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MICHELE VAVONESE MAYA GELFMAN JULIJA LEVKOVA CHUNG CHAK GILLIAN ALLARD HORACIO CARRENA KENTA NAKAGAWA ANGELINA VOSKOPOULOS ALLYSON MCCANDLESS Maya Gelfman photo by Rita Sherman


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Allyson McCandless

Julija Levkova

Horacio Carrena

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Latvia

Argentina

My work uses an interweaving of cement, wire, cloth, wax, and various components to engage and deconstruct the subject matter.... Much as we modify our environment, I manipulate materials to produce a microcosm of our global impact, tracing the phenomena created through human encroachment, detailing the beauty we have eradicated as well as generated. My art documents this process, demonstrating the social and environmental influence of man on an incessantly changing environment.

I have been always inspired by the beauty in unusual. Also I think like each artist you growing by numerous experiments. I am constantly developing my style. I’am always exploring new ideas and technical aspects of what I’am doing.

I am interested here show the different approaches that are taking hands and fingers to move on the light. I realized that contractions and extensions of the parties creating a strange and interesting landscape occurred. The light is inserted through any space you find free and produce these visual effects of light and shadow, transparency and intense areas of light and dark. Just complete them in black and white to make these effects and also the gray intermediates.

When I get an new idea I always write it down. After I leave it for some days but it still in my head. When I have the image in my head I don’t need to use much time shooting. Mostly I shooting in my home studio.

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Gillian Allard

Angelina Voskopoulos

Israel

USA

Greece

I see my studio as a cross between a womb and a lab. My practice is a tool for understanding myself as well as the world of phenomena around me. My goal is to generate a change that shapes perspectives and actions, thus enabling for something new to occur - symbolically, conceptually and tangibly. I have a distinct feeling that there is something beyond me, a life force, which I can’t put into words but I can channel into art.

What I find fascinating about photography is working ‘in camera’ to create altered realities. This happens quite spontaneously while engaging in the ‘taking’ process or by purposefully previsualising and ‘building’ the image in my mind and then in reality using the camera to explore the idea. My fascination has been in taking something beautifully ‘made’ by natures hand and analysing the anatomical detail, colours and textures within each body.

“Exogenesis” is all about the flash like moment when light is about to define form and prevail over darkness, when the soul hidden inside every thing is ready to emerge and identify with an idea that will give it its form. It attempts a visual presentation of that very moment at the very boundaries between the inner and the outer world, where all the contraries touch. It is an act of truce, an armistice and a resolution, in the sense that it represents, expresses and displays, “our life a permanent flow inside a steady time frame”.

Maya Gelfman


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lives and works in Israel

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Julija Levkova lives and works in Belgium and the Netherlands

Allyson McCandless

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lives Turlock, CA and works in Modesto CA, USA

Angelina Voskopoulos 66 lives and works in Athens, Greece

Michele Vavonese

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lives and works in Los Angeles, USA

Gillian Allard Michele Vavonese

Kenta Nakagawa

Chung Chak

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Japan

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As an artist I had been looking for an outlet to speak out about some of the social and political issues of our times, and this series gave me that. I loved how Bacon had reframed an iconic image without subtlety but with directness, to be interpreted by the audience how they saw fit. So, I ran with it, taking subjects of our time that I felt deserved more discussion. I used large canvases and spent hours with oil paint, pastel and markers to get the edges either to pop or fade away.

The thema of my artwork is “ Inner mind space-creation “. I create new virtual spaces by using various materials in the physical space. The project will be able to remake the new virtual space in a normal space other than a space which was designed. The artwork don't use new artistic expression methode (ex : video, sound, light, space, wind). But I develop to dynamic and new expression by combining those materials. It is not the normal video work which the audience only watches.

As an image-maker formally trained as a designer, I have found my voice through semiotic interpretation. Exploring how different levels of meanings can be expressed through complex image layers is another creative goal of mine. I invent photographic metaphors that carry hidden meanings. I view my imagery as timeless visual poetry with psychological impact where viewers can no longer remain passive. Conceptualizing and resolving a solution is as rewarding as the seeing the result.

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lives and works in Suffolk, United Kingdom

Kenta Nakagawa

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lives and works in Shiga, Japan

Horacio Carrena

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lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Chung Chak

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

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M aya Gelfman Lives and works in Israel

An artist's statement

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

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

Maya Gelfman


Shell photo by Roie Avidan


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

Multidisciplinary artist and street artist Maya Gelfman's work explores the unstable relationship between transformation and permanence providing such elusive notions with a lively gaze on contemporary art making. In her recent bodies of work that we'll be discussing in the following pages, her unconventional approch draws the viewers into an area in which the perceptual dimension and imagination merges together into coherent unity. One of the most convincing aspects of Gelfman's work is the way it shows that opposites are bound together, providing the viewers with a multilayered experience in which stability and uncertaintly find an unexpected point of convergence. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Maya, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. We would start this interview posing you some questions about your background: you have a solid formal training and you graduated with a BA (B.des) from the Shenkar Academy in visual communication. How has this experience influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum due to your Israelian roots inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

Hello and thank you for having me. Whenever a young student asks for my advice, I say that there are many ways to go

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about being a professional artist. The academy is definitely a well compressed route to theoretical and practical basis for art-making, but it's certainly not the only way. It's like a beehive, a structure full of variables and opportunities, that might prove to be dense and even messy at times. Each one takes this challenging experience differently.€In that spirit, I must say that I've learned a lot being a student but some invaluable lessons weren't written in the curriculum at all. They had to do with standing my ground and claiming my own voice. I used my time there to absorb and experiment as much as I could. Naturally that approach didn't always pay off, at least immediately. More than once, my experiments ended in grand disasters and getting harsh yet constructive criticism. But It was more important for me to create something meaningful and original than to be praised. I kept pushing myself beyond fear and gradually learned to be confident in my actions. When my final project (thesis), in which I created a massive installation that temporarily changed the architecture of our floor, was selected to exhibit at a huge expo and than directly lead to exhibiting at the TLV Museum of Art the following year, I knew my instincts were spoton and that my determination was rewarded. My roots are actually both Israeli and Russian. My parents emigrated from the Soviet Union in the early 70's, and I was born and raised in Israel. Growing up, I was faced with the various facets of cultural diversity and with how it feels to be an outsider.€ Being an artist in Israel, well... Even though it's a small country it's a very fertile ground for


Maya Gelfman photo by Rita Sherman


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creativity and inspiration.€Due to the fact that it€encompasses such extreme situations and heterogeneous people.€It's a boiling cauldron in which history, cultures, ideals and conflicts are all evident and densely mixed together. It caters a fast current of transformations, geographically, architecturally and socially.€In a way, this place always leaves you hungry. No matter how one might look at the situation, in a country that is exhausted by wars and busy surviving art seems to be grasped as a luxury, so dedicating oneself to creating art is not trivial at all. Having said that, Israel is far from being the image that's depicted by the news. So for what it's worth, I think that this is exactly what drives so many people here to search for ever new and alternative ways to express themselves. You are a versatile artist and your approach encapsulates several techniques, revealing an incessant search of an organic symbiosis between a variety of disciplines and 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.mayagelfman.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.

The search for symbiosis is apparent in every aspect of my life and even more so in my practice, since it explores, reflects and interprets life. I believe that every process is an ongoing movement between actual experiences and yet unfulfilled intentions. We establish perceptions based on firsthand or inherited impressions and measure that against our dream, thus creating a purpose and a path. This movement can be described as a line unfolding in space. The path between where I came from, where I am and where I wish to be.€The€works that I create outline this path and my way manifests itself as I go along.

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Shell, detail photo by Roie Avidan

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Workstation photo by Oz Madar

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So€while I'm trying to decipher how and what to do next, I naturally intertwine materials,€play with concepts and examine multiple techniques. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected Shell, a stimulating installation 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 Shell, would you shed a light about the way you combine together the materials you choose for your works?

My ideas first come to me as visual fragments and a physical sensation, usually in my hands, of something abstract materializing into tangible form. I start to lay down conceptual and technical premises and then I work my way from there. Funny yet appropriate we should start with the€Shell, as this specific piece€actually encapsulates exactly that.€It's the artistic womb from which I emerged,€a metaphysical pocket of creation itself. €

I started it by lying on the floor in a fetal position and drawing a line around myself, much like a child would draw a line around their palm and fingers.€My choice of materials was simultaneously intuitive and cognizant. Introducing different materials layers the works€with sub-meanings and shades. It enables me to charge them with the origins of each material while also constituting a new significant synthesis. But I also choose my materials acting upon instincts and what feeling they convey to me. I'm looking to find a material that harbors the essence of an idea rather than the ability to best simulate it. I then continued to construct a "bony" structure around my initial fetus form, using iron net and twisted cloth hangers. I wanted to create a cocoon-like shape, then split it open and turn it

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The Machine, photo by Oz Madar

into an organism that can sustain a memory of life. For this end I used red wool, a material that has a fuzzy almost biological quality to it. I cut each thread by hand and tied them one by one to the skeleton, so that the insides my empty shell were weaved through and

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through with red plumage. I ended up using more than 300,000 pieces of yarn, and this stage took 6 months. The long and Sisyphean process served as an embodiment of the meticulous process in which a shell is created in nature, one crisp layer at a time.


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The€Shell€was exhibited in a way that frames a particular space which is neither closed nor open. It invited the viewers to go around it but also to step inside, creating a contemplative inner space that allowed the inhabitants to observe themselves and their surround-

ings. And yet, once inside, the viewer wasn't alone. A present absence was strongly felt, as€the work encased€an imprint of the€first dweller of this cell, thus inviting the sensitive resident to share my space.

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Your practice is centered on the exploration of the conflictual relationships between beauty and crudeness, weakness and strenght, showing how such apparently antithetical notions actually include a part of each other. We have highly appreciated the way your approach goes beyond a merely interpretative aspect of the contexts you refer to: your works could be considered as visual and tactile biographies that unveil the elusive boundary in which reality and imagination blend together. As the late Franz West did in his installations, your pieces show 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 selfreflection. Furthermore the fruible set of elements you draw from universal imagery triggers 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? 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?

I'm attracted to art because it's a two-way mirror, allowing parallel realities to not just co-exist but to enhance one another.€Art can and should provide a place of transcendence, beauty, tenderness and even comfort while€simultaneously€evoking soulsearching, gut-wrenching feelings.€When I was four years old, I had a near death€experience while having an open heart surgery. That€threshold€rendezvous left me convinced that opposites are bound together. In my works I strive to€encompass and echo this duality. They stem from that simultaneous sense of vertigo and stability. The diffusive exchange that transpires between the inner and outer worlds is at the heart of my€workstation€installation. The red yarn, egg-like coils are nesting at the foot of a table (it's my actual studio work-table). They symbolize subconscious potential and a source of conception. A single umbilical cord connects them to the workstation, where they are materialized into external forms. In€The machine€installation,€the cord (a single, continuous thread) passes through an assembly of

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Healing Scars, photo by Roie Avidan

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Black Birds - the one that got away, photo by Oz Madar

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wheels, cogs and metal gears. This time it can be read as the transition of the human factor through the mechanisms of a system. The apparatus represent functions of a body, and so the 'thread of life' is the blood line that drives and revives the machine. It may seem as if the harsh metallic in-and-outs might tear it apart, but as the red thread runs full course it marks the passage of time and distance. When it comes out the other side intact, it manifests endurance and becomes a whole heart. Still, I deem that the details in themselves are almost meaningless. My work doesn't revolve around my personal€story€but rather uses it as a€trigger€and a catalyst to€create objects and spaces that encourage deep contemplation. Through them I want to deal with the dichotomy that one reality can reflect many and that there is no one definition. In that spirit I explore how extremities collide and more importantly how this collision ignites a change, thus opening a window of opportunity for something new to occur. I see my role as an artist to open as many of these windows as I possibly can. I wish to be more than an observer, more than a critique of phenomenons and cultural mechanisms. My goal is to suggest and hopefully generate a shift in perspectives. I want to facilitate an honest discussion of fundamental issues such as pain, violence, innocence, diversity and acceptance. All the things we consider clichés gained this dubious status by virtue of being simple truths. These truths, while subtly altering from person to person, still hold a common thread between us all. Your works convey both metaphoric and descriptive research and the way you combine elements from environment with evocative symbols, as you did in€Black Birds - the one that got away€creates a€compelling narrative that invites the viewers to a multi-layered experience. A distinctive mark of the way you convey emotions into your works is the construction of€a concrete aesthetic from experience, 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

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indispensable as part of the creative process? Do you think that a creative process could be€disconnected€from direct experience?

What makes a thing personal? What makes it generic? There is no neutral ground. Try as we may, our premises and reactions could never be completely objective and I don't believe they should. By being aware of this€inevitable€subjectivity€I choose to seek a wider point of view, while reminding myself that it'll none-the-less be partial.€Making a choice is an active statement and what€develops€responsive individuality. Black Birds - the one that got away€was exhibited in a deserted military base on the Israel/Lebanon border. The hills that are seen from the windows are beyond the borderline, but purely geographically speaking - they are a continuous part of the view. It's the same piece of earth and the borders are man-made. I don't consider myself a political artist, at least not in the traditional sense, but€the personal is political€and my introspection has a trans-formative intention. I examine things€also in the light of the€collective conscious, as I try to reconcile conflicts and contradictions, and to ask how gaps can become motivators and the source of strength. The image of birds taking to flight is a familiar one. It epitomizes an idea of hope, freedom and movement. It outlines the desire to break free and fly high. The yarn balls act as chains, they demonstrate a powerful tension between the pulling force of the ground and the endless promise of the open sky. That tension refers to inhibitions, restraints and the dissonance between wanting to move on and the things that hold us back - whether they are political, geographical,€socioeconomic, gender-based or personal. In the late 1990s, I€served€in the army as a field medic. I was stationed just outside Ramallah, a major Palestinian city. In this position, I had the€privilege€and obligation to land emergency medical help to€both€sides. I'm no expert on these matters and don't presume to pass judgment. I have my opinions but

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am also well aware that things are never black and white. I've encountered so many shades of grey and facets of humanity, and these gave me a better understanding of systems and forces. It was a humbling lesson in both being powerless and about the power that individuals can possess. How seemingly small gestures have a rippling effect and can become the power of many for better or for worse. Your paintings seem to€move€the viewers, addressing them to get free of the variety constraints that affect contemporary unstable societies. While exhibiting a captivating vibrancy, your colorful and expressive works 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 collages... 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-updetermine 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?

You said it well, art as a key to find personal interpretations. I perceive myself as a channel. I tap into the creative energy that was here long before me and will flow on long after I'm gone. I really do feel privileged and blessed by this open connection to the marrow of subconsciousness. I perceive my works as a testimony of my experiences, whether first-hand or cultural. In a sense, I believe that a good work of art is much bigger than the artist that makes it. Of course there is a direct reflection of my own expansion in my work, but it's just the beginning of a story and not the whole of it. Art changes and evolves. While being "in progress", it's in the artist's territory. But once accomplished, it stands out in its own right and it's up to the work to establish meaningful interactions with its surroundings. I always leave spaces for others to fill. My works are not


Wings photo by Tom Cook


All photos by Uri Grun


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hermetically sealed. On the contrary - they aim to be extended and amplified.

rather as an interlaced network in which ev-

So naturally I also don't see it as a conflict relationship between content and form,€but

metaphysical, leaves an impression and dic-

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ery movement or intention, both physical and tates a certain narrative and atmosphere.


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I use aesthetics to lure the viewers and sooth first reactions, in order to reveal a deeper meaning that might be perceived as deterring otherwise. But I never aim for shock value just for it's own sake. Acknowledging the complexity is a path to finding catharsis. In my early drawings, which I did in the years after my graduation, the color scheme was naive and minimalist (mind you that as a student I was "all over the place" when it came to colors and materials). At the time I felt that I could make up an entire universe with a pencil and a red pen. And so I did, in a subtle yet disturbing way, I drew figures and situations floating in white space. With time, layers appeared and my drawing became increasingly obsessive. The bare color pallet gained some flesh as I struggled to weave together past, present and future.€It was a time that I plunged head first into a personal abyss, mapping my journey and examining the findings, so to make some sense of it all.€I started using mixed media again.€The red, white and grayish lead were accompanied by black, gold, silver and fluorescent yellow.€I used thread with which I meticulously embroidered thin papers, cut outs made with aluminum foil and parchment, and so on. I wanted it to appear as a drawing at first glance but the longer one looked at it, the mixed media, bits and pieces were exposed. My compository tangle was forming and becoming labyrinthine.€Around that time I became an active street-artist as well. In the streets I honed a technique of drawing with yarn on walls€that became a sort of visual trademark of mine.€While drawing those fluent yarn lines I started asking myself questions such as: Can lines lose their dependency on a background? Is the canvas supporting or binding? As a result, I created installations that exhibited fast sketches with wool lines that are suspended in mid air. Artistically speaking, working simultaneously in€public spaces€and in 'white cubes' keeps me on my

toes. It raises theoretical and technical questions that broaden my way of thinking. I find myself looking for ways to translate the subjects and materials with which I work in the studio to a street context - facing the non sterile, noisy, dense reality it presents.€The solutions I find open my mind and my eyes.€Which bring us to the past couple of years, in which I’ve been fascinated with transformations. The Sisyphean process evolved and changed into a new set of rules, ones that dictated different materials, gestures and speed. I started using colorful acrylic paints and combining them with printmaking techniques and industrial markers that are often used on the streets. By the way, you once stated that your paintings€are created in one continuous session, as a dance ritual: would you shed light on this aspect of your process? We are particularly interested about€the channel of communication€that you establish together between the works from a series.

The series that was created that way is the one I've referred to in the last paragraph.€Large, colorful and expressive paintings, made in broad gestures and overlapping layers. In their making I sought to break free from familiar patterns and push beyond my comfort zone. This series has basically two ground rules: duration and speed. Each work is limited to one continuous session. That is a period of designated time, ranging from one to several days and nights, during which I keep as much as possible within the domain and the mindset of the work. If it doesn't feel finished after a session, I put it aside and move on. Flexible€disposition. Like meditating, I let all that comes be and become. Automatism and scrutiny - I observe, think, feel and sense, but I don't dwell on either. Most importantly, I don't stop painting to give any of them time enough to mature and take over the wheel. Instead, I gather them all onto the paper and continue to work without making order of

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things. The painting is the one that leads the way as it developes. I other words, I immerse myself completely in a meditative process of laying out layers, while keeping explicit analysis at a hands reach, just hanging a few inches above the canvas.€There is a clear general connection between the new and previous works.€The "handwriting" is recognizable as well as the meta issues. However, specifically, every series is linked to a certain frame of mind and is derived from an initial vision. The vision establishes context and distributes components or fractals. In a way, the visions act as 'big bangs': they spatter the initial matter that is later reassembled into various objects. Over the years your works have been exhibited in several occasions both in Israel and abroad, including five solo shows. Intersting fact is that you became an active figure in the street-art scene after already exhibiting works in museums and galleries, and not the other way around. Your actions in public spaces are 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 decisionmaking process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

The first time I put works in public space was in 2009. I was looking for an intimate yet direct way to exhibit drawings and poems from a series called “Red Heart”. It was a spontaneous act, a different, one-time way to engage with art. Or so I thought. I fell in love with the immediacy and with the outspoken contact to people that the streets offered. As I mentioned earlier, I see artworks as having an independent presence. They exist and at the same time they are rebirthed in each dialogue between the artist, the work and the viewer.€But as the saying goes, there is a time and a place for every-

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Border.Line photo by Roie Avidan

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Tree photo by Rinat Schnadower

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thing. Audience reaction is important to me once a work is done and only then. While creating a piece, I don't let external factors distract me. A work must never be influenced by thoughts that are not yet relevant. Will it be accepted, will people understand or appreciate, and for that matter, whether or not it will be sold - these questions can only hinder the flow of a work as it becomes all that it can be. Once a work is accomplished, and only then, do I look for a place for it in the world.€And when a work is out there, pursuing fulfillment, that is when the viewer's involvement plays an important role. Naturally, when I create site-specific interventions, choosing a visual language that refers to a particular context is indispensable. Audience reception might act as a factor in this case, as long as it's connected to the essential core and function of a work.€In a way, street-art works on all of these levels. In public spaces I ask questions regarding awareness and submergence, whether the representation of the personal could ever exist out there, not to mention create a moment of mindfulness for a passerby.€That is why I always try to be open and in the moment myself, create with the same intention I wish to convey through the work. A very important question in my practice is how genuine is a work. By that I mean that it should be more than a well executed setting for a concept. A work must be comprehensive. It doesn't€necessarily€relate to the length of a process, nor how elaborate it is. A work can take 10 minutes or a year to make. It has to do with precision, intentions and how well these are rooted in the actual context of the work's meaning. What I'm saying is that I strive to practice what I preach and create with the same intention I wish to convey through the work. So if a work is supposed to encourage awareness, I make sure to be open and absorbent in order to reflect the specific atmosphere that was around me at the time of creating the work. And if a work is about as-

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similation, I'm deliberately getting lost in the urban mess. Among your recent remarkable experiences, it's important to mention your participation at the€TEDx TelAvivWomen, an important occasion where you spoke about the making of "SPARK" and we would suggest our reader to watch it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I-HTwGmtU#t=24. In particular, we have appreciated your inquiry about the role of randomness and uncertainty in the creative process, so we would like to ask you how do you convey the creative potential of chance into your works, that are marked out with such strong coherence.

In my TEDx talk I tried to summarize a yearlong process of creating a completely new body of works for my fifth solo exhibition. I knew that it was going to be a Sisyphean process and I knew that there were expectations as to what I'll do, though the gallery owner kindly made sure not to pronounce them. Still I decided to take the word NEW quite literally and surprise myself by creating in a new way. The challenge was set - I wanted to go through this process while inventing a methodical way to flexibility, change and random potential. Since my actions can be monotonous at times (as mentioned earlier, 6 months of weaving strands of wool or puncturing 2000 tiny holes in a single sheet of paper), I had to find a way not to succumb to mechanical actions. I set myself the goal of maintaining a coherent intention without controlling and over-analyzing it. The solution I found to all of the above was to combine simple "body tricks" with "letting go" and embracing serendipity. I used sensory synthesis - I divided my attention between the senses of touch, hearing and sight. For example, the pressure of the pencil between my fingers, the texture of the paper under my arm, the floor beneath my bare feet, the sounds I made as well as the noises that came from the window that faced the street. I also used drawing techniques such as moving back and forth between focus and de-focus,

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opening and shutting my eyes, and combined those with noticing how the light and shadows moved on the walls around me, during the passing of the day. I've noticed that when I paid attention to everything simultaneously, my focus expanded and yet I was more engaged in the act itself. Furthermore, I could keep every moment noticeable. This made my artistic experience an ever-changing one rather than a repetitive one, and this sensation of change was infused in my work. Another amazing realization was that this method was actually more effective for concentration. Not to mention that since I actively directed my attention to what I would normally filter out as distractions, it made my process that much more authentic, which in turn was reflected in the€energy€of the piece. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Maya. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

Thank you for this thought provoking discourse, it was a pleasure.€ These days€I'm working on an installation for the Israel Museum of Art, that would be exhibited in May. Later on this year and leading to 2017 I'll be embarking on a global social-art project that will generate an exchange of ideas, messages and life lessons€between parallel communities in faraway places, beginning with the USA.€This project will also include a street-art tour as well as other events.€Then, back to Israel in 2017-18, for a planned new solo€exhibition€at the€launching€of the renovated Ramat-Gan Museum of Art. As for evolving... It's definitely ongoing as we speak. I'm currently in a trans-formative phase so I can't say for sure where it will take me and how things will unfold, but I'm very much excited and looking forward to find out. An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com


Black Birds, photo by Noa Zeni


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J ulija Levkova lives and works between The Netherlands and Belgium.

An artist's statement

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hotographer Julija Levkova was born in Latvia during the Soviet occupation, currently lieves and works in Belgium and The Netherlands. Levkova studied Photography in Antwerpen and Breda (Academy of Fine Arts & School of photography). Levkova’s photography is published at Photo Vogue Italy. Her work has been exebited across Europe including big cities like London, Venice , New York. Levkova, who was raised by her mother, describes her childhood as “isolated.” Much of her time was devoted to reading art history and visiting museums where she became

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fascinated by the work of Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Rubens. Levkova’s portraits are a tribute to the Old Masters, employing framing and lighting techniques that blur the distinction between painting and photography. “In my photos you will find the lonely nest I felt also as a child,” Levkova says. The nest, while lonely, is beautiful too.

Julija Levkova www.julijalevkova.com


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

Julija Levkova's work explores the themes of lonelinesJulija Levkova's work explores the themes of loneliness and vulnerability creating a compelling narrative. In her recent bodies of work that we'll be discussing in the following pages, her unconventional approch draws the viewers into an area in which the perceptual dimension and imagination merges together into coherent unity. One of the most convincing aspects of Levkova's work is the way it creates an area of vivid interplay between memory and perception, inviting the viewers to capture invisible still ubiquitous feature that pervades our life. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Julija and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. We would start this interview posing you some questions about your background: you have a solid formal training in Architecture and you have studied Photography in Antwerpen and Breda at the presigious Academy of Fine Arts & School of Photography.

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How has this experience influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you deal with the aesthetic problem in general?

Hello to all dear readers of ARTiculAction. Well, actually, I always felt I want create, I had the need to express myself, do something with Art. From very soon I know I wanted do it the rest of my life. At the moment I am still studying at Fine Arts academy in Antwerp. It is inspiring, I think. At first, you learn to see, hear, and it bring your creative soul to life. All these make you grow. My unconscious fantasies and feelings came to surface and were depicted in my photo’s. I don’t like standart or stereotypical imagens , I like unusual. My work is a reflection of our contemporary art. Your approach is particularly versatile and reveals an incessant search of an organic symbiosis between a variety of viewpoints. The results convey together a coherent sense of unity, that rejects any conventional classification. Before


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starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit www.julijalevkova.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 what has lead you to develope your style?

I was always surrounded by museums, architecture, art books. I was always inspired by the beauty in unusual. Also I think like each artist you growing by numerous experiments. I am constantly developing my style. I’am always exploring new ideas and technical aspects of what I’am doing. When I get an new idea I always write it down. After I leave it for some days but it still in my head. When I have the image in my head I don’t need to use much time shooting. Mostly I shooting in my home studio. Also I use Photoshop to create mood I want, sometimes I edit picture more carefully as “Another Point of View” My work is straight focused, simple, a lot about mood and symbols. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected Another Point of View and Young boy with the fish, a stimulating couple of works that our readers have already stared to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention of these pieces is the way

they accomplish the difficult task of creating an harmonic mix between a figurative, realistic approach to the evokative historical atmosphere you wisely conveyed: when walking our readers through the genesis of these works, would you shed a light about your process?

This two peaces are very personal. Both are reflection of my childhood. I do not always reveal the real story behind my works, which is my story. What I like that the viewer has their own interpretation and feelings about it. Remember I started to investigate my inspirations. Since I’ve remember I was fascinated by work of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Rubens. I love their perpetual beauty, their palette, their stories behind them. This two works and many others are tribute to the Old Masters with twist of unusual element. It is interesting to combine the two techniques and two artsphotography and painting. All the materials or textures used in my work are painted by me in acril. I wanted to make compositions with very soft and dreamy light. I like to play with viewer . I like then the people dream a little bit. Before each shoot I am thinking about what story I want to tell and what lighting would best describe the mood I want to share. Your works convey both metaphoric and descriptive research and your

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exploration of the themes of loneliness and vulnerability creates a compelling narrative that 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 process? Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I believe that creative process could be disconnected from direct experience. A good photographer can make a piece of Art even with his iPhone, it imagination what matters. Also I believe that visual appeal is important in the picture as much as the message or story. If one of them is missing, the purpose of making the picture is only half complete. I work with everyday people and beginning models. I always try to find the right angle and bring out the best features of them. Love working with small children, they are unpredictable, they have their own world and you need to understand that. But it always brings unique images.

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from the VOGUE Collection

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from the VOGUE Collection

Your practice is centered on capturing raw pure emotions, making visible such elusive still ubiquitous features of our daily life.

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In particular, we have highly appreciated the way your approach goes beyond a merely interpretative aspect of the contexts you refer to:


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from the VOGUE Collection

although you draw inspiration from outside reality, your works could be considered as visual biographies of the conflictual symbiosis between

perception and imagination. As the late Franz West did in his installations, your work shows unconventional aesthetics in the

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think the most important people interaction. They are never neutral and that is the best thing we, as artists, can look forward.

from the VOGUE Collection

way it deconstructs perceptual images in order to assemble them in a collective imagery, urging the viewers to a process of selfreflection. 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?

I do believe most of the artists are busy with inner research. I always try to give my point of view on things. I am truing to show loneliness, mortality, vulnerability.. I

As you have remarked once, your portraits are a tribute to the Old Masters, employing framing and lighting techniques that blur the thin line that between painting and photography: in this sense, your work could be 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 marked out with a symbolic feature. Do you think that the dichotomy between Representation and Pictorialism is by now irremediable?

With regarding my own photography I would say that I more pictorialist. It’s all about the image and the model is the secondary importance but at the same time I like the simplicity of Hyperrealism. Like most of us know Pictorialism permitted everything to create image. It did not have to look real it had to loo esthetically beautiful. Where reality can be beautiful and real, the pictorial can be unreal. I do tend to see them as two sides of the same coin.

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from the Silent Beauty Collection

from the VOGUE Collection

It goes without saying that your photographs are the result of a lot of planning and thought, but at the same time they convey a sense of spontaneity that is a hallmark of your style. You seem to be wanting to move beyond standard representation, capturing a trascendental kind of universality. we like the direction you are taking, in fact: creating what at first

appears to be a typical photographic portrait but subvert its compositional elements, making the viewer realize that your work has a different message. what has influenced your style?

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My passion for my work is the beast answer. I put all my energy in my work. My ideas come from imaginary and modern world. Our world at the


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way: that remove any historic gaze from the reality you refer to, offering to the viewers the chance to perceive in a more atemporal form. How do you conceive this aspect your works?

My childhood was in Riga and my family has the roots in Orthodox Christianity and I always was interested in but also in other religions I like when I open eyes and people think about what they see and are willing to see things from different perspectives and not with a small view.

Univocal reference, 38x42, 2010

moment. To walk around with an open mind and a sharp view i see so much that I even cant remember everything. My ideas and passion is growing and growing and I like this so much. In some of your work the theme of religion comes to the surface in a such unconventional still effective

Over these years you works have been exhibited in several occasions across Europe including your recent participation at the The Chelsea International Fine Art Competition. Your work is strictly connected to the chance of establishing a direct involvement with the viewers, who are called to evolve from a mere spectatorship to conscious participants on an intellectual level, so before leaving this conversation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

That is not so easy to answer. Yes i like to invite my audience reception

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Julija Levkova

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for sure but this is not what I think about of I start compose the work. It comes up from my own imagination, dreams, feelings and memories from the past. I doint need to think a lot about the process it just comes up and I start with my work but always with full attention and passion. That me.. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Julija. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

There is many exciting things happening in my life right now and I absolutely love it! Yes, I’m on something new, recently I’ve begun a series on flowers still life. One of them you can see above. It’s refreshing and something new in my portfolio. There a whole new world open for me. I am intrigued to explore! I still practice my skills. I think it’s very important as photographer you need to learn to criticize your own work to find things you can improve. And is important to know what makes you happy. If you are happy and feeling well it is also easier to be creative! Small advice is that nothing happens very quickly. You need give time to

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from the VOGUE Collection

your photography. Spend a lot time observing. When you dedicate more time to your work, you will make great images.

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


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A llyson McCandless Lives in Turlock, CA and works in Modesto CA, USA

An artist's statement

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y art represents the infrastructures embodied within society’s modifications of the landscape. An interwoven mesh of concrete freeways and buildings permeate cityscapes and are layered along the horizon, continually growing and occupying a greater proportion of the topography. Mankind has continuously transformed the environment. Freeways direct our ability to network and engage in trade. Past and present structures, both tangible and abstract, have left a footprint on the world. Through an analysis of this imprint, we are provided with a glimpse of the destructive and regenerative powers of human ingenuity. We produce and consume, pollute and cleanse, but forever we are influencing and shaping the terrain, creating a paradox - but all

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with the intent of furthering our own aims. My work uses an interweaving of cement, wire, cloth, wax, and various components to engage and deconstruct the subject matter.... Much as we modify our environment, I manipulate materials to produce a microcosm of our global impact, tracing the phenomena created through human encroachment, detailing the beauty we have eradicated as well as generated. My art documents this process, demonstrating the social and environmental influence of man on an incessantly changing environment.

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

Multidisciplinary artist Allyson McCandless manipulates a variety of materials including cement, wire, cloth and wax to produce a microcosm of our global impact. When exploring the unstable relationship between transformation and permanence, her Urbanized Landscape series that we'll be discussing in the following pages, provides the viewers with a multilayered experience in which stability and uncertaintly find an unexpected point of convergence. One of the most convincing aspects of McCandless' work is the way its representation of the infrastructures embodied within society’s modifications of the landscape unveils the elusive still ubiquitous feature of the notion of beauty. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Allyson, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. We would start this interview posing you some questions about your background: you have a solid formal training and you graduated with a MA from the California State University Fresno. How did

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these experience influence your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

€ I have always been “artistic,” but formal training allowed me to expand my understanding of possibilities. The exposure to various styles, mediums, artists, and theories informed my art and allowed for the most organic expression of the thoughts I strive to convey in my work.€ At each level of training and education, my art evolved—it was shaped through the constant contact with art, my fellow artists, my professors’ insights and full-immersion in the culture of art.€ Being immersed in art, allowed for refinement of my approach and ideas, creating an expression that honed various elements to reflect on my surroundings.€ Education provided the skill set necessary to engage the issues in which I was absorbed.€ My interest in the changing topography and the impact of man on the earth, found a channel for expression. Through mixed media, I am able to fully engage the issues of my surroundings that need a voice, an expression.


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€You are a versatile artist and your approach encapsulates several techniques, including materials as cement, wire, wax and cloth, revealing an incessant search of an organic symbiosis between a variety of disciplines and 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.allysonmccandless.org 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.

As a student of art, I have explored various methods of expression.€ I often become enamored with a technique and strive to ‘play’ with the technique to better understand the process.€ For instance, my first exposure to encaustic art motivated a number of pieces reflecting that technique.€ Ultimately, I find specific techniques are an aspect of my art—instead, once I have understood a technique, I strive to interweave it into a broader artistic creation.€ I am not shy or intimidated, but rather fascinated, by the possibilities of meshing materials, conventional artistic techniques, and more unconventional techniques (such as welding).€ As I have continued to grow my art, I have come to the understanding that this is the only approach

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that can adequately relate to the concepts with which I struggle.€ Society has grasped and twisted all elements of nature to create civilization (wood from trees becomes houses, sand becomes cement which becomes roadways, etc.).€ In the same way, I am using all elements of art to reflect this attempt at control and the underlying struggle.€ € For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected Urbanized Landscape, 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 body of works is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of creating an harmonic mix between a figurative, realistic approach to the evocative reminders conveyed by your materials: when walking our readers through the genesis of Urbanized Landscape, would you shed a light about the choice of the materials you combine together?€ Screen, mesh, concrete, iron, wax

The conceptual genesis of Urbanized Landscape was the marriage of the manmade and the natural to reflect topographical features.€ Society has superimposed structures on nature; hence, the combination of man-made and natural elements in harmonic contrast is the cityscape reflection of the world.€ Screen mesh allows for light to flow through and creates a layering effect—the world is flooded in both natural and electrical (made) light, while we layer structures (from con-

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crete and iron) over the natural topography.€ This use of materials reflects and mirrors the impact of people of the earth, and functions as an artistic microcosm of larger structural change.€ € Your practice is centered on the manipulation of materials to produce a microcosm of our global impact: we have highly appreciated the way your inquiry into the dichotomy between the readicated beauty and the generated one goes beyond a merely interpretative aspect of the contexts you refer to. Your works could be considered as visual and tactile biographies that unveil the elusive still ubiquitous feature of the notion of beauty. As the late Franz West did in his installations, your pieces show 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?

That is a great and insightful description.€ Clearly we are continually deconstructing nature, isolating the various elements only to manipulate them in ways that seemingly benefit society—at least in regard to growth and traditionally accepted notions of progress.€ It is essential that we not only deconstruct various elements, but that we also understand the inter-

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play of elements in their reconstitution and reassembly.€ This is evidenced in the methodology of my work and the incorporation of various materials into my pieces; but, as you mention, the audience becomes a part of the art, the process.€ As artists we hope that our work resonates and impacts the audience, helping viewers to think of the problem in front of them and their role in the issue.€ € There's a subtle but effective sociopolitical criticism in your investigation about the social and environmental influence of man on our environment. While lots of artists from the contemporary scene, as Ai WeiWei or more recently Jennifer Linton, use to convey open socio-political criticism in their works, you seem more interested to hint the direction, inviting the viewers to a process of self-reflection that may lead to subvert a variety of usual, almost stereotyped cultural categories. Do you consider that your works could be considered political in a certain sense or did you seek to maintain a more neutral approach? And in particular, what could be in your opinion the role that an artist could play in the contemporary society?

In a certain sense, yes, there is political bearing to my work.€ My work does not reflect traditional party politics or some of the common social issues with which we identify politically, but it does comment on the license we provide for physical environmental change—without oversight, repercussions.€ Moreover, the geographic

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boundaries we create morph into social boundaries and serve to stratify society.€ While I would not term my work overtly political, it does recognize the impact of boundaries and the imposition of change on our environment—as well as the ramifications to all aspects of society as a result.€ Art, whether in a contemporary or historical sense has the ability to impact and shape perspective.€ As such, an artist can be seen as a change agent—although, for my work, I consider myself a harbinger.€ I am merely outlining effects and hoping the audience reflects on their role in our world and the exponential environmental change encapsulated in the past century. € € Your works convey both metaphoric and descriptive research and the way you combine elements from environment with evocative symbols, creates a compelling narrative that 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 process? Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

My interest in topography and its impact on my art stems from personal experiences.€ My father is a water-well driller in the California Central Valley.€

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Allyson McCandless


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As a child, I vividly recall traipsing across the farms, dairies, and residential sites for potential wells.€ I was exposed to the countryside and saw the changes.€ At the same time, due to an injury, I was constantly traveling to San Francisco with my father.€ The contrast of the landscape and the cityscape left an indelible impression in my mind.€ An impression that constantly is finding a voice in my work.€ The power of these personal experiences has bubbled over into my work, both intentionally and unintentionally.€ From my standpoint, creativity is fueled by the personal and empowered by technique.€ I could not produce meaningful art without a personal connection to the subject matter—I could produce aesthically pleasing art, but it would lack the substance necessary to be impactful.€ € The fruible set of elements you draw from universal imagery triggers 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?

“My concern is never art, but always what art can be used for.”€ This is a powerful quote.€ In this light, functionality applies to the impact of art on the audience.€ The impression art leaves with the viewer is the measure of the art itself.€ My response is twofold:€ 1)€ art has an intrinsic reward, power, and functionality.€ When I cre-

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ate my work, I am satiated.€ The work, and the process, is its own reward; 2) how art resonates with the audience is what creates the power of art.€ When art remains isolated to who completes it, it never fully develops; but when art is viewed there exists a collaborative relationship between the artist and the audience.€ A narrative develops.€ This dialogue results in an exponential reverberation regarding the ripple created by the creation of the work in audience and artist.€ € Over these years you works have been exhibited in several occasions, including your recent solo Elements at the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts in Carmel, California November 2015. One of the hallmarks of your work 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 decisionmaking process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

Interestingly enough, no I do not.€ My art develops organically.€ The artistic process is not influenced based on how it will be received; rather, my audience enters the conversation in vivo.€ I am affected based on reaction and response, audience impression

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influences my understanding of my own art, and may influence future projects, but at a subconscious level.€ There is continual interplay between audience and artist, but this interplay is not a conscious call-and-response, but rather a subliminal impact based secondary audience impact. € Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Allyson. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I plan to continue working with various mediums to analyze geographic and topographic areas of fascination.€ The current drought affecting the California Central Valley has resulted in aquifers being depleted, land to sink, and will result in different water collection and water storage elements.€ Each of these changes creates an imprint on the environment and further (d) evolves the natural environment to reflect a societal impression.€ Lastly, I would like to thank the readership for taking their time with my work and interview.€ I hope that you enjoy my art.€

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


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A ngelina Voskopoulos Lives and works in Athens, Greece

An artist's statement

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he whole idea for Exogenesis Trilogy came from the theory that the "seeds" of life exist already all over the Universe, that life on Earth may have originated through these "seeds"...it is not religious but spiritual, in a conceptual way. The idea of exogenesis (outside origin). It is also about Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected. From chaos Eros is being born (love). Literally become one again (The question arose from Plato’s Symposium, which refers to the creation of mankind.... Each of us is half of another person as if he were half of a whole cut in two and in this way each person seeks the part, which ones is missing. The reason for this is that people were not always cut into two parts. The desire and the pursuit of this reunion is called love… “Exogenesis’’ is responsibly depicting energy, illuminated energy which moves freely inside the electrical field of the universe, interconnecting every Thing, holding and shaping the physical, the

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spiritual and the intellectual world, giving it life and movement. “Exogenesis” is all about the flash like moment when light is about to define form and prevail over darkness, when the soul hidden inside every thing is ready to emerge and identify with an idea that will give it its form. It attempts a visual presentation of that very moment at the very boundaries between the inner and the outer world, where all the contraries touch. It is an act of truce, an armistice and a resolution, in the sense that it represents, expresses and displays, in graceful movement and harmonic progression, “our life a permanent flow inside a steady time frame”. The alluring mystery of darkness versus the illuminated mystery of light, chaos versus order, the innumerable possibilities of synthesis, are all there, available material for man to use...

Angelina Voskopoulos


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meets

R e v i e w

Angelina Voskopoulos An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Isabelle Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

Multidisciplinary artist Angelina Voskopoulos accomplishes the difficult task of triggering the viewers' perceptual parameter to invite them to question the relationship between their cultural substratum and the most limbic level. Centering her work on Man and his inner world, she explores the notion of minimal movement to draw the viewers into a stimulating journey on the thin lines that divides perceptual processes from experience. Voskopoulos creates works that reject any conventional classification and condenses into consistent memories the elusive notion of experience: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her multifaceted artistic production. Hello Angelina, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. We would start this interview posing you some questions about your background: you have a solid formal training and after having earned your BA with Distinction in Fine Arts and Technology you nurtured your education with a Masters degree in Digital Arts that you received from the prestigious University of the Arts, London. How have these experiences influenced

50

your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum dued to your Greek roots inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

First of all, Hi J and Thank you for your warm welcome! London! Study abroad, enable me to partake in a city that values intellectualism as much as it does culture and tradition. I had an opportunity to receive high quality education from well-respected tutors. Helped me to Produce a strong body of work and as well as to Resolve problems and challenge assumptions through innovative thinking and visual expression. I was committed to learning, inquiry, and discovery. I truly enjoyed the whole process… Works of art can tell stories or simply express an aesthetic truth or feeling. I am trying to approach the Experience of the mysterious. Art provides a way to experience one’s self in relation to the universe. Who are we? How can we be happy? What is life? "Every minute of every day we choose. Who we are, who we forgive, who we defend and protect. To choose a side, a path… define the path of a life. Does the universe have a purpose? Greek philosophers approached the


ICUL CTION C o n t e m p o r a r y

A r t

Angelina Voskopoulos

R e v i e w

Special Issue

big questions of life sometimes in a genuine scientific way, sometimes in mystic ways, but always in an imaginative fashion. This experience may often come unmotivated, as one appreciates art, music or poetry. Every form of art is a self –sufficient world, which functions by the use of its means. It could be addressed to different senses or other times it provokes a diversity of emotions or thoughts. Art heightens the sense of existence. It tries to give life into a meaning beyond the obvious or common. A basic form for this condensation and intensification of existence is the poetic image. An element I use in my short films. Poetic image exists in the ‘periphery’ of its and every artistic form. It is a substantive part of art’s connective tissue and it is rooted to the core of an art form. Beyond its technical importance, poetic image reveals the existential question and becomes the reason of one can find in something that may is pointless. If someone can apprehend it trough his/hers senses and mind, it does not need any further explanation because for the first moment of its creation it gives the impression that exists on its own. Poetic image exists when gives hypostasis to something that first was flat. The poetic image is art, a connection to memory, and viewed through materiality. The poetic image allows a relationship with reality, while giving a new awareness of the world at hand and is different for every

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person. Art is defined as something that sets up a world for someone to enter. Andrei Tarkovsky explained, ‘P_o_e_t_r_y_ _i_s_ _a_n_


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Angelina Voskopoulos

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_a_w_a_r_e_n_e_s_s_ _o_f_ _t_h_e_ _w_o_r_l_d_,_ _a_ _p_a_r_t_i_c_u_l_a_r_ _w_a_y_ _o_f_ _r_e_l_a_t_i_n_g_ _t_o_ _r_e_a_l_i_t_y_.�(_A_n_d_r_e_i_ _T_a_r_k_o_v_s_k_y_,_ _t_h_e_

_p_o_e_t_,_ _M_o_r_a_i_t_i_s_ _2_0_0_6_,_p_:_1_2_4_) It relies on the person having a connection and allowing it to be part of their memory. They allow the poetic

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Angelina Voskopoulos

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image to be their world. The poetic image can be thought as of a better understanding of the world we dwell in, by using art, memory and material.

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You are a versatile artist and your approach encapsulates several techniques, revealing an incessant search of an organic symbiosis between a variety of viewpoints. Your inquiry into the notion of


Angelina Voskopoulos

ICUL CTION C o n t e m p o r a r y

A r t

R e v i e w

Special Issue

that such multidisciplinary approach is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

My starting point is a multidisciplinary approach, which later I develop into emotions… Experimentation is the key to my process. There are many points of view, there are many ways we see things and they are not simplified. Essentially we can’t understand simple movement because we see it as confused and peculiar. Everything results in the composition of the unit. Something minimal has great power and what on the outside appears as minimal movement may hide power and complexity. For example if we have something big and we analyze it we will wind up with something small and at least on the surface, less complex, the unit which is as strong and complex as the unit it comes from… Some of my art work over the past years has been focused on ‘minimal movement’.

minimal movement conveys together a coherent sense of unity, that rejects any conventional classification. When walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize

My view regarding the power of that which is minimal has been reinforced by research, the application of ideas and the results from previous research. The movement of a unit is considered to be that which drives all things. I don’t wish to lead anyone to wonder about the physical world and its laws or create religious questions regarding God and creation. The project is centered on Man and his inner world.

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Angelina Voskopoulos

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That which I call minimal movement, is the internal movement, internal action or intensity and how everything doesn’t necessarily have to entail external action. Even total lack of movement indicates internal intensities, conflicts, disputes and concerns For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected your recent series of videos entitled exogenesis trilogy, 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 body of works 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 remindes to popular songs: when walking our readers through the genesis of this series would you shed a light about the role of metaphors in your process?

When I edit and develop my videos in premiere most of the times I see what at first place could not see. . The question is not how we observe something but the way we really see it, Understanding it through a concept. In order to create an image I keep the way I see an object in its physical world and try to transform it into a conceptual idea. A different world appears in front of me, beyond the visual or even the natural. I am looking for elements, which later I use in a different way than their origin. (For example, I transform an object

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that I film into something else. A jellyfish into a ‘visual’ painting- an analogue format into a digital one-in order to express my thoughts)


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Everything that our eyes see is a

understand the world around us.

condensation of the substance that

‘Things’ don’t end where our eyes see,

exists in universe. We perceive all

but on the contrary they moving

things through our senses, trying to

toward to infinity and mixed together

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into something, which, metaphorically,

videodance, (also known as

seems to be like a giant, “Without limit

screendance), I am not documenting. I

mush�. When I create a video work,

am making dance for the camera. I

for the most part, I am creating

choreograph a piece knowing that I

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Angelina Voskopoulos

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In addition, one incorporates the movement of the camera, as well as the composition of the frames. Even though the body in movement is the ‘seed’ and inspiration of screendance, often the movement phrases get ‘throw’ around, the end becomes the beginning, the body gets fragmented and layers of dancers end up superimposed into different backgrounds, creating a new work which in some cases is far apart from the movement material that it was based on. My decisions are based on the rhythm and composition of the new piece, as well as on the design, contrast and the proximity to the camera. I am trying to create a visual metaphor. Using a combination of both, narrative and location. The concept of a video choreography, in my films, is based on my own lyrics texts and ideas.

will re-organize and ‘manipulate’ the material during the editing process. combining Elements such as time, space, speed and spatial composition.

Your inquiry into Man and his inner world reflects an harmonic balance between the external and internal world: we have found particularly stimulating 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 and the fruible set of elements you draw from universal imagery trigger the viewers' primordial parameters: 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?

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Angelina Voskopoulos

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I like this expression ‘ tactile biographies’ …In the end, all we have left are memories. Bits and pieces of the time we've spent … a simple recollection of actions… When we remember something from the past we think of it in parts as if putting together a puzzle, which is really ready and exists in our minds… Well, art is not a thing is a way. Every work of art causes the viewer to enter into a certain kind of relationship, both with the artist and all who receive the same impression. Just as words transmit thoughts, so art transmits feelings. To evoke in oneself a feeling that one has once experienced, and to transmit that feeling to others through forms and colours, sounds or movements. No piece of art can be "assigned" a function I suppose, either in essay form or in a conversation, if it isn't first considered within a context. Trying to classify function depends on context. one can look at a piece and know where it came from and when. The best scenario includes identifying the artist, as well, because s/he is half of the contextual equation (What was the artist thinking at the time ,s/he created this?). You, the viewer, are the other half (What does this piece of art mean to you, living right now? Are personal, social or physical functions. .. As the late Franz West did in his installations, your work shows unconventional aesthetics in the way

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Angelina Voskopoulos


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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?

The quest of inner ‘abyss’. Our soul. Our psych organ. It’s the organ that speaks out our truths. But at the end what it remains is the big empty. The emptiness is an outcome of the subtraction of all these things that can be deleted from a space. It’s the minimum not the empty. The void is not necessarily an absence. At least the way I see it, deal with it. It’s like another kind of presence. A material, which responds. It is positive, full like existence itself. Otherwise, void and full are two elements, which mix like oil and water. For example, The undersea world gives the impression of void due to lack of gravity. However, in reality, undersea world is a full space. It is full of life, energy and activities. It is also a space that we can ‘touch’ and ‘feel’ the void. I could say that an empty space exists till we dive into it. When that happens, its abstract meaning ends. It becomes a space full of experiences. All it needs is a good mood, love, sounds, colors, lines and levels to let the words be born.

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In other words those elements that can give an “empty space” its attribute. I believe that the meaning of empty space is the “invisible” material, which exists among the visible masses of structures. The empty space has the potential for anything to exist in it. This emptiness exists among the substance as space, among the sounds as silence, among the experiences as desire and among the relationships as ellipse. I think that the essence of determine emptiness is not simple whether something is full or empty, or negative or positive. Most of the times emptiness is filled with something else .It is an emptiness that doesn’t lack of notions or content but rather it has many versions and possibilities. Moreover, emptiness is not that which we call ‘empty’. It is minimal, original, changeable, fluid, the source of creativity and the space where anything is possible. The basis of everything. For example, in everyday life, we call a glass empty when it doesn’t contain liquid, but we forget that in fact it is never empty because it is full of air. Your work conveys both metaphoric and descriptive research that works on both subconscious and conscious level: the compelling narrative that pervades these videos invites the

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viewers to a multilayered experience and allows you to construct a concrete aesthetic from experience and memories and symbols. 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?

Actually it is a combination of both personal experience and imaginary.


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George Mellies once said ‘If you've ever wondered where your dreams come from, you look around... this is where they're made’. While exhibiting a captivating vibrancy, you seem to reject an explicit explanatory strategy: rather, you offer to the viewer a key to find personal interpretations to the feelings that you convey into your collages... 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 development of your ideas? My ‘psychological make up’ is the motivation to develop an art project. ‘Digging’ into a variety of concepts…such as the theory of the Universe-

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‘I perceive the Universe as a living organism. This organism is in constant oscillation. If I define “Oscillation� as vacillating between two states: kindling and extinguishing in a tempo set by

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the mind then this living organism lives (or survives) in a state of oscillation and assumes this oscillation as life. And because it dies at some point, the length of the life of the Universe is


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generally speaking decay. That is so because I believe that development, depending on the prevailing conditions or needs, follows the two-way route. That is to say, a species ( a material body) does not simply develop but reaches its original stages. All paths are well-trodden, full of people and murmurs. But there is one that differs, a path with a soul. A path that, without hesitation, begins the rhythm of its own life. Anyway to know something well one must really touch it. Not meaning to be crude-to my mind only inaction(inertia) is crude. ..I focus on my bare feet, on this piece of soft earth. There could be many routes leading to the same place, though none of them would be as suitable as this one. I let it affectionately carry my bare feet. Paths like this one appear in nature of their own volition. They are the result of the spiritual relationship that connects the earth and its people, those who can sense the rhythm of its breath. Such a path, embellishes the landscape rather than violate and disfigure it. A common thread that runs through identical or disparate elements and ends up being a state of things retired unto itself which cannot be seen through one’s eyes but can rather be felt….’’ finite. By kindling I mean creation, development and expansion, whereas by extinguishing I mean selfdestruction, regression and contraction (the opposite of development),

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

For public art, everything would seem to depend on what exactly is implied

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by the concepts of "public sphere" or "the public" or "public space". I am interested in the ways experimental cinema creates space in the mind, creates mind- spaces, reflecting the ephemeral architecture of the human mind and emotions. So, experiencing a space is like a dialogue, a kind of exchange. I love the excitement of the spectacle, and a spectacle is something that—I like an artistic project that takes on a life of its own… Over these years you works have been exhibited in several occasions 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? As I explained above’ I love the excitement of the spectacle, and a spectacle is something that!! I like an artistic project that takes on a life of its own’. Regardless of whether people like it or not, if I don't create my art, I will lose my sanity. It was also understood that one my primary tools is to use the symbolic language of art in order to

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communicate. Most of what I created was for that purpose. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Angelina. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving? I am working on my new experimental film, which deals with human emotionsWhat someone could possible feel in the circle of a day…’our heart in our mind’ … That is mean that I am currently creating my draft through creative writing and making story boards as well as trial shootings in many possible locations. I do follow a methodology regarding the development of my shorts but actually I am not processing them under the same approach.

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


Angelina Voskopoulos

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Dalia Smayze

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A ngelina Voskopoulos Lives and works in Athens, Greece

An artist's statement

T

he whole idea for Exogenesis Trilogy came from the theory that the "seeds" of life exist already all over the Universe, that life on Earth may have originated through these "seeds"...it is not religious but spiritual, in a conceptual way. The idea of exogenesis (outside origin). It is also about Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected. From chaos Eros is being born (love). Literally become one again (The question arose from Plato’s Symposium, which refers to the creation of mankind.... Each of us is half of another person as if he were half of a whole cut in two and in this way each person seeks the part, which ones is missing. The reason for this is that people were not always cut into two parts. The desire and the pursuit of this reunion is called love… “Exogenesis’’ is responsibly depicting energy, illuminated energy which moves freely inside the electrical field of the universe, interconnecting every Thing, holding and shaping the physical, the

66

spiritual and the intellectual world, giving it life and movement. “Exogenesis” is all about the flash like moment when light is about to define form and prevail over darkness, when the soul hidden inside every thing is ready to emerge and identify with an idea that will give it its form. It attempts a visual presentation of that very moment at the very boundaries between the inner and the outer world, where all the contraries touch. It is an act of truce, an armistice and a resolution, in the sense that it represents, expresses and displays, in graceful movement and harmonic progression, “our life a permanent flow inside a steady time frame”. The alluring mystery of darkness versus the illuminated mystery of light, chaos versus order, the innumerable possibilities of synthesis, are all there, available material for man to use...

Angelina Voskopoulos


ICUL CTION C o n t e m p o r a r y

A r t

meets

R e v i e w

Angelina Voskopoulos An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Isabelle Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

Multidisciplinary artist Angelina Voskopoulos accomplishes the difficult task of triggering the viewers' perceptual parameter to invite them to question the relationship between their cultural substratum and the most limbic level. Centering her work on Man and his inner world, she explores the notion of minimal movement to draw the viewers into a stimulating journey on the thin lines that divides perceptual processes from experience. Voskopoulos creates works that reject any conventional classification and condenses into consistent memories the elusive notion of experience: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her multifaceted artistic production. Hello Angelina, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. We would start this interview posing you some questions about your background: you have a solid formal training and after having earned your BA with Distinction in Fine Arts and Technology you nurtured your education with a Masters degree in Digital Arts that you received from the prestigious University of the Arts, London. How have these experiences influenced

68

your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum dued to your Greek roots inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

First of all, Hi J and Thank you for your warm welcome! London! Study abroad, enable me to partake in a city that values intellectualism as much as it does culture and tradition. I had an opportunity to receive high quality education from well-respected tutors. Helped me to Produce a strong body of work and as well as to Resolve problems and challenge assumptions through innovative thinking and visual expression. I was committed to learning, inquiry, and discovery. I truly enjoyed the whole process… Works of art can tell stories or simply express an aesthetic truth or feeling. I am trying to approach the Experience of the mysterious. Art provides a way to experience one’s self in relation to the universe. Who are we? How can we be happy? What is life? "Every minute of every day we choose. Who we are, who we forgive, who we defend and protect. To choose a side, a path… define the path of a life. Does the universe have a purpose? Greek philosophers approached the


ICUL CTION C o n t e m p o r a r y

A r t

Angelina Voskopoulos

R e v i e w

Special Issue

big questions of life sometimes in a genuine scientific way, sometimes in mystic ways, but always in an imaginative fashion. This experience may often come unmotivated, as one appreciates art, music or poetry. Every form of art is a self –sufficient world, which functions by the use of its means. It could be addressed to different senses or other times it provokes a diversity of emotions or thoughts. Art heightens the sense of existence. It tries to give life into a meaning beyond the obvious or common. A basic form for this condensation and intensification of existence is the poetic image. An element I use in my short films. Poetic image exists in the ‘periphery’ of its and every artistic form. It is a substantive part of art’s connective tissue and it is rooted to the core of an art form. Beyond its technical importance, poetic image reveals the existential question and becomes the reason of one can find in something that may is pointless. If someone can apprehend it trough his/hers senses and mind, it does not need any further explanation because for the first moment of its creation it gives the impression that exists on its own. Poetic image exists when gives hypostasis to something that first was flat. The poetic image is art, a connection to memory, and viewed through materiality. The poetic image allows a relationship with reality, while giving a new awareness of the world at hand and is different for every

70

person. Art is defined as something that sets up a world for someone to enter. Andrei Tarkovsky explained, ‘P_o_e_t_r_y_ _i_s_ _a_n_


ICUL CTION

Angelina Voskopoulos

C o n t e m p o r a r y

A r t

R e v i e w

Special Issue

_a_w_a_r_e_n_e_s_s_ _o_f_ _t_h_e_ _w_o_r_l_d_,_ _a_ _p_a_r_t_i_c_u_l_a_r_ _w_a_y_ _o_f_ _r_e_l_a_t_i_n_g_ _t_o_ _r_e_a_l_i_t_y_.�(_A_n_d_r_e_i_ _T_a_r_k_o_v_s_k_y_,_ _t_h_e_

_p_o_e_t_,_ _M_o_r_a_i_t_i_s_ _2_0_0_6_,_p_:_1_2_4_) It relies on the person having a connection and allowing it to be part of their memory. They allow the poetic

71


ICUL CTION C o n t e m p o r a r y

A r t

Angelina Voskopoulos

R e v i e w

Special Issue

image to be their world. The poetic image can be thought as of a better understanding of the world we dwell in, by using art, memory and material.

72

You are a versatile artist and your approach encapsulates several techniques, revealing an incessant search of an organic symbiosis between a variety of viewpoints. Your inquiry into the notion of


Angelina Voskopoulos

ICUL CTION C o n t e m p o r a r y

A r t

R e v i e w

Special Issue

that such multidisciplinary approach is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

My starting point is a multidisciplinary approach, which later I develop into emotions… Experimentation is the key to my process. There are many points of view, there are many ways we see things and they are not simplified. Essentially we can’t understand simple movement because we see it as confused and peculiar. Everything results in the composition of the unit. Something minimal has great power and what on the outside appears as minimal movement may hide power and complexity. For example if we have something big and we analyze it we will wind up with something small and at least on the surface, less complex, the unit which is as strong and complex as the unit it comes from… Some of my art work over the past years has been focused on ‘minimal movement’.

minimal movement conveys together a coherent sense of unity, that rejects any conventional classification. When walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize

My view regarding the power of that which is minimal has been reinforced by research, the application of ideas and the results from previous research. The movement of a unit is considered to be that which drives all things. I don’t wish to lead anyone to wonder about the physical world and its laws or create religious questions regarding God and creation. The project is centered on Man and his inner world.

73


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A r t

Angelina Voskopoulos

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That which I call minimal movement, is the internal movement, internal action or intensity and how everything doesn’t necessarily have to entail external action. Even total lack of movement indicates internal intensities, conflicts, disputes and concerns For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected your recent series of videos entitled exogenesis trilogy, 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 body of works 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 remindes to popular songs: when walking our readers through the genesis of this series would you shed a light about the role of metaphors in your process?

When I edit and develop my videos in premiere most of the times I see what at first place could not see. . The question is not how we observe something but the way we really see it, Understanding it through a concept. In order to create an image I keep the way I see an object in its physical world and try to transform it into a conceptual idea. A different world appears in front of me, beyond the visual or even the natural. I am looking for elements, which later I use in a different way than their origin. (For example, I transform an object

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that I film into something else. A jellyfish into a ‘visual’ painting- an analogue format into a digital one-in order to express my thoughts)


Angelina Voskopoulos

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Everything that our eyes see is a

understand the world around us.

condensation of the substance that

‘Things’ don’t end where our eyes see,

exists in universe. We perceive all

but on the contrary they moving

things through our senses, trying to

toward to infinity and mixed together

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into something, which, metaphorically,

videodance, (also known as

seems to be like a giant, “Without limit

screendance), I am not documenting. I

mush�. When I create a video work,

am making dance for the camera. I

for the most part, I am creating

choreograph a piece knowing that I

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In addition, one incorporates the movement of the camera, as well as the composition of the frames. Even though the body in movement is the ‘seed’ and inspiration of screendance, often the movement phrases get ‘throw’ around, the end becomes the beginning, the body gets fragmented and layers of dancers end up superimposed into different backgrounds, creating a new work which in some cases is far apart from the movement material that it was based on. My decisions are based on the rhythm and composition of the new piece, as well as on the design, contrast and the proximity to the camera. I am trying to create a visual metaphor. Using a combination of both, narrative and location. The concept of a video choreography, in my films, is based on my own lyrics texts and ideas.

will re-organize and ‘manipulate’ the material during the editing process. combining Elements such as time, space, speed and spatial composition.

Your inquiry into Man and his inner world reflects an harmonic balance between the external and internal world: we have found particularly stimulating 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 and the fruible set of elements you draw from universal imagery trigger the viewers' primordial parameters: 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?

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I like this expression ‘ tactile biographies’ …In the end, all we have left are memories. Bits and pieces of the time we've spent … a simple recollection of actions… When we remember something from the past we think of it in parts as if putting together a puzzle, which is really ready and exists in our minds… Well, art is not a thing is a way. Every work of art causes the viewer to enter into a certain kind of relationship, both with the artist and all who receive the same impression. Just as words transmit thoughts, so art transmits feelings. To evoke in oneself a feeling that one has once experienced, and to transmit that feeling to others through forms and colours, sounds or movements. No piece of art can be "assigned" a function I suppose, either in essay form or in a conversation, if it isn't first considered within a context. Trying to classify function depends on context. one can look at a piece and know where it came from and when. The best scenario includes identifying the artist, as well, because s/he is half of the contextual equation (What was the artist thinking at the time ,s/he created this?). You, the viewer, are the other half (What does this piece of art mean to you, living right now? Are personal, social or physical functions. .. As the late Franz West did in his installations, your work shows unconventional aesthetics in the way

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Angelina Voskopoulos


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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?

The quest of inner ‘abyss’. Our soul. Our psych organ. It’s the organ that speaks out our truths. But at the end what it remains is the big empty. The emptiness is an outcome of the subtraction of all these things that can be deleted from a space. It’s the minimum not the empty. The void is not necessarily an absence. At least the way I see it, deal with it. It’s like another kind of presence. A material, which responds. It is positive, full like existence itself. Otherwise, void and full are two elements, which mix like oil and water. For example, The undersea world gives the impression of void due to lack of gravity. However, in reality, undersea world is a full space. It is full of life, energy and activities. It is also a space that we can ‘touch’ and ‘feel’ the void. I could say that an empty space exists till we dive into it. When that happens, its abstract meaning ends. It becomes a space full of experiences. All it needs is a good mood, love, sounds, colors, lines and levels to let the words be born.

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In other words those elements that can give an “empty space” its attribute. I believe that the meaning of empty space is the “invisible” material, which exists among the visible masses of structures. The empty space has the potential for anything to exist in it. This emptiness exists among the substance as space, among the sounds as silence, among the experiences as desire and among the relationships as ellipse. I think that the essence of determine emptiness is not simple whether something is full or empty, or negative or positive. Most of the times emptiness is filled with something else .It is an emptiness that doesn’t lack of notions or content but rather it has many versions and possibilities. Moreover, emptiness is not that which we call ‘empty’. It is minimal, original, changeable, fluid, the source of creativity and the space where anything is possible. The basis of everything. For example, in everyday life, we call a glass empty when it doesn’t contain liquid, but we forget that in fact it is never empty because it is full of air. Your work conveys both metaphoric and descriptive research that works on both subconscious and conscious level: the compelling narrative that pervades these videos invites the

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viewers to a multilayered experience and allows you to construct a concrete aesthetic from experience and memories and symbols. 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?

Actually it is a combination of both personal experience and imaginary.


Angelina Voskopoulos

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George Mellies once said ‘If you've ever wondered where your dreams come from, you look around... this is where they're made’. While exhibiting a captivating vibrancy, you seem to reject an explicit explanatory strategy: rather, you offer to the viewer a key to find personal interpretations to the feelings that you convey into your collages... 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 development of your ideas? My ‘psychological make up’ is the motivation to develop an art project. ‘Digging’ into a variety of concepts…such as the theory of the Universe-

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‘I perceive the Universe as a living organism. This organism is in constant oscillation. If I define “Oscillation� as vacillating between two states: kindling and extinguishing in a tempo set by

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the mind then this living organism lives (or survives) in a state of oscillation and assumes this oscillation as life. And because it dies at some point, the length of the life of the Universe is


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generally speaking decay. That is so because I believe that development, depending on the prevailing conditions or needs, follows the two-way route. That is to say, a species ( a material body) does not simply develop but reaches its original stages. All paths are well-trodden, full of people and murmurs. But there is one that differs, a path with a soul. A path that, without hesitation, begins the rhythm of its own life. Anyway to know something well one must really touch it. Not meaning to be crude-to my mind only inaction(inertia) is crude. ..I focus on my bare feet, on this piece of soft earth. There could be many routes leading to the same place, though none of them would be as suitable as this one. I let it affectionately carry my bare feet. Paths like this one appear in nature of their own volition. They are the result of the spiritual relationship that connects the earth and its people, those who can sense the rhythm of its breath. Such a path, embellishes the landscape rather than violate and disfigure it. A common thread that runs through identical or disparate elements and ends up being a state of things retired unto itself which cannot be seen through one’s eyes but can rather be felt….’’ finite. By kindling I mean creation, development and expansion, whereas by extinguishing I mean selfdestruction, regression and contraction (the opposite of development),

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

For public art, everything would seem to depend on what exactly is implied

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by the concepts of "public sphere" or "the public" or "public space". I am interested in the ways experimental cinema creates space in the mind, creates mind- spaces, reflecting the ephemeral architecture of the human mind and emotions. So, experiencing a space is like a dialogue, a kind of exchange. I love the excitement of the spectacle, and a spectacle is something that—I like an artistic project that takes on a life of its own… Over these years you works have been exhibited in several occasions 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? As I explained above’ I love the excitement of the spectacle, and a spectacle is something that!! I like an artistic project that takes on a life of its own’. Regardless of whether people like it or not, if I don't create my art, I will lose my sanity. It was also understood that one my primary tools is to use the symbolic language of art in order to

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communicate. Most of what I created was for that purpose. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Angelina. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving? I am working on my new experimental film, which deals with human emotionsWhat someone could possible feel in the circle of a day…’our heart in our mind’ … That is mean that I am currently creating my draft through creative writing and making story boards as well as trial shootings in many possible locations. I do follow a methodology regarding the development of my shorts but actually I am not processing them under the same approach.

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


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Michele Vavonese Lives and works in Los Angeles, USA

An artist's statement

I

seek to engage my viewers. Using a

variety of mediums, my artwork explores relationships between art, culture, activism, social psychology and selfawareness.

Imagery mirrors sentiment. At times visceral and raw, with deep cuts in the surface, bold contrasting

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colors and paint peeled from the edges. At other times quiet and serene, with smooth blended brush strokes and calm natural colors, the surface reflects the subject and theme of the piece.

Michele Vavonese


detail from Study of the Fourth Estate, 2015 The Bacon Series


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

Using a variety of mediums artist Michele Vavonese's work accomplishes an insightful investigation into the psychological dimension to provide the viewers with a multilayered experience capable of walking them into the liminal area in which subconscious level establishes a symbiosis between the conscious sphere. Drawing from universal imagery, she explores any relationship between art, culture, activism, social psychology and self-awareness, urging to elaborate personal associations. One of the most captivating aspects of Vavonese's approach is the way it incorporates both evokative elements and and rigorous patterns to trigger memory and imagination, to create a compelling narrative: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating and multifaceted artistic production. Hello Michele and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview would you tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and after your studies

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of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture, you nurtured your education with a Masters of Fine Arts that you received from the prestigious Rochester Institute of Technology: how did these experiences influence your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

Thank you so much, I am thrilled to have been asked. And yes, having a formal training in art has absolutely influenced my artmaking. A formal training not only includes an emphasis on developing a mastery of technique in your given field, but it also focuses on exposing the evolving artist to different artistic genres and histories and hopefully opens them up to various opportunities to try alternative mediums and approaches to their art. It has allowed me to always appreciate my own aesthetics and sensibilities but to never be afraid to push myself to look beyond that. I have taken this with me all through my career and been thankful for it. A formal training also helps a budding artist to understand one very important


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thing and that is that the making of art is like any other form of work. And while it is creative and takes a certain personality to pursue it, it is most definately a discipline. You need to be disiplined to pursue your art, both in the making of it and in the exhibiting and selling of it. Your approach condenses a variety of mediums that you combine together into a coherent balance: the results convey together a consistent sense of unity, that rejects any conventional classification. We would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.michelevavonesestudio.c om in order to get a synoptic view of your work: in the meanwhile, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up? And in particular, how does your studies in the field of Psychology inform the way you inquire into the psychological dimension and into the aesthetic problem in general?

Of course, to start with I do use a variety of mediums to create whatever surface textures I feel would be relevant to the moods of the piece. In some of my works I focus on a rich blend of surface textures. For example, starting with a piece of clayboard such as in my piece “Come Here� 2016, I first fingerpaint on with acrylic. This is an intimate beginning to the work that allows me to actually connect to the piece much in the way walking barefoot in the grass gives you that sense of groundedness. Next will come the carving, and inking.

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Study of the Fourth Estate - Flipside, from The Bacon Series, 2015

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detail from Study of the Fourth Estate, The Bacon Series, 2015

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The carving provides some drama and detail, the ink gets blotted with a towel and leaves some abstract/painterly marks next to fairly realistic imagery. I love this contrast in a piece. I will also use pastels to create airy, cloudy areas and pens to outline another part. Whatever works, I will use it! As for psychology and aesthtics, in my opinion they go hand-in-hand. We know that certain colors evoke certain moods, we know that curved lines are calming and sharp angles can allude to anger. I think the successful artist uses all of these things in their work. The only difference between someone who studies psychology and an artist who doesn’t is that one knows there are case studies to back up what the other knows in their gut. We would start to focus on your artistic production beginning from your Bacon series, a stimulating project that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of these pieces is the way the insightful juxtaposition between intense tones provide the canvasses with a dynamic and autonomous aesthetic, to communicate an attempt to transform tension to harmony, and it's really captivating. While walking our readers through the genesis of the Bacon series, would you shed light on your main source of inspiration?

Sure, the beginning of the inspiration for The Bacon Series started when I rekindled my love affair with Francis

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Bacon's painting 'Study after Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X', c.1953. In it, Bacon perfectly interprets the sinister undertones of Velazquez's original 'Portrait of Innocent X', c.1650. As an artist I had been looking for an outlet to speak out about some of the social and political issues of our times, and this series gave me that. I loved how Bacon had reframed an iconic image without subtlety but with directness, to be interpreted by the audience how they saw fit. So, I ran with it, taking subjects of our time that I felt deserved more discussion. I covered topics such as CEO’s, biased journalism, agribusiness and agriculture. I used large canvases and spent hours with oil paint, pastel and markers to get the edges either to pop or fade away. Trying to give the subjects an otherworldly quality. Now having exhibited these pieces several times, I have had people approach and talk to me about these issues and walk away from the work thinking about these topics. In this way the series, to me, has been very successful. For example, a painting that really resonates with people is the “The Study of the Fourth Estate – Flipside” where instead of journalist’s pictured I have comedians Lenny Bruce, Stephen Colbert, Bill Hicks, Jon Stewart and George Carlin. Different satirists from varying generations but all, in my opinion, deliver in their stage work much clearer summarizations and reflections of what was or is currently happening in

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Study of Agribusiness from The Bacon Series, 2015

culture/society/news. They often have more correct data than news broadcasters and they act as better watchdogs. People have shared that they connect with it or don’t (more often the


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Study of the Fourth Estate

Study of the Seedkeeper

from The Bacon Series, 2015

from The Bacon Series, 2015

latter) but they take interest in the piece.

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

The dialogue established by colors and texture is a crucial part of your style:

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detail from Study of the Fourth Estate Flipside The Bacon Series, 2015

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"

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and how it has changed over time?

Color and texture is established in a piece based on my subject matter and mood of the work. Within the work I will


Michele Vavonese

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I start with a variety of mediums to create whatever I feel would be relevant to the moods of the piece. In some of my works I focus on a rich blend of surface textures. This may mean within one piece, “A Burgeoning” for example, you are seeing a myriad of textures with pops of color both natural and arbitrary. This allows the viewer to focus on the low tones and soft chalky edges if they are viewing the theme of the piece as flirtatious or playful. However, if they see the work as threatening, they may choose to focus on darkness of the lips and the jagged edges of the carved areas. The viewer participates in the piece in this way. My palette changes less or more according to the what I feel the series of work or the piece requires at the time. I am definitely guided by subject and theme. Sometimes I feel that soft colors with a punch of red or magenta will be what is needed. Other times I’ll cover a large sized canvas with forest green and yellow!

Study of a CEO_ The Bacon Series_2015

often have contrasting colors and/or textures to allow the viewer to project into it what they would like to see. In order to develop a painting’s texture,

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

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your feelings?

Yes, I always want the viewer to have their own interpretations and feelings to my paintings. I feel it works much the same way as a movie or a book or a song, you are putting out your express view, memory or emotion to your audience and then they interact with it by digesting it and relating it to their own lives in some fashion. In that way it gains an importance to them, a deeper meaning. I don’t feel that I have to acheive faithful visual translations of feelings. That is one of the many wonderful things about art, you can interpret and abstract things to meet your needs. And in some ways that can create an even more complex understanding of the feeling. Your paintings are rich of symbols and evokative elements. When playing with the evokative power of reminders to universal imagery your approach establishes direct relations with the viewers that goes beyond any conventional symbolism: German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in particular how do you conceive the narrative for your works?

Well, as I have described in some detail, I do rely quite a bit on medium, using contrasting color and textures to

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detail from Study of Agribusiness from The Bacon Series, 2015

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Study of Politics, from The Bacon Series, 2015

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invite my audience to read into the work. As far as the narratives I pull from many different aspects. In “The Bacon Series” and “Flipside” it is a discussion of worldly events. For “Look at What I am Saying” it is more internal. I go with where my passion is at that time, and I feel as an artist you can really create whatever framework you need in order to make that work for your intentions. The way Look at What I am Saying inquires into the sphere of physicality reminds us of early Jenny Saville's production: but while Saville's works often focuses on subjects on the margins of society, your characters have an universal feature that seem to reflect a metaphor for human condition. We have appreciated the way your paintings convey an emotional vision, wisely balanced with a careful attention to the equilibrium concerning the composition: the multilayered experience to whom you invite the viewers gives a sense of permanence to the intrinsic ephemeral nature of the feeling you convey on your canvas. Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I think the creative process being disconnected from the direct experience works or doesn’t work depending on what type of art you are talking about. For the “Look at What I am Saying” series, I think it would have been more difficult for me to have been disconnected.

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For this series, in particular, I was very interested in capturing the human condition, but more specifically the human condition in what amounted to more than just moments. I wanted the viewer to be looking at those moments in the painting and feeling a bit off-kilter. People and instances are multi-faceted; there is rarely just one emotion in any given situation, and there are multiple reasons, incredible stories and histories as to why individuals end up in those split seconds. So while there are elements within my piece “Joy� for example, that signify happiness, like in the eyes, there is also a meaty, elongated and tooth-bitten tongue forcing its way towards you, eliciting a different sensibility. I wanted the works in this series, which are mostly centered on the mouth, to be undeniably feminine and yet fierce. Open and vulnerable, and yet off-putting. The mouth became a perfect device to do this. People appear to be connected in a primal way to the image of a mouth in much the same way as the eyes. We tend to read a lot into a lip twitch or slight smile. It is innate and almost subconscious to interpret a mouth’s emotional movements. Introducing fingers and bearing teeth into some of the compositions creates another layer of story. And in lieu of my verbalizing that story, I prefer the viewers mentally tell the story to themselves when viewing the work. Over these years your works have been

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A Burgeoning, from the Look at What I am Saying Series, 2016

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Come Here, from the Look at What I am Saying Series, 2016

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showcased in several occasions, including your recent participation at the group show Top Ten Artists at the Coagula Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. One of the hallmarks of your work is the capability to create an emotional and psychological involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

Yes, I do feel that audience reception is a crucial component in my decision making process. But dont get me wrong; that does not necassarily mean that I will change a subject of my piece because of fear that the audience will not recieve it well or even be indifferent or that I need to receive positive feedback from them. Although everyone wants good reviews! What that means is that I am looking to get any kind of response back. Attention is attention and that is always the first indication that you have hit a nerve. After all, if you are looking to exhibit and sell there is some level of connection you should have with your audience if you hope to engage them enought to want to show interest in your work. Thanks a lot for your time and for

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The Moment it Broke Inside Her III

Joy, 2015

from the Look at What I am Saying Series, 2016

from the Look at What I am Saying Series

sharing your thoughts, Michele. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

times and with my continuing to push my own envelope as far as materials and subject matter.

It has been a pleasure. Some of my future projects include continuing with my current series and getting my work out there. My art will evolve with the

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


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9 A Shifting, fom the Look at What I am Saying 2Series, 2016


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G illian Allard Lives and works in Suffolk, United Kingdom

An artist's statement

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hat I find fascinating about photography is working ‘in camera’ to create altered realities. This happens quite spontaneously while engaging in the ‘taking’ process or by purposefully previsualising and ‘building’ the image in my mind and then in reality using the camera to explore the idea.

In my new series AfterLife, I have used creatures that have been alive, a reality we rarely ponder, and worked with their redundant and beautiful forms. I have applied techniques and limited the postproduction to the very minimal ‘tweaking’ of contrast, clarity and colour temperature in order to create innovative images. My fascination has been in taking something beautifully ‘made’ by natures hand and analysing the anatomical detail, colours and textures within each body.

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By drawing attention to these wonderful and often minute beings we can appreciate unexpected prehistoric references in their physical details and an extraordinary presence and expression in their unique postures, partly created in the moment of death. Photography by its nature bridges this gap between reality and our imagination. By creating frozen moments each narrative is alive with animated characters that boldly own their space within their frame. The project has not developed out of some macabre delectation but out of a desire to change perception and pose questions in the way, Leonardo’s incredible drawings from nature and Durer’s ‘fantastic’ Rhinoceros drew to our attention natures engineering of the creatures that share our world. Gillian Allard


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Gillian Allard An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott and Dario Rutigliano, curator articulaction@post.com

British photographer Gillian Allard's work accomplishes the difficult task of walking the viewers through the elusiveness that marks the boundary between opposite notions and accomplishes the difficult task of exploring the liminal area in which perception and the realm of imagination find an unexpected point of convergence. In her AfterLife series that we'll be discussing in the following pages, she explores the manifold nature and relationships between life and death, creating a multilayered visual experience. One of the most convincing aspect of Allard's practice is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of creating a deep and autonomous synergy between our limbic parameters and our rational categories: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her multifaceted artistic production. Hello Gillian 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 having earned your Diploma in Photojournalism, you nurtured your education with a Master of Arts in Photography that you received from the Royal College of Art: how have these

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experiences influence your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to the aesthetic problem in general?

I studied photography as part of my high school education. I didn’t really enjoy school very much and photography became my chosen form of self-expression. I did my diploma a few years after leaving school when I had moved to London and decided the course in photojournalism most suited what I was shooting at the time, and I felt would enable me to really explore ideas that at the time I found exciting and personally rewarding. From there I worked with a journalist covering all manner of stories that we both uncovered in around the mostly clubs, pubs and through people I/we met along the way. I covered the stories mostly in the evening and in the daytime I worked as a secretary. I compiled a portfolio and through encouragement from friends and other professionals. I applied to the Royal College of Art to study an MA. I hadn’t gone down the degree route so I felt that two years broadening my knowledge would give me the time to really focus on ideas in more depth. The Royal College was a hard but good experience. I worked very hard and produced images that to this day really resonate with me for all sorts of reasons. The ‘aesthetic problem’, whatever that is, perhaps stems from a desire to work on subjects, which are not commercial but as you quite rightly state reflect experience, memory and deep feeling. My images remain emotional snapshots

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of what matters to me at the time of taking an image or creating a series. With the AfterLife series, a close friend who shoots on the agricultural land near my home gave me the subjects I’ve used. I found it amazing that as soon as I held and moved them in my hands that I very quickly knew how I wanted to ‘use’ them in an image. Generally, I am not sure how or why certain subjects appeal to me but I choose them because they ‘fit’ and relate to an innate need to express my emotional landscape. I am not driven by a need for the work to be liked but am always thrilled when something that I have tried to visually communicate resonates with other people. 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. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.gillianallard.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 disciplines is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

I find photographing and the process of finding and assembling images a little like meditation. I am hopeless at sitting still for long periods. However, I find complete absorption and often calm in finding balance, meaning and beauty in whatever I choose to study.

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AfterLife is pervaded with a subtle but effective narrative that captures non-sharpness 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.

The images in themselves are personal narratives about excitement,


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fear, love, loss and sadness and embody ideas about our feelings and reactions to our most meaningful relationships, both past and present. The images in themselves are personal narratives about excitement, fear, love, loss and sadness. As you have remarked, you have applied techniques and limited the post-production to the very minimal: 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. We are 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?

Technology is really just another tool in the palette of the artist and not be seen as a competitor to traditional skills. I still have a real love of hands on ‘making’– AfterLife is in fact my first series shot on a digital camera and suits my current lifestyle. So, I think as an artist you use what is to hand and if it satisfies what you have to say then so be it – it does not lessen the importance of the message. I miss the darkroom though, its atmosphere and the process and feel my next project will have to be something of a return. When bridging this gap between our imagination and reality, AfterLife condenses the opposite notions of life and death, challenging the viewers'

perception about such ubiquitous still elusive concepts. When inquiring into such blurred dichotomy AfterLife sheds light on the necessity to rethink such erratic concepts on an unitary viewpoint: how would you describe the nature of the co-existence of such often conflictual and ambiguous aspects? In particular, contemporary age?

In many ways AfterLife has more to do with resurrection than death itself. The subjects, although real are metamorphosed via the imagination and creative process, and then to my mind reborn as a completely new characters. My aim and hope is to represent them in a meaningful and powerful way that kind of plays homage to the fact I have been privileged to use and share their inanimate forms. Another interesting project of yours that has particularly impacted on us and on which we would like to spend some words is entitled From Out of Space. We have really appreciated the way this body of works rejects a standard form of photography: its ambience reminds us the concept of Heterotopia elaborated by Michel Foucault. By bringing a new level of significance to signs, this body of works challenges the common way we question the dichotomy between our perceptual processes and the outside reality... By the way, we are sort of convinced that some informations and ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need to decipher them. Maybe one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your opinion about this?

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Of course, I was trying to express concepts of other-worldliness and an inner landscape but it is up to the viewer to put their own interpretation on this.

Besides producing the stimulating artworks that we had the chance to admire in these pages, you are extensively involved in teaching and

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you currently hold the position of parttime tutor at SHS, Suffolk. How does this experience impact on the way you relate yourself to art making? In particular, have you ever happened to

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draw inspiration from the ideas of your students?

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myself different things to show and share with them and enjoy the way they take and interpret what they have been given/shown. In certain technological aspects I have learnt a lot from the

students I teach. They have been born with a mouse in their hands and a nofear attitude towards technology, which to me is really refreshing and inspiring.

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Over your career you have exhibited internationally, showcasing your work in several occasions, including eight solo shows. 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?

As I mentioned, I don’t set out to produce work to directly appeal and am always thrilled when my work is received positively. However, once you put your work out into the public domain you accept as an artist that your work has a life of its own and you have to allow it to speak it’s own language. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Gillian. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I have bought an etching press for intaglio and I have experimented with combining this print-making process with my current approach to photography and thus far am pleased with the results. An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott and Dario Rutigliano, curator articulaction@post.com

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K enta Nakagawa Lives and works in Shiga, Japan

An artist's statement

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he thema of my artwork is “ Inner mind space-creation “. I create new virtual spaces by using various materials in the physical space. The project will be able to remake the new virtual space in a normal space other than a space which was designed. The artwork don't use new artistic expression methode (ex : video, sound, light, space, wind). But I develop to dynamic and new expression by combining those materials. For Example, Inner mind architecture changes the virtual space every second by using video,special screen,light,wind. It is not the normal video work which the audience only watches. The audience can enter the virtual space forcibly. In other words, It and the audience are very close in distance sensuously and intuitive artwork. The audience can enjoy the spatialartwork which changes variously by a position. And my artistic challenge is the project that creates the concept of new virtual architectural buildings in an existing architectural building.It is a re/definition of the physical architectural buildings. I call the expanded generative architecture. Finally, I aim the intelligible artwork from adults to children.

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Inner mind architecture is a space live performance that uses video, multilayered structured screens, light,haze, sound -fields in the architecture and wind machine. This virtual architecture performance was made and presented in St. Gertrud Church in Cologne December 2013 (built by architect Gottfreid Böhm in 1965)./update March 2015 Arsenale in Venezia The performance has three main parts with different sound fields. The first part of live installation is only a light sculpture made of light and fog coming out from the gap in between the multilayered structured cut screens. The second part is a mix of both a light sculpture and video projection on multilayered structured screens. The last part is directed into deep space by using the wind coming out of large electric fans on multilayered structured screens. The balance of the wind velocity is controlled with a special programmed software. Sound: The audience can enjoy the special sound experience in this architecture form. All the sound systems are turned to the ceiling in the Böhm architecture creating very special atmosphere at this venue. I created the new virtual space in Böhm architecture that use six elements: light,haze,video projection, multilayerd screens, wind and sound-field. in other words,inner mind architecture is a virtual architecture with time axis.And It is an amplifer of mind using six elements in the Church. I call a category of the artwork the expanded generative architecture.


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

Multidisciplinary artist Kenta Nakagawa's work amplifies the viewers' perceptual categories by trigging their primordial, limbic parameters to draw them into a unconventional journey. In his work Inner mind architecture, that we'll be discussing in the following pages, he unveils the connections between our perceptual process and the elusive nature of the notions of space and materiality, accomplishing the difficult task of drawing the viewers into a multilayered experience. One of the most convincing aspect of Nakagawa's approach is the way it condenses the permanent flow of associations in the realm of memory and experience: we are really pleased to introduce our readers to his stimulating artistic production. Hello Kenta and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background?

Hello I'm Kenta Nakagawa. Born in Shiga, Japan 1980 Thank you for giving me this opportunity. 2000-2004 Kyoto seika university of art. (Bachelor of video art) I studied the video art in Kyoto Seika University And I was a visual jockey as other project. I was going to college, but the main project was a

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visual jockey.I performed more than 400 event in Japan. But I was interested in the relationship of architecture and video art from that time. Ant I contacted with a lot of young architects.I learned the knowledge of architecture. And I repeated a lot of experiments in Japan. This is my starting point of architecture and Art. 2008-2014 Cologne media art (Diplom) I went to academy of media arts cologne in Germany since 2008. I've learned a lot of technology with a lot of knowledge of spatial art.for example : programming, 3DCG, graphic,video,architecture...etc I learned a lot of important things. In 2012 I completed the previous work the wind wave field.It was a test version of the inner mind architecture. In 2013 I completed compilation of artwork the inner mind architecture.This is the graduation artwork of my university. Inner mind architecture Awards, finalists, exhibition: Kurz und schรถn 2014 Germany Cologne : public art award(winner) Visual music award 2014 Germany Frankfurt : Honorary menstion Spiridon-NevenDumont Prize 2014 : Germany Cologne : Finalist Aesthetica Art Prize 2015 England : Longlist selection 9th Arte laguna prize 2015 Italy Venezia(performance prize : Finalist) ADC Nachwuchswettbewerb 2015 : Bronze Prize: Germany Berlin CROSS International Performance Award 2015 : Special Mension : Italy Milan Lumen Prize


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2015 : longlist selection/ Lumen WNO performance Award Finalist : London Exhibition(video screening) Aesthetica art prize 2015 exhibition (screening) March – May 2015 York St Mary’s, Castlegate, York England. VisionXSound 2015 September 2015(screening) Neulengbach Austria Siggraph Asia 2015 November 2015 (screening)Kobe japan Publication : Kölner stadt anzeiger / Kölner Rundschau ...etc You have a solid formal trainign and you degreed from the prestigious Kunsthochschule für Medien, Köln: how has this experience influenced the way you currently produce your artworks?

KHM(Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln) is a very free university, and very active. I was able to further pursue their own projects.and there is also a lot of chances in KHM. The best good point is the deep understanding of art that KHM accept every little idea as art. Because I was able to very freely production in Germany. In particular, how does your cultural substratum due to your Japanese roots inform the way you relate yourself to artmaking and to the aesthetic problem in general?

If anything, I do not make my artwork with only japanese cultural substratum.My roots is the encounter of young architects in Japan. However, I lived in Germany for six years. Because I have japanese culture and german culture in relation to production of artwork. I have two roots in relation to Art. It is German roots and the Japanese roots They are important for me.I think that they are the foundation to create a new artwork. Your approach coherently encapsulates several disciplines and reveals an

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incessant search of an organic investigation about psycho-physiological importance of contemplation in nature, and the results convey together a coherent and consistent sense of harmony and unity. While walking our readers through your process and set up, we would like to ask you how did you develope your style and how do you conceive your works.

At first, I have created the Wind wave field in 2012 (https://vimeo.com/70860487).It is the art work that uses a wind and the multi-layer structure screens. But It was an uncompleted artwork.The reason is because the wind wave field had not the element of the architecture and element of the space. I exhibited this artwork as a prototype version. And then, I created Inner mind architecture using architecture based on the wind wave field . I added an element of ligh-sculpture using a smoke, element of the reflected sound of the architecture and element of the projection mapping in the architecture to Inner mind architecture. Inner mind architecture is pursuing ``space-creation`` more than the wind wave field. And the most important thing of my project is the architecture.My project is essential the architecture.If if were not for the st Gertrud Kรถln (architect: Gottfried Bรถhm 1964),Inner mind architecture version 1 is not completed. Thanks! Gottfried Bรถhm! And the people who gave me a chance! Finally, Feature of the inner mind architecture will be able to create a variety of new version in each building. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected Inner mind architecture, an interesting project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this

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article and we would suggest them to visit https://vimeo.com/89143187 in order to get a wider idea of it. What has at once caught our attention of this work is the way it brings the notion of body and physicality to a new level of significance, urging us to rethink and sometimes even subvert the way we relate ourselves to such ubiquitous concept: while walking our readers through the genesis of this project, would you shed light on the notion of space-creation on which this captivating project is centered?

The main theme of my project is the space creation. At first, please watch the documentary video of my artwork.(https://vimeo.com/89143187) Inner mind architecture version 1 hat space creation of five types. The unique architecture which was designed by Gottfried Bรถhm Space using smoke and light( Light sculpture) Space using the multi-layer structured screen and projector. Space using wind and multilayer structured screen and projector. This is a further deep space expression more than only the multi-layer structured screen and projector. Invisible sound fields. All sound system is directed to the ceiling.I am using the reflected sound in the architecture.This sound space occurs specially only st Gertrud kรถln. These are the space-creation with a time axis.I call the expanded generative architecture. As for only Inner mind architecture version 1, I created a meditation space in st Gertrud Kรถln. The audience can experience ``the spacecreation`` like a mirage of five types in 25 minutes-live performance. My artwork was completed that I mixed five type of space.If you have a time, Please once again look at the 2 minutes

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and 53 seconds of my videolink(https://vimeo.com/89143187). The audience got drawn in five type space that I created. Inner mind architecture provides the viewers with an intense, immersive experience: how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space? In particular, how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience and how much importance has chance in your process?

My project has unlimited possibilities. I create a space that amplifies a form of the building and a concept of the building.because the new version I will be made with a new method in conformity to the building.It is the infinite variety. This is a very important factor for my project!! I selected the special church to the exbition hall this time. And I was the best space creation in this church. Also , If I have a chance of the next exhibition in other building,I think to try other methods. And If I have a chance, I want to create the Inner mind architecture series with buildings around the world. And my artwork is very difficult that the audience watch only the documentary video in internet. It is important that the audience experiences actually my artwork. When inquiring into the realm of the physical space, you draw from the subconscious, almost oniric sphere, inviting the viewers to challenge their primordial, almost limbic parameters to get involved into a multilayered experience: your approach allows you to capture non-sharpness of physicality with an universal kind of language that brings to a new level of significance the elusive but ubiquitous relationship between experience and memory: what is the role of memory in your process? We are

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particularly interested if you try to achieve to trigger the viewers' memory as starting point to expand their perceptual parameters.

My artwork will stimulate the sensibility of the people with sound of ambient , meditation space and person wrapped in light.My video is a lot of abstract image. Because, When I play a concrete video in my performance,the artwork can not stimulate the memory and subconscious in the deep inside of people.So I created all videos by abstract expression.And my artwork is made to enter the audience deeply using a variety of elements.for example video, light sculpture, sound, multi-layered screens and wind...etc. Because people who have experienced them can extend the human subconscious. Physical approach of my artwork is the expanded architecture.and I add the psychological approach like a expanded human subconsciousness and expanded human memory to the artwork. I am very interesting about audience.The audience who visited to my performance one time come many time .The audience said different impressions every time to the same live performance.It was a very interesting experience for me. This phenomenon thinks that this performance approach on subconsciousness and the memory of people.Because I think that the same person said a totally different impression.I was able to really good experience as an artist.The experience will be tips for the next work. Sound plays a crucial role in your work and as you have remarked, all the sound systems are turned to the ceiling in the Bรถhm architecture to create special atmosphere: We have appreciated the way Inner mind architecture, through an

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

I think so that the new media has the possibility to assimilate art and technology.but It is only possibility. I think that technology is tools. Every artworks are embodied that an artist image the artwork in one's mind.Technology is very helpful for new-media-artwork. New media art is created a lot of with development of the recent technology. I am very glad the development of new media art.When I started the art around 2000, the personal media artist edit only simple video.but They are given various choices by the development of the technology. For example: Programming, 3DCG, Interaction art, web...etc The choices increased surprisingly in these ten years.If you think about the technology as a tools, These choices are very important. Because new-media-artwork is the aggregate of tools. And My artwork was able to use the maximum-tool which called Bรถhm architecture.Furthermore,I took in the original sound field of bรถhm architecture in the inner mind architecture.The sound which reflected in a ceiling have variaus effects.And the position and direction of the speaker is a special methode.but The form

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of the building is created a new sound field. Features of the sound field is different sound by position. The audience hears threedimensional- sound and sounds like falling from the ceiling. It is the Invisible sound fields of architecture.This concept of sound fields related to space creation. I wanted to experience the sound field of architecture to a reader. The ambience you created has reminded us of the concept of non lieu elaborated by French anthropologit Marc AugĂŠ. As the late Franz West did in his installations, Inner mind architecture shows unconventional features in the way it deconstructs perceptual processes 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?

My main thema is a space creation.And Inner mind architecture is an artwork which amplify the human mind in the place or the architecture. My artwork is the performance, but my work does not have any dancers and performers.This is an important part in my project.The audience enters forcibly in the virtual space which I made. They wills function as part of my work like a performer. Inner mind archtecture is used the church.The church affects to the human-mind.For example: It is a prayer. The prayer expands one's mind. I think that it is a mental condition like meditation. The audience enters to the meditation space of my artwork that I made.Then, Please expand mind to deeper one's innerside.The Inner mind architecture is a project to extend the physical

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architecture.and moreover,It is the project that the mind of the audience expands. Because I selected the church. Various architecture and place have an invisible spirituality. I am very interested in such a place and architecture. And I think that I would like to further research the relationship between a Place(architecture) and a human mind. You have remarked once you aim to address your work to both adults and children: one of the hallmarks of your artistic practice is the capability to create direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your 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?

Another feature of my artwork has the entertainment properties that anyone can enjoy. In other words,It is intuitiveness of artwork.Sometimes contemporary art and performance is difficult to understand.In particular ,children may be difficult to understand. I want to enjoy the art for beginner.because Even if the audience does not read my difficult concept of my artwork,I want to impress the audience.Actually, Children who came for this performance were really pleased.After that, The children came many times to my performance. And the people of various countries came when I performed this performance in the church. The people wrote an impression in the notebook by a great variety of languages. German, French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese...etc. in other words,Because it's artwork that can be understood by anyone.

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It is the power of the artwork that goes beyond the language barrier. Of course the concept of artwork is the most important.However,all people in oder to intersted in art,entertainment characteristic is also required. My artwork will give a strong impact to any race and from a child to an adult. I will create the artwork in future that from the art of beginner to expert can enjoy both. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Kenta. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I'm going to performance the new inner mind arhitecture in the architecture of the former Soviet Union era of Ukraine in this year in May.Architecture of the former Soviet Union era is very attractive.After the fall of the Soviet Union,These architecture is deteriorating with time every year.It is broke sometime, and a new building will be built there.So I am very interested in the building of the former communist bloc now. It is also very attractive latest design-buildings in USA or EU, but the building was uniquely evolved in the former communist bloc. It has an attractive design that is not the buildung of now.I chose the building of the former Soviet Union as a performance location of the new inner mind architecture version 3. I am really looking forward to it . New Inner mind architecture need a large space and building of cool design. Because It was very difficult for me to decide a place.It was really hard... In the future, I would like to exhibit a project that uses a variety of techniques in a variety of architecture. And my artwork evolves endlessly.

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An artist's statement

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am interested here show the different approaches that are taking hands and fingers to move on the light. I realized that contractions and extensions of the parties creating a strange and interesting landscape occurred. The light is inserted through any space you find free and produce these visual effects of light and shadow, transparency and intense areas of light and dark. Just complete them in black and white to make these effects and also the gray intermediates.

Horacio Carrena

Horacio Carrena born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1955 In 1979 he received the National Teacher of Drawing and Painting graduated from the National School of Fine Arts "Prilidiano Pueyrredon" of Buenos Aires.Argentina. From this date, Carrena began his artistic career where he has gone through several stages or periods. Among the most significant for the development of his work, we can list the following: 1- (19791985) geometric stage, where his works are still teachers based on their geometric abstraction. 2- (1985-1989) stage techniques

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and mixed media), here leaving the geometry and is guided by the action painting materials adding to the various works that give thickness and volume. 3- (1990-1993) figurative constructivist stage, this stage is very short and it was a walk in the natural landscape that always interested him, but seen with a geometrical structure. 4 (1994present), stage of visual search in the signs and forms of the ancient peoples who inhabited the north of Argentina and South America. This search has produced and is producing many series of works in painting, drawing, mixed media, collage, and also applications in the design. Carrena has made numerous national and international exhibitions, and his work appears in collections in Argentina, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Belgium and USA. . Alongside these steps, I always interested research of new visual languages. Since 1982 he began working in these languages. In 1984 he won the award at the Biennale art Copy of Cuenca, Spain. Development and continues to investigate in electrography, intervened in digital photography and digital art always looking for new images and combined techniques that will lead to express what you want.


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

Exploring the evokative potential of universal imagery, multidisciplinary artist Horacio Carrena accomplish an insightful reappropriation of the imagery of human body to accomplish the difficult task of transforming it into a symbol. In his recent series that we'll be discussing in the following pages, he explores the boundary between light and shadow to create an unconventional still captivating narrative that urges to challenge our perceptual parameters. One of the most convincing aspects of Carrena'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 his stimulating artistic production. Hello Horacio, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. We would start this interview posing you some questions about your background: you have a solid formal training and you received the National Teacher of Drawing and Painting graduated from the National School of Fine Arts "Prilidiano Pueyrredon" of Buenos Aires, Argentina. How has this experience influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum dued

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to your Argentinian roots inform the way you deal with the aesthetic problem in general?

First I want to thank you for the welcome and feel very honored that this part of my work has been taken into account for the magazine. Regarding my education, I think it was very important to know all the art techniques generally level and historical processes. I had a very good artistic educing that allowed me to meet and work in all art disciplines such as painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking. I was fortunate to have teachers included renowned artists of my country. Also then continue visiting them in their workshops and I shared their various thoughts on art and the world around him. Unfortunately they have passed away and I have the memory of his talks and meetings. I think for my artistic career this has been a very important base. Also I always interested in history of art and its different periods, study much some as ancient cultures, Byzantine art, medieval, impressionism and modern art Miro, Pollock and the most important for my work Vassily Kandinsky. I also am interested abstract expressionism US. With respect to how it was for my face art in general from Argentina, I think that while one is geographically remote from the great capitals of art, by the extensive development of the media there is no


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distance. With regard to the various artistic stages that I have developed, I was coming as decanted to a South American image. While here I present

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this series of works arising from the technology, in my paintings, drawings and sculptures is a visual image that is based on the signs of ancient peoples


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who inhabited South America and especially Argentina. They are very strong images that refer to the nature that surrounds us. The only problem I had

is that of physical distance. I with my family chose to follow in Argentina after all, and while it has its good points also have to accept the fact quite complicated

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to organize projects abroad. This does not mean you do not look, I'm always attentive to the world.

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You are a versatile artist and your approach encapsulates several techniques, revealing an incessant search of an organic symbiosis


Horacio Carrena

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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 https://plus.google.com/collection/oaT wb 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.

With regard to this question, I believe that since they started my plasticexpressive result was always in me the combination of techniques and materials. Series of work arising limits for certain images, but I'm not much time with each, because I will soon emerge others produced when changing material. There are two main areas I'm interested in discovering follow: one is the paperwork and other new technologies. In the first I've always liked the work using paper in all its forms. Collage, mixed media, combining techniques that made then leads to something else and so leave getting carried away by the material. Handmade paper and all types and roles of saturated colors extracted from the graph. They can produce numerous effects to unite in printmaking and digital art. I remember a few years ago, present a play in the International Print Triennial in Osaka and experimental techniques. It was a work of 1.50 x 3.50 mt consists of 40 identical modules glued to form a new image. Each module was operated digital electrography made from a copy of a recorded linoleun in black and white. By this I want to give the reader an idea that

although there are times I have to develop the image, it is also very exciting for me to be guided by what I say, the materials and techniques. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected Land Hands, 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 Land Hands, would you shed a light about the role of metaphors in your process?

This book joins figuration and a metaphorical sense that exceeded. Are the hands that have worked the hard work of the ground, and attached to them appear different furrows they themselves have cultivated. Same movement of the fingers and the undulation of the furrows are intimately realacionados from the point of view of visual and expressive. The eye of the observer makes a visual tour without disturbing points: are the hands and earth resting together at work. Your work convey both metaphoric and descriptive research that invites the viewers to a multilayered and tactile experience. In particular, we have appreciated the way you convey emotions to create 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

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

I do not think so. It is very important direct experience in the development of the work. There is always a basic idea, and from this begins to develop the work. In my case I use the materials according to each case are very important, if not had the experience of going watching each material fits what I'm looking for would be impossible based only in my imagination. Miguel Angel said the figure was within the marble just had to get her out, and I think there comes problema.Es the struggle between the idea and the material strength. It has also happened to me that this or that way I do not get a good result and I have to start again taking some things and adding others. Each material has its characteristics and to do a long or short process within this direct experience to carry it express what you want. Your electrographs digitally intervened shows a captivating synergy between analogic practice and insightful use of modern technologies: the impetuous way modern technique has nowadays came out on the top has dramatically revolutionized the concept of Art: in a certain sense, we are forced to rethink about the intimate aspect of the materiality of an artwork itself, since just few years ago it was a tactile materialization of an idea. We are sort of convinced that new media will definitely fill the apparent dichotomy between art and technology and we will dare to say that Art and Technology are going to assimilate one to each other... what's your point about this?

I think at the beginning, technology and

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Horacio Carrena


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art were separated and theories arose whether they were or were not art these new manifestations appeared. It was logical to the appearance of something new. But over time and you could say that art and new technological techniques are producing works of art. It is a resource to express themselves as more conventional techniques. Each technique will correspond its characteristic elements is the same with the technological art must be conceived and contemplate in your space. 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?

with regard to this question, I think contemporary art is divided into two paths. One is the work of art as an object of contemplation itself. Here you could say, which keeps essential characteristics of the artwork applied to your environment. The other is the new road to the work to socialize and interact with the world today. Art is about people and spreads in everyday life. So they are evolving works that are different from the others but equally valid and end up modifying the environment where they are. I made based on my images and designs have applied screens, carpets, curtains and other objects of common use of the people. This is interesting because then ends up developing a new work following the characteristics of the material used.

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Your works encapsulate painting, drawing, as well as mixed media and collage: in particular are there any constraints or rules that you follow

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when creating your works?

I think each technique has its own characteristics, basic principles and


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constituent elements that make the paint

technique is you have to be, but has also

is oel painting drawing is the drawing.

been good and uplifting for my artistic

This well because it makes each

production, the fact of combining

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different materials and techniques.

or try to start adding else to go enriching

Basically I choose to work with first. Then

the image. I'm trying different things and

the development will see if I cntinuo well,

elements up to The actual work. Most of

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the time I get to fully distimtos results of

only do I add other things, but also I'm

the original idea. Very few works have

moving the supports and ride the picture

been perfectly from start to finish. Not

that emerges, that gives me a lot of

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freedom and novelty, which keeps me expectant until the new work appears. We definitely love the way your approach goes beyond a merely

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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


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perception and imagination. As the late Franz West did in his installations, your pieces show 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

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unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your view about this?

In this series of hands, not just search for

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it leads the viewer to other visual and spiritual levels. It's not just what you say each work on a superficial level, but every movement, displacement and the


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appearance of light and shadow that refer to something else. As he was finishing each work, I was looking at it carefully; first he amazed at what had been achieved, and then crossing it to the smallest detail and discover that led me to inner and contemplative considerations. In the beginning, the idea is developed following a two-dimensional plane carecteristicas support. But the end result is that the image tends to escape from the bi-dimension and approach the viewer. I think this is what leads him to the beholder to other arguments and situations within the human being. Over these years you works have been internationally, and they appear in collections in Argentina, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Belgium and USA. 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?

I always interested the possibility that my work is seen not only in my country but also in the world. I feel that connect with other peoples and cultures enriches the person. My works were dating the characteristic of each. I do not think if the public can be given for this or that. First I focus on the artistic fact, then as always am with the idea of leaving my country to

the world, the possibilities begin to see where they go. It happens that some works are well received in certain countries and not others. I understand that my work does not have to be acepatada worldwide. I make my way in art, and this I am sure all my artistic production is the best I can give, then if there are countries that love and accept I really get very happy. There are many great artists in the present times, so anything that can be achieved only through my work makes me happy. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Horacio. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

my idea is to keep working and continue to develop new things as they arise. I look forward to produce works from the same modules as the work this many years ago in Osaka Triennale. At that time there was a work on paper 150 cm high x 350 cm wide, with 40 modules in a recorded copy in black and white linoleum, uniting all modules a different picture emerges. I am also preparing two samples here in my country in August and September. a mixed media on paper entitled Geometric Universes and the other entitled Imaginary Landscapes are also large works on paper based on Aboriginal signography South America. An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator articulaction@post.com

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C hung Chak Lives and works in Dallas, USA

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As an image-maker formally trained as a designer, I have found my voice through semiotic interpretation. Exploring how different levels of meanings can be expressed through complex image layers is another creative goal of mine. I invent photographic metaphors that carry hidden meanings. I view my imagery as timeless visual poetry with psychological impact where viewers can no longer remain passive. Conceptualizing and resolving a solution is as rewarding as the seeing the result.

I have always felt that we have very little control of our lives. Therefore I enjoy the process of photomontage because I can randomly connect unrelated persons, events, and environments. Although my subjects may never have the chance to meet in reality, they are permanently bound within my artwork. By taking this approach, I find myself in absolute power to control and design. I have accumulated “image banks” for my photomontages, allowing my instincts to determine the relationship between these random images. Although I normally stitch images by computer program, my projects have been finalized in digital prints, silver prints, gum‐dichromate, Cyanotype, and image transfer. My creative process has been inspired by the Cranbrook’s alternative design theory of Deconstruction. When Cranbrook designers tried to depart from the mainstream Modernist approach, they experimented by tearing text apart and reassembling them into abstract visual forms.

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This new process required audience to interpret the meaning from the visual structure as the text became illegible. The audience can only “feel” the text without reading the meanings. I found this experimentation could also be applied in photographic-‐based communication. I deconstruct photographs from our ordinary world into abstract visual codes. Viewers are invited to interpret my fictional worlds through these layers. When documentary photo work intends to give a powerful and authoritative presentation of our real world, my photo fragmentations offer optional pathways for non-‐linear, subjective interpretation. Additionally, my cultural background plays a significant role in my image making process. As an immigrant from Hong Kong, my work consistently examines how human beings interact with their surroundings. I find my inspiration through in culture clashes in gender expectation, religion, and historical events. I create art fundamentally for the sake of self-‐expression, but I also hope my work can make people become more tolerant to others who are different from themselves. At first glance, my work does not show a strong cultural identity, but I believe my ethnicity as an Asian male has made a significant impact on my method of art making. My interest in Chinese handwriting, developed from pictograms, has affected my daily verbal communication skills and my interpretation of visual semiotics. My work consistently carries a theme of alienation, which probably is another indirect reflection of my foreign background.

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Chung Chak An interview by Josh Ryder, curator Barbara Scott and Dario Rutigliano, curator articulaction@post.com

Drawing from his experience as a Hong Kong artist based in the united States, Chung Chak explores the intimate consequences of our globalized age: reappropraiting of elements from universal imagery he subvert their meanings them to invite the viewers to get free from stereotypes. In his recent Boxes series that we'll be discussing in the following pages, he combined hundreds of individual images to extract an unexpected still consistent vision capable of drawing the spectatorship into an unconventional journey on the thin line in which perceptual categories are recontextualized into coherent unity. One of the most convincing aspects of Lewis' work is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of exploring on how different levels of meanings€can€be expressed through complex image layers. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to his stimulating artistic production. Hello Chung, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. We would start this interview posing you some questions about your background: ayou have a solid formal training and after having earned your BFA, you nurtured your education with a MFA in Graphic Design that you received from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC): how do these experiences inform the

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way you conceive and produce your artworks? In particular, how does your cultural substratum dued to your Hong Kong roots informs the way relate yourself to artmaking and to the aesthetic problem in general?

As an image-maker and formally trained designer, I have found my voice through semiotic interpretation. While I was studying Graphic design at UIUC in the early 90’s, my methodology was inspired by the Cranbrook’s alternative design theory of Deconstruction. When Cranbrook designers tried to think “outside the box” and departed from the mainstream Modernist approach, they started experiments by tearing text apart and reassembling them into abstract visual forms. This new process requires an audience to interpret the semantic meaning from the syntactic visual structure as the text became illegible. The audience can only “feel” the texts without actual reading. I found this experiment could also be applied in photographic based communication. In my photomontage, I deconstructed the photographs from our ordinary appearance to abstract visual codes. The audience is required to interpret my image narratives through the complex visual layers. When I was in high school, I was fascinated by the visually busy and aweinspiring Japanese pop art of the 80’s, on


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the other hand; I also took Chinese inkpainting and calligraphy classes. I am sure both experiences have changed my overall sense of visual aesthetics. My creative content has been driven by my

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immigration experience in the United States. My work consistently examines how human beings interact with their surroundings.


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Your works convey a coherent sense of unity that rejects any conventional classification: so before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit

http://www.chungchak.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

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happened to realize that such multidisciplinary approach is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

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The foundation courses that I took in Hong Kong Polytechnics introduced me to “non-media-specific� problem solving skills. This set of foundation courses was intended to train designers in cross


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disciplines, such as graphics, interior, industrial, and fashion. I can still remember the 1st assignment which was to communicate the term “chaos� within our workspace, an empty room. My group

combined wall graphics, slide projection, sound recording from the streets and even our own bodies as performance to convey the idea. Although my interests were laid upon 2D media later on, my

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thought process was already driven to a broad-based multidisciplinary approach. After I came to the U.S, I expanded my skills on different photographic, printmaking, and time-based media, but I

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have to credit my basic training from Hong Kong which has made a direct contribution to my creative process. For this special issue of ARTiculAction


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we have selected your Boxes series, 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 for the way your inquire into the

relationship between our perceptual categories and the personal substratum of the viewers who are urged to elaborate personal associations: when walking our readers through the genesis of Boxes series, would you shed a light

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about the way you combine together the materials you choose for your works?

The concept behind the Boxes series started one evening as I was looking out

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of the window of a high-rise building during a visit to Hong Kong. I gazed upon hundreds of other windows that looked exactly like mine within a very close proximity to each other. Through the


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windows, I noticed many big screened TV’s displaying the same pretty face from a popular television episode. While the Hong Kong popular culture had become unfamiliar to me after I had left the city for so long, I still could not identify with the pictures on the televisions behind the beautiful windows of Broadway in New York City as I always considered myself a foreigner here. I can only use the stereotypes I learned from TV to fantasize about the stories behind the windowpanes. As finding myself disconnected from both the Hong Kong and the American cultures, I started capturing thousands of window pictures from around the world, and these windows became my actors and played a role in my story telling. To me, windows are like human faces which tell a lot about a person who lives there. I visually connected thousands of unrelated windows into a community. Although these windows were taken from different social classes and cultures, they seemed to fit into harmonic unity. Initially, I wanted to display the work in their respective cities so that the audience from each area would be able to relate to the stereotypes and judge whether or not they are accurate. After a long working process, however, I realized the stereotypes my work expresses are more about human nature in general, and the project didn’t need to be audiencespecific. Therefore, I expanded the project locations from where I was familiar to the places I briefly visited and when I became bored with windows, I freed myself to photograph anything which can potentially carry iconic meanings such as landmarks. The Boxes series is pervaded with a

fragmentary still effective narrative that captures non-sharpness with an universal kind of language, 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.

Everything we do is somewhat related to our previous experiences. We live, learn, and identity ourselves based on our everyday interactions with others. As I mentioned, The Boxes Series is about stereotyping which is a concept originating from our memories. However, memories are just like our skin, I do not need to burrow through my memories to get inspiration. It is inside of my body and it will always affect how I create. The theme of alienation is quite recurrent in your works and the ambience they capture has reminded us of the concept of non lieu elaborated by French anthropologit Marc Augé: conveying both metaphoric and descriptive research, this work constructs of a concrete aesthetic that works on both subconscious and conscious level. As the late Franz West did in his installations, the Boxes series shows unconventional features 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 opinion about this?

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I totally agree. As a designer, I am less interested in the linear visual communication approach of the Modernist designers. When we read the word “HOT” in 72 pt Helvetica, it really doesn’t inspire me to think of anything further beyond the textual meaning. This approach, although is appropriate for authoritative messages such as “NO SMOKING”, but for my topic of “stereotyping”, I would rather deconstruct the perceptual images in order to assemble them in a more poetic and collective way. I believe my thought process was affected by linguistic development since childhood. As the origin of the Chinese language came from pictograms, the different combinations of pictograms and phonetic symbols make thousands of Chinese characters. When I learned how to write, I also learned how to use segments to make meaningful entities. To me, I believe almost everything in our culture carries semiotic associations, such as the keyboard stands for technology, and the lines on my hands signifies age. Perhaps it has already become my thought process due to my cultural back ground; I am interested in creating meanings with juxtaposition. As you have remarked once, you enjoy the process of photomontage because it allows you to randomly connect unrelated persons, events, and environments : . the way you highlight the evokative potential of elements belonging to both universal imagery and personal sphere you challenge the relation between our cultural substratum and our limbic perceptual parameters: to quote Simon Sterling's words, this could force things to relate

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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?

I mostly agree with this interpretation as chance plays a major role during my photomontage process. Before I start putting images together, the weather can potentially change the light and shadow of the original photographs, and would eventually affect the possibility of combining them together. Beside, my montage stage is also quite intuitive, what came to mind at this moment is a chance, what music I hear is another chance. However, our mindset is quite stable, such as visual literacy, logics; creative skills have been established throughout the years. If I don’t like “the color combination of green and red” now, most likely I would not like it tomorrow. Our standards and systems always function in similar ways subconsciously. Only the initial process of idea generation is spontaneous while regenerating and refining stages are quite consistent. To quote your own words, "looking from the outside, and€imagining the inside" symbolizes your own experience as a foreign artist based in the United States: while appropraiting of stereotypes in a globalized age, you subvert them to make€people€become more tolerant to others. 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?

Acclaimed British graphic designer Neville Brody said he was always


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interested in “how design can manipulate the way that people think”. He thinks graphic communication is “to reveal the truth rather than conceal it”. He implied he was less interested in some

Postmodernist design work which only looks cool but ultimately is impossible to communicate. His words certainly has made an impact on my create process. I believe visual quality helps to draw

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viewer attention during the process of communication. Although I prefer artwork which carries a social purpose as my background of graphic design is a “purpose-driven” discipline, the purpose

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of art can also be the sake of creation, self-discovery, or even for commercial purposes. In academia, we always try to teach the “high art” which meets the standards of the critics, but deep inside


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of me, I don’t think it matters as long as the artist enjoys the process of creation. The insightful juxtaposition between evokative images has reminded us of the

notion of non lieu elaborated by French anthropologist Marc AugĂŠ and establishes a channel of communication between the subconscious sphere and the conscious one, to unveil the

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manifold nature of human perceptual categories and to draw the viewers into a multilayered experience. When walking our readers through the genesis of AfterLife, we would like to ask you if

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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?


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Since my full time job is teaching, I create art fundamentally for the sake of self-expression, so personal experience is

absolutely an indispensable part of my creative process. I find my inspiration through culture clashes, gender expectation, religion, and historical

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Chung Chak

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events – they are the topics I enjoy reading. I hope my work can make people become more tolerant to others who are different from themselves. Personally, I don’t believe the creative process can be totally disconnected with personal experience. Although a project can be a theoretical exploration of forms or media, but still, there’s must be a motive which drives the artist to a certain direction Over these years you works have been internationally exhibited in solo and group shows, including your recent solo at the BridgeMaker Arts, Richmond Bay area. One of the hallmarks of your work is the chance of establishing direct involvement with the viewers, who are triggered to evolve from a mere spectatorship to conscious participants on an intellectual level, so before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

As my approach is problem solving, every project has its unique goals. Therefore I have different expectations on audience reception levels. The Boxes series intended to initialize a dialogue on a universal experience of stereotyping; I make use of a visually stunning giant collage to reach out my broad based audience. Although some audience would miss the content behind the visual forms, I believe the visual beauty would draw their attention and send my message through the artist statement. However, if my work is intended to serve

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the purpose of self-discovery, I don’t believe audience or critic reception is important, but I might end u putting it in my bedroom instead of a gallery. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Chung. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

The Boxes has been my “side project” for the past eight years. In the last three years, my “main project” was “Lost Chinatowns”, it is heavily content driven and requires serious historical research. While working on Lost Chinatowns, The Boxes series gave me a light release as I really enjoy its creativity as my side project for the next few years. Meanwhile, I am committed to keep “Cultural alienation” as my content goal and “Problem solving” as my creative methodology. In September of 2016, I will have a month Artist-In-Residency in Red Gate Gallery in Beijing to start a new project “The Great Walls of China”, a study which will investigate the cultural differences between Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong through graphics found on public walls.

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


Reagan Lake

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ARTiculAction Art Review // Special Issue // Spring 2016  
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