ARTiculAction Art Review, Biennial Edition 2021-2022, Vol.1

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ENNE TESSE IVAN ARKHIPOV CLAUDIA GRÜNIG YUYING SONG MARYAM DEHBOZORGI GREGORY A MCCULLOUGH ILDIKO SOPRONFALVI GERGANA ELENKOVA NIKOLETTA TZANNE

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Dancing with the stone, exhibition in Beijing a work by Ivan Arkhipov


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Photo by Ildiko Sopronfalvi

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Ildiko Sopronfalvi

Enne Tesse

Gregory A McCullough Nikoletta Tzanne

Hungary

USA

Canada

I revisit and reimagine the human experience of dress as layers that can make and re-define identities; offer body modifications and transformations; simulate protection; provide concealment; mark human social structures; spark narratives and group relations; and allow for survival.

If one views Art and Technology as structural components in a social “Generative Adversarial Network” than artistic endeavours offer a positive evolutionary progress to society. Technology is the McLuhanesque medium that ultimately modifies its users. “Every way of being, becomes a way of knowing.” We become slaved to how the technology is used day to day, and our view of the world is reshaped to this new mold.

Ildiko Sopronfalvi studied photo design in Germany, at the Akademie Deutsche Pop in Stuttgart and since then she has published numerous publications and photo series in American and European fashion magazines. According to her own admission, her fashion photos deal more with emotions and social significance, and the photographer also likes to play with colours, contrasts, textiles and forms. "Environmental awareness has been a concern for a long time, and I think it's important to pay attention to it. I want to open people's eyes if we pay a little attention, we shop more consciously, both in fashion and in other areas, we could possibly start with an opposite process of being able to prevent humanity from rushing to its demise," the artist said.

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My work is rooted in skills and practices performed to produce and alter clothing including sewing, mending, pattern making, cutting, crocheting, weaving, embroidering and knitting. These sustained slow moving practices, repetitive acts, rituals, patterns and rhythms are my focus while keeping awareness of possible deviations.

I see arts role as elucidating and illuminating our current paradigms of being, so to open them up to a self critique. Hence the “content” of art is boundless. Yet obviously an artist must have a focus. Mine seems to reside in the translation of seeing from one medium to another. Instead of grasping at what is ‘lost in translation’, my art explores and celebrates the ‘Found in translation’.

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Yuying Song

Claudia Grünig

Greece / United Kingdom

China / Spain

Germany

My work is an attempt to explore the possibilities of various materials, the combinations and limits that may have, in order to produce aesthetic objects that comment on different emotional situations, issues such as confrontation, confusion, calmness, balance, pressure, conflict and movement. The process that is being followed for the production of my works plays a key role in defining the idea through the material identity of the artwork. It includes drawings and constant changes of each piece by going back again and again, by taking away pieces and adding others. The continuous transformation of the immanent relations of the objects may seem gratuitous but still very essential to me in order to define form and idea and to reach the completion of each piece.

She is a visual artist-researcher, born in China and currently doing a practice-based Ph.D. in Art Production and Research at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain. And she received a Chinese Government Scholarship from the China Scholarship Council (CSC) for her doctoral studies. She is interested in the theory and history of documentary,cinema, photography, especially the theme that focuses on the figure of women, immigration, social issues and, also the culture of digital media.

Photographs give the impression of representing reality. The medium of photography enables me to locate inner states in "reality".

Her recent research output includes the essay Art born during the COVID-19 Pandemic published in ANIAV - Journal of Research in Visual Arts, Why do I live here is a Documentary essay on Chinese immigration in Spain published in AVANCA / CINEMA 2021, International Conference Cinema Art, Technology, Communication, Article A TRANSNACIONAL FAMILY CHINESE IMMIGRATION IN SPAIN accepted by the journal Diecisiete and Western Feminist Experimental Film: Between Experiment and Experience1960s-1980s accepted by the journal film literature.

What interests me in my work is the paradox of "inventing photographs". I use the individual elements of reality as a new beginning in terms of content. In doing so I create an emotional memory image.


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live and works in Athens, Greece

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Enne Tesse lives and works in Beacon, NY, USA

Ildiko Sopronfalvi Anna Tesse

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lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Claudia Grünig

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lives and works in Köln, Germany

Gregory A McCullough 102 lives and works in Canada

Maryam Dehbozorgi Maryam Dehbozorgi

Sanjay Gupta Gergana Elenkova

Ivan Arkhipov

Iran

Bulgaria / Spain

Russia

Maryam Dehbozorgi ( Born 20 April 1986, Shiraz, Iran ) is an interdisciplinary visual artist. In 2011 She received her bachelor degree in Graphic Design from Soore university in Tehran. She is currently working on her dissertation for a master`s degree in painting from Soore university in Tehran.She started her professional career in the field of art in 2014. She is really into photos and films so that is really influenced by them in her art. This interest originated in her childhood as she was enthusiast in flipping through albums and watching home movies, first as a means of entertainment and then as a tool for curiosity about her identity. Her earlier works were collages of family members and sometimes internet and magazine photographs that initially dealt with scattered topics such as immigration, technology growth and identity and then with the focusing on “ self “ subject, shifted into the challenges she faced in everyday life.

My art - this is the body. For me, the body is a constant magnitude that transforms into a measure of space and time, a central tangent of interaction with everything that surrounds us. Trusting on these three basic and indissoluble relationships: space-time-body, I embody my ideas in corporeal (body) installations.

I have experimented with different techniques, mainly etching, dry point, linocut, woodcut and painting, also created animated films. Resistance of material has an influence on our attitude and image perception. Metal got scratched and torn, lines became cuts. When you make it you had to lay yourself out, to get angry, to resist, to sweat, while still enjoying the process. Perception of reality mute out and we came into a trance. My works is a result of this process. And this technique states importance of the process above the result. In 2019 I worked at a Chinese village located 50 kilometers from Beijing - in the Shangyuan art residence, where I have been staying for 3 summer months. Residence lacked of necessary equipment for creative work in printmaking techniques, specifically the most important - etching press to create prints on paper in the dry point technique. I used as a press a large stone that I had been found nearby.

For me, the basis for creating a work of art is a creative process, which is a continuous cycle. From the emergence of the idea to the final execution of the work. In my artistic practice, this idea- diffused, chaotic and fragmented at the beginning, can take form at any moment caused by any perceptual stimulus.That is, the origin of this idea can come both from something immaterial such as an experience, a word, a reflection, a conversation, an image, a social problem, etc., as well as from something palpable such as the tactile experimentation with materials, objects and shapes.

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lives and works in Shiraz, Iran

Gergana Elenkova

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lives and works in Valencia, Spain

Yuying Song

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lives and works in Valencia, Spain

Ivan Arkhipov

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lives and works in Moscow, Russia On the cover: photo by

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Special thanks to Eri Kassnel, Boris Eldagsen, David Habercom, Ivonne Dippmann, Florencia Davidzon, Meghan Mosholders, Ryder Richards, Susan LaMantia, Elsa Vinaes, Corbette Fogue, Julia Lekvova, Alon Peretz, Johannes Deimling, Barbara Bervoets, Gwenyth Dobie, Viktor Frešo, Allyson McCandless, Gillian Allard, Maya Gelfman, Annie Hobbs, Jill Poczkai Ibsen, Jody Zellen, Anniek Verholt, Eva Rocco Kenell, Anne Cecilia Surga and Anna Pinkas.

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Nikoletta Tzanne My work is an attempt to explore the possibilities of various materials, the combinations and limits that may have, in order to produce aesthetic objects that comment on different emotional situations, issues such as confrontation, confusion, calmness, balance, pressure, conflict and movement. The process that is being followed for the production of my works plays a key role in defining the idea through the material identity of the artwork. It includes drawings and constant changes of each piece by going back again and again, by taking away pieces and adding others. The continuous transformation of the immanent relations of the objects may seem gratuitous but still very essential to me in order to define form and idea and to reach the completion of each piece. In that aspect, I recently realized the comment of Edward Allington that is as keeping a diary. From my point of view a diary that records the formation of human reactions to different kind of emotions.

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Hello Nikoletta and welcome to ARTiculAction: we would like to start this interview with a couple of questions regarding your background. You have a solid formal training: after having earned your Bachelor in Fine Arts Department in Sculpture from the Aristotelio University of Thessaloniki, you movede from Greece to the United Kingdom to nurture your education with a Master in Fine Arts, that you received from the Slade School of Art, University College of London: how did these experiences address your evolution

as an artist? In particular, how does your cultural substratum due to your Greek roots direct your current artistic research?

Nikoletta Tzanne: Hello it is a pleasure to be in ARTiculAction My five years training in the department of Sculpture in the Aristoteleio University of Thessaloniki was crucial for the development of my practice.In the late nineties the way to get in an art school in Greece was the very good knoweledge of life drawing . In the first three years of the study the development of observing and trying to depict what you see, on a piece of paper or with the use of clay concider to be very important along with the good use of



Bent wood, 102x50x45 cm


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the materials.It was necessary to be familiar with the properties and the technical characteristics of various materials. In the final two years you were free to develop your ideas in any way you want. I feel the need to be so analytical about my training because I believe that one can understand the roots of my visual vocabulary. When I moved to United Kingdom to attend the Master in Fine Arts in Slade School of Fine Art the transition was quite challenging. It was a completely different educational art system with other priorities and with various views about the ways art can be produced. I realised that being a studio based artist and trying to implement my ideas through the use of drawings and material was the way I chose in order to be developed as an artist. Your works are marked out with unique multilayered visual aspect, and drawings play crucial role in defining the idea that you want to work on. New York City based artist Lydia Dona once stated that in order to make art today one has to reevaluate the conceptual language behind the mechanism of art making itself: how do you consider the relationship between the necessity of scheduling your performance and the creative power of improvisation? Does spontaneity play an important role in your artistic process?

Nikoletta Tzanne: My relation to the process of drawings has changed over the years. It is still a way to put down thoughts, ideas and plans related to the implement of a piece. I am also interested in exploring the procedure independently. I realize that a sculpture should not be strictly dictated by a drawing, the balance, the contrast, the

symmetries, the tension, are being developed in a totally different way. Improvisation allows the piece to evolve in unexpected ways, therefore there is a continuous transformation of the immanent relation of the sculptures when I am working. .There is a constant change by adding taking out and reshaping the materials. The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ARTiculAction and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article has at once captured our attention from the way you sapiently provide to ideas belonging to the emotional sphere with such unique materic identity, able to unveil the immanence of reality: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, we would like to ask you how do you consider the role of aesthetics playing within your artistic research. Nikoletta Tzanne: I feel that the body of my work involves the idea of meeting. What is the impact of interacting with someone other than oneself ;How the accidentally intersection with various occurences affect us. In my artistic research over the last few years the question that arise is, although images has the potential to show sights and inshights which are not accesible to the eye and no communication in language can convey, still images are not solaly made or viewed exclusively for visual communication in questions.Possible the idea of objects that are not taken up only with their capacity to advance a theme, have led me to search thoroughly their materic identity.


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Balance wood, 98x54x32cm

We really appreciate your sapient use of unconventional materials, that — as you have remarked once — are strongly related to your intentions. German art critic and historian Michael Fried once stated that 'materials do not represent, signify, or allude to anything; they are what they are and nothing more.' What are the properties that you are

searching for in the materials that you include in your works? In particular, are there any experiences that did particularly help you to develop your attitude to experiment with different materials?

Nikoletta Tzanne: My experience of having to depict forms of the human body in drawings


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and in sculptures during the first years of my study has played an important role in my relation to the materials. The process of putting and taking out flexible materials such as clay and plaster and seeing the dramatic change that this had in the object had been seemed very compelling. As I continued studying I realized that even materials that

were harder and were not suggested to be worked in a direct way I was trying no matter the time and the technical difficulty to adjust them to the above way of working. When I started my MA at Slade School of Art i realized that the process that i had followed was not random and that using materials that I could work directly had been allowed me to make a


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Arise, wood, 100x95x50 cm

lot of changes that was very essential to my practice. At that time i had tried to experiment with combining different materials with alike qualities in aspects of hardness,transparency,elasticity and stiffness.

As you have remarked in your artist's statement, your work is an attempt to create aesthetic objects that comment on persons attitude towards different emotional circumstances: how do your memories and your everyday life's experience fuel your


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artistic research?

Nikoletta Tzanne: Interacting with others and confronting different aspects of life, fill you up with thoughts, feelings and lead to attitudes that partly have their roots in past experiences

and memories.Observing myself and others in that aspect, is the point of departure for my artistic research. Breath features such captivating ambiguous aesthetics, and we have particularly


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appreciated the way it challenges the viewers' perception process, through reminders to human body: how do you consider the role of symbols and metaphors in your creative process? In particular, are you interested in creating works of art with marked allegorical features?

Nikoletta Tzanne: As I mention earlier in the first years of my study i had had to observe the human body in order to make drawings and life size objects out of clay. Furthemore I begun being interested in the forms and the structure of the internal organs of the human body . I believe that my pieces carry out the memory of this experience and the use of forms that have references in human body, have become part of my artistic vocabulary. My intentions is to invent pictures that depict emotions which often affect the human figure, without being particularly interested in allegorical features. Through your works you created such unique visual vocabulary able to trigger the viewers' imagination, inviting them to elaborate personal interpretations: how open would you like your works to be understood?

Nikoletta Tzanne: I feel there is no better way to describe how I would like my work to be adressed to the viewers .I would be pleased if my visual vocabulary is able to trigger the viewers’ imagination and to arise personal interpretations. Most of the times the titles in my work is an attempt to indicate the intentions but in my opinion no matter any suggestions the way someone is


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Balance 2_wood_80x37x34 cm

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being connected to an art piece is utterly unpredictable. With their reminders to the contrast between softness and stiffness, Sleeping unveils the bond between materiality and perception. As viewers, we often tend to forget that a work of art is first of all a physical artefact with intrinsic tactile qualities, and we really appreciate the way, through sapient materic translation, your artistic production highlights the materiality among the viewer: how important is for you to highlight the physical aspect of your artworks?

Nikoletta Tzanne: It is very important . Assuming that artwork has purpose -advancing a theme or point of view,display an expressive property, arouse a feeling or nothing of the above but simply be devoted to engendering a certain ideain my practice that can be accomplised with the use of forms made out of various matterials.Experimenting with different kind of matterials and their properties apart from being a very interesting process gives me numerous possibilities in defining the idea that I am interested in. You are an established artist and over the years you have internationally exhibited in several occasions: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? By the way, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to online platforms — as Instagram and Vimeo — increases, how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience?

Nikoletta Tzanne: I am very interested in the reactions of the viewers when they are looking at my work.Most of the times I feel that there is a moment of awkwardness which Is followed by



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Flow, wood, 90x85x33cm

curiosity on the theme of the piece and the way it is constructed. I feel that the above leads in a kind of familiarity with the piece and often the initial puzzlement is replaced by various associations and interpretations. The shift of Art from traditional gallery spaces to online forms give the opportunity to artists to

Movement, wood, fabric, 56x22x160 cm

exhibit their work to a broader audience that otherwise would almost have been impossible. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Nikoletta. Finally, would you


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like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

working on a new series where I am

Nikoletta Tzanne: Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to share my views with your readers.At the moment I am

time.

experimenting with an old technique of making objects and the idea of memory and


In random order, wood, 166x118x30 cm


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Enne Tesse Lives and works in Beacon, NY, USA

I revisit and reimagine the human experience of dress as layers that can make and re-define identities; offer body modifications and transformations; simulate protection; provide concealment; mark human social structures; spark narratives and group relations; and allow for survival. My work is rooted in skills and practices performed to produce and alter clothing including sewing, mending, pattern making, cutting, crocheting, weaving, embroidering and knitting. These sustained slow moving practices, repetitive acts, rituals, patterns and rhythms are my focus while keeping awareness of possible deviations.

An interview by and

, curator , curator

Hello Enne and welcome to ARTiculAction: we would like to invite our readers to visit https://ennetesse.wixsite.com/works in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production, and we would like to start this interview with a couple of questions regarding your background. You have a solid formal training: after having earned your BFA, from the SUNY College at Purchase you nurtured your education with an MFA from the prestigious School of Visual Arts: how did these experiences address your evolution as an artist? In particular, are there any experiences that did particularly help you to develop your

attitude to experiment with different techniques? Enne Tesse: Both experiences were fundamental in imparting discipline and focus in my creative process, including keeping an open dialogue with my work. My process involves observing and listening to my pieces as they develop, like listening to my body, and then reacting. The evolution of my work begins with leafing through the pages of an Italian book on the history of costume, containing sewing patterns for various types of clothing. I noticed that each clothing pattern was composed of many different parts. I believe this realization transferred to my work initially through the creation of sets of separate wood panels placed side-by-side on the wall, and then later through the use


Enne Tesse Exhibition at Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, VT, USA in "Unusual Threads: Stitching Together the Future of Fashion" May 11-Jun 23, 2019 curated by Anna-Maria Hand. Photo credit: Piet Mura


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of fabric in my 3D pieces. Intrigued by what else might be found in the pages of texts, I began to collect used books. Soon after, I had a dream of book pages containing various lists of words. “Weight of Words” (1989) was the result of this dream. This work consists of 23 book pages removed from a Latin language textbook. Each page is mounted on a wood panel that hangs on a string. The strings are of different lengths and the panels are installed across the wall. Some time later, my mother passed away suddenly and in response, I cut up her nightgown and stretched it over five separate wood panels. This was my first work with fabric. Both of these works were created with reused and found materials. Worn fabric and yellowing book pages produce slight variations in color that reflect the passing of time and the sense of touch. These elements exist throughout my work. The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ARTiculAction and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article has captured our attention for its unconventional beauty that challenges the logic of ordinary perception: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, would you tell us how do you consider the role of aesthetics playing within your artistic research? Enne Tesse: My childhood was spent in my family’s tailoring shop in Naples, Italy, among the look, touch, and smell of fabric that was stored, cut, and shaped into garments daily. Aesthetically, my focus is on raw, untreated materials including cotton and linen canvas, jute twine, and bookbinding thread. I have also used fabric swatches, kitchen towels, butcher’s twine, cotton drop cloth, wool yarn, and nylon zip ties. Within each individual work, I choose to remain


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Passage, 2019 Yarn, elastic bands, dress form 96 x 144 x 36 in 243.84 x 365.76 x 91.44 cm


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minimal in the use of material, color, method and approach. My materials are associated with everyday practical uses. Placing them in a nonutilitarian context of art allows them to have maximum power, and opens the doors to unexpected visual and conceptual possibilities. Passage is an extremely stimulating work that was inspired by the repetitive act of slow moving hand crocheting. New York City based artist Lydia Dona once stated that in order to make art today one has to reevaluate the conceptual language behind the mechanism of art making itself: how do you consider the relationship between the necessity of scheduling your performance and the creative power of improvisation? Does spontaneity play an important role in your artistic process? Enne Tesse: Processes that require time to produce results, such as the creation of hand made fabric by knotting and crocheting, for me represent continuation, interruption, and therefore quantities of accumulation of time. “Passage” focuses on my immigrant journey from birth culture to newly acquired culture. The intersecting tubes of wool yarn represent segments of time that capture interruptions, reversals, pauses, and halts of my immigrant journey. Interlocked within the trajectory of the journey are fear of the unknown, uncertainty of the voyage, obstacles, struggles, frustration, anxiety, numbness, denial of origin, but also achievements, triumphs, accomplishments, and victories. “Passage” was created by arbitrarily connecting variable numbers of chain stitches to produce intersecting tubes of wool yarn, each of different lengths and widths. I believe my approach toward the repetitive act of chain stitching was actually very spontaneous and unpredictable, like a journey can be. Tying the




Bird, 2019 Jute twine, zip ties, dress form 72 x 16 x 12 in 182.88 x 40.64 x 30.48 cm


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tubes with elastic bands, and using the wall as a partial support were also spontaneous acts. “Passage” is very much an improvisation with elements of performance. Spontaneity does play an important role in my artistic process. I very rarely plan out my pieces or make initial sketches. I start with a rough idea, a word, or

a phrase and take it from there. As I move through my creative journey, I remain open to the unexpected. Through your works you created such unique visual vocabulary able to trigger the viewers' imagination, inviting them to elaborate


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personal interpretations: how open would you like your works to be understood? Enne Tesse: Every work has a life of its own that begins when the work interacts with its viewers. Creative works exist to inspire thought. Viewers carry varied personal

experiences. I welcome viewers’ interpretations of my work. “Bird” pays tribute to my mother's fear of birds and can trigger viewers’ different interpretations. For example, the spiky zip ties may appear sharp and threatening to some and at the same time, playful and humorous to others. As I


Anguirus, 2020 Fabric swatches, bookbinding thread, dress form 65 x 28 x 21 in 165.1 x 71.12 x 53.34 cm


Red Spine, 2019 detail



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Red Spine, 2019 Jute twine, dress form 72 x 16 x 12 in 182.88 x 40.64 x 30.48 cm

progressively worked on this piece, its surface density grew to include 2,200 zip ties. You are a versatile artist and as you have remarked in your work is rooted in skills and

practices performed to produce and alter clothing including sewing, mending, pattern making, cutting, crocheting, weaving, embroidering and knitting. We really


Enne Tesse

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imagery. German art critic and historian Michael Fried once stated that 'materials do not represent, signify, or allude to anything; they are what they are and nothing more.' What were the properties that you are searching for in the materials that you include in your works? Enne Tesse: I am attracted to materials that have everyday practical uses. In addition to fabric and textiles, I have used book pages, beeswax, glass, India ink and brick. Sources of my inspiration are early medieval garments including tunics, gowns, and robes and their course-textured fabric woven from roots of plants, goat hair, single-ply wool, linen, and plain sackcloth. I am also interested in materials that stain and discolor with use and time. Fabric and paper share many of these qualities. These subtle differences in color and texture are to me signs of past participation of the hand. Found ready-made objects also play an important role in my creative process. I would like to note that my works are not wearable garments. They are intended to exist on a dress form stand, which is a found object taken from my personal history. At the same time, the dress form is an underlying support structure representing a given form that approximates reality and idealizes the human body. Other found objects I have used are polypropylene rope, gelatin capsules, and, of course, nylon zip ties. We are not only surrounded by these products everyday, but also, often forced to use them. appreciate your sapient use of materials as wool yarn, elastic bands, nylon zip cable ties and jute twine, that the viewer could recognize as belonging to ordinary life's

Unsilent Stitches was inspired by early 20th century suffragette clothing: do you think that your artistic research respond to a particular cultural moment? Enne Tesse: I do not connect with one


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particular cultural moment. In fact, my intension is to combine cultural time periods. A single piece may have medieval, Victorian, and contemporary influences simultaneously.

In “Unsilent Stitches”, I was drawn to the suffragette use of fabric and clothing as a form of communication and liberation. This work contains the text of a micro fiction story I


Zigra, 2019 Cotton drop cloth, bookbinding thread, dress form 72 x 16 x 12 in 182.88 x 40.64 x 30.48 cm


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wrote. I embroidered the words on four linen towels I stitched together. It possesses qualities of both a gown and a banner. Although loosely tailored and draped, when placed over a dress form, the piece becomes physically restrictive since its arm holes are sewn shut. “Anguirus” and “Zigra” were both inspired by Victorian bustles and Japanese Kaiju films of the 1960s. Your artistic practice offers body modifications and transformations. Many artists express the ideas that they explore through representations of the body and even by using their own bodies: how do you consider the relation between the ideas that you aim to communicate and the physical act of creating your artworks? Enne Tesse: For me, the physical act of creating relies strongly on the participation of the hands and fingers. I produce my work by sewing, folding, cutting, stuffing, and knotting therefore using my hands laboriously. I am self-taught in these techniques. My pieces offer body modifications and transformations that consequently result from properties such as distortion, imperfection, unevenness, irregularity, and crudeness. You are an established and awarded artist and over the years you have exhibited your work nationally and internationally, including solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries in the United States and Japan: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? By the way, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to online platforms — as Instagram and Vimeo — increases, how would in your opinion change


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Unsilent Stitches, 2021 Linen towels, cotton thread, dress form 64 x 27 x 19 in 162.56 x 68.58 x 48.26 cm back detail


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Unsilent Stitches, 2021 Linen towels, cotton thread, dress form 64 x 27 x 19 in 162.56 x 68.58 x 48.26 cm front detail

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the relationship with a globalised audience? Enne Tesse: I connect with my audience through on-site and online gallery exhibitions, in-person and virtual studio visits, and my website. My work has appeared in print and online publications, virtual exhibition tours as well as online talks and discussions. With https://www.instagram.com/ennetesse it is possible for me to reach an immediate audience as well as to communicate directly with viewers worldwide. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Enne. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? Enne Tesse: My future projects include my work “Capture” which I began in 2019 and plan to bring to completion. This work was inspired by Giambattista Basile’s 17th century fairy tale entitled Petrosinella, a predecessor of Rapunzel. In this large 12ft high by 11ft wide wall piece, cotton drop cloth straps are sewn together to form a towering gowned figure. The figure reaches down towards the viewer by way of polypropylene rope strands. In the belly, the figure carries a crocheted green wool yarn bag containing more polypropylene rope. Also, I plan to continue writing flash and micro fiction. My story “Becoming” was recently published online in Kaidankai and four micro stories will appear in an upcoming online publication. .

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Ildiko Sopronfalvi Since 2017, Ildiko Sopronfalvi, the photographer, has been engaged in professional fashion- and portrait photography. The Hungarian artist studied photo design in Germany, at the Akademie Deutsche Pop in Stuttgart and since then she has published numerous publications and photo series in American and European fashion magazines. According to her own admission, her fashion photos deal more with emotions and social significance, and the photographer also likes to play with colours, contrasts, textiles and forms. Her photo series "Plastic or fashion?" contrasts fashion with our surrounding. Our world is neglected, Mother Earth is overflooded with plastic, garbage, the treasures given by the earth are being lost by humanity, and she exploits everything you can. "Environmental awareness has been a concern for a long time, and I think it's important to pay attention to it. I want to open people's eyes if we pay a little attention, we shop more consciously, both in fashion and in other areas, we could possibly start with an opposite process of being able to prevent humanity from rushing to its demise," the artist said. The material for the exhibition was collected by the photographer for 2 years, and the theme occupies the artist again and again, several new works are currently being created. The emotional world of the images also makes the viewer think. The series has recently appeared in several American fashion magazines, in accordance with fashion rules, with the main elements of animal-patterned creations and plastics as opposed to industrial or forest environments. On the pictures you can see the creations of Alexandra Kalomista-Könczöl. With this, the designer of the futuristic fashion brand "Nagea" wants to pay attention to the importance of environmental protection. The models show a collection of clothes made of plastic bags, which were set with green plants on the contrary. With the creations of the fashion designer, he wants to send a message not only to buyers, but also to other designers: "Today, a fashion designer can not only be responsible for self-serving design and more profit orientation. We have to take responsibility, lead by example, look for innovation because there is overproduction in the clothing industry, and we produce too many garments." An interview by and

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Hello Ildiko and welcome to ARTiculAction: we would like to invite our readers to visit http://www.fotobyildiko.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic

production, and we would like to start this interview with a couple of questions regarding your background. You have a solid formal training: you studied Civil Engineering at the Technical University of Budapest, and you later you began to study Photography at the Academy Deutsche Pop in Stuttgart, Germany: how did those



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formative years influence your evolution as an artist? Moreover, how does the multifaceted nature of your cultural substratum due to your work in the fashion industry direct the trajectory of your current artistic research?

Ildiko Sopronfalvi: In 2016 I bought my first SLR camera, which had been a dream of mine for a long time. I wanted to learn everything I could about photography, I devoured all technical literature, I read all the magazines, and that was the point when I decided to start study in a photography school. They were fantastic and inspiring years. I got to be part of an environment where singers, stylists, makeup artists were learning and working together on collaborative projects. I began to organize photo shootings and to work with people in a team. First I did CD covers and image shoots for singers and bands, and after I met a stylist I got interested in fashion photography and that's how I got into this world. I started to think conceptually, planning my shoots in advance. My projects became more and more creative. From my main job like a projekt manager I have learned organizing and bringing the project together these experiences helped a lot. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected Plastic or fashion?, an extremely interesting project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article, and that has at once captured our attention for the way it unveils unstable, even the


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conflictual relationship between fashion and sustainability: when walking our readers through the genesis of Plastic or fashion?, would you tell us how did you develop the initial idea?

Ildiko Sopronfalvi: I have been concerned about the environment for a long time. I wanted to create something extravagant and special and otherside to put the environment against the fashion industry. I put together suffering models in animal skins with green backgrounds and plastic wraps. No one was doing fashion photography that was environmentally conscious at the time. I put together suffering models in animal skins with green backgrounds and plastic wrap. I wanted to show what mankind is doing to the environment, what the earth, nature and wildlife are suffering. I wanted to make people aware of the problem of pollution. As an artist, I feel a responsibility to show people problems that exist, if I have a tool in my hands, like a camera. The works from your Plastic or fashion? series seem to be laboriously structured to pursue such effective and at the same time thoughtful, evokative visual impact: what was your working schedule like? Did you carefully plan each shot?

Ildiko Sopronfalvi: Yes absolutely. I started with my first project at the beginning of 2019. I thought it would be only one photo shooting for a fashion magazine but from time to time I had more and more ideas, and I still had something to say, at the





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end I had more than 5 photo shootings regarding this topic. I had straight concept for each photo shooting. As I started with my project I had only fast fashion products. But I wanted to use sustainable fashion products for my photo material. So I approached Alexandra Könczöl, hungarian designer of the Nagea brand, with whom I designed the collection of nylon bags. We collected the nylon bags

for a year, which resulted in a complete collection. The last 3 photos were taken for this collection. I would have liked to take the final photo in the foreground, but it was winter with rainy and cold weather. So I came up with the idea to create a Mother Earth project. Suffering Mother Earth with shit trees and plastic, I wanted to use it to evoke the future. If mankind doesn't stop destroying the land, this is what we're going to get.


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It's important to mention that the material for the exhibition was collected by yourself for two years. New York City based sculptor and photographer Zoe Leonard remarked once that "the objects that we leave behind hold the marks and the sign of our use: like archeological findings, they reveal so much about us". We'd love to ask you about the qualities of the materials that you include — or that you plan to include — in your artworks: in particular, what does direct you to use found materials?

Ildiko Sopronfalvi: When I started to collect the material, I only had the vision in my head, I couldn't really find any fashion material for this topic. Fashion photographers didn't shoot similar subjects before. I was very impressed by the Canadian photographer Burtynsky, who photographed ruined natural landscapes in various subjects. As you have remarked in your artist's


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statement, your vision is making creative photos with emotions and sense for the world: through your works you created such unique visual vocabulary able to trigger the viewers' imagination, inviting them to

elaborate personal interpretations: how open would you like your works to be understood?

Ildiko Sopronfalvi: The aim of art is to make the viewer think about the picture when


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they look at it. Everyone looks at and understands the world through their own perspective. My goal is to move the viewer and generate

emotion through my photography. The rest is left to the viewer. Your artistic practice is deeply engaged with social commentary and the need to raise


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social awareness. Many contemporary artists, such as Thomas Hirschhorn and Michael Light, use to include socio-political criticism and sometimes even convey explicit messages in their artworks: do you think that artists can raise awareness to an evergrowing audience on topical issues — as environmental themes — that affect our globalised and unstable society? And how do you consider the role of artists in the contemporary age?

Ildiko Sopronfalvi: Absolutelly. As artists, we have a responsibility to make people aware of the problems and to create thought-provoking works. The more extreme and provocative projects an artist makes, the more they get noticed. The work of Thomas Hirschhorn or Michael Light is designed to move the minds of ordinary people, and that's the aim. Another interesting project of yours that has particularly impressed us and that 1 we would like to introduce to our readers is entitled Sur les traces de Klimt, and we have appreciated the way you captured the grammar of body language: how did you structured your shot schedule in order to achieve such brilliant results? In particular how important was for you to capture spontaneity?

Ildiko Sopronfalvi: The idea of the gold mosaic in Klimt style has been in my head for a long time, but I have never found any team for this shooting. One weekend I spontaneously asked my team if they would be up for a very cool Klimt photo shoot, of course they were. I had the concept in


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mind, I wanted a gold mosaic on the face, with mosaic jewels and gold teardrops. I involved a Hungarian jewelry designer called DeLine Jewelry in this project and we created with the makeup artist Kitti Kardos together this stunning makeup. I helped to glue the mosaics from the golden foil in the hair and body of the model. The only spontaneity I had was only the

studio light, I tried more lights due the shooting, Rembrandt light, beauty dish, etc. We have particularly appreciated the way you achieve such unique balance between the models and their surroundings, capturing such insightful resonance between the peculiar specifics of the background and epiphanic details, featuring such unconventional sense of


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beauty that challenges the logic of ordinary perception, unveiling the connection between beauty and imperfection: how do you consider the role of aesthetics playing within your artistic research?

aesthetic representation of a hand, a foot or a face. Obviously, it depends on the subject what emotions I want to express through the model, but the photo has to have some order.

Ildiko Sopronfalvi: Aesthetics play an important role in my photographs. I like order, coherence, lines, dynamics, the

You are an established photographer: you have been awarded in several occasions andover the years you have been featured in


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many publications and photo series in American and European fashion magazines: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? By the way, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to online platforms — as Instagram and Vimeo — increases, how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience?

Ildiko Sopronfalvi: I keep in touch with my audience mainly on facebook and instagram https://www.instagram.com/foto_by_ildiko. You can meet me in person at exhibitions. In November 2020, we organised a large-scale

exhibition of Plastic or fashion material with Nagea. We presented the collection created from nylon bags to the public in a fashion show in Budapest. And the jewellery and accessories were made from sustainable products, such as jewellery made from coffee capsules. TV also came out to film. We had a similar opening in January 2021, also in Budapest, where we presented a dance performance in a nylon dress at the opening. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Ildiko. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your


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future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Ildiko Sopronfalvi: I have lot of ideas in my head. First of all I would like to make a photo material about different cultures with unique style.

I won't tell you any more, in the near future I want to come out with a citizen-bashing piece where conventions are overturned. An interview by and

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Claudia Grünig Lives and works in Germany Photographs give the impression of representing reality. The medium of photography enables me to locate inner states in "reality". What interests me in my work is the paradox of "inventing photographs". I use the individual elements of reality as a new beginning in terms of content. In doing so I create an emotional memory image.

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Hello Claudia and welcome to ARTiculAction: we would like to invite our readers to visit https://claudia-gruenig.jimdofree.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production, and we would like to start this interview with a couple of questions regarding your background. You have a solid formal training: you studied Painting at the University of Applied Sciences for Art and Design of Cologne, and you graduated as a master class student with Prof. Dieter Kraemer. How did those formative years influence your evolution as an artist? Moreover, how does your cultural substratum due to your work at Trickfilmstudios Steinmetz und Cologne Cartoon direct the trajectory of your current artistic research? Claudia Grünig: I originally come from painting, which still has a strong influence on my work today. So there are many elements in my photographic works that show this origin. Just as I still realize it today in my

photographic works, in my painting various quite different, sometimes contradictory elements of reality combined with each other in a realistic painting style. In 2015, the idea of locating surreal events in a medium more committed to depiction led me from painting to photography. In painting, everything is possible. It is not committed to reality, but to perception. In it, wondrous, surreal representations are no surprise. Photographs, on the other hand, give the impression of depicting something. I use this notion in my photographic works to place the illusion in "reality". In doing so, I use the individual elements of reality as a new beginning for the content and composition of my digital staging. I have always worked in many "seemingly" very different artistic contexts. They include my work as a photographer and painter, my work in animated film and animation, and my work as a stage and costume designer. I consistently pursue the notion that all artistic manifestations of one and the same person are naturally interrelated. The forms of manifestation are different. However, the act of creation is always the same for me in



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each of these media. Research and perception, image making and the combination of the most diverse elements, transform into a visual language. Looking back, over the past 3 decades, the same themes keep cropping up in my work in all these areas. Through them, the different media connect. So there are themes and figures that can be found as a recurring motif already in my early works of painting. They appear in comic drawings, animations, paintings and in my photographic works. With this way of working I illuminate the respective topic with different means from different directions. Independent of the media, I thus effortlessly build a bridge between the formal incompatibilities. The focus of my artistic work today is photography. For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected Milchmädchen, an extremely interesting project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article, and that has at once captured our attention for the way it explores and subverts stereotypized visions of daily experience, inviting the viewers to question the contradictions of contemporary society: when walking our readers through the genesis of Milchmädchen, would you tell us how did you develop the initial idea? Claudia Grünig: In my work there are always new challenges. And so I ask myself whether I should & would like to accept them. For one of my last exhibition I have done this with pleasure. I realized the photo works of my cycle Milchmädchen (Milkmaids) for an exhibition with the theme milk and cow. For me it is unusual to work on themes that come from outside. I don't usually work to given themes. Pictures show themselves when they want to. They can arise when their time has come. I can't really influence this and so I find the pictures


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that want to show themselves. Other pictures do not emerge. So I waited quite a while to see what would show itself. In connection with milk, I first thought of the emergence of life - embodied in mother's milk and motherhood. The nourishing Mary (lat.: Maria lactans/ literally: the milk-giving Mary) is a frequently depicted motif in Christian iconography. In visions of Mary, the miracle of the feeding of the saint from the breast of the Madonna is described. Other lactatio- visions tell of the healing of diseases by Mary's milk. Lactatio visions have been reported by both women and men from about the age of 12 century. Before the invention of the telescope, the Milky Way was a common theme in mythology. From Greek mythology comes the most famous story, according to which the milk of the goddess Hera splashed in a high arc to the sky, where it became the Milky Way. Hindu myth led me to the ocean of milk as the origin of various life forms and goods. In this legend, by whisking the ocean of milk, the gods eventually gain the elixir of immortality. Since time immemorial, milk has also been attributed special significance in many other cultures. For me, the focus was soon on the lifegiving property of milk. That's how the idea of infusion came about. In contrast to this is the waste. An overabundance and surfeit in which the pouring out of milk results in a wasteful process. Originally, my cycle was called "Milchmädchen“ (Milkmaids) – from Monday to Friday." In its finished version, however, this cycle contains seven works. One for each day of the week. Without interruption here in a daily ritual of the recurring cycle of life becomes clear. The title Milkmaid recalls Vermeer's Maid with Milk Jug. I like to consider my work in a historical context to formulate contemporary, effective and current forms of implementation.



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The works from your Milchmädchen series seem to be laboriously structured to pursue such effective and at the same time thoughtful, evokative visual impact: what was your working schedule like? Did you carefully plan each shot? Claudia Grünig: I think a "finished picture" shouldn't speak of the efforts and the many discarded attempts that have preceded it. It's great when it seems natural and logical - just as it is. However, until then it goes through many invisible processes. Many of my pictures let me go through a considerable time until they are created. In the process, they let me go through many attempts until they feel like showing themselves. When, how and under which aspects am I committed to "reality"? YES - NO - MAYBE is for me the flowing, sometimes challenging, but always inspiring process that allows images to emerge. Very often, my photographic works are composed of individual photos lying on top of each other. They consist of many individual layers. Among them there are semi-transparent and those from which parts have been cut out. Most of my works are - in the truest sense of the word - multi-layered in their creation. In this working process I invent the actual photo on the basis of the original motifs. This was not the case in my Milchmädchen/ Milkmaid cycle. These photographic works do not contain multiple layers and - apart from a few small interventions - no image processing. They were taken in my kitchen, which is not a staged space. I still find it every morning as it is. We have appreciated the way you captured the grammar of body language: how did you structured your shot schedule in order to


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achieve such brilliant results? In particular how important was for you to capture spontaneity? Claudia Grünig: One aspect of these photographs was to explore physicality. Thus the color of the clothing, which in some images resembles the color of the skin, is related to the life-giving quality of the infusion. Body, clothing and infusion combine in these works. In the images of waste and abundance, this similarity is suspended. However, image finding is always a process for me. In the "original shots" new "realities" are found in the course of my observation and processing. I have a clear idea witch photos I want to take for this and what material I can work with. That requires a little planning. On this basis, everything else develops spontaneously. Experiment, trial and error are included. The personality of my models plays an equally important role. The effect of a picture is always carried by their presence and their individual characteristics. Personality thus becomes an integral part of the composition. Through them I achieve a great authenticity. Thus, my "finished pictures" unexpectedly lead me to results that I do not know how to describe beforehand and did not expect. This was also the case in this work. Some of what I wanted to realize did not realize. Others were found. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, your pictures show inner psychological states-forms of being and experiencing. They transform multi-layered states into multi-layered images and make them tangible: through your works you created such unique visual vocabulary able to trigger the viewers' imagination, inviting them to explore and cross the flowing boundaries between reality and perception, urging the to elaborate personal interpretations: how open would you


Milkmaid/ Milchmädchen



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like your works to be understood? Moreover, are you particularly interested in arousing emotions that goes beyond the realm of visual perception? Claudia Grünig: My pictures are departure and at the same time retreat into my own world. By going beyond visual perception, I come close to the truth. It corresponds to my form of being and experiencing. What the viewer can - and wants to - find in my pictures and whether I arouse emotions in him, lies solely in himself. The possible comprehensibility of my visualization presupposes a look at oneself. I invite the viewer to follow me. I have always been interested in ambivalence in the image - the rupture that lies in the simultaneity of the illusion of a vague promise and its dissolution when the gaze leaves the surface. In my photographic works, the action is at times reminiscent of whimsical skip tracing. The great significance of the action, and its importance, is asserted solely by the people depicted. In contrast to this, there is no possibility of interpretation. I like to remove the burden of meaningful action from my characters. Possibly straw is spun into gold here. There are no reliable clues to the meaning of what is happening. Since the beginning of my artistic activity, I have been preoccupied with themes of identity and authenticity. I often question the relationship between illusion and reality. Thus arose again and again, from very different points of view, works and cycles under the theme - reality and its double, reality and imitation, reality and forgery as well as illusion and reality. By consistently breaking through the reality of the medium of photography and a well thought-out pictorial composition of reality based on it, I lead the viewer into a


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world in which the laws we are familiar with are suspended. Another interesting project of yours that has particularly impressed us and that we would like to introduce to our readers is entitled Aliee, and we really appreciate the way explores the themes of identity, stability and fragility, to shed light our own understanding in the context of gender identity and self-identification. We dare say that your artistic research draws from direct experience to distill its epiphanic aspects: how important is for you to create artworks rich of allegorical qualities? Claudia Grünig: First and foremost, I like the kind of pictorial language that is expressed in allegories. Even more than their reference to a specific meaning, I appreciate the playful aspects in the use of allegorical elements. Allegories have a long tradition in art history. In painting, artists have always used them to clarify complex content through pictorial symbols and metaphors. The representation of allegories offers a means to paraphrase abstract concepts and make them understandable. In this way it creates an image that can be experienced. However, the creation of my works is never based on rational considerations. I follow my intuition. It is by no means necessary that I understand in detail what is going on in my pictures. They provide information on an emotional level. And so I do not think about the meanings of symbols before I create pictures. They find their way into my pictures on the basis of their optical and imaginative qualities, which enable me to create a pictorial language that corresponds and is close to me. Later, the symbolism certainly



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provides information. However, I do not plan any statements.

role of symbols playing within your artistic practice?

Where my figures break open the context, the space opens up for one's own perception and a subjective interpretation.

Claudia Grünig: Like food and water, the desire for aesthetics is a basic human need. So aesthetics also has what it takes to seduce. One runs the risk of being deceived. The beautiful appearance sometimes turns out to be deceptive. Shelters and habitats are transient, structures, bonds and people fragile. My gaze is directed at constelations that can break. In the ambivalence between aesthetics and its fragility I achieve the greatest possible contrast of both positions in my photographic works. In it lies for me, the oscillating tension.

Both in Milchmädchen and in Aliee you achieved such unique balance between the models and their surroundings, capturing such insightful resonance between the peculiar specifics of the background and epiphanic details, featuring such unconventional sense of beauty that challenges the logic of ordinary perception, unveiling the connection between beauty and our inner landscape: how do you consider the role of aesthetics playing within your artistic research? In particular, how do you consider the

One of my works whose multifaceted symbolism surprised me myself is a photographic work


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from my cycle "Stiller Gast“/ (Silent Guest). In the first pictures of this series, the theme of isolation was in the foreground. In the continuation of the cycle a new theme asserted itself. I had planned shots with tableware and others with fruits and vegetables. I had bought all the ingredients for them in the morning at the weekly market. In the realization, my shots soon turned into a kitchen piece, in which the depiction of the kitchen room with dishes and food arranged in a still-life-like manner emerged as a motif, as we find it in Dutch painting of the 16th and 17th centuries.

new production methods emerged, led to an expansion of agricultural goods in the mid-16th century. This new wealth demanded representations that represent and be able to celebrate it. In its mythological exaltation, the presence of the trivial in the staging of commodity aesthetics, thus conquered a new place in painterly representation.

My photographic work refers to a subject that emerged in an era marked by economic upheaval. Economic and social changes, in which

Kitchen pieces became the occasion for a pictorial reflection on consumer habits and attitudes to the new wealth as early as the 16th and early 17th centuries. Today in industrialized countries, everyday goods and food seem available for all of us to every times. In the oversupply of what is available, my model "disappears" in of my photographic work almost under this opulence.


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My photographic work thus also addresses the ambivalent aspects of our daily dealings with food. This "silent guest" - is rich in symbols and allegories. The interpretation of my work, however, also eludes a binding possibility of interpretation here. Oscillating between consumer criticism, the joy and celebration of agricultural yields or an allegory of the fertility, the interpretation lies so solely in the eye of the beholder. Your first works from your Silent guest series were made in connection with the corona pandemic. Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco once stated, "artists's role differs depending on which part of the world they’re in": do you think that your artistic research respond to a particular historical moment? And how do you consider the role of artists in the contemporary age? Claudia Grünig: Your statement, "The role of the artist depends on what part of the world he is in" is absolutely true for me. From my point of view, his role, his task and the reaction to it are always defined by context, imprinting, patterns and values. Cultural background, family environment, as well as the social background play a decisive role. Likewise, territorial and social issues are a contemporary challenge. Climatic changes, social upheavals and the Corona pandemic are real, tangible threats that affect us. I think that in my first pictures of the cycle "Silent Guest" I have reacted to a historical moment. But much more than this fact, this historical moment has an immediate effect on me. Thus, my works are for me only indirectly a statement on world events. Rather, they correspond to my own perception and feeling. Sometimes, however, overlaps succeed, in which the space from the personal to the public opens up, in that the

general is depicted in the particular - or in the individual. Thus, a work can be factual and at the same time deeply personal to tap into realms of feeling. You are an established photographer and over the years your works have been exhibited in several occasions: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? By the way, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to online platforms — as Instagram and Vimeo — increases, how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience? Claudia Grünig: As I said in the beginning, I like to invite my audience to follow me into my world of images. Today's ability to connect with a global audience creates great visibility for artists. Without this digital dissemination possibilities, this would not be possible in this way. However, I appreciate the real exchange. And so I wish for "real" exhibitions & real encounters with real people in physical spaces. I wish for real visibility, participation, experience ability and emotion. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Claudia. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? Claudia Grünig: Where my work may lead me in the future, I cannot answer. As I always do, I follow my intuition. New influences and events will play a role. And wherever they will lead me I am sure that pictures will emerge that will surprise me. An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Barbara Scott, curator biennial.articulaction@post.com


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Gregory A McCullough If one views Art and Technology as structural components in a social “Generative Adversarial Network” than artistic endeavours offer a positive evolutionary progress to society. Technology is the McLuhanesque medium that ultimately modifies its users. “Every way of being, becomes a way of knowing.” We become slaved to how the technology is used day to day, and our view of the world is reshaped to this new mold. This shifts our society without preplanning- we adapt to our new environment. We unknowingly are changed. I see Art as the counter-leverage to this technological social shift. It embodies an “Every way of knowing becomes a way of being”. It allows us to test run other paradigms of being, encouraging us to see the world anew; and so, to in turn change ourselves via the enlightenment of seeing what we have or shall become. We can see outside of ourselves within a cultural mirror, and accept or reject what we have inadvertently become. Hence we can choose what we are to be. These two adversarial shifts – accommodation to technology and a cultural conscious revealing agency; move civilization forward. Like skating, both contribute and counterbalance each others tendency's as we come into being. Arts ‘purpose’ fulfills this social function through its’ holding a mirror up to culture’s aspects. I see arts role as elucidating and illuminating our current paradigms of being, so to open them up to a self critique. Hence the “content” of art is boundless. Yet obviously an artist must have a focus. Mine seems to reside in the translation of seeing from one medium to another. Instead of grasping at what is ‘lost in translation’, my art explores and celebrates the ‘Found in translation’. For though technology may have convinced us humanity is a ‘tool maker’ , I firmly hold that we are exceptional ‘paradigm jumpers’. That what makes us most unique, what underlies our comedy; sports; literature; music; play; cinema; games; academia; scientific breakthroughs; et al; is our innate ability to temporarily construe other paradigms of being, and then bring their lessons back to this common reality. So it’s this found in translation that my art works seeks to embody, regardless of their subject matter, -their disparate paradigm of being. An interview by and

, curator , curator

Hello Greg and welcome to ARTiculAction. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production and we would like to

invite our readers to visit https://www.offmyeasel.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production, and we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. Are there any experiences that did particluarly influence



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your evolution as an artist? Moreover, how does your cultural substratum direct the trajectory of your current artistic research?

Gregory A McCullough: Hi all, and thanks for the invite. My background has definitely given orientation to my artistic explorations. I've studied Industrial Design, Studio Fine Arts and Computer Animation so the foundations of aesthetics and composition does filter how I see things. Having worked for many years creating the Digital 3D synthetic environments for training Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers, I’ve on a daily basis used visual tools where it is the norm to see things in a multitude of manner: initially as wire frame; then textured; maybe zoomed in; via procedural algorithms; statistical loads ... – To wit, to see and analyze something I’ve had to daily visualize it differently across multiple representations, mediums and platforms. So it’s normal for me to want to explore things through many different perspectives and forms. Even so, it is in the day to day moments that my wonder first gets hooked on. I find that as artists, it’s this, -how we approach the world, our ways of seeing and knowing - that we express ourselves through. We all might represent what ever those insights and moments of awe are, but our art is rooted in our daily experiences and the meanings we gleam of/from them.

The bout 1.08; 2021; 76cm x 48cm, Spittling, Oil on ca

Our Cultural Substratum changes as we strengthen our roots deeper into what is of value and interest for us. The sculptor Bill Reid teaches us the richness that can come from that. I think what I try to creatively tap into initially, is the wonder that surrounds us in the

world. There is a lot of mundane out there, and to revel in the moments of wonder, the astonishment from something unexpected or enduring, feeds the desire to cherish and ‘soutien’ what I see. Keeping this open


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horizon takes practice, but it’s the start of the trajectories for many of my artworks. The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ARTiculAction —and that

our readers have already had the chance to get to know in the introductory pages of this article — has at once captured our attention for the way they invite the viewers to explore the tension between


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The bout 8.1; 2021; 76cm x 48cm, Spittling, Oil on canvas,

Art and Technology in our unstable cultural scenario, highlighting the essential and indespensabile role of Art as counterbalance the thrusts that comes from the evergrowing technosphere: when walking our readers

through your usual setup and process, would you tell us how do you develop your ideas? In

particular, do you create your works intuitivelly, instinctively? How important are


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depending upon the medium the process will diverge somewhat. But most of my works start with seeing something that grabs me. (even if that is a former art work) From that intrigue comes some kind of a study, whether a photo-study or a digital-study or a charcoal study. Once I have a firmer idea of what really interests me in the concept, I will scale that up onto canvas (usually in charcoal) if going to a painting or I work it through digitally if another medium beckons. So the work shifts along the way, evolving. Yet somewhere in the crafting imposed by the medium, this initial study direction loses its primacy. It must. Creating art for me is an act of discovery. The painting takes on a life of its own. If it diverges from the original study I try to follow it willingly.

improvisation and spontaneity in your practice?

Gregory A McCullough: Obviously

So in the studies I am trying to be specific, I have a certain destination in mind. Yet once into the chosen medium I do seek out randomness and intuition. I liken it to Raku glazing, where I will seek out techniques and materials that I do not have complete control over (controlled chaos?). The final plan is an unplanned journey of sorts. Similar to a jaunt across stepping stones, the path isn’t laid out in detail, you just head over there. Still this is all bounded by the original study direction, but I do try to release control to the unexpected and spontaneity. That is


The bout 3.0 2021, 76cm x 48cm, Spittling, Oil on canvas,



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part of discovery, regardless of the anticipation. Marked out with careful choice of tones — variable in such wide range that encompasses thoughtful nuances of your portraits and of Hillside In Sunlight as well as vivaciuos, almost bold tones in the Bout — your artworks are marked out with rigorous geometry that — as in the stimulating Swimming Lesson — provide your works with visual fluidity and sense of movement: how do you structure your process in order to achieve such brilliant results? In particular, how does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include in your artworks?

Gregory A McCullough: I am of the school of thought that the viewer has to complete the artwork. It’s like a comedian can never explain the joke, the audience either puts it together or it flops. So allowing the viewer the space to determine where the edges lie; where the form begins or the background dissolves, I think is crucial to support the engagement of the viewer. Seeing art is a discovery for them too. I find the rigorous geometry of the backgrounds juxtapose with the agency of the participants. That the backgrounds tend to be as geometrical as they are, is likely from my work in flight simulator visuals. The realistic textures used there need to be aligned, tiled and are often quite rigid for architectural needs. Things get simplified and distilled in a sense. The forced balance of the ‘backgrounds’ in my art, is likely a visual legacy from that experience. Nuancing is part of this engaging the viewer and

Swimming Lesson 4.4A, 2021, 152.5cm x 91.5cm, Spittlin

myself. There is a lot to be said for clarity and boldness, but nuances of tones and meaning are aspects of discovery like an inside joke. You aren’t alone to realize


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G, Oil on canvas

something, the artist has left something there for those willing to look. Another human had come this way... A central aspect of your artistic research

resides in the translation of seeing from one medium to another. Do you think that the act of translating itself may correspond to the creation of new meanings? In this sense, we


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Swimming Lesson 8.2, 2021, 152.5cm x 91.5cm, Spittling, Oil on canvas

dare say that your artistic research sheds light the McLuhanian bond, elusive still ubiquitous, between medium and message: do you agree with this interpretation?

Gregory A McCullough: I do agree that many gems are found in these acts of translation. I have a grouping of works that have coalesced over time that illustrate your


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slide film (-meant to be viewed with a loup). That original work was also the source for an oil painting on multiple surfaces, which later was the source for divergent digital works. (IE: Portrait in Blue) Each media re-framed the portrait and our perspective on the subject. So yes, certainly this translation between media speaks of new ways of knowing.

We really appreciate the effective socio political criticism that elegantly pervades your artistic production, able to raise awareness to an evergrowing audience on the unbalanced incursion of Technology that affect our media driven society. Many contemporary artists, such as Thomas Hirschhorn and Michael Light, use to include sociopolitical criticism and sometimes even convey explicit messages in their artworks: how do you consider the role of artists in our unstable society?

Gregory A McCullough: I think the

point. They started with some chalk studies of my reflection in a granite bench. Later that paper work was the source for another portrait done in scraffiti on an exposed 35mm

artists role remains one of revealing how they/we know of the world. (Every way of knowing becoming a way of being) There were times when that role was to reveal a patrons view of the world. I feel today, that for us, it’s now more to elucidate how individual members of society see the world. As technology becomes every more pervasive, we need to make conscious how the usage of its tools have silently changed how we interact with the world. (Every way of being, becoming a way of knowing.) Artists by speaking to what is dear to themselves, allows the audience to see other ways of knowing.



The Goalie 5.0 , 2021, 76cm x 51cm, Digital work, Acrylic print


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They get to juxtapose that with their own ways of knowing. Artistic culture then can act as a General Adversarial Network to Technologies influence on our ways of being. It can counter balance this unconscious influence on society’s future. Need this be explicitly a social political criticism? I’m not sure. I can see both critical and subversive means of addressing and engaging an audience. I think which is the better methodology is best determined by the artist themselves. I prefer engagement to making a point. Maybe my works are too obscure or timid, but I think that subtle murmurs are more persuasive to whom I think my audience might be. Your artworks reflects such unique convergence between real world and the realm of perception, and at the same time they are sapiently imbued with powerful narrative drive: how does your memories and your everyday life's experience fuel your creative process?

Gregory A McCullough: I think all creativity is personal. It might be confluential with another, but it’s rooted in ourselves, in our being. Our being, hence our agency is formed in how we engage with life. To wit, your ‘everyday life’s experience’. So there is an elemental feedback loop in living and being creative. I often wonder if my desire to continually seek new understandings is founded in my childhood experience of riding in my parents car, watching the world slide by and hearing my Dads’ saying– did you see that? He wanted to share his amazement. Then every year, on hearing the singing of the Christmas carols .. “do you see what I see?” …it makes me wonder? Is that all


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UV mapping 0, 2010, 76cm x 51cm, Digital work, Acrylic print


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Red Laser Light Drawing 4.3, 2010, 76cm x 51cm, Laser light drawing, Acrylic print


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my art is really about? Is it just an asking of: hey isn’t that cool? For ultimately, even if art is fundamentally simply about our ways of knowing the world, isn’t that knowing only of value if shared with others? You are a versatile artist and your artistic production challenges the logic of ordinary perception, urging the viewers to a participative effort, and especially to question the nature of the act of looking itself: Scottish artist Peter Doig once remarked that even the most realistic work of arts are derived more from within the head than from what's out there in front of us, how do you consider the relationship between reality and imagination, playing within your artistic production?

Gregory A McCullough: You make me recall a grouping of works of mine that directly challenged our urban paradigm of seeing. The paintings hinged upon our night sight, using our retina’s rods- low light sensitive and hyper motion selective. The paintings were to be seen under normal lighting and then in darkness. As the lights went down certain pigments were UV retentive so started to self-illuminate in the dark as others were obscured and disappeared. The paintings’ hierarchy of structure was thus shifted as specific areas of the paintings came to the fore and others receded dependent on the lighting condition. It was exploring how we actually see, questioning why does art history rest only upon our conal vision and why is the structural hierarchy in a painting static? I’d say it was a juxtaposition of reality with our paradigms of what we consider normal. Why do we assume that this is how it should be?


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It’s this current paradigm of reality versus other paradigms of knowing the world that I want to juxtapose and bring into our conscious. How we actually engage with reality shapes our paradigms of knowing, by contrasting those with other ways of knowing, I hope we can re-engage consciously with reality. Jumping between these other paradigms of knowing and our reality – as we do with humour and play – is essential to our humanity (possibly exclusive in our expressions of it). Imagination is a vehicle to access some of these other paradigms for potential being. As I find art as a kind of story telling for me, having the imagination to step outside of the box, is key to understanding the box. Some of your works feature characters engaged in strenuos activities, as boxing and skating: other works seem to suggest hesitation, and even fear. In each of them, there's a human figure that appear to struggle, that engages the viewers on the emotional aspect: do you aim to create allegorical images able to trigger the viewers' imagination, inviting them to elaborate personal interpretations? And how open would you like your works to be understood?

Gregory A McCullough: I think all art is personal, even when viewed in mass public venues. Audience engagement via corporal muscle memory and identification is a direct root to empathy. We all strive to overcome something, so

Hillside in Sunlight, 2019, 40.5cm x 30.5cm, Digital work,

the basis for an appreciation of the other layers of meaning is laid down. Hopefully the audience will stick around to find them. That the art audience brings as much to the


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Hand transfer on Aluminum

art work as the artist, is the root of sharing understanding. Although my intent may be obscure, that would be a reflection on me the artist, rather then the audience’s

inability to see. So yes, I hope the works are in many ways open ended. Direct relationship with the viewers in a


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The Decision

physical context is definetely the most important one, in order to snatch the spirit of a work of Art. However, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to the online realm — as Instagram — increases: how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience? And how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience?

Gregory A McCullough: The online audience clearly will change the kinds of

stories that art may convey. If you read far enough into McLuhan, he expresses the notion that to understand what the affect of any media will be, you simply study how the media is used. So if you are swiping left and scrolling through your mobile to see art, then art is being mediated by the pixel and the social sharing, we pass it along- which might be more important then seeing it. Whereas in the art gallery, though often felt as cold and sterile, what happens when the artwork is hung on the wall or stuck on a pedestal, is


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Signal Noise 4.9, 2017, 71cm x 89cm, Industrial Scuffing, Oil on canvas


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Portrait in blue, 2021, 48cm x 53cm, Digital work, Acrylic print


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the object loses its functionality. It’s no longer “what does this do”, “what is it good for”- you instead are forced to engage with the artwork on an intimate personal level, as you do with a person. Whom is this? How do I relate to it? You are more open to conversation and exchange with the artwork in the gallery setting. Two different technologies and media, two different ways of interacting with art ... So is the audience changing – from one that promotes an intimate engagement with art to one that encourages a mobile passing over to other viewers? Creating an Artwork whose purpose is to grabs eyeballs? Maybe these aren’t two distinct audiences? Do we distinguish between the gallery goer and the art book collector?. But definitely the art will diverge depending on the venue. (the medium as the message) There is a lot to say for both audience venues, I tend to still work in a manner that gives preference to the in person medium. Maybe I have a legacy tendency to view the digital realm as more of a RSVP/ introduction to the audience, even when I do realize there is much more there in terms of communal reactions that can be shared across time within the digital realms. I just prefer that one can physically approach my work and discover details. Zooming in with a pinch of the fingers isn’t comparable. Currently I hesitate to use Instagram for copyright reasons, not so much audience concerns. So in terms of my relationship with the audience, it remains with the artwork acting as the intermediary. I privilege that interaction of artwork/audience rather then the digital artist/audience. But I

do appreciate and see the significance of what Articulaction does via the digital realms! We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Greg. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

Gregory A McCullough: Thanks, it has been fun. I hope I haven’t diverged too much from your questions. I tend to circle around things quite a lot, becoming obscure in my telling. My studio has recently moved and one of my current projects is a series based loosely on thoroughbred racing. It is a new sport to me found in the area, and I like the quandary of it: is it a jockey-horse collaboration or are they just along for the ride?… yes, more athletes I suppose, more striving and overcoming, more passion and story-lines. And the tones of burnt sienna on some of the horses- a visual joy to behold. It’s rarely one thing that grabs my interest in a series and this one has several hooks already for me. Also I’ve been procrastinating on building a Forsythe press, and I hope to complete that by summer time. So I am likely to begin to then re-explore the medium of hand pulled prints some what in the near future.

An interview by and

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Maryam Dehbozorgi Lives and works in Shiraz, Iran Maryam Dehbozorgi (Born 20 April 1986, Shiraz, Iran ) is an interdisciplinary visual artist. In 2011 She received her bachelor degree in Graphic Design from Soore university in Tehran. She is currently working on her dissertation for a master`s degree in painting from Soore university in Tehran. She started her professional career in the field of art in 2014. She is really into photos and films so that is really influenced by them in her art. This interest originated in her childhood as she was enthusiast in flipping through albums and watching home movies, first as a means of entertainment and then as a tool for curiosity about her identity. Her earlier works were collages of family members and sometimes internet and magazine photographs that initially dealt with scattered topics such as immigration, technology growth and identity and then with the focusing on “ self “ subject, shifted into the challenges she faced in everyday life. With the help of photos as reliable documents, she could connect with her past and move through lost time. photographs were torn, burn and mixed with all kinds of materials and sometimes they were photographed and used in video art or painted. Most of her subjects had been images of herself and the city where she inhabited. Today She makes her works with the inspiration from her life and the concept of “ self “ and her challenges to express them more broadly and in relation to society. To achieve this goal she uses the familiar objects in everyday life in combination with photos and employ them to create her art. Her works are shown in various group exhibitions in the field of graphic design and visual art in Iran and abroad and also she held her first solo exhibition in 2020 in Hamras Gallery in Tehran with the collection of photographed collages entitled “ fly between walls “ .

An interview by and

, curator , curator

Hello Maryam and welcome to ARTiculAction: we would like to invite our readers to visit http://maryamdehbozorgi.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production, and we would like to start this interview with a couple of questions

regarding your background. You have a solid formal training: after having earned a B.A of Visual Communication, you nurtured your education with an M.A. of Painting, that you received from Soore University, in Tehran: how did this experience address your evolution as an artist? Maryam Dehbozorgi: I would say attending art school only gave me the opportunity to grow my knowledge and awareness in my professional path, but I can`t say that has



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been the only motivation in my journey. I started my career studying graphic design in which the process of visual communication took place through image, space, color and typing; A visual language that aims to connect with a specific audience, but it has never been enough for me to create advertisements and make dialogue with only a specific group of people. I wanted to share my inner concerns with a wider group of people, free from any imposition of taste and limited to a conventional technique, and to establish a new connection and action between the "I" and the "other". For this reason, after graduating from graphic design, it took me quite a few years to find my place as an artist in the art world. Eventually attending an art class gave me the opportunity to find my artistic path by letting go of my thoughts on paper and making various collages. Since I use a variety of media to produce my works, I decided to continue my studies in painting; It is a vast world of techniques, colors and experiences that I was able to learn during my M.A.

perpetual, tangible and familiar objects in my life. The photos were reliable documents and narrators that I wanted to distort them so that I could break down their frameworks and coherence; In fact, I wanted to portray my new reality by distorting and manipulating the photos that were the result of recorded reality in a moment of time in order to create a dialogue between me, my thoughts and feelings with the audience. Thus, with the desire to change the photos, I combined them with other objects such as yarn, plastic,... and even color, and it was this research process in the use of various everyday objects which is accompanied by images, that change my path to experience and the use of Various artistic styles. So finally it can be said that in my work, this search and surfing between different media has started with the same enthusiasm for exploring and experimenting with photos..

You are a versatile artist and your practice encompasses Photography, Video, Collage and Graphic Design: what does direct you to such cross disciplinary approach? In particular, are there any experiences that did particularly help you to develop your attitude to experiment?

The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ARTiculAction — and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article — has at once captured our attention for the way you invite the viewers to explore the concept of the Self, engaging the viewers into deep emotional engagement: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, would you tell us how do you develop your ideas?

Maryam Dehbozorgi: Photos and images are an important part of my works. I have been interested in photos since I was a child, flipping through family photo albums and watching old movies has always fascinated me, sometimes I passed my free time and loneliness looking at photos over and over again. That is the reason the initial works I made were with the help of photos; those

Maryam Dehbozorgi: For me, exploring photographs was a way to find the meaning of identity and self. In my early works (collages and videos) and in my collection “personal photos” (4 * 3), I used my own photos as part of the composition of the works; For me, it was a kind of exploration of the meaning of "self" and a kind of return to the inner world to discover how to express my inner desires,


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Fly Between Walls

Fly Between Walls

39* 26.3 / yellow lingerie, pin, shadow / photography

25 * 17.5 / plastic bag, water, fabric, shadow / photography

demands and concerns also I seek to create duals in my works; Contrasting duals such as self / other, familiar / unfamiliar, inside / outside, fantasy / reality, etc.

The series of “fly between the walls” is the result of my experience of the most inward and common human feeling "fear". This collection is in the context of my encounter with an unfamiliar space and situation; What resulted was a fear created out of ignorance. The body`s shadow with a black and flat surface is a symbol of fear; Black shadows, separate from the body and without identity,

For example, in the "Flying Between the Walls" series, the familiar / unfamiliar duo, and in the "Being That" series, me / someone else's duo came together.


Fly Between Walls 25 * 17.5 / floral fabric, shadow / photography


Fly Between Walls 40 * 26 / green socks, pin, shadow / photography


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are always terrifying. I wanted to combine shadows with familiar everyday objects to face my fears and become familiar with them. So they combined with wigs, fabrics, socks, newspapers, etc and created a new and fresh image that was more understandable and lovable. Your artistic research had at once been focussed on the connection with your past and move through lost time, while today you draw inspiration from your life and the concept of “ self “ in relation to society: how do your memories and your direct, everyday life's experience fuel your artistic research? Maryam Dehbozorgi: Each person's past in the form of memories contains important information about him/her, so retrieving this information can be effective in knowing yourself and the world around you. I take inspiration from my personal issues and background to express larger and more general issues, as it is said that history is the beacon of the future, my history and past can also inspire me to move forward in the future. Here my visual elements are old photos. In my opinion, the challenges I face during my life can be common with the issues and concerns of the society where I live. So I start with myself and by probing my own past, I raise common issues with today's society through my work. In many of the collage works, I include pieces of images of my city and a photo of my face and strive to leave a trace of the space, place and time that belongs to me. . In general, I must say that I like to portray this duality of the past and the present. With its unconventional as well as powerful

storytelling, Personal Photo challenges the logic of ordinary perception, urging the viewers to a participative effort, and especially to question the nature of the act of looking itself: Scottish artist Peter Doig once remarked that even the most realistic work of arts are derived more from within the head than from what's out there in front of us, how do you consider the relationship between reality and imagination, playing within your artistic production? Maryam Dehbozorgi: The essence of art is inconceivable without the element of imagination, because both the artist in the process of creating the work of art and the audience in front of the work, depend on it. Imagination can break the boundaries of reality and create a connection between the artist and the real world outside his mind. The concept of reality about personal photos is something that is generally accepted; these photos show the individual identity on the identity card, national card, passport, etc. by specifying the framing and having the specified features in size, color, etc. The knowledge that each person has about the general form and structure of such photos with limited and conventional framing is challenged in my series, personal photos; In these works, my imagination moves beyond the dry and formal boundaries of these photos and breaks their hard space. As the Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico puts it: A work of art must be able to express what lies behind it, and I apply dream and imagination beyond the usual principles and logic. In fact, daydreaming helps me discover the hidden potential of the reality of these photos. In the face of these images, the audience disconnects from


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their usual perception of the real world and turns to fantasy. Therefore, in my works, fantasy is placed next to reality in such a way that a complete work is made. I use reality to create a work that stimulates the imagination. We really appreciate your sapient use of images that reminds to familiarity, that are able to create poetic metaphors through sapiently selected means: how do you consider the role of symbols and evokative elements playing within your artistic process? And how important is for you to create artworks rich of allegorical qualities? Maryam Dehbozorgi: By encoding my thoughts in the form of iconic symbols, I create a way to make concepts more understandable to the audience. I convey another concept and message through everyday and familiar objects that have the same meaning between people and the public; in fact, symbols help me convey my thoughts; They express truths that require interpretation and thought in order to be understood. I like to challenge the audience in my works, that's why I put my mental truths and thoughts in front of their eyes in the form of camouflage in symbols. In my work, objects that are tangible and familiar in appearance are de-familiarized in meaning so that more time is spent exploring them by making the forms difficult. In fact, here another duality is created in understanding the meaning and making the work. I prefer to create a sense of curiosity and research in the audience. Here the audience is free to think, search and even fantasize. This acquaintance of the audience with some visual elements and having a background knowledge of it that has been used in a new


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Being That 50*33.8 / net, wig, mirror, artificial flower / photography


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Being That 50* 33.8 / floral fabric, mirror, wig / photography


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whole and composition, gives him clues to create a better relationship with the work, and makes him curious about his surroundings so that The other things he deals with every day take on new meanings for him.. 730 days is a stimulating series that reflects true stories that took place in a cafe and that you captured from its kitchen. Moreover, other works, as the interesting Unknown Dots are marked out with enigmatic ambienc able to trigger the viewers' imagination: how important is for you to invite the viewers to elaborate personal interpretations? And how open would you like your works to be understood? Maryam Dehbozorgi: As I said, I prefer the audience to freely analyze the work and make their own personal impression of it. The "730 Days" series, which depicts the days of my work in a café space,includes depicted stories that combine reality (the space photographed from the café) and imagination (my mental realities by adding pictures painted on photos). In the face of these images, the viewer can both guess the story that took place behind each image and is free to construct the story formed in their mind. The "Unknown Dots" series was also created after the death of my 14-year-old cousin from cancer. Scattered and irregular dots on the surface of the punch card that contain digital information are combined with regular, distinct dots that serve as the main information trying to create a structure and shape. Order and disorder are shown side by side. The multiplicity of these colored dots and their unbridled reproduction, puts the viewer in a challenging and illusory atmosphere and his imagination activates in the face of this entanglement and struggle between these points.



Being That 33.8 * 50 / wig, mirror / photography


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Unknown Dots 34* 26 / laser cut on punch card and digital drawing It's important to mention that most of the subjects from your previous artistic production had been images of herself and the city where you inhabited. New York City based sculptor and photographer Zoe Leonard remarked once that "the objects that we leave behind hold the marks and the sign of our use: like archeological

findings, they reveal so much about us". We'd love to ask you about the qualities of the materials that you include — or that you plan to include — in your artworks? Maryam Dehbozorgi: Photographs and images form the basis of most of my works, and since it


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Unknown Dots 32.3* 30 / laser cut on punch card and digital drawing has always been important to me to look back, most of these images have included family photographs, images of myself and the city in which I live. In addition to these pictures, I also use online photos and pictures from magazines to make collage works, and the use of everyday and familiar objects is also an important part of

my work, which is sometimes used in combination with photos. I must say that in the path of art and the creation of new works, I intend not to limit the reference to the past to my personal space and I want to expand my artistic view in a wider



Unknown Dots 29* 26 / laser cut on punch card and digital drawing


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space and by inspiring the history and culture of the country where I have lived and grown up. You are an established artist, and over the years your works have been exhibited in many occasions, including your recent solo Fly Between Walls, at Hamras Gallery, in Tehran: how do you consider the nature of your relationship — especially in public spaces — with your audience? By the way, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to online platforms — as Instagram and Vimeo — increases, how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience? Maryam Dehbozorgi: The experience of my first solo exhibition from the "Flying Between the Walls" collection at Hammers Gallery was very enjoyable. Although I had participated in several group exhibitions before, it was a very different experience for me to face the audience directly. One of the important principles and foundations of art is to communicate with the audience. Showing in public spaces such as galleries, gives the audience the opportunity of physical and tangible communication, and see the audience's reaction to the work at the same time can be very important to understand the effectiveness of the work. as sometimes the presence of the audience becomes necessary to complete the work; In the "Flying Between the Walls" exhibition, a yellow dress, which was one of the objects used in the works, was installed on a part of the gallery wall and The shadow of the audience was falling on the dress as soon as they were in front of the dress by adjusting the light and it created a kind of wonder against the shadow for the audience and made the


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feeling of fear more tangible for them. Performing this work was possible only in the public space of the gallery. Of course, given the importance of the gallery, I can`t deny the fundamental role of online platforms in introducing artists and displaying works. Social media like Instagram and other platforms connect the artist to the bigger world and use a variety of languages to present works and connect with professional gallery owners and artists, which is why I show many of my video works on the Vimeo platform https://vimeo.com/user33378930, works that didn`t have the opportunity to be shown in public. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Maryam. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? Maryam Dehbozorgi: I truly appreciate the challenging questions and thank you for your time. Every artist seeks to grow and expand their ideas in a broader and more professional space, and I am no exception. I will continue to study the creation of dualities, exploring time, the meaning of identity, exploring myself and those around me, and in this way I will pursue different experiences and use more diverse media in the field of presenting my works. I would like to add that, these days I am working on a new project related to the idealistic view of humanity, which I hope to be able to show to the public soon. An interview by and

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Gergana Elenkova My art - this is the body. For me, the body is a constant magnitude that transforms into a measure of space and time, a central tangent of interaction with everything that surrounds us. Trusting on these three basic and indissoluble relationships: space-timebody, I embody my ideas in corporeal (body) installations. An interview by and

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Hello Gergana and welcome to ARTiculAction: we would like to invite our readers to visit https://gerganaelenkova.wixsite.com/gergana elenkova in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production, and we would like to start this interview with a couple of questions regarding your background. You have a solid formal training: after having earned your B.A.T. from the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts of Plovdiv, you moved from Bulgaria to Spain to pursue your M.F.A., and you later nurtured your education with a PhD in Art, Production and Research that you are currently pursuing at Polytechnic University of Valencia: how did these experiences address your evolution as an artist? In particular, are there any experiences that did particularly help you to develop your attitude to experiment with different techniques? Gergana Elenkova: In retrospect, the path I have taken as an artist could be described as a

colorful palette of multi-faceted experiences. On the one hand, at the Plovdiv Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts I received extensive specialized education in the field of Fine Arts. My teachers tried to break and change the old established academic model. They taught us to be inspired by the new, but without leaving the rigorous academic frameworks of classical genres in art. For me, this solid foundation of training is of great importance for my skills and my way of expressing myself as an artist. In Spain, a new challenging cultural horizon opened up before me. The interactive and innovative teaching methods in the Master in Artistic Production at UPV motivated my creative potential to experiment with a wide range of different and novel artistic languages, beyond the conventional. Looking for new forms of plastic expression, I chose this faculty, for which I am grateful, because in it I have rediscovered myself, beyond my role as a painter. So I have also had the opportunity to exhibit in different parts of the world and meet and work with very interesting people.



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For this special edition of ARTiculAction we have selected Instalaciones Corporales, an extremely interesting project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of your artistic research is the way it highlights the relationship between the body and its surroundings: when walking our readers through the genesis of Instalaciones Corporales, would you tell us how did you develop the initial idea? Gergana Elenkova: To better understand the genesis of the Instalaciones Corporales (Body Installations) project, I will have to briefly describe the background that led to its creation. I come from a country where my first years of creativity went through the transition period from totalitarianism to democracy. Most of the people remembered the old and did not want to forget it, and we young people did not know it, and we wanted to live with a free spirit following the western model of development of society. The influences from the turbulent times that we were going trough led me to expressing my rebellious nature trough the project Instalaciones Corporales where I wanted to show my vision on the effects of the relations of different types of power on the subject. The works series reflects Michel Foucault's Biopower theory, which interprets the subject's body as the nucleus through which power relations pass.I have titled the works as body installations because they propose to be built for and by the body. A body that is the product and reflection of the sociocultural structure, and itself becomes the representative of powers that are inscribed upon itself. We really appreciate your sapient use of materials that reminds leather, and even skin, that the viewer could recognize as belonging to


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ordinary life's imagery. German art critic and historian Michael Fried once stated that 'materials do not represent, signify, or allude to anything; they are what they are and nothing more.' What were the properties that you are searching for in the materials that you include in your works? Gergana Elenkova: In my view the use of forms and materials are of important knowledge for the construction and transmission of concepts and messages in my works. For example it is not the same thing to draw an idea, you meant to present in 2D format and then take it to a another level by adding the dimension of space. The means by which you present your concept naturally change and evolve the concept itself. In the creation of the Instalaciones Corporales all the formal, conceptual and perceptual aspects that I want to articulate are taken into account. The installations give opportunities for interaction with the body, where the object starts to manipulate and change the body and in turn the body begins the process of resistance - the inevitability of action and reaction. Apart from their stability and the hardness, the use of wood, steel rivets, brass and leather lead to certain symbolism. In this way, the different narrative possibilities that materials have play an important role in the production of meanings. A symbology that brings to light the visual capacities, that matter and its forms offer us and that express the concept of subjection. Ultimately the body installations are a reflection of the structural forms of power and of the subject subjection to them. Your artistic production feature such unconventional sense of beauty that challenges the logic of ordinary perception, unveiling the connection between beauty and imperfection: how do you consider the role of aesthetics playing within your artistic research?


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Gergana Elenkova: Working on the issue of power undoubtedly takes us away from the idea of beauty but also it is not its purpose to question the dichotomy between perfection and imperfection. I believe that my body installations question the usual aesthetic understanding, thereby expanding the boundaries of the dialogic structure. They go beyond the pure formal representation until they reach another level of sensitizing the viewer and activating their consciousness in a more direct way. The use and repetition of the materials and forms in the elements of each piece allow me to develop their own visual language and capture new experiences. These representations of a metaphorical character form the visual and tangible vocabulary of my works. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, for you, the body is a constant magnitude that transforms into a measure of space and time, a central tangent of interaction with everything that surrounds us. Many artists express the ideas that they explore through representations of the body and by using their own bodies: how do you consider the relation between the abstract feature of the ideas you aim to communicate and the physical act of creating your artworks? Gergana Elenkova: The body installations turn the body into the subject and object of the artistic act and into a terrain and canvas, on which ideas are exhibited. I believe that the body is not only a shell that envelops the subject, but is also a matter that has sensitivity and resistance in each interaction. For this reason, I have used the body as a support to represent the influence of power relations on the subject. I establish a metaphor with which I intend to provoke people to listen to


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themselves and to realize that they are not only an object of control and manipulation. These fundamental factors generate various strategies that take the body as a connection between the corporeal and the spiritual. The body as mediator of perceptions, the body as

a limit, or the body as physical resistance, among others. And as Merleau-Ponty says: "My body is the common texture of all objects and is, at least with regard to the perceived world, the general instrument of my 'understanding. "


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Jaula is a body installation for the head that has communicated us the sensation of retention: even of oppression. Through your works you created such unique visual vocabulary able to trigger the viewers' imagination, inviting them to elaborate personal interpretations: how open would you like your works to be understood? Gergana Elenkova: Let us turn our attention to my work "JAULA" ("CAGE"). This work refers to a cage that encloses the subject's head, as if it were placed in a jail. And as is known, a cage is made of resistant materials and its properties are stability and rigidity. However, my work provides a “hybrid” version of the cage: hard, flexible and foldable at the same time. It is like a symbiosis of a solid matter that changes its physical state from solid to soft.These transformations of the material of the piece are linked to the idea of "hard power" and "soft power" that are interconnected and are often used together. I think that to understand the idea of a work that is not always explicit, like "JAULA", it is necessary to analyze it. This act marks the beginning of performance: a purposeful interpretative process that activates imagination, building associative relationships in the viewers head. The experience of the author, recorded in the work is complemented by the experience of the viewer interpreting it. Thus, the possibilities of new communicative connections between the creative conscience (respectively the work) and the viewer form natural feedback. This type of feedback, generated by the experience of the viewer, in turn creates new reading of the works, thus enriching their meaning. New York City based artist Lydia Dona once stated that in order to make art today one has to reevaluate the conceptual language behind the mechanism of art making itself: how do you


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consider the relationship between the necessity of scheduling your performance and the creative power of improvisation? Does spontaneity play an important role in your artistic process? Gergana Elenkova: For me, the basis for

creating a work of art is a creative process, which is a continuous cycle. From the emergence of the idea to the final execution of the work. In my artistic practice, this ideadiffused, chaotic and fragmented at the beginning, can take form at any moment


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caused by any perceptual stimulus.That is, the origin of this idea can come both from something immaterial such as an experience, a word, a reflection, a conversation, an image, a social problem, etc., as well as from something palpable such as the tactile experimentation

with materials, objects, shapes, etc. I like to experiment, that's why improvisation and spontaneity play an important role for me, and accompany my process in each transformation. All this intuitive and imaginary process offers me infinite possibilities to explore and discover


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new ways and artistic languages to shape and communicate my ideas. We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this conversation we want to catch this occasion to ask you to express your view on the future of

women in contemporary art scene. For more than half a century women have been discouraged from producing something 'uncommon', however over the last decades there are signs that something is really changing. How would you describe your


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personal experience as an artist on this aspect? And what's your view on the future of women in such interdisciplinary field? Gergana Elenkova: Yes. It is a fact that male artists are better represented in the art scene, but in contemporary cultural development

more and more female artists occupy a defining place and position. Personally, I don't think my work has been neglected, but in Bulgaria the position of women in art is still not equal to that of male artists. Women are systematically, undeservedly, given much less





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space in the narrative of the major museums and galleries. Violations of women's rights can only be accounted for through systematic action, that is, they should never give up chasing and expressing their creative vision. With my works I set myself the task of making vocal the position that "art of women" ,and women as a whole, have in society and their value within it. The lack of understanding of why artistic actions related to "women's art" are in dire need is obvious. The universal issue of women's rights and their place in the art world is a clear sign that Bulgarian society urgently needs a constructive and informed discussion on the issues of representation, which is also in the context of my body installations. You are an established artist and over the years you have internationally exhibited in several occasions: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? By the way, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to online platforms — as Instagram @gergana_elenkova_art — increases, how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience? Gergana Elenkova: The traditional gallery show will always have a irreplaceable position in the way an artist presents their work, however it is true that the role of social media and their rapid expansion becomes impossible to ignore. In my opinion art in online platforms gives way to the compressed experience instead of contemplation but that of the quick and easy access instead of the elitist art scene experience. Its the difference between the

ethereal nature of digital images opposite the tactile longevity of material objects. It is important to note that having a uninterrupted feedback from your audience can be incredibly useful and stimulating for an artist that is open to dialogue with their viewers. I believe that in today´s world art and artist themselves should be very flexible and very adaptive if they have a hope to survive, which are qualities that are suited for the digital world. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Gergana. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? Gergana Elenkova: In the last couple of years I have set aside my installation projects and I took a step back to my roots, expressing my ideas in the form of drawings and illustrations. I use primarily basic materials such as pencils, watercolors, ink, etc. I feel that this way of working is very complementary to my creative process at the moment because it is very spontaneous and immediate. Even if the type of work I do has evolved in this way I still analyze and use the human body as center piece of my artistic vision. If you of your readers would like to see some of these works they can visit my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/gergana_elenkova _art

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Yuying Song She is a visual artist-researcher, born in China and currently doing a practice-based Ph.D. in Art Production and Research at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain. And she received a Chinese Government Scholarship from the China Scholarship Council (CSC) for her doctoral studies. She is interested in the theory and history of documentary,cinema, photography, especially the theme that focuses on the figure of women, immigration, social issues and, also the culture of digital media. Her recent research output includes the essay Art born during the COVID-19 Pandemic published in ANIAV Journal of Research in Visual Arts, Why do I live here is a Documentary essay on Chinese immigration in Spain published in AVANCA / CINEMA 2021, International Conference Cinema Art, Technology, Communication, Article A TRANSNACIONAL FAMILY CHINESE IMMIGRATION IN SPAIN accepted by the journal Diecisiete and Western Feminist Experimental Film: Between Experiment and Experience-1960s-1980s accepted by the journal film literature.

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Hello Yuying and welcome to ARTiculAction: we would like to invite our readers to visit https://songyuying0203.wixsite.com/yuy ing/photography in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production, and we would like to start this interview with a couple of questions regarding your background. You have a solid formal training: after your studies in Amination at the Harbin Normal University, China, you nurtured your education with an MA in Artistic Production, that you received from the Polytechnic University of Valencia,

Spain, where you are currently pursuing your Ph.D: how did those formative years influence your evolution as an artist? Moreover, how does the multifaceted nature of your cultural substratum due to your Chinese roots direct the trajectory of your current artistic research? Yuying Song: First of all, thank you for inviting me to this interview. I think every stage of life is crucial for me, all of these experiences are what motivate me to pursue the field of art research now. In fact, before entering university, I was very fond of literature, and then I chose to study art for various reasons. But I still believe that literature and art are inseparable, both are a medium for emotional expression and



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communication, giving me strength in many confusing moments of my life. During my four years of undergraduate studies, I was exposed to many art-related disciplines, such as Chinese and Western art history, Animation, Photography and Film, etc. The basic theoretical studies of these disciplines provided me with the direction to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Spain. The traditional Chinese culture deeply influenced me, and I felt a strong cultural shock for a long time after I came to Spain. It was a challenging time for me to live and study independently in Spain, which is completely different from China. On the other hand,the differences between Eastern and Western cultures, learning and growing in a multicultural context have taught me how to think critically and express my ideas courageously. The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ARTiculAction and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article, has at once captured our attention for the way its unique sensitiveness, able to create such unique combination between intellettual engagement and aesthetics: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, would you tell us something about the role of technology and editing techniques within your artistic practice?


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Yuying Song: Thanks for the compliment, I think the progress of art is inseparable from the development of technology. To some extent, it has contributed to the evolution of art forms and styles and given artworks certain characteristics of the times, but I think technology and techniques should be used as auxiliary tools for art creation, and it is more important to improve observation and creativity and find your style. For example, as far as photography is concerned, I believe that an excellent work of photography is not determined by its superior technology, but by the photographer's sensitive insight and the ideas conveyed. Over the centuries, photography has evolved from black and white to color, from film to digital, and each era has produced many excellent photographs and talented artists, such as my favorite artists Fan Ho, Vivian Maier, and Martin Parr, whose works have no complicated post-production, but capture the fun and beauty of ordinary life with simple compositions. Your works seem to be laboriously structured to pursue such effective visual impact, and at the same time to capture spontaneity: how do you structured your shot schedule in order to achieve such brilliant results? In particular, do you careful plan each shot or do you create your works intuitivelly, instinctively? How important are improvisation and




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spontaneity in your practice? Yuying Song: Compared to many traditional arts, images give the public a wide range of participation, a more open attitude, and spontaneous creation that reflects the keen observation and creativity of the creator, making it more flexible.Many of my photographs come from the street, and most of the time I create them spontaneously. Whether it is an architectural landscape or a crowd of people, they are all beautiful scenes worth recording in my eyes.I like to explore the relationship between individuals and the environment through the lens because real life will give the most moving emotions to the photos. Would you tell us how does your everyday life's experience fuel your creative process? Yuying Song: Art comes from life, and I think life is the inspiration for all artistic creation. Now we live in a fast-paced world, and creativity is often hindered many times people lose themselves. When I want to escape from the world for a short while, I like to read an interesting novel or watch a horror movie, both of which will immerse me into another world, and I believe that a relaxed and happy state will generate more creativity. In addition, I love to visit local art museums in different cities. The art


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exhibits and architecture of different periods attract me to explore the history and stories behind it and get inspiration from it. Your artistic practice is deeply engaged with social commentary and the need to raise social awareness. Many contemporary artists, such as Thomas Hirschhorn and Michael Light, use to include socio-political criticism and sometimes even convey explicit messages in their artworks: do you think that artists can raise awareness to an evergrowing audience on topical issues that affect our globalised and unstable society? And how do you consider the role of artists in the contemporary age? Yuying Song: Yes. they can . I agree with this view. I believe that artists and society interact and influence each other. Both the artist and his work reflect some extent the social characteristics of the time in which he lives, and his creations are influenced by the reality of society, while the artists' works also have an impact on the viewers' thoughts and aesthetics.They express social issues through their artworks, which in my opinion is positive and brave. The world we live in is not perfect, of course, not only artists, but each of us should be brave enough to express and explore complex social issues for the world to become a better place. It's important to mention that you created




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a multiscreen documentary essay on Chinese immigration developed at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain, and that your current PhD research is centered on the impact of COVD-19 on Chinese immigration: would you tell us something to our readers about this as topical as interesting aspect of your current artistic research? Yuying Song: My Ph.D. research is related to two important issues today: immigration and Covid-19. I am working on an essay documentary about the impact of Covid-19 on Chinese immigrants living in Spain. Immigration is a complex social phenomenon, It has been and is a topic of great interest to all sectors of society, and due to the mobility and instability of immigrant groups, they are at increased risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chinese immigrants, as the second-largest immigrant group in the world. Since the first case of Covid-19 appeared in Wuhan, although its origin is still not conclusive, many disinformation and conspiracy theories have subsequently emerged, exposing the Chinese immigrant community to many criticisms and greatly affecting their lives in the immigrant countries. I hope that the research on this topic can break the traditional stereotypes and make the public understand more about the Chinese immigrant community and accept them with a more open and tolerant mind.

We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this conversation we want to catch this occasion to ask you to express your view on the future of


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women in contemporary art scene. For more than half a century women have been discouraged from producing something 'uncommon', however over the last decades there are signs that something is really changing. As an artist

whose areas of interest encompasses the figure of women, how would you describe your personal experience as an artist on this aspect? And what's your view on the future of women in such interdisciplinary field?


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Yuying Song: When we are exploring this issue, it means that true gender equality has still not been achieved, and although society is progressing and the topic of gender equality is constantly being

discussed by the public and this phenomenon is changing, we still have a long way to go. Women artists or women's art has long been marginalized, with gender identity


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that more and more people will be aware of the social problems caused by sexism and that people have equal rights and should not be confined by gender.When it comes to the development of women in interdisciplinary fields, I believe that gender differences do not prevent them from innovating and developing in any discipline, and I believe that we will see more and more excellent women in various fields in the future. In a controversial quote, German photographer Thomas Ruff stated that ''nowadays you don't have to paint to be an artist: you can photography in a realistic way". Provocatively, the German photographer highlighted the short circuit between the act of looking and that of thinking critically about images: as an artist interested in digital culture, how do you consider the role of photography in our contemporary age, constantly saturated by ubiquitous images?

and stereotypes imprisoning their development.As Simone Beauvoir argues in Second Sex, "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman", many women's works face the problem of being "shaped", but I As a female artist, I hope

Yuying Song: Wow,this is indeed a controversial quote, which may be refuted by the words of the Norwegian painter Munch, who said: "The camera is ultimately inferior to the brush and paint, it cannot show heaven and hell. But I think both artists' views are too onesided and I don't fully agree with them. There is more than one way of art, whether it is painting or photography, both are indispensable in the whole





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history of image development. Thousands of years of painting have established a large and solid aesthetic principle for mankind, including photography, which was also born out of thousands of years of painting. Images have placed us in a consumer society, and although it has contributed to the age of images, it has also domesticated the visual arts.

we now Perhaps the works of art that we now consider to be aesthetically pleasing were not as highly regarded in other times. But one thing is for sure, a work that is truly full of beauty will not be buried in the dust of history. The most meaningful aesthetic study may be to appreciate works of different genres and styles with an open and tolerant mind.

We have particularly appreciated the way you achieve such unique balance between the characters and their surroundings, capturing such insightful resonance between the peculiar specifics of the background and epiphanic details, featuring such unconventional sense of beauty that challenges the logic of ordinary perception: how do you consider the role of aesthetics playing within your artistic research?

You are an awarded artist and you received the segundo puesto de premio en la exposición de graduación de la universidad: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? By the way, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to online platforms — as Instagram and Vimeo — increases, how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience?

Yuying Song: Every perception of beauty is different, and beauty is a spiritual dimension of human beings. I like Hegel's view of aesthetics, which he called "the philosophy of art", that beauty is the sensual embodiment of an idea. For me, there is no "Paradigm" of aesthetics, it is not static, the definition of beauty is different in every era, many art trends that are sought after by contemporary people may have been unappreciated centuries ago, this is due to the aesthetic bias of the times, so it is difficult for us to define beauty, maybe the artworks that

Yuying Song: I believe that artists and audiences need to communicate with each other, and artworks are the medium of communication in which artists resonate with audiences through the expression of their works, thus satisfying this communication need.With the advent of the digital age, the forms and spaces for displaying art are changing, and online platforms are becoming more and more popular with the public, and of course. I also like to share my photos on my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/yuying95 ,to


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record and share my daily life and to create more creative desire. On one hand, this form of online art sharing has contributed to the "democratization" and "globalization" of art, as online art can transcend geographical limitations, such as the closure of museums and art galleries during the Covid-19 blockade. This led to the development of art platforms and the birth of many online exhibition museums.On the other hand, the online platforms cannot replace art institutions such as museums, because they cannot replace the experience of direct communication between the viewer and the work, or the narrative role that the work plays in the exhibition space. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Yuying. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? Yuying Song: Thank you, for my future work, I hope to finish my Ph.D. research and documentary production, of course, I very much hope that my work will be included in some art exhibitions, after that I will return to China to continue to work in the artrelated industry.

An interview by and

, curator , curator


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Ivan Arkhipov I have experimented with different techniques, mainly etching, dry point, linocut, woodcut and painting, also created animated films. Resistance of material has an influence on our attitude and image perception. Metal got scratched and torn, lines became cuts. When you make it you had to lay yourself out, to get angry, to resist, to sweat, while still enjoying the process. Perception of reality mute out and we came into a trance. My works is a result of this process. And this technique states importance of the process above the result. In 2019 I worked at a Chinese village located 50 kilometers from Beijing - in the Shangyuan art residence, where I have been staying for 3 summer months. Residence lacked of necessary equipment for creative work in printmaking techniques, specifically the most important - etching press to create prints on paper in the dry point technique. I used as a press a large stone that I had been found nearby. With that stone I was able to print a series of four prints (“Stone” and “Passions” series) , and also I have created about 10 more works in woodcut, linocut techniques and paintings. When I returned to Moscow, in the wave of pandemic 2020, this idea formed further. This experience in Shangyuan allowed me to look at a lot of things from a new perspective and I continued to work. This restriction in the material, this location and complete isolation from the comfort zone-all this eventually formed this work and allowed us to look at a lot of things from a new perspective. Experience is something you’ve never done. The deeper you go, the more frightful this experience is. By combining printed graphics, objects and animations, I want to talk about person, person loneliness in the world, about seeking and delusions, about gradually gained experience.

An interview by and

, curator , curator

Hello Ivan and welcome to ARTiculAction: we would like to invite our readers to visit http://ivanarkhipov.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production, and we would like to start this interview with a couple of questions regarding your background. You have a solid formal training and you graduated from the faculty of graphic design at MIEM NRU Higher school of Economics: how did this experience address your evolution as an artist?

Ivan Arkhipov: Since my early childhood I was

leaning towards expressing myself through different forms of creativity. I could draw or sculpt for hours. Creative process was always the best game for me, and at the same time – self-evolution and world cognition. I didn’t understand all that then though, it was just interesting – to form new worlds inside my works. For example, in my notebooks I have been making up widescale stories and different surprising situations for my characters, not really putting my mind through plot and consistency of the story. In the end, such unconscious, childlike approach for art became primary for me and influenced all my further actions. Growing up I tried not to lose it and kept appreciating individuality. I



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liked my own vision and how I project my vision. Of course, later I’ve had a lot of doubts under social influence and rules domination, but I managed to keep my core. I’ve always been bad at studying. At first I was struggling at Moscow State University of Food Production, but didn’t graduate. Then I had an experience at the Design faculty at High School of Economics. There I’ve realized that design and art are two different ways and that I have to choose. I chose art. On the example of many of my friends I understood for myself that art education is not always good for an artist. In many ways it interferes with finding and keeping your own language in art. You are a versatile artist and your practice encompasses printed graphics, objects and animations: what does direct you to such cross disciplinary approach? In particular, are there any experiences that did particularly help you to develop your attitude to experiment?

Ivan Arkhipov: First of all it is a desire for such an experience. A desire to get out of the comfort zone, to try out something never before done and to find yourself in a new role or situation. Experience as it is – it’s something you’ve never done before. The deeper you go the scarier it gets. An example of such experience was my 2019 summer trip to Chinese village nearby Beijing, where I’ve worked for three months at Shangyuan art residence. The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ARTiculAction — and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article — has at once captured our attention for the way you invite the viewers to explore the feelings connected to human experience through a new perspective, unveiling the elusive bond between authenticity of feelings and truth: when walking our readers through your


Ivan Arkhipov

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Stone serie Dancing with the stone exhibition, fragment, 2019, Beijing


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usual setup and process, would you tell us how do you develop your ideas?

Ivan Arkhipov: I experiment with different engraving techniques, mainly with dry point. This process contains of etching dashes and lines with a firm needle on a metal board and then making prints of it on paper or any other flat surface. When I’ve been preparing for the trip, I’ve gathered all the materials and tools for such techniques. I had no idea about what I would find at the place. And when I finally got there, I’ve discovered that Art residence was missing the most important thing – an etching machine. So, for a series of large prints I used as a press a massive stone that I`ve found nearby. With that stone I was able to print several series of metal etching prints. Also I`ve created about 10 more works in woodcut, linocut techniques and painting. All works combined were presented at «Dancing with the stone» exhibition at the Shangyuan Art Museum Gallery. Making prints with that stone, using it as a press was like dancing. It felt like some ritual… Unlike the etching machine the stone prints appeared unpredictable – uneven, rough, ragged but at the same time - organic, natural. New location and material restrictions helped me to look at many things from different angles and forced me to act outside the box. The deeper I got the more fearful I was. Those unknown states and material resistance influenced shaping of images at my works, such as «The Stone» series. Along with the prints I’ve decided to exhibit the metal sheet filled with dye. Only some time after I began to decrypt that image inside my head: The Stone appears to be an enormous experience that humankind have had collected through existence.





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An experience of pressure, evisceration, cruel and harsh reforming of nature according to human needs. For how more long can humankind hold this tension towards the world? Your artistic research is deeply engaged with human experience, and as you have remarked in the ending lines of your artist's statement, you want to talk about person, person loneliness in the world, about seeking and delusions, about gradually gained experience: how do your

memories and your direct, everyday life's experience fuel your artistic research?

Ivan Arkhipov: I find important to balance between reality and subconciousness. I could dive into the dark deep, and then come up to the surface and find something breathtaking in casual daily routine. So I am trying to look wide and not to get stuck on one direction. It helps to let new interesting ideas in. Sometimes it comes up from the past unexpected. Sometimes you find an idea from an old sketch that you threw at


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the bottom of a drawer a long time ago and now it turned up to be modern and actual.

important is for you to highlight the physical aspect of your artworks?

We definitely love the way Passions and Expiation provides to sensations belonging to the emotional sphere with such unique materic identity. We sometimes tend to forget that a work of art is a physical artefact with tactile qualities, and we really appreciate the way, your artistic production highlights the materiality among the viewer: as an artist particularly interested in the resistance of materials, how

Ivan Arkhipov: Yes, those works were made with great physical effort. It is a mixed technique of wood engraving and metal etching. Resistance of the material influences forming of image. You have to give all of yourself to it, to get angry, to struggle, to sweat and at the same time you enjoy it. The perception of reality is getting muffled. An artwork is born as a result of all that. But for me the process is more important than the result.







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While the shapes of your works sometimes communicate contrast, as in Connection and Temptation, the geometries that you choose are particularly delicate and communicate sense of release. How do you structure your process in order to achieve such brilliant results?

Ivan Arkhipov: I let the process go. I guess it helps to get a result. At the beginning of the work on a fresh idea it is not completely clear, what will come out at the end. And I can put a structure only on myself – to prepare myself as a tool. I can organize a workshop time, get all needed materials – and then use it. Growing inside an idea is unpredictable process and the moment of it`s birth cannot be controlled. So I can only catch the wave of a proper state. Some of your works feature characters engaged in strenuos activities, as in Stone: other works seem to suggest delicacy, as Mother. In each of them, there's a human figure able to engage the viewers on the emotional aspect: do you aim to create allegorical images able to trigger the viewers' imagination,inviting them to elaborate personal interpretations? And how open would you like your works to beunderstood

Ivan Arkhipov: Physical and emotional image of a person can convey a vast spectrum of feelings. Sometimes I see that my images crack viewers open, though I never do think about what will viewers feel from my works beforehand. Genuine sensation is all that matter. Every work could be perceived as a very personal thing or as a range of some spots. And that is genuine. Very often a viewer can tell a lot more about my works than I know about them. I suppose, every my work has its own main message, but honestly I do not fully understand some of them still. Your artistic production challenges the logic of ordinary perception, urging the viewers to a


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participative effort, and especially to question the nature of the act of looking itself: Scottish artist Peter Doig once remarked that even the most realistic work of arts are derived more from within the head than from what's out there in front of us, how do you consider the relationship between reality and imagination, playing within your artistic production?

Ivan Arkhipov: They are connected as I’ve said earlier, and for me (and not only as an artist) it is all about balance. You are an established artist, and over the years your works have been exhibited in many occasions, both in Russia and abroad: how do you consider the nature of your relationship — especially in public spaces — with your audience? By the way, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to online platforms — as Instagram — increases, how would in your opinion change therelationship with a globalised audience?

Ivan Arkhipov: The speed of Information flow is very high nowadays and virtual communication is dynamically increasing. I would say that it rises the value of live communication, especially for last couple of years during the pandemic times. People yearn for reality. Instagram would never take a place of it, but this platform now tends to connect an artist with its audience from all the world. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/arkhipov__ivan Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Ivan. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Ivan Arkhipov: Thank you for your interest. This year I am preparing an exhibition,







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containing my works from the last two years. I am mixing engraving and painting in them, and also I’ve made an animation, composed of etching prints and metal plates. I have a lot of plans. I intend to do more experimenting with

new materials. Do not want to reveal specifics now, you will see it all at it’s time. All photos by