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Anniversary Edition

Special Issue

Virgo, 2003 Installation by Etchi Werner-Nyiri


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Anniek Verholt

Mary Rouncefield

Myriam Moreno

Etchi Werner-Nyiri

Yoshiyuki Koinuma

Annie Hobbs

USA

United Kingdom

Spain

Israel

Japan / the Netherlands

USA

I have always been more concerned about how to make use of the arts in a way that people can connect with each other, to themselves or with the world in general. This has expressed in wonderful community projects, relief work in developing countries and being able to support and learn from clients in my practice. I continued working on my own art which resulted in exhibitions, commissions and collaborative projects.

I see the artist as ‘Communicator’ of ideas. The female artist potentially can have a special role; voicing the concerns of women, highlighting injustices and pro-blems faced by particular groups of women, and focussing on themes of common interest. My most recent work has been directed at expressing exactly these themes of prejudice and injustice but also exploring restrictions and limita-tions placed on the education and growth of all children - both boys and girls.

What I want to express with my art is the feeling of universality. The feeling of be a part of something bigger. We are just little rice grains, but how much greatness is in a grain of rice..The snake is an universal and timeless symbol, an element that connects us and makes us reflect about our origins and our deepest self. This archetype and their meanings, are repeated in most cultures.

My work in the past few years has been dealing with the charged, sometimes violent, meeting point of the open nature with culture’s dominance and with the tension between the natural limitless forces, and the attempts to restrain it by mankind.

My work is influenced by Computer Game, Nature, Science Fiction and Japanese Cultures. It invites spectators to use their imagination and enjoy themselves, evoking their surreal imagination, made of fantasy world and outer space. My main source of inspirations are from Daily life, Nature and Memory. My recent series of “Untitled works ”are paint on Newspaper and photo collage on Circle canvas. When I have free time, I always go around the city of Rotterdam and go to second hand bookshops.

I am a photographer of the moment. My main interest in photographing my life is exploring the possibilities of film, and using it in ways that are more about documenting emotions, memories, and time.

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Natural disasters that befalls the globe by surprise, serve as temporary menacing reminders of the human dependence on it’s environment, while leaving an echo of primordial chaos. I am interested in this duality.

Pulling as much detail as possible from underexposed negatives allows me to create an entirely different world than the one I was seeing, while at the same time retaining some of its original feel.


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Myriam Moreno Martínez 4 lives and works in Valencia, Spain

Anniek Verholt

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lives and works in London, United Kingdom

Etchi Werner-Nyiri

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lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel

Michael Caci

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lives and works in Seattle, Greece

Mary Rouncefield

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lives and works in London, United Kingdom

Annie Hobbs Suzanne MacRury

Taekyung Seo

Michael Caci

Canada

United Kingdom

USA

I am a sentimentalist, a romantic sentimentalist. It is infinitely rewarding to change someone’s perspective through art and create something beautiful using themes and objects not often associated with beauty.

When I look back to processes of my growth, there are two main themes: ‘Violence’ and ‘Sea’. There was plenty of sunshine and I saw lots of colors being broken and shining. Dreadful violence existed as camouflage of love and protection and sea taught me a possibility that joyful sea might be changed into risk at any time. To me, love and pleasure is not a single issue. Internal deficiency which couldn’t be exposed made me imagine other time and

By contrasting traditional painting techniques with new technologies I create suggestive and metaphorically ambiguous images. This contrast is further highlighted with the use of recycled paints beneath an overlay of digitally printed films. The integration of acrylics, oils, metallic pigments, watercolors, polymers, ink-jet technologies, software, photography, and natural materials are all part of a collaborative method: laborious, unpredictable and magical.

This new project has been about taking matter most commonly associated with death and ugliness and turning it into something that can be admired and adored, allowing it to be seen in a different light.

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lives and works in Santiago, Chile

Suzanne MacRury

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lives and works in New Brunswick, Canada

Yoshiyuki Koinuma

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lives and works in Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Taekyung Seo

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lives and works in Seoul, South Korea 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.

Special Issue


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M yriam Moreno Lives and works in Valencia, Spain

MartĂ­nez

An artist's statement

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he snake is an universal and timeless symbol, an element that connects us and makes us reflect about our origins and our deepest self. This archetype and their meanings, are repeated in most cultures: their relationship with creation, fertility, the Goddess and the struggle between good and evil, the cosmic balance‌ eventually became my main topic.

It is through this universal archetype from which I build my artistic work, exploring its many connotations, focusing on its relationship with femininity. Delivery of feeling and personal experiences to reconnect with the universal, a complex framework of meanings encompassing a whole just full of

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subtleties and a personal code, difficult to unravel at first instance. What I want to express with my art is the feeling of universality. The feeling of be a part of something bigger. We are just little rice grains, but how much greatness is in a grain of rice...

Myriam Moreno MartĂ­nez


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Myriam Moreno Martínez An interview by Barbara Scott, curator and Dario Rutigliano, curator articulaction@post.com

Myriam Moreno Martínez's work ranges in a wide variety of disciplines to capture the elusive but ubiquitous feeling of universality that pervades the reality we inhabit: starting from the snake as universal archetype, she creates mixed media projects that could be considered as visual biographies, which incorporate references both from conscious level and elements from the oniric sphere, to create a multilayered experience. One of the most convincing aspects of Moreno's multidisciplinary practice is the way she provides the viewers with a map capable of guiding them in an area of intellectual interplay between memory and perception. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Myriam 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 after your studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts of San Carlos in the Polytechnic University of Valencia, you kept on with nurturing your education enrolling the Escola D’Art Superior I Disseny De Valencia. In the meanwhile, you have also spent a year at the China Central Academy Of Fine Arts, Beijing: how have these experiences influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum as Spanish artist inform the

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

First of all I want to thank ARTiculAction team for this interview, it’s my pleasure. The truth is that I have always been in love with oriental aesthetics and I have always been really influenced by the Spanish artist Antoni Tàpies and the Letonian artist Mark Rothko. My first series of artwork, that are no longer on my website, were “informalists” and monochromatics. I was already in love with the oriental philosophies so I knew I wanted to apply for a scholarship in Asia, that was my main goal from the beginning. Using different materials on my paintings helped me to understand that each material has a feeling, an information. Studying performance and sculpture I discovered the amazing work of Ana Mendieta, she influenced me not only conceptually but also as an example of multidisciplinary artist. For me, art is the communion of all creative manifestations. In my opinion to understand an artwork unavoidably involves understanding the artist's work as a whole, and Mendieta is a good example of this thinking. It was in 2012 with the exhibition Suave when I started to use fabrics and natural materials, I wanted to make the audience feels the piece, represent nature by using nature. When finally I had my scholarship in CAFA, I already had experimented with natural elements but in China I had access to snake bones (Flying snakes, 2012, China) and interesting different kind of woods like


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bamboo. The exhibition The Universal Snake is the final of my investigation during my years studying Fine Arts, and also was the beginning of my artistic investigation. I used tights as a representation of the snake skin (Snake skin 2013, China) I didn’t think in that moment that it will be the key issue for my next projects. On my return to Spain I started artistic jewelry, discipline that I discovered in China. Since my first work of contemporary jewelry (What is apprehended I, 2013, Spain.) I have started a line of research based on one material that I find very attractive, stockings, using it in other disciplines such as performance, sculpture and installation. Getting to this material was the result of combining the concepts of vital experiences and change/shedding. You are a versatile artist: your practice involves performance, sculpture, installation, painting, collage, jewelry and such cross disciplinary feature that marks out your approach allows you to achieve a coherent synergy between several viewpoints from which you explore a variety of relationships between the universal dimension and the individual sphere. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://myriammoreno.com in order to get a synoptic view of your work: in the meanwhile, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up? In particular, have you ever happened to realize that such synergy is the only way to express the ideas you explore?

Yes, I had this idea before, that if what I want to state is the feeling of universality thats a good way. But truth be told, is not something that I had previously meditated, it has been evolving. That was the response I got when I stopped to think what I was doing, when I stopped to think if I was being coherent. If I want to represent different

aspects of the same concept, it is more consistent to use different disciplines, I think. For example: I can not speak about personal experiences using sculpture, I need something that is linked to me, I choose to do a jewel; but If I want to talk about a common feeling I choose an installation. For me this is something natural, try to work otherwise would make me feel uncomfortable. We would start to focus on your artistic production beginning from specimen librum, an interesting project from your recent production that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once impressed us of this work is the way it condenses into consistent unity the elusive connotation of symbolic elements, achieving autonomous, dynamical life. we find truly engaging the way you trigger our common perceptual parameters to establish direct relations. While walking our readers through the genesis of this project, would you shed light on the importance of the tactile feature that marks our your work?

In my opinion the tactile sensations are very important to evoke sensations and inner feelings in the viewer. The serpent is an archetype with great force and many negative connotations. In order to simplify we will say that is the basis of the life force, it is the sexual energy, the survival instinct. Without this instinct there would be no life, but nevertheless our western society has associated sex with sin and in other cultures with death and struggle. It is a coin with two faces and Specimen librum shows it very clear. The delicacy of the plant and stockings that breaks easily, but as well, the plants are sharp, they need elements to protect them, they need to survive. And that's what I want people to feel at the sight: awaken our brain alerts, on one hand it can hurt at touch, on the other hand it

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can be easily broken. I think that is nature, we are fragile beings, but with capacity for destruction / creation. The ambience you created for specimen librum has reminded us the concept of Heterotopia elaborated by French social theorist Michel Foucault: the unconventional symbiosis between the ephemeral ideas you convey in your works and their intrinsic tactile nature, suggest a process of investigation about our perceptual categories, and invites the viewers to challenge the common way we relate ourselves with the outside world, as if informations are concealed, almost "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we have to to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

I truly believe that this is the main role of the artist, to show what our routine does not let us see, make us stop, reflect and to transport us to an undefined time and space, a space that is in each of us. Somehow artistic creation is a meditative condition and the connection with our mind and something else, and that “something� is very difficult to reach, but it is in us and experiencing it is part of our passage through this world. I strongly believe that art is the fastest route to this non-space, but even so it requires training and a mental state that can only be achieved through education. Education should not only be intellectual, sensitive education is essential. Your latest exhibition is entitled Serpientes en la piel and once again you have drawn a lot from the universal imagery to create works that address both to conscious level and to unconscious sphere. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, the snake as universal and timeless symbol is a starting point of

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your process, which harmonizes evocative symbolic elements to personal associations: dealing with the role of symbolism, German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once pointed out that "nowadays art can no longer rely much on symbolic strategies and has necessarily to probe psychological narrative elements within the medium instead". Do you agree with this statement? In particular, what could be in your opinion the communication strategy that may help to go beyond the cultural substratum we draw from in order to translate a certain symbol?

Symbols are one or a set of meanings that a particular society related to a particular element, and at this point I would emphasize that the snake, more than a symbol, is an archetype. As such it is universal, with different symbolic loads according to the society, it is present in the collective imaginary. Specifically, as pointed out some anthropologists such as Jeremy Narby, this is directly related to our most primitive brain, the reptilian. Regarding to the question, I think that for any average spectator is very tricky to get the full meaning of a contemporary work without a code. This code can be very different depending on the context, but what always arrives are the sensations and these are beyond culture, they connect directly to the senses. That perception will depend on the vital moment of the individual and of how and where that work has been exhibited. So yes, I agree, we can not place a symbol and hope that everyone understands and read the same message that the facades of the cathedrals were read before. I think art has gone a step further and is questioning more complex issues and it also require complex mechanisms of communication. Already we not only tell stories, we want people to feel and eventually, act.

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By the way, how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space?

In my work I try to start from the personal to the universal, and to achieve this I have to generate an intimate atmosphere and address directly to the viewer. To achieve this I have to reduce the scale and the details become essentials. So for me to understand the relationship work-spectator requires closeness. In this regard art in public space needs of discovery, better if it is alone. I do not feel comfortable with the monumental interventions, I think if you leave a message in a small container will reach the right people as long as a work of large dimensions can reach a wider audience, but its meaning is not. Personally I think that contemporary jewelry perfectly meets these needs, on one side are pieces that the "spectator" takes on itself and becomes in turn the bearer of the message. On the other hand he/she carries that message to anyone who gets in the way, It is a living artwork, on the move, moving in and out of intimate space and finds its meaning in public space. In order to make the variety of issues you question accessible to all, you provide the viewers of a "fruible" set of images: this way you remove a consistent part of the historic gaze from the reality you refer to, giving the viewers the chance to relate themselves to the topics in a more absolute form, inviting us to challenge the common way we perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension: 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?

Art functionality can be quite varied, from display to be a force for change. Personally I think one leads to the other, I think that's

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the art functionality: reveal that which is not seen in the first instance. It is through knowledge that a population has the weapons for change, become more human and combat violence. In some ways

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contemporary art has an educational function from showing and at the same time to involve the viewer, a good artwork can not leave you indifferent. You may like it or it displeases you, what matters is to


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touch one of the keys of your inner piano, makes you think, pondering from a point of

view that does not have to match yours. At the same time I believe that art should not

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give all the answers, but to show the questions that society had not. Another interesting work of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which we would like to spend some words is entitled nido. While exhibiting you seem to reject an explanatory strategy urging the viewers to elaborate personal interpretations: in particular, it communicates a process of deconstruction, recontextualization to unveil the feeling of universality. What is it specifically about this theme which fascinates you and make you want to center your style around it?

As I said before, I believe that art should not provide all the answers, finally, after all, who is the artist to give them? I think everyone should ask themselves, who am I? where do I come from? and especially, where I’m/we’re going?. We can not ask a question without the other and only we can answer by ourselves. I think that this relationship of curiosity with artwork is really important, perhaps the most surprising of Nido is that it is figurative, something that I do not work very often. Maybe that's why I found it fun to work with that piece: On one hand it was clinching the abstract work in the exhibition Serpientes en la piel creating a clear and tangible reference and of the other the evidence of figuration hides a lattice of concepts that were divided in other works. When the public interacted with Nido they felt comfortable, it seemed clearly a direct message, these are snakes, “the thing” is about serpents, and then they passed to the technical evaluation of the work. The clue was in the title, I have to point out that "nido” means "nest" in Spanish. That is why I do not like too much figuration, I think the message does not reach, it get lost by the way of the "evidence". Over your these years you have exhibited€internationally, showcasing your

work in several occasions, including your recent solo Serpientes en la piel, at the Youth Space Mesón de Morella, Valencia. One of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to create a direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

In Coatepec I wanted to play with the viewer, to take a trip, a trip to our wildest and natural side, the one that also is our inner temple. For this I needed a space that would allow on one side to be in contact with nature and on the other to be intimate. Meson de Morella is a fantastic space, an old courtyard with entrance of sunlight, but at the same time covered. The smell, the humidity of the space, were also important. I included incense and placed Mandala fractals (2013, China) for invite the public to pray in front of “our” snake. On Universal Snake also were an interactive work El sonido de la serpiente (2013, China), in other exhibitions I have included sounds and even perfumes (Soft, 2012, Spain). The resources depend on the message or feeling I want to broadcast, of the mental and emotional state in which I want the viewer to immerse. This, though dispensable, helps the public to understand, but above all, helps to sense better the artwork, the dialogue is more fluid and eliminates internal noises, so the message is clear and direct. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Myriam. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your

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future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Currently I'm working on my final project of contemporary jewelry, I'm focusing on the feminine aspect of the serpent, the great Goddess. My work is evolving from a feminist point of view, the snake or female sexual energy which it has been repressed by a patriarchal society. How this unique archetype has been divided into several archetypes and none of them fully accepted

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in contemporary society. I keep working with stockings and sewing, red thread and now the blood, the wound and the scar. I don’t know where this investigation will take me, but I'm willing to get carried away by the river of ideas and dive into the lagoon of the subconscious.

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


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A nniek Verholt Lives and works in London, United Kingdom

An artist's statement

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he ‘Space’ art installation has developed over the past year. I am a mid-career artist, art school teacher and art therapist. I have always been more concerned about how to make

use of the arts in a way that people can connect with each other, to themselves or with the world in general. This has expressed in wonderful community projects, relief work in developing countries and being able to support and learn from clients in my practice. I continued working on my own art which resulted in exhibitions, commissions and collaborative projects. ‘Space’ is not about making money or even about sharing my own personal ideas it is about love. It is about acceptance and connection and ultimately it is about peace. Quite a mission perhaps. But then again, this may be the planting of a seed with the wish that it grows into something fruitful. The contextual representation of the installation is important as well and will be explained briefly to the audience. As an artist I had the chance to work quite extensively with glass (MA Glass ’04). Glass is a fantastic material, rich and versatile. But more so it appeals to me because of it’s delicate quality. And this is why I selected glass shards for this installation. Not to focus on the elegance and beauty which the medium is often seen as but specifically on the fragile or breakable quality. The glass shards refer to pieces of our past, memories, some times painful ones that we keep in the past and prefer not to be reminded of. However

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over time we inevitably collect these memories and on our journey the bag of these unprocessed experiences can become heavy. The cotton bags in this installation represent these past experiences, feelings and even trauma. When entering this space you are invited to pick up one of these bags. Take a moment to decide and accept what the content of this bag represents. You can walk around the quiet space mindfully with the bag in your hands, noticing your feelings and relationship to this memory. With attention arrive at the box where you can empty the content of the bag, letting go of the weight physically and perhaps emotionally also. Use the rake to arrange the shards until it feels ‘right’ or ‘balanced’ to you. This process is derived from the zen garden philosophy. When out of the space, you are asked to fill up your cotton bag with glass shards to support the sustainability of the installation. Personal experiences can be shared on the ‘space’ webpage either through access of an iPad in the gallery, a book they can write in or directly on the webpage. I hope ‘space’ can provide something meaningful to the participants. The anonymous feedback will offer insight and information that can inspire and support others or be used for future projects.

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Anniek Verholt An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Dario Rutigliano, curator articulaction@post.com

Exploring the balance between opposites, London based Dutch artist Anniek Verholt accomplish the difficult task of drawing the viewers into the limina area in which chaos reveals an unexpected order to allow them to rethink the idea of beauty in an unconventional, still effective way. In her Tribal series that we'll be discussing in the following pages, she drawn from African and Oceanic ancient cultures to evoke a sense of rawness and can be considered an effective metaphor that unveils the unacceptance of vulnerability in our unstable contemporary societies. One of the most convincing aspects of Verholt's work is the way it creates an area of vivid interplay between memory and perception, inviting the viewers to explore the unstable relationship between human intervention and freedom in the contemporary age. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Anniek Verholt, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. We would start this interview posing you some questions about your background: you have a solid formal trainingand after years of painting and drawing, you joined the MA Glass course at the

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National Glass Centre in Sunderland which you successfully completed in 2004. How has this experience influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum dued to your previous experience as an Art Therapist inform the way you deal with the aesthetic problem in general?

My art therapy training and research in the therapeutic value of art and the artistic process has been of great influence to the way I developed my art. Not only ideas that would follow from my experiences, conversations or findings within my field would inspire my direction or determine the theme of my work. The depth of research into the therapeutic or natural quality of colour and shape contributed greatly to my future approach as an artist and decisions concerning aesthetic form. The MA Glass offered me a great opportunity for development as an artist. Working with this incredibly versatile material was exciting from the outset. I discovered that working with glass requires patience, a solid plan and in most cases it leaves very little space for spontaneous creation. Quite challenging for me. But the fantastic colour effects, textures and impact I am able to achieve has kept me coming back to it. Working with glass quickly gave rise to new ideas, incorporating my interest in the therapeutic effect of art but also reawakened my interests in archeology, tribal arts


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and ancient cultures. It gave my work a new dimension and a richer language, allowing me to translate my ideas more effectively. You are a versatile artist and your approach encapsulates several techniques, 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. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.anniekverholt.co.uk in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that such multidisciplinary approach is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

There are many ways to translate or convey an idea. A large part of the creative process is the time I spend selecting the, what feels to me, most suitable form, medium and technique to achieve a certain clarity of experience. I often test this clarity by talking to my non-artist friends before going ahead with the process. It’s incredibly useful when I see them look puzzled whilst I’m explaining my ideas for a project. And it’s a fantastic feeling when working on a conceptual piece, explaining the idea to an outsider who just seems to get it straight away. Then I know, I’m on the right track. Over the past 5 years or so clarity of expression has become increasingly more important to me. My work has become more about initiating a conversation with my potential audience, raising social awareness or providing a moment of self-reflection.

You could say that I see the final form/artwork as a language, one that communicates an idea or a story without words but through use of colour, mass, sensory perception, space and movement. I sometimes try to convey a complex idea and drawing on my multi disciplinary experience and allowing myself to use different forms of expression offers me a broader vocabulary plus it feels liberating too. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected your Tribal series, a stimulating project that our readers have already stared to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention of this work is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of creating an harmonic mix between a figurative, realistic approach to the evokative reminders conveyed by the materials you combine together: when walking our readers through the genesis of Tribal, would you shed a light about the role of metaphors in your process?

Metaphors are frequently part of my language and help me connect with a subject on a deeper level. My Tribal Art series refer to this metaphorical, archetypal and primal quality. I have been interested in Tribal art ever since I was a child. I was fascinated by the powerful impact African and Oceanic art as well as many Native Indian artworks and stories had on me. I mentioned earlier when I started making glass sculptures that something in that process reconnected me with this interest. The glass technique, I was mostly drawn to, is called sand casting where you literally pour molten glass into a sand mould. It feels very primitive and almost like

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what I imagined seeing in the workplace of an alchemist when the glass transforms in front of your eyes from liquid to solid and from orange to green to clear. For ‘Tribal I’ I looked at various qualities that attracted me in African and Oceanic art, such as the ritual or mystical aspect of objects, it’s aesthetic quality and use of form, story and symbolism. Most of the tribal objects carried a powerful message and this role and ‘power’ intrigued me. I wondered how it would look like if I’d transfer these ideas and stories into a glass project. Would glass as a medium add anything to it, could I still maintain that rawness and a touch of this mystical element? The Tribal I series became a first expression of this journey. I created 7 sand cast pieces that became part of an installation. These heavy solid pieces were suspended from the ceiling and connected with the floor with a natural rope; in between heaven and earth. A few years later I started exploring the theme ‘vulnerability’ which has become a reoccurring and important theme in my work ever since. Especially in the West I believe we live in a culture where vulnerability is still widely perceived as a weakness. Having said that, several authors and researchers who share these viewpoints are contributing and encouraging others to embrace vulnerability and authentic expression of self. I set out to create a new body of work referring to this subject and that’s when Tribal Art came back into the picture for me. This time I looked at African ceremonial objects, specifically masks and statues of a ritualistic nature. They

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demonstrated a great sense of power and in my eyes worked perfectly in contrast with the subject ‘vulnerability’ . I wanted to celebrate and respect their beauty, honour their message and find a way to highlight the possible relationship between vulnerability and personal power. And so, Tribal II was born, a body of work that consists of cast glass sculptures that resemble authentic tribal art pieces from various African countries. I made a great effort to stay true to the original form yet I recreated them using a glass casting technique called Pate de Vere (ground glass pieces fused together) which emphasizes the fragile nature of glass and refers to our own ‘vulnerability’. How often does our own fragile self appear from behind our mask? Your work convey both metaphoric and descriptive research and the compelling narrative that pervades it invites the viewers to a multilayered experience. In particular, the Tribal series convey emotions into your works is the construction of a concrete aesthetic from experience and memories and symbols, working on both subconscious and conscious level. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion, personal experience is absolutely indispensable as part of the creative process? Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

That’s a very interesting question. I don’t think that a creative process can be disconnected in any way from our personal experiences. In my case when working on themed artworks or conceptual pieces I share my personal thoughts and questions, based on


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personal experiences, with my audience. I see the creative process as something that has been put in motion by the artist who has either the motivation to create something specific (whether based on working with a specific material or working towards a clear concept) or non specific and committed to engaging with the ‘creative spirit’ when the final form and subject isn’t determined from the outset. Here in London I teach abstract painting to a fantastic group of adults. Some have a preference to using an existing photograph as a starting point which may capture a personal experience and others enjoy an intuitive approach which includes starting a painting without a plan and exploring a collection of abstract elements, compositions and harmony. However different these two approaches are I believe they’re both linked to personal experience, direct or indirect, conscious or subconscious. The Soul series is centered on the experience of harmony between an external and internal world and it is inspired by meditative and reflectice practices: we have highly appreciated the way your approach goes beyond a merely interpretative aspect of the contexts you refer to: although you draw inspiration from outside reality, your works could be considered as tactile biographies of the conflictual symbiosis between perception and imagination. As the late Franz West did in his installations, Soul shows unconventional aesthetics in the way it deconstructs perceptual images in order to assemble them in a collective imagery, urging the viewers to a process

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further questions about our inner Nature and the collective Nature. I have seen many artists successfully helping viewers get a better idea of what we refer to as inner Nature, that very core that connects us with our humanity and each other. I think this is because many people can process subjects better when a visual language is used like metaphors, symbols, colours, movement, contrast or composition. 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?

In my opinion Art functions as a language, one that may offer a broader understanding and experience of life and ourselves. It serves as a channel to freely communicate and express ideas with very few restrictions, in particularly in the digital age where we’re able to connect globally with the sky being the limit. 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?

Yes I definitely have the urge to explore and understand the mysterious, the unknown and unique perceptions of life in pursuit of discovering a certain core and universal language. This often brings up

Looking at my own journey, there has been an overlap between my work as an artist and artistic therapist which I have only fully embraced and appreciated in recent years. For a long time I resisted this overlap and tried to keep both fields separate but this wasn’t a realistic attempt and came with quite some confusion. Did I really have to select one field to focus on and keep it from influencing the other? This process continued for a few years until I decided that combining the two fields was for me in fact the per-

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fect combination and in my opinion both areas benefit tremendously from each other. Besides creating work for exhibition I use art in my work with various communities, therapy groups, one to one sessions and workshops for non profits and companies. What I am trying to point out with this example is my experience of the growing acceptance in our society for the multi-faceted function and use of the arts whether used

for improved wellbeing, creative expression or as a way to support technical innovation. Your work accomplishes the difficult task of exploring existential issues, often highlighted the jarring contrast between contemporary societies and raising awareness about complex social questions, as you did in Peace In A Bottle. Many artists from the contemporary scene, as Ai WeiWei or more recently

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Jennifer Linton, use to include open socio-political criticism in their works. It is not unusual that artists, rather than urging the viewer to take a personal position on a subject, tries to convey their personal takes about the major issues that affect contemporary age. Do you consider that your works could be political in this way or do you seek to maintain a neutral approach? And in particular, what could be in your opinion

the role that an artist could play in the contemporary society?

I’m aware of my growing interest in working with a more socio-political context. The current unsettling situation in the world does influence my way of thinking and moves me to express myself through my work. I feel as an artist we can play a big role in raising awareness, starting a

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conversation and offering a space for reflection. The questions that I pose through my work may convey a personal stand point but I always aim to create a non judgemental space where a conversation can take place. I am constantly searching for this balance. ‘Peace in a Bottle’ is an installation project which I created in collaboration with a group of children with the idea to support ‘peace’ amongst ourselves and in the world. We discussed and decided together on the concept, form and development. Conversations about ‘communication’ (message in a bottle) and ‘peace’ followed with the questions ‘what do we want to express and what is the most effective way to communicating our ideas?’. The result was a chandelier made of 130 recycled clear glass bottles containing each a unique painting or artwork with a positive message made by a child. The chandelier is lit in the evening and looks quite magical. Another interesting project of yours that we have found particularly stimulating and on which we would like to spend some words is entitled Wings of Opportunity and it started in a primary school supporting children with emotional and psycho-social needs: we find that using art not only as a platform for self-expression, but also to face, and often solve problems is an enormous accomplishment for an artist, and it reveals a social engagement of the utmost importance. Would you like to tell our readers something about this laudable activity? Moreover, if this doesn't sound a bit naive, we would like to ask you if in such occasions you have

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learnt something special from your young students.

Wings of Opportunity is a project that, when looking back on it, gradually and organically developed into what it is today with love being at it’s core. I simply loved the children I worked with. Some I got to know through one to one therapy sessions and others in passing by at school. I managed a clinical team in this primary school in East London with a large number children being from underprivileged backgrounds. My team and I dealt with many cases of neglect, abuse and violence. I wanted to offer something creative and playful they could equally engage with and experience a sense of connection and a glimpse of their infinite potential. This is how Wings of Opportunity was born. I knew that over that year I was going to be travelling to quite a few destinations around the world. I invited them to create a pair of wings out of paper, we talked about the function of wings, where they could fly to and how that may feel and what that would mean to them. Fantastic reactions followed. Some children mentioned they would fly across the city, others much further into space. Some approached it philosophically and would imagine the feeling of flying and being free to move wherever their wings could take them. I took over 300 wings with me to various international destinations where I photographed and filmed them, created a short film which I presented to them. They were incredibly excited to see that their wings had travelled so far around the world. This kind of work is priceless to me. I will always remember a com-

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ment of a 7 year old boy who’s wings I collected to take along with me for my trip: ‘If my wings are going… I am going!’. I showed the film and several glass wings which I created in relation to this project during an exhibition in Hong Kong. In response to your question if I learn something special from my young students, yes absolutely! Children in general have such a great ability to be in the moment, genuinely playful and creative. They often bring me back in touch with that part of me and that’s invaluable. Over these years you works have been internationally exhibited and one of the hallmarks of your projects is strictly connected to the chance of establishing a direct involvement with the viewers, who are called to evolve from a mere spectatorship to conscious participants on an intellectual level, so before leaving this conversation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

Especially when my work is project based, say I have been commissioned to create a piece of tailor made art, I put great effort in using a language that connects with my audience. Also in the case of a public installation I consider what the space is used for, if my audience potentially holds any shared interests or points of view. Having said that I’m dedicated to finding a universal language that can be understood at a fundamental level and goes beyond superficial or cultural differences. I don’t

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know if I will succeed but I will certainly try. By the way, how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space? In particular, how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience?

I believe that with the developments in technology we will see an increase of cross-disciplinary collaborations, between science and art, technology and the arts or between various art forms. I expect a future where the boundaries of art will be hard to define. This may lead to exciting developments and experiences in what we currently call the ‘public art’ domain. I am currently developing a conceptual installation project called ‘Here’ which I intend to tour to various countries and locations (galleries and public spaces), making it accessible to as many people as possible. This will be my largest project to date and I’m very excited to see it materialize in the near future. ‘Here’ is experiential, it invites the viewer to interact with the physical installation presented in the space. It invites you to slow down, promotes clear awareness of the present moment and a letting go of the past. Besides the actual physical experience I offer an additional online feature, a website dedicated to the project and the anonymously shared experiences of the viewers which I hope will encourage a dialogue, connection and increased insight. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Anniek. Finally, would you like to tell us readers


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something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

Thank you for your interest in my work, It has been a pleasure to communicate my thoughts and dreams with you. It’s actually the dreams that are at the very core of my work. It all starts with a dream and here I mean mainly the day dreams where I start off fantasizing about a great piece of art, probably too large to fit in my studio. I may or may not scale it down to piece of art that holds the essence of my dream. In the end the actual size of the work isn’t what is important to me, it’s much more the success with which I have been able to capture it’s essence and the number of people I have been able to reach with it. This year is going to be an exciting year for me, I am preparing a body of new works for an exhibition in April in Hong Kong, an exhibition in Wales (UK) in May and I have some proposals for ‘Here’ reviewed by galleries in the US. My therapeutic work is also making some great steps ahead with an Art & Therapy retreat planned in September in Bali, workshops and individual sessions online and in London and potentially branching out to the US. A lot to look forward to!

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

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E tchi Werner-Nyiri Lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel

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y work in the past few years has been dealing with the charged, sometimes violent, meeting point of the open nature with culture’s dominance and with the tension between the natural limitless forces, and the attempts to restrain it by mankind.

Natural disasters that befalls the globe by surprise, serve as temporary menacing reminders of the human dependence on it’s environment, while leaving an echo of primordial chaos.

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The medical research, on the other hand, is trying to restrain the natural-physiological disasters in order to save lifes. I am interested in this duality.

Etchi Werner-Nyiri


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Etchi Werner-Nyiri An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

I studied sculpture at Basis art school in Israel, where the teaching method is very classic and maybe less contemporary or conceptual than in other art schools. During that time, I was mainly dealing with wax molding and casting sculptures in bronze, and it effected my work back then, as the teachers encouraged me to practice with classical forms and materials, nothing avant-garde. While exhibited, the sculptures were placed on pedestals, and their subject matter was rooted in symbolism and art history. Yet, I did try to bring a more contemporary feel into the "old school" atmosphere that was common back then. For example, I created my Zodiac series of 12 bronze sculptures, that were exhibited in several exhibitions, and were at once traditional in their materialistic aspect but also innovative, since I was trying to make the bronze lighter, by

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creating sort of a "lace" sturcture that brings more inner spaces to the works.My Israeli identity entered several works from my earlier period, as I was chosen to make public sculptures, one to commemorate terror victims and the other for a hospital, for which I chose the "Hamsa" symbol, against the evil eye and for good luck. It is a very common symbol in Israel, and it felt in place for that site. To me, public art's "role" is to make the viewer stop for a minute from the usual routine of life, and think about something that exceeds the ordinary way of thinking. Art in the public sphere is there in order to give an alternative, sometimes to give an historical perspective, sometimes to enrich someone's fields of interest. Israeli identity also entered the "Burka" series of bronze sculptures that is related to the muslim radicalism that is apparent in the Middle-East, and in other places around the world. As an Israeli jew, I feel fascinated by the Burka, as for me it relates more to feminist aspects and traditional costumes, than to the religious extremists that branch out around me. My installation “New Forest� was also inspired by a local-Israeli theme, but it is also a global problem - the way

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urbanisation and industrial society pushes away and ruins nature. That work, that was exhibited twice, as a site-specific solo exhibition and afterwards as part of a group exhibition, is made out of branches and plastic pipes, glued together with polyurethane foam. Working on this installation started as I always work with an idea and then material

hunting. Although personal experiences enrich my practice, my work doesn't necessarily derive from my own personal life, but more often from cultural and social events that I read about or get exposed to. At the moment I have a traveling solo exhibition titled �Hive Mind�, that opened at the Gonda Brain Research

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Center at the Bar Ilan University in Israel, in October 2015, and is due to open at the Brain Research Center in UCLA, Los Angeles, in February 2016. This is a new body of work, inspired by recent brain studies about Alzheimer effects on the human brain,

as well as other contemporary disorders, such as ADHD. The sculptures in this exhibition are all made from Plexiglas, and for me it is a brand new material, especially as an artist that started with bronze. The sculptures are modular, light and

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colorful, and they aim to attract the attention of the viewer and make him or her contemplate about issues that are usually too frightening to deal with or think about, as diseases and mental disorders. My work doesn't lead to a specific narrative, and it doesn't offer a certain “solution�. it creates an atmosphere

that draws the spectator to contemplate about it while the art enters his or her private, inner world. The viewer might find comfort, rescue, enlightenment, understanding and perspective in a work of art, and I hope my art can have that sort of effect on people.

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M ichael Caci Lives and works in Seattle, USA

An artist's statement

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y contrasting traditional painting techniques with new technologies I create suggestive and metaphorically ambiguous images. This contrast is further highlighted with the use of recycled paints beneath an overlay of digitally printed films. The integration of acrylics, oils, metallic pigments, watercolors, polymers, ink-jet technologies, software, photography, and natural materials such as coffee and blueberries skins, etc.--- are all part of a collaborative method: laborious, unpredictable and magical.

Michael Angelo Caci, a Seattle-based artist, spent his formative years in the Finger Lakes region of upstate

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New York. He developed an early interest in photography inspired by his fascination for science and the visual intricacies of color and light. While initially investigating this world through photography, a move to the west coast and an encounter with formal instruction in drawing, printmaking, panting and sculpture at the University of Washington he expanded his range of media. Rather than working solely in one area, the artist began experimentation with synthesizing digital and traditional methods into a singular and often laborious process. Michael Caci http://www.michaelcaci.com


Day Pope, 2014 / 94x130cm / Mixed Media


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Michael Caci An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

way you relate yourself to the aesthetic problem?

Seattle-based artist Michael Caci's work explores the liminal area in which symbolism and experience find unexpected points of convergence. His approach rejects any conventional classification and crosses the elusive boundary that defines the area of perception from the realm of imagination, to create a multilayered involvement with the viewers, who are urged to investigates about the non linear, still ubiquitous narrative that pervades the reality we inhabit. One of the most convincing aspect of Caci's practice is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of creating a deep and autonomous synergy between our limbic parameters and our rational categories: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to his multifaceted artistic production.

Well, my first love was photography. But my academic track was in the sciences. I studied oceanography as an undergrad largely based on falling in love with the “Undersea World of Jacque Cousteau”. But I got terribly seasick on my first ocean research excursion and transferred to premed and zoology. All the while I kept a camera strapped to my neck and it never occurred to me that this was a worthy profession. Toward the end of my BS degree I began studying psychology which lead me to Seattle for a master’s degree at the University of Washington. It finally dawned on me that my passion for making art was the real deal. So I spent time in the printmaking department where I worked on, among other things, photo etchings. And it was at this time that I became close friends with the head of the printmaking department who has been instrumental in shaping my approach to making art.

Hello Michael 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 after your studies at the Humboldt State University, California, you nurtured your education with a MA that you received from the University of Washington, Seattle: how did these experiences influence your evolution as an artist? And in particular, does your cultural substratum inform the

This was in the mid-late ‘80s and new processes were emerging. So I started a large format printing business in order to have access to this new digital world. This was the total package and all of these technologies, studies and experiences converged. Over time, as I matured, the work began focusing on my understanding of neurology and the simple truth that all that we are, all we see and touch and experience is the product of evolution.

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Michael Angelo Caci / 2016


I WEAR MY HEART ON MY HEAD, 2015 93x129cm / Mixed Media


Vaca Cara Tiara, 2015 68x104cm / Mixed Media


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But there is one important thread in this history and that’s my departure from a parochial upbringing. I recall having this thought while still a young boy; that the priests were preaching a story that was completely made up. And while my head knew this, the emotional toll of not having a story was high as I entered my early twenties. I realized that we must all have some underlying story of who we are and what and why we do, aspire, become and live. This notion is central to my artistic output. Your approach coherently encapsulates several techniques that reveals an incessant search of an organic symbiosis between a variety of viewpoints. The results convey together a coherent and consistent sense of harmony and unity, that reject any conventional classification. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.michaelcaci.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between opposite viewpoints as well as different techniques is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

Combining techniques is a very exciting part for me of being an artist. It’s my strength and weakness: trying out many combinations of materials and layouts is slow and time consuming. The resulting search for a working process took a long time- many years of playing with printers, digital processes, painting and drawing. Then came a period in 2007, during the great recession, when I began constructing books of mixed media collages. The collage process was simply

an organic collecting of newspaper clippings, articles and sketches. It was at this time that I really started to tap a creative process which eventually became the foundation for a working method. I wanted to create, being a photographer at heart, snapshots of mental spaces we experience as we are constantly processing information whether real or imagined. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected your ongoing series of mixed media collages, 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 is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of establishing a channel of communication between the subconscious sphere and the conscious one, to unveil the manifold nature of human perceptual categories and to draw the viewers into 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?

For me the answer is no. Strongly so. The reason I’m a late stage emerging artist is largely because the basis of these pieces is my own personal development. And it’s a convergence of many avenues which have helped me with an intuitive approach to metaphor and aesthetics. So in this piece “vaca cara tiara” there’s this unknown relationship suggested in the model’s pose and the revolver on her head. One wonders what this is because it’s close. The fox beckons to the viewer in a plaintive gesture his or her face streaked suggesting a torn photograph in an old photo album. To me this piece

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conjures a duality between the outside world and an inner landscape of thoughts and emotions. You may see it differently. After I made this piece I recognized that not have couldn’t have made this piece earlier in my life because the trajectory of visuals that are combined here would never have occurred to me.

moments when we face indecision and don’t know which course to take. I’ve had many of these. And in these moments I can hear the voices of people in my past, authors, journalists, and so on. These moments can be decisive shapers of identity. Or they can be nothing but a repetitive cycle.

“I wear my heart on my head” comes out of a book titled “Searching May for Courage”. Many of the collages in this book have cultural elements. The two parts, left and right panels, reflect the book format of left and right. I find it very interesting that westerners read from left to right while it’s reversed and flipped in other traditions. But without any direct experience in these languages and cultures it’s impossible to extend out into the mindset they represent. It’s the same with race, sex and religion. Context is very important. Now I don’t want to suggest this piece is about context.

Digital technologies play a crucial role in your practice: the impetuous way modern techniques have nowadays come out on the top has dramatically revolutionized the idea of Art itself: in a certain sense, we are forced to rethink about the intimate aspect of the materiality of an artwork itself, since just a few years ago it was a tactile materialization of an idea. I'm sort of convinced that new media will definitely fill the apparent dichotomy between Technology and Art, and we will dare to say that Art and Technology are going to assimilate one to each other... what's your point about this?

Your work is pervaded with a subtle but effective narrative, and the insightful juxtaposition between images and written words, as in smen captures nonsharpness with an universal kind of language, capable of bringing to a new level of significance the elusive but ubiquitous relationship between experience and memory, to create direct relations with the spectatorship: What is the role of memory in your process? We are particularly interested if you try to achieve a faithful translation of your previous experiences or if you rather use memory as starting point to create.

This is very difficult to answer. Memory is complicated. I suppose my main focus is the manner in which memory guides one’s personal and cultural identity. But not in an eidetic sense, but from an emotional one. I’m particularly interested in those

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My wife worked in the Department of Digital Arts and Experimental Media at the University of Washington when it first opened in I want to say 2006ish. It was headed up by two very big names in a field of study that was known to a very esoteric worldwide group of cutting edge folk. Many of the undergrads came out of either computer science or engineering. Very smart people, and very creative. This field has grown exponentially since then. If I was entering the university setting at this time with an artistic interest this would be my choice. It’s the most exciting track for burgeoning artists and musicians in today’s art scene in my opinion. The possibilities are immense but there is a great deal of training and skill required. You have to imagine growing up with today’s technology as integral to everything you do.


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YOU DON'T TIE ME, 2014 / 86x96cm / Mixed Media

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SMEN, 2014 / 86x96cm / Mixed Media

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I’ve embraced the two worlds I know best; that of traditional artistic methods and the digital world of photographic editing. Beginning in the late 90s I began experimenting with large format printers and a variety of industrial materials. The equipment and software became collaborators and personalities because of the largely unpredictable things that would happen which I’ve learned to take advantage of.

further bring out the things that speak to me. The fact is in the five stages of creation (like the five stages of grief), step one is denying my conscious mind and working furiously. Step two is being depressed that I didn’t get the image in my mind’s eye. Step three is trying few fixes on the jumble. Step four... that didn’t work- better leave it alone and come back later. And step five is revising and adapting to the gifts of creation.

The “Quantum” series, as an example, is a marriage of these two worlds. As I worked on these pieces, I was intensely aware that what they spoke to, at least to me, was this sense of having one foot in an old world and one in the new world. Catherine Filloux, a New York playwright, was kind enough to publish a number of these works in 2012 when her play “Luz” opened. In her play there is this large mechanical bird puppet which some reviewers have called a vulture which is incorrect. The bird is more a symbolic voice acting within the center-point of tension between characters and plot. The quantum images are similar in the manner in which they inhabit an in-between space.

My use of recycled materials began as a matter of convenience because the city started a recycling program including a repurposing of collecting and repurposing the paints that people were sending to the dump. The paints were free. And it was an opportunity to think about incorporating not just the materials but the concepts they embedded. It made me think about the manner in which the universe is one huge recycling machine. And the same is true at every scale from the largest structures in the universe to the history of life on earth and at the smallest of scalesthe quantum scale. A moral context is suggested in the use of these materials. Evolution is one continuous recycling and recombinant program.

You often incorporate recycled paints in your works, which encapsulate their own stories which are sometimes subverted in the creative process, but always keep their ubiquitous identity: would you like to shed light about the aspects related to the creative potential of chance in your process? How do your ideas change in the while you conceive your works and you finally get the final results?

Chance is my friend and poet laureate, my partner in crime. I set up conditions where multiple variables are at play for unpredictable results. The work then becomes revision and development to

When inquiring into the blurred dichotomy between traditional painting techniques and new technologies, your work sheds light on the necessity to rethink such erratic concepts on an unitary viewpoint: how would you describe the nature of the cohexistence of such often conflictual and ambiguous aspects? In particular, German pioneer of visual arts Gerhard Richter once stated, "my concern is never art, but always what art can be used for": what is your opinion about the functional aspect of Art in the contemporary age?

Traditional painting techniques were at one time new technologies. Many artists,

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Quantum 1, 2012 / 147x157cm / Mixed Media


ss stain, 2015 / 68x104cm / Mixed Media


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Quantum 2m, 2013 / 56x79cm / Mixed Media

especially those coming up the ranks love to explore anything new to the point that their art is often too focused on the technology. Art can be more than that. It can bring these elements together into a focus that adds to the language of art. I recall watching an interview of Bruce Naumann in PBS’s show Art in the 21st Century where he said that you can’t make this thing and say later this is what I meant to do. His point is well taken. You

must have this thing in mind first. I don’t completely disagree. Yet while I believe you have to have something in your mind, designing an erratic method might make what that is clear to you as you work. And for me bringing together what seem to be disparate elements is valid. Regarding the functional aspect of art: I will say that static art such as painting, drawing and the like has a somewhat limited influence. It’s a tremendous

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challenge to create this thing that just sits there but remains visually interesting and thought provoking over repeated viewings.

marked out with a symbolic feature. Do you think that the dichotomy between Representation and Pictorialism is by now irremediable?

Another interesting project of yours that has particularly impressed us and on which we would like to spend some words is the QUANTUM series and we have highly appreciated the way it condenses a symbiosis between severe geometry and freedom of composition: when addressing us to process the things we are sometimes able to catch you seem to suggest that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature: what's your point about this?

I can only speak for myself on this question. My artistic drive is tied to an interplay between materials and cognition. I’m not terribly interested in literal depictions or pure color or making work in the manner of Sol LeWitt. I try and create work that is endlessly interesting while containing some sense of emotional mystery and dissonance.

Our brains seem to rely on binary structures; good and evil, right and wrong, pleasant or painful, attractive or ugly, etc. I’ve tried to incorporate the coexistence of these neural dichotomies in my aesthetics and, in some ways, tried to present a visual representation of the mental spaces they create. There’s and irony in this because too much visual tension will not have much of an audience. I particularly enjoy the challenge of arriving at some level of aesthetic harmony in these paintings. The use of photographic imagery, digitally processed, on painted fields speaks to the resolution of opposites. Your work could be also considered a challenging interrogation about the boundaries of tradition itself: as Philippe Dagen once established in his Le Silence des peintres, the coming of a straight realism has caused a progressive retenchment of painting from the mere representetive role of reality. With exception of Hyperrealism movement, Painting is nowadays more and more

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

I mean who doesn’t like a good review, right? That being said I’ve had my fair share of poor receptions, rejections and the like. It’s helped me understand that an important part of what I hope to accomplish with any of my work is communication of some kind. It’s always a challenge speaking about any particular piece in a manner that doesn’t bracket it or plant an immovable idea because words can act as blinders. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Michael. Finally,


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Her N 2015 / 79x107cm / Mixed Media

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angel_s, 2014 / 86x96cm / Mixed Media

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Michael Caci


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Quantum 2, 2012 / 112x140cm / Mixed Media

would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I’ve created a lifetime’s worth of compositions to enlarge and develop and have talked to a few of my artist friends working in different disciplines such as sound and video. My plan is develop an number of installation experiences that will

expand the ideas I’ve talked about in this interview.

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

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Mary Rouncefield Lives and works in London, United Kingdom

An artist's statement

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see the artist as ‘Communicator’ of ideas, a voice of protest and a catalyst

for change. The female artist potentially can have a special role; voicing the concerns of women, highlighting injustices and problems faced by particular groups of women, and focussing on themes of common interest. My most recent work has been directed at expressing exactly these themes of prejudice and injustice but also exploring restrictions and limitations placed on the education and growth of all children - both boys and girls. I am concerned about the commercialisation of childhood and gender stereotyping of toys and clothing, activities and careers by multinational corporations aiming to increase their profits. In addition, children are exposed to violent images in computer games and films, quite apart from pornography which is freely available on the internet. All this ‘normalises’ the use of guns and violent treatment of women and girls. I use three-dimensional and found objects as ‘canvasses’ on which to draw

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directly or to mount drawings made on paper. These objects convey additional meaning as part of the art work. In 2014 a series of drawings on Human Trafficking were exhibited by Guerilla Galleries in London. I also contributed work to ‘Traditions Run Deeper than Law’ at the Red Gallery in 2015. A conference held at the Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights at Suffolk University Law School (Boston MA) also featured my work, in June 2015. This summer, I painted live at Upfest 2015, the Street Art festival held in Bristol. I also have work included in the Wellcome Images biomedical image library. My ‘Campaign Boots’ have been exhibited in ‘Passion For Freedom 2015’ at the Mall Galleries, London.

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Multidisciplinary artist Mary Rouncefield explores the commodification pervading contemporary societies to accomplish an insightful investigation about the themes of commercialisation of childhood, gender stereotyping and women's condition. But while capturing strong still elusive consequences of our unstable and composite reality, she does not limit herself just to point out the variety of issues that affect modern life: her works aim to trigger intellectual reactions, to invite the viewers to play an active role into social change. One of the most convincing aspect of Rouncefield's work is the way it translates non-sharp notions to tangible language, walking the viewers into an area of intellectual interplay that urges them to explore unstability in the contemporary age: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her multifaceted artistic production. Hello Mary 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 studied art in Bristol: how has these experience influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, does your cultural substratum and your previous experience as a math teacher inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

My formal studies in art began with the Art Foundation Course at Bristol School of Art, where I was introduced to a broad range of

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media and ideas. I had, by that time, decided to take a break from my career as a teacher of mathematics. Prior to that, art had been an enjoyable ‘spare time’ occupation, but one I was increasingly drawn to. As a mathematician, some of the topics I had enjoyed working with, had been geometry, pattern and symmetry and graphical solutions to problems. Later on in my studies, artists who combined mathematical ideas with art, such as M.C. Escher, Bridget Riley and Sol de Witt have been inspirational. Early on, I had not really seen art as a means of communicating ideas. My early artwork had been based on representations of the visible world: drawings of a life model, paintings of landscapes and gardens and so on. So yes, my formal art training completely changed my view of what was possible in art. Enthused by the ideas introduced by the Foundation Course, I continued on with a degree course at the University of the West of England. At that time, there were opportunities to work with print making, enamelling, metal work, wood and textiles. While I enjoyed translating my ideas through some of these media, I continued to work with the traditional materials of drawing and paint. My ideas about mathematics, the role of the female mathematician and the thought patterns encouraged by the discipline of mathematics gradually began to surface in my work. A piece of drawing work, combining mathematical calculations,


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a graph and a female figure, entitled ‘Parabola’ was selected for the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2007 exhibition (at the end of my second year as an undergraduate student).

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Your approach sums up into a coherent unity a variety of media capable of establishing a channel of communication between different levels of significance, revealing an incessant search of an organic symbiosis between a variery of viewpoints


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you convey into a coherent harmony. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.maryrouncefield.co.uk/ in order to get a synoptic view of your work: in the

meanwhile, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up? In particular, have you ever happened to realize that such synergy is the only way to snatch the spirit of the ideas you explore?

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The main emphasis of my work has always been drawing; whether I work in print, textile metal or enamel, there is always a strong drawing element to the finished work. Each piece involves a lot of thinking. Work generally arises as a result of reading

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newspaper and magazine articles, watching news reports, followed by mental processing and sifting. Generally, the images I draw are very simple and pared down to the essentials. My mathematical background may have had some influence


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full to overflowing with ‘stuff’: materials, prints, paintings, drawings, part-finished work and so on. It is so crowded that I end up working in other rooms in the house. My living room is my main room for working inwith the result that I live with my work, and think things out and plan things even when I’m not ‘working’ as such. I hoard things which I think may come in useful; mostly materials, paper, card fabrics and so on, but occasionally a box or an item which might eventually be incorporated into a finished piece. So does the found item inspire the work, or does the idea make me search for a particular object? It’s difficult to say. And I think it may well be a two-way process sometimes. Most pieces of work arise from my concern about a social issue. I find myself thinking or worrying about that issue and eventually need the ‘release’ achieved by making a drawing or piece of work expressing those feelings.

on this: one of the aims of mathematics is to express complicated ideas as succinctly and ‘elegantly’ as possible. I work at home. I am fortunate enough to have the space. My supposed ‘work room’ is

We would start to focus on your artistic production beginning from TODAY'S LESSON, an interesting mixed media installation that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. This project accomplishes an insightful investigation about the stereotyped idea of a place of safety for children and subverts the mainstream parameters that optimistically attribute to modern institutions unambiguous roles. As most of your works, TODAY'S LESSON is a piece that aim to cause a reaction in the audience: while walking our readers through the genesis of this project, would you shed light about your initial intentions? In particular, what kind of reactions did you expect to provoke in the spectatorship?

‘Today’s Lesson’ is essentially a set of drawings laminated onto a school desk. At school, the individual child’s desk is his or her territory or home base. It is where s/he should feel most secure. To make the piece,

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I imagined a whole class of children embarking on a project to research firearms and guns, and then myself made a set of drawings and some written descriptions on school exercise book papers. My research for this project, focussed on looking for guns which children might indeed have handled themselves, or seen adults using. Alternatively the children may have been taught how to use those weapons or forced to fight with them (depending on where they live). In the UK most children will never see a real gun, but even so they will have possibly fought with guns in computer games, and seen them in films and on television. The main event which influenced me to set this project in motion, was the massacre of over 100 boys at a school in Lahore (Pakistan) together with two ‘highschool’ shootings around that time in the USA. My aim in making this piece was to evoke a realisation that children learn things outside of their formal school lessons. How many children have learnt that guns get you what you want? How many have learnt that physical force always wins? And are parents haunted by the thought that their children are not really safe at school? By the way, how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space?

I do believe that art provides the artist with a means of highlighting issues which s/he sees as significant. However, for me, art is a means of catharsis and I do not believe that it is possible or even desirable to tell the viewer what to think. All I can hope to do, is to encourage the viewer to think about a particular social problem and to possibly see it from another person’s point of view. Your deep interest in problems faced by disadvantaged groups of women -and in particular young girls- has lead you to

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conceive No Protection: drawing inspiration from a terrible event occurred few years ago in Africa and taking advantage of


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the evokative power of elements that be-

societies. Many artists from the

longs to universal imagery, you highlighted

contemporary scene, as Ai WeiWei or more

the jarring contrast between contemporary

recently Jennifer Linton, use to include

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open socio-political criticism in their works. It is not unusual that artists, rather than urging the viewer to take a personal position on a subject, tries to convey their personal takes about the major issues that affect contemporary age. Do you consider that your works could be political in this way or do you seek to maintain a neutral

approach? And in particular, what could be in your opinion the role that an artist could play in the contemporary society?

I guess that my works are political, in that the issues they address could be of public concern and are topics which may be

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discussed by politicians, journalists, tweeters and bloggers. While I am aiming to arouse feelings of sympathy and empathy for victims of certain situations, I am not presenting a ‘solution’. So while I would like my viewer to think, I am not necessarily telling them what to think.

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In order to take on this role, the artist necessarily needs to have an audience, and has a wide range of options for making his/her work visible: social media, filmsharing websites, bill boards, street art ,gallery websites, pop-up exhibitions in empty buildings and exhibitions in their own studios or homes.


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feel that symbols are becoming more universal not less. Many cultural experiences, such as major art exhibitions, films and television programs are being marketed world-wide. A prime example of this is the British period drama ‘Downton Abbey’ which apparently, is being enjoyed by audiences as far away as China. It is arguable as to whether these experiences are interpreted uniformly across cultures and clearly there must be variations and nuances. However, as more people across the world are being exposed to common cultural symbols, I believe that this must eventually increase the communality of understanding globally. So while I do exploit the unique qualities and meanings of media, I absolutely do use images, symbols and objects which I believe to be understandable by a wide spectrum of potential viewers.

Media of any kind is about communication, which is comprised of a sender and a receiver: to highlight the ever-changing quality of communication in art production, German Thomas Demand once pointed out that "nowadays art can no longer rely much on symbolic strategies and has necessarily to probe psychological narrative elements within the medium instead". What's your opinion about this? In particular, what could be the criteria and the communication strategy that may help to establish whether a work has had any social or political impact?

In the main, I think I disagree with this quotation. With increasing globalisation, I

I occasionally take part in ‘Meet the Artist’ events, including one held recently, in my home, at which there were 250 visitors over a week-end. Quite a number of people were keen to discuss my ‘political’ art works. I received some encouragement and positive responses in addition to insightful comments about the issues which prompted the work. These included child labour, child soldiers and female genital mutilation. A number of female viewers felt very emotional responses to ‘No Protection’ and the fate of those young girls kidnapped in Chibok. Another interesting work from your recent production that has particularly impacted on us ad on which we'll be pleased to spend some words is entitled Almost Invisible which is part of your Trafficked series: the juxtaposition between hinted human figures and bar codes evokes the appearance of prison and forces the semantic of an inveterate feature of commercial-based societies. In particular, DOMESTIC, another piece from the same series, highlights the fact that, despite undeniable social

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achievements, mutatis mutandis, we are far from having pursued the parity of sexes. What is the message you want to address, especially to young women, who feel held back from their true aspiration?

The recent film ‘Suffragette’ reminds us that women in U.K. gained the right to vote less than one hundred years ago. While much may appear to have been gained in the interim, some of those gains appear to be in danger of being taken for granted, forgotten or even lost. It was this realisation that led me to make ‘Campaign Boots’, chronicling the main campaigns of the women’s movement in that intervening century. With a national skills shortage, particularly in science and engineering, universities, manufacturing and engineering companies are now doing their utmost to recruit young women. However girls are all too often channelled into the wrong school subjects and the gender stereotyping of children’s toys, books and clothing all conspire to create the ‘girls can’t do that’ mind set. My message to young women who feel they have not achieved their full potential is: ‘Don’t give up on your aspirations. It is possible to learn new skills or to study as a mature student, later on’ While the woman portrayed in my drawing ‘Domestic’ is reduced to doing menial domestic tasks (for which she may be paid very little, or not at all) she may have had the potential to do so much more in life, had she had the opportunity. In Cut Back you have accomplished the difficult task of creating a balance between direct communication and speaking about the controversial practice of female genital mutilation: your works are always pervaded with a subtle but effective narrative that allows you to establish direct relations with the viewers, passing over hierarchy constraint that affect our usual perceptual parameters. Is challenging this kind of

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hierarchy in communication processes important to you?

Yes, I do believe that some images/subjects are so horrific that a graphic representation will instantly cause some viewers to look away, thus losing part of the potential audience already. The artist does not need to say everything that can possibly be said about a particular subject. If the viewer is initially engaged, s/he can go away and find out more about a particular issue for themselves. You often incorporate found objects in your works, which encapsulate their own stories which are sometimes subverted in


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the creative process, but always keep their ubiquitous identity: would you like to shed light about the aspects related to the creative potential of chance in your process? How do your ideas change in the while you conceive your works and you finally get the final results?

The use of ‘found objects’ does create an additional layer of meaning in my work. To some extent I do sometimes have ‘lucky finds’ such as the school desk, a distressed piece of board or a pair of boots that can be re-made . The shape and structure of these finds does influence the final piece of work; the size and placing of my drawings and sometimes even the choice of which drawing do depend to some extent on these factors. But if a suitable found object is not available, I will sometimes exploit all the skills that I have (and even learn some new ones) to make my own objects. Examples of this are the cap and phone/tablet used in ‘Neural Connections’, the corsets used in ‘The Female Mathematician/Woman In Geek’s Clothing’ and the garment for ‘Dress 2 Die 4’. However, the completion of ‘Neural Connections’ was delayed for a few months as I had to search for the ‘right’ cables and connection blocks needed to link the elements of the piece! (Luckily a neighbour eventually scrapped an old computer.) Over your career you have exhibited€internationally, showcasing your work in several occasions, including your recent show at the Guerilla Galleries in London, at the Daniel Liebeskind Centre on Holloway Road. One of the hallmark of your practice is the capability to create a direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of

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what type of language is used in a particular context?

I do tend to consider audience interpretation/reception, either consciously or unconsciously. In most of my work, the format is always simple and uncluttered, with minimal use of colour. The image is clear and hopefully the ideas are clear. My earlier experiences of teaching, and teaching mathematics in particular may have laid some of the ground-work here. Mathematics is a difficult subject for many students and clear explanations and clear diagrams are essential. Later, during my degree training, I was encouraged to embark on an illustration project with the aim of illustrating newspaper editorials – mostly political in nature. My tutor encouraged me to think around the subject to produce a simple striking image highlighting the meaning of some aspect of the written piece. This, I believe was an invaluable learning experience. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Mary. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I have found my current work very satisfying and intellectually challenging. I plan to continue to explore more social issues particularly those affecting women and children.

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


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A nnie Hobbs Lives and works in Santiago, Chile

An artist's statement

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have been documenting my life in an unconventional way since 2007. The photographs from this series, 2014/2015, have all been taken since I left the US, and have been living in Chile. Basically, 2014/2015 is about my life as an outsider. My main interest in photographing my life is exploring the possibilities of film, and using it in ways that are more about documenting emotions, memories, and time. Pulling as much detail as possible from underexposed negatives allows me to create an entirely different world than the one I was seeing, while at the same time retaining some of its original feel. I am a photographer of the moment, meaning I try to capture what is happening when it's happening with more attention to the atmosphere and mood, than making sure the photo is an

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accurate description of the scene in front of me. Not all of my photographs are underexposed or surreal, but in this project, they all share this dream-like quality of suspended time. Paying attention to the small moments happening constantly makes me see that the world is full of dynamic, composed images waiting to be frozen and appreciated by anyone living in the same world.

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Annie Hobbs' photography accomplishes an effective exploration about the possibilities of film to convey emotions she draws from reality and dream-like atmosphere into a coherent harmony. Her work rejects a conventional classification and captures the ephemeral quality of experience to condense it on both conscious and unconscious levels. Hobbs' evocative and direct approach urges the viewer to investigate about the relationship between reality and the way we perceive it. One of the most convincing aspects of her practice is the way she walks us into a liminal area in which memory and perceptual processes find an unexpected point of convergenceto. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Annie and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. To start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and you hold a BFA€in€Photography, that you received from the Columbia€College, Chicago: how does this experience impacted on the way you relate to art making? And in particular, how does the relationship between your cultural substratum and

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your current life in Chile inform the way you conceive your works?

Hi, and thank you for inviting me to participate in your magazine. To answer your first question, the photography department at Columbia College Chicago definitely shaped me into the artist I am now. The faculty there is solid, and when I was in school, the analog facilities were amazing, so I consider myself very lucky to have been a part of it all. I was constantly inspired by faculty, friends and peers, and the wealth of knowledge about art in general that I was gaining through just being there. I learned how to form and execute ideas and projects, as well as the technical aspects of artmaking. My process is a direct descendent from my education. Living abroad has only affected my work in that I live here now. I guess my point of view is now as an outsider, and I use my camera to investigate the culture a bit more than I did in the US, but I am still documenting my life, just like I did before. Now it’s just with more of a sense of wonder. We would suggest to our reader to visit http://anniehobbsphotography.com in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production: your work is marked with a stimulating combination between figurative approach and an unconventional kind of abstraction, capable of walking the viewers into a


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liminal area in which representation and imagination find an unexpected point of convergence. Such asymmetry creates a tension that activates the whole picture and keeps one’s eye engaged with its visual ambience: did you conceive these compositions on an instinctive way or do you rather structure your process in order to reach the right balance?

This is totally instinctive. When I am working on my art, I am not a super technical photographer. I think of my camera as just an image capturing box. I like that I can break the old rules of photography to create something visually jarring or interesting. I came upon this way of making art when I was in undergrad just fooling around with my camera by playing with length of exposure, creating long strips of film of multiple exposures, and movement. Now, I think about things a little more, but I am mostly just trying to capture images in the moment, and I am normally on the move when I am doing it. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected your 2014/2015 series, that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, you consider yourself as a photographer of the moment: the way your pieces create a hybrid visual language reminds us of the idea behind Thomas Demand's work, when he states that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". We like the way you give to the ephemeral nature of everyday experience a sense of permanence, so

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we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion, personal experience is


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an absolutely indispensable as part of the creative process: do you think that a

creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

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I can’t speak for other artists, but I think art is the product of an artist, so it’s hard

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to separate the creative process from some type of direct experience. I think


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the most interesting artists challenge or connect to the viewer through shared experiences. The way I connect to my audience is through one thing everyone has in common: the human experience of

memories or dreams. Even though we all have different experiences as humans, the experience of memory, in the largest sense possible, is the one thing we can

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Annie Hobbs

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share. Collective memory plays a big part in my relationship to the viewer. We have particularly appreciated the way your unconventional photography accomplishes the difficult task of snatching not only the atmosphere, but the elusive substance of the subjects you center your attention on. When inviting the viewers to re-interpret the traditional ideas of natural beauty, you seem to challenge our perceptual categories: 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?

Aesthetics are everything. While I don’t spend a lot of time setting up scenes, I am always looking at compositions and colors. I know that exposures can change moods. The way something looks affects how the audience feels, and I really take advantage of that with my photographs, not just in 2014/2015, but with all projects I work on. When exploring the possibilities of film, you seem to urge us to interpret your images on an allegorical level and consequently you stimulate the viewer’s psyche on both a subconscious and a conscious level. How did you decide to focus on this form of photography?

Honestly, it all goes back to aesthetics. I started making this type of work in undergrad, and I really liked how it challenged what I was learning about photography in the classical sense, as well as how it looked. As I continued, I noticed how this type of photography

does evoke a range of emotions in viewers, depending on their own experiences. Viewers can take in and process what they see at first glance, and then allow the mood of the photograph to take them deeper into their minds and connect to a potentially significant place in their subconscious. I liked that I could share something so personal for me, but in a way also subjective to the viewers, through photography. The surrealistic qualities that mark out your works are in a certain sense representative of the unstable relationship between emotion and memory. We find it truly poetically engaging: What is the role of memory -in term of references to evocative elements belonging to universal imagery- in your process?

Memory definitely provokes emotions and can sometimes have the power to change one’s emotions. Capturing memories with photography is like using magic. One can be having the shittiest day, but later someone takes their smiling picture, and if that is all that is recorded of the day, that’s how others will remember that person on that day. Photography doesn’t necessarily tell the whole truth of a time, but what the photographer wants to convey from that time. The role of memory in my process isn’t about telling the whole story, but about the pieces that make up the whole. What interests me about memory are the things that can go as quickly as they come. In other words, capturing the ephemeral nature of daily life is how I use memory in my photography. Your process reveals an investigative feature around the idea of the outside

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world you draw from but at the same time you recontextualize and even subvert in your process: your approach

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shows how Photography is a vehicle not only to describe and document images and feelings, but to dissect them,


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grapple with them, and integrate them. Maybe one of the roles of an artist could be to delete any barrier between the

viewers and the idea encapsulated in a piece of art, revealing unexpected sides

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of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

The thing about art is that there are no rules, so I wouldn’t want to say that an

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artist has the obligation to do anything, but I think viewers definitely respect art that can open their minds. Art doesn’t need to be literal. It’s not the artist’s job to walk us through their work. For me, my


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favorite works of art are the ones I am still thinking about days, or sometimes years later. I believe art is one of the most effective ways to challenge society to think about themselves, their families,

friends, and environments in totally new terms. Photography helps me to document and explore my new relationship to Chilean

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and South American culture. It allows viewers to come along with me in a sense and get to know this culture with me, as well as get to know me through the

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images I choose to make and show. While this project means something specific to me, everyone can take away their own


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significance. It’s very open to interpretation.

You have also produced an interesting series of Fashion photographs: these pieces involve the viewer as much as they do the model. What role do you

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think the viewer plays in the production of an image? And in particular, how important is it that people bring their own character to portraiture and not just the character that you as the photographer impose on them?

I think it all depends on for whom you are making art. If you are working in fashion or advertising, the viewer is the most important part of the process. You have to sell something and appeal to them any way you can. The more innovative you can be while still attracting and engaging an audience on a sales level, the better. If you are doing portraits, I think the viewer and the sitter play an almost equal part. The sitter is trying to convey something, and the viewer is trying to interpret it. For any other type of image, I think the viewer is important, but maybe not the focus of the artist. I think it depends on the artist and their motives. I believe people have to bring their own character to portraiture, otherwise it isn’t a true representation of them. Straight portraits are supposed to be truthful to their subject, not only what the artist wants to see, but a mix of the sitter’s true self and the artist’s aesthetic. Over these years your works have been exhibited in several occasions around the world, including your participation in Pop€Up€Addis, in Ethiopia: your practice is intrinsically connected to the chance of creating an area of intellectual interplay with the viewers, that are urged to evolve from the condition of a merely passive audience: so, before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relation with your audience: in particular, do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial

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component of your decision-making process in terms of what type of language for a particular context?

I honestly don’t plan for an audience. Of course, I am thrilled when someone expresses interest in my work, but I make the work I make because I enjoy it and I believe I am creating something visually and mentally interesting. I hope people some people get it, but I don’t create for an audience because I don’t have a specific audience. I try to make images anyone can get behind. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Annie. Finally, would you like to tell our readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I am still working on this project and think I will be for my entire life. I currently have 5 or 6 rolls of my trip through Peru and Ecuador to develop. I have been asked to contribute to a collective here in Chile that deals with themes of discrimination, especially discrimination of sexuality/gender, so I plan on making contributions to that. I would also like to get back into a studio at some point, and I have been thinking about some documentary projects for the future. I see my work delving deeper into social and psychological aspects/phenomena down the road. Thank you so much for your interest in my work and me, and for your thoughtprovoking questions. I’ve enjoyed this time.

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


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S uzanne MacRury Lives and works in New Brunswick, Canada

An artist's statement

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am a sentimentalist, a romantic sentimentalist. It is infinitely rewarding to change someone’s

perspective through art and create something beautiful using themes and objects not often associated with beauty. This new project has been about taking matter most commonly associated with death and ugliness and turning it into something that can be admired and adored, allowing it to be seen in a different light. People may find it morbid but I see the simple, natural, organic beauty of it. Even the skulls that are not perfect are perfect to me and represent each and every one of us as individuals with our flaws and imperfections. We are the same, yet we are unique and we are each beautiful. It is abstract in itself that as a vegetarian I have become a bit of a crusader for these artifacts, normally abandoned or scrapped. Throughout this project I liken myself to the artists that make art with garbage or found objects, things people have discarded and forgotten. My use of the metallic paints has been subconscious, but is clearly common throughout the works here. It makes the

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skulls resemble statues, somewhat making idols out of them, and creating something that will live on permanently. Dipping something in silver, making it out of gold, bronze, copper, the use of precious metals honors the subject. Creating art out of the skulls is like giving them new life or extending their life. Above all else I believe I am creating something beautiful, though it may seem macabre. Painting these skulls has been a full circle for me artistically. Osteology and the study of bones has been an interest of mine for as long as I can remember. Some of the earliest sketches in my career were of skulls and bones. The next step in my journey was body prints, which then transpired into my abstract work. Now here I find myself, 20 years later, abstractly painting on skulls. It was like this was the next step in my artistic journey, what I was meant to do. Please enjoy my Skullptures.

Suzanne MacRury


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

Montreal based artist Suzanne MacRury is a versatile artist: her work explores the artistic potential of themes and objects not often associated with beauty. In particular, her recent Skulls series that we'll be dealing with in the following pages, she expands the notion of death associated to skulls, creating something beautiful, going beyond any dichotomy between past and present. One of the most convincing aspect of MacRury's practice is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of inviting the viewers to rethink about matter most commonly associated with death, urging them to discover an unconventional kind of beauty: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her multifaceted artistic production. Hello Suzanne and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview would you tell us something about your background? You have a solid training and you attended the Emily Carr College of Art and Design: how has this experience influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

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From a young age I was encouraged to be true to myself, I was encouraged to express myself, what some could argue was a common product of being a child of the seventies. I never graduated from Emily Carr. I struggled within the confines and structure, especially as someone who attended directly out of high school. I didn’t “paint the right way”, I didn’t do as professors wanted, and I struggled to follow their directions while also trying to express myself as freely as I always had. I realize now that I would have come to this place in my career regardless of whether I had continued with my education, both roads would have led to where I am today and that this was my path, regardless of which road I took. I suppose my experience would cause me to question myself even more closely through my career, always hearing the criticisms before they surface. Because really, what is art? What is the right way to make a piece of art? What is beauty? Is art beautiful? As Ad Reinhardt said “Art is art, everything else is everything else”. Your approach coherently encapsulates both environmental and emotional elements, revealing a stimulating search of a symbiosis between abstraction and representative gaze on reality. The results convey together a consistent sense of unity: so before


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starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.suzannemacrury.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between opposite viewpoints is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

It is something that I have struggled with, how do you find the symbiosis between the two? Does it even actually

exist? Am I diverging too far? Is it cohesive? I think this is something experienced by most artists, this feeling of not only inadequacy, but the questioning and self-doubt that one experiences in order to produce a body of work, or multiple bodies of work that at times can differ so much on the surface yet come from the same place inside. Is it coherent? Is it obvious? Does it matter? I feel that over the years, a personal style has revealed itself, in different bodies of work, my thoughts, emotions and experiences become

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evident and therefore provide the connection between my abstract and representative work. I am the connection. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected some of the works from Skulls, an interesting series that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. Your successful attempt to extract beauty from objects not often associated with beauty accomplishes the difficult task of establishing a channel of communication between the

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subconscious sphere and the conscious one, to unveil the manifold nature of human perceptual categories and to draw the viewers into 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?

I am not sure that the two are connected. To create is to make something out of nothing. A lot of


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people find inspiration and experience to fuel their creativity but the whole concept of creating something is to have it come from nothing. I believe that the two can be separate. Ai Weiwei for instance, his work is very political in nature however not all the subject matter is his personal experience. He does, however, have his own political history to draw on. A crucial aspect of your practice concerns the exploration of the relationships between found objects, inviting the viewers to rethink about discarded and forgotten memories. When highlighting the evocative potential and the emotional contents of objects, you seem to urge us to challenge the relation between our cultural substratum and our limbic perceptual parameters: to quote Simon Sterling's words, this could force things to relate that would probably otherwise be unrelated. Do you agree with this interpretation? And in particular, what is the creative role that chance plays in your approach?

It is less about found objects, these are definitely items I have sought after, however discarded and forgotten they are. Yes, I am challenging the viewer to relate two things, namely beauty and a work of art to something that they may intrinsically think is ugly or morbid. There is no chance involved. The Skulls series has impressed us also for its attempt to go beyond a mere interpretative aspect of the reality you refer to. As the late Franz West did in his installations, your work seems to reveal unconventional aesthetics in the way you deconstruct and assemble memories into our collective imagery,

to draw the viewer into a process of self-reflection. What is the role of memory in your approach? 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.

The first question people always ask is “what animal is this?” I believe it gives them a starting point, forcing them into this self-reflection and to examine the duality between the piece of art and the discarded and oft forgotten object. To identify in order to understand. Sometimes it is neither about past experiences or memories, not about the “why” but more about the “why not”? The skulls in particular also originated from my own love and nostalgia for the past. I love the beauty and sadness in them and I pay homage to that. While exhibiting a captivating vibrancy, your approach seems to reject an explicit explanatory strategy: rather, you invite the viewer to find personal interpretations to the feelings that you convey into your works... this quality marks out a considerable part of your production, that is in a certain sense representative of the relationship between space and physicality: do you try to achieve a faithful visual translation of your feelings?

Yes, but that is not something that I expect the viewer to take on, nor is it crucial to their understanding. Although they play a big part in my creative process, I try and distance my own personal and emotional attachment to the finished piece and invite the viewer to create their own emotions and feelings from the work.

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We definitely love the dialogue established by colors and texture of your works, which is a crucial part of your style: in particular, the effective

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combination between nuances of tones and rigorous patters sums up the mixture of thoughts and emotions. How much does your own psychological


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make-up determine the nuances of tones you decide to use in a piece and in particular, how do you develop a painting’s texture? Moreover, any

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

Colors relate directly to mood and

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environment, however, they are still unpredictable and cathartic. Often tones and textures will relate directly in

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obvious senses to the experience or object or landscape that has been my inspiration, and then at times it appears


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series, I have nothing red in my life but for two years, all I painted was red, even when I didn’t want to. Artists go through their “blue period”, in my case it was red, or their “minimalistic era”. Of recent, I seem to be drawn to strange color combinations in my abstract paintings and a lot of metallic. The skulls have demanded their own palette of grandeur, jewels and riches; my newly created idols. When inquiring into the relationship between past life and the intrinsic atemporal feature that marks out a work of art, your pieces shed light on the necessity to rethink such erratic concepts on a unitary viewpoint: how would you describe the nature of the coexistence of such often conflictual and ambiguous aspects? In particular, German pioneer of visual arts Gerhard Richter once stated, "my concern is never art, but always what art can be used for": what is your opinion about the functional aspect of Art in the contemporary age?

Art challenges you. Art is social. Art is political. Art is beautiful. Art makes you ask questions. Art starts dialogue. Art changes things. The purpose of art is multifaceted.

to come from nowhere and my subconscious produces something that I cannot explain. For example, the red

Over your thirty years long career you have exhibited your works in several occasions around Canada, including fifteen solos. 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

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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

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particular context?

I have struggled with the viewer/artist relationship. We all have our insecurities and fears. What is my message? Is it too


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literal? Am I making a statement? Do I even want to? Sometimes I just want to make something beautiful to share with others. Art should be approachable,

unpretentious, and accessible to all. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Suzanne. Finally, would you like to tell us

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readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

installation works, a form of art I always

I am working on a couple of ideas for

get them really thinking. Installation

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found puzzling and maybe never fully understood. I want people to think, to


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work above all has to be relevant, or

enough to execute. I think I am ready. I

provoking, inspire conversation. For me

hope so.

this would require a very well thought out idea, something I was never confident

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Y oshiyuki

Koinuma

Lives and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

An artist's statement

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oshiyuki Koinuma graduated from Musashino Art University in 2005 in Japan. In the years I had Solo and Group exhibitions at some of galleries in Tokyo, Japan. And I spend two years as an artist in residence at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in 2009 and 2010. After finishing the Rijksakademie, I moved to Rotterdam. I work with painting, drawing and collage mainly.

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My work is influenced by Computer Game, Nature, Science Fiction and Japanese Cultures. It invites spectators to use their imagination and enjoy themselves, evoking their surreal imagination, made of fantasy world and outer space. Yoshiyuki Koinuma


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

Influenced by Computer Game, Biology, Science Fiction and Japanese culture, Yoshiyuki Koinuma's work explores the expressive potential of abstract texture to investigate about the liminal area in which our perceptual categories find a point of convergence with the realm of imagination. His workprovides the viewers with a multilayered experience capable of walking them into the thin line on which subconscious level establishes a symbiosis between the conscious sphere. Drawing from Surrealism, Morse triggers both memory and imagination, to speak of emotions and a variety of feelings, creating a compelling narrative: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to his stimulating artistic production. Hello Yoshiyuki and welcome to ARTiculAction: we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. You have a solid formal training and after your studies at the Musashino Art University, you moved from Japan to the Netherlands where you spent two years as an artist in residence at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. How do these experiences influence te way you conceive and produce your works? And in particular, how does your japanese substratum inform the way you relate yourself to art

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making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

When I was living in Japan, I gat many inspirations from Newspaper and TV. I mixed the social issue from these news and my emotion. After that I painted it on Canvas. Most of time, I picked up terrible incident from the news. So that my paintings were really dark atmosphere and I painted many layers with oil paintings. However, When I started living in the Netherlands, I could not feel any reality from Japnese news and TV. Because I noticed that everything is difference like foods, cultures and language in the Netherlands. I decided to start someting new in the Netherlands ! During the 2 years artist in residence at the Rijksakademie, I met a lot of good artists from all over the world and I had many influenced from them. My painting became more colorful and I tried to new media like Creamic and Print work. I think that learned most important thing there. It is that I have to open mind when I make art. Incorporating painting, drawing, collage and ceramic, your work shows an insightful search of an organic symbiosis between a variety of viewpoints and techniques you combine together into a coherent balance. We we would suggest to our readers to visit https://www.works.io/yoshiyuki-koinuma in order to get a synoptic view of your


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work: in the meanwhile, 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.

Well. I try difference techniques between painting and collage. And I work around 10 works which are from small to big format at the same time in my studio. Everytime I gat a new inspiration during making process. For me, It is good to try difference subject, theme and material. If painting to not make any progress, sometime drawing and collage give me new inspiration. So that Important point for me is influence each other by these experimantal approach. I’m waiting for something special happened in Studio. My studio is like a Painting Laboratory ! We would start to focus on your artistic production beginning from your recent series of Untitled works that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of this piece is the way the juxtaposition between intense tones provide the canvass with a dynamic and autonomous aesthetic: 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 these pieces, would you shed light to your main source of inspirations?

My main source of inspirations are from Daily life, Nature and Memory. My recent series of “ Untitled works ”are paint on Newspaper and photo collage on Circle canvas. When I have free time, I always

go around the city of Rotterdam and go to second hand bookshops. I bring back some newspapers on the street or at the station. And I find out new inspiration from newspaper and find interesting images from second hand books as well. Most of my interested image is from nature picture. I cut out them for making collage works. I think that many inspirations are in my daily life. About source of inspirations from Nature and Memory. When I was a child, My grandfather and I went fishing every weekends. My grandfather was a fishmonger. He taught me how nature is wonderful. I’m strongly influence by his nature lesson. He pasted away 14 years ago. After that I keep painting on his portrait. When I paint on his portrait, I feel special connection with him in the painting. It is like Sherman experience. I would like to recall his soul from another world and paint on it with our memory on the Canvas. I think that painting is possible to do this. Photograph is difficult to do this. These difference are very interesting point for me. The dialogue established by colors and texture is a crucial part of your style: in particular, the effective combination between thoughtful nuances of tones sums up the mixture of thoughts and emotions. How much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones you decide to use in a piece and in particular, how do you develop a painting’s texture? Moreover, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

When I was staying in the Rijksakademie,

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I was thinking to do something new approach for my work. First, I started to make small collage works. During the process, I gat an inspiration to combine the technique between painting and collage, and coating the surface of work with the epoxy. After learning how to use the epoxy, my painting’s texture was big changed. I put on many materials in the paintings. So that Coating with the epoxy is protect on the surface of paintings. And When I use the epoxy, I think about the screen of laptop or desktop computer. Nowadays,everybody have a own computer and enjoying the virtual world in online-game. I feel the reality of virtual world. The epoxy layer remind me the screen of computer. In addition, I am also interested in the unreal world of 'death'. When I was a child, I used to play computer games everyday. Then I was wondering why a game character had the ability to live again once it was dead in the game. My works has been produced through the context of surrealism in art history, trying to mix the images of computer game world with my experience and identity of comics culture. I keep using the epoxy from 2010. Maybe I keep using it. However, I do not use it everytime. It is depend on the work. We definitely love the way you question the abstract feature of images, unveiling the visual feature of information you developed through an effective non linear narrative. In particular, playing with the evokative power of reminders to universal imagery, you accomplish the difficult task of establishing direct relations with the viewers: German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that

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

This is one of difficult question for me. How can I say... Maybe you could find out some symbolic images in my works. For example, Work called “ Night in the Galactic Snake ”, you will recognize that Koinuma used the snake image for symbolic animal in the painting. In Japan, Some people is beliving that White snake is a God. Japanese has the Sintoisum. So A lot of gods are existing in the society and the nature as well. And They have own unique symbolic image. One more thing is that “ Night in the Galactic Snake ” is inspired by Japanese fantasy novel “ Night on the Galactic Railroad ” by Kenji Miyazawa written around 1927. So This work is including an inspiration by Miyazawa’s novel, my own narrative element and symbolic element as well. I respect artist Thomas Demand’s opinion. In my case, I would like to say all relations are important for making works. We have apprecuared the way the pieces from your Reincarnation Series combine vivid color combinations with engaging textures: while exhibiting a captivating vibrancy, you seem to reject an explicit explanatory strategy: rather, you seem to invite the viewer to find personal interpretations to the feelings that you convey into your paintings... this quality marks out a considerable part of your production, that are in a certain sense representative of the relationship between emotion and memory. What is the role of memory in your process? And in particular, do you try to achieve a

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faithful visual translation of your feelings?

Yes. “Reincarnation Series” are really

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relating between emotion and memory. At the First, I would like to explain about “ Reincarnation Series ”.


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In March 2011, I spent my two weeks vacation in Japan. During this time, a massive earthquake of magnitude 9.0, triggering catastrophic Tsunami waves,

occurred off the Pacific coast of the northeastern part of Japan. And then the first Fukushima nuclear power plant accident happened. Many people died and lost

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their life at that time. I recognized again how strong the power of nature is and how our life is sometime really fragile. Since this experience, I have been getting a recurring image of me on a desert planet in the outer space, surrounded by a psychedelic sky at end of the days. I rethinked relationship between Buddhism and I. I’m always thinking the question where dead people soul is going. This is starting point of painting “Reincarnation Series�. In this painting many butterflies are flying in the sky. In old Japanese stories it's believed that some people after death will become butterflies and that they will fly in circles ( The circle of rebirth ) to travel somewhere to another world as the human souls in the Universe. In this old Japanese story is where I got the inspiration for this work, where the larva becomes a beautiful figure. So this work is especially the role of memory in my working process. And I think the memory is one of important elements for my paintings. However, I hope that spectaters feel free interpretations on my works with their imagination. Your paintings shows a coherent equilibrium concerning the composition: the multilayered experience to whom you invite the viewers gives a permanence to the intrinsic ephemeral nature of the feelings you capture. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected

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Yoshiyuki Koinuma


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from direct experience?

I think about this question offen. Of course most of works are started by my personal experience. However, I sometimes change the plan during a creative process. For me, Painting is living. So I accept naturally that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience. This is the conversation between I and Painting. And I sometimes start to paint without any idea, image and concept. During the process of painting, I feel my right hand is moving automatically in unconsciousness. After finish painting, I have to judge this painting is good or bad. It is difficult thing but I’m beliving that this working process is very important for me. Because a miracle is happened in a creative process. Over your career you have exhibited in several occasions, including over twelve solos including your recent Circle works at the Japanese Cultural Center Shofukan, in Rotterdam: so before leaving this conversation we would like to pose you a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience 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 decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

Well. About the nature of the relationship

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of my art with audience. I have traveled a lot in my life. My works are influenced by experience from the nature in my travel. In 2010, I saw amazing milkyway at the desert in Egypt. The Nature always give me a lot of spiritual inspiration. In front of painting, I think about how I can paint this inspiration. Then I recognize again that the painting is the illusion. So I try to recreat the nature in my painting. After audience see my works, If audience recreat new vison of the nature themself through the filter of my works would be great ! And One more thing. When I was a junior high school student, I knew the paintings of Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch and Francis Bacon. I was really suprised that their works have strong visual impressions. And then I knew Art work have many possibility of overcoming the language barrier. I felt same feeling from many songs by the Beatles. I sometimes have artist talk in my exhibitions. I talk about my making process to audience. Of course It is important to explan why artist make this work. And then I rethink about my work concept, theory and art context. However, I sometime feel my painting is getting to top-heavy with ideas or information. Then I always step back how I felt when I saw the paintings of Gogh, Munch and Becon. For me, The power of Art is border less with strong visual impressions. I’m keep beliving it ! Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Yoshiyuki. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

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First, I take place in group show “ Bosch Open Expo ” from 19th March 2016 in ‘sHertogenbosch, the Netherlands. This group show is relating “ The 500 Years Anniversary of Jheronimus Bosch ”. I’m very happy to join this show. Because Bosch is one of my favorite painter. I have two solo show in half of the year 2016. In March, I show my works at Hae Art Space in Maastricht,the Netherlands. Also I show new paintings at Japanese Cultural Center Shofukan in June in Rotterdam,the Netherlands. And I take place in “ International art festival PAINT FOR GEORGIA ( May 18 – May 28, 2016 ) ” in Tbilisi, Georgia. During the fesival, I work with 10 international artists and show created work at group show in Tbilisi. I’m very exciting how I get new inspiration there ! I may have some group show in Japan and the Netherlands in this year as well. I always upload my information in Facebook page Yoshiyuki Koinuma Art Works: https://www.facebook.com/koinuma.yoshiy uki/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel Please check it up. Many thanks for your interview and readers.

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


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T aekyung Seo


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

Ranging from a wide variety of media, Taekyung Seo's work explores the evokative power of symbols as well as the elusive relationship between abstract categories and the perceptual reality, drawing the viewers into a multilayered experience. In her recent body of works entitled FAKE ORGAN that we'll be discussing in the following pages, her unconventional approch accomplish the difficult task of investigating about emotions and imagination: one of the most convincing aspects of Seo's work is the way it creates an area of vivid interplay between memory and perception, inviting the viewers to explore the unstable relationship between human intervention and freedom in the contemporary age. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Taekyung, 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? And in particular, how does

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your cultural substratum inform the way you deal with the aesthetic problem in general?

When I look back to processes of my growth, there are two main themes: ‘Violence’ and ‘Sea’ There had been violence and also suppress and efforts to hide such violence. And I have memories that we spent all time during summer vacation joyfully playing in sea as I lived near sea. There was plenty of sunshine and I saw lots of colors being broken and shining. Dreadful violence existed as camouflage of love and protection and sea taught me a possibility that joyful sea might be changed into risk at any time. To me, love and pleasure is not a single issue. Internal deficiency which couldn’t be exposed made me imagine other time and space and it was continuously changed and connected as several appearances until now. I tried to find combination of such imagination and reality and I have a positive belief that I can find it even in real world. Moreover, I still have psychological tension that such belief is not a single appearance either.


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http://www.deeptae.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that such multidisciplinary approach is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

It’s because general approach does not agree that a single idea is only ‘One method’. Several ideas come out from ideas of starting point that I have. I soon became confused and attempt to find several methods in order to escape from this confusion. I accommodate this procedure itself as an art and have no fear that such process is spreading to various media.

You are a versatile artist and your approach encapsulates several techniques, 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. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit

For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected FAKE ORGAN SHOW, a stimulating series of painting that our readers have already stared to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention of this work is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of creating an harmonic mix between a figurative, realistic approach to the evokative reminders conveyed by the materials you combine together: when walking our readers through the genesis of FAKE ORGAN SHOW, would you shed a light about the role of metaphors in your process?

It won’t be able to look into my organs without assuming my death. Here, an irony occurs. This doesn’t specify whether my death itself is ‘FAKE’ or

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my body is ‘FAKE’, or my organs are ‘FAKE’ otherwise this show is ‘FAKE’ This is a point that things which seem to be clear became unclear. However, because organs that I take out from my works are different from organs that we are familiar with, this makes me think about FAKE ORGAN more. What plays most direct roles for the fact that is alive is organ within body. Human beings are destinies to be dead without a single touching their own organs by themselves while they are alive. Although human organs belong to me, they are unknown existence that I never had touched during my life time. I came to think that these are mysterious things which could be applied to everyone. Fake organs used by performance consist of right-weighted goods or plastic toys. Each metaphor has its own origin. However, I do not describe such metaphor. Role of metaphor is to make audience have doubt. This doubt is started by the fact that everyone’s body contains uncertainty and it is collided or contacted with something in reality. Your practice is centered on the exploration of the relationship to space and in time and we have highly appreciated the way your approach goes beyond a merely interpretative aspect of the contexts you refer to: although you draw inspiration from outside reality, your works could be considered as tactile biographies of the conflictual symbiosis between perception and imagination. As the

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Taekyung Seo


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late Franz West did in his installations, FAKE ORGAN shows unconventional aesthetics in the way it deconstructs perceptual images in order to assemble them in a collective imagery, urging the viewers 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?

Human beings are all mysterious existences. I think there is no one who gave no meaning to his or her own existence. However, it seems that they are likely to lose their own mysteriousness while they are living under names of families and companies as members of society. Therefore, artists have much interest in hidden worlds and these continuously create internal collide with life and themselves. Artists are open regarded as inappropriate existences in terms of efficiency of capitalism. However, a world exposed by such collision is by no means meaningless. Activities which cast doubts on positions of collision created by numerous artists and conventional awareness widen this world with more affluent understanding. They seem to guide people not only to internal world but also social ‘Internal world’ by enabling impossible actions to possible ones from something which

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can’t be exposed to ones which can be exposed. Your works convey both metaphoric and descriptive research and the compelling narrative that pervades your paintings invites the viewers to a multilayered experience. A distinctive mark of the way you convey emotions into your works is the construction of a concrete aesthetic from experience and memories and symbols, working on both subconscious and conscious level. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion, personal experience is absolutely indispensable as part of the creative

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

I think personal experience is required only if it’s my creation processes. In other words, personal experience is a starting point of creation. When a starting point is recognized, then such experience is followed by unconscious exploration.


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Taekyung Seo


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This means unreasonable and illogical unconscious world observes things that are rising as consciousness. And creation is implemented while it generates relation of tension with reality. In other words, my creation becomes available in a position near personal experience. However, although artists are started with senses of personal experiences, ideas can be spreading infinitely. Moreover, position where creation is done is not one which has already been determined. This means such position might be deviated from direct influence. Under this situation, I think

final outputs can be separated from direct experiences. While exhibiting a captivating vibrancy, your paintings seem to reject an explicit explanatory strategy: rather, you seem to offer to the viewer a key to find personal interpretations to the feelings that you convey into your paintings... this quality marks out a considerable part of your production, that is in a certain sense representative of the conflictual relationship between content and form: 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

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painting’s texture? Moreover, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

Answers to interpretation and metaphor are not determined but they are opened. If a single drop of ink is dropped into water, its shape won’t be determined. Likewise I take into account coexistence between parts controlled or uncontrolled by myself. Behaviors during performance are clear. Colors and amount of ink that I use are clearly identified. How these are spreading out among water is totally unexpected while they interact with me sharing half of it with each other. When it comes to painting as well, expression of texture is mixed with pure plane and daring texture. I am interested in mixing areas of several colors on canvas that I have already made. In other words, this is an interest in boundary. I use opposite mediums together by using a method to extend texture by giving gloss to paint and making it plane losing gloss simultaneously Each color is different in terms of their mixing characteristics and drying speed and they are also affected together by heaping layers. My painting is mixed with representing and abstracting, and I choose a landscape where opposite characteristics are mixed together. As time goes by, its boundary more and more collapses. The fruible set of elements you draw from universal imagery trigger the viewers' primordial parameters concerning our relation with physicality:

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Taekyung Seo


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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?

Boundary between life and art is also demolished by artists. Although view points for art exist, we are also alertly observing numerous artistic activities which take place out of art galleries. Art, which repeated overturn over and over again, has no fear casting doubt on conventional values. It’s not just for the purposes of art itself but artists suggest questions and doubts for all problematic situations which take place on real time basis. And I think that this is different from discussion in news and mass media. It has also senses that all human beings usually have but not observed very carefully. In other words it’s a function to remind people of communication which is not expressed by language. I have numerous memories of emotions which are not expressed by languages. Another interesting work of yours that has particularly impacted on us and on which we would like to spend some words is entitled Fake Organ Show: this piece induces the viewers to abandon therselves to free associations, looking at time in spatial terms and we daresay, rethinking the concept of time in such a static way: this seems to remove any historic gaze from the reality you refer to, offering to the viewers the chance to perceive in a more atemporal form. When

walking our readers through the genesis of his intersting performance, would you shed a light on the way you conceive the rhythm of your works?

Just very much like guiding people into extraordinarily dexterous show in old circus or vagabond theater, a performer (myself), who is more or less unfamiliar and reified, is appearing alone by displaying blatant title named ‘FAKE ORGAN SHOW’ Just like a circus show, I also display a show which makes it possible for behaviors that seem to be impossible to be possible. As I mentioned earlier, it’s after I named it ‘FAKE’ However, I request concentration and I request gazing. I am about to share with audience a reason why ‘FAKE’ is necessary or a landscape where ‘FAKE’ take places in this place. Although lots of ‘FAKE ORGANS’ actually exist in my abdomen, I do not set orders on them. It’s totally unknown what in my body is first taken out when someone’s hand entered my body. I intended to gaze moments of tiny encountering. While I take out all my organs out of body, it flows together. By the way, how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space? In particular, how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience?

I think that art is penetrating continuously. I think that even if public areas have such numerous

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encountering with many people, they are anonymous spaces rather than concentrating on individuals and open expose group unconsciousness. So I think art can put many stories and take them out. I think it’s a relation where many interactivities can take place. Percentage of immersive characteristics is varying depending on projects taking into account such ratio. Even if it’s something passed away without immersion, I think it’s something that can’t be compared while it abruptly comes out of people’s memories at any time and talks to them. Over these years you works have been exhibited in several occasions and a crucial mark of your approach is 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?

Although I take into account recognition of audience, I do not make efforts to bear understanding friendly.

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The moment when any performance encounters audience is a behavior that exposes each other’s existence being reified against each other. We can go to the past and also to the future within this ‘SHOW’ exposing current existence. There is no rule specified. However, I think that audience who share time with a performer, me is an active existence and we can produce each other’s vibration. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Taekyung. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

I am thinking over making a movie using performance. I intend to produce a sense of various encountering in a way that performance, paintings and sounds are met complexly. To me, evolution of my work has no meaning of ‘Advancing’, instead I think there would be just repeating of gathering and disassembling. An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com


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