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May 2015

Biennial Edition

Pool Tabea Hertzog (Germany)


SUMMARY

ARTiculA Action ART Feel free to submit your artworks, mailto: articulaction@post.com

SUMMER

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Ruth Burke

IN THIS ISSUE (USA)

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" My work and processes are centered in translation. Material is transformed through research, observation and experiential learning. Connections emerge; they come into focus through texture or as an approach to a new idea. "

Çaglar Uzun

(Turkey)

22

"Through the socio-cultural and archeological observations that I made over the years, I realized that together with the possibilities of the media used to produce an artwork, it is also crucial to observe emotions in order to increase the social conductivity of each work."

Tabea Hertzog

(Germany)

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"In my written texts and scenes the visual aspect takes an important place; therefore the photographic/ conceptual work shows a connection. Both aspects play together in an organic way."

Laurie L Martin

(USA)

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"As an unapologetic critical theorist, I enjoy examining the complex relationships that exist between different ideologies and the formation of a person’s unique perspective on life. "

Yorgos Papafigos

(Greece)

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"My work focuses on ancient Greek and folk rituals, taken from historical and religious myths and everyday experiences. Through a process of destroying images, collected from different locations and environments, I create a visual controlled chaos. In many of my projects, the statics of forms plays an important role, as well as the dramatic landscapes with bizarre illustration."

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SUMMARY

(Finland)

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Eric Hynynen

"Art is a quest for freedom. The very act of making an artwork is radical, as it is outside the realm of what is controlled. There are no rules. The irrational and illogical are acceptable, even cherished. Art has the value of being useless, having no practical function. "

(USA)

106

Skye Schirmer

" As an artist, but also as a woman, I aim to relay challenges faced by myself and other women in today’s society. The power struggles between men and women, and women and women, which I observe through social media as well as in real life, are disheartening and problematic. "

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(Spain)

Jeff Klena

"My Style is subjective to the viewers preconceptions. I am a figure artist. The rest is up for interpretation. The artistic influences on my paintings are quite varied. I am most influenced by the Symbolist. Which turned into the modern Illustration movement. "

(Spain)

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Lianne Alcon

"Lianne Alcon is an expressionistic painter whose canvases reflect images viewed by an experienced, discerning eye for the essential. Yet her painting style is loose—in contrast to her disciplined approach—and it frequently incorporates swirling strokes and liberal use of her brushes. "

(USA)

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Kayla Nirschel

"My artworks attempt to both observe my own identity, environment and reality as well as answer these questions through interdisciplinary technology and techniques."

(Germany)

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With my pictures I reduce situations to their essence, bringing the message of a situation to light. My painting is concerned with the experience in different situations, in which the obvious is extracted and the subtle, not obvious, is highlighted.

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Alwina Heinz


ARTiculAction

(USA)

My work and processes are centered in translation. Material is transformed through research, observation and experiential learning. Connections emerge; they come into focus through texture or as an approach to a new idea. This method creates relevant relationships between actions and ideas, uniting the poetic and political. My practice is research-based and uses a variety of media and processes. Social history, cultural iconography and current socio-political conditions are translated through delicate and time-based materials. Using the setting of a work and symbolic material, a viewer is confronted with ideas that challenge their personal ideologies or offer a moment of reflection or inaction, politely requesting that one simply be present. Allowing a viewer to experience a shared space with a work opens interpretation and understanding by all different walks of life. Performative works often come with a set of instructions giving the viewer permission to participate or act as the performer.


Mirror, 2014 Photo by Stephen Davis, image courtesy of the artist


ARTiculAction

An interview with

Ruth Burke An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator articulaction@post.com

inaction, for that matter) done with the intention of being art becomes such. The intention of any artist is necessary in the creation of the work; the perception of the viewer takes precedence as soon as the artist presents the work to the public or an audience. Since I work in a variety of media, I’m very open-minded to what forms art can take. I’m more critical about what makes an artwork successful and personally, I’m interested in work that achieves a harmonious balance between the aesthetic and conceptual.

Throughout a process of a not artificial and human mediated augmented experience, Ruth Burke's works trigger an incessant translation that seeks to bypass the results of our technology-‐driven society, urging the viewers to question the cultural position of the concepts she explores. While contemporary artists as Carsten Höller and Mariko Mori make an intense use of hightech to sensitise the senses, Burke succeedes in providing the viewers of an augmented sensorial experience by primordial, almost limbic gestures. In Mirror, that we'll be discussing in the following pages, she pushes this process to its extreme consequences, refraining the use of words and entrusting the whole communication to the act of touching. I'm particularly pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production.

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

Hello Ruth, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction: I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork? Moreover, do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

I have a research-based practice so there’s lots of reading and trying to consult experts in the field. This can take weeks or months, depending on my access to necessary resources. Location research is a big part of performances; the venue where these happenings occur is very important to me.

Hi Damien. Thank you so much for having me and expressing interest in my work. This is actually my first interview with a zine of any kind. I appreciate what you guys are doing at ARTiculACTION and it’s a pleasure speak with you. My personal opinion about what defines a work of art is pretty broad. For me, any action (or

The audience is the most important part of a performance. When something happens in a public place vs. a private space, the work draws upon different audiences. Public places leave the audience to chance; they belong to the artwork whether they choose to be part or not. Spaces that have some sense of privacy ask the viewer to make the effort to show up. Presence

Art that challenges an accepted idea or embodies a non-traditional handling of materials makes it contemporary in my eyes. Breaking the rules is contemporary. A dichotomy exists between traditional and contemporary but that separation is natural and inevitable; a consequence of time. Every artist who chose to do things differently than their predecessors was, at one time, contemporary and radical.


Ruth Burke

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Mirror, 2014 Photo by Stephen Davis, image courtesy of the artist Photo by Rebecca L. Copper


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Ruth Burke

Mirror, 2014 Photo by Stephen Davis, image courtesy of the artist


Ruth Burke

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is deliberate in these cases. In making objects, the creation of the piece becomes a really meditative experience for me. I’m interested in repetition and non-traditional handling of materials. Staccato, Literateand Against Western Educationwere tedious to create. Repetitive motions are tough on the body as well. These weren’t things that I could sit down and work on for five hours at a time. The delicate nature of Literateand Against Western Educationmade handling the work challenging- these pieces essentially had to live in my studio until they were finished. I like delicate materials or fibers because they are hard to handle. They develop a lifespan and it makes me much more selective about when and where these objects show; every time they’re transported and handled, they degrade. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from the aforesaid Mirror, that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit directly at http://www.ruthkburke.com in order to get a wider idea of your multifaceted artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?

I began piecing together the performance four years ago, but the seed was planted 10 years ago. A former French instructor of mine introduced me to Rodin- specifically the Cathedralsculpture. I was very affected by Rodin’s simplicity, beauty and ability to communicate some broad ideas about humanity through two simple, separate hands. I was able to share physical space with the sculpture in 2011 during a visit to France. My partner is a pretty introverted person (polar opposite of my extroverted nature) and being with him pushed me out of my communication comfort zone. This reinforced the power of touch for me. It doesn’t have to be sexual in nature, but there’s something really powerful


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Ruth Burke

Mirror, 2014 Photo by Stephen Davis, image courtesy of the artist

about a deliberate and intimate “touching” moment. You can speak with your hands just as loudly as you can with your voice. Pressing your hands together is traditionally a gesture of prayer or meditation and I felt that, by doing it with another individual, it becomes a moment of reflection for both parties. The piece essentially came to light through experiential learning and researching the power of touch. Connection is what holds society together. I like the way Mirror, highlighting the vulnerability of our bodies, rather than forcing the viewers to play a prearranged

role, gently urges us to evolve from being passive spectators to more conscious participants. I think it's important to remark that the apparently simple act of connecting one to each other through touch produces an intense augmented experience that goes beyond what modern technology offers nowadays: this suggests us to rethink the real value of technologic extensions of human perception

It was important to allow the audience to take what they want from the work. I know the pigment scared a lot of people away. Most people who showed up that evening didn’t participate. I assume they didn’t want to get


Ruth Burke

Mirror, 2014 Photo by Stephen Davis

Literate, 2014, image courtesy of the artist

dirty. It’s a metaphor for vulnerability though...one can choose to not get dirty, to not open themselves up to the possibility of something unknown. It’s playing it safe, but you also lose out on the experience. You hit the nail on the head. How often do you take a moment to touch and look into the eyes of people, especially those who you see everyday? Everyone is always so busy, so rushed, looking at their phones...taking a moment to just exist together is a really powerful thing. I’m definitely guilty of all those things- we all are.

audience took the guidelines and went with what they felt at the moment. I had participants move my hands around with theirs, get down on their knees. I loved that people felt confident and comfortable enough to be themselves and add something to the piece. Strangers, family members, close friends and friends I hadn’t seen in years showed up. Every single gesture was a unique and beautiful experience for me.

There are instructions for the piece; those were written on a mirror. It was interesting that the

The way you create a initial limitation to the perception of reality at first seduces the imagery of the viewers, on a limbic level, but on the other hand it alerts about the chance of a hidden incongruity that affects the way we nowadays use to relate ourselevs to the


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Literate, 2014 image courtesy of the artist

Ruth Burke


Ruth Burke

outside world... and the inner one: so I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience? For me, never. My work is inspired by events I feel strongly about and by events that affect groups of people. I don’t imagine that anyone wants to be part of my personal therapy sessions, so why would anyone be interested art that is only applicable to my experience? My goal is to make work that people from all walks of life can gain something from. If I can make someone feel something, regardless of education, background, familiarity with art history, etc., then that is a success.

My work is built upon moral evaluations and although they are simply my own, I want my practice to inspire me to be a better person. You have to practice what you preach. If society could be more empathetic towards our fellow man and the earth, what would the world we live in look like? Empathy requires deep internalization of another’s feelings and fosters the type of connections that result in a healthy society- one that doesn’t marginalize certain groups of people. Another aspect of your work that I would like to discuss is the subtle but effective investigation about the emerging of language due to an extreme experimentation: in particular, what has mostly impacted on me of Literate is the way you have been capable of bringing a new level of significance to language, highlithing its subtle and elusive physicality. Although would be it would be limiting -and also a bit naïf- to connect the idea of a carpet "made of words" as an objectifications of the abstract concept of learning, I would go as far as to state that Literate urges the viewer to question the cultural position of language, and especially to investigate about what seems to be "encrypted" in the

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environment we live in, and that we need to decipher. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

The materials used in Literate,tracing paper and a cut pieces of a 1939 ed. of Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth, came together very harmoniously as a sort of scroll. Choosing this piece of literature was intentional as it speaks of the relationship between morals/ethics and a relationship to the Earth. The work compasseses the entire book although each piece, which contains two or three lines, has been rearranged, creating a new order contrary to Buck’s original order. The repositioning of the text is supposed to draw viewers in for a closer look, an invitation to read. When in the production stages for Literate, which was a repetitive and meditative experience, I felt compelled to read all the words on the book pieces. The artist becomes a curator of text. My intention, though irrelevant now, was to spur people to reflect on the ability to read. Not everyone has the opportunity to learn to read and write. It’s a privilege (though necessary for participating in western modern life) that’s often overlooked. I like to think of artists using Joseph Campbell’s words: “artists are the mythmakers”. We tell stories; stories of our own and stories of others, with our own words. Myths are metaphors for experience. Another interesting work of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would liek to spend som words is entitled Far: again, you play with emerging languages, but in such an inverse way, focusing on the ephemeral nature of traces. While the enchanted and at the same time a bit estranging scenery of the Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon in South Iceland suggests the concept of non lieu elaborated by the French anthropologist Marc Augè, your acceptance to leave no trace seems to suggest an


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Literate, 2014 image courtesy of the artist

Ruth Burke


Ruth Burke

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harmonious reunification between Man and Nature.. do you agree with this analysis?

The inverse relationship you’re seeing, as compared to a performance like Mirror, is responding to the geographical location where the performance occurs. Iceland has a population of about 300,000 people. While Auge’s non-lieu concept was not a part of my intention, it’s interesting that you made that connection. The act of simply being present has become a recurring theme in my work. I see the Glacial Lagoon as very much a significant place. It’s not only one of the more popular locations for visitors, but the lagoon holds these beautiful icebergs that break off from the Vatnajokull Glacier, which is a source of fresh water. I made sure to use biodegradable materials. The pigment is simply Iron oxide, a natural mineral founds in the geography of Iceland. It’s that beautiful orange color you see in Landmannalaugar. When we arrived on the island, I immediately noticed the dense fog that seemingly sucks everything up, including the horizon line. This was a surreal moment for me. The performance was planned beforehand and I was prepared for variables in the logistics and execution, but when I saw that fog and the way everything disappeared into nothing...I saw this beautiful parallel between the fog and the way the pigment was going to disappear, with every step, out of the footprints. It was an emotional affirmation that “yes, this work is supposed to happen here”. An aspect of the country that resonated with me was the amount of consumable water. It’s mainly glacial melt so you can drink the water essentially anywhere in the country. That’s pretty amazing. It says something about the people that live there and their commitment to their island. The Icelandic people really live the “leave no trace” mentality. I felt as if I was collaborating with the island and it’s people. By visiting these unique spaces, you enter into a


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Ruth Burke

Far, 2015 Photo by Kelsey Angelotta, image courtesy of the artist

sort of natural contract that you will preserve this space for future visitors. Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your art practice and you seem to be in an incessant search of an intimate symbiosis between different disciplines: while the performative aspect of your approach provides take a participatory line on the viewers, your installations as Staccato and Security Blankets seem to be marked with an hermetic feature... while crossing the

borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

Medium is usually determined by the concept so being open to employing aspects of other disciplines is crucial to how I work. However an idea can be most effectively expressed, I do so. I make work that’s centered around ideas so I’m open to all materials.


Ruth Burke

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Far, 2015 Photo by Kelsey Angelotta, image courtesy of the artist

Most of the work I’ve produced is centered around form and time. My practice is still so young and constantly changing; maybe down the road I’ll be able to incorporate all these disciplines into larger installations. Staccatois a fun piece- the form is not very inviting or welcoming to viewers, but the most beautiful part of the work is the very delicate sounds the toothpicks make when you run your fingers across them. I like to be present when people see the piece for the first time. Giving permission to the audience to engage in the

tactile nature allows them to connect with it and to experience the piece with a sense of touch rather than just sight. I try to embody a sense of the General Systems Theory in my work. Every aspect of a piece, it’s audience and how it’s presented culminates into how it’s perceived. By using everyday materials, I try and challenge the viewer to leave preconceived notions behind and reflect on the work as it’s presented.


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Ruth Burke

Staccato, 2014, image courtesy of the artist

Before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose I would pose you some questions about your relation with your audience. During these years you have exhibited in several occasions and it goes without saying that positive feedbacks and especially awards are capable of providing of a support which although is not absolutely necessary, is surely important: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of positive feedback- could even influence the process

of an artist... how would you define the nature of the relation with your audience?

I never knowhow an audience is going to react to my work. That’s the vulnerability part, the scary part. Make it anyways. Show it anyways. The audience can be an active or passive participate in a piece, regardless of their willingness to participate. Awards are great, but art is subjective. Not everyone is going to like my work but I have an exceptional support system who shows up.


Ruth Burke

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Security Blankets, 2014 image courtesy of the artist


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Ruth Burke

the fog in Iceland, image courtesy of the artist

That’s been the most supportive or helpful motivation I’ve received; people show up. Do it for other artists and support each other. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Ruth. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? Anything coming up for you

professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

Yes! My next six months is going to be very busy. I have my first solo exhibition opening in late May where I will be showing paper works and my newest body of work, Bound Series, at Paper Circle Gallery. It is a non-profit paper and book art gallery in Nelsonville, OH. They do


Ruth Burke

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Security Blankets, 2014, installation view. Image courtesy of the artist

quite a bit of community outreach for youth in the area and it’s an honor that they’re having me exhibit. After that, I will moving to Ann Arbor in August to attend the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design. They have an exceptional program with extensive resources for interdisciplinary studies. I will be pursuing my MFA under some incredibly

talented faculty in the arts, philosophy and anthropology departments. Thank you so much for having me! It’s been a pleasure.


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ÇaÄ&#x;lar Uzun (Turkey)

Observation, perception and the ability/disparity of transformation are all have an active role in humans adventure of becoming human being. Humans -as a value yielding subject- are capable of progressing through learning from confrontations and maturing socially, emotionally and intellectually. In order to find out the meaning of life; the act of artistic statement may be a performance of refining the feelings, ideas and experiences. Art’s natural qualitative power may only come out through the intensive ties with humans. Being relational in this concept is very important and needful. All artistic output has a potential to transform the masses, to serve, to raise awareness and to contribute to the global value in proportion with its relation with tradition and custom. The things I mentioned above are the criteria that I try to mention from the beginning of my personal artistic experience. Through the socio-cultural and archeological observations that I made over the years, I realized that together with the possibilities of the media used to produce an artwork, it is also crucial to observe emotions, traditional rules, global taboos, etc. in order to increase the social conductivity of each work.


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An interview with

Çağlar Uzun Through a vivacious multidisciplinary approach, Çağlar Uzun drags the viewer along an incessant exploration of the intersection of various realities that he builds and delivers with a provocative and multi-layered narrative. It is with a real pleasure that I'm introducing our readers to his artistic production. Hello Çağlar, and welcome to ARTiculAction: I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

Nowadays, art comes into being within very subjective descriptions. Art’s substantial quality and definition has become unclear in that circumstance. Evanescing of art’s formal aspect results with increasing of problems about functions and meanings of art. Therefore, artist finds himself within conceptual dead-ends and chaos. Personally, I deal with what is the purpose of art rather than what art is. Art is a way of communication and connection between people. I think one of the main aims of artist must be investigate the liaisons of people’s relations with cross-cultural influence, international, sensational connections, and explain them visually and thoughtfully. Every artist is a child of his/her age. However, to keep up with the times, especially for today's artists, cannot be seen as a sign of contemporaneousness. If an art work is contemporary, it has to be sensible within its own period’s socio-cultural, politic, economic, psychological and art themed functions and actions. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our


Çağlar Uzun

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ÇaÄ&#x;lar Uzun

readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

Mostly, the formation process of my works arises from encounters. It is possible that visualization of a sense designates intellectual frame, or culturally and socially left-off cases motivates the work. Both attitudes are associated with the intension. Analysis and examination of the nature of visual and ideal interactions are valuable in regards to artistic creation. My works, which are visual notes and expressions of encounters, occur within the context of their own instruments and techniques. Sometimes, instruments that are appropriate to rhythms of issue are used to express different layers of a sense and sometimes a project is created with instruments that are compulsorily slow as a result of density of thought. We can say that I do not think any method or instrument as indispensable. Therefore, preparation process and schedule for eventuation abide by the configuration of each story. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from city shaker, an extremely stimulating couple of works that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?

City shaker, my video project, is an image production method and is formed on the basis that the bearer or the retainer of camera acts as a part of it. Every kind of artistic expression needs its own instruments and the usage of these instruments is possible in the sense of artist’s transformation to the apparatus of instrument or the indicator of his approximation. In this work, I precisely started to record the city records that passes through the body. The occurrence of images that quiver according to the movements of body indicated principally to what extent the


Çağlar Uzun

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Çağlar Uzun

meaning of reality was deformed. The way of understanding the reality is related with how and in what ways we see it. Artist, who constructs the meaning in proportion to visual stimulus and signs, seeks the possibilities of image behind reality rather than the reality behind mage. The form or meaning that is signalized by the light of photographic image liberated and purified from its physical and ideational meaning through separably resolving of the same light by the way of dividing to the millions of parts. This video project fictionalizes life and meaning through fragments and it should be seen as a strategy for reformulating senses, expectations and habits of viewer. What has particularly impressed me of your approach is the way, by heightening the tension between reality and perception of it, your work explores the concept of emerging language and direct experience... so I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Of course, there is a subjective answer to that question. Every artist is both victim and ruler of his own duration, so we cannot talk about one valid answer only. My personal experiences are crucial for understanding and expressing my environment and myself. I can try to explain that situation related with my artistic position. Since primitive man, humans have appealed to diverse ways, created instruments, designed regulations to hold on to life. That can be also explained by instinctual needs. To constitute this system is initially possible with personal experiences. He constitutes an order and observes whether it is appropriate to him as well as others. An artist constitutes models like other people’s construction of order. He organizes firstly a situation, a sense, a thought and a problem with regard to his apprehension and then he introduces them into the field of public apprehension. How the reality is perceived is substantially related with how

and in which conditions we encounter with it. Images are mostly misleading and because of that, they can change the existence of reality at any moment. Pushing the capacity of perception to the limits gives chance to discussion about unpredictable opportunities on life and humanity. To give an opinion about inexperienced things is impossible. The nuance of colors that I have admired in your mixed media pieces have suggested me such a tactile sensation: any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

First of all, I am much obliged in the sense that you started with the appropriate definition. I think the tactile sensation is mainly related with livingness. We want to touch whatever we love. We want to love tactually, feel tactually, think tactually and live tactually. For humans, touching is essential. However, we need to repeat or find similar (or equivalent) corporeal and tactual impulses because tactile sensation is without memory (when the contact is interrupted, the impulse disappears). The field of plastic arts is the best ground to construct the tactile sensation. When the physical contact is not possible, the best alternative is the visual contact. I learned from my pictorial works that the visual production is a difficult responsibility in the sense of experiencing various visual and sensible analyses. I discussed by myself the reasons of picturing in this context. Moreover, I wrote my PhD thesis on “SelfCriticism in Art”. With this study that have the characteristics of cognovits, I inferred that the visualization of partial and sensual story of humans have important consequences. These inferences are main elemental pictorial parameters and they help to produce value. The multilayered experience suggested by your installations is capable of bringing a new level of significance, re-contextualizing the usual idea behind the concept of landscape: and I would go as far as to state


ÇaÄ&#x;lar Uzun

that in a certain sense your works force the viewers' perception in order to challenge the common way to perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension... By the way, I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

In my installation works, one of my emphases is to recreate meaning and perception by way of integrating the accustomed physical experience with the sensoroial experience. In everyday life the re-organisation of the conditions we are subject to , the external world and the regular and ordinary relationship we establish with it erases our attention towards thing happening around us. In a sense, the external world that we assume to be predictable, is far away from offering us new meanings. An external world without a relationship of sharing leads to an


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Çağlar Uzun


Çağlar Uzun

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athrophy within our inner world. It leads to a desensitization towards ourselves and towards our environment. In my installation “Rainy Day” I directed the spectators into an 8 meter long vinyl tunnel, and thus I included them within a constructed experience. An interior space constructed within another interior space, the sound of rain dropping on a canvas was heard by the people inside through the speakers. A natural phenomenon frequently encountered in nature, this time lead the people experience a feeling of protection due to the specific spatial organization of the work, besides other natural feelings. What is more, even though the spectator knew that the sound of rain was not real, it made them concentrate more. When we encounter phenomenon that we are sure of, we don't experience emotional feelings, on the other hand, uncanny encounters arise in us more vivid reactions and lead us to deduce intense emotional consequences. Taking control and advantage of technology, your approach goes beyond the usual but artificial dichotomy between tradition and experimentation: in this sense, multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your approach and it's remarkable the way you are capable of creating such an effective symbiosis between elements from different techniques, manipulating language and recontextualizing images and especially the concepts behind them: while crossing the borders of different fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

Interdisciplinarity brings about immense opportunities for contemporary art today. the fields of knowledge and experience becoming part of the thinking and producing process allows us to use our artistic approach and perception to become cross cultural and cross dimensional . The local reading of international visual language offers artists fresh perspectives


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ÇaÄ&#x;lar Uzun

and possibilities of creativity. In that sense, visual communication infused into the field of art increasingly. A brief look into the scope of my photographic work "emotional hills" , will allow us to understand the mentioned intentions. Zonguldak is the capital of Turkey's coal mines. The city has hundreds of karstic pits underground which resemble a labyrinth. Over

the last 166 years, thousands of workers in these mines extracted coal, and lost their lives because of neglected regulations and poverty. It is possible to see marks of all kinds around the city describing mines and mining. Underground of the city is completely black as well as city itself. It is almost impossible for inhabitants to escape these realities. Coal soot and dust has affected everybody mentally and


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physically over the years. Visual traces of coal have an invisible face because of its even familiarity to local people. All kinds of metaphorical symbols of this invisible face are either washed away with rain or ruined from obsolescence. It is unfair and insensitive to ignore a city’s atmosphere shaped by its underground without determining its assessments and relationships to visual culture. This project was photographed to represent although left physically, the spiritual forms of the coil hills created over the years by people storing tons of coils over and over again.

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There always seems to be a sense of narrative in your pieces. How much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your works?

I do not think the art context should be described as an element of visual narrative. Since narrative approaches might not present a possibility for free movement. At the same time, the intention to engage the spectator would be visually off-putting and compulsive. Instead, to design experiences that trigger instinctions related to life (emotional, phenomenological, experiential, intellectual) would help to establish much more intense relationships. If this is a painting, for instance, I aspire to create fragments of emotional


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Çağlar Uzun


Çağlar Uzun

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ÇaÄ&#x;lar Uzun

connections, if it is an installation, I try to integrate the participant in it, and add a machinery that would allow the work to come to being with the spectator. To create emotional layers open to participation brings forth a conversation between the perceiver and the one that starts this conversation. The unfinished parts in the visual story that needs to be completed with personal elements brings about narratives resembling the rich nature of life each time. What I do in my works with the parts of emotional forms is to increase the connections of common thinking and feeling between people . Before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a but clichĂŠ question about the relation with your audience: in particular, positive feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of an important supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how would you define the nature of the relation with your audience?

The appreciation of success pose for me a contentious approval. Particularly, the fact that institutions, authorities and spectators do not make decisions upon their specific parameters of taste means that the star artists are injected into the contemporary art market through art brokers reveals that how important it is that the outcast artist should decide on his/her own position. Therefore, the artist should approach cautiously towards any marks of success or any positive contribution. Even though this atmosphere comes into being with candid intentions majority of the time, it has the potential to poison both the artist and the spectator.


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Tabea Hertzog (Germany)

An artist's statement

In my written texts and scenes the visual aspect takes an important place; therefore the photographic/ conceptual work shows a connection. Both aspects play together in an organic way. A disclosure of the relations and structures between people and people and environment are at the centre of attention." Born 1986 in Berlin, Tabea Hertzog studied Literary and Creative Writing at Institute for Literary Writing and Literature, Universität Hildesheim. Advancements 2015 Nes Artist Residency, Iceland 2013 Nominated for Retzhofer Dramapreis, Retzhof (Austria) 2013 Scholarship, 17. Internationale Schillertage, Nationaltheater Mannheim 2012 Meeting of young authors, Schauspiel Chemnitz 2011 Authors project stück/für/stück, Schauspielhaus Wien Last puplication (May 2014) „Von Fingern und Beinen – 23 Fragmente“ (outline) in: ]trash[pool, Literary Magazine (fifth issue) in Tuebingen.


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An interview with

Tabea Hertzog An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator

What immediately impresses of Tabea Hertzog's work is the way she effectively challenges the viewers' perception, accomplishing the difficult task of leading us to rethink about way we perceive the outside world, urging us to investigate about the existence of unexpected relationships between opposites aspects of the reality we inhabit in. Through an incessant process of recontextualization, her multidisciplinary approach to photography and written text provides the viewers of an extension of the ordinary human perception, in order to manipulate it and releasing it from its most limbic parameters. I'm particularly pleased to introduce our readers to her multifaceted artistic production. Hello Tabea, and a very warm welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You hold a Master of Arts of Literarisches Schreiben that you recentle received from the Hildesheim University: how has this experience influenced you as an artist and impacted on the way you currently conceive and produce your works?

I feel like my studies were somehow following a free path. Not only I was able to follow practical and theoretical seminars about creative writing, but also I was given the chance to attend extra seminars, such as photography seminars which I did attend. At that time I started taking my first pictures, while keeping on writing texts. The university environment which surrounded me was really cozy and I felt like being in a family. Teachers were mentors, who gave me continuously motivation and supported my development. Being honest, I began to write quite late. Before going to


Tabea Hertzog

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Tabea Hertzog


Tabea Hertzog

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Hildesheim, I had written mainly fragments instead of really complete short story based on literary rules. This is also the reason why I developed my own literary style only when I started my study there. Now, I think that it was an advantage and a good condition to find and develop connections between my texts and photography. Certain fragments turns into photography, or the other way around. Sometimes people say I have a visual and cinematographic style. Boundaries are blurred. While writing in Hildesheim, I quite naturally became more attentive and sensitive towards words, their meanings, ambiguity, abstractness. Out of these thoughts, I created the series „My Secret Life“. For a long time I thought I had to make a decision between photography and writing in order to create a good work. Being stuck in between the two activities would have brought wrong results, not letting me be totally focused on the whole. Today I accept better my different interests and I see the words and images of my work more like a stream. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

Basically, in most of the cases, I just have one thing in my head. I see two people on the street, a gesture or an image in a magazine and the picture in my head goes on. Most of the time, I don’t have a real plan, just an idea. For example, if the idea comes from a blue fabric and a gesture, there is just me and the blue fabric in the room, and then I see what happens. I experiment a lot. Most of the time I work on my own. This is based on two considerations: 1. I know what I can expect from myself. If something doesn’t work, I


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Tabea Hertzog

know that I have to find a way to make it better. Often I am an impatient person. Therefore my own challenge is to take care of my own. My works are the results of free associations. I try a hand gesture. I always work with selftimer. This is not always easy, of course, but I also like to be there alone in a room. Loneliness is an important theme for the process of my work. Usually I take 30, 40 pictures, then go through them, find out which one looks interesting, an image in my head becomes clearer. I take again 40 pictures.

Among hundred images one is good. Often it is one of the first images, coming out by accident, to be the best. After downloading them into my computer, questions arise. Sometimes this is the moment I realize that I worked unclean or I should change an object. So I repeat the process on the next day. This time, then, everything is better planned, more precise. On the other hand, sometimes this constitutes an obstacle. I like the random process, it gives me the possibility for the biggest entirely-free association. I noticed that this is the process where my best images come out.


Tabea Hertzog

I try to play with few details, every object in the images tells something. I like lines and diagonales. They control movement. The scenic plays an important role in my works. I understand my images as moments of a scene. Thanks to small placed details and free association, every image brings possibilities for the next steps of a scene. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from Pool, an extremely interesting series that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I

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would suggest to our readers to visit directly at http://www.tabeahertzog.de in order to get a wider idea of your multifaceted artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?

This series was created during the autumn I spent in my mother’s house. I worked on my first play, I sat practically at the table every day. Out of the window I always saw that small plastic pool for children. My mother bought it in summer for the dogs. Since then


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Tabea Hertzog

water was inside the pool and had not been changed: leaves, insects, towels off the clothesline collected. One day I played with the dogs there in the garden, the ball felt in the water. I observed the reflections in the water, they were really wonderful. On the next day I repeated the procedure with the camera. I took pictures without planning the details. I put some objects in the water, the ball too. I observed what happened, what the dog made. Water plays an important role in my life. Whenever I have free time I go for a swim. I really like the surface of seas, the coldness and the movements in the water. I often deal with this subject in my texts. I would go as far as to state that Istanbul takes such a participatory line on the conception of art. In particular, your investigation about the intimate aspect of constructed realities has reminded me of Thomas Demand's works: while photographing could be considered a purely fictional construction, there is always a way of giving it a permanence that goes beyond the intrinsic ephemeral nature of the moments you capture. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

This is a question that it is frequently reiterated in literature: When is a text authentic? How important is it to find the autobiography of people in their works? I think what it is important is to recognize which is one’s working methods and what are the themes one’s dealing with. This is the condition for different possibilities. I realized that my own texts consist of two basics: the experience of travels and the relations in my familiy. I need travels to understand what kind of themes I’m interesting in and to create the scenes within my texts. The

senses are really important to create a place or an atmosphere so the reader can imagine to be there. With just one smell you can show a place. For instance, In a text which takes place in Iran I wrote: „At the roadside it smelled of corncob […]“. Immediately the reader gets an impression. So, in most of the cases, I need a direct experience as condition to write. This is the starting point to abstract the things and create more scenes. In my images I often work with gestures, that’s why I need a direct observation of the real world or I need to research through the


Tabea Hertzog

internet. It depends on the things you will show. Some people show good works just out of researching. And sometimes it can be an advantage to approach issues unconsciously, without having an experience, just like children do. An important aspect of your work that I would like to discuss is the subtle but effective investigation about the emerging languages: in particular, what has mostly impacted on me of your Spielplatz series is the way you have been capable of bringing

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a new level of significance urban spaces, re-contextualizing the concepts behind them: I would go as far as to state that the works from these series are a lively objectifications of what the French antropologist Marc AugĂŠ once defined as Non-lieus... I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of


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

Answering the question, what is the inner Nature of the people, is not easy, because it is very abstract. Does is it mean: what we really are, with our strenghs, weaknesses, emotions – and how we express them – but very often we hide? I think it is about authenticity. What is it behind reality and power nowadays? An artist, who deals with these topics, undertakes a self-analysis. I have the impression that nowadays we are

Tabea Hertzog

really focused on ourselves. Every time is it about how we define us, what is our job. I often believe to look for simple structures. I think, that it is important to have an answer for the own working-philosophy: What am I actually doing? An artist, who gives an answer to this or defines this, undoubtly reveals something that has to do with himself, with his inner Nature. It can happen during the working process or at a later point. When I try to find words for my own workingphilosophy, then a disclosure of the relations


Tabea Hertzog

and structures between people is at the centre of attenion. Even though I reflect over and over again about my own relations to the people. As much as I reflect on to the personalities within myself. The exploration of the blurry boundaries between Memory and Experience is a recurrent theme in your works, and I have appreciated the way you extract what I would define the unrevealed narrative behind the oniric dimension in Spielplatz: where indistinct shapes seems to act as

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cornerstones for the fullfilment process of the viewers. This has reminded me again Thomas Demand, when he stated that "nowadays photography can no longer rely much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological narrative elements within the medium instead": what's your point about this? And in particular, how much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your works?

I should put it like that: Nowadays it is about to create contents which are more open to symbolic strategies. This means that there is


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Tabea Hertzog

an importance of narrative elements, which leaves a certain flexibility at the same time. At the beginning I dealt with symbols (metaphors), words in my works. This was important for my own process, it helped me to understand my working method. You can see an example in the photography series „My Secret Life“. A shallot/onion was the symbolic starting point in the images „Charlotte“, which became more abstract, giving the woman „Charlotte“ a psychological depth. I find out that it is important to me to have a meaning, a

narration which is definitely not based on strict rules. If I transmit that form to the literature/ writing, there is an existing narrative. The author develops a plot, a red thread, but there is still a certain free space for interpretation, association for instance. I work with fragments, comparable with film stills, which to me include a narrative. If I change the chronology of text fragments, it will be shown another narrative, as well as it happens with the images of a photography series. You can see it, for instance in the more


Tabea Hertzog

conceptional series („Einstand“) Here I’m still dealing with surreal aspects.For me it is about giving enough free space for associations both in my photography and my texts, so I can tell several truths, which the viewer/ reader can’t capture equally. Multidisciplinarity is a crucial (aspect of your art practice and you seem to be in an incessant search of an organic, almost intimate symbiosis between written texts and scenes: while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between different disciplines is the only

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way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

For a long time I thought I had to make a decision between photography and writing, so that I could make a good work. I had the idea that otherwise I would just do half of the work. It took me quite some time before I understoodd that a switch between the two fields doesn’t mean an evasion or that I didn’t finish one of the two. Not long time ago, I decided to accept, that sometimes I would write and sometimes I would take pictures; it depends on how I can


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Tabea Hertzog

express myself. With this decision I could open up to more approaches to my work, things can develop and become good works. I think that your approach urges the viewer to follow not only your process, but even and especially the cultural and politic substratum on which you build your creations: I have particularly appreciated the way this forces us to evolve from being a passive spectator to more conscious participants... By the way, although I'm aware that this might sound a bit na誰f, I have to admit that I'm sort of convinced

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

I think the arts could steer people's behaviour in many cases. It is most likely in theatre plays or performances, where the physical body is present. I remember about some plays, that I was a different person after


Tabea Hertzog

leaving the theatre hall, because things were shown in a way I would never have thought about it before. Sometimes current photography is a bit too realistic for me. Of course they also show and report things, but often those pictures don’t succeed to “influence“ me once I leave the room. In my opinion architecture and product design, as well as our immediate environment, take a special position. I think the rooms in which we grow up influence ourselves to a high degree. A person who grows up in a prefab estate moves differently from a person who

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lives in a house sorrounded by big windows. Before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a but cliché question, but an interesting one that I'm sure will interest our readers around the world... it goes without saying that feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of an important support, which is for sure not absolutely indespensable, but that can stimulate to keep on with Art: I was just wondering if the expectation of positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist... In particular, how would you


ARTiculAction

Barbara Bervoets

define the nature of the relation with your audience?

There are artists who deal with the same work for about ten years, without getting a confirmation of their skills, and it works for them. I think it depends on three different things: the financial status, the will and the decision. Sometimes it is easier to keep the motivation up, the trust on onself, if it doesn’t exist just one project. If it doesn’t depend on everything, on one’s own existence. In my opinion it is more about finding out „how“ you work, what do you need. I more and more realize that I’m in a continous work in progress with my works. I’m still learning with every new work that I produce and understing more about my practice, even though I have not arrived at final position, yet. But I have made the decision to keep this artistic development which keeps me free. Of course I can’t ignore what happens around me and I know that, for instance the recently nomination for the Literally Price of Prenzlauer Berg – even if I didn’t win the prize –, the news came to the right moment, giving me the confidence for my next big projects, that I have developed this year. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Tabea. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

Actually, there are two big challenges I have decided to face this year: In April and May I m taking part to an Artist Residency in the north of Iceland. Once here, I m working on a children book about Iceland. I have a cooperation with an illustrator, an israeli friend of mine. It is my first big cooperation project. I’m really excited about it because I will get to know new fields, for instance how to finance this project. I think I have a big motivation and this is at least the first

condition to make a good work. I also feel to be here, merging with the surrounding landscape, gives me the possibility to create a new photography work. I will go one step further in my work and I m really curious how it will look like! The second thing I really want to do is to write a novel about Iran. Maybe this sounds a contradiction, at least from a geographical point of view. But I think this case shows exactly that I developed both ideas from my travels. I still have a lot of materials about Iran, and it was this first short story about Iran to be nominated for the Literally Prize of Prenzlauer Berg. This gave me the idea to keep on into this direction.

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


Barbara Bervoets

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Laurie L Martin (USA)

Regardless of the medium I choose to manipulate, my work primarily explores issues relating to women’s rights and identity acceptance. As an unapologetic critical theorist, I enjoy examining the complex relationships that exist between different ideologies and the formation of a person’s unique perspective on life. By challenging the onslaught of oppressive messages delivered by mass media about what constitutes “beauty” or “normal”, I use my Art to provoke viewers into action. Horny Girl Collection is an ongoing international project focused on instigating rewarding conversations about womanhood and helping others to see that true beauty can be found in our “flaws”. Resisting the call to conform, Horny Girl Collection members are selected for active participation after committing to rebel against social norms established to suppress, degrade or minimalize any particular group of persons. Being that I have a particular passion for women’s rights and feel this is still an area where important battles are being fought, I work diligently to highlight the endless shades of “beauty” and rally against the concept that any of us should be “normal”. In essence, the movement is a place for women to find acceptance while also being inspired to look deeper for true meaning. Laurie L Martin


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From the Horny Girl Collection


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An interview with

Laurie L Martin What immediately impresses of Laurie L Martin's work is the way her multidisciplinary approach is capable of taking advantage from different techniques, as Sculpture, Drawing and Photography to create a consistent, coherent unity that challenges the viewers' perception, accomplishing the difficult task of leading us to rethink about way we relate ourselves to modern society, especially when it comes to stereothypical ideas of beauty. Through an incessant process of recontextualization, Martin provides the viewers of an extension of the ordinary human perception, in order to manipulate it and releasing it from its most limbic parameters. I'm particularly pleased to introduce our readers to her multifaceted artistic production. Hello Laurie, and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts-Studio that you received about three years ago from the prestigious School of the€Art€Institute of Chicago: how did this experience influence you as an artist and impact on the way you currently conceive and produce your works?

Being born and raised in Central Texas, my passion for art was initially influenced by many of the creative women in my family. My Great Aunt was an amazing seamstress who taught me the basics of sewing at five years old and both of my grandmothers embraced fashion with a sense of confidence that always left me feeling inspired. I was fortunate to attend a community college with a competitive program where I earned a few significant scholarships,

learned some important lessons from great instructors and finally began referring to myself as an artist to friends and family. As an out-of-state merit scholar pursuing a B.F.A. at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the experience quickly forced me to assimilate with a very high standard cultured by the institution and world-class faculty. Honest critiques from challenging instructors and talented students helped me to explore the possible effects of my work on others and strengthened my ability to effectively communicate the message or context of the Art I was working on. Even though the path to each project’s conception is different, my experience at S.A.I.C. led me to work more extensively on each new idea until it passed “the bullshit test”. Since all students are encouraged to experiment by taking classes in different departments, the institution inherently facilitated my ability to blend multiple mediums together when problem-solving how to make my next concept a reality. In terms of my general production process and the growth of my practice, S.A.I.C sharpened my attention to detail and gave me the artistic freedom to re-contextualize my subjects in ways that prompt action from the viewer. Over time, I embraced the fact that I would rather an observer judge my Art to be offensive than walk away after deciding that my contribution deserves no opinion. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

Currently, I make it a habit of beginning any project by spending a large amount of time on research in order to protect my artistic integrity. I believe that it’s important to


Barbara Bervoets

Laurie L Martin

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Laurie L Martin

identify if I’ll be a pioneer or a follower and feel that spending time to educate myself on the subject matter helps me decide if I’m passionate enough about progressing the discussion. I do my very best to not place predetermined time or energy constraints on the work that I’m involved with because I would never want to prevent one of my concepts from reaching it’s full potential. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from Horny Girl Collection, an extremely interesting prrojectthat our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit directly at http://laurielmartin.com in order to get a wider idea of your multifaceted artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?

In 2012, I registered for a class in the fashion department at SAIC led by the fabulous designer Tommy Walton (of Price Walton) and our class was challenged to develop a comprehensive accessory collection inspired by our culture. Responding to some of the critical remarks and genuine curiosity that had been directed at me by a few classmates once they found out that I openly identified as “Texan” or “Southern”, I felt there was a need to examine how the widely acceptable use of horn adornment normally associated with hunter-gatherer cultures could be so commonly joined with a negative stigma. Without realizing, the process of developing an entire wearable sculpture line sourced from shed deer horns actually confirmed my desire to create a sustainable format for provoking others to have honest conversations about culture, sexuality and the ability of mass media to influence our ideas about beauty. As the scale of my concept grew and the project needed a name, the selection of shed deer horns as a unifying symbol and my desire to provoke


Laurie L Martin

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From the Horny Girl Collection


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From the Horny Girl Collection

Laurie L Martin


Laurie L Martin

an opinion about my work led me to call the line “Horny Girl Collection by LLM”. From the beginning, I saw the potential for using the name and project to create discourse and honest dialogue about issues like beauty and selfacceptance. I think that your approach urges the viewer to follow not only your process, but even and especially the cultural and politic substratum on which you build your creations and I have particularly appreciated the way your work pushes against the media machine’s idea of beauty. In particular, The Sister Sessions forces us to evolve from being a passive spectator to more conscious participants... By the way, although I'm aware that this might sound a bit naïf, I have to admit that I'm sort of convinced that Art -especially nowadayscould play an effective role in sociopolitical questions: not only just by offering to people a generic platform for expression... I would go as far as to state that Art could even steer people's behaviour... what's your point about this? Does it sound a bit exaggerated?

I completely agree that Art has the capability to provide a platform for sociopolitical change and can affect a person’s behavior if the work is powerful enough. The H.G.C. Sister Sessions provide a safe space for females to speak openly about a variety of contemporary issues relating to womanhood. Female voices of dissent like the Guerilla Girls and Carolee Schneemann who fought against sexism and hypocrisy within the establishment have always inspired me and are great examples of how activist Art can influence people’s behavior. I love the way The Letter Lady takes such an intense participatory line on the conception of art. In particular, your investigation about the intimate aspect of constructed realities has reminded me of Thomas Demand's works: while conceiving Art could be considered a purely abstract activity, there is always a way of giving it a permanence that goes beyond the intrinsic ephemeral nature of the concepts you


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Laurie L Martin

The Letter Lady 2015 video

capture. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

When viewing the Art of others, I find myself most interested in the story of how their individual experience inspired them to create something. Personally speaking, I find it hard to understand how an authentic creative process can be disconnected from the creator’s personal experience. In my opinion, the undeniable effects of gender, geography or an artist’s individual human

experience will inevitably play a significant role in the process from the beginning until the artwork is complete. The Letter Lady is an interesting project where I reference my particular perspectives and combine them with the participant’s experiences in a process that produces a piece of ephemera to serve as a genuine artifact from the constructed reality. The main focus of the project was to examine the unusual disconnect that exists between people who rely on many modern forms of communication like text messaging and social media comments for a majority of their interactions. By constructing an alternate


Laurie L Martin

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The Letter Lady 2015 video

reality where I sat down in front of a table at predetermined locations throughout downtown Chicago, I was able to offer strangers the free service of transcribing their personal messages to loved ones into a hand-written letter on premium stationary. To advertise, I would plaster the surrounding areas with guerilla advertising during the days preceding an appearance of The Letter Lady. At the end of every sitting, I would prepare each letter for delivery with postage and video myself mailing them so the day’s participants could watch their heartfelt expressions being sent away by accessing a provided online link. Unlike other projects where I use mild forms of

provocation to create discourse and participation, The Letter Lady relied on the willingness of others to share their personal sentiments with a stranger and participate in a way that prompted each person to share something about a personal connection. In the works from your Photography series I can recognize a subtle but effective investigation about the emerging of language due to a process of self-reflection, and what has mostly impacted on me is the way you have been capable of bringing a new level of significance to objects, recontextualizing the concepts behind them: and I would go as far as to state that in a


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Laurie L Martin

Lots of Long Legs 2015 digital photography

certain sense Lots of Long Legs and Rooted Out invite the viewers' perception in order to challenge the common way to perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension... By the way, I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially

of our inner Nature... what's your point about this? The organic beauty of nature has always inspired me and I will often use photography as a means to expose different elements of our world that I feel are overlooked. With images like Lots of Long Legs and Rooted Out, the work is more about examining the intricate nature of cooperative systems.

By presenting the viewer with a close-up view of the naturally occurring environments,


Laurie L Martin

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Rooted Out 2015 35mm photography

I intended to create discourse about the nature of connectivity both inner and outer. Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your art practice and you seem to be in an incessant search of an organic, almost intimate symbiosis between several disciplines, taking advantage of the creative and expressive potential of Sculpture as well as of Photography and Drawing. While crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to

realize that a symbiosis between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts? I do think that some projects require an artist to use multiple disciplines when attempting to accurately communicate the entire message of an idea.

In my personal experience, I’ve identified some drawbacks associated with only using one medium.


Laurie L Martin

Mother's Day Mother's Gift 2015 digital photography


Laurie L Martin

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Laurie L Martin

Initial Reaction

You may limit the number of people who are able to connect with your piece and your message could inadvertently be misinterpreted on account of not having an entire “language” to choose from. Before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a but cliché question, but an interesting one that I'm sure will interest our readers around the world... it goes without saying that feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of an important support, which is for sure

not absolutely indespensable, but that can stimulate to keep on with Art: I was just wondering if the expectation of positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist... In particular, how would you define the nature of the relation with your audience?

As an artist, it is important to accept the fact that some people will not be supportive of your message or the work that you create. Since I make a conscious decision to share most of my


Laurie L Martin

ARTiculAction


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Laurie L Martin

Art online along with other public venues, I make it a point to acknowledge positive and negative feedback because both outcomes can produce growth. I do feel that an expectation of positive feedback could influence an artist’s process, but I tend to avoid discussing or publicizing my projects until they are complete due to a fear of my work being unintentionally affected by a desire to satisfy a particular perspective. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Laurie. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

I anticipate spending more time and energy to expand Horny Girl Collection Internationally so that I can continue building the movement. I also intend to travel abroad more extensively in the next few years in order to help expand the horizons of my practice and do look forward to finding the next new and interesting way to spark conversations about sociopolitical topics worth arguing about. Thank you so much for the thoughtprovoking questions and the opportunity to introduce my Art to your International audience.

Masked Appeal 2015 Metal and Deer Horn Mask Created for the Horny Girl Collection


project.

Laurie L Martin

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Yorgos Papafigos (Greece)

My work focuses on ancient Greek and folk rituals, taken from historical and religious myths and everyday experiences. Through a process of destroying images, collected from different locations and environments, I create a visual controlled chaos. In many of my projects, the statics of forms plays an important role, as well as the dramatic landscapes with bizarre illustration and the objects which are left hovering, suggesting a sense of waiting, and the agony of man for time.

Yorgos Papafigos


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An interview with

Yorgos Papafigos Establishing an effective synergy between different medias, Yorgos Papafigos explores the tension between reality and perception in the post-modern age: it is part of his charm that he avoids any clear meaning, but at the same time she always offer a point of view. In his recent Homo necans series, he stresses the way in which perception depends on cultural perspectives, accomplishing the difficult task of leading us to rethink about way we perceive the outside world as well our inner dimension, urging the viewer to investigate about the existence of unexpected relationships between opposites aspects of the reality we inhabit in. the power of Papafigos's noetic approach lies in her incessant research of a point of concurrency of various realities as well as his refined ability to create multi-layered narratives: so it's with a real pleasure that I would like to introduce our readers to his stimulating works. Hello Yorgos, and a very warm welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and you have attended the School of visual and applied arts at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki: how has this experience influenced you as an artist and impacted on the way you currently conceive and produce your works?

Hello and thank you for the interview. I am a graduate of the School of Visual and Applied Arts of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Thessaloniki. This was one of the most important periods of my life, since both the environment and serious research carried out at School have helped me a lot. This is where I got the bases of academic drawing and modelling, at color but also at the organization of thoughts. Discussions and hard work with my teachers have


Yorgos Papafigos

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Yorgos Papafigos

helped and influenced me, giving me stimuli I would not find anywhere else, just like the dialogue with my fellow students. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

The procedure for starting a project begins with the idea that is being processed, followed by a research around relevant books or documentaries; then, there is the process of collecting my own photos or imges from the

internet that stimulate me and finally I work on them on Photoshop. The technique I mostly use is dry pastel (soft pastel) and graphite on paper, mainly large, while also working with prints, installations and videos: one feeds the other. This process can last from 1 to 2 months, given the idea is functional; if not, I set it aside and start a different work. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from Homo necans, an extremely interesting project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit directly at http://yorgospapafigos.com in order to get a wider idea of your multifaceted artistic


Yorgos Papafigos

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Yorgos Papafigos

production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?

Homo Necans. The inspiration for this series of works is a book, a research by Walter Burkert, which verges on the myths and sacrificial rituals in Greece; Homo Necans (man the killer) also to anthropological terms of the Homo Habilis, Homo Sapiens and other similar types, which determine the stages of evolution of the human kind. Findings from religion, anthropology, psychology etc. have also helped me a lot. The series negotiates the ancient rituals and bloody sacrifices or staged events of controlled aggressiveness, through a sense of black humor and irony, employing the horror which is still accepted in many societies today. I would go as far as to state that Homo necans takes such a participatory line on the conception of art. In particular, your investigation about the intimate aspect of constructed realities has reminded me of Thomas Demand's works: while photographing could be considered a purely fictional construction, there is always a way of giving it a permanence that goes beyond the intrinsic ephemeral nature of the moments you capture. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I believe that every creative process results directly from a personal experience. Creation is about the artist’s character, it is a process of action and reaction.€ An important aspect of your work that I would like to discuss is the subtle but effective investigation about the emerging languages: in particular, what has mostly impacted on me of your Ritual is the way you have been capable of bringing a new level of significance to objects, re-contextualizing the idea and the common imagery behind


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them: I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

The ritual project started from an experience I had at an early age in an orthodox church. I wanted to create a symbolism referring to the altar of an Orthodox church; it is an installation with ostrich eggs and drawings with graphite. The egg is a symbol of regeneration and resurrection and the themes painted on them are in contrast with their symbolism. It is an illustration of events about prejudice and obsession imprinted with ironic disposition and the cross consists of 7 drawings illustrating religious clichĂŠs.I'ts a process of mental and emotional of everyday people struggling with his ego as a deadly sin. The exploration of the blurry boundaries between Memory and Experience is a recurrent theme in your works, and I have appreciated the way you extract what I would define the unrevealed narrative behind the oniric dimension in your videos Purification, Acedia and Untitled: where indistinct shapes seems to act as cornerstones for the fullfilment process of the viewers. This has reminded me Thomas Demand, when he stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological narrative elements within the medium instead": what's your point about this? And in particular, how much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your works?

Narration is not always present in my work. Many times I deliberately remove it, because I don’t want to evoke anything specific, something between the known and the unknown. Nevertheless, I am interested in the symbolic and mystical character, since they are autobiographical... I pursue the impressive part and the awe, without any unnecessary details‌ themes from the Holy Scripture and the Bible.


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Yorgos Papafigos

The idea of the videos is the deathly silence when entering a sacred space. For me, this is something very bizarre and exciting.The static figure it is very interest for me, there is always a cognition from behind suggest a sense of waiting for time. Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your art practice and you seem to be in an incessant search of an organic, almost intimate symbiosis between different techniques as video, drawing and installations as well as digitals: while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

I think it’s about the artist's background. I feel the need to explore new means existing around me, in everyday life, things that will help me work better on an idea, just like the motion of the video is its direct relevance to time, or the installations that come off of the painting’s frame; it is the need to work in a threedimensional space, I am interested in space as a whole, I want to enter a space and feel a sense of awe. All these means can coexist together in one place with consistency. I think that your approach urges the viewer to follow not only your process, but even and especially the cultural and politic substratum on which you build your creations: this feature is clearly revealed in the works from your drawing series as Lets get lost and before. I have particularly appreciated the way this forces us to evolve from being a passive spectator to more conscious participants and I would go as far as to state that the works from these series are a lively objectifications of what the French antropologist Marc Augé once defined as Non-lieus. The way you invite the viewer to re-elaborate the concepts of space and perception seems to involve such a sociopolitical reflection: although I'm aware that this might sound a bit naïf, I have to admit that I'm sort of convinced that Art -


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

As a visual artist today i feel the need to integrate my historical roots in my work,to understand the things around me. I think that in this way one gets to know oneself and is being genuine and sincere towards oneself. The let’s get lost and before projects are associated with an ancient custom celebrated at my home

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town. In ancient Greece, phallus was a symbol of fertility. Pan and Priapus always appear erect in scenes, as well as other deities like Dionysus and Hermes, who were represented as ithyphallic. Besides being a symbol of fertility, the phallus was also used as a protection against the evil eye and spells. All these coexist in the project with an ironic disposition. Our relation to globalization that has entered our lives creates a chaos and, as a result, we lose ourselves and do things that are not related to our reality, whereas we should just look deep inside us and objectify our ego.


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Yorgos Papafigos

I think it's important to mention your recent group exhibition entitled 10 in which have been presented works -among the others- of Marina Abramovic and Lynda Benglis: so before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a question about the relationship with your audience... it goes without saying that positive feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of an important support, which is for sure not absolutely indespensable, but that can stimulate to keep on with Art: I was just wondering if the expectation of positive

feedback could even influence the process of an artist... In particular, how would you define the nature of the relation with your audience?

Surely this exhibition was a very powerful experience for me, and the fact that my work was displayed alongside such great artists was very honorary. Comments can always influence the artist’s course but it mainly depends on how much they care about them. They must intelligently deal with it, and not mind about the


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future but about the present and the things that they now create.

future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Yorgos. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your

It has been a pleasure. I'm preparing an exhibition ,and I'm making a new series of large scale drawings, and an installation with 3D printing objects.


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Eric Hynynen (Finland) An artist's statement

A patron once told me "your exhibition was like a punch in the guts". I kind of liked that.... Maybe art could be similar to a boxing match. Take aim and strike, dance to avoid being hit, attack, defend, but always give it your all. Each work being a well directed blow to the system. The power is in the simplicity. A punk DIY attitude, black humour and iconoclastic strategies are the backbone of an art that has a message for those who care to listen. As an artist, my weapon is aesthetics. Art is a quest for freedom. The very act of making an artwork is radical, as it is outside the realm of what is controlled. There are no rules. The irrational and illogical are acceptable, even cherished. Art has the value of being useless, having no practical function. This presents a challenge to this production driven society, but it is also why it is important. It keeps us human. Our lives have become absurd, perhaps they always have been. Now more than ever, it seems critical to take a step back and truly see what is happening around us. The unrestrained capitalist system is destroying the planet, while making us all run around like headless chickens, trying to keep up. Our hearts have been hardened by conforming to an inhumane system. Where has our sense of community gone? Our compassion? Is everything just about the economy? The time for change is now.

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Sandgroper oil on canvas, 144cm x 197cm


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An interview with

Eric Hynynen Through black humour and iconoclastic strategies, Eric Hynynen's work explores the tension between perception and reality in the post-modern society: it is part of his charm that he avoids clear meanings, but at the same time he always offers a point of view. In his mutidisciplinary artistic production, he stresses the way in which perception depends on cultural perspectives, accomplishing the difficult task of leading us to rethink about the way we perceive the outside world, but also, urging us to investigate the existence of unexpected relationships between opposite aspects of the reality we inhabit. The power of Hynynen's noetic approach lies in his incessant research of a point of concurrency of various realities as well as his refined ability to create multi-layered narratives: so it's with a real pleasure that I would like to introduce our readers to his stimulating artistic production. Hello Eric, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid training: you hold a Master of Fine Arts that you received form the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. How has this experience of formal training -and especially moving from your native Perth to Finland- has influenced you as an artist and on the way you currently produce your artworks?

I am very happy with the standard of education at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. Being exposed to the ideas and works of quality artists has lifted the bar with regard to my own artistic ambitions. I have been challenged to

Eric Hynynen

produce a higher quality of art, to become more critical and place my art into context. Working between two cultures, I am able to take an outsiders position and can see the challenges faced by both countries. I have found that my main focus as an artist is urban and global. Every country has it's own systems of organization, and economic factors seem to dominate decision making. As a dual citizen, I would like to continue working in both Australia and Finland. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much


Eric Hynynen

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Reindeer oil on canvas, 80cm x 100cm


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No time for games

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They awn

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preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at http://www.erichynynen.com in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of these interesting projects? What was your initial inspiration?

My work is not characterized by the perfection of a technique or craftsmanship in a traditional sense. It is more ideas based and the appropriate method of expressing the idea is chosen. The idea suggests what form the final work will take. In many cases I will plan a work beforehand on the computer and this initial image may change at anytime during the production process. I have many works on the go at any one time and different methods are more labour intensive than others. Often one work may suggest the next one, so there is a sense of following a vein of thought. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from Reindeer and Sandgroper, an extremely interesting couple of works that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this

These works highlight my practice as being a mix of two worlds. Reindeer was painted in Ivalo, northern Finland. The stereotypical image of a happy reindeer, often associated with Santa Claus, is broken down. If you have ever seen a ragged, tired reindeer, driven mad by a plague of mosquitoes, you will know what I mean. The reindeer also appears to be melting, which references global warming in a subtle way. Sandgroper was painted after my return to Australia, after a lengthy stay in Europe. All the talk at that time focussed on the decline of the resources sector, particularly mining. For those that don't know, a sandgroper is a small


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burrowing insect found in Western Australia. I saw this insect as a metaphor for the state of the country, and in a Kafkaesque nightmare, a miner has been transformed into the insect. I have been particularly impressed with the way you have explored the creative potential of single tones in no time for games, the yawn and 808: I like the way different nuances establishes a dialogue instead of a contrast, creating a proficient symbiosis that give dynamism to the canvas: any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

For a long time my palette has been kept quite simple. At various stages I have used only white, black or grey. I find colour can sometimes get in the way. This palette is also appropriate for my subject matter which often deals with institutions, bureaucracy and economics. An exception to this is the recent Lifestyle Anxiety series. In these works I have used only two, unmixed colours. These works have formal and philosophical properties, based on eastern thought. There is the formal aspect of colour relations, but also the construction of the image through the unity of opposites. That is positive/negative, foreground/background, light/dark. Each is usually considered to be the others opposite, however they are all part of the same continuum. I imagine that soon I will be returning to black and white works. Your works encourage physical and semiotic discovery of the visual: this is clear in particular in your recent ones as Zombie Mouse Priest and Corrosion of Humanity: I definitely love the way, by heightening the tension between reality and perception, these works explores the concept of language and of direct experience... so I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I think personal experience is critical. The strongest works emerge when you feel

Everything's Fine acrylic on canvas, 120cm x 90cm

passionate about something. Art should first work through the senses, and through them introduce an idea or feeling. An artist must make work about what they know and see around them. They respond to the world they are living in. I have a preference for art that has at least a little angst or presents a challenge to the status quo. My dislike of bureaucracy and inequalities within the systems we live in is a driving force. The system can be heartless and especially hard on the disadvantaged. While the situations in Finland and Australia are relatively good, more can be done to create an inclusive, sustainable society.


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Business as Usual acrylic on canvas, 160cm x 140cm

Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your art practice: you effectively take advantage of different techniques as painting, installations as well as videos, creating a

coherent unity: while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between different disciplines is the only way


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A still from Another Day

to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

I consider my video work to be an extension of my painting practice, so it is natural that they are related. My video works have a painterly quality, while my paintings occasionally stem from a video stills. So they feed into each other. They have different qualities that can be appreciated, and the impact of the art can

possibly be enhanced when they are combined. This creates a more immersive experience for the viewer, when there is movement, sound and the physical properties of paint. What has particularly impressed me of your Neckties series is your investigation about the emerging of language and the way you have been capable of bringing a new level of significance to objects, re-contextualizing


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A still from Film Noir

the ideas behind it: and I would go as far as to state that in a certain sense your works force the viewers' perception in order to challenge the common way to perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension. By the way, I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the society we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them.

Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

Yes, I tend to agree. The artist has a role to challenge behavior in society. Does the world really need to be like this or is there another, better way? The artist questions. We often


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Uniform, from the Neckties series 90cm x 90cm

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Office exhibition view

follow social conventions, that have meanings or uses that have changed or disappeared altogether. A neck tie is the perfect example, an uncomfortable piece of clothing, with connotations of power and masculinity, that has no practical use. Sometimes I question whether people can see the cage they are actually living in. Then there is the bureaucracy of the system that we have come to consider normal. Art has the capacity to free the mind. Your works are intrinsically connected with the chance of creating a deep interaction with your viewers, urging them to follow your process and pushing them to not play as a passive audience: moreover, your works sometimes deals with socio political issues,

as the pieces from your Office series, and I have particularly appreciated the subtle humour of Painting of unemployment benefits form and Self portrait as a waiting number... By the way, although I'm aware that this might sound a bit na誰f, I have to admit that I'm sort of convinced that Art especially nowadays- could play an effective role in sociopolitical questions: not only just by offering to people a generic platform for expression... I would go as far as to state that Art could even steer people's behaviour... what's your point about this? Does it sound a bit exaggerated?

There is definitely humour in the works, without it all would be lost. However there is a serious


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Zombie Mouse Priest oil and alkyd on canvas, 140cm x 140cm

side too. Art is essentially utopian, as it tries to make the world a better place. I don't see why art can't play a role in influencing behavior, or at least highlighting issues or new ideas, in the same way a documentary or book can. In fact I enjoy art that has a political aspect, as long as it can hold it's ground aesthetically. Nobody likes to go to a gallery to just read an essay. Having said that, if my motive was purely to change the world, I would be an activist or politician, my main interest is in making art. Some artists paint landscapes and flowers, I paint bureaucrats, it's my subject matter. There can be an element of preaching to the converted, however people can be inspired to act or at least consider issues that they they otherwise wouldn't, through art they can relate to through the emotions. Now, as usual, I would pose you some questions about your relation with your

Corrosion of Humanity acrylic and rust on canvas, 160cm x 120cm

audience. During these years your works have been exhibited in several occasions and you have over five solos... It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience?

I'm not sure about this one. I feel like I'm pretty much an underground artist at this stage, and my work has not been widely seen. Of course it


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Lifestyle Anxiety oil and magazines on canvas, 91cm x 61cm

is good to receive some positive feedback, as it implies that you have been heard. If everyone is a fan of your work, you are probably doing something wrong, not being challenging enough. I don't think the audience should have any impact on the art itself and in my case certainly doesn't. It is interesting of course to hear what people think, and perhaps open up some sort of dialogue. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Eric. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your

future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

At the moment I am making work for a big solo exhibition that will be in November 2015 at the PS Artspace in Fremantle. It's a beautiful, large space, so will be challenging and also exciting. I also have vague plans for a short film project, that will be shot in various Western Australian locations. I will continue making new work. I am looking into exhibiting options in Europe and plan to be heading that way in 2016. So any galleries interested, should contact me soon.


(Belgium)


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The rapidly expanding ways to capture, share, like, and reblog not only our own moments and experiences but complete strangers as well, have created infinite ways to prove ourselves interesting and tangible. As an artist, but also as a woman, I aim to relay challenges faced by myself and other women in today’s society. The power struggles between men and women, and women and women, which I observe through social media as well as in real life, are disheartening and problematic. My deeply saturated personal narratives reflect the growing instability of memory with time and I aim to further explore recorded versus remembered narrative while finding a connection between myself and other women.


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An interview with

Skye Schirmer Skye Schirmer's approach could be compared to a kaleidoscope: by creating an effective combination between references to real world and a suggestive imagery from an oniric dimension, she accomplishes the difficult task to decompose our reality, unveil unsuspected relationships between apparently opposite aspects of the society we inhabit in. Her unconventional narrative explores the female universe offering a personal viewpoint, capable of providing the viewers of an extension of the ordinary human perception, and invites them to snatch the spirit of hidden but ubiquitous meanings behind the world we perceive. I'm particularly pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating artistic production. Hello Skye, and a very warm welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? In particular, you have a solid formal training and you hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts that you received few years ago from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design: moreover, you had the chance to study abroad, at the prestigious London Metropolitan University. How did these experiences influence you as an artists and how do they impact on the way you currently conceive and produce your works?

Hi and thank you. MassArt was one of the most important defining factors for me as a printmaker. I went to college unsure of what I wanted to study or what I was “supposed” to study and showed up as a fresh-faced eighteen-year-old thinking art was all about finding a career. Like many others, I didn’t know much about printmaking at that age and thought that illustration would be the most practical move for me. Luckily through MassArt I was able to explore different media and realized


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Skye Schirmer

Flash back to 20122 that my love for drawing and intense desire for self direction was perfect for printmaking. Through the printmaking department I learned an abundance of technical skills and analytical

thinking that would help create the work I am making now. Not only was the department supportive and nurturing, but my peers and professors pushed me to challenge both my


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skill set and creative thinking. I was lucky to meet some of my best friends and contemporaries through the school and I am still in touch with my professors. The enormous

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printshop and the amazing community I had access to were so crucial to my development that I find I may be a little spoiled when it comes to trying to replicate that. I think that


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was hard for me when I studied abroad in London and realized having almost unlimited access to a well-kept shop and direct contact with your professors is not the case everywhere. London Metropolitan University was unfortunately undergoing some renovations while I was there, and I found that students there were used to limited time in their studios. However, while in London I made some great connections with a few professors and students and was given the opportunity to focus on the art world rather than the creation of my own images. The access to museums and galleries in London was unbelievable and allowed me to spend more time thinking about what I was trying to do with my own work and how to do that. I also had the ability to travel to many places in Europe, and the experiences I had definitely fueled some of the narratives in later work. Although I found that the work I created in London was limited, when I returned to Boston the following year I had grown as an artist and had an outpouring of ideas ready to be put on paper. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

One of the reasons why I love printmaking is the option to create a routine in your process, which I often mirror in the production of my sculptures as well. Usually when creating a new etching or series of etchings I begin with a very informal drawing session. I take a few sheets of large paper and draw all over the page in every direction unconcerned with composition or scale. These drawings are usually symbols and moments taken from memory, notes, my own writing, personal photographs, and items from my own social media platforms and others. Once I feel that I have exhausted those themes from my current cache, I use tracing paper to create the right composition of elements for

one or more images. That being said, the narrative is still a very important aspect of the images so I am constantly thinking about the title and flow of each piece, and it is more complex than a cut-paste way of creating. These steps can take a number of hours to a number of days and it always varies depending on the amount of turmoil (small or large) in my life and what is happening on the internet on a given day. I spend a lot of time reading fiction and non fiction and feminist literature, which often ignites a wonderful spark for creating work. After the compositions are created I am free to work on the plate, which often takes days to weeks. I utilize multiple processes of intaglio such as soft-ground, hard-ground, drypoint, and aquatint, and each step can be very tedious. To achieve my final product I have to print proofs through many of these stages in order to examine how the image develops. This stage of creation takes much longer than the initial planning and sometimes is put on hold to work on another image at the same time. I often enjoy working on multiple images at once in order to avoid a sense of tunnel-vision and keep the work fresh. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from Bloody Birthday and Haircut, a couple of extremely interesting works that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit directly at http://www.astadevine.info in order to get a wider idea of your multifaceted artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of these interesting projects? What was your initial inspiration?

Many of my works encompass layers of different and often separate narratives because I am pulling from so many different places. This also allows the viewer to infer more than one meaning from each piece every time they look. However, the titles frequently come from a very specific amalgamation of a moment in my life. With Bloody Birthday and Haircut, the


Skye Schirmer

Haircut

dominant images are fragments from days while I was living in London. Bloody Birthday encompasses a depiction of myself leaning on a tombstone as well as a series of plastic cups mixed with tomato sauce (yes, sauce) and Glen’s Vodka creating probably the worst Bloody Marys ever made on a friends birthday. Often these depictions mirror the way we use

social media to prove certain things happened. It is a record of not only factual evidence but a series of emotions and memories that cannot be recreated. Haircut is very similar and depicts many trivial aspects of living in London with my best friend. She is focused in the center holding a hairbrush with clumps of hair falling to the ground and is surrounded by the


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bloody birthday

British flag and some tea cups. While all of my pieces often have crucial symbols and big picture moments there are often small experiences and moments that I even overlook after their creation. Furthermore, while the titles are often taken from present experiences there are layers of old narratives underneath.

For example the hairbrush also stands in for a memory of a childhood friend who got a brush stuck in her hair and for days let it dangle calling it her “ponytail� before her mother cut it off. Both the action of my friend giving me a haircut in a foreign country and this memory from childhood remind me of the ways in which


Skye Schirmer

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platinum coolant

society have made hair such a precious commodity. While my train of thought may indeed be invisible to the viewer and solely a part of the process of the final image I know that the image will speak to each viewer on a separate level. I would go as far as to state that Platinum Coolant takes such a participatory line on the conception and especially on the production of art. In particular, I have been impressed with your investigation about the concept of recontextualizations of images in a way that has reminded me of Thomas Demand's works: this allows to the your images to go beyond their intrinsic

ephemeral nature, emerging from an oniric dimension, a feature that I can recognize especially in Steps. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

For my work, personal experience is a crucial aspect of the narrative. I think without the relaying of events and interpersonal relationships taken directly from my life, the work would lack a sense of meaning. The dreamlike quality that I express though line, composition and content could not be reached


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if it wasn’t based on some aspect of truth. In Platinum Coolant, items stand in for specific people and depict many moments from the summer after I graduated from college. More than once I have been asked if the images I create stem from my own fantasies but in truth they are realities often compiled in a way that turns melodrama to high drama. It is interesting that you bring up Thomas Demand because I would have never made that connection, but I now see through my process of recycling memory and experience through social media, sculpture and print how it relates to his

recreation of space and the ways in which he captures those through photography. Steps features a drawing of a life-size sculpture I made which was derived from drawings I had made previously. I guess in the case of my 2D to 3D to 2D reiterations and the shift between experience and exaggeration I do in fact create a disconnection from direct experience because it has been recycled so many times to the point of questioning what is real. "If you were a movie-star, you would be the man in jail" and "iPhone notes" are clear


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examples of your investigation about social issues, with a particular focus on the relationship between Men and Women in our post-modern society. I recognize that your work urges the viewer to rethink about the cultural substratum on which we ground our perception and I have particularly appreciated the way this forces us to evolve from being a passive spectator to more conscious participants... By the way, although I'm aware that this might sound a bit naïf, I have to admit that I'm sort of convinced that Art -especially nowadays- could play an effective role in sociopolitical questions: not only just by offering to people a generic platform for expression... I would go as far as to state that Art could even steer people's behaviour... what's your point about this? Does it sound a bit exaggerated?

I think I am still in the stages of figuring that out for myself. What is art’s role in today’s society? While being such a large part of culture and a platform to record history I believe I have some sort of job as an artist to inform and record while challenging my audience. To what extent I am not sure but I am definitely hopeful that my work is challenging female stereotypes and evoking some sort of response from the viewer. I would rather have someone be completely offended or strongly dislike my work than have no reaction to it at all, but at the same time I am not using my narratives simply for shock value. “If you were a movie star...” was the beginning of a more raw and less polished series of images where I began to be unapologetic in my depictions. Embracing the grittiness of my emotions was key in the production of the current work I am making and was definitely aided by the community of strong females on tumblr, in the art world and on television. I had always thought of myself as a confident woman and didn’t realize that I had been so deeply conditioned to react and control myself in such specific ways. Understanding how important it is to be okay with making a scene and giving yourself validation to be loud and emotional at times was really important to me and I think my work benefited from that. Iphone Notes is a much more recent piece (made in February) and was definitely a break-though for me conceptually. It is the first time I really started to combine my writing within my prints and I think the text is shockingly more intimate than the image itself. However, the text features only fragments from the beginning of each note in my phone over a three month period, which gives the viewer enough space to infer a narrative just like the image. I guess that I am still wary that art is able to


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iphone notes


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steer behavior completely, but I am confident that posing a basic level of questioning can lead to change. I have highly appreciated the way you explore the blurry boundaries between Memory and Experience: in particular, in projects characterized with a clear representetive mark, as Flashback to 2011 and Where were you? you seem to take advantage of chance in order to disclose the unrevealed narrative behind the instant you capture. Accordingly, chance act as cornerstones for the fullfilment process of the viewers that has reminded me again Thomas Demand, when he stated that "nowadays photography can no longer rely much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological narrative elements within the medium instead": what's your point about this? And in particular, how much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your works?

I think Demand’s remarks make a clear point about what he deems successful art. Obviously relating to his work this makes sense and he brings up a good point about how everything has already been done and recycled in the art world. I agree in the importance of “probing psychological narrative elements” because that is a crucial aspect of the relationship between art and audience and artist and audience. If there is nothing for the viewer to grasp at or relate to, the reaction is null, therefore eliciting a piece that in my opinion has no value. Unless of course that is the point the artist is trying to make, which is entirely different. As I mentioned before, the narrative is a very important aspect of my image, but because there are often multiple narratives I find the images to be less stagnant and hopefully more appealing to a wider audience. However, I am aware that my use of symbols and somewhat harsh imagery could narrow that audience. While I do think of the audience when creating work individually, that is often not the main focus. I am still in a stage where many of the pieces I create are fueled by my “need” to

make them in order for me to capture moments in time and the relationships I have and also those that I witness. Flashback to 2011 was the final piece in a series of eight that I made at the end of my college career. My return to isolated symbols was meant to mirror that of my work in 2011 while still depicting an emotional narrative about a specific relationship and creating a connection between 2013. Where were you? was one of the first and possibly only pieces that was created from a narrative of just one week. In this case it deals with a very localized narrative of a series of days that provided many challenges for myself and the city of Boston. It is interesting to me that many people who know my work are drawn more to this piece because it is a very literal depiction of what I endured and leaves less to the imagination. Another aspect of your work that has particularly impacted on me is the way you have been capable of bringing a new level of significance to images, re-contextualizing the concepts behind them: and I would go as far as to state that in a certain sense your works as Tears On The TV challenge the viewers' perception in order to going beyond the common way to perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension... By the way, I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

Much of my work centers around the visual eyelooking, observing and being watched- and I think Tears On the TV is a great example of that. It is definitely a better example of a self contained image and for me I find the boundary between the viewer and the piece to be dissolved. Much of my work is constantly trying to redefine what we perceive as human nature especially in a time where the internet and social media are so dominant. I am not sure


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how successful I am in doing so, but I feel confident that through my personal narratives I am revealing a very intimate side of my own inner nature and what is expected of me as a woman and also an artist. Multidisciplinarity is so a crucial aspect of your approach and it's remarkable the way you are capable of creating such an effective symbiosis between elements from different techniques, manipulating language and recontextualizing images and concepts, as in the installation Untitled: while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way

to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

The installation Untitled was my first successful attempt at breaching the lines between 2D and 3D and it opened up an entirely new way for me to contextualize my work. Creating that sculpture allowed me to view a piece of my imagery on a completely different scale in a new form and I believe that was the start of a greater understanding of composition and form in the creation of my prints. I found it satisfying to create something in a similar process-oriented manner but have the outcome be a construction from your hands on a different level. I have struggled with


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having ample space to create the sculptures that I have imagined, so I would not say that utilizing both practices is the only way to achieve certain results, but for future projects it may be. I am very interested in continuing an exploration of recycling images from 2D to 3D to 2D as I previously mentioned and I know that my 2D work will greatly benefit from that. Before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a question bout the relationship with your audience... During these years you have exhibited in several occasions: it goes without saying that feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of an important support, which is for sure not absolutely indespensable, but that can stimulate to keep on with Art: I was just wondering if the expectation of positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist... In particular, how would you define the nature of the relation with your audience?

I think at a certain point an artist can reach a certain level of satisfaction with positive feedback and the expectation of that proves to be both useful and detrimental to the creative process. I find that criticism often forces the artist to work harder in order to have some sort of validation that they are doing something “right” but positive feedback is always nice to hear. However, positive feedback is just that- nice. And “nice” tends to leave you with nowhere to go. Recently I have been struggling with trying to find a group or an outlet in which my work will be critiqued on a more conceptual level. In school I had a close group of friends in my studio and we were constantly pushing each other in a type of friendly competition. Right now I find people are possibly intimidated by the subject matter and they focus more on giving me positive feedback on a basic level. As an artist it is so important to learn how to separate yourself from your work when it comes to critiques so you don’t feel like everything is a personal attack on you. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Skye. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

Thank you, I think this interview has been very beneficial for me to come to a lot of conclusions about my work. I am just finishing a residency at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California and moving towards interning for them. Currently, I am in the process of creating a series of etchings (some of which are shown) that will hopefully total 24 at the end. With those I will be working on a series of large sculptures that will emerge from certain symbols in my work and then be drawn from life and put back into later images in the series. I am in the process of applying for a few grants and fellowships. Ideally I would like to branch out into a more collective narrative and slowly move away from such a personal one, but I am not sure when that will all come to fruition.


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man in jail


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Lianne Alcon (Spain/USA)

Lianne Alcon is an expressionistic painter whose canvases reflect images viewed by an experienced, discerning eye for the essential. Yet her painting style is loose—in contrast to her disciplined approach—and it frequently incorporates swirling strokes and liberal use of her brushes. Alcon uses that contrasting perception and expression—whether painting flamenco dancers or sceneries from Spain, both favorite subjects—to uniquely capture their spirit. A native born resident of Spain, Alcon now lives in Sag Harbor, NY; she exhibits mostly in East Hampton and Greenport, but has also shown her work in Manhattan, Riverhead, Amagansett and Port Jefferson. Her paintings have found homes with private collectors in Florida, New York, New Jersey and Spain.

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An interview with

Lianne Alcon Few artists are capable of capturing the essential spirit of an image as Lianne Alcon does in her paintings: rather than lingering on merely decorative aspects to seduce the viewers, her emotional approach draws images and concepts from Reality to convey experiences and memories in a lively and coherent unity. I’m very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Lianne, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. To start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that particularly influenced you as an artists and on the way you currently conceive your works?

Well I’ve had a love for art as far back as I can remember. Even as a child I preferred drawing and doodling to playing with dolls or other toys. I grew up in Spain, then later moved to the U.S.A but I still miss Spain every day and I feel closer to home when I paint flamenco dancers, bullfighters and sceneries from there. I also grew up in a family with very strong female personalities, they were independent but still feminine and I try and convey that in my paintings, whether nudes or dancers. I find women to be beautiful, curvy and sexy, but still strong and capable. Painting is a release for my emotions, so absolutely my experiences always influence my work. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you

Lianne Alcon

mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

I consider myself an expressionist, so although there is technique involved, it also has a lot to do with how I feel that day. So when I decide to do a painting, I’ll start out with one idea but sometimes end up with a different result than I originally anticipated. Usually I loosely sketch it out on the canvas, turn the radio on, pour a glass of wine, put the brush to the canvas and let myself go. The whole experience issomething that truly


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Segovia, acrylic on canvas 36x24

Abanico Azul, acrylic on canvas

feeds my soul, and the timing of a piece varies so much with the subject matter and my mood, sometimes it takes me a few hours, other times I spend several days reaching its

completion. Now let’s focus on your artistic production: I would start with Dulcinea and En Trance which our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at


Lianne Alcon

http://www.liannealcon.com in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis of these interesting pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

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Dulcinea is actually titled after the character in “Man of La Mancha” the Broadway play based on the book “Don Quijote de La Mancha” by Miguel Cervantes. The music in the play was so beautiful and fun and I just loved the way Don Quijote saw so much beauty in a woman who hadn’t lived a “good


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Lianne Alcon

Aros de Oro, acrylic on canvas 16x20

is one of my representations of Flamenco dancers. I just admire the strength and beauty of the dance and the poise and almost “entrancing” or hypnotizing effect they have on anyone watching.

Sevillana, oil on canvas

life” this painting was my interpretation of her and how Don Quijote saw her. En Trance

Your art practice takes such a participatory line with the viewer and one of the features of Abanico Azul that has had an impact on me is the way you create an intimate involvement with the viewer. At the same time, you seem to remove the historic gaze from the reality you refer to, offering the viewers the chance to perceive in a more atemporal form. So I would take this occasion to ask


Lianne Alcon

By the way, you are prolific painter, and your works seem to be filled with intense emotion: is painting like a release for you or is it emotionally draining?

It is absolutely a release for me. When I paint, it gives me satisfaction and allows me to release emotions ranging from joy to sadness, anger to love or whatever other else I have stirring inside. It’s the only way I disconnect from reality and the everyday routines and find peace. Art is also a way for me to find inspiration. Sevillana is one of my favoured pieces. She seems so elegant and yet robust and determined. It was painted during a period of my life where I was struggling with some personal issues and every time I looked at the painting I am reminded to be strong and keep my composure.

Sevillana sin Rostro, acrylic on canvas 18x24

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

Well I think a person can be creative without having personal experience, but I do however think, the impact is much greater in the creative process if you have an emotional connection, a memory, or some link to that experience. It’s like fuel for the creative process. My flamenco dancers are all inspired by the numerous performances I’ve attended and the impact they’ve all had on me, as in Abanico Azul.

Another interesting work of yours that particularly impressed me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled Sevillana sin Rostro and Aros de Oro: one of the features that has mostly struck me is the dynamicity, the sense of movement that you have been capable of interpreting on the canvas... and I have highly appreciated the nuance of intense, vivid tones creating living dialogue rather than a contrast: any comments on your choice of “palette” and how it has changed over time?

My palette changes depending on my mood and I’ve also become more experimental as time goes by. was painted early on when I was developing the idea of capturing the beauty, strength and movement of the dancers and/or female portraits without giving them much of a face. This way forcing the viewer to develop a relationship with the color, shape and essence of the figure, rather than trying to decipher who the portrait was of, and thus representing any woman rather than a specific one. Aros de Oro on the other


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Raices, acrylic on canvas 28x24

Pas de Bourree, acrylic on canvas 24x36

and Bailando En Rojo, moreover the capability of discerning the essential feature of a concept and to translate it into a visual, almost tactile image is a key point of your works and plays a crucial role in your process: you seem to reject mere decorative aspects, in order to focus on the inner nature of the stories you tell with your paintings. How much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your images?

hand was painted almost a decade later. I’ve recently started using much more color, with the idea that my figures don’t need to be so representative and that the vibrant colors actually add emotion to the work. Re-inspired by some of the artists that I admire, such as Monet, Van Gogh, Gaugin and a few other Impressionists, I’ve become much more adventurous with my use of color.

You know honestly I don’t think so much about the story rather the emotions it invokes. When I paint a dancer, I want the viewer to feel the dance, to see the movement in the dress and feel the dancer’s passion. In my sceneries from Spain, I want the viewer to have an understanding of what I feel, when I visit and I’m taken back by the light and how it reflects from the buildings and all the colors that can be seen, as well as my fond memories of places I’ve been to.

Your imagery seems to be particularly influenced by your native Spain, and you often paint scenes of Dance, as the interesting Pas de Bourée, Tres Mujeres

Multidisciplinarity is a relevant aspect of your artistic practice and you have also created an extremely interesting photographic series, so I would like to use


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Paris I Love You this occasions to ask what’s your point about this fruitful addition... By the way, while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

Well I’ve always found photography to be a wonderful way of capturing a moment, while painting is an interpretation of those

moments. Some of the photography I do, I later use as the basis for my paintings while others will always remain as photographs. For me it’s another outlet, another art form I can participate in that is not quite as time consuming as painting can sometimes be, but still rewards me with visually pleasing images than I’m connected to. During these years your works have been


Lianne Alcon

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MontauketSunset exhibited in several occasions and are in private collections in Florida, New York, New Jersey as well as in Spain: so, before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a cliché question, but an interesting one. It goes without saying that feedback and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, encouraging him/her: I was just wondering if an award -or even the expectation of positive feedback- could influence the

process of an artist... By the way, how important is it for you to get feedback from your audience? Do you ever think about who will enjoy your art when you conceive your pieces?

Yes I believe that some artists are influenced by money, awards and the audience feedback. I on the other hand (as I’m sure other artists do) paint for myself, it’s my release, my expression, and if someone else appreciates it


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and it speaks to them also, then I’m thrilled. My focus is on creating pieces that make me feel good and that accomplish expressions of the vision or feeling I had, if it sells and someone else appreciates it, that’s a bonus! By the way, besides producing the interesting works that our readers have admired on these pages, you were also a Creative Director with a wealth of design experience, having worked extensively in publishing and advertising: I would like to ask your viewpoint about the relationship of business and art: do you think that such a relationship is genuine?

Well I pursued my degree in Fine Arts and completed my concentration in graphic arts, since there are many more job offers in that field than in painting, but painting is my passion so my opinion is biased. Publishing and advertising, in my opinion, revolve around money. How to market and sell for mass consumption. So no I don’t think the relationship between art and business can be genuine. I think one is about bottom line profits and the other about self expression. If you can find a way to marry the two without sacrificing the art then you’re on to something. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Lianne. My last question deals with your future plans: what’s next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

Still painting every spare moment that I get. Getting prepared for an upcoming exhibit in East Hampton, NY this July 2015, so I want to make sure I have some new pieces to display along with the old. Also I’m always in search of new galleries and venues for future exhibits and/or representation. Wish me luck! Los Olivos Sudan Aceite


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Jeff Klena (USA)

I briefly attended the Cleveland Institute of Art (1992-1993) but found hanging out at the Euclid Tavern and the Cleveland Museum of Art much more educational. Music And Art have been a constant force in moving my life forward. Although the past is a constant reminder of promises forgotten. I now make good on the little lies that get me through the night. The reinventing of the dream-self on every new morning. The doorway between the conscious self and the subconscious ideal has been left open. What remains of the journey lies in paint. My Style is subjective to the viewers preconceptions. I am a figure artist. The rest is up for interpretation. The artistic influences on my paintings are quite varied. I am most influenced by the Symbolist. Which turned into the modern Illustration movement. Everyone from Klimt to Schiele from Bacon and Auerbach to Frazetta and Giger. All my idols are dead. It is my time to start a new generation of dreamers.

Jeff Klena Moonlight Masquerade


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An interview with

Jeff Klena Jeff Klena works embody an interface between Utopia and Realism. While his occult expressionism urges to take a participatory line, forcing us to investigate about the boundaries about conscious self and the subconscious ideal, Klena does not linger on decorative aspects to seduce the viewers: the intense symbolic effect of his paintings is the starting point that seems to be conceived to jog unrevealed memories and that provides the viewers of an augmented perceptual experience. I'm very pleased to introduce our readers to Jeff Klena artistic production. Hello Jeff, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art? In particular, do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

A work of Art must trancend the definition of being decorative. Do you buy Art because it matches the color of your carpet or couch? Or do you design a room around that Art? Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that has particularly influenced yu as an artist? By the way, you attended the Cleveland Institute of Art for about a year, but you soon realized that visiting the Museum of Art should have been much more educational: do you think that a certain kind of training could stifle a young artist's creativity?

Walking through the Art museum as a young

Jeff Klena

artist was an overwelming experience. You have the entire history of Art unfolding with each step you take. You begin to realize that the history of mankind is being revealed to you. I remember touching Rodin’s Age of Bronze statue much to the dismay of the security guards. You can only learn about the sculpture by touching it just like Rodin did as he was sculpting it. To have that intimate connection with a piece of art. To stand in front of a painting just like to artist did while producing it. This is such existential experience to see that artists interpretation of reality. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our


Jeff Klena

Second to the Last Samurai

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Jeff Klena panels. All my figures are idealized. They are what my imagination creates and what my memory can remember. Whould I like to have my favorite Pornstars pose for me? Sure. Hell Yes! Yet I do not use photo reference. My Imagination wont let me. I employ no digital manipulation. All my effects are created in the minds of the effected.(infected) Now let's focus on your art production: I would start with Moonlight Masquerade and Second to the Last Samurai, an interesting couple of paintings that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to visit http://jeff-a-klena.tumblr.com in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of these stimulating pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

JAK

readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

This is the question I dreaded the most. It’s like asking a magician to show you how the trick works. Sometimes their is no trick and magic is all that remains. My art has more to do with Alchemy than painting. The alchemist dream of transmutation. Instead of transforming lead into gold I’ve tried transcibing flesh into paint. I’ll relent a little just for the sake of being nice. I paint with black and white latex paint on wood

An intresting pair of paintings. Newer vs. Older. When comparing paintings it comes down to emphisis. What my younger self thought was important enough reveal is considerible differernt than what my older self is focusing on now. Second to the last was painted while listening to the movie The Last Samurai on TV. The title is inspired from a Gary Larsen Far Side comic titled Second to the Last Mohican. Theres a line of Mohican’s with the second to the last turning around and waving to you. Theres not a whole lot to this painting. A single figure. Lots of paint. Painted in a loose and quick style. Moonlight Masquerade is a simple dual figure composition. I mean simple because of the minimal background noise. I’m afraid my paintings don’t have cute back stories. Another interesting work of yours that have impressed on me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled JAK: I noticed that this is one of the brighter work of yours and in particular, I have been struck with the intensely thoughtful nuances that has suggested me a sense of dramatic -and I would daresay "oniric"-


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Order for the New Mind

Eel Soup Requires a Knife

luminosity that seems to flow out of these canvas that communicates such a tactile sensation... to by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

of experience itself, the impossibility of a description that could prescind from the experience of imagination, and this seems to be clear in Taking a Break From Reality... So I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience from real world is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Not really brighter but more along the lines of less paint. This one is scraped pretty thin. The image revealed itself pretty early in the process. I always try to give my figures an emotional context. Some sort of emotionaly driven intensity. My palette has remained unchanged since I started painting in ’94. Only the tools in which I convey the paint to the board has changed. I daresay that you explorate the implication

This is your best question. This is my theme. The disconnection of the self from the creative spark. The backwards flow of creativity from created to creator. My paintings are finished before I start. All I have to do is reveal what is hidden. Personal experience and emotional


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Taking a Break From Reality

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Walking Through Forgotten Dreams

Master of the Dark Arts

armor is a remembered illusion. I rarely remember my dreams. What I find more interesting is when friends tell me of their dreams in which I appear. I’ll just say my dream-self is having more fun than I am. I am completly unconnected or emotionaly

unattached to my paintings. I think this is why I’m having a hard to time talking about them. I think it’s more entertaining to see what everyone else discovers hidden in my paintings. I guess I’m more of a existential painter than I care to admit.I’ve tried to eliminate the ego and the need to please others. To distance myself from the rewards of acceptance. To remove myself from the process emotional validation. To free myself from the artistic dogmas of the past thousand years. To bear witness to a pure expression without the expectations of the human agenda.


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Solstice Serpent Dance

The motives and the reasons for creation are a selfish act. They alliviate the boredom of existing from one moment to the next. Concentrating your thoughts so intently that they begin to change reality. Until they manifest themselves. Covered in paint. Scraped clean of all preconcieved judgements. Existing

in the newly formed void of conscious determination. As you have remarked once, the doorway between the conscious self and the subconscious ideal has been left open: this seems a crucial aspect behind the main idea


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Back to the Singularity

of Occult Expressionism: would you like to elaborate a bit this concepts for our readers?

Occult is the hidden or the secret. Expressionism is to convey a feeling. To express what is hidden, to convey a secret. Although marked with a recurrent abstract feeling, each work of yours is a self defining entity. How much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your images?

Abstract is Organic. Abstraction is Chaotic. This is the first level of awareness. Multidimensional reconigtion is the second. After that your on your own spiritual journey. The narrative happens when I give the painting a title. Only

after I finish the painting do I start thinking of a title. On rare instances does the title of the painting become apparent during the process of creation. My creative process is quite backwards. Now I would pose you some questions about the relation with your audience: it goes without saying that feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of an important support, which is for sure not absolutely indespensable, but that can stimulate to keep on with Art: I was just wondering if the expectation of positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist... how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom


Fallen Angels Don't Follow


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Telepathic Siblings

Eyes for the Mind

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Imagination Burns with Black Flame Wandering Eye

will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

“Compliments feed the ego. Critizism makes me hunger” Of course I’m pleased when I recieve positive feedback. When you expect something it tends to disappoint me more. Feedback is interesting because it lets you know what others like. That opinion rarely coincides with my own. I’m still trying to find my audience my own little cult. I’m in a weird place right now. The paintings that get the most feedback are the ones I did two years ago. It’s like i fell asleep for 20 years. Then to wake up expecting to be 20 years behind. Instead I’m still 2 years ahead. I’d like to think i’m painting for the next generation of creative spirits. Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Jeff. My last question deals with

your future plans: how do you see your work evolving? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

My plans are to progressively get weirder. So much so that my veiwers swear that their is no figures in my paintings. To continue to challenge my viewers to stop and stare for more than the usual two seconds. My life refuses to go along with the preconcieved plan. At this point in my life I’ll wait and see what opprotunities present themselves. I’ll go where I’m invited. Patience in synchronicity.


Wanderers in the Wilderness


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Kayla Nirschel (USA)

An artist's statement

I make work concerning the nature of perception. What do we perceive and why do we perceive it that way? The eye surfaces in a lot of my work as it is the tool of our perception, constantly receiving and transmitting information into our central nervous system then up into our brain where we interpret it. Our identity, environment and reality are determined by our perception and yet our perception determines how we view our environment and identity within our reality. How do our perceptions influence our reality? Is it possible to transform our perceptions or, rather, interpretations of our perceptions? If we transform our perceptions, can we transform our environment? Can we transform our identity? My artworks attempt to both observe my own identity, environment and reality as well as answer these questions through interdisciplinary technology and techniques. Kayla Nirschel


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Destruction, 2013 3' x 3' ink pen, ink, acrylic, charcoal on bristol paper


ARTiculAction incorporate all I have learned into singular projects.

An interview with

Kayla Nirschel KAYLA NIRSCHEL’s WORK EXPLORES THE TENSION BETWEEN PERCEPTION AND REALITY IN THE POSTMODERN AGE: IT IS PART OF HER CHARM THAT SHE AVOIDS ANY CLEAR MEANING, BUT AT THE SAME TIME SHE ALWAYS OFFER A POINT OF VIEW.

IN HER RECENT PERCEPTION SERIES, SHE STRESSES THE WAY IN WHICH PERCEPTION DEPENDS ON CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES, ACCOMPLISHING THE DIFFICULT TASK OF LEADING US TO RETHINK ABOUT WAY WE PERCEIVE THE OUTSIDE WORLD, BUT ALSO, URGING US TO INVESTIGATE ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF UNEXPECTED RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN OPPOSITE ASPECTS OF THE REALITY WE INHABIT IN. THE POWER OF

NIRSCHEL'S NOETIC APPROACH LIES IN

HER INCESSANT RESEARCH OF A POINT OF CONCURRENCY OF VARIOUS REALITIES AS WELL AS HER REFINED ABILITY TO CREATE MULTI-LAYERED NARRATIVES: SO IT'S WITH A REAL PLEASURE THAT I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE OUR READERS TO HER STIMULATING WORKS.

HELLO KAYLA, AND A WARM WELCOME TO ARTICULACTION: TO START THIS INTERVIEW, WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND? YOU HAVE A SOLID MULTIDISCIPLINARY TRAINING: YOU HOLD A

BFA

THAT YOU RECENTLY RECEIVED FROM THE

COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO. HOW DID THIS EXPERIENCE INFLUENCE YOU AS AN ARTIST AND ON THE WAY YOU CURRENTLY PRODUCE YOUR ARTWORKS?

Columbia’s Fine Art program exposes you to a wide range of mediums and artists. We also have an immense amount of general education classes that we have to take. This pushed me to combine a lot of ideas and methods of execution into big, thorough pieces. I developed a way of thinking where I would

BEFORE STARTING TO ELABORATE ABOUT YOUR PRODUCTION, WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL TO OUR READERS SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR PROCESS AND SET UP FOR MAKING YOUR ARTWORKS? IN PARTICULAR, WHAT TECHNICAL ASPECTS DO YOU MAINLY FOCUS ON YOUR WORK? AND HOW MUCH PREPARATION AND TIME DO YOU PUT IN BEFORE AND DURING THE PROCESS OF CREATING A PIECE?

A lot of my earlier work was a process of me coming up with an idea, completely immersing myself within that idea, and then intuitively expressing it. I believe for work to be powerful, it has to be real and to be real it cannot be too planned out. Inspiration flows through me; I am simply a vehicle or a tool for something greater than me to use. Most of the time, when I am in the act of mark-making, I am not even thinking about what I am creating. It isn’t until later, when I step back, that images start to appear. I refine these images so that they become easier to view. As I have grown in my work and deal with more political or societal topics, I do more research and thinking into the piece. I use specific symbols to ask specific questions, which the viewer answers through their interpretations. Although I take more control with these pieces, the execution is also highly intuitive. One of my teachers at Columbia told me that there are three stages of creation: preparation, execution, and reflection. Each piece is different, with a different life and a different story, therefore the amount of time I spend in each stage is different. I can (and typically do) work on at least five pieces at once. They occupy my time when they are needed or called for. I have relationships with all of them, from the beginning until we part and I must send them off to continue their life and write their story in a new place. NOW LET'S FOCUS ON YOUR ARTISTIC PRODUCTION: I WOULD START FROM PERCEPTION, AN EXTREMELY INTERESTING PROJECT THAT OUR READERS CAN ADMIRE IN THE FOLLOWING PAGES OF THIS ARTICLE: AND I WOULD SUGGEST TO OUR


Kayla Nirschel

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The Resurrection, 2015 performance


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Fire, 2014 3' x 3' acrylic, oil stick, gesso, thread, fabric sheet


Kayla Nirschel

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Eye, 2014

Spirit, 2014

3' x 3'

3' x 3'

acrylic, oil stick, gesso, thread, fabric sheet

acrylic, oil stick, gesso, thread, fabric sheet

READERS TO VISIT YOUR WEBSITE DIRECTLY AT

tied to our ability to find and maintain peace. I have been developing a theory of perception, identity and reality for the past five years or so and have reached a point where I would like to teach people of this theory. I could write it in a book, but art says more than my words can.

HTTP://KAYLANIRSCHEL.COM IN ORDER TO GET A WIDER IDEA OF YOUR ARTISTIC PRODUCTION. IN THE MEANWHILE, WOULD YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THE GENESIS OF THIS INTERESTING PROJECT?

WHAT WAS YOUR INITIAL

INSPIRATION?

I have embarked upon a journey to discover what exactly is the nature of our perception. My own experiences have led me to question my own perception as well as the perceptions of others. I feel like perception is the key. If we can figure out, truly, the nature of perception, we can control it and therefore evolve into a higher level of thinking and living. If people understand why and how they perceive what they do, then our limits are boundless. I am driven to believe that our perception is directly

WHAT HAS PARTICULARLY IMPRESSED ME OF PERCEPTION IS YOUR INVESTIGATION ABOUT THE EMERGING OF LANGUAGE AND THE WAY YOU HAVE BEEN CAPABLE OF BRINGING A NEW LEVEL OF SIGNIFICANCE TO A CONCEPT, RECONTEXTUALIZING THE IDEAS BEHIND IT: AND I WOULD GO AS FAR AS TO STATE THAT IN A CERTAIN SENSE YOUR WORKS FORCE THE VIEWERS' PERCEPTION IN ORDER TO CHALLENGE THE COMMON WAY TO PERCEIVE NOT ONLY THE OUTSIDE WORLD, BUT OUR INNER DIMENSION, AND I THINK THIS IS CLEAR ESPECIALLY IN YOUR RECENT EVERYBODY BUT ME AND AWACHE... BY


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Kayla Nirschel

Destruction I, 2013 16" x 20" ink pen, ink, acrylic, charcoal on bristol paper THE WAY,

I'M SORT OF CONVINCED THAT SOME

INFORMATIONS

& IDEAS ARE HIDDEN, OR EVEN

"ENCRYPTED" IN THE ENVIRONMENT WE LIVE IN, SO WE NEED -IN A WAY- TO DECIPHER THEM.

MAYBE THAT ONE OF THE ROLES OF AN ARTIST COULD BE TO REVEAL UNEXPECTED SIDES OF

NATURE, ESPECIALLY OF OUR INNER NATURE... WHAT'S YOUR POINT ABOUT THIS?

Yes! I am also convinced that information and ideas are... how you so perfectly phrased it encrypted - in our environment. Another teacher of mine would take me through our


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Destruction III, 2013 16" x 20" ink pen, ink, acrylic, charcoal on bristol paper

neighborhood and have me interpret the symbols in the sidewalk, buildings, etc. This is where I learned, I believe, to make living art. I think one of the roles of an artist is that of an interpreter. A lot of people are blinded to the way things are and art is helpful to cure this blindness.

YOUR WORKS ENCOURAGE PHYSICAL AND SEMIOTIC DISCOVERY OF THE VISUAL: THIS IS CLEAR IN PARTICULAR IN YOUR RECENT ONES AS

DESTRUCTION: I DEFINITELY LOVE THE WAY, BY HEIGHTENING THE TENSION BETWEEN REALITY AND PERCEPTION, THIS WORK EXPLORES THE CONCEPT OF LANGUAGE AND OF DIRECT


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Destruction II, 2013 16" x 20" ink pen, ink, acrylic, charcoal on bristol paper


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EXPERIENCE... SO I WOULD TAKE THIS OCCASION TO ASK YOU IF IN YOUR OPINION PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IS AN ABSOLUTELY indispensable PART OF A CREATIVE PROCESS... DO YOU THINK THAT A CREATIVE PROCESS COULD BE DISCONNECTED FROM DIRECT EXPERIENCE?

This is actually something I wrestle to define quite a bit. I think I can conclude that even if it starts off impersonal, it will always become personal by the time you’re finished. Plus, if you think about it, artists only really create things that interest them...or else it is just a job, a craftsman’s job, and most won’t put their name on it or consider it to be “art.” Some art historians may debate me on this point, but let’s be frank, art historians love the “what is art?” debate. MULTIDISCIPLINARITY IS A CRUCIAL ASPECT OF YOUR ART PRACTICE: YOU EFFECTIVELY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES AS COLLAGE, INK PEN, ACRYLIC AS WELL AS PHOTOGRAPHY, CREATING A COHERENT UNITY: WHILE CROSSING THE BORDERS OF DIFFERENT ARTISTIC FIELDS HAVE YOU EVER HAPPENED TO REALIZE THAT A SYMBIOSIS BETWEEN DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES IS THE ONLY WAY TO ACHIEVE SOME RESULTS, TO EXPRESS SOME CONCEPTS?

I use each technique differently. So, collage is used to literally pull from the environment in order to provide examples - like empirical research. Ink pen and acrylic are my intuitive, expressive techniques that trigger my subconscious. Photography is similar to collage and it also acts as a documentation. I think sometimes a discipline can stand on its own but I think to use many disciplines at once creates a more in-depth expression that can drive the viewer to a deeper place. I HAVE BEEN PARTICULARLY IMPRESSED WITH THE WAY YOU HAVE EXPLORED THE CREATIVE POTENTIAL OF SINGLE TONES IN THE PIECES FROM YOUR QUADRIPTYQUE TO BE AN ARTIST: I LIKE THE WAY DIFFERENT NUANCES ESTABLISHES A DIALOGUE INSTEAD OF A CONTRAST, CREATING A PROFICIENT SYMBIOSIS THAT GIVE DYNAMISM TO THE CANVAS:

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ANY COMMENTS ON YOUR CHOICE OF "PALETTE" AND HOW IT HAS CHANGED OVER TIME?

I like that word, “quadriptyque.” No one has referred to it that way before, but it really is fun to say aloud. For a long time, I was using many different colors, as I was interested in exploring the psychic nature of color. I got really into chakras and the emotional symbolism of color and became fascinated by what each color could do. I took a chemistry of art and color class that changed my life. My teacher mentioned that the true three primary colors are not red, yellow and blue. There are three primary colors of pigment - magenta, yellow and cyan - and three primary colors of light - red, green and blue. Therefore, all of our color theorists throughout art history have been wrong. You can achieve any color you want with the primary colors of pigment. So my paint palette has always been magenta, yellow and cyan and I have used only those colors to create the bright colors in my work. As I have progressed with my theory, I attached three colors to it - the primary colors of light, the colors of our three eye cones. All of my newer pieces and future pieces will be primarily of red, green, and/or blue. YOUR WORKS ARE INTRINSICALLY CONNECTED WITH THE CHANCE OF CREATING A DEEP INTERACTION WITH YOUR VIEWERS, URGING THEM TO FOLLOW YOUR PROCESS AND PUSHING THEM TO NOT PLAY AS A PASSIVE AUDIENCE: MOREOVER, YOUR WORKS SOMETIMES DEALS WITH SOCIOPOLITICAL ISSUES, AS URBAN DECAY, WHICH HAS REMINDED ME THE CONCEPT OF NON-LIEU ELABORATED BY THE FRENCH ANTHROPOLOGIST MARC AUGÉ... BY THE WAY, ALTHOUGH I'M AWARE THAT THIS MIGHT SOUND A BIT NAÏF, I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT I'M SORT OF CONVINCED THAT ART -ESPECIALLY NOWADAYS- COULD PLAY AN EFFECTIVE ROLE IN SOCIOPOLITICAL QUESTIONS: NOT ONLY JUST BY OFFERING TO PEOPLE A GENERIC PLATFORM FOR EXPRESSION... I WOULD GO AS FAR AS TO STATE THAT ART COULD


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To Be An Artist, 2014 5' x 2' 6" collage, ink pen, acrylic, candle wax, sand, oil on masonite


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ARTiculAction Kaylaink, Nirschel Destruction V, 2013 16" x 20" ink pen, acrylic, charcoal on bristol paper

Destruction V, 2013 16" x 20" ink pen, ink, acrylic, charcoal on bristol paper

EVEN STEER PEOPLE'S BEHAVIOUR... WHAT'S YOUR POINT ABOUT THIS?

DOES IT SOUND A BIT

EXAGGERATED?

Art can definitely steer behavior, our ideologies are formed by the use of symbols and our

interpretations of those symbols. This is actually another aspect of my theory that I am painting about (and researching) currently. Lacan talked how we have a drive, which is an idea, belief system, etc. You can enforce a drive by creating a “representative form,”


Kayla Nirschel ARTiculAction Destruction IV, 2013 20" x 16" ink pen, ink, acrylic, charcoal on bristol paper

Destruction IV, 2013 20" x 16" ink pen, ink, acrylic, charcoal on bristol paper


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Kayla Nirschel

which a viewer will then interpret. Their interpretation leads them to their perception which therein affects how they choose to behave. I also question if this is an exaggerated and radical way to think about things...but it honestly just makes so much sense. NOW, AS USUAL, I WOULD POSE YOU SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR RELATION WITH YOUR AUDIENCE. DURING THESE FIVE YEARS YOUR WORKS HAVE BEEN EXHIBITED IN SEVERAL OCCASIONS IN THE CHICAGO AREA AND I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMARK THAT YOU HAVE BEEN AWARDED FROM FOCUS POINT SHAPE... IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT FEEDBACKS AND ESPECIALLY AWARDS ARE CAPABLE OF SUPPORTING AN ARTIST: I WAS JUST WONDERING IF AN AWARD -OR JUST THE EXPECTATION OF POSITIVE FEEDBACK- COULD EVEN INFLUENCE THE PROCESS OF AN ARTIST... BY THE WAY, HOW MUCH IMPORTANT IS FOR YOU THE FEEDBACK OF YOUR AUDIENCE?

to evolve...not by producing what has already been produced. THANKS A LOT FOR YOUR TIME AND FOR SHARING YOUR THOUGHTS, KAYLA. FINALLY, WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL US READERS SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR FUTURE PROJECTS.

HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR

WORK EVOLVING?

Well, I am pregnant with my first child and through this pregnancy I have witnessed myself grow and evolve. The new work I have been creating is more contained than my older work that is shown here. I am more patient and plan each step one at a time. My work now serves to teach, when before it was more of an expression. I make work for my daughter now. I hope to see my work incorporate more technology where possible and to become more interactive. Thank you for your time.

One of my (many) favorite Picasso quotes are, “Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility.” I obviously hope that people enjoy my work or that it leads them to some place that they weren’t before. My greatest wish is that it helps someone to reach that aha! moment. One day I hope to create pieces that lead people to states of extreme bliss. I believe that art has the power to do it, I have simply not yet achieved the skills to lead a viewer there yet. Awards are cool, but truly immersing my viewer into a new way of thinking is what is most important. I have created a few pieces that have truly affected people and where they have come up to me and shared their emotional or spiritual experience with it. That is what I live for - somehow impacting someone in such a way that they are left changed. And you can only continue to do that if your work continues

Destruction VII, 2013 20" x 16" ink pen, ink, acrylic, charcoal on bristol paper


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Alwina Heinz (Germany)

Every painting and picture has his own universe. For me its interesting to show the very depth of a choosed small piece of the world. Like for example: When I imagine how is to be a black hole in the universe, I really can feel that this condition is inside me too. So all science-in particular the natural you can find in the human and his behaivor. In the pictures "Clean the plate" and "Heavy on wire" you can see the strong gravitation. Nothing can get out of this. But there is more in this picture- I create a hole philosphy in it which gives me wisdom throgh painting. With my pictures I reduce situations to their essence, bringing the message of a situation to light. My painting is concerned with the experience in different situations, in which the obvious is extracted and the subtle, not obvious, is highlighted. This results in parables and patterns that can be transferred to other situations. For me I see a decryption of the situations for the viewer it is an encryption.


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An interview with

Alwina Heinz An effective synergy between a rigorous analytical gaze and a refined artistic sensibility allows Alwina Heinz to accomplish a suggestive investigation about the blurry area in which memories and perceptual reality coexist in an atemporal dimension. One of the most convincing aspect of Heinz's practice is the way her narration of the ephemeral condenses the permanent flow of the perception of the reality we inhabit, offering to the viewers an Ariadne's Thread capable of driving us through the exploration of unexpected relationships that pervades our changing world. I'm very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Alwina, and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal multidisciplinary training and besides your studies at the Academy of Arts, Düsseldorf you are currently pursuing your Postgraduate studies in Art Therapy. How do these experiences influence your evolution as an artists and how do they impact on the way you currently conceive and produce your works?

Hello ARTiculAction. Thank you for the invitation for this interview. It’s a pleasure for me to be here. I was born in 1986 in Kazakhstan and moved with one part of my family to Germany when I was three years old. This was after the fall of the Berlin wall. We became the permission to go back to our home country as Germans from Russia. I grew up in Neuss in West Germany. It’s close to Düsseldorf. To find out my identity and what the place in Germany is for me, I traveled around the world to see other places and living styles for


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example in India, Israel, Palestine, Egypt or Turkey and of course different places in Europe like Hungary, Belgium, Italy and many more. So I’ve got a good comparison about the different political, economical and social aspects referring to Germany. I’m also very interested in people from every nation and to learn about their experience and point of view. I think it’s a big gift to see the millions possibilities, connections and ways you can make in this life to decide who you want to be and not to be. And because of that for me immersion in different disciplines enables to recognize in everyday situations that all of these are simultaneously present in every moment. Man puts in every situation mostly unconsciously the focus, what is currently required consciously to perceive. For example, when driving with inline skates over stones, you can feel the structure of the various hard or less hard structures under your feet. You feel the physical gravitational force of the soil, as well as your nerves in your feet biological if it tingles, which then affects your thoughts, feelings and psyche. Even every next step you unconsciously calculate mathematically and estimate distances. We live in a world in which the various laws of nature exist simultaneously. Identifying these and implement them in art makes me incredible fun. My motivation to study art therapy was to focus on the inside process of the human while making art. I was wondering what is happening inside me while I’m painting and why the result of transforming ideas looks so different than in my imagination. Furthermore I found out many models of communication between the inside and outside world and between people in particular in the internships I made for example in Vietnam with autistic children, in Rwanda with traumatized people or in prison in Germany. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our

readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

If I have an idea, I want to materialize it as soon as possible and to make room for the next one. The quickest solution is to express it with a pen on a substrate such as paper or wood. I don’t need much time for an art work- maybe one or two days for a big one. Of course if when new ideas emerge in relation to the image I add it. This takes a little bit more time. They would certainly also work well as a sculpture or space installation and I think about it according to present them in this form. But at the moment, the production of a sculpture takes too long for me. And about the content of my art: One time I refer to my perception in concrete situations and try to show them in one picture like in “Skin off”. Another time I summarize knowledge of several similar situations like in “Equal goes loose” or “Turn around”. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from "Equal goes loose" and "Turn around series" a couple of interesting works that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit yur website directly at http://www.alwina-heinz.de in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis of these interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?

The picture "Equal goes loose" is about the communication via the creative - reacting an idea, the impact and effect of the evaluation by the other person and the faith in this review. Devaluation causes a shrinking of the pattern of the idea, appreciation or praise creates a


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waxing. You can see this in the moving circles in the bottom of the picture. About the manifestation of the idea on the ground a scale is shown in the sky, which shows how much the mental incredible can be influenced by this duality of the vote. The two circles in the middle show the value of the person. They have the same no matter what they are talking about. But this value seems to be destroyed by negative words or grow through positive remark. This is shown in the green colour inside the circles. The conclusion is that everything is moving – feelings, point of views, thoughts, actions, etcexcept the real value of a person, which is often overlooked. The picture "Turn around“is about the wording and thereby control of blurred. For example the man appears to consist of many fragments of roles that he plays from many different conflicting thoughts, feelings that come up depending on the situation and sometimes you don’t know who you really are. The name combines all the parts and they are together a very subtle one. By pronunciation of the name you will be aware of this and can action more controlled and free, because this is your base, which nobody can take from you. It’s very clear to translate every name in “I am” or “I exist”. This is not only in individuals so, but also in science: if something new is discovered, it gets a name and is thus tangible. The name will be increasingly filled by content by naming the fragments that belong to it. Because of this there are formed associations that have to do with the name. A feature of your "Skin off" that has particularly impacted on me is the way your works seem to unveil the subtle connection between environment and the way we perceive it. The sense of geometry that pervades these canvas speaks of an abstract beauty that goes beyond a stereotyped idea of landscape and brings a new level of significance to images: this challenge the


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viewers' perception in order to going beyond the common way to perceive not only the outside world, but the way we relate to it... I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal such unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

" Skin Off " is an experience that I have made in nature in Portugal . I was hiking for hours in the mountains every day until I was completely exhausted and had to just lie down and sleep. So I took my green scarf and put it on the green lawn that was so incredibly soft.

The living grass took on the materiality of the dead scarf and vice versa. And became one. This gave me a deep sense of security. I felt like every grass stalk carried me in this moment through the death material of the scarf somewhere in this world, in where you just have to be. That’s why I painted every single grass stalk and there were millions of them. They even marked my way, because there where shorter stalks in the middle than beside. Therefore, the picture is also painted with watercolours. It conveys a lightness and transparency behind this world and the duality. The rhythmic movement suggested by the synergies of different media creates an area of deep interplay that establishes a vivid involvement with with the viewer: this is an


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hallmark of your style, and it's clearly revealed especially in your collages. At the same time, you seem to remove the historic gaze from the reality you refer to, offering to the viewers the chance to perceive in an absolute and almost atemporal form. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Experience can only happen through perception. The charms recorded are stored inside and triggered again depending on the situation. Inside the human they are combined with similar experiences. This creates new inner experiences that are important for the creative

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process and their expression through this. It’s an alchemistic process where something new appears as a result all the time. Through the manifestation in matter, part of this exchange is held during the experience changed through constant new stimulation and recording must be considered anew. So the dialogue is created with the image with the fixed and the moving. These compounds also make up the rhythmic movement between the fixed picture and the non fixed thoughts. So for me the base of the creative process is always perception of the outside world. Nobody can prevent this. I have highly appreciated the way you explore the boundary between Experience and Perception, that allows you to reduce


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situations to their essence: I would say that imagination play a role in the fullfilment process of the viewers that reminds me what German artist Thomas Demand once stated: "nowadays art can no longer rely much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological narrative elements within the medium instead": what's your point about this? And in particular, how much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your works?

An image should ideally speak for itself and have no title, because it then can develop freely in all directions to.

The idea of ​the artist has to play no major role when the viewer simply feels sensations that are addressed in. Sometimes the idea can also be distracting. Words draw attention and associations with regard to certain topics. But I also noticed that many people find very difficult to have access to my pictures or can be seriously imagine something underneath. So I took titles that include something playful and stimulate the imagination that simplify the view of the image structure. They have not necessarily anything to do with the idea,


Alwina Heinz

because that would be too complex again, I’ve found out. If someone wants to learn more about the background and origins of the process of the picture, I'll like tell about this very much and I am very interested in the reaction. I would define "Heavy on the wire" a dynamic painting: the stimulating juxtaposition between laquer and oil and the visual dialogue established between soft nuances of blue and the dark tones that are on the center act as a springboard to the opaque that light that burst out of the

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canvas, and provides the viewers of a tactile sensation: a feature that I can recognize in the works as "Clean the plate"... by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

I always liked to experiment with material, with the essence, with their properties and how to handle it . The body acts on the material and vice versa. So it influences the inner image, which wants to be expressed. It is similar to a sculptor, only that I'm working in two dimensions.


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Lacquer and oils of all kinds are my favourite materials. I love the smell of lacquer and would wear it as a favourite perfume. Moreover, it is so tough, sticky, but also very opaque apply when. Thus, the rapid flow of thoughts is pushed back and gives me clarity and earthiness. It also covers thoughts that flow disturbing in the picture. Oil, however, has something very soft and warm and slow. It is transparent and is for me like a protective cover on the motives. It conveys something Salvaged. Paint and oil are for me more important than colour. Colour is the accentuation , the freshness in the image . I think it comes to the dynamics of the application: lots of quick thoughts to slow material. That's what makes the tension. I also love gold and silver. It seems as if millions of glitter particles are compressed on a mini patch in multiple layers so that the eye is constantly trying to include them all at once and every time fails. This constant change puts me in amazement about always new insights when viewing from the same point. So concludes for me that everything we perceive beauty is always metered and they are only a tiny part is disclosed. This is great to watch in the colors gold and silver or metals in general. While characterized with a deep abstract mark, your works seems to provide the viewer of a subtle narrative, and the capability of discerning the essential feature of a view and to translate it into an accessible visual is a key point of your works and plays a crucial role in your process: you seem to reject mere decorative aspects, in order to focus to the inner nature of the stories you tell with your paintings. How much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your images?

The essence of a narrative story is that someone tells another one that something has happened. It always includes the dynamic connection between what is told and the way it is told in the relationship between the times in which the narrative plays, relative to that time in which is told what has happened. Most of my paintings thus include a narrative, because I reproduce reflected and filtered happened situations in pictorial form. In one Situation there are a lot of processes at the same time for every sense and I filter one or several and put them like a common thread together and raise these in their pure essence again. As Philippe Dagen once established in his Le Silence des peintres, the coming of a straight photographic realism has caused a progressive retenchment of the other disciplines from the mere representetive role of reality. With exception of Hyperrealism movement, Painting is nowadays more and more marked out with a symbolic feature. Do you think that the dichotomy between Representation and Painting is by now irremediable?

Photography shows the reality in its pure state. Depending on the view you can also show how very deceiving one's own perception of things. By processing program as Photoshop goes photo for me already towards painting, because it can be changed to such an extent that it no longer looks like a photo. The difference between painting and photography is that when shooting a moment immediately a template is there. The image has been completed. In painting you must first paint this ready state. You have to start from zero, from the blank sheet. The internal state flows in every movement on the ground with a distorted and it automatically by feel. For example, the tree will be slightly larger than in reality, because you might just have a stronger connection to him. This affects then


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Alwina Heinz

symbolically. Previously painters tried everything to map the same way as they see it. However, it is moved into the background due to the expansion of the Mont des Arts riffs and the new media. Still, I think that the presentation and painting always has a reference point to the reality at this moment either the outer inner or both. Before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a a question about the nature of the relation with your audience: in particular, do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decisionmaking process in terms of what type of language for a particular context?

I 'm doing what comes into my mind without thinking about the audience while making art. In this process I almost forget everything around me and feel like in trance in my own universe. There are just my thoughts and the underground, which are communicating through fluent material. Because each person has a different opinion and perception I would make myself crazy if I ever think about how the audience would see my work. There are too many possibilities and I would loose the concentration of the motivation of doing exactly this picture. But when I see how someone reacts on my picture, it is incredibly exciting for me, because the observer is confronted with my world in which I am so deeply in it and either admits it or not. Despite my pictures speak to everyone thematically because I look at the person and the world from a universal perspective. Even personal experiences I try to reflect from this point of view and can see a special pattern in it, which can excite other people. It is up to every people what they do with it. The topics are not immediately obvious and you can spend a long time in the images and come

ARTiculAction

up with the most varied philosophies, if you enjoy it. Thanks a lot for this interesting conversation, Alwina. Finally, I would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

Thank you also for the many interesting questions. In the last months I have 50 graphics made on the topic "How comes a picture to the mind, how and why does it change when it is expressed? “ For this I have observed myself while painting and every sensation and thought graphically documented. A brief summary of this work: It begins as perception forms of experience and how the fragments of this get combined. Internal stored gene, body and conditioned patterns play a role that then unconsciously form an idea in terms of newly recorded stimuli. By symbol formation, the image is concrete and feelings to be adapted to the selected material so that it expresses itself through this, but it will also be distorted. I have carefully studied every step and soon plan an exhibition in Dresden with this work. The date is not yet determined exactly. On my site, the current status is always visible. You're welcome and I would be happy to see you.

ARTiculAction Art Review 2015 Biennial Issue  
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