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Anniversary Edition

Special Issue

Kulturlandschaft 80 (72 realized), 2014 Installation at „Ortung IX“, Schwabach (Germany), 2015 spaghetti, wood fiberboard (300 x 600 x 50 cm)


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Nina Isabelle

Monika Supé

Gwenyth Dobie

Naanunca Mandragora Corbett Fogue

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Germany

Canada

Switzerland

By applying abstraction, I find that movement reveals an inherent awkwardness, a humor that echoes our own vulnerabilities. I also consider movement as a metaphor and looks to a selfdeveloped cryptograph based on archetypes, body metaphors, disease process and instinct to decipher authentic mark-making and pedestrian movement.

I am interested in space and in our relationship to space and time. Questions concern me like: what is the difference between “space” and “body”; what means “inside” and what “outside”; when do we feel comfortable somewhere inside, when do we feel barred from something. Sometimes I reduce wire to coverings by crocheting. People can stretch them and slip inside. I document their movement by taking a series of pictures and so I can hold on to that moment.

Special Issue

Rallentando- an installation creates a virtual forest for hyper-living humans to experience a vital restoration of body and memory. Based on the Japanese idea of ShinrinYoku, or forest bathing, Rallentando is an immersive environment that creates calming effects through changes in the nervous system in the same way as exposure to nature has been proven to do.

My passion to explore multimedia narratives comes from my enthusiasm for moving images synchronized with sound, which I have initially experienced in VJing. In the course of time I began to involve the three-dimensional space into my work and experimented with various “materials” for the installation – until I finally found a way to translate my value conflicts into sound and vision, with a content that “rings true”.

Kristina Posilovic

USA

Croatia

Our bodies, by design, mark time with each beat of the heart and each cycle of respiration. A sense of time customized for and by each of us. But, for each of us, it will eventually stop. When a loved one dies, we often select remnants from their life to serve as reminders of their existence and our own. These mementos draw attention to the liminal space between the ephemeral and the eternal. As an artist, I am drawn to these concepts.

My art always takes a critical view on political, social and cultural issues because I live and work, both as a writer and activist. The project Introspection: Who Am I? is a result of a consideration of female communication with the Other and redefining the notion of “the material female legacy”. Seven women of different age were give a task to write a letter to themselves, to “the unborn one” and to “leave themselves in a legacy” one object from thepresent/contempora neity that they use the most, that is the most important to them and/or that at the moment marks/facilitates their lives.


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lives and works in München, Germany

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Corbett Fogue lives and works in Philadelphia, PA, USA

Gwenyth Dobie

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lives and works in Toronto, Canada

Christos Marmeris

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lives and works in Athens, Greece

Naanunca Mandragora 86 lives and works in Basel, Switzerland

Emma Hill Christos Marmeris

Emma Hill

Angela Zhenxiang Li

Greece

United Kingdom

USA

My whole work as an artist, tends to be anthropocentric. I find human nature astonishingly intriguing. Humanity’s intellect is both its greatest weapon and its worst enemy, at the same time. Humans are struggling every day, every minute, by creations of their logic, originally constructed to protect them or make things more functional. I use intellect not to attack on intellect but to redefine it.

My work is an experimental visual representation of my own perception of the world in which I illustrate through multi-disciplinary platforms. I am continually creating and developing ideas through my education, my own research and life experiences. I am interested in creating work that prompts the viewer to come up with their own explanations as to what it means, or to offer a different view

I look at how the selfportrait can reveal social issues about identity and the restriction of women. Within my nude performances I mainly show the lower part of the body and exclude the face and torso area. As a woman I want to take away the usual areas of attraction (face and breasts) to give myself a female liberation, but in a controlled way that is balancing. My videos and performances show mostly legs and the vagina area to try and create a strong symbol of an iconic female voice.

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lives and works in Manchester, United Kingdom

Nina Isabelle

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lives and works in Kingston, NY, USA

Kristina Posilovic

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lives and works in Oakland, Croatia

Angela Zhenxiang Li

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lives and works in New York, 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.

Special Issue


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Monika Supé Lives and works in München, Germany

An artist's statement

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am interested in space and in our relationship to space and time. Questions concern me like: what is the difference between “space” and “body”; what means “inside” and what “outside”; when do we feel comfortable somewhere inside, when do we feel barred from something.

instance. They cast shadows on the background which look like drawings. Some of these shadows connect themselves with a real picture on the wall, other are flexible according to the angle of lighting. All of them create the illusion of space and body, but nothing is what it seems to be.

Against this background I make drawings and most of all I create objects built from wire, because wire is like a line, so I can draw into space in three dimensions. I can check out the border between two-dimensional expanse, body and space. Sometimes I reduce wire to coverings by crocheting. People can stretch them and slip inside. I document their movement by taking a series of pictures and so I can hold on to that moment.

At the moment I am interested in our relationship to nature as a special part of space and I analyse the topic of artificial landscapes. If we reflect on our dealing with everything what surrounds us, we can learn something about ourselves. And if we reflect on our acting in our environment, we have to think about the meaning.

Also I play with dimensions and our perception. I create objects in wire for

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Kulturlandschaft 80 (72 realized), 2014 Installation at „Ortung IX“, Schwabach (Germany), 2015 spaghetti, wood fiberboard (300 x 600 x 50 cm)


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Monika Supé An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator

the aesthetic problem in general?

and Barbara Scott, curator

When I was a pupil all I ever wanted was to be concerned with art. But after school I studied architecture as something congeneric. Afterwards in the job I wanted to link both but architectural practise doesn’t allow to pursue it from nine to five. While working as an architect and lecturer I hadn’t enough time after work. Indeed designing is an important aspect in practicing, but architectural design isn’t an artistic design because it depends on function. So there wasn’t enough time for art in my life and after working a few years I decided to spend more time on it. Looking back I would say, that an analytic and detailed approach left over from my professional education today induces me to look for alternatives and different viewpoints while working. So I have many ideas on a subject which is on my mind. I always feel the need of drawing in architectural practise – my means of expression is drawing and I am used to thinking “in lines”. Therefore I am looking for new ways of using everything that’s linear like wire, elastics, thread or something else.

articulaction@post.com

Monika Supé's work explores the ubiquitous relationship between space and time and extracts a compelling narrative from an effective combination between references to figurative sculpture practice and 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 Supé's work is the way it creates an area of vivid interplay between memory and perception, inviting the viewers to explore the unstable relationship between human intervention and freedom in the contemporary age. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Monika, 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 after having degreed from the Technical University in Munich you started a career as an architect. How has this experience influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you deal with

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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. 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


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

Certainly professional education and practising influenced me very much, but this

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didn’t preclude me from being interested in other disciplines. I can only hope that sometimes I am successful in thinking outside of the box. For example I am very interested in perceptual psychology and theory and in theory of cognition. And everything I read influences me. In my work – and while working I think of it as an experimental process – I wish to express everything in the right way for just this subject.


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Kulturlandschaft 80 (72 realized), 2014 Installation at „Landschaft – Campagne“, Lenggries (Germany), 2014 spaghetti, wood fiberboard (300 x 600 x 50 cm)

And this is what I am looking for every time. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected Kulturlandschaft, 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 Kulturlandschaft, would you shed a light about the role of metaphors in your process?

I was invited to create an installation for a Franco-German exhibition named „Landschaft – Campagne“ (Landscape). I had plenty of space there so I could plan a tall

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one. After thinking about the topic I was sure that I wanted to create something which references the synthetic in landscape, because landscape doesn’t mean nature. In German the word “Landschaft” indicates this because the suffix “-schaft” means “created”. Landscape is man-made and it seems that the position of real nature like primeval forests has even kept secrets from us. I named it “Kulturlandschaft” because the concept of “Kultur” is derived from Latin “colere” which means “to cultivate”. Cultivating landscape is a cultural achievement and I wondered if we attest real culture in our dealing with it, when we subordinate nature and landscape to our dictates of using. At first I wanted to install steel sticks, but buying about 50 000 of them was very expensive and I looked for a cheaper material, which could represent my idea as well. Using spaghetti summarized everything: noodles are made of grain and their appearance represents grain coincidentally. They are reusable, eatable afterwards and bring the subject to the point: using so many spaghetti not for eating but for art let us reflect about our dealing with our resources. Your practice is centered on the exploration of the relationship to space and in time and we have highly appreciated the way your approach goes beyond a merely interpretative aspect of the contexts you refer to: although you draw inspiration from outside reality, your works could be considered as tactile biographies of the conflictual symbiosis between perception and imagination. As the late Franz West did in his installations, Reusenhäuser shows unconventional aesthetics in the way it deconstructs perceptual images in order to assemble them in a collective imagery, urging the viewers to a process of self-reflection.

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at work Kulturlandschaft 80, 2014 Installation at „Landschaft – Campagne“, Lenggries (Germany)

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Kulturlandschaft 64, 2014 spaghetti, wood fiberboard (400 x 400 x 50 cm)

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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?

In German perception is called ”Wahrnehmung”, that means that we take something for true (German “wahr”: real, true, “nehmen”: take). But we can even question if that what we see is really true and existent in exactly the way we see it. This is one of the questions human beings are asking in their search for knowledge. Descartes declared that we exist because we can think. For him thinking but not experience via senses proved our existence. At his time people lost the geocentric model and looking through telescopes showed them that some things were different from what they had expected. Some centuries later the constructivist thinking assumed that we take part in our reality by creating it. What seems to be sure is that our perception is subjective and therefore the results of it are subjective, too. “Reusenhäuser” wants to show that there can be a difference between reality and personal perception. What is to be done then? Probably we can only use the introspection to regulate our behaviour. Your works convey both metaphoric and descriptive research and the compelling narrative that pervades eine Schachtel voll Zeit 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

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

I can’t imagine creative process without direct experience. In the genesis of “eine Schachtel voll Zeit” the direct experience is integrated in a special way, because I didn’t really make some drawings from memory and after having some experience. When I decided to look into the mirror daily for one year and draw myself, I could only assume that it would be exhausting and it would have an affect on me in some way. Afterwards the experience is inseparably combined with the relic of this process – the drawings. The experience and the time that have passed are existent inside of them. Today when I look at these drawings, I can remember the particular days and situations much closer than other days I keep in my memory. I think in the end the viewers combine that what they see with their own experiences. When analyzing the theme of artificial lanscape, you seem to address the viewers to get free of the costraints that affect contemporary unstable societies. Many artists from the contemporary scene, as Judy Chicago or more recently Jennifer Linton, use to include sociopolitical criticism in their works. It is not unusual that an artist, rather than urging the viewer to take a personal position on a subject, tries to convey his personal take about the major issues that affect contemporary age. Do you consider that your works are political in this way or do you seek to maintain a neutral approach? Do you feel that it’s your responsibility as an artist to teach and raise awareness of certain issues?

I don’t want to teach anybody, I don’t feel

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like a master, because this would mean to have answers and solutions, but I want to raise themes. I am interested in subjects like space and time and we can experience these only by human perception. That implies that my basic issue is the human being, its doing and its behaviour. Primarily in my work I am trying to search for explanations, but I am only trying, not necessarily always finding them. But back to “Kulturlandschaft”. You can look at it as a reference to the problematic nature of economic mechanism. In 2015 I installed it once more and I could get to the heart of it by asking: IN AUREA AETATE? Do we live in the golden age? Probably we can answer that in the future, looking back to the past. Nowadays we live in abundance, the grain price on the world market decreases continuously. Food is disposed of to stabilize prices, meanwhile in other regions people die of hunger. Rich countries pursue land crabbing in order to save the grain and food production for the future but only for their own population. Considering this it’s my aim to ask questions and initiate reflection, though the object I show can still be beautiful. My work shall be thought-provoking but things do not have to be shown the hard way. 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?

That’s a difficult subject and it results from the last point. The motivation of the artist doesn’t necessarily need to be relat-


Reusenhaus 8, 2014 wire, paper, led-spot, mural (200 x 170 x 150 cm)


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Reusenhaus 4, 2013 wire (9 x 21 x 14 cm)

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ed to a functional aspect of art for society and audience. It only has to be discussed if works are shown in the public. But first of all everything I do and produce is its own purpose. I like to experiment and while working I can reflect, it’s a marvellous state of being even if it is arduous. As I have said, I want to look for explanations too. That’s why I would agree with Gerhard Richter. I wouldn't go so far as to say that explaining is the functional aspect in my work. My functional aspect is founded in asking. I hope to stimulate the viewers to ask themselves and to get into conversation with others. In our age of globalism things are so deeply interwoven so that the main thing is the interchange of ideas. Another interesting work of yours that has particularly impacted on us and on which we would like to spend sme words is entitled Körper und Hüllen 2: this piece induces the viewers to abandon therselves to free associations, looking at time in spatial terms and we daresay, rethinking the concept of time in such a static way: this seems to remove any historic gaze from the reality you refer to, offering to the viewers the chance to perceive in a more atemporal form. How do you conceive the rhythm of your works?

After having created objects crocheted in wire which are meant as shells or casings, I take pictures of them in use: People slip inside and explore them with their own body. It’s very interesting for me to see what other people check out and how they move. With intend to preserve this process I attempt to “give a visual trace to time” and this trace is drawn by movement. So I have the possibility to conserve something vivid which is passed, it seems like frozen. Each time I look at them I am surprised: I sense

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that they unfreeze. If I only look enough the moving seems to go on. Over these years your works have been exhibited in several occasions around Germany and you are going to have a solo at Künstlerhaus München. Your work is strictly connected to the chance of establishing a direct involvement with the viewers, who are called to evolve from a mere spectatorship to conscious participants on an intellectual level, so before leaving this conversation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

In 2016 I will have several shows, each with a special theme. At Künstlerhaus I present “Schein und Sein“ (Appearance and Being), different works which are not what they seemed to be. Some of my objects are built of wire which is put into white panels and when they are illuminated the wire pieces throw shadows onto the boards. If you change the angle of lighting the image of the shadows is modified and if you switch off the light the image disappears. I like to irritate. I like to cause amazement and to see moments of surprise. I like it if somebody comes back for looking once more because they don’t believe their eyes. That’s what I am searching for. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Monika. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

Thank you for your time also and for letting me share my thoughts and artworks. In summer I will focus on something else

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Zeitraum – Zeichnungen 1-365 (eine Schachtel voll Zeit), 2009-2010 Installation at Stadtmuseum Penzberg (Germany), 2012 ink pen on paper (respective 13 x 16,5 cm)


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Univocal reference, 38x42, 2010

Kopfbedeckung 1, 2013, wire crocheted (26 x 35 x 35 cm)

in Städtische Galerie Schwabach: the relevance of time in working processes. Creating my objects or installations is often time-consuming, for example crocheting big pieces in wire takes much time and

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other work stages seem boring or stupid like pinning so many spaghetti into boards or drawing the same content every day for one year. But without persevering it doesn’t come to an result. That’s why this


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in detail Zeitraum – Zeichnungen 1-365 Installation at Stadtmuseum Penzberg (Germany), 2012 29


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Captions untitled, from the series no body, 2015 (based on a drawing of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres) frame, wooden fabric, wire, led-spot (48 x 38 x 33 cm) 28


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at work Zeit vernäht, 2012 black and white thread on canvas (80 x 80 cm)

way of working that seems like nonsense makes sense for me personally. I have created and will create objects according to rules I determine before. For example I sewed an endless seam by a machine on paper or canvas. Every time I came upon an already existing seam I had to change the direction in a special way. So design developed not from personal decision but from observing rules. I am curi-

ous about what this approach will evoke. I want to challenge our daily working and I wonder how we differentiate basically between sense and nonsense in our working processes.

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

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C orbett Fogue Lives and works in Philadelphia, PA

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ur bodies, by design, mark time with each beat of the heart and each cycle of respiration. A sense of time customized for and by each of us. But, for each of us, it will eventually stop. When a loved one dies, we often select remnants from their life to serve as reminders of their existence and our own. These mementos draw attention to the liminal space between the ephemeral and the eternal. As an artist, I am drawn to these concepts. After my father’s passing of an incurable lung condition, I was inspired to focus on each breath as complete life cycle. The automatic birth, life and death that occurs with each respiration, acts as both material and the catalyst in my body of work.

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Frustrated by my inability to slow down my father’s time and enchanted by the sterility of the hospital environment where he drew his last breath, I began to methodically organize creative systems in an attempt to create fragile remnants of the breathing process; humble monuments to our relationship with time and space. Try as we might, time will win.

Corbett Fogue http://www.corbettfogue.com


Breath Study 11 (24,000 Breaths on Paper)


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

Drawing inspiration from the death of his father from an incurable lung condition, Philadelphia based artist Corbett Fogue's work explores the unique nature of human experience through the elusive notion of time: his approach rejects any conventional classification and crosses the elusive boundary that defines the area of perception from the realm of imagination, to create a multilayered involvement with the viewers, who are invited to investigates about the ubiquitous and conflictual relationship between human and its environment. One of the most convincing aspect of Fogue's practice is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of exploring the liminal space between the ephemeral and the eternal: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to his multifaceted artistic production. Hello Corbett and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and after your studies at the University of Northern Iowa, you nurtured your education with a MFA of Studio Art, that you received from the University of South Florida: how did these experiences influence your evolution as an artist? And in particular, does your cultural substratum as an American artist

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inform the way you relate yourself to the aesthetic problem?

Technically, my work (and a lot of performance based art) is democratic. The means of production are usually within anyone’s reach. I hope that this creates an opening for viewers to insert themselves into the piece. They can see themselves in the shiny surface of Do Not Resuscitate. They can call and have their breathing digitally archived in I’m Sorry I Missed You. Ultimately, we all breathe. I don’t know if this is a particularly American thing or not, but I like the idea of making the physical presence of my work appear to be something that anyone could do. There’s a leveling of the relationship between artist and viewer. I think that kind of transparency allows the content of the work to become more clear. Your approach coherently encapsulates several viewpoints and reveals an incessant search of an organic investigation about the notion of duality that affects our unstable contemporary age, and the results convey together a coherent and consistent sense of harmony and unity. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.corbettfogue.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your process and set up, we would like to ask you how did you


Breath Study 13 (Life Support)


Breath Study 4-6 (Last Words, News Paper, Obituary)


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Breath Study 4-6

Breath Study 4-6

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(Last Words, News Paper, Obituary)

develop your style and how do you conceive your works.

I was part of the content and doing the activity was crucial.

As a student, I studied photography and performance. Initially, I thought of them as very separate practices. They came together with an assignment in which I explored my own name. I was named after a boxer (Gentleman Jim Corbett). I started taking boxing lessons at a local gym and also took portraits of the other men and boys who were learning with me. This kind of experiential mode of working made a lot of sense to me. I was not an observer anymore as I had been as a photographer.

During my first year in graduate school my father lost a 17 year battle with an incurable lung condition called Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis After my father’s passing, it was clear to me that I would have to immediately tackle my situation and work to create a new normal. The work began as a means of catharsis. The work was very heavy, as one would expect such subject matter to be, but as I continued to create I quickly realized the the action of breathing became both the means and meaning of the work.

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Breath Study 8 (Worth Your Weight) - clip

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For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected Breath Study, an extremely interesting project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention of your focus on the act of breathing is the way, it accomplishes the difficult task of establishing a channel of communication between the subconscious sphere and the conscious one, to unveil the manifold nature of human perceptual categories and to draw the viewers into a multilayered experience. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I think it depends on how broadly you define the concept of personal experience. With the boxing work, the trigger was a bit of autobiographical information but it led me to do something that I had never really thought of doing. Stepping into the ring provided a means of learning about myself as well as the other boxers. Breathing is a natural autonomic process on one level, but drawing attention to the act of breathing through meditation or art brings the awareness that it is something we all share. This shared experience can be simply stated as a fact or as a metaphor. Both of these examples indicate that, at least in my own work, personal experience is crucial for the creative process. By the way, how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space? In particular, how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience?

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When I think of the word immersive, I tend to think of artists who try to overwhelm the viewer. I’ve chosen to make art using rather spare reductive elements. I do this because I would like the viewers to recognize that their own presence is an aspect of the work. I know that this takes time. For those who walk away too quickly, they probably miss it. For those who stay and be with the work for some time, ideas will likely come. Perhaps rather than immersive, the word engaged might do better. The public sphere is very much a shared space. I don’t want the viewer to feel as if I’ve completely taken it over. Your successful attempt to create works that stand as record of existence allows you to capture non-sharpness with an universal kind of language, capable of bringing to a new level of significance the elusive still 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.

I would have to say it is a combination of the two. I tend to think I am memorializing the most ephemeral things with methods that are likewise transitory and fleeting. There’s a kind of irony there but at the same time it feels very appropriate. We definitely love the way you question the tactile feature of images, unveiling the visual feature of information you developed through an effective non linear narrative that establish direct relations with the viewers: German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe

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Breath Study 8 (Worth Your Weight) - clip

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?

Demand is right. We do not share a common vocabulary of symbols as they


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did in the Renaissance for example. This doesn’t mean we don’t have shared myths, it’s just that there is likely less agreement on what they stand for. This ambiguity can be useful however. Rather than being didactic as those symbolic works from the past often were,

art serves more as a conduit for the viewer to consider her/his relationship to whatever concept is being presented. In a way, this places the viewer at the center of the narrative. It is not a story about Hercules but rather a story about you experiencing this work;

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thinking about these ideas I am sharing with you. 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?

I think there are many different roles that artists play within our culture. I admire Ai’s work. It has that cold severe beauty of Minimalism but he is able to connect that with these overwhelming tragedies and the results are so poetic. I’m thinking mainly of the piece where he straightened 150 tons of rebar that were salvaged from schools leveled by the Sichuan earthquake. I don’t try to take on big events like that. I prefer to explore the small details of living that we all share. My work is political in that it does argue the experience of each individual is worth noting. The mundane is monumental. Another interesting work of yours that has particularly impressed us and on which we would like to spend some words is entitled Exhale/Inhale and we have highly appreciated the way it condenses reminders to technologic sphere and their evocative function in the universal imagery. In this way, you seem to force the viewers to personal associations, suggesting that informations & ideas could be considered "encrypted" in the environment we inhabit, so we need to

decipher those patterns. When addressing us to process the things we are sometimes able to catch you seem to suggest that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature: what's your point about this?

We have an detached relationship with nature. I’m not saying this is good or bad, it simply is. The dialogue between humans and technology has been going on for a long time. Photography as an art form has always been an expression of both the artist and the machine. I suppose you could say that about playing the piano, but somehow the line between the two is more fuzzy. The biological sciences are on that same line. I thought so much about the complicated machines the doctor’s were using to keep my dad alive. At what point is the machine actually keeping a person alive? When that happens, is the machine alive too? With Exhale/Inhale, I thought about these two machines and their preconditioned relationship with us as consumers. Both already have a specific relationship with our breathing in our day to day lives but, by design, are intended to stay in our peripherals. By ever so slightly altering their function and having them work in tandem to replicated the process of a human breathing, they seem more alive. There is a poetic beauty in this that I find to be rather arresting. Your works have been showcased in several occasions, including your recent show "Deep Breaths” at the Arc Gallery, Chicago. 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

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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 audience is crucial. In some ways, the work is incomplete until it is experienced by others. I tend to focus on clear direct language. While I want everyone to feel welcome to any one piece I also understand that the language is received in different ways by every person. I look at this as a challenge. I feel that it allots me the opportunity to be unconstrained with my medium choices; to truly be able to explore the act of breathing and allow any one piece to manifest in its most natural form. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Corbett. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Along side the Breath Studies, I find myself returning to evolve my En Memorandum series. This work more actively explores memory and the the ability for the monument to act as a catalyst for transcendence. I’m currently working on pieces that explore a platform to transcend time by combining memory with the common experience of food. There is a significant history of this topic from still life painting to the more performative works of artists like Alison Knowles and Rikrit Tiravanija. I’m starting with some recipes that my father developed or adapted. He wrote them down in these really wonderful letters. I’m not sure where I’m going with it yet, but I’m excited about digging into the content. Stay tuned!

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

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G wenyth Dobie Lives and works in Toronto, Canada

An artist's statement

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ur period is obsessed by the desire to forget, and it is to fulfill that desire that it gives over to the demon of speed; it picks up the pace to show us that it no longer wishes to be remembered; that it is tired of itself; sick of itself; that it wants to blow out the tiny trembling flame of memory” (Milan Kundera)

spectacular treatise “On the Shortness of Life”; and the public gardens of Tuileries in Paris. Rallentando- a restoration embraces the full potential of site-specific contemporary art as a place of encounter and reflection, reaffirming the psycho-physiological importance of contemplation in nature while harnessing the articulacy of Kinetic Art.

Rallentando: a musical term signaling one to slow down. Rallentando~ a restoration is a fully immersive, site-specific, interactive, experiential installation inspired by: Olafur Eliason (The Weather Project, Tate Museum); Milan Kundera’s reflections in “Slowness- the secret bond between slowness and memory”; Roman philosopher Seneca’s

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

Toronto based multidisciplinary artist Gwenyth Dobie's body of work explores a variety of issues, inviting the viewers to delve into the challenges of being human, and enter into realms of uncertain outcome. In her latest piece Rallentando~ an Installation, she unveils the connections between speed and memory and accomplishes the difficult task of drawing the viewers into a multilayered experience. One of the most convincing aspectS of Dobie'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 her stimulating artistic production. Hello Gwenyth and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and you currently hold the position of Associate Professor at York University in the Department of Theatre in Toronto, Canada: how does this experience impact on the way you relate to artmaking? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the aesthetic aspects of your creative work?

Hello, and thank you for the invitation to share my work with you and your readers of ARTiculAction My early life as an artist was focused on the analysis of somatic and physical methodologies for the performer. I

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committed to a comprehensive study of historical dance forms, contemporary and modern movement techniques, even Poi fire spinning. I specialized in the F.M. Alexander Technique, certifying as a teacher at the Centro Italian Tecnica Alexander in Tuscany, Italy. And most recently I obtained teacher certification in Heart Yoga with Karuna Erickson. However, being a hearing impaired artist has had the greatest impact on my creative culture. I teach both devised theatre and movement for the actor in the School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design at York University. One of the major tenets of the acting curriculum is that acting is playing in the moment with the scene partner in front of you—allowing yourself to affect and be affected. Our Devised Theatre program offers students an intensive syllabus in devising and performing original theatre pieces often utilizing immerging technologies. I began to question: how do these traditional tenets apply for the actor if their scene partner is virtual? What if the performers are trying to affect a motiontracking camera? Further, do conventional creation processes support an interactive stage with immerging modalities in live performance? With my company, Out of the Box Productions, we extensively experiment with intermedial and interactive technologies. I believe we must explore amidst the human and technological exchange, to work within the tensions between the flesh and the virtual, to embrace new staging modalities and new aesthetics. During a research


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project Butterfly – a study interactive in preparation for the creation of Rallentando, co-creator William Mackwood and I recognized the term “Animator” as better able to describe the blend of knowledge, interests and investment needed of all participants for a successful outcome. Further, we implemented the terms “Animator Performer” (AP) and “Media Animator” (MA) when working in the world of interactive performance. Thus when I focus on new creations where technology is integral, the Animator Performer remains intimately involved with conceptualization; becoming a scene partner with technology, establishing a relationship with the virtual body and remaining an active consultant during the developmental process. Your approach coherently encapsulates several disciplines and reveals an 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. Before starting to elaborate about your current production Rallentando, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.gwendobie.ca in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic body of work: we would like to ask you how you have developed your style and conceived your creations.

At Out of the Box Productions, we have continuously challenged ourselves to investigate vital and often-taboo topics. However, our primary objective has been to play within said explorations. For we believe that expanding modalities require rigor, specificity, patience but most importantly a keen underlying sense of play. As Katja Kwastek states, “play cannot be pinned down in terms of fixed characteristics, but rather constantly oscillates between material and form, seriousness and pleasure, reality and artificiality, rules and chance, nature and intellect”

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Our premier work, Opera Erotique (2004, 2005, and 2010) was greatly informed by Catherine Clement’s book Opera, or the Undoing of Women. Clement argues that Opera is the story of women's undoing (''defaite'' in the French original). ''All the women in opera die a death prepared for them by a slow plot, woven by furtive, fleeting heros, up to their glorious moment: a sung death''. We wished to explore the nature of these powerful, sexual women in Opera, asking the question “Do they need to die?” In addition, Opera, Sex and other Vital Matters by Paul Robinson and Sam Abel’s Opera in the Flesh were excellent resources on the innately erotic nature of Opera. As a hearing impaired artist, working with opera singers gives me a profoundly physical experience; I feel the vibrations of their voices as the sound moves through the air; it is an immersive experience like none other. The Third Taboo (2005, 2006) explored the timeless, troubling emotion known as jealousy. Based on Giraldi Cinthio’s Hecatommithi (the source of Shakespeare’s Othello), The Third Taboo combined contemporary text, opera, poetry, dance and morsels from Shakespeare’s play Othello. We continued to explore qualities and conditions for an intimate and immersive performance experience. Our audiences swept aside any definable demographic. From the young to the elderly, from the conservative to the liberal-minded, from opera lovers to those who had ‘never been’, they were motivated to attend by their curiosity, but left convinced by the virtuosity and accessibility and uniqueness of the work. Sound in Silence (2008, 2009) regarded the truth of living and excelling in deafness; based on my own personal journey and the “gifts” that deafness have offered me. Dr. Norman Doidge’s research in The Brain That

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Changes Itself defined these gifts as the development of the “super senses”. In the case of the deaf, it is the hypersensitivity to the visual and physical, which compensates for hearing loss. Sound in Silence used a fusion of movement, text, live music and both taped and live video projections in a fully immersive environment. The configuration of the set with swivel chairs placed the audience within the complex workings of a deaf person’s brain. Sign language was integrated into dance and

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functioned as a rendering of the spoken word, with the livecam focused on the interpreter’s hands. The ASL, poetry, dance and text combined with Bach arias exalted the divine mystery and plasticity of the brain. It was our creation Bugzzz~ a cautionary tale (2011, 2012) that took us firmly into the world of the interactive stage. Inspired by A Short History of Progress, Ronald Wright notes that our undying belief in ‘progress’,


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humans be capable of such beauty and equally such destructive forces?” This production integrated LED lighting, rear projections, infra-red tracking system, voice manipulation, sound looping, and imbedded LED lighting into the costumes that were programmed wirelessly to respond to movement and voice of the live performers. At times the strength and power of the live performers seemed shackled by extensive programming demands and hair-pulling inconsistency of the interactive technology. However, there were many moments of magic; when we truly transported the audience into the world of the bugs and the sound, music, characters and story sustained a powerful hold on the audience. It was from this project that a critical research question emerged: Can we build a technical interface and more importantly a new creation process, that would allow the performer to extend their physical and sonic presence and allow for easy accessibly and a smooth live/digital interaction? This query led us towards the creation of Rallentando.

mostly through the ever-accelerating use of technology, has brought us to a crossroads. We are now one global village in which resources are stretched to the breaking point, and Wright stresses that we must get it right this time! Our Bugzzz assumes we did not. Our insect heroes discover pages of old opera scores. In an attempt to reconstruct and honour ‘humankind’ through the lyrics, dance and music of this elevated art form, the question Bugzzz asked is “How can

For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected Rallentando~ an Installation, an interesting project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention of this work is the way it 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 your main sources of inspiration?

The premise of Rallentando began with an observation: When I’m living and working intensely in Toronto (a fairly fast paced metropolis) I sense my body vibrating at a high frequency. A lifetime in somatic training and being hard of hearing brings a high level of cognizance of my

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neuromuscular system. When I spend even a few hours in nature, I notice a shift in my physical state (respiration, heart rate, muscle tension) but also in my cognitive functioning. My inquiry of these observations let me to extensive studies confirming that time spent in nature promotes lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate and lower blood pressure. In Japan you will find sites for Shinrin-Yoku, or forest bathing. It can be defined as making contact with and taking in the atmosphere of the forest: a process intended to improve an individual’s state of mental and physical relaxation. I perused many studies such as “Views to nature: Effects on attention” by Carolyn M. Tennessen and Bernadine Cimprich. And Vis Medicatrix naturae: does nature "minister to the mind"? by Alan C Logan and Eva M Selhub and the excellent book “This is your Brain on Nature” by co-authors Selhub and Logan which presents research confirming that “exposure to nature is … responsible for higher levels of activity in the branch of the nervous system responsible for calming us down.” I studied the Attention Restoration Theory, detailed in The restorative benefits of nature: Toward an integrative framework by Stephen Kaplan. Kaplan states “Attention Restoration Theory provides an analysis of the kinds of experiences that lead to recovery from … fatigue. Natural environments turn out to be particularly rich in the characteristics necessary for restorative experiences.” (emphasis mine) Milan Kundera’s reflections in “Slownessthe secret bond between slowness and memory” was a poetic inspiration for Rallentando. Kundera reflects that there is a secret bond between slowness and memory, between speed and forgetting. That when we rush, “we blur all the delights along the

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way.” It seemed that the further I searched the more I discovered the many artists, scientists and theorists investigating this premise. Pico Iyer: The art of stillness, The


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Shortness of Life: Seneca on Busyness and The Art of Living Wide Rather Than Living Long by Maria Popova. My primary research question therefore became- “How can people get their requisite doses of nature, if they can’t access it?” If

it’s winter in Toronto or in hyper-dense cities like Manila, what does one do? In the introduction to “This is your Brain on Nature” it states, “… today’s easy access and prolonged exposure to gadgetry is leading to nature deprivation, and what is

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lost through that might be far more detrimental than what is gained.” Which seems like it’s either a doom and gloom prospect of hyper-living with excessive use of technology or a Luditte-like rejection of all “ “gadgetry”. However, I began to wonder if perhaps we could embrace the potential of technology to offer a restorative Forest Bathing experience. And thus… Rallentando was born. Rallentando is an installation that creates a virtual Forest, enabling hyper-living humans to experience a vital restoration of body and memory. Rallentando is based on the Japanese idea of Shinrin-Yoku, or forest bathing. Inside the Rallentando installation, the audience experiences a gradual slackening of tempo, leaving behind the distractions of contemporary urban life. It is an environment that creates calming effects through changes in the nervous system—in the same way as exposure to nature has been proven to do. Drawing from accessible and evocative elements from universal imagery, Rallentando~ an Installation provokes direct relations in the viewers and accomplishes the difficult task of going beyond the surface of communication. We find this aspect particularly interesting since it is probably the only way to accomplish the vital restoration you pursued in this work, concerning both the individuals and their place in our ever changing societies: how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space? In particular, what kind of reactions did you expect to provoke in the viewers?

Inside the Rallentando installation, Digital media artist William Mackwood maps video projections onto the playing space in order to create vivid, fully immersive, forest-like worlds, with properties that nourish and rejuvenate participants. Interestingly,

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studies such as those of Deltcho Valtchanov at the University of Waterloo revealed that immersion in a computer-generated virtual reality nature triggered the same kind of responses as when walking in a real natural settings; a decrease in levels of both perceived and physiological stress. Selected participants are linked to the heart pulse monitors to see their heartbeats translated into video and audio signals. If they begin to relax they perceive the tempo and rhythm of their heart beats change and shift the intermedial information. The aim is to provide a visual confirmation of what’s unfolding internally in order to identify the importance and impact of contemplation in nature. Looking at Science of the Heart: Exploring

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the Role of the Heart in Human Performance from the HeartMath Institute, I knew that the bio-data collected from the heart pulse monitors, if presented artistically and intelligibly, would indirectly inform the participants without the piece becoming too academic or pedantic. With my Digital Media colleague Don Sinclair, we continue to work on specificity and more importantly discernibility of the intermedial data gathered from the participant’s heartbeats. This is always a challenge when creating work with interactive technology. We heed Robert Weschler’s important considerations regarding interactive events: they must be intelligible, and they must be interesting/artistic. The soundscape for Rallentando has been composed by sound artist Chel Paterson


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(aka SlowPitchSound). Chel has created a sinuous sonic trail for a deeply poetic experience. Using his turntable as an instrument, sounds are captured and looped. His unique style has€graced stages around the world. The creative team of Rallentando debated quite a bit about how effective it would be to have people use Virtual Reality headsets versus offering a communal experience of virtual nature. But I've been following the studies of the effects of Social Media such as that of Ethan Huff (2011) Social Networking Leads to Isolation, Not More Connections, Say Academics. And from this and other research I determined that VR headsets for Rallentando would only encourage further states of isolation from community. We aimed to offer an

experience as a collective and harness the power of art in a public arena. 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?

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As Ai Weiwei stated “Everything is art. Everything is politics” and I whole-heartedly concur. With every production I have created and produced, I’ve aimed to stimulate contemplation, discussion, and reflection. I’ve searched for ways to immerse, engage and challenge the audience. One reviewer wrote: “Theatre can move you, it can engage you; sometimes, you can even get dragged up onstage.€ And then there is a show like Out of the Box Productions‘ Sound in Silence, which literally feels like a full-body theatre experience.” Another reviewer stated: “Clearly, an inventive creator can use the beauty and majesty of the arts to convey needed information within an imaginative aesthetic.” So while my work is political, my strategy has been to invite or entice people into the work. Rallentando is a work that moves into the world of installation art, however, I’ve continued to integrate live performance into the piece. Animator Performers, such as Katelyn McCulloch, use the Kinect Camera to contribute interactive media to the restorative experience. The live performance component is very important for me. As I mentioned earlier, Rallentando brings the role of the artist as a community facilitator, to encourage a sense of the collective, to stimulate the sensorial theatrical world, and harness the true potential and power of art in a public arena. Rallentando~ an Installation provides the viewers with an intense, immersive experience: how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience and how much importance has improvisation in your process?

Numerous creators are delving into site-specific immersive theatre, such as the renowned companies Punchdrunk, Dream Think Speak and Third Rail Projects (just to mention a few). The commonalities are a

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deep desire by these originators to break down the fourth wall and reimagine the actor-audience relationship. The traditional proscenium arch that divides and separates the performer and the audience dissolves to offer an evocative and immersive journey, rejecting the passive obedience usually expected of audiences. Rallentando offers the audience the free-


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dom stay within the Installation as long as they need the restorative experience. The piece loops continuously for 30 minutes, and within this structured framework, I encourage and invite my collaborative artists to continue to discover and explore the unknown through improvisation. And with the audience, experience a real sense of adventure.

Your approach is pervaded with a subtle but effective narrative: you have once mentioned a Kundera's quote when he highlighted that "our period is obsessed by the desire to forget": your successful attempt to capture non-sharpness of physicality with an universal kind of language brings to a new level of significance the elusive but ubiquitous relationship between expe-

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

Investigating the calming and restorative qualities of nature, led me to artists and writers who contemplated about pace, rhythm,

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and speed in our contemporary world. Milan Kundera’s exquisite novel Slowness- the secret bond between slowness and memory€deeply inspired my contemplations of the significance between speed and our capacity to remember. €

Continuing the quote that you mention above reveals the heart of his observations,


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and continuous connection and response to stimuli (emails, texts, social media). People compulsively capture endless photos of ephemeral moments. Where will these photos go? Who will remember these moments with any lasting importance? Given time for contemplation, one has the chance to delve into an experience or memory and to dream. Kundera declared that beauty requires an imposition of form, on a period of time. And that the same applies to memory, “for what is formless cannot be grasped, or committed to memory” Rallentando is not a faithful translation of a memory, but rather a structured form and trigger agent for each participant. With time in the installation, memories have space to surface. As Kudera wrote: “The degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting”. Rallentando~ an Installation also shows the aestethic consequences of a combination between the dynamic feature of movement and the abstract concept of symbols, exploring unexpected aspects of the functionality of language on the aesthetic level: as Gerhard Richter once remarked, "my concern is never art, but always what art can be used for": what is your opinion about the functional aspect of Art in the contemporary age?

“Our period is obsessed by the desire to forget, and it is to fulfill that desire that it gives over to the demon of speed; it picks up the pace to show us that if no longer wishes to be remembered; that it is tired of itself; sick of itself; that it wants to blow out the tiny trembling flame of memory.” We live in a society that demands instant

What a challenging time in history for the arts. Nevertheless, we must live the most creative lives we can, as a means of “fighting back against the ruthless furnace of this world.” Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear We believe that interdisciplinary collaboration as the one that you have established with William J. Mackwood is today an ever growing force in Art and that some of the most exciting things happen when creative minds from different fields of practice meet and collaborate on a project... could you tell us something about this effective

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synergy? By the way, the artist Peter Tabor once stated that "collaboration is working together with another to create something as a synthesis of several practices, that alone one could not": what's your point about this? Can you explain how your work demonstrates communication between several artists?

My creative partner William Mackwood and I have been collaborating together since 2000. We began working together on opera productions in Victoria, British Columbia. Since the formation of our company Out of the Box Productions in 2004, we have continuously challenged, stimulated and encouraged our creative growth as artists. With each new work, our areas of interest and fields of practice have reached and stretched out beyond our comfort zone. Our aesthetic tastes are very different from one another, which offers immense opportunities for a dynamic synergistic exchange. It seems we are never content to just repeat what we know. As Martha Graham wrote about being an artist: there is a “blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” One of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to create direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context? The “Starbucks” of live performance offers a predictable and dependable spectator experience. The audience knows exactly what they are buying so there are no surprises- which can be a comfort. It’s safe for the producers and it’s safe for the public. I am not interested in creating that kind of art.

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It is always a challenge to create work that challenges cultural conformity. However, with enough support and strategic planning one can make the art that is an honest and authentic expression of what is in one’s heart and mind. For me, there has never been a choice to do otherwise. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Gwenyth. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving

Thank you! It has been stimulating to respond to your multifaceted and probing queries. I’m in the early stages of a “pop up” piece that will be performed guerilla-theatre style around University campuses. The working title is “Lift Your Eyes”. I worry about how isolated and lonely young people are at Universities. It should be the time and place where life-long relations are established. But with the amount of on-line gaming and social media addiction, I often see young people, sitting scattered in the halls, with their heads down, plugged in, with their eyes glazed over. They have “friends” but they don’t have friends. It will be filmed, so I’ll post it on my web site www.outoftheboxproductions.ca In closing, my only hope is to continue to live the life of revelation, inspiration and creation, for: It is not revolutions and upheavals That clear the road to new and better days, But revelations, lavishness and torments Of someone’s soul, inspired and ablaze. -Boris Pasternak, “After the Storm” An interview by Josh Ryder, curator Barbara Scott and Dario Rutigliano, curator articulaction@post.com


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Christos Marmeris Lives and works in Athens, Greece

An artist's statement

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y whole work as an artist, tends to be anthropocentric. I find human nature astonishingly intriguing. Humanity’s intellect is both its

greatest weapon and its worst enemy, at the same time. Humans are struggling every day, every minute, by creations of their logic, originally constructed to protect them or make things more functional. Trapped under the veil of ethics and morality, or wavering in the seesaw of will and must, humans suffocate under the burden of their choice. We all forget the meaning of our lives and act as we are the right ones. I love to explore those thin lines that define the balances between notions and play games with them. This way I aspire to get someone triggered. To make him think on the subject. To set my question. Part of my beliefs is that provided answers are almost useless; the questions are the way to go further, to evolve as human or as consciousness. The answer is relevant to the person who asks. Every individual has to find his own answers, the ones that suits him, but first he has to wonder on the subject. This is my job. To make my question, your question. To sit someone in the seat where he can see his own answer! The “Artist Warning” project is dealing with the notions of morality and freedom in relation to

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money. What is freedom? Does money provides freedom? How can someone be free? Is this moral or not? Does it matter or not? The “On human rights” short film tries to set similar questions in relation to morality and right of living. Do I have a choice? Is it fair? Do I have to? Do I want to? What if I don’t? Am I to blame? Who is going to blame me and why? The “Identity crisis” work, tries to set the very basic question; who am I? Does it matter to me? Does it matter to you? What matters? My nationality? My religion? My sex? My age? My appearance? Why does any of these information matter? I use intellect not to attack on intellect but to redefine it. The way we use our intellect defines us. Defines who we are, what we want and how we act. I am actually not sure if the redefinition can ever be completed, but even if it is not possible, it is worth to try for and we undoubtedly owe the procedure to ourselves. After all, as C.P.Cavafy had said, “The journey is the enjoyment”.

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

Athens based artist Christos Marmeris' work poses questions and unveils the importance of meaning: in the "Artist Warning� project he dissects the notions of morality and freedom in relation to money, to create a multilayered involvement with the viewers, who are urged to investigate about conflictual relationships that pervade the contemporary age. One of the most convincing aspects of Marmeris' practice is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of creating a deep synergy between our limbic parameters and our rational categories: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to his stimulating artistic production. Hello Christos 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 worked as an accountant, you eventually joined the prestigious Athens School of Fine Arts to nurture your education: how does this experience influence your evolution as an artist? And in particular, does your rich Greek cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to the aesthetic problem?

Hello and thank you for welcoming me. First of all I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to present my work and my beliefs. It’s an honor for me and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do. In the past, I got a bachelor degree in accounting and I worked on this field for about five years. Alongside my work, I started dealing more seriously with art, until I realized that I owed to

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myself an exclusive relation with art because this is the one thing that excites me more than anything else. It affects me in a way of selfawareness, self-healing, philosophizing and spiritual development, as well as I have the pleasure to feel that I feed society’s brain. My economic education functions as a key to comprehend some terms and translate them in art language. Most people is used to see these terms in a technocratic way. The world of economics is a very serious, strict, competitive and bellicose place where rationalism, accuracy and absoluteness are the cornerstones. On the contrary, the world of art is a place where playing, allegory, absolution and emotion are the dominant elements. I am lucky enough to have a way to bridge these two worlds and force them in a debate. I have the ability to use a language and to approach this subject in a very different way compared to many artists. Every additional knowledge or experience forms its bearer. Just like the fact of prior studies, both the factors of origin and cultural background are of significant importance in the way of thinking and evolving. Personally, I seek the solution of the aesthetic problem behind the image. I seek in the notion. In my point of view the concept of beauty is not something necessarily visible. Most of the times, the things which stings my attention are hidden. Are these very things that makes me want to go further, to evolve as human being. This is a perception that, theoretically, is closer to Marcel Duchamp’s consideration, but I think that probably meets its roots to Plato’s philosophy. Your approach coherently encapsulates several techniques that reveal an incessant search of an organic exploration of contemporary philosophy and psychology. The results convey together a coherent and consistent sense of unity: so before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.christosmarmeris.eu 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 ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between opposite viewpoints as well as different

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disciplines is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

I don’t think it’s the only way. There are, definately, many ways for someone to say the things he wants. Yet, I consider this one as the most helpful way for me to be as definite and objective as possible. The debate is a democratic procedure. When two or more views, are coming closer and getting into the process of conversing, it is possible for the subject to be seen in a more spherical and integrated way. The different disciplines, offer different perspectives in the subject consideration process. I usually insist on philosophical and psychological approach because philosophy provides a deep and thorough consideration with open possibilities and wide perception, while psychology is the one that helps both me and the audience to find the answers that suits each one, as the answers are always different for every individual. We would start to focus on your artistic production starting from Artist Warning, a stimulating project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of bringing to a new level of significance the notions of morality and freedom, which are recurrent still elusive concepts in our unstable contemporary age. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Personally, in order to produce art, I always embody an experience, one way or another. The experience is the starting point. The experience gives me the incentive to say something, either a comment or a more integrated view. Even when it’s not that clear to me, somehow, subconsciously, the factor of experience is present. Even when I have just

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read or heard of something, and not have actually lived a situation, I consider it as a reading or audio experience, which provides me the cause for a quest. However, I believe that the more intense the experience is, the more powerful the work arises. So, specifically in “Artist Warning”, I am making contact with random people, I challenge them to stamp a bank note and I am debating on the notion of money and its affection. The reaction of every person is a work of art by itself! Whether people agree or not, once they are approached, they are part of the artwork. The fear of canceling the value of the bank note was the most common reaction. There were also people who saw the stamped banknote as a work of art so they wanted to keep it as an investment. Both these views are showing a behavior, kind of slavish to the notion of money. On the other hand there were people who wanted to stamp a banknote just to give it away and spread the message of the stamp which was: “Artist Warning: This work of art seriously harms morality and freedom”. The outcome of the whole procedure is, for both me and the audience, to get into a reconsideration process. People should own the experience or at least should be able to imagine it, in order to comprehend what I am talking about, while, on the other hand, I am receiving comments and reactions, positive or negative, and I have to move from my view to see what people see. This is where I have the chance to mention that our experiences are creating convictions, strong beliefs or opinions. These convictions are the prism before our eyes through which we conceive our reality. It is extremely functional for a person to be able to redefine these beliefs, when they are not satisfactory. This is what I am trying to achieve through my art and through “Artist Warning”, to both me and to anybody from the audience, who is willing or opened enough. Artist Warning unveils the manifold nature of human perceptual categories and draws the viewers into a multilayered experience: how do you see the relationship between public sphere

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Christos Marmeris


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and the role of art in public space? In particular, how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience?

The truth is that I have not worked that much with the public space, so I don’t have a clear view yet. However, I am very interested in this subject and I intend to deal with it in the near future. The one thing that I know for sure, is that, for me, the role of art is to meliorate and evolve human being, and to offer sentiments. Art is done for the public. Once the artwork is completed and separated from the artist’s hands, then is no longer his property. From this moment on, the artwork belongs to its audience. The open space offers to even more people the ability to get in touch with art. It also helps the audience to acquire more artworks in its possession, and most of the times, without financial burden; a factor that deters many people from acquiring art. Therefore, in a first level of consideration, I suppose the role of the artist should be considered as function and the artworks should be exhibited, maybe exclusively, in public spaces. However, unfortunately, the established monetary system, the market, as also institutions like museums, do not allow such actions and therefore people are deprived from inner cultivation. As far as the the immersive nature of the viewing experience is concerned, should I say at first it was not easy to surpass. I knew I would receive both positive and negative criticism and, as many people, I wouldn’t be happy to hear a bad critic. However, I managed to surpass this when I realized that it is not possible to be liked by everyone, as well as it is not even needed. Contrariwise, I think the negative critic is useful to the audience, which eventually owns the artwork, once it is completed. I can finally say that I enjoy negative critics, as it gives me the feeling of being the reason of a social fermentation. The negative criticism is what the judge want to see and not what I am

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trying to say. So this way, the judge is trying to abstract me from the artwork and leave it to its audience; a fact that eventually is the purpose of the artwork. This way, the giving-receiving procedure between art, artist and audience, becomes much more direct and intense. This is the reason why I am interested in public space and being exposed in it. One of the final questions that Artist Warning poses to both your audience and yourself is about the relation between making money and being an artist? Such relationship is often a bit conflictual, but not impossible to accomplish, indeed. What's your opinion about this? In particular, how would you define the liminal boundary between Art and commercial creativity?

As I mentioned, fortunately or unfortunately, we live in a society governed by specified and fixed, economic, political and social systems with institutions and moral protocols as well as “must” and “must not”. So, inevitably, the livelihood issue falls within these restrictions while art is not. When it comes to my survival, I am trying to do so, one way or another. If I will achieve to survive through my art, would be like making my dream come true and I guess this is the dream of most upcoming artists. The boundary which defines this achievement is totally subjective. It is a matter of personal choices and priorities. The fact that someone wants to earn millions by acting in a way which defines him as commercial artist, is as legitimate as the fact that someone else wants to be a pure artist and operate for the progress of both art and human spirit. The difference is each ones will, which is so powerful and spontaneous, that can’t be described as wrong, naive, immoral or anything else. It is only a matter of different motivation, different purpose, different qualities and different definitions for positive or negative. Finally, each ones will, addressing to different audiences. The rest of us are quick to blame or judge, without even realize that we are not characterizing, but we are characterized. Every individual is free to act as he wants and as he please, just as the audience is free to choose what to keep or what to reject.

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My personal will is to be able to make a living through my art rather than having other jobs for a living, because this way I deal with something that I love, without being distracted. I am not interested in being rich, neither am I picturing myself as Jeff Coons or Damian Hirst. I find it vainglorious. I don’t live for the money, but I live with money, so I respect it on some level. The satisfactory income level, would be the one that allows me to operate independently, self-sufficiently and does not limit my artistic production. For me, the essence of happiness is in certain qualities which money cannot always provide, although sometimes can make things easier. When I create an artwork, I have no intension to sell it. My very purpose is to evolve and, if possible, to evolutionary affect people who come in touch with my artwork. Of course, if a buyer will show up, I wouldn’t say no. At this regime we live in, art and art market, two totally different notions, are inextricably linked. I do have to earn an income to be able to live. However I think that motivation and intension are characterizing the quality of art. In my case the motivation is to broaden my horizons. What is art induces the viewers to abandon therselves to free associations, looking at time in spatial terms and I daresay, rethinking the concept of time in such a static way: this seems to remove any historic gaze from the reality you refer to, offering to the viewers the chance to perceive in a more atemporal form. How do you conceive the visual rhythm of your works?

This is quite interesting but also a bit complicated. Firstly it has to do with the means. The working process of a painting is totally different from this of a video. However, in both cases, I can see the final image in my head, before I try anything, and this is really important, because I know exactly what I want. Nonetheless, when I am

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working with traditional means (painting, sculpting etc.), despite the fact that I usually have something in mind, it is really common for new things to arise, during the process. So I may either modify my work in the process, or complete what I started and after that make a variation. When it comes to digital works (videos, photos etc.) there is a higher level of difficulty, because I rarely work alone. I cooperate with many people and there are economical and temporal limitations. This demands a lot of preparation, especially in videos, because I usually don’t have a second chance for shooting if I miss something. Consequently, decoupage, finding locations, granting licenses, storyboards, and a lot of imagination are essentials and inevitable. When I have in mind more than one versions of the video, I shoot all the scenes needed during the shooting and I choose what to keep in the post production process. In cases similar to “Artist Warning”, nothing of all the above mentioned processes exist and the whole work is based just on montage, as it is a documentation video. In fact the artwork is not the video itself, but the action. On the other hand, “What is art”, has such a clear preproducing and designing stage, almost identical with this of a painting. Everything is in a specific place for a specific reason. This designing is the first thing that has to be done. Firstly, it takes place in my head, afterwards on a piece of paper and finally on camera. From the beginning until the very end, the key to the whole process is always the imagination. What is art is pervaded with a subtle but effective narrative that captures nonsharpness with an universal kind of language, capable of bringing to a new level of significance the elusive but ubiquitous relationship between experience and memory, to create direct relations with the spectatorship: what is the role of memory in your process? We are particularly interested if you try to achieve a faithful translation of

your previous experiences or if you rather use memory as starting point to create.

I think at this level, experience and memory are identical. As experience, we define something which we have lived and which feeds our knowledge for the next time we will live a similar situation. When the moment is gone, when the feeling has been lived, experience turns into the form of a memory. The only way to revive the feeling of our experience, is to recall it from our memory. The experience exists as stored information in our memory. However, the truth is that, no matter how strong the memory is, it is impossible to recall a lived sentiment at one hundred per cent. There is always a loss, even to the same person who actually lived the experience. Therefore, is even harder to pass this feeling to someone else just by narration or art. Such is the difficulty and the trap of working on experiential projects in art. I usually approach my subject in a way that I am trying to place the spectator either in a condition of philosophical questioning or emotional experience, or both. In any case, my experiences are the factor that defines the subject of the artwork as well as my thesis in it. My memory definitely functions as a starting point in order to recall the experience and the emotion, however, a faithful translation of experience constitutes a recipe closer to the idea of documentary rather than art. Not that I don’t make use of it, but just by itself is not enough. A typical sample of my portfolio with documentary elements is the video “On Human Rights”. But it surpasses the simple testimony of experience. The articulation of artistic speech requires another vocabulary. In art there is a core element we call “abstraction”. It is necessary to abstract elements in order to create ambiguity. To let the spectator produce his own cohesions and connections, to let him seek and find his own experience within the artwork. When inquiring into the works-references of other artists, which had influenced you, you

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seem to urge the viewers to rethink such erratic concepts on an unitary viewpoint: how would you describe the nature of the cohexistence of such often conflictual and ambiguous aspects? In particular, German pioneer of visual arts Gerhard Richter once stated, "my concern is never art, but always what art can be used for": what is your opinion about the functional aspect of Art in the contemporary age?

This that you call «nature of the cohexistence of such often conflictual and ambiguous aspects”, I think it can be described with one single word, “Dialogue”, which originates from the Greek word “Διάλογος” (dialogos), and its meaning is closer to the notion of debate. It is one of the most essential tools of intellectual progress. The conclusion of the dialogue is

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relative. We may talk together, but in the end, each one owns a different conclusion. But this is the point and it is absolutely beneficial. This way it comes the progress. It is this exact thing that Hegel, in his dialectic, is referring to as “theses-antitheses-synthesis” (propositions- counter propositionscombination of the opposing assertions) Art, for me as a creator, functions in a healing way and I think that throughout the world functions in a dialectic way. Personally, I have the feeling that, through the art, I make clear some notions and ideas that I am limited to express through speech. At times when I am concerned about a questioning, and I manage to make a comment about it, then the questioning is leaving me and I feel disburdened. I communicate my emotions. So,


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I do dialogue with a whole society, for things which are not comprehensible when I try to use my speech. Correspondingly, every artist does such dialogues, each one for his own purpose. This way, a “multi-dialectic� is achieved within the society, and the result of this multi-dialectic is the progress of society. Another interesting work of yours that has particularly impacted on us and on which we would like to spend some words is entitled Identity crisis which challenges the common way we relate to a variety of questions and issues that affect both 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 -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to

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

In the past I had heard an opinion which was claiming that the role of the artist is to translate the words of philosophers and intellectuals in a way that the very meaning of these words could be comprehensible to the general public. Firstly, I had accepted this claiming and I had been trying to follow this reasoning. Later on, I understood this was half the truth. In fact, the role of the artist functions somehow as the role of the psychotherapist. The artist is the one who tries to open a subject and make the public questioning in relation to the subject. Artist cannot control what the public is about to keep or reject. The spectator has to be ready and

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opened in order to be able to enter in a discussion procedure with the artwork itself. I consider the information and the ideas as not hidden nor encrypted. They are lying just before our eyes, waiting for us to open our eyes and read them, feel them, or get them. The point is, how eager are we? Most people is mistakenly afraid of doing so. Even this thought, that the artist has to translate the information for the public, indicates that the public avoids the responsibility to translate the information for itself. The translation or explanation that I will provide, is totally different compared to anyone else’s. It is meaningless to provide something translated, as it might not be functional for someone else. The spectator has to find his own way to make his own translation. And this is eventually the way we are related to both perceptual process and outside reality. Everything is relative and related. The diversity of perception in each person and, therefore, the variety of translations of the information-ideas, is the way for us to be related. Someone who does not translate, or does not perceive the idea, is not able to discuss about it. On the other hand, someone who adopts the translation of an artist, has a limited, not substantial ability of discussion. He is just the carrier of a translated information. Over these years your works have been exhibited in many occasions including your recent particiaption to the "1st Painting Workshop of ASFA” exhibition, curated by Antonopoulos Angelos, at the Grigoriadis Gallery in Neo Herakleio, Athens. 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?

This is a very good question. I admit that when I once asked this question to myself, I had a really hard time to find a satisfactory answer.

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Ultimately, the answer is negative. For many years, I was trying to find a way to express something, so it could be simmultaniously comprehensible to the common mind and not obvious for an intellectual man. There was a time I was exhausted of trying, and I considered it was pointless and were no chances of achieving it. So I decided to free myself and create in the way that my own comprehension defines satisfaction. Many will call me naive or shallow, others will call me incomprehensible or pseudo-intellectual or even snob. So, I am working for all the remaining people with whom I share similar perception. Every single man understands things differently. De facto, it is not possible to intrigue the perception of all people. I know that, no matter what I do, there will be the ones who understand and the others who are not able to, the ones who like and the others who don’t like. The only thing I can do, is to stay faithful to what floods me with happiness and let those who want to follow. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Christos. Finally, would you like to tell to our readers something about your future projects? Where do you see yourself and your work going in the future?

The truth is, I almost never set routes or directions. I let my work flow freely and my work leads me wherever it wants. This means that, in long-term, I have no idea of where will I be or what will I do. I usually pursue things that I believe that make me happy at the specific moment. However, generally speaking, I usually work on anthropocentric subjects. As for the near future, I am already planning a short film video, about the conflict between “must” and “want”. It has to do with the eternal affliction that we all feel very often, while our will steps against our obligation. With my turn, I would like to thank you for the time you dedicated to me and for the chance to present myself. It was a really pleasure for me. I wish you a good continuation.


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N aanunca M andragora Lives and works in Basel, Switzerland

An artist's statement

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_SIN_N” is an interactive multimedia installation and consists oft two parts. The 3Dprinted shapes that are reminiscent of brain cells and glow in soft light; and the screened video “Polysolution”. When the visitor interacts with the „cells“ through movement, the installation is brought to life. The projected video image changes into abstract patterns that depend on the movements and gestures of the participant, transmitted via distance sensors placed in the 3D-printed shapes. Thus, participation in the design of the installation is possible – it affects the mood of the lighting in the room. The sound and the narrating voice are immersive instruments of the installation.

In my project O_SIN_N, I reflect thoughts and emotions concerning my environmental and social value conflicts. Our requirements regarding ecosocial behavior are formed by the desire/urge to act according to moral ideas and shaped by the norms and stereotypes instilled by society. Therefore, they can become quite individual and personal. Whether they turn out to be not or only partially satisfactory and at odds with the demands of society, is within the discretion of

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each individual. I describe the gap between the excessive demands of rational action and the rather limited possibilities for non-affirmative action that would not harm my environment; this gap opens with any decision and in any case. The process of observing and evaluating everyday moves and conventions in relation to this ecomoral tension may easily throw the subject into a conflict that moves from the logic of a dilemma (a binary loop through a set of choices, usually excluding others) to the logic of a polylemma (a recursive loop through several sets of choices where you can’t even figure out a path for your own behaviour) – with no choice available that would fit the behavioural intentions of the subject. My passion to explore multimedia narratives comes from my enthusiasm for moving images synchronized with sound, which I have initially experienced in VJing. In the course of time I began to involve the three-dimensional space into my work and experimented with various “materials” for the installation – until I finally found a way to translate my value conflicts into sound and vision, with a content that “rings true”.

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

Multidisciplinary artist Naanunca Mandragora's work extracts a compelling narrative from an effective combination between video and audio, with a lively gaze on contemporary art making. Her unconventional approach draws the viewers into an area in which the perceptual dimension and imagination merge into coherent unity: In O_SIN_N, her project we'll be discussing in the following pages, she accomplishes an insightful investigation about thoughts and emotions concerning her environmental and social value conflicts. One of the most convincing aspects of Mandragora's work, is the way it translates non-sharp notions to perceptual dimension, leading the viewer into an area of intellectual interplay, that urges them to explore instability in the contemporary age. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her multifaceted artistic productions. Hello Naanunca and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that have influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural

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

I grew up in a ceramics studio with four generations under the same roof. Due to this fact, I came in touch with traditional art craft early and could let my imagination run during my childhood, with the different materials I found in the ceramic studio. Colors and shapes continued to accompany my daily life, as I learned the trade of dressmaker. In this career field were not only needle and pen my companion, but also my photo camera. While completing the vocational baccalaureate creative direction at GIBS Olten, Switzerland, I changed the focus from photography to video. I made my BA at the University of Applied Science and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Institute HyperWerk for Postindustrial Design. I experienced the study at the Institute HyperWerk for Postindustrial Design as a learning laboratory. HyperWerk is an interdisciplinary area, where students develop their own action skills in experimental arrangements. In this open-minded environment I discovered my specific interest in media art. In the beginning of my study I had a strong interest in imagery, sound, and technique, and could follow these interests. The large-scale offer of


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workshops of HyperWerk helped me establish a base of ground knowledge for myself in video editing and camera operating. After these first steps I learnt by working on small projects, where I taught myself the knowledge in software for interaction of visuals, sound theory, and in media art. HyperWerk forced my autodidactic skills, it was a foundation of this education. In Basel I also learned the art of conceptualization and how to realize sustainable strategies in process development. I had my focus on the process of in media art projects. Your approach sums up into a coherent unity between different levels of significance, revealing an incessant search of an organic symbiosis between varieties of viewpoints, which you convey into a coherent harmony. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit https://vimeo.com/naanuncamandragora in order to get a synoptic view of your work. Meanwhile, would you like to tell our readers something about your process and set up? In particular, have you ever happened to realize, that such synergy is the only way to snatch the spirit of the ideas you explore?

My work is about personal value conflict, the first step is to speak out and discuss my own conflict. In the dialog with a group I come past my personal limitation of just having my point of view, an important part in relation to the interpretation of my work. After analyzing the points we found in the group I reflect it in the Video

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Naanunca Mandragora


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production and work on the concept for the installation. If I compare the process of making a video and the process of creating an installation, the work on installations is more conceptual than for Videos. I would say the process of building an installation is more of a design than an art process. Producing videos is definitively a process of making art. It’s more intuitive. I set signs as metaphor by preparing the video shots. The editing is like getting lost between the frames, I can work for hours at a 2 second video clip. It’s like meditation, I enjoy this part of the work. I forget to sleep and can’t do anything else but sit behind my computer for days and edit the recorded video material. Usually I’ve already chosen the music track I work with or I change it in this part of the process. The sound reaction of the pictures I often made manually in editing software, such as Digital Yogi. I know it would be possible to work with Algorithms that could also achieve what I want. For me, the work of editing a Video with Digital Yogi is like a craft when I do it by myself. I also use software to conclude the sound reaction of the moving images, I like both ways of production. I guess this synergy comes from me often not being able to explain in words what I’d like to say about my value conflicts, until the transformation in creative work and the analyzing part. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected O_SIN_N, an interesting an interactive multimedia installation that our

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readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. As you remarked once, this project accomplishes an insightful exploration on thoughts and emotions concerning your environmental and social value conflicts. As most of your works, O_SIN_N is a piece that aims to cause a reaction in the audience: while walking our readers through the genesis of this project, would you shed light onto your initial intentions? In particular, what kind of reactions did

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you expect to provoke in the spectators?

In the beginning, as I started to work on 0_SIN_N, I had a mystic moment in the forest near where I was living at that time. I recognized the beauty of nature and how exceptionally gifted I am. I have a roof over my head, can follow my passion, and decide what I eat by being able to refuse to eat any kind of animal products. There I started to ask myself: Where is my responsibility, to bring this


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feeling of being save and happy to this world. Where can I take more responsibility to save nature than just recycling? How can I follow my own ideal without leaving society? This was the very first question of the 0_SIN_N project. And more and more I got the feeling that I was a fake idealist. These questions lead me into a conflict between the moral and ethical claim for a sustainable living and my passion for the creative use electronic technologies. I think exactly there is my reasonability

to talk about my conflict, with the strength of communication that the media I use to work with. I don’t look for a reaction in the spectators, I just take position in a conflict I have. I show points that hurt or interrupt me in my daily life. I know from experience, that viewers can feel confronted or provoked by 0_SIN_N, because it is simply an honest statement to a topic we often I don't want be aware of. It’s a hurtful point I’m talking about with 0_SIN_N, and I think right there is the chance for evolution. That’s why I

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work with glitches as metaphor for the error. An error or a mistake can have a beauty in it, if we work with it and see the chance. Can you imagine ten years ago we had disruptive noise in an overseas phone call? We worked on it and nowadays the connection is almost perfect. The glitch stands as well for the knowledge of a system that I think I can influence. But I’m only scratching the surface. I’m using an interface without being able to read the code of the media. By having knowledge of the structure behind the system, I’m able to decide how to manipulate and change it. Making glitch art takes effort and patience. By the way, how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space?

Public space can be described negatively. It is the non-private room, the non-museum space, and the non-art space. I guess it has the active reception and participation of people. But somehow it reminds me of Critique of the Power of Judgment, a philosophical work by Immanuel Kant from 1790. What’s the purpose? I guess it depends on the relation of the art piece with the space. Art in public space not having a „social“ purpose (social in the tenor of a benefit for the habitats) does not mean a misuse of art by the contracting authority. The decision in which service the art arises, this is alone the artists decision as in a museum it’s neither a private nor a public space. I like at art in public space because it reminds me, that we are able to create, to create our environment.

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Naanunca Mandragora


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Your works convey both metaphoric and descriptive research and the compelling narrative that pervades O_SIN_N invites the viewers to a multilayered experience. A distinctive mark of the way you convey emotions into your work 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, in your opinion, is a personal experience absolutely indispensable as part of the creative process? Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I’m looking for personal experience in the creative process. I would say that art has the ability to connect people in different ways and leaves room for individual interpretation. Art is a personal statement, an essential form of expression for feelings and thoughts. So if that were missing, I’d say it is design that conveys a clear message to a costumer. The interaction in my installation is more design than art. There is a clear concept, to bring the spectator in position where I try to play with its perception and create an experience. Your investigation about what you defined the desire/urge to act according to moral ideas and shaped by the norms and stereotypes instilled by society takes advantage of the evocative power of elements that belongs to universal imagery, you highlighted the jarring contrast between contemporary societies. Many artists from the contemporary scene, such as Ai WeiWei or more recently Jennifer Linton, include open sociopolitical criticism in their works. It is not unusual that artists, rather than urging the viewer to take a personal position on a

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subject, try to convey their personal takes about the major issues that affect contemporary age. Do you consider that your works could be political in this way, or do you seek to maintain a neutral approach? And in particular, what in your opinion could be the role that an artist could play in the contemporary society?

production? If a piece catches your attention not only in a physical way but also with the magic of creating still recognizable. We are able to create and to participate in our surrounding and not just need to consume it like sitting on the top of a mountain only enjoying the view, while wondering about the beauty of the world.

I definitively hold a neutral approach. All I do is make statements sharing my opinion. What I absolutely don’t want is to patronize someone. If someone feels like taking position as well, then we have a fruitful situation and we can think together. Particularly I think an artist has always the same role. An artist is someone who creates images in the spirit of its time. I sometimes think the artist has the possibility to hide his thoughts and emotions behind the process of abstraction. What a pity!

The way you describe the gap between the excessive demands of rational action and the limited possibilities for nonaffirmative action that would not harm your environment induces the viewers to abandon themselves to free associations, looking at time in spatial terms and we daresay, rethinking the concept of time in such a static way: in particular, this seems to offer to the viewers the chance to perceive in a more a-temporal form. How do you conceive the rhythm of O_SIN_N?

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

I’m mostly fractioned by the technique, how the art piece is made. Is the artist a master of his or her skills? Or might there be an innovative process in the

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0_SIN_N works like many Video installation with the narration of the loop. „A longer loop generates a multitude of associations, where a short loop refines a specific Idea through repetition…“. Eva Paulitsch and Uta Wyrich published the text Loop Narration and Hyper layered Narratives in the book expanded Narration by transcript publisher. For 0_SIN_N I worked with this strategy of trans media storytelling in space. The viewers have the option to influence the Video Loop through movement over the 3D- printed shapes, while the Audio Loop is still going on unchanged. It was a clear decision to work with Linah Rocio for the vocals. She has such a smooth and hypnotic voice that it is difficult to not listen to her.


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To lose relation to time is also a practice to create immersion and let the spectator sink deeper into the installation.

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

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audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision- making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

I started to work three-dimensional after being fascinated by the Celtic mythology of the otherworld. This otherworld is signaled by the appearance of unusual animals, fairies or other mystical creatures. I’m looking for this mystical feeling by making decisions. I like to create an experience that the audience let go of their daily life. Immersion is one of the tools I work with. In the concept of the installation interactive elements play an out standing part. The Video Image gets distorted by moving over the „brain cells“ and instead of the clear Video, image patterns appears morphing in the rhythm of the movement. For example Visitor A. „destroys“ the Video through his action and might interrupt Visitor B watching the Video. All actions are somehow affecting someone or something. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Naanunca. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Currently I’m on a project with a passionate and ambitious sound artist, Miss Maleikum. Together we work as QUOFE. QUOFE is an Audiovisual Team that plays with the perception of Sound and Images in the spatial. spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your

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

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E mma Hill Lives and works in Manchester, United Kingdom

An artist's statement

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y work is an experimental visual representation of my own perception of the world in which I illustrate through multidisciplinary platforms such as video art, performance, installation, and most recently painting. I am continually creating and developing ideas through my education, my own research and life experiences.

The themes and issues I explore are selfexpressionism, the perception of women, female anatomy, contraception, everyday objects, shock and controversial subject matter, the environment and animal rights. I am interested in creating work that prompts the viewer to come up with their own explanations as to what it means, or to offer a different view point about an issue.

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I am influenced by Marina Abramovic, Gina Pane, Joseph Beuys and Carolee Schneemann, as well as artistic movements Dadaism and Surrealism. Through my education and independent work these past seven years, I have grown as an individual and my study has servery changed. Originally I studied Media Production and I wanted to work on TV/Film sets behind the camera, I now see myself as an individual in front of the camera ready to create, experiment and to be scrutinized. In the future I plan to continue my education and study an MA in Fine Art. I also wish to volunteer for local charities and community projects and use my film making skills to create promotional work for them and gain further experience.

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

Multidisciplinary artist Emma Hill's work explores a variety of issues, inviting the viewers to rethink about the notions of perception of women, everyday objects environmental issues. In Chair Performance, that we'll be discussing in the following pages, she unveils the connections between our perceptual process and the elusive nature of the reality we relate to: influence by Dadaism and Surrealism her direct approach draws the viewers into a liminal area in which staticity and dinamism find an unexpected point of convergence, creating a compelling and multifaceted aesthetics. One of the most convincing aspect of Hill'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 her stimulating artistic production. Hello Emma and a warm welcome to ARTicula_ction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You are currently nurturing your education studying a BA Honours in Fine Art Integrated Media: how does this experience impacts on the way you relate yourself to artmaking? And in particular, how does your cultural

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

I have been making films since I was a young child using my father's video camera to re-create films such as titanic,


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featuring my Beanie Babies and David Attenborough styled documentaries using my various house pets, then forcing my family to watch hours and hours of badly filmed footage recorded by a 7 year old. I always knew I enjoyed

making film, so when I started my A Levels I decided to take Film Studies alongside Law, Politics and Sociology. I enjoyed the theory side of film, learning about auteur theory and narrative, and although we had modules which

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involved actually making short films, the course was dominantly theory. Eventually I decided that I wasn't getting what I wanted out of my education and decided to leave and study a BTEC in Media Production which covered both

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theory and film making. After completely my BTEC I went on to study a Foundation degree in Art, Design and Media and then I went on to apply for a degree in Media Production, but the course fell through and I was offered a


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although I was interested in Dada and Surrealism. But over the past two years I have been inspired by art and I have learnt so much while studying as well as working with my teachers who are practising artists themselves. This eventually lead me to performance art after a lecture with one of my teachers who showed us the likes of Gina Pane, Marina Abramovic, Orlan and Franko B, although I had always been behind the camera I decided to experiment with being in front of the camera and mostly I enjoyed being alone in the studio instead of being in a crew which I was used to, or with one other person to help me control the environment. My work turned from generic narrative film making to exploring themes and aspects of life that interested me, although research and pre- production still go into my work, it is more related to my own opinions and exploration, my ideas come to me at random or through inspiration, not days and days of brain-storming driving myself mad.

place on a Fine Art degree instead which I decided to go forward with. When I first began my degree in Fine Art I wasn't that much of an 'arty' person as I enjoyed mainstream cinema and television and that is what I focused on,

One of the crucial feature that marks out your artistic practice is a search of an organic symbiosis between a variety of disciplines, to explore themes that ranges from self-expressionism and perception of women to female anatomy and everyday objects. We would like to invite our readers to visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk7 Vu7HDFPNrWJRZeVYBW0g/videos in order to get a wider idea of your work and before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for producing your works? In particular, have you ever happened to realize that your cross disciplinary approach is the only way to

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achieve the results you pursue and to express the ideas you investigate about?

As a student I am currently taking full advantage of the chance to experiment across disciplines. When setting up for my performances I like to stick to a strict agenda where my initial idea comes first through random inspiration, I then go on to develop my idea through research and start pre- production, storyboarding, general ideas. I then make the video and edit it using Premier Pro/ Adobe Audition and discuss what I could improve upon, what I liked and what went well. I am very basic about the way I create things, I have the university's TV studio which offers a lovely performance space or I use my own home, I have a lighting kit which is also borrowed from the university and my Canon 70D which I use to film on, this is about as far as I go when setting the scene. I like the basic look, it allows the viewer to purely focus on myself and what I am doing, rather than having distractions elsewhere. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected "Shoe Walking Experiment", an interesting project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention of this work is the way it plays up the boundary between the way we relate to the everyday use of things and their elusive nature, urging to rethink and sometimes even subvert the way we relate ourselves to the temporal sphere: while walking our readers through the genesis of this project, would you shed

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light on the way your main source of inspiration for your pieces?

For my video Shoe Walking Experiment I wanted to make use of an everyday item that we generally don't


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think about, the object serves one purpose and that is to sit on. I wanted to explore this item in a way that we don't usually do, nobody thinks of a chair as anything more than something to sit upon, the same with a ladder or a fork,

they serve one purpose. I wanted to take away the normal use of the object and learn/experiment every aspect of it. In my video I am physically connected to the chair, I crawl, touch and move around the chair in unusual ways

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creating a dance and in a sense a bond between myself and the object. The inspiration for this piece came from Joseph Kosuth's 'One and Three Chairs' (1965), Bill Brown and his 'Thing Theory', Chiharu Shiota's 'His Chair' (2006) and Michel de Broin's 'Black Whole Conference' (2006). Each of these artists have explored chairs in an unusual fashion, making an everyday object into something of intimidating power or an usual sculpture, as well as theorist Bill Brown as he attempts to investigate the difference between a thing and an object, and when does an object become a thing. Generally with my other projects, I have researched artists relevant to what my initial idea is based around and developed my project from there on. Drawing from accessible and evokative elements from universal imagery, as thrash, "Trash Rat" provokes direct relations in the viewers and accomplishes the difficult task of going beyond the surface of communication. We find this aspect particularly interesting since it is probabily the only way to raise awareness about the unstable notion of identity, concerning both the individuals and thier place in our ever changing societies: how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space? In particular, what kind of rea_ctions did you expect to provoke in the viewers?

I like to think that the role of an artist is to inform, inspire and explore. For me, art is a way of informing people, giving a different perspective on a matter through a non aggressively direct manner, art should inspire individuals on

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a personal level and an artist should always explore and be curious. In regards to my video Trash Rat, it was my first attempt at performance art and


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I expected negativity, I went in without knowing what I was going to do and just knowing what I wanted to achieve, which was to highlight the enjoyment of

a rat in trash, not in a negative way as I am quite fond of fancy rats, and it was to highlight the amount of waste collected through just one week. I received

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positive feedback from my teachers and peers which I was surprised at, this inspired me to continue exploring art through performance.

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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


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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?

My work does have an agenda although I want to remain neutral and passive, I want to show my perspective towards something, I want people to look at something from a different angle and maybe think a little more deeply into what they see, what I create is what I see. Obviously my opinions matter as much as anybodies, everybody is different in how they feel about something, but art allows us to express ourselves and for me what I see helps to inspire my work so I use that as my starting point, my idea, my opinion. The role of an artist in modern society could just be to give a different opinion, maybe a breathe of fresh air for somebody seeking something different, or it could have an entirely undesired effect and people might think you are stupid. Maybe the lot of an artist is similar to that of a politician but less invasive, you give your opinion and put your neck on the block for the backlash.

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

As you have remarked in your artist's statement, you see yourself as an individual in front of the camera ready to create, experiment and to be scrutinized: we have appreciated the way your approach brings the creative potential of chance to a new level of significance: how much importance has improvisation in your process?

When I decide to create a piece, I have a brief idea of what I am going to do through my initial idea and research, but

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I never plan it out entirely it's all improvised and on the spot. I like this approach because even though I get this sense of dread as I don't know what is going to happen or how its going to turn out I get excited too, about the potential and expressiveness of what I have the chance to create. I am aware everything I make can be easily torn to shreds, I am far from a professional in my field and the video aspects can be criticised, so every piece I make is another step towards a better video the next time, a more thought out idea and way of creating, that is something I love about been a student that I am allowed to make mistakes. Your performances are pervaded with a subtle but effective narrative, and we have particularly appreciated the way "Stones" captures non-sharpness of physicality with an universal kind of language, capable of bringing 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 particularly interested if you try to achieve a faithful translation of your previous experiences or if you rather use memory as starting point to create.

My performance in Stones and relating projects all explore, as you say, the universal language of pain. As an artist I like to put myself in uncomfortable situations which is where my recent work is taking me. In these performances I used substances such as stones, sand and woodland terrain as they are all something that every individual has walked on bare footed at least once in their life, so the choice to use these materials was for something

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that everybody can relate to. For me these different environments presented different pain factors, repetitive walking eventually created pain on sand and surprisingly the woodland terrain was pretty painful as there were lots of small branches and sharp bits coming up from the floor, the stones where the most painful, as expected. I have a few ideas


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for new projects relating to the common theme of pain. In Chair Performance, you show the aestethic consequences of a combination between the dynamic feature of movement and the abstract concept of symbols, exploring unexpected aspects of the functionality of language on the aesthetic level: as

Gerhard Richter once remarked, "my concern is never art, but always what art can be used for": what is your opinion about the functional aspect of Art in the contemporary age?

I think art can be used for any function in a modern age, it is purely down to the artists intentions as to what. We see through history artistic movements for

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political change, minority groups and freedom of expression through art used by artists to change the world. We see art in hospitals and doctors surgeries being used to comfort patients, and art being used as a module in primary and high schools to encourage children and young people to be creative. Whether we consider ourselves artistic or not, we

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are all surrounded by art daily and it is a part of our way of life, whether we are creating it or admiring it. One of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to create direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose


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the audience, I feel they are an important aspect of my work. Generally I enjoy creating work that is a little out of the ordinary. An interesting interpretation of my work that has been brought to my attention is that I connect with my audience by putting myself in vulnerable situations, I make the audience sympathise with me. I am interested in shocking my audience or at least making them uncomfortable, this has been my main goal throughout my study. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Emma. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving

I am currently experimenting with installation and painting, as well as continuing with my performance pieces. I am planning on going on to study for a masters degree in Fine Art, most likely sticking to my cross disciplinary ways but focusing on performance as my main, I have also been applying for exhibitions and I have recently had my first exhibition outside of my home town in Manchester. Thank you for taking the time to interview me and I hope you and your readers have an interesting read. 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?

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

Before I create my work I do think about

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N ina Isabelle Lives and works in Kingston, NY, USA

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ina is a multidisciplinary artist, working most recently with abstract painting and performance. Her background also includes alternative process photography and interpretive / improvisational physical movement.

By applying abstraction, Nina finds that movement reveals an inherent awkwardness, a humor that echoes our own vulnerabilities. She also considers movement as a metaphor and looks to a self-developed cryptograph based on archetypes, body metaphors, disease process and instinct to decipher authentic mark-making and pedestrian movement. Her paintings focus on the inability of communication which is used to visualize reality, the failure of dialogue, the dissonance between form and content and the shortcomings of literal language. In short, the lack of clear references are key elements in her work. By investigating language on a meta-level, she creates personal language by means of rules and

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omissions, acceptance and refusal, luring the viewer round and round in circles. Her work isolates the movements of the human body in relationship to external sensory input. By doing this, new sequences often emerge which reveal hidden relationships between motion, sound, and objects. Her interest in the transformative capabilities of sound waves and the correlations between specific Hz and physical body structure resonances have recently lead to the integration of auditory elements in her performance work. By questioning the concept of skeletal movement and breath in relationship to sound she grapples with further nuances of language. Transformed into art, language and perception become a phenomena of psychic imprint and, ambiguities and discrepancies inherent to the phenomenon, are forced to the surface. Nina’s work rarely references recognizable form. Visual language is deconstructed to the extent that meaning becomes shifted and interpretation can become multiperceptual.


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

Multidisciplinary artist Nina Isabelle's work ranges from Painting to Performance to explore the inability of communication which is used to visualize reality: her approach rejects any conventional classification and crosses the elusive boundary that defines the area of perception from the realm of imagination, to create a multilayered involvement with the viewers, who are urged to investigate the ubiquitous order that pervades the reality we inhabit. One of the most convincing aspect of Isabelle'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 Nina and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and you hold a BA in Art from Westminster College: how did these experiences influence your evolution as an artist? And in particular, does your cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to the aesthetic problem?

My background definitely plays a big role in the development of my art process.€ I grew up in a community of acrobat-like athletes who maintained an extreme bodycentric focus while engaging in high-risk physical activities. This played a strong role in developing my somatic approach to painting and risk taking.€I also spent years as a rock climber living in a

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tent all around the west and traveling in the snowy backcountry of the Wasatch mountains, and those experiences broadened my spiritual perceptions. Integrating my physical, intellectual, and spiritual histories plays a big part in my current approach. When I was an art student I was glad to have the time and space to practice art, but I couldn't justify the chasm between academic art and my visceral approach. Although I was a good student, I felt displaced and I chose not to continue my studies within academia. Since then, I’ve developed multiple personal superstrata that finally have allowed me to span that divide.€ Early on I began to think of energy patterns as visible lines connected to the breath in relationship to physical movement, so connecting mark-making to action was instinctive for me. When I was first introduced to gestural line during my foundational academic studies I felt an instant, kinesthetic understanding and €recognized potential alternative forms of communication and perception. At the same time, I became involved with interpretive modern dance, and was excited by the dialogue generated between action and art. Your approach coherently encapsulates several techniques and - ranging from Painting to Performance - it reveals an incessant search of an organic symbiosis between a variety of viewpoints. The results convey together a coherent and consistent sense of harmony and unity. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.ninaisabelle.com in order to get a


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synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production. While walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between different disciplines is the only way to express and convey the ideas you explore?€

Being a multidisciplinary artist is perfect for me because I have a natural tendency toward instinctive response that allows me to engage easily with whatever action or material I find in front of me. Working with different disciplines generates dialogues that might not arise inside of compartmentalized fields. For example, I’ve begun to view line and form inside of the same framework I use to understand posture and the metaphors of physical movement, something that allows me to explore a multilayered perception of markmaking. Gestural lines and strokes can use body language in an anthropomorphic way. When I first started looking into deeper studies of line, color, gesture, material, posture, and action, it occurred to me that there was an amount of information beyond the implications of these face-values. When I applied metaphoric and archetypal paradigms, my understanding and relationships to these elements began to open up and grow.€ I’m captured by a relentless focus that keeps going round-and-round, spanning decades, creating a snarled web of thought loops. Performance art lets me wrestle with some of that mental energy, and I can destroy outmoded thought forms like dichotomy programming or extremism. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected The Q: Entity, a recent Performance Art Project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of establishing a channel of communication between the subconscious sphere and the

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Nina Isabelle


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conscious one, to unveil and challenge the manifold nature of human perceptual categories and to draw the viewers into a multilayered experience. So we would like to take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?€

Inside of physical reality it would be impossible for personal experience to be separate from creative process. Author Caroline Myss says in her book Anatomy Of The Spirit that “Every thought we have travels through our biological system and impacts our physiology. It is inescapable that your life history—the cumulative and synergistic blending of your feelings, experiences, and perceptions—has culminated in the body you are walking around in today.” From this perspective it would be crazy to imply that a physical body could be separate from its own art processes.€ However, inside of a lateral psychic reality unquantifiable possibilities exist. Phenomena of psychic imprint like dreams, deja-vu, and other mystical-seeming experiences are valid art process elements. Physical connections can act as interruptors between personal history and psychic process while creating possibilities for nonphysical connections to dictate a rescripted reality.€ Working with The Q: Entity, fellow artist Clara Diamond and I found that by facilitating intellectual disconnections between physical reality and process through dowsing, divination, ritual, and other unsubstantiated methods The Q: Entity was able to build etheric connections of its own which transcended our physical manufacturing capabilities. Channels of communication were able to connect the subconscious sphere with the human perception manifold. In order to connect with the collective mind I think it is€necessary to develop an ability to recognize and perceive subtle energies, like

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intuition, and to allow an instinctive response to this input. But following hunches without demanding justification requires overcoming academic programming.€ Last summer Christina Varga and I did a show called Posthumous Collaborations,€where we

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connected with the work of the late Eugenia Macer-Storey, an author and spiritualist who had, during her lifetime, attempted to express psychic impressions through hundreds of paintings on canvas. Our goal was to superperceive Macer-Storey’s work in hopes of


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and our marks, styles, and choices were less our own. This supported my hunch that a psychic connection to the collective mind exists within all art making, whether we acknowledge it or not.€ How do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space? In particular, how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience?€

I think it’s great when art can surprise a viewer, especially in public.€ Around 2001 I happened to see a large piece by Robert Rauschenbuerg hung in the lobby of The Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas. I was so thrown off guard by it. At first I couldn’t understand why The Bellagio would have a knockoff Rauschenberg; I imagined it to be a passive maneuver by a Bellagio “set designer,” but it turned out to be a real Rauschenburg. I was so outside of my element in Las Vegas, and my perception of the city was that it was very hollow and temporary, that everything was made to be like an average budget theatre production. I couldn’t understand what was going on, or how the Rauschenburg painting could be there other than to recognize it as a fake, but it wasn’t.€ I went back to my tent, which I had pitched in the desert outside of Las Vegas, and tried to fathom its placement. Through recent inquiry I was able to identify the piece as “Overnight,” commissioned by The Bellagio in 1999.

solidifying her impression further into the time structure by responding to her impressions through our own paintings. Christina and I were both surprised at the effect MacerStorey’s paintings had on the outcome of our work. Something unexplainable happened,

Another time, while visiting The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University, I happened to see a large abstract painting by Jules Olitski titled “Compelled,”€ from 1966. I wasn’t expecting the surprise because I had a difficult time visiting The Palmer Art Museum, as€it had become a relentless psychological exercise. I was made to go there often as a child because we lived nearby. I always tried to enjoy it, but usually wound up feeling tortured by the visits. So when I saw the Olitski painting, I was thrown off guard. I could instantly see the space created behind the

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painting - or next to it, I’m not sure - but it was tangible and exciting. This time, the experience was created by timing, space, and object, combined with psychology. In both cases I looked up and around, I tried to connect with others who were there, scanned for someone else who might be experiencing surprise as well, but I was isolated. My previous understanding about the relationship between art, place, time, and viewer changed. Now I recognize that as a viewer its good to have a combination of awareness, desire, hunting, to be ready for a surprise, to keep the possibility of connecting with others open, and to work toward shared experiences. We have appreciated the way The Q: Entity, through an effective synergy between Art and Technology, condenses physical gestures and ethereal perspectives into a coherent unity. The impetuous way technology has came out on the top has dramatically revolutionized the idea of Art itself: in a certain sense, we are forced to rethink the intimate aspect of constructed realities and especially 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 thought about this? €

I think dichotomizing technology and tradition paralyses the dialogue and keeps us stuck. I agree that technology will continue to have a larger role in art, especially considering the mystical-seeming implications of quantum research being done at CERN, and other recent phenomenal findings regarding Einstein’s Spooky Theory. For instance, Nature Communications€published new research by Griffith University's Howard Wiseman and colleagues using a single particle to show that wave functions collapse in a strange way. Their findings back up years of research into quantum entanglement, in which particles are

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connected in a mysterious way even when separated. Observing or manipulating one instantly affects the other. This uncovers tremendous possibilities for artists if we begin to recognize the human machine as a sensitive and powerful tool, or even a medium, when interacting with material. € The Q: Entity interlaces technology with memory. I had read about studies involving instrumental conditioning of sensorimotor rhythm using Hz to impact human memory, and this led Clara and I to work with experimental musician, Christina Diamond. We designed a sound piece together using cryptography that incorporated specific rhythm, Hz sound waves, and musical notes reduced from astronomical dates, which in turn expressed the agenda of The Q: Entity.€ Its an easy jump to assimilate technology with performance art, but the real surprise will be how it dictates painting. I don’t think painting will fall victim to technology, but will more likely develop a post-internet language of its own.€ An exhibition called Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age, at Munich’s Museum Brandhorst, addresses the ability of painting to articulate with technology and new media. Throughout history, painting has been forced to change and grow in response to new technology, for example how the threat of photography pushed painting into the experimental directions of cubism, surrealism, dada, etc. Tonio Kröner, assistant curator of the exhibition, says “New technologies like television and its effects, like pop culture, challenged modern painting.€ Artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Eva Hesse, Lee Lozano and Yves Klein took up this challenge. They combined the visual vocabulary of modernist art with the images and challenges of the society of the spectacle.” Painting has been kicked down numerous times, but it always gets up with surprising new ideas and directions, so I’m excited to see what's next.


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Now we would like to focus on your abstract painting production: your works capture nonsharpness with an universal kind of language, capable of bringing to a new level of significance the elusive but ubiquitous relationship between experience and memory, to create direct relations with the spectatorship: What is the role of memory in your process? We are particularly interested if you try to achieve a faithful translation of your previous experiences or if you rather use memory as starting point to create.

In my studio when I’m painting I feel like I’ve entered a sort of etheric cave with a fuzzy atmosphere. There is an audible static charged sound that fills the space, and I lose track of time. I go in there and paint, and when I come out I have these paintings. I think that might explain the “non-sharpness.”€ Memory is naturally muddled, and viewing it as part of a holographic paradigm, one whose parts possess the information of the whole, lets me understand it as a dynamic structure which can be reprogrammed through technology-infused mysticism. Memories that exist as linear narratives entangled within the memory structure can be rescripted to form a type of nonlinear download. In a biological and ephemeral way, memory imparts itself in my painting as a sort of past life experience that is Hell-bent on continuing the historical work of midcentury abstract expressionists who addressed hypothetical concepts like synchronicity, quantum mechanics, action, and spirituality. Keeping a soft focus creates space for history, memory, and paint to be more fluid, flexible, and dynamic. Understanding these things as holographically ongoing throughout eternity creates a more attractive thing to work with, vs. trying to manipulate€static, solid, structures forever. Memories don’t seem to possess starting points yet are inseparable from any endeavor involving the documentation machine of a brain inside of a body with working eyeballs.

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It’s as if our perception apparatus needs to be updated in order to interface with nonlinear structures, maybe that’s one agenda of Art. We definitely love the way you question the abstract feature of images, unveiling the visual aspect of information you developed through an effective non linear narrative, establishing direct relations with the viewers: German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "Nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead.” What is your opinion about it? And in particular how do you conceive the narrative for your works?€

I use abstraction to allude to narrative-like chunks of information. It’s a technique for me to manage complexity between instinctive and programmed sensory input and action output. By establishing direct communication between the hidden collective input processing system and our personal awareness function, abstraction can generate nonlinear communication dynamics, like downloadable psychic narratives, which can commingle in the secret space that exists behind the mask of visual input worn by the painting object. Unveiling the visual aspect of information is really a game of push and pull / give and take, played out between the head, heart, guts, and spirit, laid out as paint or through action. Dumond’s statement that “Art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead” has a narrative quality itself and casts Art as a character being forced into new circumstances due to the adversity of a false perception of progress attached to linear time, that’s a relatable narrative because it speaks to a collective shared experience. At some point every person must move or die- birth for example. Painting will move in response to technology’s push.€

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Narratives seem to exists in the psyche and can surface as myth or color. They might emerge from a nonlinear space, shrouded from direct consciousness, as archetypes transcribed in a gesture or form.€ I try to use paint to translate the information that emerges into color, mark, and texture using choice, action, and instinct. This takes intellectual, psychic, and spiritual digging. While exhibiting a captivating vibrancy, your paintings seem to reject an explicit explanatory strategy: rather, you seem to offer the viewer a key to find personal interpretations to the feelings that you convey into your paintings... this quality marks out a considerable part of your production, that is in a certain sense representative of the conflictual relationship between content and form: how much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones you decide to use in a piece and in particular, how do you develop a painting’s texture? Moreover, any comments on your choice of palette and how it has changed over time?

I try to avoid over explanation in order to honor the viewer’s opportunity to arrive at their own personal meaning. When people are able to come to their own conclusions they can integrate meaning in a more dynamic way. That’s one reason I stay away from recognizable references and forms and have stuck to a chronological system to name to my paintings. The Talmudic concept of the Evil Eye implies that “blessing only rest upon something that is concealed from the eye,” this comes from a parable deduced from a biblical myth where people were directed to be like fish because they multiply under water out of sight. The hiddenness acts as a type of protection against the Evil Eye, so in one way, obscuring information creates greater possibility of understanding, especially when the information is nonlinear or comes from an invisible realm in the first place.

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Just like history and memory, psychological nuances and pathology are also obscured. By applying abstraction a double negative is formed and the hidden meanings are laid out right on the surface in plain sight. Defiance pathology shows up clearly in my paintings as a nonconformist visual language even though publicly I’m a pretty agreeable person.


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I choose my palette based largely on theory but I also allow myself to follow hunches and make instinctive color choices, this could be seen as an act of defiance. I definitely wrestle with understanding how formal training should dictate my color choices and choosing to ignore and challenge that training.€ This plays out visually as extreme or unlikely color

choices as well as through the challenge of laying down color as a metaphor for form.€ The recurrent reference to the emotional sphere but at the same time to universal imagery removes any historic reference from the reality you refer to, and I daresay that this aspect allows you to go beyond any dichotomy between Tradition and

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Contemporariness, and that establishes a stimulating dialogue between references from contingent era and an absolute approach to Art: do you recognize any contrast between Tradition and Contemporariness?€

Tradition and contemporariness are two different subjects but dichotomizing them fuels discord. I address problems like this by wrestling with contrast and muted neutral tones or by trying to lay out a larger grey area. Then vs. now doesn’t fit into my paradigm so maybe that’s the stimulating dialogue you’re picking up on. Because I’m deploying abstract painting as my superficial framework, an old fashioned and traditional language to begin with, I’m referencing history in a general way. I’m aware of the historical work of abstract painters, and also of the cliche that “everything’s been done before,”€ but I don’t let these things don’t deter me. I’m sort of like a scientist with an outdated lab. I like paint and abstraction and I feel drawn to work with both of them, there’s still a hefty amount of information to sort through. Keeping abstract painting outside of linear time protects it from death. Even though it’s being pushed to extremes by technology and academia, it can’t be killed. For the past century painting has been deprived of heart and guts while being force fed brains, and that’s not a very well rounded diet. Finding a balance between head, heart, and guts is something I strive for out of reverence to painting. I hope that comes across in my work. It's no doubt that interdisciplinary collaborations as the ones you have established with experimental musician Christina Diamond and performance artist Clara Diamond for The Q: Entity are today ever growing forces in Contemporary Art and that the most exciting things happen when creative minds from different fields of practice meet and collaborate on a project... could you tell us something about this effective synergy? By the way, Peter Tabor once stated that

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"collaboration is working together with another to create something as a synthesis of two practices, that alone one could not": what's your point about this? Can you explain how your work demonstrates communication between two artists?€

Collaborating with Clara Diamond on The Q: Entity has been a profound experience in that our way of working together generated an enormous amount of information. We spent almost nine months conceptualizing and building The Q: Entity and along the way were confronted with numerous opportunities to evaluate output as valid or not valid. At one point, a sequential pattern of numbers emerged which we initially mistook for zip codes suggesting physical locations. Through Clara’s methodical way of processing information we were able to recognize that the sequences actually desired to be expressed as musical notes and this led us to work with experimental musician, Christina Diamond. Having the ability to check in with each other, and to easily respect each other’s perceptions, helped refine our focus and resulted in a literal voice for The Q: Entity.€ Another dynamic between Clara and I exists in that we are both mothers and have each experienced the birthing process so we were able to understood the conception and gestation of The Q: Entity as literal. Drawing parallels to the birth of our children facilitated our reverence for The Q: Entity and this resulted in a tangible sense of growth, personality, and and recognition of a miracle. The final performance paralleled the physical birthing process in that together we each entered a similar introverted primal state and were able to give over personal control to the powerful instinctive force accessible to woman during childbirth. Over your career you have exhibited€around the United States, showcasing your work in several occasions, including two solos.€ One of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to create a direct involvement with the viewers,


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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?

It’s great when viewers relate to my work, I really value those moments and it reminds me that although my community might be small for now, it’s still a community. Being understood is a good feeling. As much as I crave these connections I also keep a clear focus on my process and an authenticity to my intention. I don’t direct much energy into how my work

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might be received, so there’s a contradiction. A more meaningful and integrative experience can happen for viewers if they can remain in control of their own experience, but I do like it when what they find lines up with what I’ve set out to do. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Nina. Finally, would you like to tell us something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

My way of working is very prolific, in 2015 I completed over 50 large scale paintings and I’m continuing to produce work at that pace. I spend a lot of time in the studio and always take exhibition opportunities seriously. I’m currently in the process of conceptualizing


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several performances and continue to collaborate with other artists.€ My studio is located north of New York City in the city of Kingston, NY., where there seems to be a developing art community. Recently Jill McDermid and Erik Hokanson, founders of Brooklyn’s Grace Exhibition Space, began a performance art residency program and exhibition space here in Kingston called The Linda Mary Montano Art / Life Institute Kingston and it’s been really awesome to see national and internationally recognized artists performing in their space and to be able to perform there.€

the emergence of a reticulated financial medium that can be used to generate futures. I’m fervently motivated to continue my deep, authentic, and thorough studies of painting and performance, to produce relatable material, and to exhibit and perform as opportunities arise. Thank you, ARTiculAction for engaging with my work and for offering me the opportunity to articulate my art and action!

An interview by Josh Ryder, curator

My future plans include expanding my studio here in Kingston. Recently The Q: Entity and its Informaticus Prospectus have begun dictating

and Dario Rutigliano, curator articulaction@post.com

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An artist's statement

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y art always takes a critical view on political, social and cultural issues because I live and work, both as a writer and activist. The project Introspection: Who Am I? is a result of a consideration of female communication with the Other and redefining the notion and conception of “the material female legacy”. Seven women of different age (economic and social background, education etc.) were give a task to write a letter to themselves, to “the unborn one” and to “leave themselves in a legacy” one object from the present/contemporaneity that they use the most, that is the most important to them and/or that at the moment marks/facilitates their lives. The letter is to explain why do the “leave themselves” that particular object. The act of writing is to create a personal relationship with “the unborn one”, but also to establish communication with the mother that makes possible for “the unborn one to come to be”. By writing the letter, the women face their own analysis of the notion of the One and the

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Other; am I the unborn one or the one that is now; am I now the Other or the One? Leaving a presently meaningful object into legacy is to connect the past, which is coming into being through this act, and the present, which continues throughout the act of writing. The connection between the past and the present is the aforementioned mother, the common mother of all women, the (primeval) mother that inspires them to question and analyse who they are, what the connection between them was and is, and what, after all, is “then and now” in this process of writing (what is the spiritual legacy accentuated by the “letter”). The project participants are all women from Rijeka, but the goal of the project is for it to spread to other cities and countries in the region, in order to get a broader picture of what communication of “the material female legacy” and the communication with oneself as the One or the Other really is or isn’t.

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Kristina Posilovic An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator

deal with the aesthetic problem in general?

articulaction@post.com

Writer and activist Kristina Posilović's work takes a critical view on a variety of socio political issues that range from the impact of cultural substratum in the development of individuals' identities, to the elusive role that time plays in the way we relate ourselves to society as well as to our inner sphere. In her project INTROSPECTION: WHO AM I?, that we'll be discussing in the following pages, Posilović accomplishes the difficult task of investigating the material female legacy, unveiling the elusive but ubiquitous bond between past and present to draw the participants to a multi-layered, unpredictable experience. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her captivating work. Hello Kristina and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that have influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you

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Thank you very much for your warm welcome. As I studied and graduated in Literature and Language (2006), and then enrolled in doctoral studies in comparative literature, culture, performing arts and film (2006 / 2007) somehow, along with the literary work the first publications of my books, I started to intensively ponder on educational policies, post-transition and the position of young people in the labour market, but also the human rights in Croatia, especially after the war (1991 -1995) and the accession of Croatia to the EU (2013). These two spheres, scientific and/or professional and artistic, have always been intertwined in my life; the knowledge from one filled the holes in the other, and vice versa. Writing alone has never been enough; I fell in love with performance, building installations at home for entertainment. It became almost natural to seek the solutions to the problems of art form or language in my academic engagement or activism. From 2010 to 2013, I taught comparative literature and women's writing at the University of Rijeka, after which I dedicated myself


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to extra-institutional teaching and systematic work to promote women’s human rights, for which I was awarded in 2013. It was as if my activist or, if you like, my political and social thought gave contribution to the artistic one which thereby became more alive; more direct, communicative and, ultimately, truer. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected INTROSPECTION: WHO AM I?, an interesting project that explores the female communication with the Other, and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention of this work is the way it plays up the importance of the elusive but ubiquitous bond between the past and the present, urging to rethink and sometimes even subvert the way we relate ourselves to the temporal sphere: while walking our readers through the genesis of this project, would you like to shed light on the notion of the material female legacy, on which your project is based?

Without repeating what has been said in the introduction, with this project I also wanted to establish a connection and pay tribute to that knowledge that was crucial in the construction of my identity. The turning point of my life and an introduction to my professional life was the moment when I realized that I did not learn anything in high school. Although I was a very good student, I constantly wanted to

quit education; only defiance of the system held me behind the school desk. Ironic, huh?! The knowledge that I would be left alone with my ignorance in the world of even bigger ignoramus saved me from spiritual ruin and made me learn and explore alone, within my own four walls. College gave me the opportunity to travel, literature became more accessible and, although I was bored to death, I read a lot and visited exhibitions. I found the energy I needed to breathe in the work of artists that were feminists, anti-fascists and activists. The tangible legacy of these artists is an absolute intergenerational and crosssector bridge between non-material past and present. They are Sanja Iveković, Vlasta Delimar and Marina Abramović from my region, but also Leila Pazooki and Barbad Golshiri, Ai WeiWei and Heinrich Helnwein with some other considerations of class struggle, censorship and freedom. 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

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that an artist could play in the contemporary society?

As much as I was socially engaged and as much as my activist work influenced the artistic, I’ve always found it important to offer the audience the reading of "my art" that is beyond the realistic; which delves into the metaphysical and that makes them to work on their "knowledge" after the "consumption". By opening the issues of everyday life, penetrating into and subverting the stereotypes, I actually want to talk about history in which various political currents, via very manipulative social strategies, affected our collective oblivion. I want to draw into light the "subtlety" and expose the manipulator who used to tie us with "chains of silk", as Giordano Bruno wrote long ago, which are nowadays chains of iron. So this neutrality, of which you speak, is my artistic mask which the audience should tear down, both from my work and from their expectations. For example, even though I live in a democratic country, in a quite liberal city that has not changed the sociodemocratic city government for over 90 years, I have big problems in communication with the authorities, particularly the Department of Culture which perceives all my constructive criticism as "hating the city." This is symptomatic of the city that is running for the European Capital of Culture 2020. As for the role of the artist today, he's the one who has to "fuck

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Kristina Posilovic


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himself and his fears" in order to wash out all the bad influences; the formative, educational, religious, political, and to some degree, to contribute to the authentic reflection of the world around him, not the world within him. That is much more boring. In particular we would ask you to expand on your understanding of political art. Even if it is not explicitly so, must not all good art be in some sense political?

In this regard, building on my previous answer, not only that it must, but is, even when you might not want it to be. By birth itself, we do not belong to ourselves, if we ever had belonged. All our actions, conscious or unconscious, are the result of one's political decisions which are, or us, very often disastrous. Thus, for example, nursing / feeding or crossing the road at an early age is a political act. I do not see a way in which art could and should be rid of the political other than becoming political itself, but then it’s a piece of crap, not a piece of art. WHO AM I? is intrinsically based on the chance of establishing direct relations, going beyond the surface of communication and the act of writing a letter to ourselves forces us to explore our inner landscape. We find this aspect particularly interesting since it is probably the only way to raise awareness about the unstable notion of identity, concerning both

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the individuals and their place in our ever changing societies: how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space? In particular, what kind of reactions did you expect to provoke in the participants?

First of all, I wanted to draw writing out from solitude, and then throw those women who participated in the project into solitude again; into some place or emotion from which they would be able to get the most for the "future self". No matter how demanding it is to ponder on the project multidimensionally (because it makes its outcome more uncertain, it is still quite clever. You constantly have to deal with the context which, in the Balkans, changes insanely fast, yet also somehow stands still. Sometimes in the forties, sometimes in the nineties. In addition, you have to learn again and again about the art practices that excite you, but do not function and do not touch people in your time and space. This schizophrenic role of the artist is an incentive for further work, but also a tension that can lead to madness. Creative madness, I hope. Your successful attempt to encourage the participants to establish a personal relationship with “the unborn one" brings the creative potential of chance to a new level of significance: how much importance has improvisation in your process?

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Kristina Posilovic


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A lot; on the one hand it forces me to relax and let things take their own course. Sometimes you just cannot affect the whole process of creation, and that’s a good thing, especially for me since I am obsessive compulsive when it comes to work. On the other hand, this project allowed me to constantly take away and add meaning to the basic idea, which eventually led to the feeling that the project could be improved or, in some other circumstances, offered to some other women. WHO AM I? is about communication, which is comprised of a sender and a receiver and that in your case climbs any identitarian hierarchy to achieve the difficult task of creating a common, almost universal channel of communication between autonomous identities. German multidisciplinary artists Thomas Demand once pointed out that "nowadays art can no longer rely much on symbolic strategies and shows the necessity to probe psychological narrative elements within the medium instead". What's your point about this? In particular, what could be the criteria and the communication strategy that may help to establish whether a work has had any social or political impact?

My opinion on the communication potential of art is kind of in line with this thesis. It is highly unlikely that symbolism will succeed in reaching the audience whose communication channels are so clogged that it can-

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not even hear or experience itself. The psychological narrative in the media is one way to act on, not to say manipulate, the emotions of the audience, but it would be much better to think more comprehensively and systematically, delivering a new narrative that could encompass today’s language experience- the one that the digital form ate and spat out in a shape that everyone experiences differently and because of which nobody understands each other. The project participants were initially all women from Rijeka, but as you have remarked once, the main goal of WHO AM I? is for it to spread to other cities and countries in the region. One of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to create a direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

The audience is very important to me, not only in this particular project. Everything I do, I do in order to come to terms with the world, when I think I cannot or do not know how to do it. The chronic refusal to understand and the destruction of the core of hu-

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man communication only for the sake of comfort that will cost us sense, is one of my driving forces. With each new project I start to build a new language, building half of it and then leaving it for the audience to complete, perfect, destroy or discard it. All solutions are welcome because they start from voicing but may end in language. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Kristina. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

To be honest, I feel like I am at a professional turning point. I do not know where my future work will take me; maybe it even stops me, but I kind of look forward to this uncertainty. I have no choice. Now I’m preparing one installation; a big paper monster of toilet paper roles and newspaper articles, which represents the media demons that nibble on my nerves and time, and which I'll try to capture in just one dimension in order to get back at them. (Laughter.)

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


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A ngela Zhenxiang Li Lives and works in Dallas, USA

An artist's statement

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am very interested in performance art. I want to use the body as a medium to create a strong voice in society. The masters of ‘Body Art� Marina Abramovic and Pina Bausch inspire me because they use the body as a medium to create this strong voice. My work is essentially about human rights (like Ai Wei Wei) and I use my body as a voice in different cultures and places. I utilise photography and video to record my performances. I like to experiment with different levels of nudity and body expression in different locations of the world. My motivation stems from living in China and feeling very constrained within this society; yet realizing there are many levels of freedom and restriction in different cultures too. I look at how the self-portrait can reveal social issues about identity and the restriction of women. By using humour and reaction I seek to connect with the audience. Within my nude performances I mainly show the lower part of the body and exclude the face and torso area. As a woman I want to take away the usual areas of attraction (face and breasts) to give myself a female liberation, but in a controlled way that is balancing. My videos and

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performances show mostly legs and the vagina area to try and create a strong symbol of an iconic female voice. I have used the Statue of Liberty as an iconic symbol to support my ideas and actions with meaning and power. This is a practical process of creating female silhouettes attaching myself and mimicing well-known landmarks. By Using these recognizable symbols I can promote what I am trying to do and say.. But what does my iconic symbol mean within a society and to the audience who interacts with my artwork? At the beginning my core idea was to research myself, to open myself up and to find the power of my self within. I want to create art for myself by defining humanity, exploring culture and society, re-evoking the energy of the extremities of the body, to test the endurance, ego and the artistic identity. I connect myself with my inner self and then I connect with society.

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Angela Zhenxiang Li An interview by Josh Rider, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

One of the features of Angela Zhenxiang Li's approach that soon impacted on me, is the way she is capable of mixing conceptual and politicised practice, giving birth to a stimulating combination of pure art and a deep sociopolitical engagement. Through her practice, she provides the viewers of an extension of the ordinary human perception, in order to manipulate it and releasing it from its most limbic parameters. In particular, her recent Meditation in a rubbish bag that we'll be discussing in the following pages, condenses the permanent flow of the perception of concepts, and the events related to them, questioning their inner nature in the socio-politic context they happen. So, I'm particularly pleased to introduce our readers to her multifaceted artistic production. Hello Angela, and a very warm welcome to ARTiculAction: I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork? Moreover, do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

It’s such a pleasure to define a work of art, its like looking for a surprise from opening a present. I would like to point at a thing, and grab a friend and make a statement very seriously: This is a piece of art! I, as a visual-based artist, would consider a piece of artwork to be something that is seen and is visible. But it's more about art creating a feeling and thoughts in others. In my opinion, the feature of contemporary artworks is freedom. We can see there are no restrictions to use any materials, media and

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technologies. Artists today have more opportunities to express, and explore ideas/ concepts, as well as question what is art. Therefore freedom is the important foundation to create contemporary art. It is interesting to see how the so-called traditional art is becoming a certain type of art category today. It's not just about the past. For example Chinese traditional painting has its own unique content materials and technique . It represents a certain spirit and aesthetic. Contemporary art for me is more about myself. More importantly, i personally can choose the right media for me to convey my own personality and the subject I am interested in. I think Artists should not be restrictive by categorising art as it is about the artist and their lives. The main thing is who are you, then think of how art can express this for you; for you are the artworks!!! The traditional and contemporary artworks both represent the present at the time they were made. As I have mentioned above, contemporary art represents how the modern life is at that time, how it has less restrictions and more open thoughts as time as time passes. Also they both relate and respond to each other and that is why we always can get inspirations when we are doing research . There is no competition between them because in my opinion the greatest art pieces are about a truth and exist outside of a time frame. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

I really enjoy the creative process as it really challenges me. I spent 2 years to complete my


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"Culture Shock" project. Part of my process is that I need to experience things first hand, and this is the main meaning for this project. I never got bored and was so busy making this as I went to 35 cities around the world, learning about the different cultures and locations, whilst preparing for shooting. I have to admit, it was very exciting to make this idea come true, for instance filming 'Lifting Skirt' in Iran. I didn't focus on the risktaking element because I put full faith into my art. I can travel and film, I did quite a lot of preparation, such as calling for nudity volunteers to test how to shoot nude performance, and I needed to do many body performances as I had never been naked in public before. What’s worse is In my mind I felt that nudity was an obscene and shameful thing. I don’t know who inserted that idea into my mind! And I need to challenge myself to defeat the fear and this pattern by practicing more against my mind. The other secret of preparation is by keeping a diary as my instincts and experiences feed my art. I am fascinated by things that exists in our universe. No matter what I have seen or who I have met I will consider the aesthetic level and emotional connection. I consider all the time whether I can use them in my art, or just appreciate them purely and store them in my mind incase I need them in the future. And ideas just come to me spontaneously at any time during the day. Thankfully, on the other side of my work, I have a degree in film, and this background has trained me to produce my Fine Art pieces in a disciplined technical way. Usually I utilise my photography and stage-setting experience to enhance the aesthetic and I can save time to focus on how to tell the concept or story well. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from the aforesaid Meditation in a rubbish bag, an extremely interesting work that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit directly at http://www.angelalizx.com in order to get a wider idea of your multi-faceted artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?

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About this above project, I have to admit that I saw conflicts and I felt disconnected especially when I was new to the U.K in 2012, coming from China. I was really interested in the identity of the diversity of culture. At that period of my life I urgently wanted to figure out my own cultural


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identity, and connect with this new environment. The desire of wanting to be accepted became my original motivate. The poetry I read in my mind when I was meditating in the rubbish bag : "We are one, no matter if you can see me or not, we

are one" is my own statement. The performance is like a protest as well. The performance artist Marina Abramovic influenced me deeply. Especially how she challenges the limitations of her body and how she transforms energy in the space around her to

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express the relationship between the artists and society. Everything I was researching at that time was about transformation, healing and revoking self-energy. Meditation is a way to concentrate energy whilst observing myself . It is a way to find myself again and solve problems. Therefore,

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I realize the more I observe myself, accept myself, the more I can connect with other people. I daresay that Meditation in a rubbish bag urges the viewer to follow not only your


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to admit that I'm sort of convinced that Art especially nowadays- could play an effective role in socio-political questions, as in human rights issues: not only just by offering to people a generic platform for expression... I would go as far as to state that Art could even steer people's behaviour... what's your point about this? Does it sound a bit exaggerated?

I agree with you in that Art today is not only about expression but also about influencing people within society; it especially can play an effective role in socio-political questions, as in human rights issues. I try to figure out the reasons behind such issues. I would like to say Art is becoming more and more part of our daily life. Art is becoming an inseparable part of our lives. Art is an interesting way to convey ideas to society. These days, people can make visual diaries with photographs simply by using their smart phones. Some artists do use their artworks to record their life, some artists tell their life story and thoughts through their art. Ai Weiwei does this, he tries to reveal the facts of Chinese life under the control of one party and Chinese government with art. It expresses and exposes his ideas and his discoveries about Chinese life and society . As well as the most famous Islamic artist Shirin Neshat, who is the most hated women in the Muslim world. Her art unveils the traditional and secular, east and west, oppression, power, gender, life, death and martyrdom in the eyes of an Islamic women. Both these artists's artworks have a huge impact upon their society as well as others. My point is not whether we can become a big influential artist or not, at the end of the day we still have a sense of social responsibility. We should take this responsibility seriously as we are all a part of this world. Everyone is like a mirror that reflects the world, and only when we can see more sides of the world, then we can know more about the truth and what is good for it and its people. process, but even and especially the cultural and politic substratum on which you build your creations: I have particularly appreciated the way this forces us to evolve from being a passive spectator to more conscious participants to the act you perform... By the way, although I'm aware that this might sound a bit na誰ve, I have

By comparing these experiences through discussion, quarrels, meetings, protests and sad stories, art is definitely a magical way to talk about problems and issues. I would go as far as to state that the performative nature of your art practice takes

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such a participatory line on the conception and especially on the production of art, and this is clear in I asked the audience to take off my pants and underwear. Your socio-political engaged and often humorous creations are strictly based on the chance to create a deep involvement with your audience, both on an emotional level, as well as on an intellectual one: so I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I agree that a personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process. As an artist, you should know your source. I would like to consider myself as the most important source of my artworks because I am a special creation in the world. I am 100% original. I really enjoy the creative process, as I can take direct experience and discover the relationship between the ambient information and myself. Personal experience doesn’t mean not relating to other people. For example, in my piece �I asked the audience to take off my pants and underwear.� In this I gained a personal experience to add in my long term memory. Also in this performance, the audience has a deep involvement by acting immediately and spontaneously as well as giving feedback to me later. We were related to each other and we created the moment together. I think the personal experience of the audience is just as important as mine, for they are special and original too. It goes without saying that travelling plays a crucial role for yourself, both as an artist and as a woman: from May 2012 to April 2014 you planned an "exploration of cultures" that has allowed you to get in touch with an enormously great number of different places and cultures. How did this extraordinary experience, that has particularly influenced you as an artist and on the way, conceive your works currently?

It is so important that I get my first hand experience of the larger outside globe. Obviously the travelling around the world for my art performance gave me a deeper knowledge about different cultures and people. But on the other hand, I really experienced myself when I travel alone. I got a new point of view of the

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relationship between myself and the outside world. The stories of the different places became the source of knowledge and deep understanding of humans. By being in different cultures I test the different levels of freedom. This was training for me to be myself because this is the moment


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you feel real freedom. This has influenced me as a performance artist because I can feel liberated when I perform. From travelling I realised underneath it all we all want freedom. And freedom is basically to be yourself.

One of the most convincing aspects of your work is the overwhelming power of this creativity and perception. Moreover, I can recognize a subtle but effective investigation about the emerging of language due to an extreme experimentation, and what has mostly impacted on me is the way

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you have been capable of bringing a new level of significance to objects, re-contextualizing the concepts behind them: and I would go as far as to state that in a certain sense your works force the viewers' perception in order to challenge the common way to perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension... By the way, I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

Making art is an act of discovery. When we research an object, we destruct, deconstruct, and restructure, in terms to understand and discovery something new. Human beings are much harder to research than an object. In terms of understanding human nature, instead of destruction artists like to challenge people instead, like the performance artist Marina Abramovic. She always explores the limitations of her body and challenges her endurance and tolerance. And sometimes it is not just the artists themselves but also the audience who are being challenged and pushed again and again; a good example of this was when Duchamp exhibited his urinal in 1917. Also Tracey Emin's “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With” (exhibited in Saatchi 1997) and in 1999 she put her “bed” in the Tate Modern. These artworks seemed so personal/ shocking and really challenged how people see Art. They essentially challenge the whole of art history. But as Tracey Emin said, "I just want to communicate with people". These great artists are an example to show us the “unexpected sides of nature” and this changes people. I guess the hidden messages, connecting the outside and inside, the concepts behind the inner dimension and human relations....all these are unexpected sides of nature. All these examples indicate how important it is to be couragous, to expose the need to break the walls in front of us, and to be brave towards challenging ourselves. Perhaps artists reveal what we find difficult and do not want to do? That is about the limitations of our society. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, you connect yourself with your inner self and

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then you connect with society: I would add that your works seem to raise the question of the role allocated not only to the female identity, but to the individual in general, in a worldwide cultural integration. Moreover, by filming your


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performances, you subject them to a new interrelation of meanings in which the spectator can snatch further and unexpected aspects of your multi-faceted works, and I have to admit that this has particularly fascinated me... :

A thought that touches me is at the core of the spiritual leader Krishnamuti’s teaching was the realization that fundamental changes in society

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can be brought about only by a transformation of individual consciousness. He asserted that the need for self knowledge and understanding of the restrictive, separation created from religious and nationalistic influences is something that I truly believe in. ---In my piece ‘ The Statue of Liberty Quits” I use my own body image to pretend that I am this iconic statue. In this I want to talk about the individual's value. In my Chinese culture nobody wants to be a hero in the real world, the collective is everything. I was angry about why one life is not important, especially why one women’s voice does not matter. Maybe it seems really naïve to lift my skirt in this video, but I really want to make a bold statement for myself. Before I am a Chinese women, I am a human being. I can have an idea and I can have a voice. And my voice deserves to be heard. As the word teacher/ spiritual leader Jiddu Krishnamuti once said “I teach one thing only, that is to observe yourself, explore yourself, and then beyond them. You are not to know teachings, You’re only to know yourselves. ” All I have to do is change myself and improve myself. This is all I can do. Before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a cliché question, but an interesting one that I'm sure will interest our readers around the world... During these years you have exhibited in several occasions, so I would like to ask you what are the main differences that you had the chance to notice between the European scene and the Asian one... By the way, how would you define the nature of the relation with your audience?

The differences between European and Asian lives are very obvious from the surface appearance of things, the looks, the food, the language, the history ... It is these differences that fascinate me so much. But what I have learned during my travels is: It is natural to look for the difference between here and there, and in you and I, but it is far more encouraging to realise how similar we are! All the differences give us clues to explain why we are the way we are. And different people experience different processes. I am lucky to witness some processes. By travelling to many

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foreign countries I learned that people are fundamentally the same in their inner nature. During my travels, people in the west invited me to their homes and made friends with me, it was also the same in Asian countries too. My young friends in the west had difficulty with relationships, whilst 20 year old Muslim girls felt very shy to talk about a kiss. Chinese parents only allow their children to have their first relationship when they go to university. Yes, we all experience things like relationships as different processes and at different speeds. But at the end of the day we are the same in that we want respect and we want love! Its so encouraging to see everyone is going through a process. However, I do not know that much about all the countries I visit, I only know about myself more when I travel within these countries really. Talking about the relationship with the audience: The audience always will be a part of my artworks. I will consider who they are, how many of them there are and where they come from and the route they might pass through. But I can never predict what their reaction will be to my art, and I do not expect anything specific from them during my performance. And I think this unpredictability is the highlight of the artworks. The audience might be shocked by me, they may be touched by me , they may understand me also. Whatever they feel they are more than welcome to experience it. I always wish to have an open relationship with the audience. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Angela. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

The next project is that I will keep representing the touching of human connection , especially between myself and my own culture. In terms of discovering more the inner nature in the people of my country. will add more dialogues and conversations in my films, and right now I am collaborating and working with a psychologist . And last but not the least, my best wishes to the world : Be yourself, find your freedom.

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