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Anniversary Edition

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DARREN KIRWAN VIKTOR FREŠO MIKEL BERRADRE KAMI BUGNET MARIJA RODUNER QIN HAN FARZIN FOROUTAN YI HSUAN LEE NOFAR HOROVITZ

Where is home, installation by Qin Han Cyanotype, digital printing, acrylic on canvas, 2015


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Marija Roduner

Nofar Horovitz

Kami Bugnet

Yi Hsuan Lee

Qin Han

Darren Kirwan

Switzerland

Israel

Germany

Taipei

China / USA

Ireland

I use memory as starting point to create. Already existing values ​and aesthetic gives a solid base for the exploration of new expressive potentials. I think that the transformation of one form into another is a process which brings the evolution of work and inspiration. This project is based on same idea.“Wisdom of the sound” as performance looks like a translation from elements of philosophy and art theory through research of expressions and reactions about space and people.

Photography for me is a remarkable tool that allows me to sculpt my vision into an image. I appreciate the necessity of light in the picture, and also the lack thereof.

How far does one need to go, in order to get to the place where he came from? My project was inspired by the daily life of the French people between the years 18301962 in Algeria. Algeria was conquered by France and was considered to be a French territory, for all intents and purposes nevertheless, the French that arrived to Algeria kept the family values, the language and French culture. The great distance between European-France and African-Algeria allowed the development of something new that was created from the clash, between East and West.

The word “Imperfect” can be rearranged into “I’m Perfect”. The Imperfect is a photographic expression of empathy looking at a pair of albinism sister from me, who is also living under a rare condition. I examine the socalled “uniqueness” from anther perspective, and I question the stereotypical values prevailing in our society. Albinism has turned their skin white, like snow. The color can symbolize purity, possibility, defect, perfection, a surface, or an empty space. In Chinese aesthetics, "white" represents beauty.

My work focuses on the definition of home, related to my own experience of transition and relocation as well as curiosity about migrants’ lives. Inspired by the rich cultural landscape of New York, I navigate the place with a curious heart and refreshed eyes. I interview people and draw sketches, and these then turn into my material. Taking a journalist’s approach to the stories I hear, I translate them into visual language, such as drawings, prints, videos, installations, and artist books.

The idea of being an artist has always been a big struggle for me, just to call myself that seemed like I was not successful or recognized enough in any field to be considered this. But a lot of people I meet have a profoundly positive affect on me in how I view myself and my work, and in particular one person I have developed a special relationship with in the last number of months has helped me to see the value and importance of being an artist and to be so with pride. This acceptance has had a very liberating affect on my approach to my work.

In my observation of the world, I examine and focus on details that make up the greater picture, and at the same time, I skip various components, sometimes in a less controlled manner so as to leave gaps, which viewers can fill in according to their perspectives, thoughts, conclusions and observations of all components simultaneously.

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lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel

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Viktor Frešo lives and works in Bratislava, Slovakia

Kami Bugnet

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lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Darren Kirwan

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lives and works in Cork City, Ireland

Marija Roduner

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lives and works in Switzerland

Qin Han Viktor Frešo

Farzin Foroutan

Mikel Berradre

Slovakia

Iran

Japan

Frešo is often critical in his works and aggressively expresses his contempt of the art scene itself and its processes but with a light, humorous and playful undertone.

Foroutan's works are mainly constitute his personal experiences of life and living. He has always been concerned with social issues by particular references to history and culture in modern society. Therefore the staged photography is the best way for him to explain his ideas. The artworks that are from the “Parallel Streams” series focus on the relationship between men and women, and the image that is perceived in society about how women should be and act like. This perception stays with generations after generations like parallel mirrors that accompany our lives.

My goal is to keep the photographs from representing this particular society as much as possible and focusing on more universal themes such as sorrow, censorship, untruthfulness and the way we deal with our darker side. My inspiration for this project came from street photography masters like Daido Moriyama, but I also had a great dose of inspiration from manga artist Junji Ito´s drawing style and themes. Street art and the punk and subversive arts have also been around my head all the time while making this project.

One of the most fascinating elements of his creation is the seeming counterpoint of emphasis on huge, grandiose EGO connected with a Gesture in combination with disarming self-ironic humility. His ability to reveal dark sides of his soul or stumbles and throw them to the world regardless of consequences shift the author´s concepts to broader possibilities of perception of the reasons of his work.

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lives and works in Virginia, USA

Yi Hsuan Lee

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lives and works in Barcelona, Spain

Farzin Foroutan

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lives and works in Teheran, Iran

Mikel Berradre

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lives and works in Osaka, Japan On the cover Where is Home, Installation by Qin Han

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

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N ofar Horovitz Lives and works in Tel-Aviv, Israel

An artist's statement

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hotography for me is a remarkable tool that allows me to sculpt my vision into an image. I appreciate the necessity of light in the picture, and also the lack thereof.

In my observation of the world, I examine and focus on details that make up the greater picture, and at the same time, I skip various components, sometimes in a less controlled manner so as to leave gaps, which viewers can fill in

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according to their perspectives, thoughts, conclusions and observations of all components simultaneously. In my view, I search for order, sharp lines and cleanliness, which for me empower the meaning of the final product.

Nofar Horovitz


Salvation, from my ties of perception series


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

Drawing inspiration from the conflictual realationship between light and darkness, artist and photographer Nofar Horovitz's work accomplishes explores the details of our experience to recotextualized them in the big picture of existence. In her recent Nude Patterns series that we'll be discussing in the folowing pages, she walks the viewers into a multilayered exploration of the notion of womanhood, going beyond any stereotypized vision. One of the most convincing aspect of Horovitz's practice is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of highlighting an unexpectedly wide variety of details that make up the greater picture to create works marked out with autonomous aesthetics and insightful investigative feature. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her multifaceted artistic production. Hello Nofar 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 "Camera Obscura" school of art Tel- Aviv, you started your professional career: you also took lessons in art and sketch as well as in Photoshop and film editing. How did these experiences influenced your evolution as an artist? In particular, how does your cultural substratum inform

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

For as long as I can remember myself I have always been interested in art in general, monochromatic art in particular, and in following the entire art making process myself. In my days as a student I naturally found myself attracted once again to the same things and more. I enjoyed needing to learn technics through trial and error, getting to know studio equipment, methods and more. All of these gave me the abilities and technical knowledge that support my art making process to this day. Studying has broadened my point of view of the entire art world, which I believe is necessary in order to create meaningful art. I value greatly the time I spent as a student. I think that the experiences that I had and knowledge I accumulated became a great part of my artistic being. I think that the ability to create art from an open state of mind is a skill that needs developing. Being at art school and taking classes such as history of art and photography is, in my opinion, what creates the atmosphere that allows new art to thrive. Your photography is marked out with a captivating realism that reveals an unconventional still consistent sense of


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unity. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.compositzia.com/#!nudeart/cmwg in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: when asking you to tell us soething about your usual set up and process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between such variety viewpoints is the only way to express and convey the ideas you explore.

I started my work on nude-patterns from my increasing need to address a certain issue through my own eyes. I was searching for the core, that which is common to all women, which unites them all and could be understood via photography. In the course of my work I photographed women with different body structures, of different ages and different life stories. In order to better express my thoughts it was important for me to get to know them, learn about them, their ambitions and wishes. I came to realize that despite many changes that have occurred in women's status over the years, many still see themselves through an outdated, rigidly structured prism, as if this is something they can't avoid. They find it hard to detach themselves from specific stereotypes that have been engraved into their consciousness. Therefore, in my work I have tried to isolate secondary variables and establish a common denominator to all women, so as to emphasize the one thing that has not changed over the years, which every woman has - womanhood. Throughout the progress of my work on this project and during my meetings with many women whom I photographed, I

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was exposed to diverse definitions of the female entity. The meaning of life as altered for each woman during our preliminary conversations and photographic sessions. Nonetheless, the final conclusion and acknowledgement that one common denominator that unites us all, despite our diverse interpretations, clearly emerged by the end of each photographic session. Whilst in the process of choosing which works to use, I discovered that through the encounter of photographs with subjects, and connections to images that represent the common denominator, it became very clear and easy to identify. This project taught me a lot about the sometimes incomprehensible connection of the female experience. My choice to represent my subjects throughout the project without clear facial identities derived from the desire to allow their body positions to reflect their status without distractions through body sculpture using light and shade. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected Nude Patterns, a stimulating series that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. This project draws the viewers urges the viewer to rethink to the notion of womanhood and we have appreciated the way your inquiry into such elusive theme accomplished an insightful investigation. When walking our readers through the genesis of Nude Patterns we would take this occasion to ask you what role does personal experience plays in your process: do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

The first piece I created as part of this project was a self-portrait that I


The Judge from the from Nude Patterns series


Slave from the from Nude Patterns series


Jin from the from Nude Patterns series


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photographed in my studio. Whilst photographing my portrait, I still did not know that I would want to develop it as a series, nor did I know how far my presence and this portrait would open the door to an area that over time became so significant to my artistic creation. I believe that my ability to connect personally both as a photographer and subject and as such to fully participate in all aspects of the project, connects me most personally to the very heart of the project. In my opinion, personal involvement in artistic creation of any kind allows artists to connect profoundly with their subjects and as such increase their expressive ability, achieve the goals they have set for themselves and reduce the gap between artistic ambition and practical creation to a minimum. Nude Patterns is also a successful attempt to go beyond any stereotype that has been engraved into common imagery, revealing a constructive sociopolitical criticism: while lots of artists from the contemporary scene, as Ai WeiWei or more recently Thomas Hirschhorn and 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?

My aim in the NUDE PATTERNS project was to discuss the female factor by observing the preconceived stereotypes that accompany each of the women, their opinions and environmental influences

that accompany them and embodies their being. During this project, I concluded that many women see themselves in many ways, affected by environmental pressures, social and political influences. I define this project as a research project whose aim is to carry out an observation of the female level in order to draw conclusions and find the common denominator that unites the community of women. In the course of my work, I found myself focusing less on being critical and more on emphasizing values, shortcomings and social status, with the most important element being to neutralize these by creating an environment that enabled neutral observation. My intent is to give the viewer the ability to observe the images as a whole and reach their own opinions without any external involvement. The ability of an artist to choose whether to give viewers the tools to interpret what they see for themselves is no less important than the ability to take a firm political or social stand. We definitely love the way your Fractals and Fragments of the Israeli Outdoor Landscape series gently the viewers' perceptual parameters to an action of fulfillment to create a compelling non linear narrative that establishes direct relations with the viewers. German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in particular what is the reole of memory when conceving the narrative that pervades your series?

Art, and photography in particular, is a remarkable tool that allows me to sculpt

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my vision into an image. I appreciate the necessity of light in the picture, and also the lack thereof. In my observation of the world, I examine and focus on details that make up the greater picture, and at the same time, I skip various components, sometimes in a less controlled manner so as to leave gaps, which viewers can fill in according to their perspectives, thoughts, conclusions and observations of all components simultaneously. My work on this projects was characterized by gathering images that represent diverse testimonies to the changes that have taken place on different levels that represent the state of Israel and as such are expressed over the course of a years in the landscape that surrounds us. The images in this project are fractals and fragments, which represent the broken reality of the landscape at Israel's borders, revealing, to a certain extent the margins of social, defense, and urban situations as well as less overt interpersonal conflicts. The project is a collection of individual photographs reflecting the fractals of Israel's cultural landscape in the face of existing constraints, which change personal, social and state-defense priorities. The images make up a presentation of the landscape of Israel as a state, a social body that is constantly changing in the face of events at all levels: having to defend its borders and residents, the social revolution, the economy, elections and so forth, and through all these the country's face is changing, as well as its

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Boxed from the my ties of perception series

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Abandoned oasis from the Fractals and Fragments of the Israeli Outdoor Landscape series

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priorities and agenda as part of the intensity of life in Israel. Within all this, the fractals emerge as witness to the processes that the country's landscape is undergoing. When all these parts join together, they present a timeline that reveals the revolutions, reforms, protests, difficulties, wars, desires and wishes that have characterized the past number of years. Some have failed, others are in process, some are still at margins of society, and others have left their mark on the country's landscape. I chose to allow a sort of breathing space between the project's images that allows them not to be defined under a narrow heading or specific definition. This by connecting diverse environmental elements that represent and refer to the heart of the project and changes undergone at many levels of influence in the Israeli landscape. I invite viewers to formulate a position by filling in the gaps and understanding what is taking place by connecting the puzzle pieces into a whole picture. Therefore, in my opinion as an artist, there is a great importance to touching on different psychological elements whilst the narrative does not have to be complete, but rather can create wide interest by inviting viewers to participate in its completion. In this project, the importance of active observers' points of view is when their individuality reflected from personal memory and personal experiences whilst filling in the gaps influences the development of the narrative in their eyes, and as such creates in fact a different work of art for each observer.

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Drawing from universal imagery, your works combine elements from everyday life with a refined gaze on aesthetics and we have highly appreciated the way they condense an effective symbiosis between intuition and freedom of composition. Your approach reveals unconventional features in the way it deconstructs perceptual images in order to assemble them in a collective imagery, urging the viewers to a process of self-reflection. Would you shed light on this aspect of your process? In particular, do your works tend to come out of imagination rather than out of your own life?

My development as an artistic creator has been characterized by the imaginary world's powerful influences on real objects. When I encounter a specific object in its natural environment or a situation that encompasses an object and connects it to its environment, my desire as an artist is to transmit the essence of the object via photography to an audience without any preconceived connotations or references and as such, in fact, to break connections between individuals and society and place the object in its natural place and reveal the personal characteristics that embody it. The intuitive connection created between me and the photographed element is created by the beauty reflected by its traits. During my work with elements, the freedom to create diverse compositions of the same single photographed element in a completely neutral environment captures me as if the same element decided to disguise itself anew from every viewing and photographic angle. Another interesting project from your recent production that has particularly impressed us and on which we would

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Tesseract from the Fractals and Fragments of the Israeli Outdoor Landscape series

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Untitled from the Fractals and Fragments of the Israeli Outdoor Landscape series


Deeper from the Nature series


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like to spend some words is your NATURE series. Your unconventional way of capturing images, not only snatches the atmosphere, but also extract the elusive substance of the subjects you center your attention on. When inviting the viewers to re-interpret the traditional ideas of natural beauty, you seem to challenge our perceptual categories: while inviting the viewer to elaborate personal interpretations, you do not reject a gaze on aesthetics: the dreamlike quality of suspended time creates a lively combination between conceptual and beauty. How important is the aesthetic problem for you when you conceive a work?

I started the current project with a wish to explore the small details that would capture my eye on occasion when I was outside. I sought to try and isolate them and objects in their natural surroundings and create similar neutral conditions in order to examine whether I could, by changing the environment and the lighting, discern various details, which would otherwise go unnoticed with the diversion of scenery and nature. In the course of my work I have realized that when I isolate an element, it is often released from concepts attributed to it as a result of its being connected to its natural surroundings, and becomes something entirely different. Not only has the object become different, but it keeps changing its essence from every angle and every time we close our eyes. I have learnt that when people are not familiar with a photographed object, that flower, thistle, plant stem, they have no

idea what they see in the photograph and their first utterances describe whatever emerges in their imaginations, and their way of seeing and interpreting the object photographed. To an extent, each photograph is subject to a beholder's interpretation, but in this case, I enjoy the level of freedom the imagination can reach with some of these images. When I photograph a specific element, I aim neither for interpretation nor a specific appearance. In fact, when I choose my photography elements, the only thing I know is that I am interested in them, as they offer an extent of mystery that enables me to work with them. Drawing photographed elements out of their natural environment and placing them in a neutral one that serves as an incubator, photographs are placed on a level playing field to show off their qualities both on an aesthetic and subconscious level. The great importance of a photograph's environment is to allow observers to take an active part when observing an entire body of work and as such, to formulate their individualistic interpretations and reveal the hidden visual qualities of the object. NATURE also captures the essence of emptiness and anonymity dued to human presence has reminded us the notion of non lieu elaborated by French anthropologist Marc AugĂŠ: 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?

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In the past, photography was seen as a way of documenting the present and preserving that moment for posterity as an image. It is possible that this definition is also correct for a certain type of photography today, nonetheless, in my opinion, photography includes many levels that represent the visual form of an image, an object, a person or subject photographed, its time axis and experience content passed on from conception through observers' interpretations, which constitute an essential element of artistic work. Peeling off the layers of this experience is an essential requirement while viewing my NATURE project. The elements photographed in this project receive, with the integration of viewers' analyses, diverse interpretations and as such even reflect their thoughts, sub- conscious, creations and general perceptions. Over these years your works have been showcased in several occasions, including your recent participation to "Imagination 2016", in Tel-Aviv. One of the hallmarks of your work is the capability to urge viewers 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?

My artistic creative process derives from a personal desire, curiosity and an ambition to express myself, when all these and like factors combine, I create a broad scope of images and bodies of work. My works

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represent and symbolize urges I have felt at certain points in time to express. My works are characterized by leaving behind a window that invites viewers to connect more personally and from their point of view. While I appreciate all forms of art, I also believe that art, which comes from the same unique place burning in the heart of every artist is powerful and important even if it does not suit the entire viewing community. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Nofar. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Over the last six months, most of my work has been characterized by two key areas of which one deals with artistic nudes focusing on people's self-perceptions, their ambitions and dreams shown through an internal mirror. This project is called "Ties of Perception". I began to create these images in a period characterized by and characterizing many changes in my life, and especially in the way I think. The great need to create these images portrayed, to a great extent, my realization of wide ranging changes that had awakened my own personal awareness. In this project I decided to express my view of humans and their desires, the glass walls that we erect in our way, when we are prevented from achieving our dreams and ambitions. Compromising on the mediocre, the norm, the ordinary instead of setting ourselves goals that we perceive as daydreams, with


Fade to white

Fade to white from the Nature series


Hot Fur from the Nature series


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Stinger from the Nature series

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only a rare chance of fulfillment. Relinquishing before it is too late future aims and dreams, whether in the fields of relationships, career, or actually any aspect of life, on the simple basis that there are few chances that we will achieve them. All this led me to understand the many barriers that we set ourselves, and as such, we are the only ones, and in truth, the first, to sabotage our happiness. Whilst carrying out this work, I learned to understand that not only do we tie ourselves to our comfort areas, but to a great extent, we have also tied ourselves up with ropes and barriers, without which the reality of loss of control becomes a bottomless pit. I decided to describe the many situations of dealing with barriers using different types of ropes in a series of self-portraits. Using studio lighting and black and white photography allows me to create a greater emphasis on the situation taking place, and to turn our attention to the tension and lack thereof between the body and rope, twisting forms and the tightening and release of the ropes. At the same time, I focus on creating a new body of work using analog photography with a medium format, which is bases on photographing natural elements while they remain in their natural environment, where the effect of highlighting their qualities by creating an external dimension is expressed both through technical means and observing every piece of the overall picture as joined together.

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

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V iktor Frešo Lives and works in Bratislava, Slovakia

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iktor Frešo studied in Bratislava at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava and in Prague at the Academy of Fine Arts where he graduated and received his diploma in 2003. Frešo belongs to the most remarkable figures of the contemporary art after the year 2000 in the region of the former Czechoslovakia. His work and overall approach to art is rather untypical but at the same time they reflect the situation in the society and culture. The artist creates sophisticated concepts and projects presenting them as seemingly simple closed “Pieces of art”. He is often critical in his works and aggressively expresses his contempt of the art scene itself and its processes but with a light, humorous and playful undertone. One of the most fascinating elements of his creation is the seeming counterpoint of emphasis on huge, grandiose EGO connected with a Gesture in combination with disarming self-ironic humility. His ability to reveal dark sides of his soul or stumbles and throw them to the world regardless of consequences

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shift the author´s concepts to broader possibilities of perception of the reasons of his work. Viktor Frešo is interested in direct, efficient, visual tools. He prefers short interval between action and reaction and conditions of quick recognition of relations between the expressing “me“ and the indication “he“. Therefore the form of a brief slogan suits him. Whether he intervenes into public space or exhibits in galleries he takes care that an immediate creative action shows itself in the execution – a GESTURE. Another very typical aspect is the interference into the world of media where without any respect he publicly presents his radical and often despising opinions of the society and art scene which might irritate and provoke a discussion about what is and what is not acceptable as contemporary art or just a self-centred affect of the artist. Recently among other things the author devotes himself to the art of sculpture and painting. www.viktorfreso.com


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

For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have had the chance to speak with multidisciplinary Viktor Freso one of the most remarkable artist of the contemporary scene in the region of the former Czechoslovakia. In his work Birth of the Niemand that has been recently exhibited at the Wanrooij Gallery and that we'll be discussing in the following pages, he accomplished the difficult task of finding a point of convergence between the materic essence of plasticity and unstability of contemporariness. Marked out with an interdisciplinary feature, Freso's approach urges the viewers to rethink about the nature of artistic experience: one of the most convincing aspects of his's work is the way it creates an area of vivid interplay between experience and perception, inviting the viewers to explore the unstable relationship between human intervention and freedom in the contemporary age. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to his stimulating production. Hello Viktor, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. We would start this interview posing you some questions about your background: you have a solid formal training and you studied both in Bratislava at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava and in Prague at the Academy of Fine Arts where he

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graduated with a diploma. How have these experiences influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you deal with the aesthetic problem in general? I was born in Czechoslovakia, and for me, this country was the source of everything I needed when I€was young. There is a huge difference between Bratislava and Prague. There are different mentalities and different cultural and historical contexts, but there is also certain closeness. I think that Slovaks draw more from the experience of the Czechs when it comes to culture itself, but as I€have already said, it has a€ lot to do with the historical context. The Prague Academy of Fine Arts was clearly a better school and brought me up in the environment of Czech post-conceptualism of the 90’s and its aftermath in Eastern Europe. My studies in Prague taught me how to think about art and creation itself. Personally, I feel to be more influenced by the Czech art scene rather than the Slovak. I believe that the Czech environment has helped me to accept the background I€ came from, and to create in the context of post-communist conceptual art with some radicalism and continuous connection with the phenomenon of Eastern European social art. 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


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classification. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://viktorfreso.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that such multidisciplinary approach is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore. I claim that art or creation is not only a definition of a particular strategy, but the way of thinking. It probably doesn’t matter what you do, what matters is what you think when you do it and how good you are at it. I€keep entering different media where I€try to leave my fingerprint or my handwriting, even if I€sometimes feel uncertain whether I’m able to discover anything new. But I still believe that I€can achieve my best potential in sculpture. There I feel confident. Sculpture is close to my heart, a€discipline that I’m passionate about. When I€reach some point of understanding, I often leave it. This is what happened with me and video art or photography. I keep trying to find myself in painting and installations. By the way, I think that painting is the hardest and most personalized discipline of creative art, where it is very difficult to apply calculation or strategy. It’s like 100 men at the Olympics in the art, it’s the most watched area where people feel the need to express themselves. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected your Birth of the Niemand, a stimulating project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention of this work is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of creating an harmonic mix between a figurative approach to the evokative you combine together: when walking our readers through the genesis of it, would

you shed a light about the role of metaphors in your process? Just like it is difficult to translate the exact word “Pičus“, it is difficult to describe the whole mix of emotions that this statue raises and mainly represents. It’s mostly arrogance, negativism, and lack of self-confidence, meanness and unhealthy and insidious selfimportance. The essence of negative emotions that people try to hide all their lives represented in a€low-height gentleman, whose insignificance is completed by a€small penis. In paradox, this series of emotions causes a feeling of ridicule of his insignificant importance and arrogance. The installation “The birth of Niemand“ is based on the Chinese Terracotta Army of some angry, raging little men, where in the middle of this army not a€hero but Niemand is born, someone who is just a little more than others, but only because he is conscious of himself. A€link to totalitarian regimes and herd behaviour of people is also one of the aspects that I wanted to express along with irony and humour, but also criticism of human stupidity and insignificance. This statue raises strong emotions in people and its success is based on presenting negative emotions, such as arrogance, to which people are not used much and which gets them into a€state of emotional confusion. It’s simply the Niemand. As the late Franz West did in his installations, Birth of the Niemand shows unconventional aesthetics in the way it deconstructs perceptual images in order to assemble them in a collective imagery, urging the viewers to a process of self-reflection. Artists are always interested in probing to see what is beneath the surface: wmaybe one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your view about this? The central motif in my art work is self-portrait. The only thing I do periodically is that

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through art I try to see myself in front of myself. I am a big sexist, a central-European and a Slavonian and I think that this is the truth that I want to work with. My work shows self-irony and self-presentation of even the lowest character traits. This strategy frees me and destroys complexes that I€logically should have from such character traits. By creating and presenting my weaknesses, I€treat myself by transforming them into virtues. I’m a believer and I don’t think that showing arrogance and anger is wrong, because that’s who I am and that’s what is deep inside me. I’m a€bit sceptical when it comes to uncovering the depth through art. Sometimes it seems to me that artists try too hard to bring some deeper principles into the already overcrowded world, but maybe trying too hard is to the detriment of the cause as all this causes is the disappearance of pure essence and nature of individual works of art. I€find intellectual art to be boring and I don’t have time for it. I€need to feel a little more excitement and sex in art.

art ever. The inscription comprises of a large number of levels, whether philosophical or theological, political, or even sarcastic. It is a spiritual avenue and in my view it’s very true, contemporary and timeless. In short, there are many ways how to interpret it. This work and the Niemand have something in common. They are both able to communicate with ordinary people and raise great emotions. I€had prepared the inscription God is Love for a long time and I'm really glad that I got this idea as a gift. Absolutely the greatest experience was when during one exhibition I€filled a€church in Košice with people where this inscription was lit in the gothic church, directly above the altar, accompanied with the sounds of organ. It was the most amazing experience of how art can be implemented. This phrase has the power to disarm people and make them perceive that moment of time in a more positive way and more relaxed.

Another interesting project from your recent artistic production that has particular impacted on us and on which we would like to spend some words is entitled God is Love: marked out with a stimulating postmodern aesthetics, this body of works conveys a pure essence of all spiritual dogmas and seems to speak us of a modern kind of syncretism capable of triggering the viewers' primordial parameters concerning our relation with both spirituality and the physical sphere: 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?

You are often critical in your works, that are pervaded with an effective criticism regarding not only a variety of issues that affects our unstable era, but also the contemporary art scene: many artists from the contemporary scene, as Ai WeiWei or more recently Jennifer Linton, use to 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 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 could be in your opinion the role that an artist could play in the contemporary society?

I’m pleased that you have chosen this work as the subject of your question. I love this inscription and I€even think that this work is one of the top works of art of the conceptual

For me, Ai Wei Wei is a€product of the current era, same as Damian Hirst. I fully respect it and I'm a big fan, but I think that it‘s a simple artistic strategy, a practice that is the same

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as when an advertising agency comes up with the form of some campaign. Before all that, there‘s a great talent, but the dimensions that it has gained is the typical product of the current era. I don’t consider it too interesting, it involves huge amount of money, production and strategies, and thus it‘s a collective effort of some artist’s image. I personally don’t like political art, because I often don’t believe it, and it doesn’t raise any emotions in me, it makes me sick and it’s boring, but at the same time, I€understand it and used to be part in it for a€while in a€local environment, but later I’ve left it since I€found out that it‘s not entirely true and that I’m not determined enough to put my life and my career on the line for an idea or truth. I‘m just a€consumer, a man living in Europe, and I€don‘t want to fight. In my opinion, the role of an artist on the contrary should involve shifting of stereotypes and offering experience, whether positive or negative, or simply emotions and everyone can choose what he prefers. This is why some people like political art and need it and others just don’t like it. I perceive art as art, it doesn’t need a label, it’s either good or bad and I€don’t care whether it‘s political or not. And yet I must add that I€move a lot in the US-European context, and in terms of civilization, it‘s also a€local code of understanding quality. I have always been fascinated by the fact how we forget to apply local points of view. Your work convey both metaphoric and descriptive research and the compelling narrative that pervades it invites the viewers to a multilayered experience. In particular, the The Elevator accomplishes the difficult task of constructing of a concrete aesthetic from mundane experience and symbols, working on both subconscious and conscious level. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion, personal experience is absolutely indispensable as part of the creative process? Do you think that a creative

process could be disconnected from direct experience? Yes, I think that a creative process could be disconnected from experience. I call it strategy, where each creative process works by using some structures and equations and the actual setting of these parameters if often a rational decision. It’s the same in the work Elevator, which formed part of an installation Stop EAST EUROPEAN CONCEPTUAL ART. This issue of east-European art goes beyond the level of acceptability. After Roman Ondak or Julius Koller achieved international success, many artists carried on with post-conceptualism of the late 90’s, mainly in the Czech Republic and I think that a midstream was created in this area. It’s a declining conceptual art without a spark of opinion or courage. My statue Elevator denies all principles of a functioning elevator. It is located on the ground, its vertical motion has changed by means of wheels to horizontal and its presented as an object that the viewer sees only from the outside and that cannot be entered, which is completely opposite to a real elevator, which we never see from the outside, because its hidden. This work is ironic and critical, inspired by elevators used in eastEuropean flats and blocks of flats. This is a response to the scene and need to get somewhere in life when it comes to career. The elevator is a symbol of the journey to another level. It’s a€career paranoia that artists have always dealt with. Unfortunately, it‘s necessary. There's a confllictual still effective relationship between aesthetics and communication strategy in your installations: 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?

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That‘s interesting, but equally we can say that contemporary art is a€calculation of emptiness and combining of everything that has not been combined yet. :}. As I’ve already mentioned, my work is especially about myself and I’m interested in strong and simple aesthetics and gesture. I like passion and interaction. I accept the game on any emotions and at the same time, I think everything is possible. I€respect all strategies but I no longer know exactly what I like because I keep finding that I like things that I€didn’t register at all as a€student, like traditional sculpture or painting. My opinion is changing. I feel like I got some ideas as a gift, as if I€wasn’t behind them, but whenever I€implement them I can see myself in them. It's as if I worked for someone called Frešo. I’m working for Frešo. Over these years you works have been internationally exhibited, including your recent solo Niemand in Amsterdam, at the Wanrooij Gallery: one of the hallmarks of your projects is strictly connected to the chance of establishing a direct involvement with the viewers, who are called to evolve from a mere spectatorship to conscious participants on an intellectual level, so before leaving this conversation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context? That‘s very interesting, but honestly, I've never considered it important. I‘ve always had a few people around me whose opinion I€care about, but I€have never taken the opinion of others, either fans or laics, as decisive. Only when I made the sculpture Niemand, I€have to note that it was made rather as a€joke, I€realized that it addressed a huge number of people, who liked it. Dozens of

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people buy it and want it. A large fan base has formed on social networks as well as on the scene. It's interesting and it's a phenomenon. I‘m very pleased, but also very surprised. Whether I make an army of 20 sculptures or any other character, works like these are so popular that it has to be taken as a popular strategy. But I don’t think it in the market and art-fair manner. An exhibition in a reputable institution is much more valuable for me than an auction record made by this statue. I’m an opportunist and conflicting person, I€don‘t want to be the darling of the audience. I€don‘t like it. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Viktor. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving? I am extremely glad that you’ve chosen me, and I must say that your questions were really good and smart. I only want to say that it‘s a gift from God when one can live out of art, and I€appreciate it every day and realize that it’s also thanks to projects like yours and the readers, because whether I make sculptures or paintings or anything else, it’s important to do it with love and gratitude and I'm really grateful that I can do art, even if I€come from Eastern Europe, where living only out of art is difficult. My plan is to create a€monograph and at least 10 meter high statue of Niemand in the public space, but that takes time and money. www.viktorfreso.com

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

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Kami Bugnet Lives and works in Neukรถlln, Berlin, Germany

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ow far does one need to go, in order to get to the place where he came from? My project was inspired by the daily life of the French people between the years 1830-1962 in Algeria. Algeria was conquered by France and was considered to be a French territory, for all intents and purposes nevertheless, the French that arrived to Algeria kept the family values, the language and French culture. The great distance between EuropeanFrance and African-Algeria allowed the development of something new that was created from the clash, between East and West. This development is reflected in the work of Albert Camus, whom influenced a lot in this work. The Colonial culture

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which I refer to is the French culture which is my father's family heritage, Algerian-born French, while I am referring also to my own culture, sensitive Israeli culture. Using the images I will show, I want to emphasize the contrast between our daily routine and the suffering of the 'Other' This is expressed in the way we manage to live our life in the presence of the 'Other'. Does the seemingly unimportant daily routine give us basic condolence? Does the daily routine censor the chaos and cruelty, that reality contains us by blurring our feelings and turning us Isolated from each other?

Kami Bugnet


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Kami Bugnet An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator

aesthetic problem in general?

and Isabelle Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

When exploring the contrast between our daily routine and the suffering of the 'Other', artist Kami Bugnet captures a variety of features that marks out the relationship between French culture and her own Israelian one. In her recent Sunburn series that we'll be discussing in the following pages, Bugnet provides the viewers with a multilayered experience, urging them to question the multifaceted and sometimes conflictual relation between cultural heritage and our ever changing, unstable contemporary age. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Kami, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. We would start this interview posing you some questions about your background: you have a solid formal training and after your studies at the Shenkar College, you joined the BFA program at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, from which you eventually graduated in the field of Photography. You also attended the University of Brighton as an exchange student: so we would lie to ask you how does these experiences influenced your evolution as an artist. In particular, how does your cultural substratum dued to your Israelian roots informs the way you relate yourself to art making and to the

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I was born and raised in Tel Aviv my whole life, Tel Aviv is the big city in Israel, it's open 24 hours, you can reach whatever you want, it's open, it's big, it's loud, we have the beach, it was great growing up there. eventhough it's so small comparing to european capitalls and metropolitans you can really get anything that you want in Tel Aviv, the rest of Israel are calling Tel Aviv the bubble. In war times and difficult political times, Tel Aviv stays relatively calm then the rest of the country. I'm coming from very left-wing political family and when I was 18 it was my time like every other kid to join the army. when I decide that I don't want to serve I knew that I am going to a war against whole norms. the army is the greatest pathos in Israel, if you died you are a hero, children dress up like soldiors in holidays, families educate their kids to go to war to fight I've decided not to be a part of it. I didn't want to be a small part in a big organization that I don't believe in. I tried to not be an Israeli, I didn't go to the army and instead I started to learn fashion and art. at the age of 20 I moved to Jerusalem, all the openess i was growing into shut infront of my eyes, it was too much, too much jewish too much muslims to much christians. the people of jerusalem we're not nice to me, they were rude and didn't smile.


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people there are extremely religious which mean there we're no weekends. "Shabat" started and the city got closed, there is no tranportation, no coffee places, no supermarket, if you need something you will have to walk across the city to the arabs quarters to buy groceries,I hated the weekends over there, they were too quiet. when i got into the exchange program it was like a dream, finally 5 months in england at the "Univesity of Brighton" . i dreamd about England all my life, and it really was great. Everything was different, everyone were so calm down, the light was different there. There was auttumn , in Israel we never had it before. we only have summer and winter. the coming back was hard, just 4 months after I came back a new violant war started ("zuk eitan") i was really scared the bubble didn't save me anymore like it used to i felt that something have to change i hated anything about it and then i understood that i have to except my part in the middle-east to feel the changes. I understood that i'm a part of a corrupt blood sucking country and that i'm not in Europe anymore, I'm back in Israel, this is how "sunburn" born inside me. Your Photography encapsulates several viewpoints and reveals a stimulating inquiry into the realm of everyday life and environment, to extract an effective non linear narrative that rejects any conventional classification. Before starting to http://kamibugnet.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that such approach is the only way to

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express and convey the idea you explore.

I photographed Israel but i imagined Algier in my eyes. it was my dream to go to Algier but as an israeli i'm not allowed to do so.in the images I deleted every specific place and time into the benefit of the series. the only way i could made my point was to combine this 2 meaningful places into one. I was highly influenced by Albert camus especially his books : "the first man" and "the stranger" which deals the topic of how much we are important and how much we're not. Camus open a world that was hidden to me no one in my family really talked about algier. the end of the colonies and the return back to france was too hard on them, they were strangers there. the "enlightened" european born and raised french looked at the coming-back french haughtiness, they called them "pied noir" so the memories of coming back to the land they heard so much about but never visited before turn its back on them so no one really shared those moments with me. in this way Albert camus open my eyes. i can relate to the life in algier, it was similar to the life in Israel. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected Sunburn, a stimulating series that our readers have already stared to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention of this body of works is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of creating an harmonic mix between a figurative, realistic approach to the evokative reminders conveyed the images you captured: when walking our readers through the genesis of Sunburn, would

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you shed light about your realtionship with the outside world?

Sunburn is a parable. it has the story of my father's family in Algeria, my grandpa was a soldior in the french foreign legion like his father before him, and his father before. as a part of it my father and his family moved with him through french colonies in Africa my family was in Algeria for over a hundread years. as a kid, i thaught it was very cool that my father grew up in africa: madagascar,djibouti... when i came back from england it was the first time of me realizing what colonies meant, what france is. i was always so proud in my french heritage and passport i didn't truly understand what it meant. i found myself stuck in the corner, from one side i'm in occupating country and the other side a complicated colonial empire. it got me thinking how can I leave my normal life, How can i go to the beach and shooping and talk with my friends about girls stuff while a true horrors happen outside my bubble. this is when i came up and then i decided to explore this two question: Does the seemingly unimportant daily routine give us basic condolence? Does the daily routine censor the chaos and cruelty, that reality contains us by blurring our feelings and turning us Isolated from each other? We have highly appreciated the way your inquiry into the dichotomy between the readicated beauty and the generated one goes beyond a merely interpretative aspect of the contexts you refer to. Your works could be considered as visual biographies that unveil the elusive still ubiquitous feature of the notion of beauty. As the late Franz West did in his installations, your pieces show

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unconventional aesthetics in the way it deconstructs perceptual images in order to assemble them in a collective imagery, urging the viewers to a process of self-reflection. Artists are always interested in probing to see what is beneath the surface: maybe one of the roles of a photographer could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your view about this?

As a photographer you always need to be a bit manipulative, there is a reality and there is the reality that I want to create. I use a pallet of colors and light to make an extreme difference between the addicted bright images to gloomy reality. the sunlight is a condensed happiness, but if we'll look again we'll see the emptiness, the dried stones, the colors are bright because they are thirsty. There's a subtle but effective sociopolitical criticism in your investigation about the contrast between our daily routine and the suffering of the 'Other'. While lots of artists from the contemporary scene, as Ai WeiWei or more recently Jennifer Linton, use to convey open sociopolitical criticism in their works, you seem more interested to hint the direction, inviting the viewers to a process of self-reflection that may lead to subvert a variety of usual, almost stereotyped cultural categories. Do you consider that your works could be considered political in a certain sense 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?

This question is very good, my project is

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without a doubt political. I see myself as a political artist even though I use small hints in fine photography. it's not in your face like Ai Weiwei and Jennifer Linton (which I absolutely love) it is some kind of a self search that I trust my viewers to understand. it won't survive without the inside dialogue that they have to manage by themselves. I truly believe in personalize the political situation in Israel. This is why I tell a story that people can relate to, a story of a family, a story of a country. If you can relate to the images, the emptiness and the fake happiness, you can understand that something need to be change. every individual can make his tiny decisions that will promise a good future. I don't want to talk on behalf of all the contemporary political artist, but I think that one of the strongest motive will be the mirror motive, the personalize, the individual or alternatively crowd effect. Besides an accurate descriptive research you combine elements from environment with evocative symbols, creates a compelling narrative that invites the viewers to a multilayered experience. A distinctive mark of the way you convey emotions into your works is the construction of a concrete aesthetic from experience and memories and symbols, working on both subconscious and conscious level. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion, personal experience is absolutely indispensable as part of the creative process? Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I do believe that for every creation you need to have some kind of personal connection or association. I don't think

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you need to be sad to create heart breaking work. I do think though that you need to understand what you're talking about before your'e talking about it. I tried to look in a different perspective of a different country that both of them are allegedely not mine. so the symbol of the eye motive is the strongest one in my opinion, the perspective are personal and obsereved. when i was a kid, my father told me that my great grandpa, after many wars that he survived , lost his eye and replaced it with a glass eye. He had a factory in Algeria, once he had to leave early cause my great grandma was in labors, the man, being paranoid after all this wars, was sure that in the minute he will leave the factory all his employings will stop working and cut the day off. so he shouted through everybody, i'm leaving but im going to leave my glass eye here and watch all of you, so you better work, and that's what he did and left. The fruible set of elements you draw from universal imagery triggers the viewers' primordial parameters concerning our relation with the space we inhabit and especially the notion of 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?

From ancient egypt till 2016 art is here to look out as hardly as you will look in. art is here to criticize. One of the hallmarks of your work is the chance of establishing a direct involvement with the viewers, who are called to evolve from a mere spectatorship to conscious participants

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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?

This is very interesting question as well, like theater in my opinion my works can't work and won't work without the self participation of the viewrs. I do trust my viewers to know and to want to know and like theater when there is no audience it's not really existing beacuse im very critical and i'm observing some harsh topics i find it important to people to realize the situation and to answer some hard questions. maybe we are not that important as an individuals Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Kami. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

thank you very much, it was very interesting and thaught provoking. i'll continue working and trying to understand deeply the questions that i have approached above. Im working on a short film that hopefully will establish to explain the chaos off the hot burning sun in the middle east.

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

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D arren Kirwan Lives and works in Cork, Ireland

An artist's statement

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make art with computers in a bid to better understand the technology that consumes us as much as we consume it. I attempt to explore the cultural and societal affects of the media as well as the information that this media brings to us. The

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methods I use to create with computers are determined by the project itself but always tend to have a basis in audio and sound design.

Darren Kirwan


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Darren Kirwan An interview by Melissa C. Hilborn, curator and Isabelle Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

Artist Darren Kirwan's work challenges the viewers' perceptual categories by trigging their limbic parameters to draw them into a multilayered and immersive experience. In his work signal:noise, that we'll be discussing in the following pages, he accomplishes an insightful inquiry to unveil how technology consumes us as much as we consume it. One of the most convincing aspect of Kirwan's approach is the way highlights the connections between our perceptual process and the elusive nature of the notions of space and materiality in our unstable contemporary age: we are really pleased to introduce our readers to his stimulating artistic production. Hello Darren and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any particular experiences that have influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to artmaking and to the aesthetic problem in general?

Hello, thanks for inviting me to take part in this edition of your publication. My educational background consists of a bachelors degree in Music, Media and Performance Technology at the University

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of Limerick in Ireland graduating in 2010. Studying this set me off on a relentless progression of exploration into the possibilities of creating sound with computers. One of the most important experiences for me in terms of blowing my horizons wide open and allowing myself to imagine being creative with sound, outside that of the established forms, was a Summer spent in Montreal in 2009 when I trawled through the city to find as much experimental music as I could. While I am sure I only scratched the surface of what was actually happening in this thriving city, it was enough to promote a massive shift in my thinking about how I could use sound creatively. I spent many years after graduation working alone exploring generative, algorithmic and procedural sound design albeit with a relatively small amount of artistic output. In the last number of years I have put a bigger emphasis on giving the sound I was making a visual context and taught myself to use various different tools for generating visual media. While living in Vienna for some years, I began attending a small annual media arts festival near Salzburg, called Schmiede, which allows attendees to come together and combine a huge variety of practices and disciplines and


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realize works of amazing quality and diversity in a very short space of time. This festival is truly a flurry of creative fertility and has had a profound affect on how I approach my art practice and how I try to live my life. The idea of being an artist has always been a big struggle for me, just to call myself that seemed like I was not successful or recognized enough in any field to be considered this. But a lot of people I meet have a profoundly positive affect on me in how I view myself and my work, and in particular one person I have developed a special relationship with in the last number of months has helped me to see the value and importance of being an artist and to be so with pride. This acceptance has had a very liberating affect on my approach to my work. Because I spent quite a number of years working alone without very much outside input, relationships and social engagement for me has become so important for the validity of my work and also the forms it takes. Although not necessarily intentionally, I think that because my practice involves the implementation of computers and technology on media that is so pervasive in society it somehow forces me to explore the societal affects of this media. There is a big digital emphasis in my work in an aesthetic sense but I am always trying to be conscious of not disconnecting this from the organic world, somehow fusing the two. Hopefully doing so in contrast to how a lot of the technology we use fails to do. Your approach coherently encapsulates several disciplines and reveals an incessant search of an organic

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Darren Kirwan


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investigation about the societal and cultural affects of the media and the information that this media brings to us: the results convey together a coherent and consistent sense of harmony and unity. While walking our readers through your process and set up, we would like to ask you how did you develope your style and how do you conceive your works.

I'm not sure if the process I use when starting a new piece is ever the same. I tend to make what I feel without trying to adhere to any specific criteria or satisfy a funding body and then see what comes out of it. I would always begin with an aesthetic objective rather than a conceptual one. The aesthetic I think is almost always inspired by behaviors and characteristics of certain phenomena in the natural world such as moving water, cloud formations, weather, swarms. During the process of experimenting with the aesthetic, the concept of the piece somehow reveals itself to me, or perhaps the way Im feeling or thinking about certain things enters into the aesthetic and a more whole art piece starts to emerge. This can be quite a long process. From this point on the concept and emotions and messages I am trying to portray have a direct influence on how the aesthetic develops. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected signal:noise, an interesting project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article and we would suggest them to visit https://vimeo.com/131551735 in order to get a wider idea of it. What has at once caught our attention of this work is the way it brings the relationship between sound and image to a new level of

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significance, urging us to rethink and sometimes even subvert the way we relate ourselves to such ubiquitous concept: while walking our readers through the genesis of this project, would you shed light on the notion of space-creation on which this captivating project is centered?

I am very pleased to know that the relationship between sound and image was revealing to you. The original premise for the piece was to create audio/visual abstractions of unwanted noise artifacts in communication signals since the beginning of the electric age. I tend to make sound in a procedural fashion, in that it is a system that generates, in real-time, the sound I want rather than designing in a sound editor to create a sound file and play it back. This approach lends itself well for designing sound like electric signals that are constant, not changing very much, but also never repeating themselves. I believe this in itself gives somewhat of an organic feeling to the aesthetic. The visual for these abstractions was also designed in such a way and is also very tightly intwined with the audio system. The way I present the media is always a huge part of the process and I wanted to present these audio visual abstractions in a format that may conjure feelings of nostalgia with these old CRT television screens to perhaps encourage viewers to reflect upon what has changed with the media technology that we consume/consumes us and what has changed in us since the demise of these TVs. I became very conscious of how modern media affects us as a society and I started to do a lot of research into what various prominent media theorists,

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Darren Kirwan


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intellects, writers and activists were writing and talking about with regards to this. Many of these are featured in the piece as talking heads in quick snippets that come in and out pseudo-randomly, broken up by the noise artifacts, giving the viewer fragments of ideas and allowing some space for them to fill the gaps with their own thoughts and reflections about the media they are consuming. signal:noise provides the viewers with an intense, immersive experience: how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space? In particular, how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience and how much importance has chance in your process?

I get quite upset and sometimes angry at the amount of media we are confronted with in our daily lives in urban public spaces in the form of advertising. It seems quite offensive to a society, that the majority of media we consume is forced upon us, trying to sell to us, with the premise for its design and presentation based in brainwashing and exploiting our primal instincts to make us feel the need to consume. I think people do react very strongly to art in public spaces and they tend to inherit a sort of ownership over it I have noticed, which is great as they tend to protect it. Perhaps the reason people do react so strongly is because they are starved of it and are so used to being sold to around every corner and when they come across something that is there purely for artistic reasons without any commercial agenda it has a profound affect on them. But it is unfortunate how rare this is.

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We humans are in particular attracted to moving images, our eyes are lured towards it, whether the content is of interest to us or not, and with advances in technology we are confronted more and more with moving images, as advertising in public spaces, especially in bigger cities, where people are engaging less and less with each other and the natural environment and more with the technology that surrounds them. I think this is a big problem and it is an arresting subject matter that features strongly in my newest audio visual performance piece, in.stance. I think in an attempt to create an immersive experience signal:noise mimics the method in which media is flashed at us everyday particularly in the form of advertising. The way in which it draws us in with its quick visual cuts and how it promises to enhance our lives is something I was quite conscious of when deciding upon the timing of the piece in a bid to create this immersive experience with the viewer. As if they are being promised that this piece holds the solution to the "technology problem" when in fact it never stays still long enough to come to any solid conclusions, rather forcing the viewer to be more introspective. Because this piece is being generated on a computer in real-time I am afforded the ability to introduce large amounts of chance. The cuts between the various elements of this piece is quite random and the section of film that is selected at any given time is non-determinative. This is an important aspect of my work particularly with installations. The absence of a start and end point for installation art is something that I try

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very carefully to adhere to. Introducing chance operations is a strong aspect of this. With sound and video pieces I believe that, to not have any distinct start and end points gives much more a sense of immersion into the installation space creating the impression that it is happening only there and not a looped piece that was created in another place, dropped in and played back into the space. That being said, some of my favorite installation audio and video works do have clearly defined start and end points, its just personal preference in approach I guess. When inquiring into the realm of the physical space, you draw from the subconscious, almost oniric sphere, inviting the viewers to challenge their primordial, almost limbic parameters to get involved into a multilayered experience: your approach allows you to capture non-sharpness of physicality with an universal kind of language that brings to a new level of significance the elusive but ubiquitous relationship between experience and memory: what is the role of memory in your process? We are particularly interested if you try to achieve to trigger the viewers' memory as starting point to expand their perceptual parameters.

In this particular piece I would say that it is true, the role of memory plays quite an important part in creating an emotional or reflective response in the viewers. Technology is something that we often just accept into our lives without ever really questioning why it is there and then very quickly we forget how we ever lived without it. Although being a hugely recognizable figure, not just in media theory but in media in general, I feel that

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the premise of Marshall McLuhan's work, particularly in The Medium is the Massage, is not considered enough in society. The technology speeds up our lives fast enough to not allow us to question why its there or what it is doing to us. There are elements to this piece that I hoped would take viewers back through the ages of technology in their own memories and allow them to reconnect with these times. Sound plays a crucial role in your work and we have appreciated the way signal:noise, through an effective synergy between Art and Technology, creates a unique, ethereal experience. The impetuous way modern technology has nowadays came out on the top has dramatically revolutionized the idea of Art itself: in a certain sense, we are forced to rethink about the intimate aspect of constructed realities and especially about the materiality of an artwork itself, since just few years ago it was a tactile materialization of an idea. We are sort of convinced that new media will definitely fill the apparent dichotomy between art and technology and seemingly Art and Technology are going to assimilate one to each other... what's your opinion about this?

I would say that this is quite true. But how will this new media change our expectations of art? Or the way we experience it? Will art become the flag bearer that ushers us into a more and more virtual existence? Will we start to demand as much from art as we do from technology? My fear with technology is that it currently does not attempt to truly integrate itself into the physical world,

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preferring instead to suck us into a virtual one where we can no longer touch, smell, absorb external physical energies, gauge human reactions or have a real, fullsensory experience. The ambience you created has reminded us of the concept of non lieu elaborated by French anthropologit Marc AugĂŠ. As the late Franz West did in his installations, signal:noise shows unconventional features in the way it deconstructs perceptual processes in order to assemble them in a collective imagery, urging the viewers to a process of self-reflection. Artists are always interested in probing to see what is beneath the surface: maybe one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your view about this?

Well I think that this is one of the most important roles of art at least for me anyway. To stir something beneath the surface, wow, this can happen in many ways with art I think. To find something inside yourself that you didn't know was there when working creatively in an instinctive way, ideas that reveal themselves in your own work without ever intending, a performer reacting to a feeling in a space or an audience to express something unknown to themselves, an audience connected to one another on some undefinable metaphysical level through a shared experience, a single individual brought deep inside their consciousness triggering an unexpected emotional response. I think that an art piece can be as much, if not more, about the viewer than the art itself. The viewer brings their own

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experiences, perspectives and intellect to the art in a way that is too complex to intentionally anticipate for an artist. But the deeper and more thoughtful the art is and the more layers it has then I guess the more likely it is too initiate an unexpected response from the viewer's inner nature. One of the hallmarks of your artistic practice is the capability to create direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

That's an interesting question that Im not too sure how to answer. Seems to pose more questions: are my aware of who will be the audience of my work? Do I make art for a particular audience group? Do I need to know who the audience of my work is in order to consider how they might perceive it? If I am considering this then is it a case of being socially sensitive or a compromise of the work? Art is a strange thing in many ways, because I am quite sure that some of the most beautiful and profound experiences I have had with art many of my friends and family wouldn't even consider art. So by making art that a lot of the people I know might not consider art or understand as art, are my excluding them if I do think about audience reception?

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I guess the answer is I don't know and I somehow hope that this does not influence the decision-making process. But it is definitely my intention to make art that people can engage with so in some way I must be sensitive to that but I can't quite define exactly how. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Darren. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I am very eager to start working with sound and particularly light in a much more physical sense, moving slightly away from projections on flat surfaces and exploring the dynamics of light in space, much like how sound inhabits space. From working with computers so much, it is now, more so than ever, very important that I create art that does not embody the expressively restrictive nature of the computer that it was created on. I still see so much potential in using computers to accomplish very complex tasks with stunning results, but for me it has to be brought into the physical material world as strongly as possible. Not as an extension of the computer but as an organism that is deeply assimilated into the real world. Maybe this is how art and technology will come together. Thank you for publishing some of my work and for your nice words about it.

An interview by Melissa C. Hilborn, curator and Isabelle Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

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

Marija Roduner's work explores a variety of issues, inviting the viewers to rethink about the perception of sound. In Wisdom of the Sound, that we'll be discussing in the following pages, she unveils the connections between our perceptual process and the elusive nature of sound and accomplishes the difficult task of drawing the viewers into a multilayered experience. One of the most convincing aspect of Roduner's approach is the way it inquires into the notion of transformation in social and cultural environment by using elements and symbols of music: we are really pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating artistic production. Hello Marija 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 haveing attended music schools in your native Serbia, you moved to Switzerland to study with David W. Johnson and Sandro Ceccarelli at the prestigious Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana, from which you eventually degreed in 2011. How do these different experiences influenced your evolution as a musician and as an artist in general? And in particular, how does

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

I would like to thank you for your attention and especially for your interest in our performance “Wisdom of the sound” which will be explained later. Studying in Serbia during the years of different political pressures, embargo, sanctions was a big challenge from the very beginning. Increased interest and need for meeting artists from all around the world, in order to get in touch with different approaches and experiences, which were very important for personal development, brought the possibility for pursuing postgraduate studies in Switzerland. I would like to make a special emphasis to the collaboration on free improvisation with professor Walter Fähndrich. How different experiences and knowledge influenced my works is mostly about understanding better functions, limits, development of individual work. “Wisdom of the sound” as performance can be pictured as tools for transmission and intention that tend to meet in general sounding expressions. As a multi-disciplinary visual and musical project, “Wisdom of the sound” has a goal to provoke personal aesthetics about sound and musical aphorism, to create opinion and


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communication, develop musicality and independence in thoughts and judgment. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected Wisdom of the Sound, an interesting project that our readers can to get to know at https://youtu.be/AQzl7O73Fi8. What has at once caught our attention of this work is the way it brings the notion of change that affects our unstable societies to a new level of significance, urging us to rethink and sometimes even subvert the way we relate ourselves to such ubiquitous concept: while walking our readers through the genesis of this project, would you shed light on the way your main source of inspirations?

Cesare De Vita created sounding sculptures - Platonic solids based on Leonardo Da Vinci illustrations in Divina proportione. High resonant sounds of Platonic solids and horns are made of similar kind of metal and I was curious about finding a language that could be used for those instruments. I was also looking for the possibility to involve Cesare as a performer on his Platonic solids.The idea was that he tries to express his intuitive stories. In interaction with ambient he gain more from specific and casual interpretation, since he didn’t have musical experience as a performer. By putting several elements together I made the connection between horn duo and Platonic solids, Platonic solids with Cesare and between him and the audience.

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Wisdom of the Sound provides the viewers with an intense, immersive experience: how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience?

In this case, creating a relation with sound of horns, through the interpretation of Platonic Solid (performer who is not a trained musician) that depends on a personal reaction of being presented to audience. Also on the reaction on the transformation of the sound in acoustic properties of the space. Therefore audience is kindly asked to take part in this intention to find the “wisdom” of the sound, with this performance, which is in search of new expressions. How much importance has improvisation in your process? In particular, there has often been criticism that institutionalizing improvisation is contradictory to the ideology of improvisation. Do you think this is true?

I completely agree with the fact that institutionalising improvisation is contrary of the original ideology. The use of certain musical rules such as pentatonic scale reminds of traditional improvisation that depends on some theme or basis of something already existing. “Wisdom of the sound” has a musical fragments based on pentatonic scale, but the patterns are used in order to follow the fluency of gesture and reaction of Platonic Solid performer. Intention is not to make the improvisation on the theme. It can be more the sort of improvisation in terms of free association.

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Drawing from accessible and evokative sounds, Wisdom of the Sound 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 accomplish the vital restoration you pursued in this work, 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 reactions did you expect to provoke in the viewers

“The wisdom of the sound� has the idea of building sounding process through general music context, visual forms and interaction with audience. Musical fragments can be always rebuild and adopted according to occasion, as well as to the acoustic properties of the space. On that way, communication beyond usual verbal or musical rules and conventions, has a main purpose toward remind the audience to have more curiosity about possibilities and advantages of communication. Your approach is pervaded with a subtle but effective narrative: your successful attempt to capture nonsharpness of sound with an universal kind of language brings to a new level of significance the elusive but ubiquitous relationship between experience and memory: what is the role of memory in your process? We are 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

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I would rather say that I use memory as starting point to create. Already existing values ​and aesthetic gives a solid base for the exploration of new expressive potentials. I think that the transformation of one form into another is a process which brings the evolution of work and inspiration. This project is based on same idea.“Wisdom of the sound” as performance looks like a translation from elements of philosophy and art theory (Platonic solids, Pythagoras harmonic system and philosophy of opposites, pentatonic system etc.) trough research of expressions and reactions about space and people. High resonant tones of percussion instruments in dialogue with much lower harmonics of horns, joined together in musical fragments based on pentatonic scale, brings the experience closer to topics of harmonic resonances and to the concept of sound itself. Over these years you have earned a wide experience as a horn theacher. How did this experience impact on the way you relate yourself to art making? In particular, have you ever happened to draw inspiration from the ideas of your students?

For me teaching is a really important part of my work and progress. Teaching any kind of arts is like mechanism that pushes us forward with renewed motivation, positivity, respect for ideas and necessary goals for creating. Teaching starts as a transmission from professional experience. Later, professional work also grows being influenced by the teaching efforts. Many of the solutions that we are looking for teaching encourage new ideas, specially

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if they are of experimental nature. For example, students often develop in new dimensions learned material and that can surely be inspiring for their teachers. We believe that interdisciplinary collaboration 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 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

After different projects on music as a horn duo with my colleague Angelo Pollino, this performance has started from the collaboration with sculptor Cesare de Vita. Preparation is really important for the function of collaboration. Before having expectations from the others that we are collaborating with, we need to be sure what we want from ourselves in that particular project. From very beginning, all three of us had different ideas and sensibilities. Those differences became the inspiration for me. Idea about basic functions and patterns came from need to make a space for each of us. Communication between several artists could create a bigger picture, better develop of the same idea, transform or to make completely new material if the artists are open and ready for that.

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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?

Relationship with the audience is very important but in this performance it has a very relevant role. Reflections from the audience and handling other various circumstances directly influence free casual expressions in patterns on Platonic Solids, which in turn are dictated by the horns improvisation. So we can say that dynamic of fragments are largely conducted by the audience. Music with horns makes passage between first impression-expatiation, moment of listening trough clarification by performance itself, after which audience has the typical role of having opinion as a listener. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Marija. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving

For the future projects we already have a plans about contusion in presenting this idea. The collaboration with Cesare De Vita and our work on music with Platonic Solids, in 2015, had transformation under this project that ill be repeated this summer. The idea that

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only an acoustic space makes the connection among three completely different sources of sound, reverberated in very large rooms of industrial spaces and based on previous experiences evolved into “Liquid jam”. Platonic Solids of Cesare De Vita and the electronic elements of Jesterwilds’s synths melt together with horn into a rich acoustic experience. https://soundcloud.com/marijaroduner/li qid-jam. I will use a moment to make an invitation for your readers for the adaptation of “Wisdom of the sound” Marija Roduner, Angelo Pollino horns, Cesare de Vita Platonic solids.This year on 9th of May, we will be presented in the occasion of Incontri d’arte, Ai Casgn 15 6528 Camorino, Switzerland www.areapangeart.jimdo.com From 2012. I am a member of the Association „Nimbus Art“ Belgrade,Serbia (Http://www.nymbusagencija.co.rs/), which deals with the organization and realization of concert activities were I will present my programs for this year in classical music. I really appreciate your consideration and connections that you represent with ARTiculAction. Thank you again and best regards,

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

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An artist's statement

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ormally grounded in painting, drawing and printmaking, my work now adapts a traditional approach to our digital era. With this background in the fine arts, I use analog and digital tools to create images and tell stories.

My work focuses on the definition of home, related to my own experience of transition and relocation as well as curiosity about migrants’ lives. Inspired by the rich cultural landscape of New York, I navigate the place with a curious heart and refreshed eyes. I interview people and draw sketches, and these then

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turn into my material. Taking a journalist’s approach to the stories I hear, I translate them into visual language, such as drawings, prints, videos, installations, and artist books. Each story possesses a sentimental and delightful quality, which in turn implies a poetic depiction of my understanding of home.

Qin Han was born in China and moved to Long island in 2013. She has exhibited in the United States and China, and currently resides in St. James, NY. She is a candidate for the Master of Fine Arts degree at Pratt Institute's Department of Digital Arts.


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

Multidisciplinary artist Qin Han's work explores is centered on the definition of home and its relationship with the experience of transition and relocation. In her recent Where is home that we'll be discussing in the following pages, she explores longings, anxieties and fears related to her experience of moving from China to the United States, unveiling a variety of interrelationships between such feelings. One of the most convincing aspects of Han's work is the way it provides the viewers with a multilayered experience in which they are invited to rethink about their own perception of home, urging them to evolve from mere spectatorship to conscious participants . We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating artistic production. Hello Qin, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. We would start this interview posing you some questions about your background: you have a soli formal training and after having earned yourM.F.A.and B.F.A. from the China Academy of Art Printmaking you moved to the United States to nurture your education with a Master of Fine Arts that you are currently pursuing at the prestigious Pratt Institute's Department of Digital Arts. How do these experience influence your evolution as an artist? In

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particular, how does your cultural substratum dued to your Chinese roots impacts on the way you relate yourself to the aesthetic problem in general?

Hi ARTiculAction, please let me thank for your consideration, interest and selection into the 10th Edition 2016. The


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formal fine art training in China does build a strong capacity to use my hands and eyes in painting, drawing and printmaking, however, I still feel something lacking in being an artist. Actually, I didn’t consider myself as an artist until one day at Pratt. I went to Pratt’s writing center to correct a

research paper, and in the paper I wrote “as a future artist, my thought…”, at that time, the tutor made a strikethrough on the word “future”, he took it out and said, “you’re an artist, aren’t you?” I was astonished. Am I? In China, an artist is a person who is fully established and well known in the field. I

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dare not consider myself as one of them. But, the education at Pratt makes me believe I will be one of them. It is a lack of bravery on my part. As soon as “being an artist” was accepted by myself, I started to compare my work with masters, and demanded of myself that even small course work would be as

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finish as possible, which made big progress. Chinese roots are deep in my heart, I wasn’t aware of it before I moved to the US. The choice I made to use the cavalier perspective in Train Passengers, and the use of inkjet printing on silk for The Episode are natural. I think carrying on with nature as a memory of things


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a coherent sense of unity, that rejects any conventional classification: so before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.han-qin.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that such multidisciplinary approach is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

past operates as a filter through which I view and experience life in the US. You are a versatile artist and while formally grounded in traditional visual arts as painting, drawing and printmaking, your practice now adapts a traditional approach to contemporary digital era. The results convey together

I really like the questions you mentioned before, which inspired me to have a new perspective to think about my process. It was fun to explore different materials. I think combining one thing and its opposite together will become something previously unimagined and unexpected. Digital thinking plus analogue process is a methodology though out my practice. The multidisciplinary approach could come from my background training of printmaking in China. Since printmaking is a multi-material practice, with college training, I could eventually convert printmaking language into integrated arts or contemporary art languages. It seems that this conversion is convenient and natural to me. I think I didn’t intend to be multidisciplinary. Thinking about culture boundaries, language discomfort, technology development, and classic skills extinction, led me to be multidisciplinary. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected Where is home, a stimulating mixed media installation that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. Your inquiry into the variety of feeling of leaving and

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relocating one’s home accomplishes the difficult task of creating an harmonic mix between the antithetical notions of presence and absence, inducing us to rethink about this subtle and ever recurrent dichotomy in our globalised age: when walking our readers through the genesis of Where is home, would you shed a light about the way you combine together the materials you choose for your works?

It started on a sunny afternoon in midspring 2015, when I and my husband moved into our first American house. In front of a window, some swallows were flying by, which reminded me of my childhood home, where swallows nested under the eaves. In the garden, the dead irises still stood in the soil, while some new sprouts were budding. Cutting the old stems down but not willing to throw away, I decided to make something from my first garden. Using the dried iris and a swallow cut-out, I made a cyanotype print. This was the start of how I connected my memory and current life. I have not wiped out the old nor am I fully ready to be assimilated or socialized into the new. The old and new blend in many ways in response to circumstances in my new home. The blend of meanings, perceptions, and patterns of behavior that emerge, needless to say, is difficult but exciting. This image inspired my later human cut-outs and the images of people flocks. (Attachment3: Iris and swallow) You have conceived Where is home drawing inspiration from your own experience of transition and relocation: we have particularly appreciated the way you question the relationship between memory and experience. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in

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

I am not sure how others deal with this question. For me, personal experience is definitely connected with creative process. Most of my works are inspired from my personal life. For example, my mono prints depicted the experience of a girl(myself) falling in love, the feeling of honeymoon, being pregnant and being lost. Before I learned how to draw, I kept writing diaries. In college,


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this habit turned into drawing diaries. I used up several sketch books, which were interesting to look at and also it was a good way to remember things. Now, I have an iPad, using a finger and a touch screen is an updated way to keep drawing a diary.

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Your work speaks of a kind of experience that is more and more recurrent in our everchanging societies: 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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reality headset. Physical space is more and more connected to art expression. The relationship with public space makes many experimental art pieces site specific, since some physical materials need to be replaced to fit into a specific public space. In my own case, I altered the size of my projection fabric several times to be able to install the work in different locations. Although they are conceptually the same piece, each time, they have something unique: the size, the silkscreen printing on the fabric, and etc. I think it is important to find a harmony working in a specific space, especially in public, where the art work makes people feel good and connected. The value of artwork is determined by whether or not it reflects the phenomena and problems in the context of its contemporary local society. At some point, the viewer engages with the work and changes the work, through that interaction.

Technology is making our everyday experiences more immersive, and art experience has expanded a lot depending on new technology —whether we are viewing projected videos on physical buildings, figure drawing on our tablet, or watching art works on a virtual

Another interesting project of yours that has particularly impressed us and on which we would like to spend some words is entitled After Bruce Nauman: your investigation about the notion of repetition in relation of the correction of pronunciation triggers the viewers' primordial parameters concerning our relation with physicality: as Gerhard Richter once remarked, "my concern is never art, but always what art can be used for": what is your opinion about the functional aspect of Art in the contemporary age?

Artist’s role in contemporary society is not only to convey the concept of beauty, more importantly, it raises social issues and artists to express their own opinions. In that regard, artists, writers and researchers are doing the same

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thing: asking the public questions and providing a hypothetical solution. I hope my work is society-friendly, and everyone is welcome to interactive with it. When someone interacts, he/she will find this work actually quite inspired. Also, art brings beauty to everyday life, and helps people to build a sensitive intuition to everyday things. Acknowledging sensitivity brings us the requirement of high quality taste. The emotion and artistic ideas become exciting art works, which also provide mankind a recorded history of our artistic language. I consider most people like to view beautiful art, while art is not just beautiful. Art for me is something that stops me in my tracks, without knowing why. I treat my artwork this way: being beautiful and also provoking thoughts. Real beauty inspires me. At that moment, beauty is an internal connection to the soul of the artwork, which could be sorrow, suffering, fear or even grief. When I saw Bruce Nauman’s piece Good boy, bad boy (1985), I remembered repeating as a basic technique that we were told to do when we were learning a new thing, especially a language. The pain of learning English for me as a pain of always being good in childhood. Correcting pronunciation and repeating words feels boring, but it is a must. I suddenly thought what happens if we were not told to be good? So I recreated the piece, revise the positive sentences to negative. The function of art, from an artist’s point of view, it provides me a safe and legal area where I don’t need to be good.

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As you have remarked once, you have a journalist’s approach and a distinctive mark of Epitome of Domestic Lives is the successful attempt to translate the stories you heard to construct of a concrete aesthetic that works on both


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subconscious and conscious level. As the late Franz West did in his installations, this project shows unconventional features in the way it deconstructs perceptual images in order to assemble them in a collective

imagery, urging the viewers to a process of self-reflection. Artists are always interested in probing to see what is beneath the surface: maybe one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially

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of our inner Nature... what's your view about this?

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Beginning a new series of works, I would like to pick up a phenomenon worthy of questioning, or focus on some curious stories. Making decisions to do these


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things, as you said, are both subconscious and conscious. Not just artists, I think most people like to hear the story behind the scenes, and are

curious about others' secrets. I just used my approach to explore these stories and secrets. When working on Epitome of Domestic Lives, I also obtained a

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deeper understanding of self. This is the fun part of being an artist: exploring as well understanding at the same time. As I nervously walk into people's homes, talking and sketching, the most direct relative subconscious emerges. I work exactly the same way as my mom did in her earlier career: interviewing and writing reports. At that time, I realized this is a journalist's approach. Being aware of this, I was able to be more confident to interview an in-depth conversation, trying to dig out the most fascinating story, and depicting it with images. Over these years you works have been showcased in several occasions, both in China and in the United States, including your recent exhibition Interactive installation at the Pratt Institute Brooklyn: your work is strictly connected to the chance of establishing a direct involvement with the viewers, inviting the viewers 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?

There are many good works without a doubt, but I prefer to let my work have some kind of exchange with the audience. Originally, I expressed exchanging ideas via prints and drawings, like the work Newborns, which was drawn during my pregnancy. With a very sincere mood and using the most natural materials, I expressed

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expectations for the future. Since I came into the digital arts field, the form and language that I was able to use was expanded a lot more. In recent works Pillow Talk installed in Pratt DDA Gallery, I invited first and second generation immigrants in New York to tell their own

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stories, in which their voices became the language of art, more natural and direct than my images. So I installed their voices in pillows, leaving the white pillow cores alone on the wall, nothing else is superfluous. The audience leaned in to hear, just like listening to a bedtime story


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reactions, which in turn encouraged and inspired to me. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Qin. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

in childhood, some people cried, some people almost fell asleep. Their interactions brought unexpected positive results of this work, and this work is finally complete with help from the audience. I was certainly moved by the viewers’

In the future, I will continue working on the subject matter about our relationship with the society and our inner nature. In the global environment, as an artist, I am pursuing synesthetic things, making images to present a consensus of the feeling of human beings. "Home" is the a long-term subject I will be working with, related to people's understanding of family, and the beauty of intimate feelings. At the same time I am concerned with the worldwide emerging social problems, and began to explore the relationship between traditional Chinese culture and broader social issues. In addition to social concerns, an artist needs to explore academic issues. For me, new technology is a powerful tool to explore my culture in many possibilities. The combination of old and new methodology, and the concerns of the relationship between inner nature and social topics is my future direction. I'll always keep updating Facebook and my website with new works. Discussing these issues with ARTiculAction is a great honor, your questions inspired me a lot, and forced me to think about the future and summarize some recent progress. Thank you again for these amazing questions, and the chance to share my own view.

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

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Y i Hsuan Lee Lives and works in Beijing and Taipei

An artist's statement

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he word “Imperfect” can be rearranged into “I’m Perfect”. The Imperfect is a photographic

expression of empathy looking at a pair of albinism sister from me, who is also living under a rare condition. I examine the socalled “uniqueness” from anther perspective, and I question the stereotypical values prevailing in our society. Albinism has turned their skin white, like snow. The color can symbolize purity, possibility, defect, perfection, a surface, or an empty space. In Chinese aesthetics, "white" represents beauty. But when a disease manifests itself outwardly in the same white color among us, why do you and I inwardly ostracize it? We cannot experience the disease simply by looking at it in photos, but why is your feeling toward the disease so intense when an albino stands before you? Tree branches and fallen leaves in nature intrigue me. The plants around me become the source of my inspiration. I glean the inspiration of my creation and the connection between art and senses from ordinary natural

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objects and common people. The selected natural materials indirectly wrap my subject around our current society. The tangible, external materials, the internal thoughts and spirits, and the social values portrayed in my works are all representative of the consciousness of the common people. Taking away the shared experiences of subjects and space, the touchable illusion is placed upon the stacks of truth, presenting images in the cracks of illusions. Through the marriage between scenery and materials, I attempt to awaken the uniqueness of nature and the consciousness in the observer. Searching between illusion and reality, one looks for metaphysics and uniqueness of nature and consciousness, all of which should be viewed from every angle possible. As for this series, I would like to explore the changing shadows in nature, and in between illusion and reality to pursue perfection and imperfection in the stereotypic “uniqueness”.

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

Highly refined and multifaceted in its unique methods of expression, artist YiHsuan-Lee accomplishes the difficult task of triggering the viewers' perceptual categories to accomplish an insightful inquiry into the cultural reflection in nature and in her living environment. In her project Imperfect Overview that we'll be discussing in the following pages, Lee goes beyond any stereotypical vision of reality to snatch the elusive notion of uniqueness, urging the spectatorship to question the conflictual relationship between the changing borders of our unstable contemporary age. One of the most convincing aspect of Lee's practice is the way it accomplishes the difficult task walking on the thin lines that divides illusions from reality to awaken the uniqueness of nature and the consciousness in the observer: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating artistic production. Hello Yi-Hsuan and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, we would pose you a couple of questions about your background. You have a solid formal training and after your studies of Chinese literature you nurtured your education joining the China Central Academy of Fine Art School with a major in Photography. How do these experiences influence your evolution as

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

When I just graduated from my college, I did not presuppose myself to become an artist. But the cultivation I’ve received from the Department of Chinese literature did make me become particularly sensitive to changes in the outside world during my life experience. Conditioned into my personality and family environment, I experience more intensive feelings than others. Various kinds of art are interlinked with each other, as both literature and creation are emotional. In addition to the classical poetry, lyrics, songs and essays in Chinese literature, I have gained some understanding from Chinese philosophers in the Warring States, which have trained me to come to the point of things from various perspectives, therefore I have constructed my unique way of thinking, and I have transformed these viewpoints and applied them, experimented with them in my life. Such attempts and applications have helped me in art creations, especially the self-observation from the trivial things in ordinary life. I create my visual language and individual style based on a lot of reading and traveling through the aesthetic way of experiencing the Nature. I liked painting when I was young but I have never received any formal art training, but also because of this, I was free from the influences of secular values and environment. I had worked for several years after I graduated, and I found that I loved art creations. Afterwards I have pursuit my further study in China Central

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Academy of Fine Arts, but my previous experiences have not been wasted, as these experiences have played a role in both of my column in magazines and my art creations.

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For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected the Imperfect Overview, a stimulating project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. This body of works is centered on the


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exploration of the notion of “uniqueness� from an unconventional perspective. When walking our readers through the genesis of Imperfect Overview would you shed light about your process and set up?

This creation originated from an accidental chance, of feelings occurred to me during my personal traveling experience. The characters in the Imperfect Overview, are a pair of sisters I came to know through couch surfing when I planned to visit Tainan in Taiwan.

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They are the owners of the couch they provided for me, I did not know they were albinos before my departure, until the moment I added their Facebook and I found them all white. As soon as I felt so frightened and repelled, I did not intend to live in their house. I was conscious of such a feeling and jumped out of it immediately. And I observed from the angle of outsider, analyzed such a feeling, and I questioned myself. Through digging deep inside and further exploration, I learned that their different appearances caused by diseases that made me feel repelled. Such an experience suddenly reminded me that I was born with a rare disease, I once had scared others when the symptoms happened to me and I have experienced the process of being rejected and disgusted by others. I shared my experience with these sisters and drew a conclusion: “ We were born to be us, instead of being acquired after birth, why were we repelled? “ Based on this common experience, I completed a series of creation on patients with rare diseases by an artist with a rare disease. There’s a saying in the Bible, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Being a Christian, I’d like to reflect on it, since God has created all things in the world are considered to be beautiful, then who on earth could define we are perfect or not? And who with what kind of standard to define the perfectness in this worlds? Or who with what kind of right to define that we are perfect or not? Through inquiries into the society, I thus accomplished this series of work.

Imperfect Overview accomplishes an effective inquiry into the stereotypical values prevailing in our society. While lots of artists from the contemporary scene, as A 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?

Actually, I do like to retrospect or subvert things, moreover I prefer to invite the viewers to subvert with me, to inspire, to catch sight of what some people have never thought of. The creative idea of Imperfect came from the Bible, through the work I practices the viewpoints of the Bible in life, and I invite the viewers to reflect on themselves from various perspectives. Taking my living environment as an example, in Asia, girls are in their pursuit of white skin, so that most of cosmetics belong to products emphasize on whitening, brightening and tender exquisite. But why we feel frightened or expelled when a human being in all white stands in front of us? Replies extended from such questions, can be ones related with racial problem, or human rights, or even education. With regard to education, I would like to say on the land of Taiwan where I grew up and the mainland China I’m studying art, early from our childhood, we have been taught that there’s only one correct

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answer, and we need to abide by the requirements from our teachers, eldership and social standards. But we also know that at the same time, as a matter of fact, answers to many questions are not the case, we are required to accept the so-called “right answer”. This really remains to be problem in the Asian society, that we ought to be taught to think more of the question or the opposite of the answer, and we should establish a system of study, look for the answer, rather than just accept the answer unilaterally. I think that contemporary art should focus on identifying problems, supplementing the missing part of the society, throwing out the paths of issues for the viewers to think, to experience, but not to answer them. As a contemporary artist, I have my themed idea in creations, but I am also willing to accommodate a variety of voices and ideas. It’s unnecessary that I forbid anyone to explain my work with their points of view or experience, since any interpretations are acceptable for me. Meanwhile, I would like to thank those who treat my work with various perspectives, as from them I could find more that I have not seen before. Your work is pervaded with an effective narrative that captures non-sharpness with an universal kind of language to create direct relations with the spectatorship: how would you describe this synergy in your work? 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.

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Perhaps it’s because of my background from the Department of Chinese Literature, my creations have rooted deeply in my feelings and my personal expressions of life experience. Everyone’s life experience shares some common points more or less, through conversions, combined with fictions and reality they influenced each other in the fiction and actual situations, through visual language, my creations present the perfectness and imperfectness in the exquisiteness of life. No words can be used to completely interpret this synergy presented in my work, which I want the viewers to experience in the screens by themselves. The marvelous thing in art, as Olafur Eliasson said: whether it is a work of art, or a poem, a novel or a drama, there is always a force can affect the audience, lead them to explore the unprecedented perception, to change our view of the world thus to change the world. Or it is actually like the mysteries of life, it cannot be explained, of course, it’s unnecessary to explain it at all. We have particularly appreciated the way your approach accomplishes the difficult task of snatching not only the atmosphere, but the elusive substance of the subjects you center your attention on. When inviting the viewers to reinterpret the traditional ideas of natural beauty, you seem to challenge our perceptual categories: while inviting the viewer to elaborate personal interpretations, you do not reject a gaze on aesthetics: the quality of suspended time creates a lively combination between conceptualism and beauty. How important is the aesthetic problem for you when you conceive a work?


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This work was accomplished before I was admitted to the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, and before this, I had not received any relevant aesthetic or artistic training. Actually, from the idea to the practice, or even my solo exhibition held in Taiwan, all came from an occasional chance, thus I believe, my creations come mostly from my intuition endowed by the God. Of course I had not thought about the aesthetic issues in my work, the aesthetic presented originated from what I want to express in my heart: I look upon the life co notation and essence from a biblical perspective. This series of work, is intended to lead the viewers to go beyond the beauty of universal values. In secular values, the opposite of beauty is ugliness, but I want to present another kind of beauty, it’s just beauty, not included in the binary opposition of beauty and ugliness, it’s showed in the relationships between the mind and feelings, and it appeared in careless, inattentive and unexpected glance, as if the flowers bloom in spring and summer, but wither in autumn and winter, the world has already passed by and given its presentation. Concerning creations, I would like to observe from a pure and acute angle instead of catering to any academic school, or doctrine. Also I would not present any taste, superb technique, aesthetic quality, simply creating in the good of mind, which is the most real. We definitely love the way the non linear narrative that pervades your imagery and establishes direct relations with the viewers. German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in particular how do you conceive the narrative for your works?

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Thomas Demand is one of the photographers I have a great regard for. Figures in his work mainly focus on the interior scenes or furnishing still life, these images are elaborately made into models by color cardboard, with a transforming mode of translating the realistic world, his work pays much attention to the manner of original objects or matter itself. As for his argument, I have a different opinion. First of all, his educational background and the era he was born, influenced his creation to a certain extent. Thomas Demand graduated from Kunstakademie Dßsseldorf in 1992, I was 8 years old in 1992 (lol). Kunstakademie Dßsseldorf was famous for sophisticated photography art, filled with a sense of cold industrial aesthetics. My creative method is from my background of Chinese literature, as I am good at transforming the rhetoric of literature into visual languages. Taking the famous Chinese Book of Songs for example, the basic prehistoric used in it include: Ode, Parallelism and Association. Oriental rhetoric differ from Western ones, as Aristotle ex pained in his The Art of Rhetoric that Western rhetoric pay much attention to dialectic relate, exploration in truth and their communications tend to be rational. While oriental prehistoric focuses on the emotional level, expressions of the feelings, not in a straightforward way, but in a more obscure or subtle way, to present its theme with a profound meaning. To some extent, the degree of literary imagination in Chinese literature is more disclosed or profound than the western one. Again, for me, at the moment, I did not deliberately use or I was aware that I used metaphor or symbolism, since all of these has been involved in my creations and become an integral part of my creative life. The ultimate destination of art, is related to feelings, if such visual elements rendered the way of symbolism, which can trigger the shocks in viewers’ hearts,

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this is a happy thing, since this work is not only endowed with the independent context and style of the creator, but it also has achieved the common emotion of the public. Thirdly, if the age of “current art” he called, referred to the era of the 21st century, then it’s quite parochial and outdated, “current” art is inclusive, is expansive, as long as it can represent the ideas and connotation of the creator, as well as his methods, materials without any restrictions. Although as an artist living in 2016, is it necessary to follow or repeat the unified style of Düsseldorf in 1960s with no innovations of creative method or visual approach? As a contemporary artist, what’s the role of art in the current society and what kind of visual way we could supply to the era? I do not like to think from others’ minds, and above all, the argument by Thomas Demand could not contribute to the discussions for the differences in birth years, educational systems, as well as the thinking patterns between the East and the West. It cannot be discussed or it’s unnecessary to be expounded. Drawing from universal imagery, your photography combine accessible elements and we have highly appreciated the way it condenses a symbiosis between intuition and freedom of composition. Your approach reveals unconventional features in the way it deconstructs perceptual images in order to assemble them in a collective imagery, urging the viewers to a process of self-reflection. Would you shed light on your process? In particular, do your works tend to come out of imagination rather than out of your own life?

The view point of my work come from popular life experiences and emotions, and all I have done is just to refine it and make sublime it, and I put forward questions. Based on this, through my intuition and imagination, as well as transformation in visual languages, I lead the viewers into my inquiry into the social status through my work. Art itself should not be confined, as for China, it’s a vast country rich in sources and it’s developing, if you access the keywords Baidu News, you can find anything happens in a surreal state to a certain realm even beyond the work of Marquis’ Hundred Years of Solitude. I get used to travel to strange places without any plans, therefore I often encountered unusual or illogical events, which can be disasters, or dangers, surely more often surprises, foe me they are interesting and I look forward to come across, to inspect in which perspective I understand the world and transform it into my creative opinion. Art is emotional and imagination is also irrational, thus I require myself to look for fresh things and unconventional views in previous experiences, through my life, or imagination, I hope the sense of difference can be found in common experience of human beings and it will be magnified. Your works could be considered as reportages of human experience: and in Imperfect Overview you carried an insightful inquiry into the everyday engagement into our unstable contemporary era. So take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process both to create and to snatch the spirit of

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

This series of Imperfect has broken the existing structure and convention, as it is accompanied by experience and occasionally creative performance. I combined personal experience, art and life, and such a creative process is just a screenshot of my experience, but whether it can be broken away from experience, depends on the creative elements and theme I choose. Meanwhile through such creative progress, whether my personal experience could convey the spirit of Imperfect depends on the viewers. Therefore, I present an ‘imperfect’ work with the inborn imperfect exterior, through the work I present my opinion of personal experience, I believe that everyone has his imperfections, this is not supposed to be a disease, or imperfection in figure, or it might be interior, or life. With this theme, I want to express that although there are imperfections in life, but they are exactly the perfect wills from the God. I think, after Duchamp, contemporary art has greatly differed from the so-called art in the past, the endeavors of artists, in addition to graphic aesthetics, are confronted with the biggest challenge from the audience, they need to be based on the popular experience, but beyond the public opinion, meanwhile it cannot be separated from public life. One of the hallmarks of your work is the capability to create a direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the

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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?


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This is an excellent question and it denotes the direction I have been working on, as for the question of viewers, it depends on the object I want to dialogue with. I think contemporary art in the 21st century should not be inscrutable at all, of course outstanding art cannot simply tell

a story. Art as a spiritual food, might return to the public, with a more approachable way, it should have distinct opinion. Artistic creations should involve a wide range, the outlets of contemporary should be multiple and open, therefore regarding creations, for artists, they

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cannot be created by anyone, or for the audience they can produce art by themselves. From the content, presenting way of the work, as well as its particularity and difference , it should be establish from a higher standard, and it must be defined its viewing way by distinct concept.

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


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simple words, I do not want my work just become the wallpaper of a wealthy family, instead I hope the connotation of my work could walk into the public and participate in the public life, therefore cross-border combination will become the focus of my future creations. The first experimental work of installation and performance I brought back to Taiwan was Return Program, it invited viewers to participate and complete this work. In an interactive way, I intended to provide a transcending possibility, eventually I invited viewers to burn down and tore my installation into pieces as it mixed chance and certainty, psychology and sensory, East and West, and thus became statements conveying and creating experience saying Farley to old ideology.

As I mentioned in the previous relies, contemporary art differs itself from previous art greatly, from some perspective, I hope the connotation and sociality of my future work, are more than decorative, like the Chinese classical poetry, refined but full of images, in a thought-provoking way. In

Last but not least, I want to express my gratitude to the cultivation of teachers from CAFA, the solid training I received has helped me escape the framework, and the teaching expanded my creative thinking in all aspects. The value of art eventually returns to the creator who is honest with himself, how to point out the social issues should be notices with the visual language of my era, as an emerging artist, this remains to be a great challenge. How to return to the creation itself, and look forward to start from the popular experience, establish the opinion beyond the public, meanwhile retaining the methods of public language to communicate with the audience, is the most important.

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F arzin Foroutan Lives and works in Teheran, Iran

An artist's statement

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arzin Foroutan (b.1992) is an Iranian based artist who has primarily worked in the medium of photography. He studied Graphic Design at the Fine Art School in Mashhad (IR) and received his B.A in directing animation from Iran national Broadcasting University of Tehran.(IRBU) His works of art mainly constitute his personal experiences of life and living. He has always been concerned with social issues by particular references to history and culture in modern society. People and their issues have a major role in his works and the 2D images help to freeze the people in a moment and situation that he wants, Therefore the staged photography is the best way for him to explain his ideas.

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The artworks that are from the “Parallel Streams� series focus on the relationship between men and women, and the image that is perceived in society about how women should be and act like. This perception stays with generations after generations like parallel mirrors that accompany our lives. His most recent works deal with universal tensions like emigration and interfering of human into the environment. Farzin Foroutan is an active young artist who has had exhibitions at Summer Hall Gallery (UK), Augusta Savage Gallery in University of Massachusetts Amherst (USA), Novi Sad 5thWorld Biennial Of Student Photography (Serbia Haft Samar Gallery(IR), Iranian Artist Forum and, many other exhibitions in Iran.


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

Drawing inspiration from the changing borders of our unstable contemporary age, Farzin Foroutan's work explores that thin line on which perceptual parameters are subverted to draw the viewers into a mltilayered experience, to rethink the non linear, still ubiquitous narrative that he extracts from the everchanging reality we inhabit. One of the most convincing aspect of Foroutan's practice is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of creating a deep and autonomous synergy between our limbic parameters and our rational categories: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to his multifaceted artistic production. Hello Farzin and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, we would pose you a couple of questions about your background. You have a solid formal training and after your studies in the fiel of Graphic Design you received your B.A in directing animation from Iran national Broadcasting University of Tehran. How do these experiences influence your evolution as an artist? In particular, how does your cultural Iranian cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

First I appreciate you and all the readers of this magazine. Concerning the first question about my educational back-

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ground, I would like to, shortly, state that since attending fine arts school for graphic design course, I used to carry a camera with me and tried to relate all my course homeworks and practices to photo and photography, so to use photography medium at it's most. For my bachelor degree, I was admitted for directing animation film, and because animation basically deals with frames, photography was an inseparable part of my works. Accordingly, I did all my best to establish a link between animation and photography that consequently led to my love and passion for Stop-Motion animation. In answer to the question about cultural history of Iran, I should say that Iran is well-known for its cultural contradictions and varieties and the existing high prestige of this culture has been an important subject to the discussions of Modernist defenders and the opponents. And inside this country, many tensions can happen and exist so rapidly that, of course, my works have been affected, and maybe these happenings are among those important factors that help/make me choose the subject of my works. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected the Parallel Streams, a stimulating series that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. This body of works is centered on the exploration of the relationship between men and women. While lots of artists


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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 cannot explicitly say that there is/isn’t a political or non-judgmental concept in my works because my country is located in one of the most dangerous geographical situations and positions of Middle East and has had, in the contemporary age, its experience of war and revolution and it has also been a battlefield for quarrel between traditions and modernism. I believe whether I want or not, these issues have had effects on my works but it should not be neglected that I have never had an intention of showing or implicating any certain political thought or party in my works. Because an artist should initially state or indicate what happens or exists not making judgments, and of course I am not in a position of judging something or someone. Parallel Streams is pervaded with an effective narrative that captures nonsharpness with an universal kind of language to create direct relations with the spectatorship: how would you describe this synergy in your work? 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.

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It may be of some interest that in answer to this question, I bring you an explanation about the birth and formation of my idea about the parallel streams series; while I was watching TV, some news about shooting and injuring a girl from Pakistan named Malala Yousafzai on her way to school and presence of a potential threat for females or maybe a probable death for them caught my attention. And this very problem of women being threatened by men was the starting point of this photo series. Hence I should say that it does not matter, for me, that how the ideas come to my mind and I never cared for this but I believe that anything can be a starting point. We definitely love the way your non linear narrative that, playing with the evokative power of reminders to universal imagery, establishes direct relations with the viewers. German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in particular how do you conceive the narrative for your works?

And for this question, you should consider that I have grown up in a culture full of allusions; you show something but mean something else. But I would like to simply share, what I see, with my audience and with the least usage of allusion tell them what I feel. We have particularly appreciated the way your approach accomplishes the difficult task of snatching not only the atmosphere, but the elusive substance of

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the subjects you center your attention on. When inviting the viewers to reinterpret the traditional ideas of natural beauty, you seem to challenge our perceptual categories: while inviting the viewer to elaborate personal interpretations, you do not reject a gaze on aesthetics: the quality of suspended time creates a lively combination between conceptualism and beauty. How important is the aesthetic problem for you when you conceive a work?

In my opinion, beauty and compositing are the first visible layer of any work of art which attract the audience and this fact is of a high importance for me. In addition, the general idea of the work is as much important as aesthetic and compositing. And the cool point might be that these beauties and ideas, that are quite ordinary and daily for many people, could be subject for work of art. 6) Another interesting series of yours that has particularly impressed us and on which we would like to spend some words is entitle Tehran, Darband: in particular the way you have captured the essence of emptiness and anonymity dued to human presence has reminded us the notion of non lieu elaborated by French anthropologist Marc AugĂŠ: 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 my point of view, the mission of art and what is expected from an artist is exactly this; to show what exists beyond the surface. Many people, maybe because of their jobs or dedications, just pass these phenomenons but it is the artist who stays inside them and discovers the hid-

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den layers. And if any of these layers have ever been uncovered by my photos, then that should bring me a great wealth of happiness 7) Drawing from universal imagery, your photography combine accessible elements and we have highly appreciated the way it condenses a symbiosis between intuition and freedom of composition. Your approach reveals unconventional features in the way it deconstructs perceptual images in order to assemble them in a collective imagery, urging the viewers to a process of selfreflection. Would you shed light on your process? In particular, do your works tend to come out of imagination rather than out of your own life?

As I mentioned about starting point of a work of art, about this one too, I cannot clarify where it has been sourced. I try to free my imagination and think that this imagination has so many resources of which my personal life is an example that includes what I have seen, heard, read, maybe some news on television, a picture, a piece of film‌ etc. But I cannot explain it in a precise way. 8) Your works could be considered as reportages of human experience: and in Tehran, Darband you carried an insightful inquiry into the everyday engagement into our unstable contemporary era. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process both to create and to snatch the spirit of a piece of art... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Indeed, it cannot be clearly said that personal experience is/isn’t a separable part

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of imaginative process but it can have the main role in creation of a work of art. I believe, even if we decide to neglect this fact, it unconsciously still, more or less, exists inside our minds. However, we are unable to say that the imaginative process is/isn’t sourced from direct and live experience. One of the hallmarks of your work is the capability to create a direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship.

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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?

But an artist needs to be seen and confirmed. We aren’t living in nothingness. As a regular step of creation, we see and are seen. I care about my audience, what he wants and what I feel, about I should dem-


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onstrate and that he/she can lead me with their choice. Also it is very significant to me to show them what I truly feel is right. I may be wrong but the important point is to be honest in my feeling. 10) Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Farzin. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

For now, I am dealing with a new project which is currently being processed for the

idea-finding and the pre-production stages. It is about the state of people facing new places/environments and the consequent self-censorship. I will certainly do it with staged photography technic and, for now, I am unable to speak about its progress in idea and formation. It requires further investigations.

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

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M ikel Berradre Lives and works in Osaka, Japan

An artist's statement

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lue Bastards was born few years ago, basically out of frustration. I always loved street photography and one of my goals as a photographer has always been to submerge myself in it to represent the environment I am living in, in my case the Japanese society. The results I was getting some years ago from my street photography felt fake to my eyes, even when it was representing what I “saw” realistically. That is when I started editing the images, adding scratches, sad faces and sometimes even scratching all over them. By erasing key elements of the picture I achieved to create an unreal world that felt much more like the real thing to me than any other photography I had taken until that point. Despite being a sad series of pictures at its core, with the cold dark blue color the only constant, I think that humor plays also an important role in this series. In a way, I think the end result is quite absurdist and even childish at times. But what really interest me the most

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about this “sad world” is the underlying sense of something going wrong, a pervading sense of menace felt both by the viewer and the viewed. I am sure that the fact of myself being a foreigner living in a foreign country really has something to do with how this project turned out, and it is also a reflection of my love/hate relationship with the country I am living in now, with Japan. However, my goal is to keep the photographs from representing this particular society as much as possible and focusing on more universal themes such as sorrow, censorship, untruthfulness and the way we deal with our darker side. My inspiration for this project came from street photography masters like Daido Moriyama, but I also had a great dose of inspiration from manga artist Junji Ito´s drawing style and themes. Street art and the punk and subversive arts have also been around my head all the time while making this project.

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Mikel Berradre An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Isabelle Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

Drawing inspiration from the conflictual realationship between the outside world and the way we relate ourselves to it, Osaka based artist Mikel Berradre's work accomplishes an insightful investigation about the notion of reality, to distill its elusive features. In his recent Blue Bastards series that we'll be discussing in the following pages, he walks the viewers into a multilayered and non linear investigations about the relationship between his own experience as a foreign living in Japan and a variety of universal issues that affect our unstable contemporary age. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to Berradre's multifaceted artistic production. Hello Mikel and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, we would ask you to tell us something about your background and the experiences that have particularly influenced your evolution as an artist. In particular, how does the relationship between your cultural substratum and moving to Japan does inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

Hello, and thank you very much for inviting me to participate in this issue of ARTiculAction. My name is Mikel Berradre, I was born in the Basque Country (north of Spain) in 1985, and I have been living in

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Osaka, Japan, since 2010. I am a self�taught photographer and my job is completely unrelated to art. I started to seriously spend time with photography when I came to Osaka, though previously I had an on and off relationship with it. As for your question, the influence of my relationship with Japan in the way I do my photographic work has not been clear to me until rather recently. It was not until I had been working on Blue Bastards for more than a year when I realized this, so it was never my goal to capture it in in that project, it was more of an unconscious thing. For me the artistic process, in all its phases and different facets, has always been a constant struggle, first with the environment, trying to capture what I see around me (unsuccessfully most of the time), and secondly and mainly a struggle with myself, trying to make sense of what I do. It has been a long journey until I finally came to terms with my artistic self and my own style. I could say that Japan has been the creative impulse that I needed to break the shell and begin to create and find my own voice, even if that meant struggling and dealing with my darker feelings to do it. Encapsulating both realistic and manipulating approach you combine together in effective mix, your photography reveals an unconventional still consistent sense of unity. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit


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http://www.mberradre.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: when asking you to tell us something about your usual set up and process, we would like to ask you if you have ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between such variety viewpoints is the only way to express and convey the ideas you explore.

My working process is quite fragmented, yet very simple. I usually have some ideas in my head, and most of the time I let these ideas “ripen” in my head for a very long time before I even try to take them to the next level. When I decide to go out and start shooting, I normally don’t have any project or strict idea in mind, I simply take photographs, and try to enjoy it like that, without any pretension. The real work for me starts at home, when I am surrounded by all the pictures I have and start to decide what I will do with them. The decision of taking a different point of view for each project or series is a conscious one, because each different approach gives me the opportunity to reach new goals and play with new ideas. Most of the time I also set a few rules, mostly on an aesthetical level, in order to keep myself from losing focus. This whole approach takes a lot of time, and often times the end results are not as satisfactory to me as I would like them to be. But from time to time I feel I had hit the spot and everything turns out smoothly. In the end, even if I am aware that all my projects seem quite different from each other, all of them feel strangely similar to my eyes. You can call it unity, or trying to say the same thing again and again with different “words”, but it makes me feel confortable even if I am aware that I might be running in circles around an idea that still eludes me.

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For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected Blue Bastards, a stimulating series that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. This project draws the viewers through the thin lines that while seems to divide the realm of imagination from reality, actually unveils an elusive connection between the apparently conflictual notions of perception and imagination. While walking our readers through the genesis of Blue Bastards we would take this occasion to ask you what role does personal experience plays in your process: do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience and draws only from imagination? In a certain sense we daresay that your work goes beyond such artificial dichotomy: do you agree with this analisys?

Absolutely. I firmly believe that experience and imagination are two sides of the same coin in the exercise of artistic creation. If we understand that each of our experiences will be distorted in our minds before being embodied in a work, you can´t conceive experience without imagination. So I think the term "personal experience" applied to art is overrated, since it´s not these experiences that will make your art to become great, but rather your imagination. So I totally agree with your analysis of the artificial dichotomy of these two concepts. My creative process always starts with some vague idea of what I would like to express (or in most cases how I would like to do it). Typically many of these ideas end up being dissipated and disappear until others arrive. Very few of them survive long enough while still being meaningful to me, and that is when I step out and begin to build the necessary experiences in case I need them, which I usually achieve by

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going out and shooting. That Said, I think a creative process disconnected from direct experience is perfectly possible. As you have remarked once your goal is to keep the photographs from representing Japanese society as much as possible but at the same time you also focus on universal themes sorrow, censorship, untruthfulness: while lots of artists from the contemporary scene, as Ai WeiWei or more recently Thomas Hirschhorn and 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 don’t consider my work to be political at all, but I am not really sure if that is even possible. Being myself a person with quite strong political ideas, I must admit that at one point when Blue Bastards was taking shape, I thought that maybe I should project all my anger into more political aspects. I tried it for a short period of time, but in the end I felt more confortable with the “against all� approach, or neutral, though this concept seems bland to me in comparison, even though you can never be neutral no matter how much you try it. That said, I would really like to play with a more politically oriented style of work in the future, because rightly done, it can be very inspiring to people with little initiative. I feel attraction to the idea of the artist as an agitator of consciences, as an invisible entity that disturbs and incites from the darkness. Anyway, I think it is a kind of fantasy, this image of the artist that moves consciences,

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the trigger to great social changes or revolutions. In the end it is the people who have to move in order to those changes to be real, physical, and hence the role of an artist is quite limited. That said, I have nothing against artists who use their art to express their political ideas, I just think that personally, if I were faced with a complex tessitura like trying to express myself and also getting my work to inspire a change in others, I would end up using persuasion techniques far removed from what my work has been so far. Who knows? Maybe this would end up being a chance to open up new horizons and possibilities to face the creative process. All in all, I consider myself to be a very egotistical artist in the sense that when I dive into a project I don´t have anyone in mind but myself, something that obviously I can not and will not allow in the other facets of my life. If one day I finally decided to make some kind of work more politically strong than what my work has been so far, I think that I would end up doing it for myself only, detaching from everyone else, as usual, and thus becoming quite useless to provoke any social change, as no communication can take place if the one who speaks is not willing to listen. Blue Bastards could be also considered as a carefull distillation of human experience: your insightful inquiry into the way we deal with our dark side accomplishes the difficult task of revealing a kind reality that is masked under another kind of reality, probing to see what is beneath the surface. Maybe one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of the world we inhabit and especially the relationship we establish with outside reality... what's your view about this?

I love the idea of the visual arts and especially photography as an exercise in voyeurism/onanism, something made by

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ourselves and for ourselves only, through the looking of “the other”, but regardless of "superficial" intentions as the communication of ideas. Thus the artist will always be the only master, creating a sort of dictatorship and deciding what to watch and what not, what is interesting and what is not, and especially deciding which aspects to ignore, and so giving importance to the rest. By doing this it is impossible not to capture your own fears, phobias, philias and insecurities in the artistic medium of your choice. Blue Bastards for me is the best example of this in my work because it is basically a work of fear and the feeling of anxiety caused by the presence of a real or imaginary danger, and all the negativity that it brings. But it is not fear in itself what I wanted to capture in this work, but rather what interested me the most was the way in which we face those fears and the choices we sometimes make because of them. Humor is a good way to deal with fear, but so is letting the rage wander free in your work and even expressing affection towards what causes you anger, as paradoxical and masochistic as it may seem. All this is what makes Blue Bastards the most special of all my projects, and it certainly is the project with which I've spend the most time with, not only making it per se, but even longer coming to terms with it and learning to “love” it. For me, Blue Bastards still remains an essentially sad and dark world, but one that does not take itself too seriously, and this makes me feel very comfortable with it, completely confortable in my own discomfort. Another interesting project from your recent production that has particularly impressed us and on which we would like to spend some words is your And who might you be series. Your unconventional way of capturing images, not only snatches the atmosphere, but also extract the elusive

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substance of the subjects you center your attention on. When inviting the viewers to re-interpret the traditional ideas of natural beauty, you seem to challenge our perceptual categories: while inviting the viewer to elaborate personal interpretations, you do not reject a gaze on aesthetics: the dream-like quality of suspended time creates a lively combination between conceptual and beauty. How important is the aesthetic problem for you when you conceive a work?

For me it is essential. As I said earlier I usually make some aesthetic rules for all my projects, and starting from that, I see where the concept can go. I am not saying that aesthetic is more important for me than concept, but I need a base to start off, and until now it always has been the same, basically some aesthetic quality. Anyway, I don’t feel very confortable with a separate idea of concept/aesthetic, simply because for me they are both the same thing. What I want to express and how I express it go hand in hand in my work. I think the way to address the aesthetic problem and the decisions we make about it are closely linked to self-�knowledge (or lack thereof), and so full of mystery that we could start to investigate and philosophize about it to infinity. Although this subject interests me greatly, my approach to the aesthetic problem is more like the child who faces the paper with a clear intention of drawing something he has seen and/or he knows. The end result will probably be marked by aesthetic decisions (many of them unconscious), and the result will clearly be distant from the original concept, the real thing. We've all seen a child showing his abstract or unrealistic drawings to an adult who tries unsuccessfully to decode the message or to find a hint of reality in it. Can we say that the concept is not there in the drawing this child made? I do not think so. This same idea applied to my working style is

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Mikel Berradre


Mikel Berradre

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very interesting to me, and although it results in many contradictions, I think it is a less pretentious and certainly more fun approach to art making. Unfortunately as we become adults we lose that confidence in uncertainty and ignorance and in turn it often becomes shame and insecurity. Drawing from universal imagery, your works combine elements from universal imagery with a compelling hermetism and we have highly appreciated the way it condenses a symbiosis between intuition and freedom of composition. Your approach reveals unconventional features in the way it deconstructs perceptual images in order to assemble them in a collective imagery, urging the viewers to a process of self-reflection. Would you shed light on your process? In particular, do your works tend to come out of imagination rather than out of your own life?

My work comes almost entirely from an exercise in imagination, in which inevitably some aspects of my personal life would always end up showing. When I started to delve into photography, my goal was simple: street photography in black and white, basically trying to represent what I saw, in my case the streets of Osaka, with all the creative possibilities that the environment offered me. I soon realized that it wasn't working, at least not as I had imagined, perhaps for a lack of talent, who knows? but the thing is that the result was not at all as I expected and I didn't feel confortable with it. That was when I started playing with “dirtying� some of those photos that I did not feel happy with, and I realized that in order to get my pictures to reflect what I saw, maybe I needed to step out of reality. It was, paradoxically, an exercise in escapism only to find myself. Aesthetically, I started extremely

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overexposing the photos, and followed with the opposite, underexposing them in excess. Though I reached new grounds for me at the moment and the results were quite satisfactory, I still felt that the end result was somehow too attached to reality and left little room for imagination. It was when I started with Blue Bastards when I realized that taking more drastic measures to step away from reality gave the most credible results to me. Every line that I drew on the photographs and every face or element that I blurred made the pictures to curiously represent what my surroundings meant for me, in an abstract but yet very strong way. Since then all my projects have revolved around this idea of “dirtying” the photos to achieve a more credible effect. I would love to try to work on a project differently, approaching the process in the opposite way of what I've done so far, to try a more classical, unadorned, clean or artifice-‐free photography. Unfortunately I think I'm not yet ready for that, but I will continue experimenting with new ways of facing the process of creation. We definitely love the way you force the viewers' perceptual parameters to an action of fulfillment in Memories on Rice Paper, creating a compelling non linear narrative that establishes direct relations with the viewers. German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in particular what is the role of memory when conceiving the narrative that pervades your series?

It is interesting that you ask me this, because this is an issue that I have thought about many times, but still remains extremely “slippery” for me. I think that although it has never been a priority in any of my projects, my work always tends to present a kind of tension between memories and oblivion, something that is even more evident in

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Mikel Berradre


Mikel Berradre

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“Memories on rice paper”. This is the reason why once I had finished it I chose this name, because it resonated with me in a very deep but natural way. But if we talk about the role of memories in this or the other series, I could not tell exactly what it is. For me, everything I do is closely related to the dream world, because the world of dreams has always fascinated me and frightened me at the same time. One of the things that surprises me the most about them is the fact that you can have memories in a dream, memories that are not real but just part of the dream world, totally unrelated with any “real” memory of your waking life. I've always found it fascinating how the mind can create this "new memories" out of nothing, so when we wake up and remember these false memories we face a paradox. Perhaps there is some relationship between these false memories that the mind gives us and my work, especially in “Memories on rice paper”, where the photos seem to represent a series of fuzzy memories that belong to no one in particular, and their fragile and futile existence. Exactly like waking up with some memories that don't belong to you. Or do they? One of the hallmarks of your work is the capability to urge viewers 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?

Not really. I always work alone and as I said earlier, I basically do it for myself. I never think about an audience when I am making a work, and I don’t think that doing so is the right thing to do. As a creator, I am my own

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audience, and everything else is simply out of my reach. Pretending to understand what people want or what things they will or won’t get can make you worry in excess about things that can´t nor wont help your art in any way. I am not saying this because I don't care about people’s reactions to my art, because if I didn’t I simply wouldn’t try to publish my work. I say this because every relationship needs at least two parts, and if you are the creator, that´s the role you play. Even if I see the art making process as a struggle, like I said earlier, I have never felt that this struggle is with the possible audience of my work. The audience is unknown, and so long it doesn´t take a direct part in the creative process, I think that it should remain separated from my work and decision making at all times. If I had been thinking about what the people would think about my photography, I would never have ended spending 3 years with Blue Bastards. I would have probably given up early on. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Mikel. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Recently I have been working on a project called “And the holes became windows…” with a similar starting point as “And who might you be?” but aesthetically and conceptually very different. I am exploring the idea of a reduced image space inside the photograph, like seeing the world through a small hole and the effect it makes. It is also is related to “Memories on rice paper”, especially in the way that it seems to touch the subject of memories, the superficiality of perception and the inevitable transience of dreams. I say “the way it seems” because I am still trying to figure out what it is, even if the project is already in a an advanced stage. I am also triyng to explore color photography with this project, as this is something I still have not dived enough into.

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