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ELENA WILKHOM BORIS MARININ DIANA JEAN PUGLISI BRITTANY MARCOUX JOSEP ROS SIN PARK SHEERA JACOBS KAILUM GRAVES (C) merry , Installation, a work by

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Elena Wilkholm

Brittany Marcoux

Diana Jean Puglisi

Boris Marinin

Josep Ros

Sheera Jacobs

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We live in a world made from visual contents, the streets are flooded with advertisements telling the viewer what is the ideal merchandise, what is beautiful and what is socially acceptable, photography as a medium lets people see the ideal world through the lens. As spanish photographer Joan Fontcuberta said, " Every photograph is a fiction with pretensions to truth. Despite everything that we have been inculcated, all that we believe, photography always lies; it lies instinctively, lies because its nature does not allow it to do anything else." So, this portfolio is a reminder of all the things photography can do as a tool to provide a different perspective on our own society.

I think in some of the pieces we relied heavily on symbols within the photographs to probe those psychological and narrative elements that Demand speaks of. I guess I agree and disagree with him at the same time, inasmuch as symbolism can help to trigger a narrative that we may not have originally been aware of. In one of Diana’s photographs, for instance, there is a painting of The Last Supper hanging on a living room wall. This religious symbol and iconic painting triggered a memory from catechism when I was a kid. Without this painting on the wall, this scene would have provoked a completely different memory and emotion. In our particular case, we relied heavily on each others symbols in order to create our own personal narrative through memory.

The work I make is very driven by my personal experiences and my research. I share a strong bond with what Eva Hesse meant when she said, "I think art is a total thing. A total person giving a contribution. It is an essence, a soul. ‌

I have always been considered an arcane foreigner, a psychopomp, feeling the ethereal tension. Breathing out, rather than holding air in. Passing beyond the veil. Observing many layers, like successive waves of water pushing each other. The ocean of under the physical. I am calculating the ambivalence of a ponderous machine. Mentally reconstructing this ambience as art piece. Navigating the existence, digging for information. This is the ability to fluently communicate in conceptual sense with those things that are essentially beyond the reach of the five material senses. My art attempts to discern the nature of things through the use of intelligent ethereal forms, that are not necessarily communicating on the material plain. I use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

The personal experience that had influenced me as an artist has been my work as scene painter/designer in the theater that marked decisively my color perception, manner and composition. The contemporary aesthetic is not uniform, although the pressure of cultural models and the influence of the media, especially advertising, inevitably affects the perception of the artistic work. From my side I have no problem to adopt aesthetic proposals of a more remote in time from which are accepted today as vanguard. Therefore I do not give up any language that art history offers me and can eventually serve my purposes.

Through painting, drawing and photography works I explore the idea what is art. I tackle ancient questionswhat am I depicting and who am I ? as a contemporary women artist I try to understand my reality and myself beyond modern or contemporary ideas of logic, language, depiction and identity. Retrospectively I realize that in order to find 'my place' in art and history I need to doubt. Therefore my practise always emphasizes a state of confusion, of questioning and disorder. The pattern of my art is not to fit within current hierarchies but to be able to examine freely the different elements of life .The figures and landscapes which occur appear therefore in a strange state of flux. reality exists as a long river flowing thorough memories, ideas, time and different spaces.

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In my inner soul, art and life are inseparable." For our collaborative work I feel the same. It is this combination of two unrelated things, our random memories and to one another's photographs, that come together to speak about our experience. We take the photographs out of context with the addition of an unrelated, yet somehow relatable, memory.


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live and works in Israel

B. Marcoux & D.J. Puglisi 32 lives and works in Boston, USA

Kailum Graves

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lives and works in Brisbane, Australia

Sheera Jacobs

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lives and works in Perchtoldsdorf, Vienna, Austria

Josep Ros

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lives and works in Spain

Elena Wilkholm Kailum Graves

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Claudia Dorninger-Lehner

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Kailum is critically obsessed with the Web and borndigital content. He is particularly interested in image-rich technologies and the way global media communication—a landscape controlled by a handful of multidimensional oligopolistic corporate-run networks—can be sampled, organised, and considered in new philosophical, sociological, and political terms. He uses the Internet, which has normalised the act of collecting and compiling information, to preserve and curate found images and raw material. The aim is to engage with the cultural space and aesthetics of the Internet—and the vast amount of digital information it contains—as a subject, material, and tool of artistic production. Kailum’s photographic practice, which differs from his web-based appropriation work, explores the disappearance of clear boundaries between culture, environment, and technology.

It is just after 3:00 a.m. I am about to hear the newsletter deliveryman coming. I am walking around my studio just before dawn. I squeeze paint tubes onto palettes and I begin to recite why I do Art and what is my goal for the future: I paint myself away from my nightmares and towards my fantasies. I paint out of my resentment and in to my passion. I paint because it allows me to confront truths which I am unaware of or I do not want to face. I paint to quell the pain. I paint so I do not need to speak. Painting has its own language. I paint to have conversations with people unknown, friends and family. I paint in the solitude which comes from being surrounded by people. I paint to mollify the voices shouting inside me, outside me and all around. I paint to connect links in a world which often appears polarized: day and night, bright and dark. I paint to help people view the world differently. I paint to provide answers even though these answers can make me feel afraid. I paint to remember. I paint to be remembered. I paint to forget. I paint to understand the abnormal actions of others which in turn helps me to see the hidden secrets which those people try to hide. I paint to know more about humans whom I have no control over. I paint because I believe art is powerful but simultaneously powerless. I paint because art is paradoxical. I paint to deliver beauty. I paint to surprise and with the belief that art can be magical.

Perception and apperception of architecture in the context of time: What exactly do we see during the lapse of time we perceive as the present? What would a picture look like that melds all visual impressions of the time span we experience as the present? The photos constitute the attempt to give answers to these questions and to detect new artistic and emotional qualities in the aggregation of different perceptual images. The intention is to trigger a deliberate contemplation of how we see the world. Usually we only experience our visually registered surroundings as one of the many possibilities of a reality that appears different to everyone and we never capture the reality itself.

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lives and works in Cologne, Germany

Sin Park

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lives and works in London, United Kingdom

Veronica Dragnef

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lives and works in Brossard, Canada

Helena Teixeira Rios

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lives and works in Belo Horizonte, Brazil On the cover:

, Installation, a work by

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

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B oris Marinin Lives and works in Israel

An artist's statement

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have always been considered an arcane foreigner, a psychopomp, feeling the ethereal tension.

Breathing out, rather than holding air in. Passing beyond the veil. Observing many layers, like successive waves of water pushing each other. The ocean of under the physical. I am calculating the ambivalence of a ponderous machine. Mentally reconstructing this ambience as art piece. Navigating the existence, digging for information. This is the ability to fluently communicate in conceptual sense with those things that are essentially beyond the reach of the five material senses. My art attempts to discern the nature of things through the use of intelligent ethereal forms, that are not necessarily communicating on the material plain. I use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

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Like a spirit of a warrior, who eats the flesh of his fallen foes in order to receive their properties. I communicate with the essence of the object in front of me. And manipulating myself so the object become alive. There is a dog, who guards the entrance of the eridanus supervoid. In front of him there is our realm, Which have two layers: The first layer is simply above the earth and the second layer is the corpse of overwhelming sensibility which exists beneath the earth. My body is a mechanical construction, capable of caring for itself limited spans of time. I do not fear pain and the unknown. By drinking the ancient waters of Lethe, I forget correlationism. In order to turn into something which is still living yet resembles that which is dead. There is potential to lose yourself. Boris Marinin http://www.borismarinin.com/


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

Multidisciplinary artist Boris Marinin's work rejects any conventional classification and accomplishes a consistent synergy between traditional techniques and contemporary sensitiveness to extract a compelling narrative. In his video Yesterday and today that we'll be discussing in the following pages, he walks the viewers through a multilayered visual experience in which the perceptual dimension and subconscious sphere merges together into coherent unity. One of the most convincing aspects of Marinin's work is his successful attempt to communicate in conceptual sense with those things that are essentially beyond the reach of the five material senses: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to his multifaceted artistic production. Hello Boris, thanks for joining us and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction: we would start this interview posing you a couple of questions about your background. You have a solid formal training: ater having earned your Bachelor of Fine Arts your nurtured your education with a MFA that you have recently received from the prestigious Bezalel Academy of Art and Design: how did these experiences influence your evolution as an artist?

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

First I want to thank all ArticulAction team, it been a pleasure. I appriciate the aportunity given to me. You are

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great! Before Bezalel I had proper clasical russian academy training in painting and sculpture for several years. The screen arts eparment in Bezalel was more interesting to me then other deparments for the new media practice. I fell in love with video art immediately.


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I though video descepline has in it all other desceplines' charecteristics. It was more satisfacting for me to deal with video then painting. Editing video was, and still now, like sculpturing material in timeline. Also video ofen ask for collaboration with other artists, this

colaboration took me to make video editing live performances – which brought me to Tedx, the nightlife parties, and to meet deferent variety of musicians. With this expirience I learned the importence of colaboration. I have great affection for musicians. My sister Sandra is violinist, curently living in Paris. I allways took her for sucsess inspiration, she traveled across the world with her profesionality. When I asked her how is she so good at it – she told me that she practice every day for 6 hours. So I need to practice contemporary art as often as I can to be profesional artist. MFA studies was important for my cariere. By independent studio practice I came back to draw and to make ready-made sculptures. Then I started to develope and tight in my own practice and to understand my role as an multicultural multidisciplinary contemporary artist. My cultural substratum. As I wrote in my artist statement "I have always been considered an arcane foreigner‌" I was born in Russia and immigrated to Israel with my mother and sister in an age of 8. Israel is a cultural melting pot where everyone feels deferent. I tried not to forget my cultural roots so I was reading a lot of russian books, especially philosophy and psychoanalysis, so I can escape from dealing with cultural differences as russian kid in the middle east. The reading set my approach to art as intellectual approach. The differences between the languages structure designed my aesthetics. I still had the memories from the russian landscape, the dry ochre and cold palette against the middle east' sun heat and the vowless language which

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sound dry and angry. Its like looking at war from aside, emotionally blinding like the cracking noise of radio over classical music. I really like the aesthetic of black metal music genre and black metal culture as dark rebelliousness. Also the BDSM culture designed me, the intellectual question – how is it bad and full of pain, but enjoyable and beautiful? You are a versatile artist and your pratice includes a wide variety of media and disciplines, showing an organic synergy between a variety of expressive capabilities. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.borismarinin.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that such multidisciplinary approach is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

I see the deferences bitween desceplines as a matter of synesthesicle praticle practice. Some times color have taste, form movement have noise and texture have vision. Those understandings we take from and art piece are the communication in conceptual sense with those matters that are essentially beyond the reach of the five material senses. The acquiring of idea by the viewer does not have to be releted to the usege of spesific sense. And in my opinion it is easier for the viewer to to aprouch the work of art if it doesnt uses spesific sense for the sake of using it, or using avangarde as a way of expressing youself. I have examened this idea with three works "Metal spring, 2016", "steel and lether sculpture, 2016"

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and "The sinkhole from 124-128, 2016". I though of the scared triangle of artistic practise – image, material and movement. Each of this three artworks give the same idea. The metal spring is the movement, the image of the sinkhole and the


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sculpture which made of specific materiallity - metal and lether. With three of them toghether the viewer acquire an understending that worth more then each of them separately. And after reciving all three of them together, every one of them can be understood in

the same way. " Like a spirit of a warrior, who eats the flesh of his fallen foes in order to receive their properties..." I came to this Idea while I was writing my artist statement. I took me a year to write it properly. While writing it I had a great inspiration from

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one of the books I found on my adventures in the dark web. This book called "greek and roman necromancy". Sounds like a general superstition and acultism that can be found all over the dark web. But this book had an interesting aprouch. It wasnt about

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acultizm mistification and superstition, it was writen in academic maner. What I have read was so mooving I painted "The Necromancer. water colors 2016 156/200 cm". Reading shamanic practisis as contemporary artist was a deal changer for me. Retrospectivly I


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have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention of your inquiry into the disconnect between time and space is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of creating a channel of communication between the conscious sphere and the subconscious sphere. When walking our readers through the genesis of Yesterday and today, would you shed light on your usual setup and process?

understood several of my works. And the Most importantly – I understood multidisciplinary approach. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected Yesterday and today, a stimulating video that our readers

This work was made from a personal jurnal I was writing for about 6 years. I was writing this journal from third person. And while I was writing it I was also filming video jurnal. I see video editing prosses as non linear sculpturing material in timeline. Reading my self from third person and seeing videos I took was the disconnected relations between time and space. What I was filming had connection to something that did yet written, today I understend some parts which wasnt clear to me back then. Writing about myself from third person was like the conscious sphere is writing about the subconscious sphere. I am as a subject become sudenly object. And I can manipulate this object to my will. Dealing with my object was like sticking a toothpick into an open wound of my subconscious that leaked out through the video screen. Which brings me to a group exhibition I curated "Quasi Object". it was conected to "Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials" by Reza Negarestani and Graham Harman I was reading back then. "If the human perception of a house or a tree is forever haunted by some hidden surplus in the things that never becomes present, the same is true of the sheer causal interaction between rocks or raindrops.

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Even inanimate things only unlock each other's realities to a minimal extent, reducing one another to caricatures...even if rocks are not sentient creatures, they never encounter one another in their deepest being, but only as present-athand" Graham Harman. While I was writing the text for the exhibition I saw the connection, and as I write this I understend more the title "yesterday and today". The ambience you created for Aletheia & Franz seems to be a visual transcription of the notion of non lieu elaborated by French anthropologist Marc Augé and your use of statics has reminded us the atmospheres of Šarūnas Bartas' films. How did you conceived the visual unity of this video?

I agree on the transcription of 'non place' by Marc Auge. Most of my work can be related to this idea. More to it – part of my practise is to find this non places in the phisical space by looking for it beneath, in a abstract way, this phisical layer. As I write about it in my artistic statement "... there is our realm, Which have two layers: The first layer is simply above the earth and the second layer is the corpse of overwhelming sensitivity which exists beneath the earth." This non places as Marc Auge talk about – "crossroads of human relation", there are a tansion in this places, but the tansion is as a state of mind, and not phisical. In Alatheia & Franz also in one of my newer works "124-128" I am alaborating on an idea of non place, as an abstract place beetwin 124 to 128.This video is now presented in video exhibition "Hotel Europa" at Concordia Film | Theater | Expositie (Langestraat 56 Enschede, Netherlands). The exhibition is open from

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the 28-08 until the 9-10 2016. For this work I was filming in a construction site neer cemetery. I have no answer what for is this building will be, but there was a huge hole and undeground concrete columns wrapped in plastic nylon. In one of the days there was strong wind


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and low clouds, which has created a shadows floating on the ground. And I wrote about it "Observing many layers, like successive waves of water pushing each other. The ocean of under the physical." About Šarūnas Bartas' films, I like this kind of films and I usually watch

them a lot. I feel home when I watch them. I watched "A casa" by Šarūnas Bartas some 4 years ago, an aesthetic pleasure. Also there is "Tejút - Mlecna Draha" by Benedek Fliegauf which has great influance on me. I remember when I was watching "A Casa" I

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understood that this non place is a state of mind. It can be found anywhere. As I think more about performance lately - it can be releted to non subect. Your works are always pervaded with sublte still effective symbolic references: both the chains in Yesterday and today and the mask in Aletheia & Franz produce a dialectical fusion that operates as a system of symbols creates a compelling non linear narrative that, walking the thin line between conceptual and literal meanings, establishes direct relations with the viewers. German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in particular how do you conceive the narrative for your works?

It is a matter of taste. Some will say nowadays art can no longer rely on psychicological, narative elements within the medium, avant garde is a bit retro now. Relying on something is communicating with type of audience. It is hard to think about a subject which is not the subject itself, maybe I am to much romantic, but it is much interesting for me to see it as objuct vs object. Symbolism and psychological narative elements are in a sence of subject vs object. But this undestanding came to me not a long time ago. This is why my last work called "124-128". Becouse I did not wanted to apply sympolism and psycoanalitical ideas. For axample in "metal spring 2016" I could call this work in other name, more

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symbolic and establish certan relation with the viewers. I realized my work will be much more interesting to me if I use my own narative, a deferent one. It is true my works is a bit more symbolic, as I am trying to go one step back in order to go two steps forward. If I take my artistic statement and substract the symbolism and psychoanalysis I left with something which is I am interested in. But it still need to be comunicate with the viewer so if I could ask Thomas Demand a quastion, what is the narative contemporary narative for him. For my interest abstract simbolism, for this momment, occupies me. A distinctive mark of the way you construct a concrete aesthetic from experience and memories and symbols is evident in your current series entitled Con·nect and it works on both subconscious and conscious level. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion, personal experience is absolutely indispensable as part of the creative process? In particular, how would you describe the role of memory in your process?

Memory is an object to manipulation. I can completely change it or erase it and it changes my personal experiance. It can be extracted, personal experiance and process. Even If I write code I still experiance myself as writing the code. And even more, we can experiance things which are not happened or it is a simulacrum to experiance. Like in chemical experiment – memory is the ingredients and the realtime experiance is the result. I ask myself then why is my creative process is important to me – if memory and experiance is an object to complete manipulation. As I write in my artist

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statement " My art attempts to discern the nature of things through the use of intelligent ethereal forms, that are not necessarily communicating on the material plain. I use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division." It is the simplicity in the process. If I can manipulate myself, and the aim is the outside of me. "I communicate with the essence of the object in front of me. And manipulating myself so the object become alive." The material I create from, is manipulated through me and becomes an art piece. I am the "chemical experiment" to myself. Like in spoon-bending scene in Matrix movie. It is not I am bending this metal spring with my mind, it is that the subject can no longer plausibly claim the position of singular agency over an otherwise inactive and compliant world (JJ Charlesworth & James Heartfield). My early videoarts were performances infront of the camera. Short scenes of self manipulation. Alethea and franz were the last peace I did as I am performing infront of the camera, the last step of becoming an anonymous object via the mask I wore on the set. I firstly encountered this idea of trieng to overcome this relations between subject and object while I was reading about shamanism. A shaman does not see himself as a subject, this idea is interesting to me. In philosophy, objects have found a new champion in the form of Speculative Realism, which, in its peculiar attempt to think about reality without recourse to the subject-object distinction, has provided new impetus for thinking about things and artworks – as independent from subjects. I am in my process trying to descern the idea of object-subject memory-experiance. What

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is my experiance if I am not in the discourse of subject-object? Is the artwork my outside agent of expiriance? To mention a Piet Mondrian's quote, "the position of the artist is to act essentially as a channel": as you have remarked in your artist's statement, your art attempts to discern the nature of things through the use of intelligent ethereal forms, that are not necessarily communicating on the material plain: would you elaborate this statement for our readers? We are particularly interested in how you consider the role of Art as a medium to communicate.

Every artwork has some realization, understanding or new experiance. This is the "intelligent ethereal forms" and they cannot be a encountered in other way exept particular artwork. This forms are as their own, lacking material substance. They are encountered with the use of material senses, or the discipline the artist uses. It also can be understood simply as ideas. The role of the artist is to communicate with those form, or this form are part of him or his experiance. Sometimes the artist is this intelligent ethereal form, and his presents is the communication. Like Marina Abramović and her performance "the artist is present". Also I belive this forms are not mystical nor religious. Like a simple class of water which I drink while writing this. There are the simply the class in some form and the liquid inside of it. And there is a deeper level if this object, the person made it, the water source, where he made it and the people and object around him. But like in Marina Abramović video " How to Drink a Glass of Water" I simply experiance this process of drinking water, and the pure water drinking is the intelligent ethereal form. "When we drink a glass of water, and if we know that we are drinking a

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glass of water, if we’re concentrated on the fact that we are drinking water, mindfulness is already there. And the water drinking becomes deeper, truer, and real." Thich Nhat Hanh. This is why this forms are ethereal, they are deaper truer and real. It makes the role of the artist/art extremly important as the channel of communication with those intelligent ethereal forms. Your sculpture works are marked out with stimulating texture that is in a certain sense representative of the process of reconstruction of the ambience of what you once defined the ambivalence of a ponderous machine. How much does your own psychological make-up determine the materials you decide to use in a piece? In particular, any comments on your choice of materials and how it has changed over time?

In my work "Steel and leather sculpture, 2016" I used a car brake disc and thick leather. My interest in this combination was the texture of leather, as I saw it – warm and welcoming, and the cold hardness of the steel brake disc. In this combination I created some kind of machine part, the reconstraction of this "machine part" is the work " Spring shaped metal rod, 2016" which is rusty metal rod shaped to a form of a spring. Rust texture is interesting to me as expansive chemical reaction, as it has its own degrading life. When I wrote " I am calculating the ambivalence of a ponderous machine. Mentally reconstructing this ambience as art piece." I was thinking of this big unstoppable machine around me, everything is always doing something. As an artist I am receiving this information and navigating existence. The idea of how Vikings was navigating at the sea is exciting to me. There wasn’t any satellite navigation, it was about receiving the information on observation, the simple act of understanding

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the nature and the connection between the senses and the nature. The Vikings could hear how close they were to land when it was too foggy to see. They kept an ear out for the screeching of birds and the sound of waves breaking on the shore. The sense of touch in our faces can be used to register changes in the speed and direction of the wind. This sensation can reveal differences between wind swells from various directions. And since nearby coasts can reflect swells back, a seasoned Viking could extract a lot of information just from a sea breeze. One of the few navigation instruments the Vikings had at their disposal was a plumb bob, which they used for assessing the depth of the water. The plumb bob also collected a tiny sample of the seabed, which the men could then taste and touch. An experienced sailor could link the taste to other characteristics. It’s likely that the Vikings have been able to determine, using only their taste buds, if fresh water flowed from land into the sea water. A seasoned mariner can smell whether or not he’s close to land. In humid conditions, the human nose is capable of detecting trees, plants and fire some distance from land. The Vikings used the ambivalent information of this "ponderous machine" so they could discover new lands, as an artist I use this information to discover new ideas. I like this simple and basic understanding of the process, but to reveal the right process there is a need for complex understandings. How are the Vikings reveled the way to navigate, which is now seems to be basic and logical? How the artist discover the way to make an art piece, which will be basic practice?

The "ponderous machine" can be me, the thoughts or feelings. As I am the part of nature philosophically and my body is made of the same components as the nature. My own psychological make-up to determine my practice, or the materials I will use. For example I used the rust spring because I was feeling that this rusty motion of the spring is the best way to express my feelings about a sinkhole. I am a part of the information I use to make art works. About my preferences for materials was always about leather, similar to my liking of bdsm. It is changing a bit as I look for new sensations, for example in one of my works I did video art which I called "Cement, leather and wind". It was abstract video, experimenting around the idea of materials that feel differently not only immanently. It was interesting for me to check what is the information I receive from the combination of this three components. What I received was my own psychological map. Over these years you works have been exhibited in several occasions, including five solo exhibitions. Your practice is strictly connected to the chance of establishing a direct involvement with the viewers, who are called to evolve from a mere spectatorship to conscious participants on an intellectual level, so before leaving this conversation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

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I have a great attraction for performance art, as the viewer are involved in the performance. I recently did a performance in a private event. I was dressed as a shaman, black cape and corpspaint on my face. The place was designed as some dark shamanic rithual. I did a circle on the floor with candles, took a bowl with red colored water (I told that this paint is the blood of hard working artists), a big scary knife and head size cabbage in the middle of the circle. As everyone are standing around my in a circle I was reading all the bad reviews which was written in past 8 years about this place of the event. After every bad review, I told "expelled!" and splased the red water on the cabbage. When all the reviews have been said I chopped the cabbage in little pieces and gave to the audience so they will eat it for good luck. All the atmosphere was comical, saddenly the reviews sounded amusing. But exept this performance I try to be simple with my recent works, so the communication will be understandble on the visual and sensual level as first impresion, and then, if the viwer wants – it can be interpreted in intelectual level. I want to see my art as a layered cake, the first layers are the visual and the deeper layers are the intellectual. Not all the cake must be eaten at once. My closest friends are not artist, usually I talk with them a lot about what I do, it is important for me to be some kind of understandable for not art related audience. I really like abstract art, and how is it spectated by the viewer. The experience can be visually pleasing or mind blowing for the viewer, but it always be some kind of experience which is completely different from how the artist did/viewed his art works. I dont belive in forcing my

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subjectivity on the viewer, as everyone experiance their surrounding differently. There is not such thing "the viewer experianced this work of art completely deferent from what the artist wanted". Even if specific work is only the word "apple", for every viewer it will be a deferent kind of "apple" and for not english speakers it will be just random forms. There is only sensory language for the artist, even Tino Sehgal uses some kind of sensory language in his "constracted situations". Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Boris. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

I am working now on two exhibitions, one of them is location specific art work. I want to engage in understanding more where from all my pasion for doing art coming from, through spesific locations. All this tansion around me is really hard to grasp with non material senses and to espress it through materia. With my art practise I want to search for international collaboration, to work with artist and galleries which are like my area of interest. My future plans are to drink the ancient waters of Lethe, to forget correlationism. In order to turn into something which is still living yet resembles that which is dead. For a potential to lose myself.

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


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D iana Jean Puglisi B rittany Marcoux Diana Jean Puglisi lives and works in New Jersey and Brittany Marcoux lives and works in Boston

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here is something curiously relatable about the memories of varied individuals. This collaborative project aims to find this conversation between people, photographs, and stories that we share. We look at each other’s photographs, responding to the image by embroidering a personal memory onto the print. Through this process, a relationship forms between the positioning of the text and the composition of the photograph, between the vision of one and the memory of the other. We then scan the stitched text from the back of the print and place it alongside the image that it once inhabited.

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These diptychs bear similarities between children’s stories and illustrations or scriptures on miniature folk paintings. The text layout recalls free form poetry and mimics declarative memory: long-term memories recalled consciously as facts, events, and verbal knowledge. Through blocking out letters with tape, stitching over words, and pulling out thread, this collaboration explores how two individual perspectives can form a new, convergent narrative.

Diana Jean Puglisi Brittany Marcoux


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Diana Jean Puglisi and Brittany Marcoux An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

Boston based artists Diana Jean Puglisi and Brittany Marcoux have established an effective collaboration: in "Out of Context�, that we'll be discussing in the following pages, they to investigate about the relationships between the memories of varied individuals, inviting us to personal associations that lead them to recontextualize the notions of memory and experience. One of the most convincing aspect of their approach is the way it accomplishes an effective inquiry into the way the vision of one and the memory of the other influence themselves and how they engineer the reality to which we are subjected: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to Puglisi 's and Marcoux's stimulating artistic production. Hello Diana Jean and Brittany and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have solid formal trainings and you both recently received an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt): how does this

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experience influence your evolution as an artist? In particular how do your cultural substratums inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general? Brittany: Well, we just finished our

MFA programs (Diana in 2D and Brittany in Photography) and I think we can both say that our time at MassArt was a HUGE influence on the way that we both make work, together and individually. I had never really worked collaboratively before so working with Diana really opened up lots of new possibilities as far as producing work and thinking conceptually. Diana and I began working on projects together, like Out of Context, our first semester of grad school and that pushed us both out of our familiar realms of making. We were both drawn to each other’s aesthetics and conceptually we were dealing with similar subject matter, focusing on memory and our personal histories. Multidisciplinarity is a key feature of your approach, that coherently encapsulates photography, video and writing, revealing an unconventional


Left, Brittany Marcoux and Right, Diana Jean Puglisi Reclamation: Emerging Female Artists at Nave Gallery in Somerville, MA


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still consistent sense of unity. Before

readers to visit

starting to elaborate about your

http://www.dianapuglisi.com and

production, we would suggest to our

www.brittanymarcoux.com in order to

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Diana Jean Puglisi and Brittany Marcoux

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your process and set up, we would like to ask you how did you develope your art and how do you conceive your works Brittany: This could take a while,

haha. When I began the MFA photography program at MassArt my way of making work was purely photographic, 2D prints hung on the wall. I think that this all changed for me during my second semester when we read Claire Bishop’s Installation Art. I didn’t realize it right away, but subconsciously my work started to become more object based and slowly started making it’s way off the wall. In addition to making photographs, I began creating installations of objects, videos, and photographic books as you can see in From the Outside Looking In. During this time, my parents were going through a divorce and selling our childhood home. The effects of this event caused me to create photographs, installations, and videos about memory, childhood, truth, and the effects we have on one another. Diana: When I started at MassArt I had

get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic productions: while walking our readers through

been making interdisciplinary work for three years, which began during a Post-Bacc I did at Virginia Commonwealth University. I was making videos, performances, photographs, paintings, drawings, and installations. I come from a painting background traditionally, but that has not stopped me in exploring other modes of making. I still make small watercolors and gouache paintings it is

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an important part of my practice; it's a form of sketching for me. I like the freedom of not defining myself as one thing or another. My last exhibition was more sculptural, but I was very much thinking about painting and drawing while constructing the works. My newer fabric and paper works, which were recently made in residence at Vermont Studio Center (VSC), are more painterly and intuitive. They are dealing with the language of clothing construction and the body. The works relate to the body in form, action, and scale. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected Out of Context, an extremely interesting collaborative project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. As you have stated once, this work project aims to find this conversation between people, photographs, and stories that we share and: what has at once caught our attention of your focus on the relationship between the individual memories of varied individuals is the way you have brought to a new level of significance our daily experience to recontextualized it in such a kaleidoscopic way. When walking our readers through the genesis of Out of Context, we would like to ask you what is the role of chance in your process: how much improvisation is important for you? Diana: Chance was a large part of our

process for this series of work. Our original idea for the works failed until

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we saw the backs of the embroidered photographs. We decided to scan them because there was a beauty in there happenstance. We noticed how


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the embroidered words were masked by tape and the hanging threads popped out of the punctured holes in the paper.

Brittany: We worked pretty intuitively

on this whole project, without planning each element step by step it allowed

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the process to be open and fluid. This helped us to take chances and brainstorm each new hurdle together. We also did a lot of experimenting with text, scanning (as Diana stated above), and materials to print on. Out of Context is pervaded with an effective narrative, and your insightful exploration of combination between images and written words

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captures nonsharpness with an universal kind of language, capable of bringing to a new level of significance the elusive but ubiquitous relationship between memory and imagination, to establish direct relations with the spectatorship: how would you describe this synergy in your work? In particular, we are particularly interested if you try to achieve a faithful translation of your previous experiences or if you rather


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use memory as starting point to create. Diana: Memory was the starting point

and both of us executed our memories differently. I am more of a spontaneous person than Britt, for sure. Brittany: It’s true, Diana is the

spontaneous one, haha, she actually

did not want to see my images until she was ready to sew her memories into them, working more impulsively. I, on the other hand, wanted to sit with her photographs for a bit, think about my past and draw a connection to her image. This is similar to the way I create my own work, slow and planned out. We wanted each of us to have the freedom to work and make as they please and not try to control the

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process too much for one another...this seems to be working for us so far. You draw a lot from your personal experience and Out of Context could be considered a successful attempt to create a body of works that stands as record of existence, to go beyond the

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elusive relationship between experience and identity in our globalized mundanity. So we would take this occasion to ask you if, in your opinion, personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?


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Diana: I do not think my creative

process can be disconnected from my direct experience. The work I make is very driven by my personal experiences and my research. I share a strong bond with what Eva Hesse meant when she said, "I think art is a total thing. A total person giving a

contribution. It is an essence, a soul. ‌In my inner soul, art and life are inseparable." For our collaborative work I feel the same. It is this combination of two unrelated things, our random memories and to one another's photographs, that come together to speak about our experience. We take the photographs

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out of context with the addition of an unrelated, yet somehow relatable, memory. Your approach accomplished an effective investigation about the relationship between imagination dued to the way we reelaborate our personal substratum and the universal imagery you draw from to

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create a fruible set of symbols. German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in particular how do you conceive the narrative for your works?


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Brittany: Tricky question. I am not

sure if I agree with Demand. I think in some of the pieces we relied heavily on symbols within the photographs to probe those psychological and narrative elements that Demand speaks of. I guess I agree and disagree with him at the same time, inasmuch as symbolism can help to trigger a narrative that we may not have

originally been aware of. In one of Diana’s photographs, for instance, there is a painting of The Last Supper hanging on a living room wall. This religious symbol and iconic painting triggered a memory from catechism when I was a kid. Without this painting on the wall, this scene would have provoked a completely different memory and emotion. In our particular

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case, we relied heavily on each others symbols in order to create our own personal narrative through memory. Out of Context also inquires into the interstitial space between personal and public spheres, in which personal memories and universal imagery find unexpected still coherent points of convergence: this aspect of your work provides the spectatorship with an

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immersive experience that forces such a contamination the inner and the outside: how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space? Diana: I feel that art in public space

functions differently with each individual. This project is tapping into what we bring from a private/personal place. It is more traditionally viewed


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within the frame, but since it is performative from our end; image and response. We are asking our viewers to approach it with their personal histories, hoping there is some commonality amongst the memory response because it is inherently removed from the photograph since the response is not from the maker.

It's no doubt that interdisciplinary collaborations as the one that you have established together are today ever growing forces in Contemporary Art and that the most exciting things happen when creative minds from different fields of practice meet and collaborate on a project... could you tell us something about this effective synergy? By the way, Peter Tabor once stated that "collaboration is working

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together with another to create something as a synthesis of two practices, that alone one could not": what's your point about this? Can you explain how your work demonstrates communication between two Artists? Diana: I think I agree with Tabor. There

is something about working collaboratively that I really love. I think

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that it is the way you depend on one another for the execution of a similar vision or idea, which is very different from my personal work. With collaboration you are communicating with someone in order to create something that without them you could not have. When two different minds from two different perspectives come together it has the ability to be richer


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because you push one another and the work simultaneous. Our work demonstrates Tabor’s statement because it is a response between two people (a reaction) to one another’s photographs, which results in a written response, a different form of response. It is both visual and linguistic. I think since the works are diptychs they show there is a conversation happening between the

frames similar to our relationship in making the pieces. Over these years your works have been showcased in several occasions and one of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to create a direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose

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a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decisionmaking process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context? Diana: We didn’t begin with making

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reception. We realised how the work was functioning with the audience after they were made. A few things we knew was that they may have closer relationships to women because they are written from each of our female perspectives. They were also embroidered speaking to the history of sewing. We mention our mothers and grandmothers showing us


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identifying with the maternal figures in our lives. Brittany: We also kept in mind that

these may come across as very personal narratives. But, through our process of swapping photographs, we hope to show that an experience can be made universal through a shared connection. How do we relate to art? Or someone

else’s family photographs? Diana and I wanted to challenge this notion and come up with an interpretation of each other's image without any background or context given...only a visual language. I think I can safely say that the images can be read universally, there may be something in each images that can spark a response in the viewer, while the text

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takes on a more intimate and personal narrative. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Diana Jean and Brittany. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? Diana: We were really inspired by the

other panelists during the symposium

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we spoke at this March, the New England Graduate Symposium: Assembling Bodies, Exchanges in Collaboration. After hearing everyone’s projects we began to ask ourselves how our project could expand and what new forms it could take. We thought maybe we could ask for our viewers to participate in the works.


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Brittany: Yea, we have a few ideas in

the works which will incorporate other voices, and not only ourselves. This would seek some kind of unachievable universality, that would happen between the image (photograph) and the text (stories). We believe that multiple perspectives and recollections will challenge our current project by adding more variables and less

constants, which leaves it open for something unknown to happen. We are also experimenting more with 3D + 2D materials, we do not want to reveal too much, but we are pretty excited about it. An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

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Kailum Graves Lives and works in Brisbane, Australia

Kailum is an emerging new media artist who works predominantly in the medium of photography and within the sphere of the photographic process, including large-scale video installations. He studied art history, philosophy, archaeology, and photography at the University of Queensland and the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. His Honours dissertation focused on American Internet-based activist group The Yes Men, Russian collective Voina, and international hacktivist group Anonymous as a way into discussing the wider practice of culture jamming, and to question the efficacy of political art under the hegemony of multinational capitalism. He continues to explore this, through independent creative inquiry, by examining what is ostensibly an ideological impossibility—the aesthetic response to the problem of effective resistance where resistance itself is commoditised into neutrality. Upon graduation he opted out of working in a dead-end office job, and instead took a menial job, working minimum hours on minimum wage, so he could focus on producing work. He has spent the last three years researching, experimenting, and creating a body of work.


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

Cross-disciplinary artist Kailum Graves' work explores a wide variety of features that marks out our media-driven lives: his practice is focused predominantly in the medium of photography and within the sphere of the photographic process and his works could be considered as visual biographies of the ubiquitous consequences of contemporary technosphere. In his recent The Otherness of Self that we'll be discussing in the following pages, he shows that Photography isn’t a tool to document and record reality; it’s a means to manipulate it. One of the most convincing aspect of Graves' approach is the way it urges the viewers to evolve from the condition of mere spectatorship to reflect on the various roles of technology in our unstable contemporary age: we are really pleased to introduce our readers to his stimulating artistic production. Hello Kailum and welcome to ARTiculAction: we would like to start this interview by posing you a couple of questions about your rich and multifaceted background. You have solid formal training, having earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Art History and Philosophy from The University of Queensland, before nurturing your education with a Bachelor of Photography from the Queensland College of Art, Griffith Uni-

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versity. How do these experiences influence your evolution as an artist?

My interests and practice stem from my academic background in art history and philosophy. During my Honours year I merged the two fields by studying the efficacy of political art under the hegemony of multinational capitalism. After graduation I attended art school and continued, though independent practice based research, to examine what is ostensibly an ideological impossibility—the aesthetic response to the problem of effective resistance where resistance itself is commoditized into neutrality. I’m philosophically obsessed with the Absurd—the fundamental disharmony between our search for meaning and the meaninglessness of the universe—so I enjoy examining lose-lose paradoxes and unsolvable problems. Reflecting my belief that the journey is more important than the destination, my practice is inquisitive and abstract. I’m not interested in examining or establishing perceived truths; instead, I’m interested in examining the dilemma of effective aesthetic resistance. There have been numerous articles and books written on the topic; however, these texts focused on outlining culture jamming as political resistance to corporate capitalism. I’m more interested in the very possibility of political art, specifically the possibility of culture jamming’s resis-


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tance to multinational corporate capitalism. Moreover, whereas these texts took culture jamming’s resistance for granted, I’m interested in examining capital’s remarkable ability to canonize and co-opt dissent, including the ultimate co-option of culture jamming. Your approach reveals an incessant search of organic investigation about issues related to the Web and born-digital content, as well as the way global media communication affect our unstable contemporary age. The results convey together a consistent sense of unity: before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.kailumgraves.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your process and set up, we would like to ask you how did you develop your style and how do you conceive your works.

A lot of my work is the result of obsessive Web surfing and the desire to order and rearrange the seemingly endless amount of information available. The consistent sense of unity is generated through the grid, which is, by default, the visual structure that lies at the heart of a lot of my work. The grid, for me, is the logical way to collect, compile, and curate found imagery. It even influences my photographic work—which differs slightly from my web-based appropriation work‚ where I manipulate the way we digest digital media via the pixel array—a two-dimensional arrangement of pixels organized into rows and columns. I like the grid because it creates a sense of meaning and order out of unconnected and unrelated imagery. It also allows for limitless growth,

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which is important given most of my projects are ongoing. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected The Otherness of Self, an extremely interesting project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. Would you shed light on the gen-


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esis of this project? In particular, how did you select your subjects?

I spend way too much time buying and selling music and photography equipment on Gumtree, a British classifieds website that’s also popular in Australia. The Otherness of Self, like a lot of my work, evolved naturally after I noticed

some accidental self-portraits in several classifieds. I saved the images, like I always do when I find something interesting, and then began to actively search for more. People selling secondhand mirrors was the obvious place to start looking. The project basically involves searching through thousands of classifieds for photos that not only capture an accidental

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self-portrait, but also a moment worth saving from obliteration. I like to think that I’m preserving images that would otherwise be deleted once the mirror is sold and the classified removed. I now have a few thousand, and the collection is still growing.

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To display the project, I like to use a family run photo shop or commercial supermarket lab, as opposed to a fine art photo lab, to try and print the photos in the same way the people captured would more than likely print photos taken by their point-and-shoot or mobile phone camera. I don’t touch up or color correct the photos. There is


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difficult task of creating a work that stands as record of existence and that captures non-sharpness. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I don’t think the creative process can be disconnected from direct experience. Art itself is a response to the world—an attempt to capture an aspect of life as experienced by us—and is a catalyst for an ongoing open discussion and inquiry about the world. I think the creative process and direct experience, like most things, are in a circular relationship.

authenticity in low-resolution and heavily pixelated imagery. They aren’t fine art prints, so I don’t want to print and display them like they are. I like the work to be accessible and touchable. When capturing the nuances of human existence in our globalized mundanity, The Otherness of Self accomplishes the

All photography, by default, is a record of existence—an existential visual record that the subject exists, or existed. What draws me to the conventionally unflattering nature of the photos captured in The Otherness of Self is their unpoised rawness. The photos may lack the technical expertise of traditional or mainstream art; yet, they capture a vulnerability that’s almost impossible to recreate. This has been achieved both consciously and by mistake. Appropriation is never truly random, it invariably requires some selection and presentation by the artist; however, the self-portraits themselves are a happy accident—taken to sell a mirror. I like to think that the accident does away with the idea of a trained and selfaware self-portrait (selfie) photographer, and perhaps even the idea of trained or self-aware artist. There is a sense of gracefulness in the ordinariness of the subjects, and I play with this by printing the photos in the square format of Instagram—an area where one doesn’t necessarily want to post or find mundanity.

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Kailum Graves


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As you have remarked, appropriation is never truly random, it invariably requires some selection and presentation by the artist. What is the role of chance in your process?

The accident plays an important role in my process. It usually begins by noticing a commonality, or at least a similarity, amongst unrelated and disparate images, and then collating them to create a sense of unity. My series #1, for example, began by noticing the way billionaires are often captured by the media pointing up in the air with their index finger in a self-assured and absurdly masculine way. It’s a powerful sign, so I assume it is an intentional one, but it’s also a pose that’s easy to make fun of. I do this by printing them in the congratulatory style of #1 Dad mugs found in cheap gift shops. Billionaires are, after all, the€crème de la crème of a€society in which€money is the principle gauge of success. I like the idea of finding and bringing isolated images together and making it look like they all belong together, instead of on the far reaching corners of the Internet. This creates meaning that wasn’t there before, is often humorous, and allows me to consider the images in new philosophical, sociological, and political terms. The Otherness of Self also inquiries into the interstitial space between personal and public spheres, providing the spectatorship with an immersive experience that forces such a contamination between the inner and the outside: how do you see the relationship between public sphere and the role of art in public space?

I love the unhampered glimpse into personal space that the photos expose. They are published by the person captured to a very public website, but the intent and the motive behind the photos is to sell a mirror, so many of the people captured seem unaware of their pres-

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ence. I spend countless hours trolling through thousands of classifieds looking for these selfreflections and, while doing so, have thought a lot about the seemingly invasive nature of the photos. At first it feels intrusive; however, most of us generously post our entire life on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, and freely give data away to private companies though our phones, credit cards, and Web searches. I think the project reveals that we are no longer passive objects of the surveillance state, but active subjects who have turned the cameras on ourselves, even if unwillingly or unknowingly. So to answer the question, I think that there is no longer any real difference between the personal and public sphere, or perhaps we have become so comfortable in the new surveillance state that we don’t even notice the data intrusions. A major part of the history of photography has been concerned with the ability to affect politics and social consciousness through images: your work conveys an effective criticism concerning the materialistically driven culture that saturate our contemporary age. In particular, your honours dissertation focused on American Internet-based activist groups to question the efficacy of political art under the hegemony of multinational capitalism. But while artists from the contemporary scene, as Ai WeiWei or more recently Jennifer Linton, use to express open socio-political criticism in their works, you seem more interested to hint the direction, inviting the viewers to a process of self-reflection that may lead to subvert a variety of usual, almost stereotyped cultural categories. Do you consider that your works could be considered political in a certain sense or did you seek to maintain a more neutral approach? And in particular, what could be in your opinion the role that an artist could play in the contemporary society?

I consider my work political, but I prefer the subtle process of reflection over the shoveling

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of an opinion down a viewer’s throat. However, I don’t think art is a political or emancipatory force, rather it is what Fredric Jameson labeled “just another ‘pop’ in an all pervasive pop-culture”. Moreover, artists who define themselves by struggling against the establishment, with success, will become part of the establishment. What is at stake is capitalism’s remarkable ability to canonize and co-opt dissent, which effectively voids art’s political force. Successful political art is, by default, commercialized and incorporated into mainstream social and economic activity. Nonetheless, if the system is to be overthrown, the theory of revolution and emancipation must have a place within contemporary resistance art. The problem is that even if a political movement with real emancipatory goals were to emerge, it would inevitably be branded and its resistance muted by the fact that it fails to threaten capital. So to answer the question, my work is political in the sense that it is a conjecture on the very possibility of political and emancipatory art under the hegemony of multinational corporate capitalism. I don’t believe that political art, in all its forms, offers any real alternative to corporate capitalism’s dominant culture of consumerism, just a different brand. Political art isn’t a means to an ends; rather, to be effective, it must form part of a larger political movement. What this political movement is, or will be, I cannot say. Another interesting project of yours that has particularly impressed us and on which we would like to focus is entitled I Don’t Understand Modern Art: we have appreciated the way your insightful investigation about the interstitial space that highlights the ubiquitous dichotomies between physical and digital existence: in a certain sense, this work urges us to rethink about the notion of materiality itself. Our ever-changing

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Kailum Graves


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society is marked out with an ephemeral feature that is constantly emphasized by the impetuous way modern technology has nowadays come out on the top: this has also dramatically revolutionized the concept of Art, that just a few years ago it was a tactile materialization of an idea. We are sort of convinced that new media will definitely fill the apparent dichotomy between art and technology and we will dare to say that Art and Technology are going to assimilate one to each other... what's your point about this?

It took a very long time for photography to be accepted into the canon of art history. Yet, immediately after its invention it dramatically changed the course of art, especially painting. Color photography, and then digital photography, faced the same hurdles and both in their own way changed the direction of art. New media and Internet aware art, on the other hand, have been embraced with open arms; however, this has perhaps, like futurism, been a little too enthusiastically. Nonetheless, the Web and digital technologies have both dramatically changed art. This is where my interests lie— I’m interested in using technology as a subject, material, and tool of artistic production. I€Don’t Understand Modern Art originated in 2015 as a Twitter€feed that re-tweets posts featuring the phrase€‘I don’t understand modern art’. The work is—hopefully—a humorous attempt to showcase that art encompasses a broad spectrum of traditional and experimental media; and it doesn’t matter if it is understood or not, its purpose is to elicit a response. I hope to show that it’s okay to hate an artwork, but it shouldn’t be dismissed because it doesn’t adhere to preconceived notions of what art is, or ought to be. It’s interesting€to ask ‘what is art?’ However, I think it’s more€amusing to€ask ‘is it interesting?’

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A lot of my work involves, in some way or another, portraiture, which is only cheaply and readily accessible for most people because of photography and digital technologies. Transillumination, for example, is a photographic project comprised of hundreds of self-portraits created by capturing the transmission of light through different parts of my body. The work is a result of experimentation with mobile phone photography to create new and unexpected interpretations of portraiture—specifically the selfie. Transillumination of the skin is performed to visualise subsurface blood volume and blood oxygen saturation; however, by repeating the process—there are seven hundred and fifty photos in total— the effect is subsumed to create an ambiguous sequence of images that exist somewhere between art and life, and the organic and inorganic. If you asked a futurist, I’m sure they would say art and technology, like everything, will one day assimilate into one another. However, I’m not sure if I like this idea or not. Either way, I think the human/non-human duality, and the shifting boundaries between bodies and technologies, and humans and machines, is an interesting arena to explore. Photographer Thomas Ruff once stated that "Photography just pretends to show reality. With mere technique you have to go as near to reality as possible in order to imitate reality. And when you come so close then you recognize that, at the same time, it is not." What is your opinion about it? And in particular, how does representation and a tendency towards abstraction find their balance in your work?

Photography isn’t a tool to document and record reality; it’s a means to manipulate

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it. I hope that is what I’m doing in both my web-based and photographic projects— attempting to understand the distinction and connections between the real and what is perceived to be real. I think all art, by its very nature, manipulates reality to reveal so-called truths not apparent to the uncritical eye. Nonetheless, photography is an interesting medium because images have become the default way in which we conceptualize, interpret, and understand reality. However, an image interpreted by a viewer is itself already an interpretation, constructed by the photographers and conditions of the camera itself, like its technical specifications. My photographic work emphasizes the algorithmic nature of digital photography by disrupting and manipulating the way light is converted into digital data. The aim is to evoke awareness of the medium itself by reminding us that a digital camera is nothing more than a computer with a lens on it. The aim of my photographic work is to challenge conventional photographic representation, and in doing so, explore the creative possibilities of digital photography. On the other hand, my web based work examines image-rich technologies and the way global media communication— a landscape controlled by a handful of multidimensional oligopolistic corporaterun networks—can be sampled, organized, and considered in new philosophical, sociological, and political terms. A lot of my work has a tendency towards abstraction. This is because abstraction is the cultural space I have, and can afford, access to. The aesthetics of copy and paste—which is nothing more than the transfer of data—is, to me, the epitome of the transformative philosophy of sampling,


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and is the perfect response to the bombardment of media imagery. I believe that everyone should be able to create art, and thus meaning, out of the cultural materials of the everyday. One of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to create a direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

That’s an amazing question, as this morning I received an email from the Fremantle Arts Centre— where The Otherness of Self is currently on display as part of the national print award—informing me that one of the photos had been pulled from the wall. I took this level of audience engagement as a compliment. I hope it was for an interesting reason that someone tried to take it, like they know the person in the photo selling the mirror. The Otherness of Self and I Don’t Understand Modern Art both actively engage the public, even if unwillingly by the mere fact of selling a mirror or posting a Tweet, to be active participants in the work. The same is true when my work is displayed. I like to create large scale installations that work as a whole, but also entice the viewer to spend time getting up close and personal with the work and to spend time exploring all the individual photos and elements within it. I toyed with the idea of keeping my work digital and displaying and exhib-

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iting it via websites and social media accounts; however, I decided that physically displaying my work would induce audience engagement. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Kailum. Finally, would you like to tell our readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

That’s an interesting, yet difficult question to answer. My work is experimental and diverse—I investigate different media and photographic methods, from appropriation to pixel/data manipulation—so I’m always playing around with some idea, technique, or concept. I usually spend months, if not years, finalizing projects so it’s hard to know what I’m working on until I’m nearing the end of the project. Nonetheless, I’m currently exploring visually similar images at the pixel level of found images of The Local Group, the galaxy group originally labelled by Edwin Hubble that includes the Milky Way. I’m not sure where this project will take me yet. Early next year I’m undertaking a three-month period of professional development and research with a NES Artists Residency in Skagaströnd, Iceland and a PILOTENKUECHE residency in Leipzig, Germany. I’m excited about this, as both programs will provide me with the unique opportunity to step away from my usual environment for an extended period of time, and to continue intensely focusing on my practice whilst surrounded by a community of like-minded people. The pressure of a self-funded two-month conference in Mexico City and sixteen exhibitions—along with the associated printing, framing, and freight costs—has been rewarding, but has severely reduced my capacity to produce work in 2016. I’m looking forward to having the time and space to focus on producing new work. An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com

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S heera Jacobs Lives and works in London, United Kingdom

An artist's statement

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hrough painting, drawing and photography works I explore the idea what is art. I tackle ancient questions- what am I depicting and who am I ? as a contemporary women artist I try to understand my reality and myself beyond modern or contemporary ideas of logic, language, depiction and identity. Retrospectively I realize that in order to find 'my place' in art and history I need to doubt. Therefore my practise always emphasizes a state of confusion, of questioning and disorder. The pattern of my art is not to fit within current hierarchies but to be able to examine freely the different elements of life .The figures and landscapes which occur appear therefore in a strange state of flux. reality exists as a long river flowing thorough memories, ideas, time and different spaces. There is always a viewer looking and reading the picture in a poetic way. what becomes real in a certain

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moment is often a dream or a memory. the sands are sometimes more important than the current news. looking at an ancient sphinx could feel more familiar than the contemporary women one should be.

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he process of my art is similar in all the mediums I use. I often paint from observation trying to learn and understand what is in front of me. I give an equal attention to all the details i see ,not knowing were the meaning could come from. In my photography works I cut and dismantle the figures and then put them back together again. I don't have any idea before hand of what the image should look like or what the significance might be. I strive to let chance, randomality and the unpredictable take over and didact the aesthetic of the picture.

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

Multidisciplinary visual artist Sheera Jacobs' work explores the notions of Art and reality beyond modern or contemporary cultural constraints. Her works accomplishes an insightful inquiry into the liminal area in which perceptual process and memory find unexpected points of convergence to wlak the viewers through an unconventional, multilayered experience and to examine freely the different elements of life. Drawing from universal imagery, Jacobs' approach deconstrupts symbols to trigger both memory and imagination, creating a compelling narrative: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating nd multifaceted artistic production. Hello Sheera and welcome to ARTiculAction: before starting to elaborate about your artistic production would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and you hld a BA of Fine Art, that

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Sheera Jacobs


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you received from the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London. How does this experience influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to art making and to the aesthetic problem in general?

I was born in south Africa and grew up in Israel. at the age of 21 I left to study art in London. I defiantly believe that my cultural background influenced my art deeply. Israel in the 90s was a complicated and hectic place. On the one hand the culture was a very warm and emotional but on the other it was full of political tensions, violence and racism. The consensus about art was that it needed to have a strong political and conceptual element in order to exist. While I was obviously influenced by many things I saw and experienced around me I constantly felt a notion of alienation and rejection and I always looked beyond the sea for other sources of identification and inspiration. I moved to London around 2006 and it was a very important change in my life. I found the slade school of art much more liberal and free than the art education I encountered in Israel. The British were accepting and political correct towards different cultures without making too much of a fuss about any particular idea. My teachers looked at

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me not as an Israeli or south African but as an individual artist. It was a huge relief for me, which put

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together with an exiting London art scene made my student years valuable and un forgettable.


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Ranging from painting and

personal and your technique

drawing to photography, your

condenses a variety of viewpoints,

approach to visual arts is very

that you combine together into a

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coherent balance. We would suggest to our readers to visit http://sheerajacobs.weebly.com in order to get a synoptic view of your work: while walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between different techniques is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of this work is the way your inquiry into the development of the color provides your pieces with a dynamic and autonomous aesthetics. Would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up? In particular, would you tell our readers something about the evolution of your style?

I started my artistic venture around the age of 14 taking painting and drawing classes with a very old fashion minded art teacher. What caught my heart was the illusion art could create and less the actual technique. I understood art more like a poetic or mental idea which stood as a sharp opposition to my overwhelming materialistic and capitalistic surroundings. I started working in photography about 2 years ago and found that the same things that interest me in my paintings interest me in my multi layered photography works. I don't necessary feel that a symbiosis between different techniques is the only way to express one idea, but it is more of an expansion and exploration of the same notions.

I paint and draw mainly from observation. Sometimes I work from memory thou the forms and colours which appear always resemble the ones I found from my direct encounter with life. When I started out I felt that I couldn't really know or tell what my art is 'about'. It was like an unknown material which didn't fall into any pattern of language or concept. I felt therefore intuitively that I needed to give every tiny element which I saw a place and the exact same intention. I figured the meaning is like a puzzle, where every piece matters equally. I work slowly and often interesting aesthetic answers aren't approachable immediately or quickly. I see my process as being not very modern in the sense that I never try to understand or get anywhere that I know. Strange answers come very naturally, out of searching and trying to discover new things.

We would start to focus on your artistic production beginning from your paintings that our readers have already started to admire in

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

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style: in particular, the effective combination between thoughtful nuances of tones sums up the


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mixture of thoughts and emotions. How much does your own psychological make-up determine

the nuances of tones you decide to use in a piece and in particular, how do you develope a painting’s

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

huge neon lit sterile Studio with unfamiliar People from all over the world. In order to 'warm up' and familiarise my direct environment I brought in to the Studio materials such as sands, cement and natural pigments, then Mixing them with regular oil paints. They reminded me of the colours and textures of the Mediterranean sea which were very close to my heart . The use of

When I studied art at the slade I slowly developed my practise in a different way which affected my palette and use of texture. I was young and coming to London was my first real long adventure away from home. I found myself suddenly working in a strange Country in a

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this material process strangely 'opened up ' my Memory and feelings. Eventhogh I was working most of the time from observation I was able more easily to create intimate Images. After a few years I slowly neglected this process and went back to traditional clean oil painting when I realized I could no longer depict small and minor nuances in my art. What happened

then, happily, is that the colors of the sands and sea and of my home environment started appearing as 'memories' without existing as direct materials. Today the way I use Colors and textures is a result of this strange Juxtaposition of mixing Memory, matirels, reality and poetry in order to achieve a new mental idea of life.

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We have appreciated the way your paintings shows a coherent equilibrium concerning the composition: the multilayered experience to whom you invite the viewers gives a permanence to the intrinsic ephemeral nature of the notion of sight. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

My photography works capture people around me and I paint from observation, so I would defiantly say that in my opinion the creative process is connected to my direct experience. The ephemeral nature in my art is most probably a consequence of the strong emphasis I give to the process and action of creating art. while working I often feel that what happens is actually the opposite of my original intention. Sometimes, the more I build a figure the symbolic meaning of the work goes towards disintegration and breakdown. The deeper and more interesting my art gets concepts and ideas seem to abandon their fixed meaning and change or rotate. The idea of the 'end' appears only really as part of a sinking moment in time while the' body' which I thought I knew

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becomes part of many other figures in space. The more knowledge I gain new and strange things appear instead of the accumulation of what it should have been. As you have remarked once, in order to find 'your place' in art and history you need to doubt. Therefore your practise always emphasizes a state of confusion, of questioning and disorder. While exhibiting a captivating vibrancy, you seem to reject an explicit explanatory strategy . You rather seem to invite the viewer to inquire into their personal substratum to find personal association to the feelings that you convey into your works. This quality marks out a considerable part of your production, that are in a certain sense representative of the relationship between emotion and memory. What is the role of memory in your process? And in particular, do you try to achieve a faithful visual translation of your feelings?

I find that the role of memory in my practise is diverse and has evolved throughout the years. I don't intentionally use memories or particularly want to represent them. When I work I try not to think about anything specific but the actual thing I am looking at. Consequently, memories of people, places, colours or events appear often as accidents


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or as an inevitable thing which has its natural place. This way I think memories are not detached or are represented as having a physical existent of their own. They always necessarily form part of a 'whole'. On a different note, I find that the use of memories in general in art has often been looked at as 'the opposite' of reality or of a true logical interpretation. As a women artists I sense that I allow various feelings and ideas to creep in my art, which are often different to the very male cantered art history representations. When inquiring into the realm of memory, you seem to draw from the subconscious, almost oniric sphere, inviting the viewers to challenge their primordial, almost limbic parameters to get involved into a multilayered experience. This way your approach allows you to capture non-sharpness of physicality with an universal kind of language. We are particularly interested if you try to achieve to trigger the viewers' memory as starting point to expand their perceptual parameters.

I don't explicitly try to trigger the views memory but I think that I try to create a piece of art which is natural and has a certain truth. The idea of triggering the views memory is more a genuine instinct and much

less a specific intention. I never had the hand for fine or realistic details and I was always abit clumsy and dreamy in my nature. On the other hand, I do believe that art is expressive and like many other artist I am a prodigy of contemporary and modern ideas . Sometimes I want to say something about how I feel and this too is part of my creative process. When examining a wide variety of elements of life, your work extablishes direct relations with the viewers going beyond any process of translation of cultural symbols. German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in particular how do you conceive the narrative for your works?

If roughly compering between psychological and symbolic interpertaion of art I guess the first is about the 'self' and its meaning and the later represents a more irrational, non specific meaning, which could possibly be connected to ideas of religion and faith . without denoting psychology, which I respect very much, I don't necessary think that the self and its

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symptoms are always in the canter of all meaning. Different cultures obviously believed differently about this issue. I think art and artists should be reflective and critical about current ideas and fashions. Science itself is speculative and changing with new discoveries concerning the universe, space, time, materials and art, and in my opinion, art should also do the same. Currently, the narrative of my work is about searching freely towards an undrestandment of what I know and who I am. Over these years you have exhibited in several occasions throughout London, Israel and the United States, including your recent show Don't touch my anxiety, at the Hamerkzit gallery, Tel Aviv. One of the hallmarks of your work is the capability to create direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

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I guess all artists want to stand out and be successful in their own way. I think that like in every gener in order to create something new one needs to know what has been done before and around him. Thus I think that the language which I choose for my art is partially based on individual instincts and partly based on rational ideas which I accept and reject simultaneitlly. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Sheera. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I will be exhibiting next year in the London art fair 'flux' and in a few other group exhibitions in London and tel aviv. I am looking to create larger scale oil paintings and to evolve my photography works in a more in depth manner.

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


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J osep Ros Lives and works in Spain

An artist's statement

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ritical writings published just before visiting an exhibition can limit the interpretative possibilities of a spectator, reducing him to a simple passive art consumer. This however is in no case my intention: to prove my good faith, I declare that this review will not take the form of a routine exercise, always stating the same traditional examples. Over more, as difficult as it may appear, the name of Duchamp shall not be taken in vain. To begin, I would ask that we situate ourselves in that delicate area of pleasure, that mine-field of enjoying post-Auschwitz art, whom Adorno considered as being “ugly”. Josep Ros however is a valiant painter, more present in figurative art, but never turning his back on the mandatory classic consisting of situating man at the centre of all things. Courageous to be against artistic fashions that have been around now for decades, where photography, “happening”, videos, installations, para-sculptures and paintings as far away from what we would identify as being a “painting”, are the only vectors allowed to be conveyed by the contemporary artist. But how did we manage to arrive at this point? Easy, as like anything, art now exhibits itself in the idea that all is valid and consequently tastes and choice are no longer required. All can now be summed up by the outward appearance of a supermarket, that global cannibalization that condemns us to be submissive to speculation and the most vulgar at that. It would have been fitting for Houellebecq to have mentioned it. Humour therefore is now a privileged form of heroism, indispensable to escape the homogenization funnel of Duchamp, where any physical or ethical reasoning comes to a halt. This is the avatar that possesses Josep Ros when he puts us in front of one of this paintings. Powerful and immediate presence make us glance a second time, curious and entertained amongst the disjointed scenes, intensified by the most daring colours, questioned by the countless meanings hidden or ambushed behind the uncloaked nature, dead or alive. With this ample generosity, we are offered a

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special singular viewing, an opening beyond the unexpected, “astonishment”, to be allowed to see what was before invisible. We are surprised, and we happily accept to be plunged inside this larger game. We know where there is danger there is also a solution. Someone said it but we don’t know who. Josep Ros is a placid man, he doesn’t however flee combats or discard what is most dear to him: the authenticity behind the rich and meticulous universe he offers. He is a person who does not allow imitations around him, except for entertainment purposes, such as disguises, irony or laughter. He never abandons his principals, making his art totally personal. The only true art possible. As Balthus said “let the hypocrites die!” Through his art we can acknowledge an expanding world, inviting us, like small children, to be carried along by images of architectural symmetry or excessive scenery. We are captured by the persuasive simplicity of the illusionist – “come close, don’t be frightened. Everything is visible, I hide nothing.” Sensuality enters and moves us along. We give in to the paintings’ unavoidable request for our eyes to look directly into theirs. “Come in front, come close,” just like the vampire saying, “let me in.” Then suddenly, we notice some small detail, discarded at the beginning (or that omnipresent that it didn’t catch our attention). We become gripped, shivering as if we were experiencing a premonition. There is darkness in Paradise. Even though later on you may prefer to avoid it, it then becomes impossible to escape. Whatever, then as if trying to test our final limit, in true Henry James style – we realize (and we already knew it), that without shadows light can blind us, that light only can illuminate flat realities, without prominences. An acknowledgement that this show is life, the Life which Josep Ros allows us to closely observe through the various characters we see face to face. Or, are they confronting us? Perhaps Duchamp would have the answer, but after all, do we really care? We purely vindicate the consciousness of pleasures and the pleasure of being conscious. Without a guilty conscious, or Duchamp neither.

Anna Serrano


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

Artist Josep Ros's work reveals a stimulating fusion between symbolism and representation to trigger the viewers' perceptual paramteres in order to draw the spectatorship through a multilayered experience. His artistic production that we'll be discussing in the following pages is pervaded with unconventional still effective storytelling capable of walking us in a journey in the liminal area in which everyday experience and dream-like dimension find an effective point of convergence. One of the most impressive aspects of Ros' practice is its successful attempt to immortalise his unique vision to share a captivating visual experience with the spectatorship. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to his multifaceted artistic production. Hello Josep, thank you for joining us and welcome to ARTiculAction: to start this interview we would pose you a couple of introductory questions about your rich and multifaceted background. Are there any experiences that have particularly influenced the way you conceive and produce your works? Moreover, how does your cultural substratum fuel your creativity

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Josep Ros


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as an artist and impact on the way you relate yourself to the aesthetic problem?

First of all I want to thank ARTiculAction for the interest and the seriousness they have received my work. The personal experience that had influenced me as an artist has been my work as scene painter/designer in the theater that marked decisively my color perception, manner and composition. The contemporary aesthetic is not uniform, although the pressure of cultural models and the influence of the media, especially advertising, inevitably affects the perception of the artistic work. From my side I have no problem to adopt aesthetic proposals of a more remote in time from which are accepted today as vanguard. Therefore I do not give up any language that art history offers me and can eventually serve my purposes. Your paintings reveal an insightful combination between figurative and symbolism, that you mix together into effective balance: the results convey together a consistent sense of unity that rejects any conventional classification. We would suggest to our readers to visit https://joseprospintures.wordpress.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production. While walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you to shed light on your main sources of inspiration.

Throughout the time I've been approaching the "classic" European painting where I decided to anchor my

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roots. So, I took as conceptual starting point the French symbolism and the decadence movement during the XIX century; rejecting the claim of naturalness outside the framework of the representation we face, using images as signs of ideas I wish to transmit, "shaking the soul" they would say; so neat as they were. Formally, the sources are very diverse and I would like to approach the physicality of Bronzino, the landscapes of Tiziano, or the chromatic nuances of Ingres. I personally find a certain affinity for the characters of Grant Wood and the American Gothic painting and I try to bring it to my Mediterranean context. The sensuality of Balthus or Jon Saudek captivates me. No problem, as Lars Von Trier said, "Nothing is original. No matter from where you take it, but where you put it.� For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected jardi tancat, a stimulating work from your recent production that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: when walking our readers through the genesis of this painting we would like to ask you how did you develope your style and how do you conceive your works. In particular, what’s a typical day in your studio like? Do you plan out your work beforehand or is it a more random process?

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"My style is more or less the successful mixture between an image or vision in which dualities between appearance and truth, conscious and unconscious, dream and reality appears. In regards of the conception of my work; something moves me to recognize how often things are not as we see, nor as they are told to us, I am interested in counting it with my own voice and present under other "wrapping." One regular day for me; let me just highlight that I am a creature of habits, starts very early in the morning in front of my PC, having my breakfast and looking the news in several digital newspapers. My husband and I have taken responsibility to feed around fourteen cats, this number may fluctuate according to the season and has reached as many as twenty; also a goose and a duck and of course, my loved Alf, a German shepherd who accompanies me throughout the day. Once the daylight had arrived, I spend one or two hours gardening, then I go to my studio, where the night before I left some readings to review the next morning; and finally I start to paint, a few coffee breaks, sketch a new drawing or read something that goes around my mind. At the end of the day, I again have the table full of books that have been opened


Josep Ros

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and pointed to be re-checked the following day. Finally I would like to declare that I do not like to leave things to happen in random; I believe that a large portion of my job consists to support my creations with open views to the different cultural fields, making-for example iconographic searches on the Renaissance and Baroque, seeking to facilitate the reception of the viewer by the fact of using repeated images over time, which simplify the reading, although using an updated reading. You painting are rich of evocative and symbolic elements that, as in the interesting TRANSFUSSIĂ“ and ESTRICHNINA triggers a channel of communication between the subconscous sphere and the conscoius level and urges the viewers to a multilayered experience, that challenges the spectatorship's perceptual parameters. German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in particular how do you conceive the visual narrative for your works?

The opinion of Thomas Demand, is an opinion that I do not fully agree,

just as the distinction between symbolic strategies as opposed to psychological and narrative. I think neither offers a reading of immediate evidence to the perception, and both aspire to represent "the sublime", meaning, and a product of postmodernism, playing with the mediation regarding the transcendence trivialized in anxiety by consumption. Personally I start from images found in the collective subconscious, images that belongs to communicative heritage of the Western viewer, making it selfreading, without the need to attach an instruction manual. "What moves us most is what we recognize" Francis Bacon said. I seek a more direct communication with the viewer, a lack, in my opinion, in contemporary art. At the same time I recognize and applaud the infinite possibilities of the readings of the final meaning intended by the author, although a privileged reading, a “different� reading. What I do have clear, along with Chantal Maillard, is that it is necessary "form a criteria." Your works involve the viewer as much as it does the models and we have particularly appreciated the way you have captured subtle details in MARIELA. What role do you think the relationship between the model and the painter play in the production of an image? And in particular, how important is it that peo-

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ple bring their own character to portraiture and not just the character that as an artist -in a certain sense- you impose on them?

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For "Mariela", no real model has been used; the idea of a particular character has been represented.


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Generally I do not use real models, but parts of different pictures from where I use each appearance or traits that I want to emphasize to

show rather hieratic prototypes. This allows me total freedom when represent a figure, not directly depending on any physical feature or

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specific position. I do not consider relevant the fidelity to an anatomical model, the real lighting or even a previously established landscape. I

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usually use baroque resources in which the characters tend to look to the viewer with the intent to engage in the scene, offering an image that


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seems to fit the "reality" objectively, but at second glance, the scene refers to that which is maybe, more oniric.

Drawing from universal imagery Arcadia combines accessible elements and abstract feature to

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investigate about the elusive notion of beauty condensing a symbiosis between intuition and freedom of composition. Your approach reveals

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unconventional features in the way it deconstructs perceptual images in order to trigger a deliberate contemplation of how we see the


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world: while inviting the viewer to elaborate personal interpretations, you do not reject a gaze on aesthetics: the dream-like quality of suspended time creates a lively combination between conceptual and beauty. How important is the aesthetic problem for you when you conceive a work?

Well against the flow of all philosophical fashion, I confess my Hegelian vein and for me the appearance is the only way we can represent reality through the senses. But it is in the world of art , even more, that appearance, in his quality of illusion, is what leads us to a higher reality, closer to the idea. Regarding to "Arcadia" is primarily a "memento mori" inspired by Poussin painting called; "Et in Arcadia Ego ". A reflection on the vanity of life, a topic very present in my repertoire. Precisely the concept of vanity that leads me to its twin concept; the banality of the present, another fundamental theme in my work. I believe I have already stated that for me aesthetic does not represent a problem but, no more than less, is my life; a life in which the most natural I live with the gap between two concepts as I just said- the forms in them, returning to "classical" worlds, is where I recreate in the first sense of joy. You have focussed your practice situating man at the centre of all

things: as painter whose images contain strong narrative elements, can you let us in on what initially got you interested in visual storytelling?

Formally and conceptually placing the man as measure of all things, is a personal bet both from my artistic work and the intended communication behind my work. How could it be in other way? I, like everybody else, start from my own experience and use every weapon at my disposal to do and say what I want. At the same time I have always left the door open to the most varied interpretations of my work, just because the act of different perceptions can only enrich and add above the previous visions, including mine. Your paintings reveals tension as well dialogue between vivacious colors and coherent composition texture: such effective combination between intense nuances of tones sums up the mixture of thoughts and emotions. How much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones you decide to use in a piece and in particular, how do you develop a painting’s texture? Moreover, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

Each "scene" requires the use of a chromatic game that depends on

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what will be represented and behaves and asks for a particular atmosphere. For this reason I try to bring my color options using harmonies classical (such as analog or triadic in the world of painting) as an approach to the desired formal coherence, in fact, color management is one of the main challenges when formulating the composition. In particular my palette is made of a selection of colors to some extent, limited , no matter, my job is to make them vibrate, create tensions inside the painting. One of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to create direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere passive consumers. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decisionmaking process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

The perception of the viewer is the focal point of any artistic creation, whether literary, pictorial or musical. Since that Andy Warhol believed he was able to skip the viewer function, making it dependent only on the artist criteria ( "a work of art is what the artist decides that is a work of

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art"), things related to Art us they have gone from our hands control. Especially since we are no longer innocent regarding to the one that really choose the criteria -in and out of Art- : The market. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Josep. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I am an artist, a person with a head full of projects and luckily also with my hands on my work. To close, I would like to emphasize in respect to the "cosmetic problem" that the current model of getting public attention through false scandals very well orchestrated by the media, it should be noted for what it is; a proof of inauthenticity, a mock elongated as novel for over a hundred years and we should say; it is enough. Would be time to return to what is Art to Art and to the market what the market is. Art matter of policy, politics “toutcourt�, will ask how to open new lines of escape. An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator articulaction@post.com


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role, but not decisive. For example, I always felt that in me is ready knowledge. The knowledge accumulated grain by grain before me ... It was not the arrogant sense of its features, but only a feeling of inevitable change and future debt. Therefore, it was easy for me to learn and easy for me to do, if someone "leads my hand ... Creativity - is the great mystery of the human soul, and the beauty - it's condition of the soul!

"The be - all an end -. All" So said Shakespeare. The artist always works, even if it is not in the studio. All life is a work of the Creator and each person consciously or unconsciously creates something different in it. Of course, our roots, family and the environment where we grew up playing an important


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My answer succinctly: the goal justifies the way to it! You can argue .. but does really strong desire, which is eager for execution, notices own transformation on the way? No!

How many words can describe the feeling of love? So many people so many words, and each from us has own expression ! Art - just a grand display of the process of life,


Elena Wiikholm

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diferent..it forever elusive and a great sense of Being. What is most important is not the composition of all, but the combination as a whole ! Of course, I do not mean the confusion of ignorance discussions about it.

and artist in fact dous not obliged to limit himself to the choice of means, subject and learned dogmas. I think so. On the contrary, only in contrast your tools can be catch something

II have some more works based on this idea. There is a oil drawing on paper (ancient technique "dry brush"). There is a picture, painted in oil on canvas and I have a composition that combines oil, photography and ceramic. Line drawing of the same, but the background is different in each work. In the first case it is the old town in Stockholm, in the second - it combines space, a kind of one-time presence of water in the world on land and land and in the sky. The


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third work - an attempt to play the sound in the image, despite the fact that the fishes are silent.

All people have the potential of creativity and the right to choose. We are all artists, musicians .., is since life itself is a never-ending source of creation. Professional artist, as a jeweler, selecting a frame for precious stones, already sees the essence of mortgaged his work and his task is precisely to see it and show others.The perception of any work of art is a momentum recognition of own self. The quest for harmony in personal outlook "here" and "now" is inherent in each of us, is not it? That is something what we are looking for in our life, and Art just helps us in this process. Someone will see a new way, someone will understand and remember something important just for him, but someone just feel himself like a child and fearless dream again will open the door ... The way everyone has!


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Life history goes far beyond the life of one man. All that we understand and realize there is only a negligible

fraction of the infinite magnificence of life. Man is limited to the physics of his own body and its rhythms. How many books we read? What is the flow of information we are able to perceive? How much time in our life we were asleep? And so on ... It is a constant, which we can rely, and it is the only thing that has changed little in human history. We believe what we see and what we know ourselves. Historians say that False truth, approved by force today, for


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the next generation often turns into an indisputable truth.

eternal, but eternal human desire for that!

Questions of formation History, causes and consequences of human behavior in particular, and on a scale always interested me. My works is a allegorical. They raise questions of awareness, if not the entire universe, then at least the particle has traversed the path of humanity, It is the realization of one of the paths to the truth. Truth is not

For example, in one of my works of historical charts "Narva - Ivangorod in the middle of the 17th century": ...Horse look symbolizes the hidden protest to all wars that have taken place in the past and what they are today. What is the significance we attach now to the fact the one who owned the fortresses of Narva and Ivangorod 300 years ago? And will it make sense for our descendants


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something for which people are fighting today? ‌ Of course, any artist has subjective opinion, because he defined the personal attitude. But the "artist" - is not a profession in my opinion, it is a vocation! Once upon a time one of my teachers said to me ... Elena, you have talent. But, if you can, do not paint or draw .., do something different (!). But if you can not stay away from it, .. then you have to take up your cross, go forvard and never expect awards ..! Years passed, until I realized the profound meaning of these words.

Personal memories are what we are, in essence we are today. Man can not long keep the focus on what is happening in the "moment" of his life, it must swing either "back" or "forward", because all perception of life there is a purely associative. But this does not mean that the shutdown of personal experience in the creative process is not possible. I would call it the maturity of the individual soul. When knowledge and deep intuition lead person responsible for the committed. Have you ever wondered why the masters of the past, in spite of the growing experience, were creating less and less with age? Reason is not even in old age, there is an incentive for creativity and the last spark of life in the fire. But people are gradually coming to realize their responsibility for the committed. Here and possible shutdown of personal experience, when you realize that "things" leaving much longer then people and what are you doing today can stay well beyond your personal life.


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Elena Wiikholm


Elena Wiikholm

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drawing, sculpture, applied arts ... all will be called simply the creativity ... maybe? Indeed, for some reason, air or water, for example, is not considered today as the starting material? Too bold idea? Each function contains the designated idea. And any idea - it's just a thought. Man is made up of thoughts ‌

Art has never been a "whim", it always was and is the fundamental necessity of own presence in the life of every human being. When form changes - the meaning remains. Self-expression - is the need for all, both physical and mental factors. And that always will be, no matter what aspects of it are not expressed. There are people - there is an art. In the future, I think, the artist begins to think on a larger scale. Disappear division of arts, such as painting,

I have one painting work, due to which, by the way, I was taken to the Union of Artists - "The Return of the treasure." It shows the old cat in a tattered coat with a basket on his back, in than sleeps a golden child. Cat standing in front of the city of his childhood. Throughout his life he


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spent in the distance, was a poor and rich ... and now he returns to his hometown and all that he has, he carries with him. A city ... a different mix of styles in the architecture of all

time ... this is how we human beings - all different ... ะกat stands with his back to the audience, so that no one compared him with his own cat ... it's just a Cat! And he does not know


Elena Wiikholm

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people! I believe that the artist should not try to please the public. To him opened a little more than to ordinary people and therefore it is responsible for everything he does. Fashion comes and goes, and eventually returns ... but Art does not depend on anything! This like own proposal has the volumetric understanding of the world order and your own conscious participation in the process ... I am proud of that I am a artist!

what awaits him in the city, but he still goes there. The meaning is great and simple - all you have done in youe life, you have to give back to

I have always wanted aspire in my art to one goal...to disclose as much as possible and the same time to use a minimum of resources. This limit requires the utmost concentration to the very idea and reveals so to speak its primal essence of ... My drawings is a simple lines and the less lines are needed to disclose the idea - the better. For example, my sculpture "Sleeping," consists of only 4 brass lines. But the overall impression created by the volume of a sleeping man reached. It is not always possible to achieve this brevity, but I always aspire to this.


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It is just after 3:00 a.m. I am about to hear the newsletter deliveryman coming. I am walking around my studio just before dawn. I squeeze paint tubes onto palettes and I begin to recite why I do Art and what is my goal for the future: I paint myself away from my nightmares and towards my fantasies. I paint out of my resentment and in to my passion. I paint because it allows me to confront truths which I am unaware of or I do not want to face. I paint to quell the pain. I paint so I do not need to speak. Painting has its own language. I paint to have conversations with people unknown, friends and family. I paint in the solitude which comes from being surrounded by people. I paint to mollify the voices shouting inside me, outside me and all around. I paint to

connect links in a world which often appears polarized: day and night, bright and dark. I paint to help people view the world differently. I paint to provide answers even though these answers can make me feel afraid. I paint to remember. I paint to be remembered. I paint to forget. I paint to understand the abnormal actions of others which in turn helps me to see the hidden secrets which those people try to hide. I paint to know more about humans whom I have no control over. I paint because I believe art is powerful but simultaneously powerless. I paint because art is paradoxical. I paint to deliver beauty. I paint to surprise and with the belief that art can be magical.


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Hello icul ction: All experience that I took past become who I am. The inspiration for my artwork has a wide range of sources, spanning from my own experiences and observations, social and cultural issues, fantasies, nature, and literature to major art historical movements of the 20th century, such as Neo-expressionism, Art brut, and Gutai group. Those are the study that I learnt before came to London. I think the root is not an important part to proceed the art practice. I do not deny the importance to know about the root. But the lifestyle, daily routine are pretty same in any other place. My feature, which has a Korean root, could be absolved in my artwork, however, as you can see on my artwork, there is no


Steve Barnard

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significant differences show that I am from South Korean. There are no pros and cons. This is my thought on my substratum. What I have learnt from my time in London about a year and half so far, I have been surprised the art scene that is prevalent over the City of London. Everything that I have observed, and seen, for example, the color of the city, atmosphere and the all exhibitions happening around are crucial part to make me sit in front of the canvas.

My work from 2012 to 2013 excavates the symbolic meaning of ‘fantasy’, which has the power of subverting the reality, and that of ‘monster’, which exists in the borders of fantasy and reality. I used sculpture and installation to create contorted images to show hidden human aspects. At that time I was suffering the personal incident, which related to the hypocritical aspect of the human. I think this motivation led me to the work. On 2014, I was focused on

duplicity, unspoken stories, perception, sexuality and emotions in visual and psychological events. Since 2016, after I moved my life to London, I am more concentrated on Painting itself. I get inspired my changes of view and pay the attention the meaning of ‘space, which has stirred and been triggering some subtle emotion and memory from to each his owns. To me, the space can be scenery, place, landscape, atmosphere and mind-space all around us. I am inspired by the place where I have been or heard and I render into my painting. I constantly use vibrant colors, big and small marks and specific features to depict the moment and aim to create artwork related to observations of cultures as well as of individual lifestyles and to provide my own interpretations and imagination.


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When I wonder the North part of the London Street, I found a very odd place that seems to be a gate to another world. I was so exhausted due to the new adaptation of new life. That scenery really captivated my attention and allowed me a very short drawing. Rainy, blue color, mood, untrimmed plants, and drama of the people were there; those whole elements became my inspiration of the work Chandelier. Vintage shop, I’m working on a few paintings inspired by a few days stay in Amsterdam I had in November last year, 2016. I inspired the different color of the city. Huge differences compared to London felt by the journey where much of the old housing and history of the city existence out there. The clashing of the old& the new and the high tension are attractive. Like this, Sometimes it happens to me that let me reinterpret the scenery that I saw. But the common themes in my work are the landscape vicinities; the approach of the paintings is quite abstract. 4) Red Rain seems to be a recurrent tone in your palette and we definitely love the dialogue established by colors and texture, which is a crucial part of your style: in particular, the effective combination between nuances of tones and rigorous patters sums up the mixture of thoughts and emotions. How much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones you decide to use in a piece and in particular, how do you develop a painting’s texture? Moreover, any comments on your

Sin Park


Sin Park

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Sin Park


Sin Park

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choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time? I am the person who is painting 3 to 5 canvas at the same time. So on my palette, all oil colors that I have with me are spreading on the square glass of the palette on ready. Before I start the each painting, I put the background color, which could deliver the psychological sense that I would like to appeal. The Main background color has a huge role to dominate the impression of the images that I want to express. And then start the paint not at once, often appears to be paused, and then rethink and start over. Like this painting, you might notice that it has cruel or sad nuances in the painting. From this year, 2016, I have done many experiment regards to mark making, color plays, texturing, body gesture and the basic figures that could convey the emotional aspect to others and tangible and viable sense to my artwork. I stick the way around the various colors on my palette for a long time. There are no changes over times. It is my long habit and effective way to do many of the artwork.


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When it comes to the painting, there is no certain explanation that I would

like to deliver. Rather, I prefer to open to all for the various interpretations and hear about. There is some reason that I start to less speak about my artwork. It was back then, one of my friend, painter, was painting a beautiful scenery like shooting stars.


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All of the shiny stars pouring over to me yet, after I heard her explanation, the painting ends up depicting the sperms. I was very shocked then, realized the true meaning of the work can be harmful to the audiences. My starting point for the painting, most of the feeling that I would like to convey, is quite dark, alienated and paradoxical in some senses due to my personal issue. I am trying to hide at the same time reveal this stories in my painting and remain the audience’s different point of the view. This story mostly I do not want to share on the record. If you are interested in please come and talk to

me. I believe my painting has its own message depends on audience’ view points and do not need to add more languages. The more I add on explanation, the less chance the audiences take their journey with my paintings.


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I believe there are many polarized aspects spinning around our world. The reason we do not aware of this drama or not realized even next person’s story its because our indifference, ignorance, and the effective memory system; oblivion. My creative role at this position is let the truth, memory, and true life to resurfaced on the world and embrace it.

All action follows by a trigger. Consciously or unconsciously we are under influences by the experience from our direct life to the subtle things like a breeze. I do not think the experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process however I admit that all motivation and inspiration initiates from the surroundings. Everyone has its own drama inside, and I think this fact that makes artists and audiences bond each other. So, I would say a


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creative process couldn’t be disconnected from direct experience.

The space of my painting is a resistance to the spaces of my experience, at the same time; it is the spaces of my knowledge and others’. Paintings appear to be abstract, but have a narrative. A layer of brush marks lead on to another layer and one initial color decides the following. A single brush stroke mark arrives on the surface and more marks spread on the canvas. The disseminated result of the painting ends up being one space.

The spontaneous reaction towards my artworks impacts me a lot. Yet issue of audience reception is not a crucial component of my artwork. My ears open up to them though; I think making decision myself and having my own core are very important to stand on my own feet in the art world and continue to take on my artwork.

My ultimate professional goal is to become an artist who makes each art piece a unique act of evocation. By delivering my concepts and ideas in my artwork in this current era, I would like my artwork to reflect and belong to the culture and time and also to evoke my audience to rethink the meanings of specific social and cultural signs and codes and to relate these meanings to their own experiences. Thanks


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N aomi Middelmann Lives and works in Lousanne, Switzerland

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aomi Middelmann’s work explores the theme “displaced." The definition being something or somebody being moved or put out of the usual and proper place because of necessity, choice or by external forces. By combinating and juxtapositing disparate images, formats, forms, surfaces and textures her work opens up new experiences in which space, time and place are displaced from their usual context. In this way, she puts into question our sense of perception and of identity. Middelmann refuses to limit herself to one medium. She draws, paints, sculpts and assembles as a multi faceted exploration of the theme. This theme began when Middelmann was handed various elements from her personal history two years ago, she decided to transform these elements (over 200 of her own school textbooks, her diaries, letters, cards and pictures frames, string, and cloth), into sculptures and installations. Restoring them to their natural state of seeds, sticks and logs is an attempt to explore the question of identity, of reclaiming a childhood of displacement and lost identity, her own high level education, and the physical weight of a personal history

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which has made her what she is but does not define her. She then disassembled and reassembled her own canvasses and frames in an exploration again of identity, the relevancy of painting today and artistic conventions in a series of work called “painting deconstructred”. What interested her is what happens when the reverse side of the canvas is displayed or when the canvas remains raw and unprimed, when bits and pieces are reassembled. For the past year, she has returned to painting and drawing in a series called “migration” in order to question what happens when identity becomes displaced from necessity or choice. She enjoys playing with the ambiguity and disparity of perception between the figurative and abstract, what is painting and what is sculpture. With this interest in the ambiguity of perception, she is actively collaborating and designing research projects with various leading neuroscientists at top universities in the USA, Germany and Switzerland. She has presented her process at galleries as well as at academic institutions. She will be presenting her work and process at the Brain Institute of Vanderbilt University, USA.


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Naomi Middelmann An interview by Melissa C. Hilborn, curator and Katherine Wilson, curator articulaction@post.com

Artist Naomi Middelmann's works accomplish an insightful exploration of the transience in identity to walk the viewers through a multilayered experience, inducing them to elaborate personal associations and intepretations. Her style rejects any conventional classifications and is marked with freedom as well as coherence , while encapsulating a careful attention to composition and balance. One of the most impressive aspects of Middelmann's work is the way it provides her images with an autonomous life and aesthetics: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating and multifaceted artistic production. Hello Naomi and welcome to ARTiculAction: we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your rich and multifaceted background. You have a solid formal training and after having earned your Bachelor of Arts from the prestigious Johns Hopkins University, you nurtured your education with a Postgraduate degree at the Visual Art School, in Basel. How do these experiences influence the way you conceive and produce your works? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum dued to your multicultural heritage

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

I have always been accutely aware of not having a true sense of belonging to one specific country or culture. I was raised in a German-American family in a small mountain village in Switzerland. We were always seen as outsiders. When my family moved to just outside New York City when I was 16, I became very aware of not having a home culture. I am, what Ruth E. Van Eyken, author of the book Third Culture Kids: Growing up Among Worlds, would call a typical third culture child. Meaning someone who has created a new culture from the memories, impressions of my parents’ cultures, mixed in with my own experiences. This background obviously has had an impact on my work. At Johns Hopkins I grew interested in the question of identity and identity development both in the literature classes I took, but also in the International Relations classes I followed. What has always intrigued me is the sense of invisible borders that we, as humans have, and how we shape our identity according to a variety of factors that go way beyond the physical borders.


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I would also say that maybe not feeling connected to simply one place has given me the freedom aesthetically to pursue what I felt was meaningful. I don’t feel like I have to adhere to a specific aesthetic current or school. Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your practice that involves drawing, painting, sculptures as well as mixed media pieces: rejecting any specific style, the language you convey in your works challenges the viewers' pereceptual parameters to urge them to investigate about our sense of perception and of identity. We would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.naomimiddelmann.com in order to get a synoptic view of your work: while walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you have you ever happened to realize that such multidisciplinary approach is the only way to express and convey the idea you explore.

I came to understand in the last few years, that I could not stick to one medium. Forcing myself to explore working with a new medium has been a way of challenging myself and testing my work, but also then returning to the original medium with a new impulse and outlook. And each medium has its specificities, painting is not the same as drawing, and drawing is not the same as sculpture. To me the various mediums have become an expression of different facets. If I go back to how this can express the theme of identity and perception, I think many of us have different roles that we play, that of a parent, a child, an artist, a friend etc. It’s all the same physical body, but it

will play out in different ways given the social situation. So the use of various mediums is an expression of those various roles that we have. But I also explore juxtaposing those various mediums and materials as a way of expressing the seemingly jarring differences. I have become a process driven artist. I am driven by themes and questions, that I try research throughout my work. I can easily spend a year or even two years working on a series. And then out of the series new questions arise and so on and so forth. For example in the “migration drawings” I started drawing little people who spread out across the page, those people then became in the process tiny circles, who at first spread out in the shape of continents, but lately have become more like droplets, cells, or atoms. The process has driven me from a sense of the general movement of people to the question of the transience of human identity and of the sense of self. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected Sounds overheard an extremely interesting series that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of this work is the way your inquiry into the development of the color provides your pieces with a dynamic and autonomous aesthetics. While walking our readers through the genesis of the Sounds overheard series, would you shed light to your main sources of inspiration?

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The Sounds Overheard series is based actually on a poem from Frank Bidart, a poet , I disovered at Johns Hopkins University and have followed ever since. One of his themes is the question of identity. Overheard through the walls of the invisible city . . .telling those who swarm around him his desire is that an appendage from each of them fill, invade each of his orifices,-repeating, chanting Oh yeahOh yeahOh yeahOh yeahOh yeah until, as if in darkness he craved the sun, at last he reached consummation. Until telling those who swarm around him begins again (we are the wheel to which we are bound). Frank Bidart, What interested me in this poem is the image of that distant sound of something ungraspable. That led me to the question of memory. When we remember things, we don’t remember them in a linear or organised fashion. There are images that come to us in an often disorganised and chaotic way and we know that what we remember is often not even true. Our sense of truth is warped. In this series, I was interested in playing with that sense of seeing and not seeing. So faces, body

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parts float into the painting, overlapping. The full title of the series is “Sounds Overheard from the invisible self�. When inquiring into perceptual processes, you seem to draw from the subconscious, almost oniric sphere, inviting the viewers to challenge their primordial, almost limbic parameters to get involved into a multilayered experience. Your approach allows you to capture non-sharpness of physicality with an universal kind of language. We are particularly interested if you try to trigger the viewers' memory as a starting point to expand their perceptual parameters.

I do think the point of art is to get a reaction from the viewer, to make them perhaps question what they think they know. I am interested in making art a visceral experience. For many years I wanted to write and did indeed write for some magazines, but I found writing to be frustrating as I could not make it a multidimensional expererience. We often think of perception as only being the act of seeing, but I believe perception is also a bodily experience, which was argued by Maurice MerleauPonty, but has also been proved scientically. We can perceive through a variety of our senses, and perception is not a passive process. Our eyes are not a camera, the brain actively shapes our perception.The strength of art is to be able to play with questions of perception and offer a new way of experiencing or seeing. The dialogue established by tones and shapes is a crucial part of your style: in

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

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


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

I work through color, one colour at a time. I admire artists who can use a

palette of colour such as Per Kirkeby or Joan Mitchell. I easily feel lost in colour and so I have come to accept that I will be always more driven by the relationship of light /dark and gesture to

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surface than be able to use colour. I often come back to black and white, but I do from time to time go into primary colours such as blue or red. I always

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work on a series of pieces (6 or 7 at a time) who all have similar tones. When I am done with those I move onto another series. But I am more driven by


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the exploration of textures and the juxtaposition of contradictory techniques and materials.

For your inquiry into the transience in identity you seem to remove any cultural belonging to remove the historical dimension of your exploration, going beyond the intrinsic

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ephemeral nature of a time-based exploration. So we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative

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


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I had a writing professor at Johns Hopkins who used to say “write what you know about”. Jean Dubuffet, the artist, talked a lot about the need for

authenticity in art. I do think it’s easier to truly create something from a theme that motivates you, compells you to want to show up to the studio each day.

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At the same time, if art is an

sense of a question that one wants to

exploration, and I would even say is a

understand better. What I mean by

research process, that there has to be a

research is that as an artist I set out

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with a question, attempt to explore the

exhibit or present my work to the public

question using various mediums, which

for review.

lead to other questions, and at the end I

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We have appreciated the way Painting deconstructed conveys both figurative and abstract feeling into coherent balance: the act of disassembling and reassembling your own canvasses and frames suggests a process of recontextualization that works on both the conscious level and on the subconscious one to establish direct relations with the spectatorship. German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". How do you conceive such compelling narrative that pervades your pieces?

I do find it interesting how the process itself is the series. That series actually started with my own school books and notebooks that my mother had saved for me. I had over 200 of them in a box and a turned them into large seed-like sculptures to question the place of education in the creation of one’s identity. The painting deconstructed series came from a series of old canvases I had held onto from my art school years. I litterally ripped them off the frames and reassembled them, as a way to recontextualise but also question what we do with all the things we accumulate over the years. What has been interesteting is the conversations it has started with viewers, because although these were my own things that I recontextualised, the question in viewers minds were what had they done with their things, what do we do with all those elements that make us who we are and yet do not define us.

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It's important to remark that you are actively collaborating and designing research projects with various leading neuroscientists at top universities in the USA, Germany and Switzerland.


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How would you consider the relationship

such apparently different fields can

between Art and Science? Do you think

unveil elusive still ubiquitous points of

that working in the liminal area betwee

convergence?

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I think for too long there has been a seeming seperation between the Arts and Sciences.Yes we have different techniques, but we are both process driven. We are both asking similar questions. Even though we have very different approaches to answering the questions I find the synergies interesting. I have actually encountered great interest and respect from the scientific community, often a lot more readily than from the non scientific community, who that art is a form of research. As artists we have let art historians, philosophers and psychologists study our work and try and explain what we as artists do. And I think as artists we offer a unique perspective, but we can only offer them by discussing them and collaborating with other areas of research. Over these years your works have been internationally shocased in several occasions, including you recent exhibition at the Vanderbilt Brain Institute and at Klein Basel Kunsthalle. One of the hallmarks of your work is the capability to create a direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decisionmaking process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

I find it interesting thinking about specific environments where my work will appear. For the Klein Basel Kunsthalle, I am specifically working on pieces for the

space. The themes are the same, but the piece has been created for the space. In terms of audience reception, one nevers knows how things will be accepted or seen by the public. But I do have a sense of the questions I am asking and the themes I would like to convey (successfully or not). I have always thought that one of art’s jobs was to question, explore and to communicate. I sometimes hear that my art is disturbing. I don’t set out to be disturbing but as Minolo Millares wrote, “art is not meant to be handed out on a silver platter.” Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Naomi. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I will be exhibiting in Germany and Italy next year and will be participating in collaborative research projects and lectures at a museum here in Switzerland and at Vanderbilt University in the USA. I have a big exhibit in Switzerland this fall and my work will be presented at as a solo project at Art Verona via UFOFabrik Gallery. In terms of my own work, I will continue to work on the questions of identity and memory, in what medium that will continue only the process can tell.

An interview by Melissa C. Hilborn, curator and Katherine Wilson, curator articulaction@post.com

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V eronica Dragnef Lives and works in Brossard, Canada

An artist's statement

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tried for many years to find a medium to express myself artistically, so I am not new to painting. I needed a vessel in which to store all the creative energy, something that would help me relocate the monsters from under the bed. I wanted a way to depict all my joy and my aesthetic emotions, mitigate unconsciousness and consciousness, and then share it without using words.

My paintings represent my intuition’s productivity and freedom. My art also represents my vision of objects, my day-to-day experiences, of people in my life,

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and my interactions with the world; I do not paint my moods,I paint situations. To me, abstraction embodies freedom and its randomness intrigues me. Mixed media allows me to use different materials to create different textures so the viewer can experience a multidimensional world. I am also thoroughly fascinated by the flexibility and facets of color—the ability to mix and match color to express something is very satisfying. I invite you to grow with me on this journey of self discovery,of art and expression and enjoy the ride!

Veronica Dragnef


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

Investigating about the relationship between identity and hybridization, Alessandra Dimitra's work rejects any conventional classification and accomplishes a consistent synergy between traditional techniques and contemporary sensitiveness to extract a compelling narrative that draws the viewers to a multi-layered experience. In her project PastPresentFuture that we'll be discussing in the following pages, she examines the relation between spiritual self and the places it chooses for coming into existence, walking us into an area in which the perceptual dimension and subconscious sphere merges together into coherent unity. One of the most convincing aspects of Dimitra's work is her successful attempt to draw the viewer's attention to real situations in which we all might take part and reflect the problems of current society, ethics and appropriate behaviour: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her multifaceted artistic production. Hello Alessandra, and a warm welcome to ARTiculAction: we would start this interview posing you a couple of questions about your background. You have a solid formal training: you studied Painting and Textile and you degreed from the prestigious Institute

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of Fine Arts at J. Gutenberg University in Mainz. How has this experience influenced your evolution as an artist?

From a very young age on I wished to be educated in the arts, so I have studied classical dancing, design and finally fine arts. During this process I considered University as a heaven of knowledge offering every pleasure to my thirsty mind and allowing me to in-depth my passion of understanding the history of art and culture. Among other artistic disciplines my main focus was already on painting and drawing. By the time of my beginnings at University my interest in figurative art appeared rather exotic; still I could enjoy the support of my professors on my quest about human consciousness and social interaction. My early unit Positions in time and space deals with the subjective reality perception of real persons at a particular moment in time and elaborates psychograms defining the complexity of human perception. The following project Fleeting Systems also narrates portraits in series and explores human interconnections now focusing on social structures of families, friends and groups of people. The artwork conquers the physical room as well as the superior reality that builds the frame within the time and space dimensions, in which relationships and


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communication take place creating a multidimensional network of interactions, a think-tank and field of experience. And in particular, how does your cultural substratum dued to your Greek roots as well as to your further studies in Philosophy, Education Science and Ethnology inform the way you deal with the aesthetic problem in general?

In order to understand the art of any particular period it is necessary to gain knowledge about its Zeitgeist. At any point in time art is the expression of a particularly society with its culture formed by politics, religion and philosophy. So all this disciplines work together for a deeper understanding. The most exciting for me is to observe the continuous trail of cultural knowledge as it flows from one blossoming civilization to the next unfolding the same existential wisdom within ever new expressions of art. My education in the arts of the ancient Greek cultures gave me a solid background and helped my understanding of the other important cultures of antiquity and their influences upon the evolution of art. I was socialized as Greek, German and European, I guess that made me focus more on the connecting than on the diverting part of cultural identity. My research and teaching on global culture focuses on the aesthetic archetypes as a basic human expression. You are a versatile artist and your media ranges from painting, illustration and land art, showing an organic synergy between a variety of expressive

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

Of course it is all about ideas. Each emerging concept demands a particular form of materialization. Every idea goes along with certain types of media. According to the audience that I like to address I may choose among this media range the proper techniques and materials for each project. As an artist I enjoy the artistic creation. The media and techniques are simply tools in my toolbox. I might even express art through cooking. The perpetual repetition of successful techniques provides no challenge. For this special issue of ARTiculAction we have selected PastPresentFuture, a stimulating project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once caught our attention of your inquiry into the interconnecting relations between the spiritual self and the places it chooses for coming into existence is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of creating a channel of communication between the conscious sphere and the subconscious sphere. When walking our readers through the genesis of PastPresentFuture, would you shed a light about the role of metaphors in your process?

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The intermedia project PastPresentFuture follows the structures that connected individuals within their cultural backgrounds leave in the time and space frame. Besides the current reality and the historic information nowadays, I select subconscious information fragments to recreate the complexity within the narrative. Mostly we operate with our conscious mind without reflecting on all those processes that happen driven by the subconscious. It influences our choices and behaviour in so many ways. We like or dislike people, things or places according to long forgotten experiences that have left their blueprint in our brain and they still give signals to us through the subconscious. Actually we all sometimes notice that happening, but one can exercise this sensibility. On the same way our subconscious reacts on stimuli from our surrounding in a more intuitive way. That is why a picture or a short poem may transport so many more information than a written or spoken text addressing to our conscious perception would do. As my artistic intention is the creation of visual poems, metaphors play a vital role in my artistic vocabulary. When investigating about the hybridization between identities and cultures you seem to address the viewers to bring to a new level of significance the relationship between the spiritual self and the places it chooses for coming into existence. We can recognize a subtle but effective socio political criticism in this aspect: but while other artists from the contemporary scene, as Judy Chicago or more recently Jennifer Linton, use to include open socio-political criticism in their works, you rather seem to hint the direction to the spectatorship, urging

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them to elaborate personal associations. Do you consider that your works are political in this way or do you seek to maintain a neutral approach? Do you feel that it’s your responsibility as an artist to teach and raise awareness of certain issues?

I suggest that accepting the hybridization between ones identities and cultures within the timeframe would smash the boundaries of identity perception and cultural belonging towards a more global point of view, leading to a respectfully altered intercultural approach. Art always expresses a statement, even if only a formal one, that fore it can hardly be neutral. My statement is socio-political. I ask questions in an artistic way. I don’t intent to provide readymade answers or messianic solutions. I open up a discussion, make people see something from another point of view, notice a different facet and think it over again. The quest of wisdom is the motivation behind our existential human questions interpreting the eternal cycle of becoming and passing. This urge to knowledge serving the individual search of fulfilment is a point of reference of my artistic work. Each change of our point of view transforms our subjective perception of reality and causes social changes through alternated actions. That kind of alternated structures are not random. Humanitarian idealism is needed, in particular an egalitarian sense of freedom and a tolerant attitude towards the variety of individual life styles. The task is to track the interconnection between the power of thoughts and the manifestations of this creative energy as concrete reality. Personal luck and happiness are rather a

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matter of ones point of view than the necessary result of circumstances. Within the given systems, I could not oversee the issue of “power�. I explored the topics of power over one’s self and the use or abuse of social power. Investigative courage is needed to get access to the most intimate hidden passions, to the most torturing necessities, to friendship, love and the whole range of emotions in order to explore and to sublimely transform them. Fascinated I follow this urge of knowledge as I go deeper into the existential questions of humans and their perception of fulfilment, expressing this process with my artwork. Judy Chicago is a legend for female artists of my generation. In my series Half of the undivided or the female aspect of god and Wish as well as in the Rhea Land Art Projects I research on female aspects and primordial goddesses, which links this works to some of her concepts. In my family there is a teaching tradition maybe that made it so familiar to me. Teaching is about leading a person to discover knowledge within its own experience and possibilities, a demanding and joyful task. I have been teaching art students at the University and various Institutions. Lately I work again with children which I find very enjoyable. Currently we also started an art education project with refugees in Berlin. As you have remarked once, in order to explore the topic of personal identities, you use your own personal and artistic experience as well as your current perception of life. A distinctive mark of the way you construct a concrete aesthetic from experience and memories

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and symbols is evident in your current series entitled Berlin! A love story! and it works on both subconscious and conscious level. Moreover, you once remarked that animations tell a story and portray experiences yet you want to show them as drawings; so we would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion, personal experience is absolutely indispensable as part of the creative process? In particular, how would you describe the role of memory in your process?

We have been formed by our experiences; they mainly are the result of our decisions and actions. That makes us who we are and defines what we have to say. We are driven by intentions that long to manifest. We have to experience something before we can express it. As future is always uncertain and present is just a tiny bit of time, I am afraid that mainly we possess our memories of the past. In fact, it is not even the exactly occurred event that we recall as we keep interpreting by remembering. In the series PastPresentFuture my research is focusing on the origins of various memories of my other identities that occurred since my childhood. My endeavour is to work out those information fragments and to interweave them with historic facts in order to complete each of the time portraits that reassemble the multi-layered picture. In my current series Berlin! A love story real people transform into carriers of a supreme identity as they become representatives of their district. The project is creating a historical as well as artistic - subjective portrait of Berlin by showing its regional microcosmic district

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peculiarities, before it once again alters its appearance. It deals with memories of the historical layers that marked the exiting history of Berlin. Besides the impressive architectural structures leading us back to the classicism at the end of the 19th century and the Prussian order, the story of the city takes us to the glamorous metropolis of the 20es, the totalitarian madness of the 30es - 40es, the rebuilding out of scratch in the 50es, the real existing communism of the DDR, the cold war city - island that Berlin has been until the unification and last but not least to its new role as capital and center of the art ever since. After many extended visits in the city, I live and work in Berlin - Mitte since 1998 were I witnessed the gentrification process and the exchange of the inhabitants. The memories of all those people involved, locals and visitors, influence their perception of the city and define their reality. Another interesting project that has particularly impressed us and on which we would like to spend some words is entitled PĂĄnta RhĂŠi, an aphorism from pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus that could be translated to everything flows. What has at once caught our attention of this project is its successful attempt to produce a dialectical fusion that operates as a system of symbols creates a compelling nonlinear narrative that, walking the thin line between conceptual and literal meanings, establishes direct relations with the viewers.

German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art


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Veronica Dragnef


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can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? And in particular how do you conceive the narrative for your works? Thomas Demand is a fascinating colleague. Certainly readable information and aesthetical elements must be well expressed through the chosen medium. The use of symbolism simply depends on the necessities of the artistic approach. There cannot be a dogma about it. The excessive or dogmatic use of symbolism during certain periods in art history may not make it appear so popular nowadays. On the other hand we are surrounded by symbolism. Archetypes are the basics of our communication system. Propaganda and advertisement, product design or fashion trends could not be effective without them. I researched on this interesting issue and lectured about it. Communicating through global language of signs by using the psychology of colours and shapes characterizes my artistic production in general. In most of my projects the initial idea is followed by an extended time of conceptual planning before the realisation takes place. During that process the narrative takes its form. I balance long term projects with more spontaneous artistic actions. The project Pánta Rhéi puts emphasis on certain mythological references. As the rich mythological material found its way from Greece, through the Roman Empire

to influence the later western cultures, it can be used as a communication platform were the modern interacts with the ancient. While these artworks define the characteristic state of continuous changes as a secure constant element, modern archetypes express personal destinies in the context of society values. Transformed into mythical heroes, they become carriers of the individual reality perception and feedback the common reality. Pánta Rhéi also seems to remove any historic gaze from the reality you refer to, inducing the viewers to rethink the notion of time in such temporal way. At the same time, the fruible set of elements you draw from universal imagery trigger the viewers' primordial parameters concerning our relation with physicality: as Gerhard Richter once remarked, "my concern is never art, but always what art can be used for": what is your opinion about the functional aspect of Art in the contemporary age?

Pánta Rhéi transfers archetypical mythological statements into a contemporary scene. There is no intention to further specify contemporary. As the present keeps evolving I don’t use attributes that link to a particular era. That creates a sort of an everlasting present, a surrealistic illusion in which people are in lack of their shades. As I give my artwork formal and conceptual intensions I am already using art for communicational, educational or socio-political purposes. This is far more than the pure joy of creation. The difference between a “non-functional”

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artwork and a “functional� design object is merging. Ready mates, conceptual artworks and target group specific projects, crowd founding and art sponsoring on the one side and high end

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design objects that provide far more than function one the other, both underlay aesthetical values. The idea of art without any functional aspect is in


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fact a rather short term statement within art history. Your pieces encapsulate both traditional techniques and modern

methods you merge together to create a coherent unity, that rejects any conventional classification and that invites the viewer to explore the liminal area between Tradition and a vivacious

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contemporary approach. What is in your opinion the relationship between Tradition and Contemporariness? Do you think there's a contrast or do you rather think that Contemporariness

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could be considered an evolutive stage of Tradition?

I would definitely agree that Contemporariness should be considered


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an evolutive stage of Tradition. It is in our nature to react on what we recognize as familiar and then we struggle to keep it updated with the Zeitgeist. We always alternate familiar strategies in order to

invent or explore the unknown. But still it is this tiny bit that we alter each time that makes the difference, enabling us to take the next step.

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On this endeavour we find it helpful to create a reference system providing orientation within the multidimensional network of actions and reactions between the individual person and its environment.

do so as it addresses to a wider audience that decides to ignore or interact with my artwork by a variety of criteria. Crucial for the artistic communication is indeed the right type of artistic language used in the particular context.

If we wish to study the processing dynamics of events within a larger time scale, we need to focus on the hidden connections relating them. We first need to transform information into knowledge and then once again alter it into wisdom.

I wish to stimulate my audience to experience the visualized concept from their own point of view. There is no intention to make the spectator follow the complete process and intentions of the artistic creation just to make him understand the artwork. It is important that an artwork has a strong aesthetic intention. That makes it powerful enough to involve the viewer. He may then interpret it as he pleases.

Questioning the mainstream moral, philosophical and religious traditions by both analyzing them rationally and sensing them intuitively serves the utopic purpose of creating a suitable future orientation frame. Such a system would be build by using traditional knowledge and by overcoming meaningless dogmas. Over these years you works have been exhibited in several occasions and your works are in several public collections around the world. Your work is strictly connected to the chance of establishing a direct involvement with the viewers, who are called to evolve from a mere spectatorship to conscious participants on an intellectual level, so before leaving this conversation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

In my design projects I would define the visual keys according to a specified target group. For an artwork I would not

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

Besides the ongoing series PastPresentFuture and Berlin! A love story I will continue with wider multimedia series merging paining and drawing with new technologies. The aspect of colour stays crucial for my artistic creation but I intend to do more space related projects. Also the issue of human perception and metaphysics will continue to inspire me. Thank you for this interview.

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


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Profile for ARTiculAction Art Review

ARTiculAction Art Review // Special Edition  

ARTiculAction Art Review // Special Edition  

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