Through the years most of us lose these abilities, so that we could learn again a lot from the children. With my work I try to combine instantaneous impressions with possibly intellectually guided realizations. To be creative always means to establish something new, therefore it is essential to test and try, to experiment and question the outcome again and again. Proceeding this way often leads to new ideas, new

opportunities will open up, further approaches seem possible and new questions arise. Always one step results in the next. Most important is to start the process. Over these years you have exhibited your works in several occasions, including your show at the Ars Electronica Center in Linz where you presented your work on a huge video wall: one of the hallmarks of your work 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 decisionmaking process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

Starting with a project, it is often not clear to me what the framework for a representation should be. My first concern is always to develop ideas, to ponder how to realize my objectives and what the best visual language would be to convey my intentions. A crucial part at the beginning is to experiment with the object. During this phase it often comes apparent what the best kind of display would be. With this project it did not take long that I found out the best would be to present it large-sized. The viewers should be given the possibility to retrace how I operated with my camera, they should have the opportunity to let their gaze wander and to compose the picture in an intrinsic way themselves. Moreover, it was important for me to present the pictures frameless in order not to confine or narrow the field

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of view and not to stop its flow. The screen of 16x9 m in the Deep Space show room of the Ars Electronica Center in Linz was especially suited for this purpose. Alas, very often it is difficult to compromise between the possibilities that are offered and my ideal conceptions for showing my work. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Claudia. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Though I had experiences with nearly all of the photographic genres my favorite will still be the interaction between space, architecture and people. There is still a plenty of relations to be studied and rendered by photos. At the moment I am very much looking forward to a three weeks’ visit to Luxemburg, where I have been invited by Clervaux - cité de l'image to proceed with my work “The Presence of Four Seconds”. Again, the portraiture of buildings that are interesting from the architectural point of view will be the starting point for visual questions and the problems of a possible transfer along the lines how images are composed by viewers This time historical buildings in the vicinity of Clervaux and rural structures and formations will be in the center of my interest. what is so intriguing for me because now I can study the opposite to the impressions buildings impart in a town. There will be waiting a lot of new photographic challenges for me!

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R itchard Allaway Lives and works in Stockton-On-Tees, England

An artist's statement

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t present my practice is based in installation that encompasses the use of fluorescent light as its main medium of projection. The material/immaterial of artificial light I use to explore the relationships that can occur between objects, subjects and space. For me these encounters evoke a hypnotic and thought provoking experience that demands greater material and conceptual investigation. This research into how my audience engages with an aesthetical, sensorial, experience drives meditative dialogue through the occurring relationships.

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The contemporary Sublime plays an important role throughout my practice, as it questions our knowledge of knowing our place within space. There is an infinite space beyond our current place inside the spatial light experience and we are given a push towards questioning our reality within that infinity. Are we as humans in a confident position of knowing who are we are in nature, do we truly believe we can conqueror the unknown?

Ritchard Allaway http://www.rallaway.wordpress.com/


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Ritchard Allaway An interview by Melissa C. Hilborn, curator and Dario Rutigliano, curator articulaction@post.com

"Are we as humans in a confident position of knowing who are we are in nature, do we truly believe we can conqueror the unknown?" is a question that artist Ritchard Allaway's work poses to the viewers when drawing them through an unconventional, multilayered experience: his impressive installations urge the spectatorship to rethink the relationship between perception and experience. One of the most convincing aspect of Allaway's approach is the way it accomplishes an insightful inquiry into the relationships that can occur between objects, subjects and space: we are really pleased to introduce our readers to his stimulating artistic production. Hello Ritchard and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a very solid formal training and you hold a BA Hons Degree in Contemporary Fine Art & Contextual Studies and a MASTER in Contemporary Fine Art & Contextual Studies, that you received from the York St John University. You also nurtured your education in the fields of Design Technology and Education Studies: how do these experiences influence your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does

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your cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to artmaking and to the aesthetic problem in general?

There is no doubt that my background has influenced my evolution as an artist. I have spent seven years within higher education and within that time, it has allowed myself to become a much more developed and eager practitioner. I have made many friends along my journey through studying and all have helped influence me in some way; Luc Jones, Victoria Sharples, Natalie Willies Stu Burke if I was to name a handful. I found the same passion and drive within these people; I was able to share a willingness to discover how practice could evolve around the experiences we gained. The cultural substratum is of high importance. I am (along with every other art practitioner) brought up or surrounded by something that embodies our natural way of thinking which in turn can be brought towards art making. The aesthetical problem (as you put it) is for me, each to their own. I could never say there is an aesthetical problem as we all abide by different qualities of taste, though our cultural inheritence has an influence on ourselves at first and as we develop/evolve we begin to see art in a different light. Your approach reveals an organic investigation about the relationships that can occur between objects, subjects and space, and 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 https://rallaway.wordpress.com in order to

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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 develope your style and how do you conceive your works.

As stated earlier, my work developed within my first few years at York St John University. Though I did not know what my practice was and to be honest, what the hell I was making. Before I divulge on how my style developed, it would be helpful to know why I chose light as a medium of art production. There are two influences at work here; firstly, I have a great interest in astronomy and looking up with awe, fear and wonder (this is where my research into the Sublime spawned). Secondly, my dad is an electrician/maintanence technician. I have always been proud of the hard work my dad put into his job and I took interest in how he made machines and the household come alive. My dad taught me how to control certain elements of his craft and this is where light was introduced. I began to wonder if I could recreate my interests into the universe. I began to play around with black spaces and place small light bulbs around and allow it to evolve its own aesthetics and give a pleasent experience for my audiences. A simple beginning which has now evolved into a very minimal and contextual practice. As we look to where I am now; with my latest works such as; ‘Close’, ‘Moment’ etc relationships between space, objects and subjects all still occur but my research has developed further towards the contemporary Sublime. My work is concieved by allowing space and the positioning of artificial light to entice the subject to enter the

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installation and gain different, unique experiences. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected Moment, 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 this work is the way it reminds us the notion of non lieu elaborated by French anthropologist Marc Augé, bringing to a new level of significance the relationship between materiality and immateriality, urging us to rethink this dichotomy: while walking our readers through the genesis of Moment, would you shed light on the way your main source of inspirations?

‘Moment’ is a fun and interesting installation. I say fun because, yes, I enjoyed building and creating the work but it was still a challege to conceive. The concept behind the work was to give the audience an experience that would heighten their sensory perception through material/immaterial light,space and spiritual belief. The work was to exhilerate, never satisfy and in that sense I related my audiences experience to how I experience the paintings of Turner and Whistler. You have asked me to walk my audience through the work, but I would not be comfortable in doing so, due to the fact that each person who engaged within the work took away their own unique experience. I will though relate my own experiences in support of this concept. I stare at James Abbott McNeil Whistler’s ‘Nocturne Blue & Silver Cremorne Lights’ (1872)and I look into the painting. I see the lights on the horizon, at the edge of the river Thames and I question what human

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existence is out there. I search for an existence I can understand/relate too but I do not know and will never know what is beyond that horizon. I understand material, the touch of the water, the silence of the night, and with ‘Moment’ an audience can understand the light from the fluorescent, the claustriphobic space. The audience know how to walk down the corridor, they know that there is light at the end of the space but yet, they do not know what is beyond that light. The audience commit their bodies (as I committed my eyes to Nocturne Blue & Silver) and they search for an understanding or an answer to the experience of that work. Whistler and Turner excite and exhilerate me beyond language and I with ‘Moment’ and other works, try to do the same. I place my audience in a state of suspense that can never satisfy. Providing the viewers with an immersive experience, Moment provokes direct relations in the viewers and accomplishes the difficult task of going beyond the surface of communication: how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space? In particular, what kind of reactions did you expect to provoke in the viewers?

The public sphere is driven by time and money. Some of us may have careers we enjoy, lives we love and others may walk around in a mundane society. Introducing art into that sphere enables a person to gain something more within their lives. They are able to enter into a new dialogue. ‘Moment’ was placed into a public sphere to provoke a suspension in time. I wanted and expected the viewers to be able to walk through the tight narrow corridor and feel as if time was lost as the space is

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conditioned completely white and your body is lost within that moment. On top of that lostness, I expected a ‘moment’ of suspense to be building. The audience member searching, gaining momentum as they navigate the space, trying to seek out the light at the end; allowing them to question, ‘what next?’ A moment of panic or fright may set in, a little nervousness of not knowing, but there will always be a moment when some feeling occurs but never completes itself to the point of overwhelming satisfaction. Moment is there to tease the audience but to allow them to gain something new within their lives. I believe strongly that art serves a purpose, what that purpose is, varies depending on its context, but it is there to engage on a new level with others. Close suggests a process of deconstruction and accomplishes an effective investigation about the relationship between empty spaces and personal imagination, to challenge the viewers' parameters. What is the role of memory in your work? We are particularly interested in how you consider memory and its evokative role in perceptual process.

Our consciousness knows what we perceive, however by knowing, we fail to extract our self from our perceived consciousness. An audience will most likely try to find an answer to what it is they engage with. They search for answers in the materials, colours,spatial parameters etc and try to place what they are experiencing within their lives so that they can understand what it is they are actually experiencing. I do not think an audience (and I myself is included in this) can experience an installation without investigating everything about that

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installation. We do not have the ability to have a pure, singular experience because we understand the material world to well. With ‘Close’ I wanted to deconstruct all material objects in such a way that there is only space and a sense of nothingness. Though I do state about how I investigate material light, it is also an immaterial object. It is an illusion to percieve as we know it is there but we can not physically grasp its material qualities. As the audience engage with the installation of ‘Close’, they commit their bodies and minds to entering an illusion of space. The audience creates a relationship with this illusion and tries to engage in an understanding of how to place such an installation within their knowing. ‘Close’ is beyond what our existence knows but with all human instinct (as I stated earlier) we search to find a relationship with knowing. ‘Close’ detracts itself away from existing within the audience’s lives and therefor encourages the audience to use their immagination to help drive the experience. The Sublime enters into the equation as the audience understand the aesthetics of white light light and the form of purity it has taken within the space, but this experience of beauty becomes overwhelming and a sense of fear, of not knowing sets in. The immagination has lost its ability to search for something beyond the parameters of ‘Close’. Your successful attempt to produce a dialectical fusion that operates as a system of symbols creates a compelling non linear narrative that walks the viewers through the thin line between conceptual and literal meanings. 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

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about it? And in particular how do you conceive the narrative for your works?

I can agree with Demand, I think the contemporary art world is here to challenge not just the audience but the practitioner aswell. We are trying to deconstruct simplicity and the straight forward, direct symbolic artworks and create something that encourages constant dialect and discourse. The symbolic is to straight forward therefor we want to push the audience into conceiving their own narratives, allowing them to in some sense, become the artist. They have the ability to take ownership of the work as they construct its meaning. How do I conceive a narrative for my work? I do not believe anybody has asked me that before. I do agree with my work striving to be non linear and removing itself from the straight forward but conceiving a narrative is straight forward for myself. In the previous question I talk about how ‘Close’ is stripped away from all co-existense with the audience but it all comes down to data analysis. I measure space/mass/volume, I take light readings and I try to understand how that would break down the cortisol levels within the human body. This allows me to calculate how a new installation can be conceived. This is where my selfish scientific research comes in. Instead of just saying, ‘right I am going to build this space like that and place that size light there etc’, I can take into account the parameters of space and the lighting used to calculate what affect and experience it should have on an audience. The non-linear narrative then evolves from the constructed installation;’What affect

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should happen but away from the biological and into the contextual’. Your works could be considered multisensorial biographies that univeil the aestethic consequences of a combination between tactile, concrete reality and the elusive nature of light, exploring unexpected aspects of the functionality of language on the aesthetic level: as Gerhard Richter once remarked, "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?

Maybe in someway I find the functionality of art in these days a selfish endevour. I do not mean to disrespect other practitioners with that remark but I see art in several ways. Firstly, for myself, I am a research artist. I am creating my own data for my own analysis and that simply is very selfish of me. Secondly, I am creating installations of light and space that asks for the audience to be a part of it so that they can be elevated from their lives into an experience of no other they have ever had. This is the opposite of selfishness and I myself am giving something to any audience so that they are drawm away from the everyday. On a whole though, there are so many class systems within the art world that its functionality is varried as it aims at certain audiences. I could never give a definite answer to this question. I am split between two opposites of how my practice works within the contemporary world. There will be practitioners out there who strive to be selfless and those who strive to be selfish with the functionality of their work. One of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to create direct involvement with

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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?

Without a doubt. My audience have to be drawn away from being a simple mere spectator and transformer into an active live participant but the communication of language between experience and understanding is also parrallel with my

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decision making when creating space. My goal is to challenge the experience of the everyday and elevate my audience beyond that. I therefor pose to myself when involved within the making process, this question; How do we decribe/communicate the experience when we do not know what the experience is? I in away, try to place myself as a participant within my work, even though each individual has their own unique experience, I try to make a small understanding of what it would be like to not be the artist and in turn become the spectator. It is a very difficult challenge for me but it is essential to find out how an


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audience participant can engage with space and light and how I can elevate their lives through physical engagement from decision making processess. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Ritchard. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving

Thank you very much for taking the time to witness and indulge yourself within my practice. For how the future and how my work will develop I do not know. There is a constant not knowing within all forms of art practice. We do not know where

our next brush stroke will move,what mark we will make on the canvas, we have to expect the unexpected and not force ourselves into a project. I am about to come back from a well earned break, but my practice will evolve through my continuing research into how we experience artificial light and what relationships that has within the realm of the contemporary Sublime. How that will look within a three dimensional space, I do not know... An interview by Melissa C. Hilborn, curator and Dario Rutigliano, curator articulaction@post.com

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rocess of it’s perceiving. To make the perception visible and/or hearable, I assemble image or sound-reproduction constructions out of context-specific components. These constructions become technical extensions of the natural senses. A heartbeat becomes a drum (Heart Dance), a mouth becomes a loudspeaker (Medium), ears become a TV antenna (The Mobile Séance). Secondary Art is a recycling of overproduction. Each piece of art can be socially useful when it is made a public utility: an old telephone box transforms into a lantern (The Luminous Box), a broken solar fountain becomes a public outlet (Plug-in Fountain) and an artist’s piss becomes a movie screen (Narcissus). Secondary Art is not inventive, it’s just a repetition of all the things artists do: performances, sculptures, short films, drawings, photographs, video installations and site-specific projects

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Highly stimulating in its communicative concreteness, OPEN POWER is an extremely interesting project by cross disciplinary artist Andrey Ustinov, whose work developes the notion of Secondary Art. Ustinov's approach rejects any conventional classification and shows that each piece of art can be socially useful when it is made a public utility. One of the most convincing aspects of Ustinov's work is the way it successful attempt to go beyond the dichotomy between artist and spectatorship, urging them to evolve to conscious and active participants. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to his stimulating artistic production. Hello Andrey and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. We would start this interview posing you some questions about your background: are there any experiences that have particularly influenced your evolution as an artist? Moreover, how does the relationship between your Russian roots and your current life in Cologne informs the way you realte yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

Privyet everybody! The question about my roots is an persistent corn on my baby toe. My background as a theme has haunted me my entire life. All foreigners living in Germany are repeatedly confronted with the same question: “Where are you from?” It's a question often asked before inquiring about

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one's name, interests or occupation. A first encounter can be entirely consumed by the discussion of this one topic. Why is this such a popular question? Because people believe a person's origins is what they are mainly made up of. Everything else is secondary. I used to answer this question straightforwardly: - I'm from Russia. - Where exactly? Russia is big. - Saint-Petersburg. - Oh! What a beautiful city. End of conversation. But I've lost my patience for this dialogue and now respond as follows: - I'm from Syria/North Korea/Southern Sudan/China/etc. - Syria/North Korea/Southern Sudan/China/etc.??!! Impossible! You don't look it. - What do you mean? What does a Syrian/Korean/Sudanese/Chinese/etc. person look like? - Dark, narrow eyes, etc. … - Not true. I'm Syrian! How many Syrians do you know personally? - Well, none. But your accent is not Syrian! - What does a Syrian accent sound like then? - I'm not sure, but yours is more like French or Dutch, or Polish. - My accent is purely Syrian! And so on. … True story: Recently, I was able to inadvertently convince my interlocutors that I was German. At first they were skeptical of


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my Germanness, but they didn't want to believe that I was Chinese, either! During our conversation, they realised that they knew very little about China. They had no Chinese friends or colleagues, and they couldn't support the stereotypes they had about China. In the end they asked, “Looks aside, do you speak Chinese?� to which I replied there was no distinct Chinese language but a variety of dialects. - Which dialect do you speak? And why is your German so good? Aren't you German? - That's because German is one of the official languages of China. I speak a Chinese dialect of German. Although they were quite surprised to learn that German is an official language in China, they were glad to have met their countryman from China! Needless to say, I believe that human identity does not come from our roots but rather from personal experience and social consciousness. We aren't born with identity; identity is not to be found from whence we came but from what we become in the course of a life. So, the artist has their own identity to form. I've noticed that nobody asks an artist from North America or Western Europe about cultural manifestations in their work. They have the right to create completely formal, abstract art. It's not the same for artists from Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa or Latin America. Whatever they produce has got to have some sort of political or social justice issue behind it. Artists from so-called undemocratic countries are expected to represent their country rather than themselves, while artists from western countries are permitted to be individuals. This is a double-standard. I don't represent a country, I represent myself.

You are a versatile artist your experimental practice encapsulates several techniques, ranging from performances, sculptures and short films to drawings, photographs, video installations and site-specific projects, revealing 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: so before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://andreyustinov.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your usual process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that such multidisciplinary approach is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

I don't think my multidisciplinary approach is unique. Many artists work crossdisciplinarily; it's practically become mainstream within contemporary art. Things probably become mainstream due to general feelings of instability in everyday life. Contemporary artists, among others, are often victims of chronic un(der)employment. Most of us have some tolerable job, but are still always on the lookout for better opportunities. Okay, I can draw. But who needs that nowadays? Maybe I should brush up on my video-cutting skills? I've got that mastered, but video won't be able to feed me either. Should I become a performance artist? I've tried that, too. What's the point? I know! In order to build up my oldage security, I've got to get into sitespecific projects! Done that. The sitespecific market appears to be full. There's only one other way: sound sculpture. Built one. The thing is, while I was building it,

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the trend changed again. I'm urgently looking into bio art! For my part, I just really need to work interdisciplinarily: As a concept artist I generally consider every aspect of human activity as artistic medium. I don't see the point in generating traditional aesthetic products (paintings, sculptures, photos, films ‌ ). I don't have the impression that the world is lacking with respect to those things. On the contrary, the market is overfilled with art. The market is bloated with all kinds of products, for that matter. The products aren't bad, but there is no need for all of them. At best, this excess garbage will get recycled and implemented in future production – at worst, they will be destroyed. I don't see any reason to be a producer of more waste. So I've found myself a more meaningful function: I'm trying to integrate myself as a protagonist within a certain social structure. I mean to say, I'm not into interpreting the event as an observer but rather creating the event and being the event myself. That's why I have to be ready to take on any medium, situation depending. When I draw, I'm not creating a picture as such, but rather a technical design which will help me to implement the project I have in mind. When I take a photo, my intention is not to make it the work of art, but to document it. It helps me convey information about the project. The same goes for video production. Also, most of my sculptures are made for intervention in public spaces, so each one of them is susceptible to vandalism and destruction. Everything I do is purely functional, utilitarian – not strictly for contemplation. Once my work becomes useless, it faces its natural decline and death. I do not mourn because of this, in fact, I am glad that a function has been fulfilled. When I do a performance, I'm certainly not entertaining audiences from the stage. My actions are interwoven within

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specific social contexts. My performances are decidedly unspectacular, sometimes without any visual elements. They're not for watching, they're for metamorphosis. For me, art is a component of rational knowledge, on par with all other sciences. Therefore, the purpose of art is not the mere production of a consumer good, but the acquisition of new knowledge. Experiment and research are my methods, and of course, this demands an openness to all disciplines. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected OPEN POWER, a social project aimed to share open resources that you exhibited in May and 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 this project is the way your successful attempt to spread awareness about the free sockets in Cologne accomplishes the difficult task of finding a point of convergence between contemporary art practice and a reference to real world, to establish direct relations to the everyday, that is a crucial aspect of the notion of Secondary Art.

So we would like you to tell us more about the importance that for you has the reference to real and perceptual world. OPEN POWER encompasses nearly all of the major themes I have worked on in previous works. The idea of “reciprocal perception� has been in my work for years and is further developed through the photographs in OPEN POWER. Each image is composed in exactly the same manner: the floodlight is powered by the socket which in turn is illuminated by the light. It's a rudimentary closed circuit. Depicted within each circuit are four things: a floodlight, a plug, a socket and some elements of urban context. There are also political issues hidden inside the images: Who owns the socket? Who pays the electricity bill? Who is

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permitted to make use of the socket? Why is the socket accessible to the public? Why isn't accessible electricity a norm? Who controls the power? Who is in a position to distribute power? You see, many important topics for public debate and policy-making arise from a simple arrangement and a certain perspective. Another recurring theme of mine, “action in reverse”, is apparent in the performance part of OPEN POWER. Once the map was complete with 100 sockets, I chose the site of the very first find – Socket #1 – as the exhibition ground. I hadn't especially selected the ferry dock board in the heart of Cologne, across the Rhine river from the great cathedral and next to the famous Hohenzollern Bridge – that was a happy coincidence. All of the sockets are numbered in the order in which I found them. Socket #1's location did have its perks apart from being so central: the ferry dock board was conveniently at my disposal. All I had to do was design a billboard exactly the same size as it and mount it. The billboard had the socket map and all 100 photos with GPS- coordinates printed on. My friends helped me flip the original board around so that mine could be displayed along the promenade for all to see. I also plugged my floodlight into the socket, so that it would light up the board. Before the exhibit could take place however, the ferry dock owners found me out and shut off the power supply. At first they threatened to fine me (they did, in fact, collect a small sum for the effective rental of their board while it was on display for one day), but perhaps due to the positive media attention the project received, did not make good on those threats. The performance at the end of the vernissage was a reversal of the installation: we flipped the board back around, so that the original ferry board faced the public again. We left my board hanging on the reverse side, overlooking the Rhine. In the end, the conflict with the ferry dock owners only contributed to the issues I intended to address.

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I am very passionate about Situationism and the Situationist International movement. OPEN POWER extends itself to these realms as well: an alternative city map born from my own wanderings – my dérive (psychogeographic drift). OPEN POWER is an urban utopia, exploring the possibilities of the city as a common resource. The black and white design of the map was intentional: clearly, it thematises light and the absence of it; but it is also a reference to Constant Nieuwenhuys' black and white imaginary cities, a series of strokes, lines and nodes. (The dark map hints that the best time to use the sockets is at night, as it's probably illegal.) When it comes to utilitarianism in my work, I am often criticised: Is that even art? Doesn't this belong to the social activism category, a public service? Thanks for the intervention, but why from an artistic angle? If this is art, what about it is original, valuable? Nothing! Your works are just secondary. One day, I stopped defending myself and wrote my Secondary Art manifest. I abandoned the creation of egocentric art objects and now concentrate on developping my aesthetic perspectives through satisfying the public ego. The paradox is that as a result, I deeply satisfy my own! Your works almost always offer an immediately fruible set of elements you draw from universal imagery that triggers the viewers' primordial parameters concerning our relation with physicality and with everyday life, inviting us to a multilayered experience. When walking our readers through the genesis of AfterLife, we would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

What interests me is an artist as an individual, as a unique person, as an intriguing interlocutor, as a thinker and a doer. The Anthropocene epoch is full of incredible visual phenomena. The images, objects and artefacts have no author – they are the works of humanity and nature in cooperation. Dried up river beds; quarries gone wild; thin, young trees ripping up concrete; dams; industrial ruins; corroded technical devices … All of these fascinating entities came to be without artists' intervention, as a result of nature and human activity, in the course of daily life. I sometimes get aches in my chest from the anguish, horror and awe I experience contemplating these things. But I can't communicate with them. I can't rate them. I can see them, but they do not see me. No interaction. Art is only interesting because of the artist who can see me. They show their work so that I can look, that's the crucial part. I deem art bad or boring if it doesn't inspire a question in me, if I can't think of any that could be asked. That's why I'm so skeptical of the “white cube” concept and minimal art. The white cube is a science lab protecting a piece of art from the real world. It's an attempt to simulate the world in a museum, but a platonic, noumenal world. A minimal art piece is a sort of thing-in-itself display, it's not created because of a person but in spite of one. It just exists. This is the twenty-first century; we know that the noumenal world is a fake. Why do we revel in this ignorant bullshit through our art? I can't take such works seriously. That's why I love stuff like Santiago Sierra's “SOS – the world's largest graffiti”, where he drove a giant SOS into the desert sands around the perimeter of a refugee camp in Algeria. The message could only be read from up in the air, from a plane or a satellite. It was meant

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for aliens, an apocalyptic cry for help. It's both a critical reference to the land art tradition of the 60s and 70s (think Robert Smithson's idea of Earth as a remnant of a technologically advanced ancient alien civilisation) and a political re-contextualisation of minimal art: from the white cube back to reality. I hope this explains my passion for art as a result of personal experience. Without the experience, there can be no personality. Artists who establish distance from their audience cut off direct communication and as a result, put themselves on par with nature. The distance is a declaration: “You may come and go, but my work will remain.” They believe their work will survive humanity, but they only deceive themselves. The processes of viewing and critical assessment are experiences in time and with a time limit. All art is lost as soon as the last spectator loses interest and turns away. After the apocalypse, all artefacts of human civilisation will be equally worthless: a stone and a Picasso will be equals. So, there is really no object of contemplation without a subject. There is no art without context as exhibited in a white cube. Another interesting work of yours that has particularly impressed us and on which we would like to spend some words is The Luminous Box, a site- specific work in a wasteland in Cologne-Kalk: when converting a telephone box into a perpetual “Luminous Box” in the darkness of the wasteland you manipulated an object in order to provide it of a new function and meaning, goung beyond the notion of symbol. 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 and especially the visual unity for your works?

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I agree. Work with symbols is always manipulative. In the past century, post- structuralist authors conducted an exhaustive semiological analysis of symbols and mismatches between the signifier and the signified. The symbolic language, rightly separated from contemporary art, was recycled into pop culture, kitsch and advertising. We must admit, it was not easy to condemn the symbols to the trash bins. They continue to have a powerful impact on our daily lives. Any use of a symbol may result in a chain of irreversible effects. Caution is not necessarily conservative or cowardly, but more like a mature awareness of possible consequences. Rational knowledge is based on experiment, not symbolism: To gain knowledge, one must conduct an empirical experiment for which symbols may be used to label the findings, nothing more. Mysticism purports the opposite: a symbol holds knowledge in itself. To gain knowledge, one must experience the ritual. For LUMINOUS BOX, I tried to orchestrate an experience, combining both rational and irrational elements. A photograph of an old and defunct electrical box is a document and quite an ordinary, rational thing. The miracle is that the box “rises from the dead” when the photo begins to glow. The perception of the symbol comes through experiencing the “resurrection”. Of course, my aim had no religious designs. My work is actually quite rational. I staged this experience in such a way so as to achieve an intimate moment for each guest. Every emotion is personal; it's impossible to collectively have the same emotion. Furthermore, it's impossible to prove or accurately describe emotion. Intimacy is thus a solitary encounter. This encounter was very important for LUMINOUS BOX. If I meet a stranger, I ask myself questions regarding myself in a social context: What's the difference between myself, a person, and them, the other? If I come across a natural object or artefact of human activity, I ask myself the same question in an anthropological context: What's the difference between myself,

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human, and this entity, non-human? Are we one and the same? Are we equal? I'm human. What are they? I see them, do they see me? A human faces a broken-down electrical box along a deserted path by the railroad tracks. He takes a photo, documents the sight. Does anyone else see this box like he does? Does the box see him? If I draw from sociologist Bruno Latour's work, I could say that I connected the box and its spectator to a united society of humans and things. According to his concept, non-living things are autonomous social actors much like human beings; they affect human behaviours and impact social processes. This is the point of my LUMINOUS BOX: it's human creation intermingling with civilian life, founding the united society of humans and things. In a previous interview you have stated that while you don't specify its function your art pretends to have a practical application and you allow the perceivers to determine it: as Gerhard Richter once remarked, "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've never heard that quote from Richter, but I really like it. I'll get on that bandwagon. I create my works to be tools. I never know how they'll end up being used, but I try to produce in such a way so that at least some use can be conceived of. I borrow the term vandalism. Not in the conventional sense; I don't subscribe to the negative connotations of the word. Vandalism is the best example of active audience participation! Vandalism is the greatest compliment an artist can receive! I hope that everyone is familiar with Barnett Neuman's “Who's afraid of red, yellow and blue?�. The picture was physically attacked,

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because of the sense of fear and uncertainty Neuman's work achieved. Neuman deliberately incited fear, that's clear at least from the title of his work. It was a visual irritation: Neuman dealt with perception of the interacting colourful panels. The nonmediated combination of large planes of intense red, yellow and blue are an absolute irritation! So Neuman's experiment was a success: can you possibly think of a more rewarding outcome for an artist? My LUMINOUS BOX lasted ten days in the wasteland. On the tenth day, it was destroyed by persons unknown. The vandals were interested in the solar panel and battery, which were fueling the box. They broke the box as if it were a safe and robbed it of its value according to them: free electricity. Isn't that wonderful? You regularly take part in performances and art projects in public space, as the interesting Heart Dance: your work provides the viewers with an intense, immersive experience: 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 and how much importance has improvisation in your process?

I can't improvise. I plan out all the details of my work. I remain very uncomfortable if the slightest detail of my work isn't clarified. If I can find no way to reconcile one detail, I'll throw the entire project out with the bathwater. Still, I am very intrigued by the improvisations of my audience. Since my work is designed for viewer participation, I'm thrilled to see how it will turn out. Even my HEART DANCE performance was meticulously planned out, nothing was improvised. The trick here was that I used strategies to catch the audience by surprise. I never begin a


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performance with an announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, please welcome master of the performing arts – Andrey Ustinov – to the stage!” Even if my performance is printed on a program, I make sure to sabotage any expectations. Here, I entered the hall outside of the appointed time and proceded without introduction. It wasn't clear if I was really the performer or some guy off the street. And I didn't choreograph my dance moves. The important thing was just to dance, I wasn't trying to dazzle anyone with my skill. Perhaps that contributed to the sense of improvisation, but those moves were purely intentional. As for the role of art in public space, and the intense interaction with the spectators' intimate sphere, I can draw upon my performance ECHO (Cologne, 2015) for an example. This perfomance was a collaboration with my girlfriend, Renée Plotycia, as part of the artists' initiative “10 m2”. 10 m2 provides a slab of asphalt (10 m2 of it, to be precise – hence the name) in a parkette for art exhibitions. The slab is situated in a relatively unfrequented, residential area and is dimly lit. There, I set up a sandwich board advertising a performance called ECHO, including my name and the date, time and location. So, around 30 people gather around the slab at 8:00pm, as had been announced, and wait for the performance to begin. But nothing begins. After around 25 minutes, Renée Plotycia arrives and mingles with the guests. Some of them already know her and ask where I was. Instead of giving them a direct answer, she provokes them: “Why not ask him yourself?” When their patience seems to reach a critical point, Renée intervenes. She shouts into the darkness: “Andreeeeeeey! Where are youuuuu?!” The reply is an echo, my voice

repeating: “Andreeeeeeey! Where are youuuuu?!” During the performance, I lay hidden on a nearby rooftop and echoed the guests' cries. Some of them followed the source of my voice and tried to find me. They shouted „Andrey, get down!“ and I shouted „Andrey, get down!“. They shouted „Are you on the roof?“ and I shouted „Are you on the roof?“, etc. No further explanation was provided, not from myself, not from the organisers, not from Renée. The guests didn't explicitly find out whose voice was calling, or if this was even the performance at all, and not simply a misunderstanding. Many left disappointed and annoyed, but some – there were a bunch of kids with their parents present – were happy to have a legitimate reason to shout out loud. The performance lasted three and a half hours, the last of the stragglers left around midnight. It had been a mild fall evening, and I had provided my guests with two large cases of beer – the locally-brewed and awful-tasting Kölsch. Nothing fancy. The game of call and echo persisted the whole time, in between conversation and becoming more and more sporadic. Through this performance and others like it, I catch people off guard and force them to become actors themselves. The action deals with such strong feelings as curiosity, confusion, expectation, anger, disappointment, … The feelings take centre stage rather than myself. Like an echo, I returned these feelings to their senders, thus including personalised intimate experiences in the content of my performance. As an artist, your aim is to create common projects with society, to be an artist as a social initiator: while lots of artists from the contemporary scene, as Ai WeiWei or more recently Jennifer Linton, use to

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convey 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?

I don't know of any non-political work in the entire history of art. Every public presentation has some sort of political impact. For this reason, I find the term political art unfortunate. One of my earliest works, the performance EXPULSION FROM PARADISE, was recently included in the first volume of a DVD-anthology entitled “Disruptive Film: Everyday Resistance to Power” (by Ernest Larsen and Sherry Millner, New York). The performance was also part of a short film festival called “The Fallen Curtain” (2005, Oberhausen / Germany). As can be reasoned from the titles themselves, this work has been classified as political content in the truest sense of the word. But none of my other works have been sought out by curators with a “political” agenda. I suppose I have quit conforming to the “political art” standards. I'd like to ask the theorists who coined the term what they meant by it. Is it art that directly comments on the content of the news media? Art that targets specific politicians, that calls out familiar slogans, that demands action? That would seem to me a very spectacular understanding of the political, making the artist a delegate hero, a defier of the gods. Funny displays for YouTube or Facebook undoubtedly, but inappropriate for defining the political. Politics is no spectacle, it's simply routine civil participation. The artist doesn't follow a

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specific recipe to produce political work, it's the spectators who extract the political content from art. As an avid Debord reader, I especially want to avoid supplying the Society of the Spectacle with new episodes. That's what the mass media and pop culture is for. I see my function as a politically engaged artist as appealing to my audience to engage in critical thought, self-reflection, civil courage and action. The calculations, conclusions and appropriate actions are up to them. We find particularly important the fact that you refer to your spectatrship as "the perceivers": this is especially true in the interactive installation entitled TOCSIN. Over these years you works have been exhibited in several occasions and your practice is strictly connected to the chance of establishing a direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a mere spectatorship to conscious participants on an intellectual level, 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 come to realise that all of my work needs to be made “for dummies”. I have to construct a situation in such a way that fosters interaction with the audience. There can't be a special invitation or a set of instructions to follow, that never works. Interaction should happen instinctively. Initially, the viewer is a dumb consumer; only following from this position can they become intellectual and active. My work TOCSIN follows this concept: at first, one can see a sculpture – a big, spectacular object. Then, one notices a microphone hanging in the middle of it, within reaching distance.


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It's bait: here's your chance to take to the stage and say something meaningful, like a TV-superstar. A dangling microphone is erotic, it excites dreams of stardom. My trap was as sure-fired as Zuckerberg's guess that every single person on this planet wanted to have their own Facebook page. Indeed, the curious people were drawn to the microphone. The sculpture was designed so that the electrical contact necessary for sound was kept in off-mode through the weight of the hanging microphone. Touching the microphone would disturb the weight distribution and set off the sound system. Some people are aware of what happens when you hold a microphone close to a speaker: you get feedback, a very unpleasant screeching. TOCSIN is made up of forty speakers, so you can imagine its noisecapacity. Shocked, the reaction of the people was to let go of the microphone, which would turn off the sound because it would be weighed down once again. So the audience interaction here was purely physiological, not verbal. This work is about the seduction of power, fear and violence. Here, participation is a punishable desire. This is a paradox about the desire to speak and the impossibility of being heard. If everybody who has something to say speaks all at once, nothing will be heard. The result is a loud commotion, as the unheard raise their voices all at once, desperately trying to be heard. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Andrey. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

In October I'll be implementing my new project FILM NOIR in Wrocław (Poland) as part of an art residency for media artists. FILM NOIR, like many of my previous works, is based on subjective experience, the surprise effect and the breaking of expectations. I don't want to

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give away my idea before the intervention but I can describe the concept generally: FILM NOIR is a site specific installation, meant for implementation in a derelict area of the city. The project genre is a fusion of open-air cinema, geocaching and noiseconcert. Along with many of my previous works, FILM NOIR is developed through research on marginal city spaces. This work deals with the city as a public resource and serves as a backdrop for my own distopian political projection. I want to offer an alternative experience of the city for the local community as well as for visitors. The project title FILM NOIR refers to the Hollywood genre from the 1930s, reflecting the feelings of pre-war time: anxiety, confusion, distrust, powerlessness. Poland is currently in the midst of a superpower conflict: NATO vs. Russia, populist politics at home ... The feelings of anxiety are back. My aim is a critical reflection of our present time: the misleading media, the abuses of human attention and the wasting of resources, to name a few major dilemmas. In addition to FILM NOIR, I have accumulated a number of projects in recent years, which are currently in various stages of slow development. The reason for the slow-down is because I can't find the funding to put them in motion. All of these projects can be found by clicking on the link below. If anyone would like to support me, I welcome every form of participation. As a sign of my gratitude, I can offer invites to vernissages, a mention in my catalogue, video credits, a drawing, a photo, a DVD of my video work, a t-shirt ‌ I've got something for everyone! If you follow this link, you will be led to a large number of drawings and digital images. They have never been exhibited, but they can currently be seen online. As I've said before, their function lies purely in preparation for a conceptual project.

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Because these are projects-in-waiting, some for years (who knows if they'll ever see the light of day?), I have been toying with the idea of exhibiting them on their own, within a new genre: graphic visualisation of unimplemented ideas – Projects On Paper. This might be where I'm going next: putting together a collection of drawings of unfulfilled projects. I could expose them as pictures or publish a book. I favour the idea of a book, because then I could also include text to provide details for the projects. I suppose it would be a portfolio of works that don't exist. And that's pretty characteristic of these Facebook times, what with the virtual documentation of achievements on our news feeds. No one will ask if these projects were actually implemented. In the end it doesn't even matter. Both FILM NOIR and Projects On Paper arose from a culmination of previous works but are implemented in a new format. FILM NOIR has some of my recurring elements like no man's land, autonomous electricity generation, information board, geocaching and sound amplification. The new format is an open air cinema, I've never done that before. Projects On Paper is a similar kind of development: I chose the book medium to implement site and time specific projects. I use these formats to try to create a hybrid of virtual and kinesthetic reality. Every new idea is a new hybrid. The creation of new hybrids is, in general, where I want to go as an artist. Thanks for your attention. This was a long interview, hopefully not too boring. If anyone is interested in following my progress, subscribe to my newsletter, and I'll keep you updated. http://andreyustinov.com/works-in-progress


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N aomi Middelmann Lives and works in Lousanne, Switzerland

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aomi Middelmann’s work explores the theme “displaced." The definition being something or somebody being moved or put out of the usual and proper place because of necessity, choice or by external forces. By combinating and juxtapositing disparate images, formats, forms, surfaces and textures her work opens up new experiences in which space, time and place are displaced from their usual context. In this way, she puts into question our sense of perception and of identity. Middelmann refuses to limit herself to one medium. She draws, paints, sculpts and assembles as a multi faceted exploration of the theme. This theme began when Middelmann was handed various elements from her personal history two years ago, she decided to transform these elements (over 200 of her own school textbooks, her diaries, letters, cards and pictures frames, string, and cloth), into sculptures and installations. Restoring them to their natural state of seeds, sticks and logs is an attempt to explore the question of identity, of reclaiming a childhood of displacement and lost identity, her own high level education, and the physical weight of a personal history

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which has made her what she is but does not define her. She then disassembled and reassembled her own canvasses and frames in an exploration again of identity, the relevancy of painting today and artistic conventions in a series of work called “painting deconstructred”. What interested her is what happens when the reverse side of the canvas is displayed or when the canvas remains raw and unprimed, when bits and pieces are reassembled. For the past year, she has returned to painting and drawing in a series called “migration” in order to question what happens when identity becomes displaced from necessity or choice. She enjoys playing with the ambiguity and disparity of perception between the figurative and abstract, what is painting and what is sculpture. With this interest in the ambiguity of perception, she is actively collaborating and designing research projects with various leading neuroscientists at top universities in the USA, Germany and Switzerland. She has presented her process at galleries as well as at academic institutions. She will be presenting her work and process at the Brain Institute of Vanderbilt University, USA.


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Naomi Middelmann An interview by Melissa C. Hilborn, curator and Katherine Wilson, curator articulaction@post.com

Artist Naomi Middelmann's works accomplish an insightful exploration of the transience in identity to walk the viewers through a multilayered experience, inducing them to elaborate personal associations and intepretations. Her style rejects any conventional classifications and is marked with freedom as well as coherence , while encapsulating a careful attention to composition and balance. One of the most impressive aspects of Middelmann's work is the way it provides her images with an autonomous life and aesthetics: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating and multifaceted artistic production. Hello Naomi and welcome to ARTiculAction: we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your rich and multifaceted background. You have a solid formal training and after having earned your Bachelor of Arts from the prestigious Johns Hopkins University, you nurtured your education with a Postgraduate degree at the Visual Art School, in Basel. How do these experiences influence the way you conceive and produce your works? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum dued to your multicultural heritage

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inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

I have always been accutely aware of not having a true sense of belonging to one specific country or culture. I was raised in a German-American family in a small mountain village in Switzerland. We were always seen as outsiders. When my family moved to just outside New York City when I was 16, I became very aware of not having a home culture. I am, what Ruth E. Van Eyken, author of the book Third Culture Kids: Growing up Among Worlds, would call a typical third culture child. Meaning someone who has created a new culture from the memories, impressions of my parents’ cultures, mixed in with my own experiences. This background obviously has had an impact on my work. At Johns Hopkins I grew interested in the question of identity and identity development both in the literature classes I took, but also in the International Relations classes I followed. What has always intrigued me is the sense of invisible borders that we, as humans have, and how we shape our identity according to a variety of factors that go way beyond the physical borders.


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I would also say that maybe not feeling connected to simply one place has given me the freedom aesthetically to pursue what I felt was meaningful. I don’t feel like I have to adhere to a specific aesthetic current or school. Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your practice that involves drawing, painting, sculptures as well as mixed media pieces: rejecting any specific style, the language you convey in your works challenges the viewers' pereceptual parameters to urge them to investigate about our sense of perception and of identity. We would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.naomimiddelmann.com in order to get a synoptic view of your work: 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 only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

I came to understand in the last few years, that I could not stick to one medium. Forcing myself to explore working with a new medium has been a way of challenging myself and testing my work, but also then returning to the original medium with a new impulse and outlook. And each medium has its specificities, painting is not the same as drawing, and drawing is not the same as sculpture. To me the various mediums have become an expression of different facets. If I go back to how this can express the theme of identity and perception, I think many of us have different roles that we play, that of a parent, a child, an artist, a friend etc. It’s all the same physical body, but it

will play out in different ways given the social situation. So the use of various mediums is an expression of those various roles that we have. But I also explore juxtaposing those various mediums and materials as a way of expressing the seemingly jarring differences. I have become a process driven artist. I am driven by themes and questions, that I try research throughout my work. I can easily spend a year or even two years working on a series. And then out of the series new questions arise and so on and so forth. For example in the “migration drawings” I started drawing little people who spread out across the page, those people then became in the process tiny circles, who at first spread out in the shape of continents, but lately have become more like droplets, cells, or atoms. The process has driven me from a sense of the general movement of people to the question of the transience of human identity and of the sense of self. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected Sounds overheard an extremely interesting series that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of this work is the way your inquiry into the development of the color provides your pieces with a dynamic and autonomous aesthetics. While walking our readers through the genesis of the Sounds overheard series, would you shed light to your main sources of inspiration?

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The Sounds Overheard series is based actually on a poem from Frank Bidart, a poet , I disovered at Johns Hopkins University and have followed ever since. One of his themes is the question of identity. Overheard through the walls of the invisible city . . .telling those who swarm around him his desire is that an appendage from each of them fill, invade each of his orifices,-repeating, chanting Oh yeahOh yeahOh yeahOh yeahOh yeah until, as if in darkness he craved the sun, at last he reached consummation. Until telling those who swarm around him begins again (we are the wheel to which we are bound). Frank Bidart, What interested me in this poem is the image of that distant sound of something ungraspable. That led me to the question of memory. When we remember things, we don’t remember them in a linear or organised fashion. There are images that come to us in an often disorganised and chaotic way and we know that what we remember is often not even true. Our sense of truth is warped. In this series, I was interested in playing with that sense of seeing and not seeing. So faces, body

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parts float into the painting, overlapping. The full title of the series is “Sounds Overheard from the invisible self�. When inquiring into perceptual processes, you seem to draw from the subconscious, almost oniric sphere, inviting the viewers to challenge their primordial, almost limbic parameters to get involved into a multilayered experience. Your approach allows you to capture non-sharpness of physicality with an universal kind of language. We are particularly interested if you try to trigger the viewers' memory as a starting point to expand their perceptual parameters.

I do think the point of art is to get a reaction from the viewer, to make them perhaps question what they think they know. I am interested in making art a visceral experience. For many years I wanted to write and did indeed write for some magazines, but I found writing to be frustrating as I could not make it a multidimensional expererience. We often think of perception as only being the act of seeing, but I believe perception is also a bodily experience, which was argued by Maurice MerleauPonty, but has also been proved scientically. We can perceive through a variety of our senses, and perception is not a passive process. Our eyes are not a camera, the brain actively shapes our perception.The strength of art is to be able to play with questions of perception and offer a new way of experiencing or seeing. The dialogue established by tones and shapes is a crucial part of your style: in

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particular, the effective combination between both delicate and intense nuances of tones sums up the mixture of thoughts and emotions. How much does your own psychological make-up

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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


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

I work through color, one colour at a time. I admire artists who can use a

palette of colour such as Per Kirkeby or Joan Mitchell. I easily feel lost in colour and so I have come to accept that I will be always more driven by the relationship of light /dark and gesture to

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surface than be able to use colour. I often come back to black and white, but I do from time to time go into primary colours such as blue or red. I always

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work on a series of pieces (6 or 7 at a time) who all have similar tones. When I am done with those I move onto another series. But I am more driven by


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the exploration of textures and the juxtaposition of contradictory techniques and materials.

For your inquiry into the transience in identity you seem to remove any cultural belonging to remove the historical dimension of your exploration, going beyond the intrinsic

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ephemeral nature of a time-based exploration. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative

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


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I had a writing professor at Johns Hopkins who used to say “write what you know about”. Jean Dubuffet, the artist, talked a lot about the need for

authenticity in art. I do think it’s easier to truly create something from a theme that motivates you, compells you to want to show up to the studio each day.

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At the same time, if art is an

sense of a question that one wants to

exploration, and I would even say is a

understand better. What I mean by

research process, that there has to be a

research is that as an artist I set out

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with a question, attempt to explore the

exhibit or present my work to the public

question using various mediums, which

for review.

lead to other questions, and at the end I

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We have appreciated the way Painting deconstructed conveys both figurative and abstract feeling into coherent balance: the act of disassembling and reassembling your own canvasses and frames suggests a process of recontextualization that works on both the conscious level and on the subconscious one to establish direct relations with the spectatorship. 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". How do you conceive such compelling narrative that pervades your pieces?

I do find it interesting how the process itself is the series. That series actually started with my own school books and notebooks that my mother had saved for me. I had over 200 of them in a box and a turned them into large seed-like sculptures to question the place of education in the creation of one’s identity. The painting deconstructed series came from a series of old canvases I had held onto from my art school years. I litterally ripped them off the frames and reassembled them, as a way to recontextualise but also question what we do with all the things we accumulate over the years. What has been interesteting is the conversations it has started with viewers, because although these were my own things that I recontextualised, the question in viewers minds were what had they done with their things, what do we do with all those elements that make us who we are and yet do not define us.

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It's important to remark that you are actively collaborating and designing research projects with various leading neuroscientists at top universities in the USA, Germany and Switzerland.


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How would you consider the relationship

such apparently different fields can

between Art and Science? Do you think

unveil elusive still ubiquitous points of

that working in the liminal area betwee

convergence?

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I think for too long there has been a seeming seperation between the Arts and Sciences.Yes we have different techniques, but we are both process driven. We are both asking similar questions. Even though we have very different approaches to answering the questions I find the synergies interesting. I have actually encountered great interest and respect from the scientific community, often a lot more readily than from the non scientific community, who that art is a form of research. As artists we have let art historians, philosophers and psychologists study our work and try and explain what we as artists do. And I think as artists we offer a unique perspective, but we can only offer them by discussing them and collaborating with other areas of research. Over these years your works have been internationally shocased in several occasions, including you recent exhibition at the Vanderbilt Brain Institute and at Klein Basel Kunsthalle. One of the hallmarks of your work 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 decisionmaking process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

I find it interesting thinking about specific environments where my work will appear. For the Klein Basel Kunsthalle, I am specifically working on pieces for the

space. The themes are the same, but the piece has been created for the space. In terms of audience reception, one nevers knows how things will be accepted or seen by the public. But I do have a sense of the questions I am asking and the themes I would like to convey (successfully or not). I have always thought that one of art’s jobs was to question, explore and to communicate. I sometimes hear that my art is disturbing. I don’t set out to be disturbing but as Minolo Millares wrote, “art is not meant to be handed out on a silver platter.” Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Naomi. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I will be exhibiting in Germany and Italy next year and will be participating in collaborative research projects and lectures at a museum here in Switzerland and at Vanderbilt University in the USA. I have a big exhibit in Switzerland this fall and my work will be presented at as a solo project at Art Verona via UFOFabrik Gallery. In terms of my own work, I will continue to work on the questions of identity and memory, in what medium that will continue only the process can tell.

An interview by Melissa C. Hilborn, curator and Katherine Wilson, curator articulaction@post.com

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V eronica Dragnef Lives and works in Brossard, Canada

An artist's statement

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tried for many years to find a medium to express myself artistically, so I am not new to painting. I needed a vessel in which to store all the creative energy, something that would help me relocate the monsters from under the bed. I wanted a way to depict all my joy and my aesthetic emotions, mitigate unconsciousness and consciousness, and then share it without using words.

My paintings represent my intuition’s productivity and freedom. My art also represents my vision of objects, my day-to-day experiences, of people in my life,

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and my interactions with the world; I do not paint my moods,I paint situations. To me, abstraction embodies freedom and its randomness intrigues me. Mixed media allows me to use different materials to create different textures so the viewer can experience a multidimensional world. I am also thoroughly fascinated by the flexibility and facets of color—the ability to mix and match color to express something is very satisfying. I invite you to grow with me on this journey of self discovery,of art and expression and enjoy the ride!

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

Investigating about the relationship between identity and hybridization, Alessandra Dimitra's work rejects any conventional classification and accomplishes a consistent synergy between traditional techniques and contemporary sensitiveness to extract a compelling narrative that draws the viewers to a multi-layered experience. In her project PastPresentFuture that we'll be discussing in the following pages, she examines the relation between spiritual self and the places it chooses for coming into existence, walking us into an area in which the perceptual dimension and subconscious sphere merges together into coherent unity. One of the most convincing aspects of Dimitra's work is her successful attempt to draw the viewer's attention to real situations in which we all might take part and reflect the problems of current society, ethics and appropriate behaviour: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her multifaceted artistic production. Hello Alessandra, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction: we would start this interview posing you a couple of questions about your background. You have a solid formal training: you studied Painting and Textile and you degreed from the prestigious Institute

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of Fine Arts at J. Gutenberg University in Mainz. How has this experience influenced your evolution as an artist?

From a very young age on I wished to be educated in the arts, so I have studied classical dancing, design and finally fine arts. During this process I considered University as a heaven of knowledge offering every pleasure to my thirsty mind and allowing me to in-depth my passion of understanding the history of art and culture. Among other artistic disciplines my main focus was already on painting and drawing. By the time of my beginnings at University my interest in figurative art appeared rather exotic; still I could enjoy the support of my professors on my quest about human consciousness and social interaction. My early unit Positions in time and space deals with the subjective reality perception of real persons at a particular moment in time and elaborates psychograms defining the complexity of human perception. The following project Fleeting Systems also narrates portraits in series and explores human interconnections now focusing on social structures of families, friends and groups of people. The artwork conquers the physical room as well as the superior reality that builds the frame within the time and space dimensions, in which relationships and


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communication take place creating a multidimensional network of interactions, a think-tank and field of experience. And in particular, how does your cultural substratum dued to your Greek roots as well as to your further studies in Philosophy, Education Science and Ethnology inform the way you deal with the aesthetic problem in general?

In order to understand the art of any particular period it is necessary to gain knowledge about its Zeitgeist. At any point in time art is the expression of a particularly society with its culture formed by politics, religion and philosophy. So all this disciplines work together for a deeper understanding. The most exciting for me is to observe the continuous trail of cultural knowledge as it flows from one blossoming civilization to the next unfolding the same existential wisdom within ever new expressions of art. My education in the arts of the ancient Greek cultures gave me a solid background and helped my understanding of the other important cultures of antiquity and their influences upon the evolution of art. I was socialized as Greek, German and European, I guess that made me focus more on the connecting than on the diverting part of cultural identity. My research and teaching on global culture focuses on the aesthetic archetypes as a basic human expression. You are a versatile artist and your media ranges from painting, illustration and land art, showing an organic synergy between a variety of expressive

capabilities. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.alessandradimitra.de 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 ever happened to realize that such multidisciplinary approach is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

Of course it is all about ideas. Each emerging concept demands a particular form of materialization. Every idea goes along with certain types of media. According to the audience that I like to address I may choose among this media range the proper techniques and materials for each project. As an artist I enjoy the artistic creation. The media and techniques are simply tools in my toolbox. I might even express art through cooking. The perpetual repetition of successful techniques provides no challenge. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected PastPresentFuture, a stimulating 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 inquiry into the interconnecting relations between the spiritual self and the places it chooses for coming into existence is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of creating a channel of communication between the conscious sphere and the subconscious sphere. When walking our readers through the genesis of PastPresentFuture, would you shed a light about the role of metaphors in your process?

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The intermedia project PastPresentFuture follows the structures that connected individuals within their cultural backgrounds leave in the time and space frame. Besides the current reality and the historic information nowadays, I select subconscious information fragments to recreate the complexity within the narrative. Mostly we operate with our conscious mind without reflecting on all those processes that happen driven by the subconscious. It influences our choices and behaviour in so many ways. We like or dislike people, things or places according to long forgotten experiences that have left their blueprint in our brain and they still give signals to us through the subconscious. Actually we all sometimes notice that happening, but one can exercise this sensibility. On the same way our subconscious reacts on stimuli from our surrounding in a more intuitive way. That is why a picture or a short poem may transport so many more information than a written or spoken text addressing to our conscious perception would do. As my artistic intention is the creation of visual poems, metaphors play a vital role in my artistic vocabulary. When investigating about the hybridization between identities and cultures you seem to address the viewers to bring to a new level of significance the relationship between the spiritual self and the places it chooses for coming into existence. We can recognize a subtle but effective socio political criticism in this aspect: but while other artists from the contemporary scene, as Judy Chicago or more recently Jennifer Linton, use to include open socio-political criticism in their works, you rather seem to hint the direction to the spectatorship, urging

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Veronica Dragnef


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them to elaborate personal associations. Do you consider that your works are political in this way or do you seek to maintain a neutral approach? Do you feel that it’s your responsibility as an artist to teach and raise awareness of certain issues?

I suggest that accepting the hybridization between ones identities and cultures within the timeframe would smash the boundaries of identity perception and cultural belonging towards a more global point of view, leading to a respectfully altered intercultural approach. Art always expresses a statement, even if only a formal one, that fore it can hardly be neutral. My statement is socio-political. I ask questions in an artistic way. I don’t intent to provide readymade answers or messianic solutions. I open up a discussion, make people see something from another point of view, notice a different facet and think it over again. The quest of wisdom is the motivation behind our existential human questions interpreting the eternal cycle of becoming and passing. This urge to knowledge serving the individual search of fulfilment is a point of reference of my artistic work. Each change of our point of view transforms our subjective perception of reality and causes social changes through alternated actions. That kind of alternated structures are not random. Humanitarian idealism is needed, in particular an egalitarian sense of freedom and a tolerant attitude towards the variety of individual life styles. The task is to track the interconnection between the power of thoughts and the manifestations of this creative energy as concrete reality. Personal luck and happiness are rather a

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matter of ones point of view than the necessary result of circumstances. Within the given systems, I could not oversee the issue of “power�. I explored the topics of power over one’s self and the use or abuse of social power. Investigative courage is needed to get access to the most intimate hidden passions, to the most torturing necessities, to friendship, love and the whole range of emotions in order to explore and to sublimely transform them. Fascinated I follow this urge of knowledge as I go deeper into the existential questions of humans and their perception of fulfilment, expressing this process with my artwork. Judy Chicago is a legend for female artists of my generation. In my series Half of the undivided or the female aspect of god and Wish as well as in the Rhea Land Art Projects I research on female aspects and primordial goddesses, which links this works to some of her concepts. In my family there is a teaching tradition maybe that made it so familiar to me. Teaching is about leading a person to discover knowledge within its own experience and possibilities, a demanding and joyful task. I have been teaching art students at the University and various Institutions. Lately I work again with children which I find very enjoyable. Currently we also started an art education project with refugees in Berlin. As you have remarked once, in order to explore the topic of personal identities, you use your own personal and artistic experience as well as your current perception of life. A distinctive mark of the way you construct a concrete aesthetic from experience and memories

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and symbols is evident in your current series entitled Berlin! A love story! and it works on both subconscious and conscious level. Moreover, you once remarked that animations tell a story and portray experiences yet you want to show them as drawings; so we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion, personal experience is absolutely indispensable as part of the creative process? In particular, how would you describe the role of memory in your process?

We have been formed by our experiences; they mainly are the result of our decisions and actions. That makes us who we are and defines what we have to say. We are driven by intentions that long to manifest. We have to experience something before we can express it. As future is always uncertain and present is just a tiny bit of time, I am afraid that mainly we possess our memories of the past. In fact, it is not even the exactly occurred event that we recall as we keep interpreting by remembering. In the series PastPresentFuture my research is focusing on the origins of various memories of my other identities that occurred since my childhood. My endeavour is to work out those information fragments and to interweave them with historic facts in order to complete each of the time portraits that reassemble the multi-layered picture. In my current series Berlin! A love story real people transform into carriers of a supreme identity as they become representatives of their district. The project is creating a historical as well as artistic - subjective portrait of Berlin by showing its regional microcosmic district

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peculiarities, before it once again alters its appearance. It deals with memories of the historical layers that marked the exiting history of Berlin. Besides the impressive architectural structures leading us back to the classicism at the end of the 19th century and the Prussian order, the story of the city takes us to the glamorous metropolis of the 20es, the totalitarian madness of the 30es - 40es, the rebuilding out of scratch in the 50es, the real existing communism of the DDR, the cold war city - island that Berlin has been until the unification and last but not least to its new role as capital and center of the art ever since. After many extended visits in the city, I live and work in Berlin - Mitte since 1998 were I witnessed the gentrification process and the exchange of the inhabitants. The memories of all those people involved, locals and visitors, influence their perception of the city and define their reality. Another interesting project that has particularly impressed us and on which we would like to spend some words is entitled PĂĄnta RhĂŠi, an aphorism from pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus that could be translated to everything flows. What has at once caught our attention of this project is its successful attempt to produce a dialectical fusion that operates as a system of symbols creates a compelling nonlinear narrative that, walking the thin line between conceptual and literal meanings, establishes direct relations with the viewers.

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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? Thomas Demand is a fascinating colleague. Certainly readable information and aesthetical elements must be well expressed through the chosen medium. The use of symbolism simply depends on the necessities of the artistic approach. There cannot be a dogma about it. The excessive or dogmatic use of symbolism during certain periods in art history may not make it appear so popular nowadays. On the other hand we are surrounded by symbolism. Archetypes are the basics of our communication system. Propaganda and advertisement, product design or fashion trends could not be effective without them. I researched on this interesting issue and lectured about it. Communicating through global language of signs by using the psychology of colours and shapes characterizes my artistic production in general. In most of my projects the initial idea is followed by an extended time of conceptual planning before the realisation takes place. During that process the narrative takes its form. I balance long term projects with more spontaneous artistic actions. The project Pánta Rhéi puts emphasis on certain mythological references. As the rich mythological material found its way from Greece, through the Roman Empire

to influence the later western cultures, it can be used as a communication platform were the modern interacts with the ancient. While these artworks define the characteristic state of continuous changes as a secure constant element, modern archetypes express personal destinies in the context of society values. Transformed into mythical heroes, they become carriers of the individual reality perception and feedback the common reality. Pánta Rhéi also seems to remove any historic gaze from the reality you refer to, inducing the viewers to rethink the notion of time in such temporal way. At the same time, the fruible set of elements you draw from universal imagery trigger the viewers' primordial parameters concerning our relation with physicality: as Gerhard Richter once remarked, "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?

Pánta Rhéi transfers archetypical mythological statements into a contemporary scene. There is no intention to further specify contemporary. As the present keeps evolving I don’t use attributes that link to a particular era. That creates a sort of an everlasting present, a surrealistic illusion in which people are in lack of their shades. As I give my artwork formal and conceptual intensions I am already using art for communicational, educational or socio-political purposes. This is far more than the pure joy of creation. The difference between a “non-functional”

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artwork and a “functional� design object is merging. Ready mates, conceptual artworks and target group specific projects, crowd founding and art sponsoring on the one side and high end

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design objects that provide far more than function one the other, both underlay aesthetical values. The idea of art without any functional aspect is in


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fact a rather short term statement within art history. Your pieces encapsulate both traditional techniques and modern

methods you merge together to create a coherent unity, that rejects any conventional classification and that invites the viewer to explore the liminal area between Tradition and a vivacious

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contemporary approach. What is in your opinion the relationship between Tradition and Contemporariness? Do you think there's a contrast or do you rather think that Contemporariness

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could be considered an evolutive stage of Tradition?

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an evolutive stage of Tradition. It is in our nature to react on what we recognize as familiar and then we struggle to keep it updated with the Zeitgeist. We always alternate familiar strategies in order to

invent or explore the unknown. But still it is this tiny bit that we alter each time that makes the difference, enabling us to take the next step.

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On this endeavour we find it helpful to create a reference system providing orientation within the multidimensional network of actions and reactions between the individual person and its environment.

do so as it addresses to a wider audience that decides to ignore or interact with my artwork by a variety of criteria. Crucial for the artistic communication is indeed the right type of artistic language used in the particular context.

If we wish to study the processing dynamics of events within a larger time scale, we need to focus on the hidden connections relating them. We first need to transform information into knowledge and then once again alter it into wisdom.

I wish to stimulate my audience to experience the visualized concept from their own point of view. There is no intention to make the spectator follow the complete process and intentions of the artistic creation just to make him understand the artwork. It is important that an artwork has a strong aesthetic intention. That makes it powerful enough to involve the viewer. He may then interpret it as he pleases.

Questioning the mainstream moral, philosophical and religious traditions by both analyzing them rationally and sensing them intuitively serves the utopic purpose of creating a suitable future orientation frame. Such a system would be build by using traditional knowledge and by overcoming meaningless dogmas. Over these years you works have been exhibited in several occasions and your works are in several public collections around the world. Your work 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 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 my design projects I would define the visual keys according to a specified target group. For an artwork I would not

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

Besides the ongoing series PastPresentFuture and Berlin! A love story I will continue with wider multimedia series merging paining and drawing with new technologies. The aspect of colour stays crucial for my artistic creation but I intend to do more space related projects. Also the issue of human perception and metaphysics will continue to inspire me. Thank you for this interview.

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


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H elena Teixeira Rios Lives and works in Belo Horizonte, Brasil

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here are no possible ways we could possibly express our consciousness and besides that our memories are involuntary. Thus there are no stories, no realities, there are only sensations and feelings. This photo essay has been devised and developed from the sensations and tensions found in Francis Bacon´s work. He intends to neutralize the storytelling, the illus- tration and the figuration. In this work, we present images I have taken using a scanner table. Rubbing my head on the scanner glass, I copied my face several times. The members were added or deleted provoking disfigurements with the intention of creating “volatile� images, which go dissipating, mixing with or deconstructing my face. Random motions were made observing the machine scanning time, with no control over the final outcome of the image. After that I started adding or subtracting choices, adding layers of drawin- gs or watercolors particularly aiming at determining sensations. My

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work is placed in this context, in this state of suspension. We are vulnerable, we have no control over our lives, our body will soon disintegrate. These are the manners of sensitivity I organize. This artwork consists of ten triptychs , size 150x150 cm / each . Helena Teixeira Rios

Helena Teixeira Rios is graduated in Archictecture and Urbanism and did her Master`s degree at the Universidad Politecnica de Catalunia, in Barcelona, Spain. She worked and ran her own archictecture office. Later she opened the Casa Design Brasileiro selling different and creative furniture. She went on to open her own furniture business designing, making and selling her pieces. Her innovative pieces of furniture were resold in many cities and exported to Europe and the United States. She began working with photography in 2010 aiming at the elaboration of photo essays and make post graduation in photography, art and culture in 2015.


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Before the invisible

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

Artist Helena Teixeira Rios's work explores a variety of issues that affects our unstable contempo- rary age, centring her investigation on the volatile nature of the image she captures. Her practice involves the use of technological devices as scanners and urges the viewers to rethink the notion of perception and its conflictual relationship with conceptual and literal meanings. In her recent pro- ject entitled I Have a Dream that we'll be discussing in the following pages, she used a scanner ta- ble to take images of herself, rubbing her head on the scanner glass and copied her face several times. One of the most convincing aspects of Teixeira Rios's approach is the way it accomplishes an effective rejection of narrative to capture the viewers' limbic parameters, drawing the spectatorship to a multilayered, unconventional experience: we are really pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating artistic production. Hello Helena 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: you graduated in Architecture and Urbanism and did your Master’s degree at the Universidad Politecnica de Catalunia, in Barcelona, nurturing your education in a post-

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graduation in photography, art and culture: how do these experiences influence your evolution as an artist? And in particu- lar, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you relate to artmaking and to the aesthetic problem in general?

The fact that I studied architecture and worked for many years as a furniture designer organised my gaze in a very self-critical way. Today, we’re living in a time of less self-criticism and more paradox. We’re looking for quality of life and contact with nature, yet spend more and more of our time in front of machines. We don’t need to leave the house to buy books, visit museums or study, yet technology has become the mainstay of our imaginations and ushered in a more practical way of life. To reflect on art is to mull over all the paradoxes we face, which put us in peculiar positions and pit us against what causes us angst. Unlike architecture and furniture design, which prize aesthetic beauty and proportion, the aesthetic in art is not always assimilable. It comes from ambiguity, indefiniteness and indeterminateness, mixing visual forms and transforming the viewer into a participant. Things don’t have to be perfect or lasting. Often, what really matters is the post- production, communication and emotion. There’s a completely different way of thinking. However, in order to generate experience, every creative process needs


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to have a ritual of making and reflecting, needs to possess a unity and quality over and above the constitutive differences. Architecture and design have to have a palpable end product, but not art; art can be proposition. Your approach reveals an incessant search of an organic investigation the nature of percep- tual process and 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.helenateixerarios.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted ar- tistic production: while walking our readers through your process and set up, we would like to ask you how you developed your style and how you conceived your works.

I find it hard to speak of style today, as art encompasses different styles through appropriations, intertextualities, citations and contradictions. I don’t have a customary way of developing my works. The initial idea very often turns into something completely different. I take a lot of pictures without any end in mind and these frequently cobble together into shapes I hadn’t thought of before. It’s the uncanny or the subconscious at work. I like to write to structure my thought during the creative process. I write, work, start again, draw. I am careful not to let the whole become obvious. The whole should never emerge clearly straight off, there has to be a jumbling of planes, an overlapping of layers that renders indiscernible what came first and later; what pertains to the foreground or the background. So I create gaps that allow

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the viewer to imagine the whole out of his or her own personal references. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected BEFORE THE INVISIBLE, an interesting body of works that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention in this work is the way it brings to a new level of significance the nature of randomness and its relationship with human perceptual processes, urging us to rethink and sometimes even subvert the way we relate to such ubiquitous concepts: while walking our readers through the genesis of this project, would you shed light on your main source of inspiration?

Fortunately or unfortunately, actions are not realised in the imagination and what we imagine isn’t always palpable or doable. What we see is not always the reality, just an interpretation based on experience. Our sense of self is not always true. It comes attached with something external and it’s this mixture that we end up assimilating and presenting. It’s about trying to take something internal that bothers or disturbs us and render it visible through our external relations. Today, we’re living with the impermanence of things. There’s no notion of the past. The social media have standardised people’s lives. Habits, actions and programmes are all stereotyped and those who fail to complete the life-process checklist are disqualified. What we’re living is the immediate present, without repertoire, low on information and devoid of thought. The present is all sensation. Sensorially, we are permanently


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immersed in the here-and-now, living a culture of pleasures, of a rejection of tedium. Stepping off the beaten path disturbs and provokes, as do the pictures in this project, because they are like monsters reflecting all the stuff we don’t

want to see: fear of death, of disintegration, our questions, doubts, uncertainties and bewilderments. The angst they cause makes us stall, think twice, stop and create meanings for our existence. I’m not concerned with

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personal issues, only universal ones, such as why we choose certain paths when we know that death is imminent. Why are some so arrogant, when we all know we share the same fate? Why live without time? What’s the time of our values?

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Everything today is measured in terms of time or the lack of time and of lines of questioning. Hence the need for art as a means of intervening, of holding things up and drawing attention to issues, banal or otherwise, that enable


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us to think within the brackets of another time. That’s where ideas come from. You can’t learn from more of the same. As you have remarked about the genesis of BEFORE THE INVISIBLE, random

motions were made observing the machine scanning time, with no control over the final outcome of the image: how important is the creative potential of chance to you? And what is the role of im- provisation in your process?

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opening up new and fertile possibilities. We have to pay attention to the errors and accidents that occur during the creative process. These can be much more interesting than what we planned,

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Everything can be accidental. You have to play with that.


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Your successful attempt to produce a dialectical fusion that goes beyond any system of symbols to operate on an immediate, limbic level seems to reject any 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 psycho-

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logical, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion on that? And in particular what draws you to this effective neutralisation of storytelling?

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I believe that images should be thoughtprovoking, rather than lend themselves to fixed translations. Images should produce ambiguity, deformations,


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translating into a range of knowledge sets depending on the viewer’s individual baggage. There’s no quest for a guiding truth or synthesis. The unknown and illegible are uncanny, and that’s where I

want the image to draw its power from. I’m not rejecting logic, just creating space for the existence of images that make us think—not clearly, but emotionally, generating experiences that

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the receiver may or may not understood. It’s a relationship of cause and effect; it’s about what the work causes in the observer and the conclusions he or she draws from them. It’s not my narrative

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that counts, but the one the viewer derives from the work. I’m interested in images that leave gaps for the viewers to fill, thus making their own stories. The symbol, as Thomas Demand put it, does


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not give us permission to think, create stereotypes or risk lapsing into clichĂŠ. You draw a lot from your personal experience and BEFORE THE INVISIBLE

could be considered a successful attempt to create a body of work that captures the instinctive level of human perception. So we would like to take this occasion to ask you if, in your opinion,

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per- sonal experience is an indispensable part of one’s creative process... Do you think that this process can be disconnected from direct experience?

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Personal experience and the creative process walk hand-in-glove. Art cannot be detached from the cultural horizon that confers its meaning. It is bound up


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with a set of social and historical circumstances in its search for an identity. However, one’s capacity to produce art is indissociable from the imagination, which is not always connected to experience, but to a way of seeing, a problematisation of things, to the doubts and uncertainties that pertain to the creative process. A person with no baggage whatsoever can organise and translate a work of art into sensibility, unpacking the meaning of the proposition. When inquiring into the state of suspension that marks out our unstable, ever-changing contemporary age, you also seem to convey a subtle but effective criticism of the materialistically driven culture that saturates our contemporary age. But while artists from the contem- porary scene, such as Ai WeiWei or more recently Jennifer Linton, explicitly express socio-political criticism in their works, you seem more interested in hinting in that direction, invit- ing the viewers to a process of self-reflection that may lead them to subvert a variety of usual, stereotyped cultural categories. Do you think your works could be considered political in a certain sense or do you seek to maintain a more neutral approach? In your opinion, what role can an artist play in contemporary society?

Ai WeiWei’s blog - 2006-2009 - used the social media to rail against the government and “escape from the society” imposed upon him. The internet helped him become an activist, demanding social responsibility, governmental action and transparency. The Chinese relationship with the social media is completely different to ours in the West; the blogs there have more

credibility and are more controlled, and this gives them a greater power to sensitise the public. His artistic career is inextricable from the internet, while that of Jennifer Linton is more firmly grounded in feminist themes, throwing off stereotypes in broaching issues like sexual abuse, virginity, domesticity and the exploration of pregnancy. Every artist wants to question, to reflect on the afflictions, doubts and uncertainties that run through their way of thinking, developing art out of their critical worldview. In this sphere, art is always political, as it shakes off the powers and their patterns, creating new modes of interpretation. The role of the artist is to take us someplace else, somewhere we’re not used to, or are perhaps even incapable of, seeing. Art has to rattle us. The artist today is a gatherer of materials, questions, emotions and sensations that produce a meaning that is new and individual and which makes the audience step outside the box. It’s interesting to see that what’s meaningful to one might not be to another, as we don’t share the same life experience. That’s the riches of art; art’s not static or immutable. Your works could be considered multisensorial biographies that unveil the aesthetic conse- quences of a visual, concrete reality that explores unexpected aspects of the functionality of language on the aesthetic level: as Gerhard Richter once remarked, "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?

In art today we see a drive to express the invisible, the ungraspable, all the tension.

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Cuts, alterations, processes, disguises all try to lend a special emphasis in the face of the exponential number of images sent into circulation each day. Beauty doesn’t matter; it’s the process that counts, the problematisation of the everyday, of invented procedures. It’s no longer necessary for artists to master technique. Others can execute their ideas for them, such that “creation is not seen through art” but “art through creation”. There’s been an inversion that requires that the viewer become involved in the work, in the language, in the act of subversion. And a new sensibility emerges from that, a new praxis and a new public. The support is now the street, the body, the space, the earth. Music, poetry, writing and photography are one big blend. Nothing is classifiable or comparable anymore. There is no right or wrong. The artist becomes an explorer of the body, of space and of time. The work can reside in the preparation, in making different times communicate. So the environments we are used to have to be deconstructed, forcing us to step outside the norm. Modes of life are problematised, common, trivial dilemmas blossom. Appropriation confers a new meaning on what has already been made. Performance pits the body against contemporary life. Land art wants to change the landscape by making us grapple with what habit doesn’t let us see. Installation immerses the spacework-viewer triad into a parallel universe. I’m saying all this because the public today has to participate in art if it is to understand it; it has to interact, be curious, throw off the hackneyed lenses. Art has opened up to the public, and that means it’s no longer enough just to look,

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to contemplate; the viewer now has to participate in and very often partake of the work. The audience has to collaborate in unusual ways, valuing chance, sometimes not creating anything at all, because it’s the process that counts. In short, the artwork is here to stoke feelings and sensations and spirit


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us away to sundry realities beyond those to which we are accustomed; it’s here to critique consumption, the repetition of behaviours and the impoverishment of meanings. Art is fully realised only if it affects us, creating a reality of its own, making us experiment and think in unhabitual ways. The problem is that not

everyone is open or apt to experiment, feel or question, and for them art becomes unattainable, unintelligible. That’s cultural. Over these years your works have been exhibited on several occasions, including your re- cent solo at the

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Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil, in Belo Horizonte. One of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to create 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

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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?

First of all, I’d like to emend the question. The exhibition was held in the Patio of the


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do Brasil Cultural Centre, I produced images of Praça da Liberdade (Liberty Square), located just in front of the Cultural Centre. The square is a landmark and cornerstone of the city’s identity. I worked with superimpositions, layers and details that obscured all the symbols and references that might lead viewers to that place, forcing them to create meanings of their own. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Helena. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Banco do Brasil Cultural Centre and it was a collective rather than solo show. Contemporary art wants to experiment. As I said earlier, art is no longer made to contemplate, but to motivate. As such, it is only fully complete when there is viewer involvement. In the case of the exhibition held at the Patio of the Banco

I’ve recently started creating an essay based on Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, about a man who couldn’t remember places or faces (not even his own), getting lost in details, colours and things. However, my intention is not to bind the reading of the images to this book, but to work in such a way as makes readers construct their own stories, their own reveries. The constructed character does not reject or deny the image, but can’t complete it either. To interpret this I’m using drawings, collages and photographs, overlapped in layers, which try to lead us into this man’s fragmented world. These are fictional images, images of no-places, of the doubt and ambiguity that do not exist in the logical world. These are images derived from a process that permits no predictability, linearity, or single meanings. The interesting thing is that this character is the synthesis of what is intended today: to look at life as if endlessly discovering it. He is at once the spectator and

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protagonist of his own life, creating an uninterrupted slew of visual connections. After all, isn’t learning an unlearning of how the world should be looked at? In general, we have the capacity to see the whole but end up perceiving only the parts. After walking down the same streets innumerable times, we simply cease to pay attention. After a long time living with someone, we stop really looking at them. In this character’s world, he can only ever perceive parts of the whole, but as such he sees as if always seeing for the first time, and his attention and experience are incessant. Their incompleteness is what makes them complete. In addition to this essay I am also starting a project that will deal with issues of memory and oblivion, with special emphasis on the glut of news

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and images we are bombarded with each day, and of which so little is actually retained. The internet has broadened our world, but this excess of data and the obligation to be connected at all times have muddied our ability to prioritise: we want to know everything, post everything, like everything, read everything, and we forget that our minds have limits. The information isn’t assimilated, so it doesn’t filter into knowledge, and this blurs the relevance of things. In the end, what really matters?

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


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Profile for ARTiculAction Art Review

ARTiculAction Art Review // Special Edition  

ARTiculAction Art Review // Special Edition  

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