"An artwork doesn't communicate anything: it simply creates a mental space. Language, gestures, or rather a masterly brush-stroke of a painter are nothing but ways to invite us to explore our inner landscapes". Thirty years have passed since this Borgesean deep and at the same time provocative statement has been written by the fine Italian writer Giorgio Manganelli. Our net review presents a selection of artists whose works shows the invisible connection between mainstream art and new trends. We have focused on new trends in Contemporary Art, especially by encouraging young artists: anyway, the distinctive feature of our project is to discover creative potentials . Apart from stylistic differences and individual approaches to the art process, all of them share the vision that art is a slice of the world to be shared.
In this issue
“Art as nature should be a mixture of abstract and figurative elements, to be sincere enough but leave not less for the imagination. And so does it have to have the capability to influence.”
Ewa Doroszenko (Poland)
“Using a wide variety of art languages I wish to develop unique art forms, combining different features of each medium with strong attention to details and workshop as once.”
Rui Filipe Antunes
(Portugal / United Kingdom)
“What I am trying to achieve through this practice is to build a sense of wonder and magic by means of the construction of spaces and objects that communicate in a universal language”
“I carefully craft stories that are worthy of belief -a skill requiring intellectual sophistication, emotional sensitivity and reveal observations on the everyday reality. In that sense humor "relativizes" the tyranny of reality”
Jeremy Newman (USA)
“There is always a quintessence that makes the art work simultaneously
undefined and complete. In other words, art is unpredictable and tends to follow life in evolving in ever more complicated and interrelated forms
Jenny van Gimst
“I want to take the object out of his usual environment and put it in a new one, as if I can decide how it has to live or die. For me the object stands for the individual so if I take the object out of his usual environment and put it in a new one, I can rule his life”
Jeroen Nelemans (USA)
“I am interested in the construct of an image, specifically how the digital image can be manipulated to contemporary notions of sight and seeing”
Caroline Bacher (Canada)
“Art is all about starting a dialogue or conversation, and the viewer's own story, choices and notions have a big part to play in it: it is play in fact! I strongly feel that art can be anything that actively engages the viewer”
SWARTE Manuela Vulpescu & Corina Olaru
“The task of “feeding” humanity with an entirely different set of values might appear too utopian for most of us. Still, we are facing the necessity to instill humanity with profound ethical values, sensitivity to the needs of others, acceptance of simplicity, and a sharp awareness of ecological imperatives”
Ambrose Yalley (United Kingdom)
“I’m frameworking; adding surfaces and texture, ‘gardinsing’ particulars for prosperity” That’s a line from a short script I wrote and I am very much looking forward to elevating more of my visuals, my video installations and uncapping ‘uncertainty’ in stories”
Liis Koger (Estonia)
an artist’s statement
“I feel the responsibility that what I create, I duplicate that means, I want there to be more of this in the world, so it'd rather be good. Art as nature should be a mixture of abstract and figurative elements, to be sincere enough but leave not less for the imagination. And so does it have to have the capability to influence. With the words of Proust, the only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but having new eyes.”
ZOETIC 2013 oil on canvas 70 x 70 cm
Liis Koger Liis Koger lives and works in Tartu, Estonia. EDUCATION 2010 - 2013 University of Tartu, Faculty of Philosophy, Painting, BFA 2012 - 2013 University of Tartu, Faculty of Theology, Theology, BA minor
Private High School of Humanities
Personal Exhibitions 2012 October, “Kaotatud maailm” [“Lost World”] Saaremaa Museum, Kuressaare Castle, Saaremaa, Estonia 2012 September, Camponeschi, Rome, Italy curated by Umberto Scrocca and Achille Bonito Oliva 2012 July-August „Musta tunneli valgesse
2012 April-June „Juhused, luule ja sentiment“ [„Chances, Poetry, Sentiment“]
tulid…“ [„In the Cold Chambre came…“]
[„In the Cold Chambre came…“] National Library of Estonia, Tallinn, Estonia 2011 October „Kohtumine“ [„Encounter“], Gallery Loov, Tartu, Estonia 2010 March, Bridge Club, Milan, Italy 2010 March, Twincafe, Lugano, Switzerland 2010 February, Ellisse Ristorante, Manno, Switzerland Estonia
an interview with
Fragment of a photo by Sandro Colli Vignarelli
Let's start with our ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And do you think that being a contemporary artist it's just a matter of being born after the half of 20th century?
Art could be the pointer that it is still worth to keep searching and to be sure in something, that you are the worshipped sailor in your own destiny, so do what you love, and that creates love as well.
Art deals with social issues of its time, but it depends how socially active, aware and sensitive the artist is to external impacts. Noone can escape the reality of society, unless with a very strong inner power - like meditating on New York street.
A work of art mirrors your moments of clarity while you are searching: it might not be yet even ready, but it shows you are on the right path, some kind of recognition. I still believe you should feel somehow touched when you see a real piece of art and that is also the only yardstick there could be. Contemporary is just a word. Jesus or Buddha could be your contemporaries if you are Christian or Buddhist.
Some circles have taken the purpose not to catch wind of coming and going reigns, but focus on the unchangeable inside that works like collective unconscious and stays the human principle with its search for true values 6
happiness. It is not true to say we are losing our religion - at least I hope we are not, I personally would not like to communicate every day with a person who does not believe in anything at all. And I do not also believe there could be an atheist in dysfunctional plane or (even when it is all quiet) on the Western Front. I put those necessary conversances in the back compartment of my brain, but I do not work on its basis. I prefer not to take a fixed fragment what to carnalize, but rather see if I will find something new out of the work!
APPROACH FROM LEEWARD 2013 oil on canvas 120 x 80 cm
Reading your CV, we have been impressed by the wide spread of your experiences: besides studying for your BA in Fine Arts in Painting, you've also studied Theology. So we would like to ask you how your multidisciplinary education has informed the way you produce your own art today.
Besides painting, you are also a poet, and you have recently published a collection of poems. We couldn't understand your native language, so we were wondering if you could tell us a bit of your poetic production, even though it goes without saying that the poetry and language are intrinsically connected one to each other...
University of Tartu in Estonia has a great history and present - the word we often forget, specially on Theology. But before that, I studied also Psychology. Religious studies are important to understand how the world works: not for finding the one truth for yourself, but to get to know what principles the people in different countries and tribes are following: what is the reason for their behaviour, their
Exactly. It is all about one story that might not happen in a lifetime, so I am fortunate it has. It is all romantic, with its sides of felicity and tragic - you know, should be familiar to many people, we just talked about the war century! So, in love and war, nothing has changed. I still play Marlene Dietrich, >>> 7
and I am 23! Feels like I catch those moods and live those ages through... Now we would like to focus on your recent artworks, that our reader can admire in these pages. Let's start with "zoetic" â€” that our readers have admired in the first page of this article â€” and "somniorum": what was your initial inspiration for these pieces? By the way, could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project?
Yes. It is easy. The hardest is to have the correct canvas and colours and brushes available. If you do not, you take what you have, if you are in the mood! I really do not like the word professional when it comes to being an artist. How much of a professional can you be as a living person, as a dreamer, as a lover? If it defines a time you have dealt with it, how much is it? Picasso said he would have liked to paint like a child! Knowing nothing you can do the impossible because boundaries are alien to you. You can be professional serving at a supermarket from 9 to 5, or even paint portraits of royal family every day, but how much of an artist are you then. To me it still goes together with some kind of constant, but still bohemian passion. So, my creative process is: inspiration -> paint -> discover what you did. I can talk backwards. I become Alice in my own painting Wonderland. With those two mentioned, I noticed some comeback of beautiful past, that probably will not leave me alone too soon... We would go on with "approach from leeward", which seems to distinguish from the style of most of your recent pieces. Can you tell us a little about this painting?
It is another one that I have worked on at least 5 times. So it carries even more memories, haha! They SOMNIORUM 2013 oil on canvas 122 x 92 cm
do have a different meaning and experience and message, each of them, but I am afraid I would ruin all the mysticism with explaining: it would be like translating poetry into prose. You simply have to see and find your own way in the labyrinth, and it might help you too to discover yourself.
2013 oil on canvas 120 x 80 cm 6
CONCENTRATED ANTIPODES oil on cartboard 122 x 77 cm 2013 A visual from some of your pieces that impacted on me is the light: it seems that in each your painting there's a lamp somewhere... in particular, I can recognize that you have enhanced this feature in recent paintings: the eledest ones just like "dream fields" and "94 years to the sunrise" were really darker, isn't it? Even your recent "noctilucent" seems to reflect a hidden light... Can you tell us a little about the evolution of this feature in your practice?
Thank you! Light is important. It is something unconscious again. But there is always the light, in life. Even when 9/10th
Liis Koger is dark, the 1/10th keeps you waiting, and the 1/10th makes it worth living. So I hope there to be light until the end, and I am sure there will be... Rays are also in the ones mentioned, I am afraid the photographs simply do not give the accurate view. The transfusions in colours/light can be very sensitive. In a recent interview, you have stated that Art could have some therapeutic effects: do you think that this effect could develope to a social effect? I mean, do you think that Art could play an effective role in steering people's behaviour?
If an individual becomes healthier, meaning mostly perhaps happier, it is already a social effect. If even one persona could be happier thanks to you, it is already enough to keep going. Art certainly could have the effect of steering, but as a libertine I would like the effect rather be making the person think for himself! You seem to be a very prolific painter, and your works seem to be filled with intense emotion. Is painting like a release for you or is it emotionally draining?
I used to get tickling itchy feet when hitchhiking, now I get tickling itchi fingers when I do not paint... It is a power needed to be freed. It is not a question of choice. The word emotional is not really correct for I feel quite lost and in meditation while painting very often, but I also do not work with known purpose. I just work until the work is fine, with great criteria and great passion. You works have been exhibited in many countries in Europe, and in the last year you have had six personal exhibitions: we would like to ask what impressions you have received from these experiences. Moreover, is there a particular exhibition that you would like to mention?
Every one has been an experience itself. Of course the most prolific was probably in Rome, curated by Umberto Scrocca and Achille Bonito Oliva, the 45th Venice Biennale curator. But they all have been interesting in their own way. It is the same nice when people in small towns are moved and turn to you to say thanks. The one in March in Tallinn "Seal k mas kambris tulid..." was probably the most important to me, from previous year, because my friends were at the opening and the paintings themselves were specially poetic, so as the title. Maybe even too poetic to understand!
THE LUCENTS oil on canvas 120 x 80 cm 2013
There's a clich question, that we often ask to the artists that we interview: What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction? But in this case we would go as far as to say that the act of painting itself gives you an intrinsical satisfaction, isn't it?
The recognition when you have done something good. No, not good, perfect. Because there is a very small step from very good (that is not enough) to perfect, and meanwhile there could be only a short brushstroke that enables to ruin all the painting. So, when you take the risk and it becomes success, that is the moment! Thank you very much for this interview, Liis. Our last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
There is a personal coming in Tallinn in the very very end of May, maybe the opening will be even in early June, I do not know yet... At gallery Haus, a great one in Estonia. And then I will be participating probably in Chisinau Biennal, Moldova, that opens also in May. It will be a busy first half of year! The plans for the second half are still uncertain, and I love it.
Presentation of poetry book "VANA KUU HEA AND" in Estonia
Ewa Doroszenko (Poland) An artist’s statement “I am maintaining on many art levels such as photography, installation, painting. Using that wide variety of art languages I wish to develop unique art forms, combining different features of each medium with strong attention to details and workshop as once. As a professional trained artist with deep experience I try to find my own creative language in wide space of art. I use very often vibrant palette and large-scale canvases and create large installations which merge painting and space. I often paint directly on the walls of my exhibition sites, altering the logic and scale of architecture itself. My paintings dominates the space with strong colours and clear graphic shapes. I am fascinated by artificial world of technology and its comparison to the structure of the natural world. My paintings shows visions of future relationship between the products of technology – robots and humans. What will our life look like in the near future? It remains a great mystery and goes beyond pragmatic deliberations. Creation of an artificial form forces us to re-define the notion of “the others”. With the relations to be established between future creations presently indefinable, my paintings from the Do machines dream of electric sheep? do not manifest any particular scientific prognosis.
velopment can bring an end to their own existence. It was Frankenstein who reinforced the vision of an unpredictable man artificially brought to life. Man’s fear of robots stems from the confidence that people and machines are inevitably foredoomed to fight. However, relations between mankind and their creations are far more complicated than the life-and-death struggle of humans and robots! The man-technology relationship is still being shaped, which offers a multitude of possible interpretations. During the past years I have explored wide range of topics, such as visions of
Development advances so abruptly that many researchers and artists have commenced to question the direction taken by contemporary science. Since ancient times mankind has been tormented with the fear that technological de-
cial, settled it goods, consumption, wealth, forgetting about the metaphysical realms. It’s important that art can be a mental free zone, offering a space for contemplation and afterthought. A comprehensive overview of my artistic work can be found on websites: www.ewa-doroszenko.com
Ewa Doroszenko was born in 1983 and she currently live and works in Warsaw, Poland. Education: • Graduated (PhD degree) from The Faculty of Fine Arts at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, 2013. • Graduated (MFA degree) from The Faculty of Fine Arts at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun with distinction, 2008. Selected solo exhibitions: • Tonopolis. Practical activities, Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu, Torun, Poland, 2012. • Hemel, Gallery Program, Foundation for Promoting Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland, 2012. • False memories, 81stopni Gallery, Warsaw, Poland, 2012. • Time capsule, Pauza Gallery, Krakow, Poland, 2011. • Structures of Forgetfulness, CK Agora, Wroclaw, Poland, 2011. • Aesthetic Interface for Memory, Wozownia Gallery of Art, Torun, Poland, 2009. • Aesthetic Interface for Memory, CBA, Warsaw, Poland, 2009. • Girlish bedtime stories, Lokator Gallery, Krakow, Poland, 2008. • Battery-powered Relations, Tummult Gallery, Torun, Poland, 2008. • Battery-powered Relations, Brda Gallery, Bydgoszcz, Poland, 2008. • The Queen of Snow and the others, Debut Gallery, Bydgoszcz, Poland, 2008. • Girlish bedtime stories – photography, Pauza Gallery, Krakow, Poland, 2007. • Down into a rabbit hole, Arts Factory Gallery, Warsaw, Poland, 2006.
Do machines dream of electric sheep? 2012 Oil and acrylic on canvases, walls 2.100 x 700 x 450 cm
human future, mobile culture, activities of regional societies or sociological issues. I am very interested in re-organizing and further developing found artifacts of human culture and placing them in a contemporary context. It’s very important that artists try to create alternative environments and act in non-compromising and alternative ways. Our wes-tern society fascinates and bothers me as well. Population is becoming more and more commer-
an interview with
We would start with our ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art?
The content and the form of a work of art should be in perfect harmony. The greatest masterpieces carry both high aesthetic value as well as a clear intellectual load. To my mind, works aimed only to please aesthetically often become an empty decoration. On the other hand, the might of art lies in its non-conformity to rigid rules and it often flourishes beyond the limitations of the established conventions. You have formal training and you received Ph.D from Faculty of Fine Arts at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland. How important has been he impact of training in your Art? By the way, Do you think that artists with a formal education have an advantage over self-taught artists?
I am of the opinion that formal education is of great importance. The quest of seeking your own language of artistic expression should commence with studies - learning the alphabets of other artists, students and masters.
Your paintings shows suggestive visions of future relationship between the products of technology: robots and human: do you think that there will be always a still irrimediable dichotomy between Technology and Art?
such creations the achievements of culture and science permeate each other. Two artists whose technological activities in the field of arts I find captivating are Paul Granjon (France) and Janek Simon (Poland).
The contemporary, modern world advances at lightning speed, with technology gradually becoming indispensable in day-to-day work and leisure time. Similarly, all the more often artists turn to highly convoluted technological devices in their creations. In recent years the expansion of digital media has distinctly influenced art. In
Moreover, I would go as far as to state that Art and Technology are assimilating one to each other: it seems that we are going to a more "artistic" technology... what's your point about this?
The wealth of new tendencies arising from
Do machines dream of electric sheep? 2012
Oil and acrylic on canvases, walls
2.100 x 700 x 450 cm
king this work? And what technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work?
the correspondence of art and technology is both astounding and terrifying. To understand art in our hastily advancing world is a difficult and complex task. Artistic creations of our times do not adhere to the rigid canon of beauty of the bygone centuries and require a brand new classification.
The main motive of the series is the concept of an expanding, illusive mechanism. My installation does not show an existent device, but rather an abstract representation of a convoluted machine. I was inspired not only by the very form of the mechanism, but most importantly by its multifarious functions and complicated processes taking place inside. Thus, I did not ponder over any particular form
Now we would focus on your artwork "Do machines dream of electric sheep" that our readers can admire in these pages. Can you tell us about your process and set up for ma-
Do machines dream of electric sheep? 2012 Oil and acrylic on canvases, walls
2.100 x 700 x 450 cm
panding structure of the mechanism created by joining and removing elements, by seeking new possible connections
in the real world, although some parts of the machines I observed inspired a number of individual paintings. The geometrised structures, presented in a fairly synthetic manner, dwell only on the canvass. They are an imaginary, fanciful vision trying to break away from the frames. In order to depict the complex and diverse functions of the mechanism, I try to depart from the traditional perception of paintings and arrange them into systems comprising a number of pieces. In this way individual elements cease to exist as self-contained objects and the interrelationships between them come to the fore. I want to "draw" the observer into the game of following another and another part of the ex-
I also notice that orange is a recurring color in your palette, and it figures prominently in many of the pieces of thiswork, mixed with blue. Any comments on your choice of palette or how it has changed over time?
I use vivid colours in order to attract the attention of random passers-by. For the very same reason I also like to employ monumental sizes and expressive brush strokes combined with a highly geometrised form. All these aim to attract the viewers attention, just like in street murals. More delicate means of exposed 18
Do machines dream of electric sheep? 2012 Oil and acrylic on canvases, walls
2.100 x 700 x 450 cm
modular structure of the installation so that the project can be presented in diverse spaces, each time in a different form.
to weaker stimuli might pass by the creation with indifference. Since you often paint directly on the walls of your exhibition sites, and consequently you artistic gestures alter the logic and scale of architecture itself. It would seem that each location plays a crucial role in your process, isn't it?
As you have remarked in your artist's statement, people is becoming more and more commercial, settled it goods, consumption, wealth. So we couldn't go without asking you what could be some of the challenges of a sustainable synergy between Art and Business....
A great number of my works are tailored to suit particular exhibition locations, although I also often prepare a project not knowing the spot ahead. Therefore, I try to make my creations universal. Please note that the parts of â€œDo machines dream of electric sheep?â€? can be replaced with other ones thanks to the
I am not so sure if a balanced cooperation between Art and Business is possible...
From The Futa Projekt
so I have grown bored with it and my thoughts drifts away to new ideas.
we're always interested in hearing the answer to. What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?
Thank you for this interview, Ewa. Our last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
What brings me the greatest satisfaction is developing the very concept of a project and realising the first stage of it. Completion and public exhibition of my works is not of great importance to me. At the moment of presenting them to the public I have already been working on the project for several years from its conception,
I am finishing new series of paintings and preparing for the exhibitions coming up. In the near future I am going to concentrate on photography - my newest 'child' is called Futa Projekt and can be found at http://cargocollective.com/futaprojekt
From The Futa Projekt
Rui Filipe Antunes
Rui Filipe Antunes (Portugal/United Kingdom) In the latest years of my practice, I have adopted the craft of software as my preferential tool and the computer as an instrument for production and distribution. As an artistic palette, software has rich potential from the point of view of its aesthetics as well as from its social implications. Using computers and its methods, such as artificial intelligence and virtual worlds, seems to be more and more culturally relevant today, in a digital and virtually-networked society, than ever. Throughout my artistic practice, I have been telling stories by means of my work, and these stories are expressed in dreamy scenographies. Despite the recent preference for software this is a practice which cannot be reduced to any specific medium, but on the contrary has moved from initial mechanical solutions to virtual ones. This movement has included a variety of techniques: from complex mechanical artefacts to video, or even inhabited virtual worlds.
Still from the virtual world
, 2010. Senhora
hold them, objects and situations will keep changing. For this project the tradition of kinetic art and generative art has proven to be instrumental. These artistic schools offer a useful set of methods and techniques, in particular developments from the last two decades in the area of computing which borrow from artificial intelligence and artificial life. In my particular case, I have been exploring computational ecosystems. These are systems running on computers composed of communities of autonomous individuals roaming in the virtual environment searching for food and sexual partners, and which are organized in a hierarchical food-chain.
This landscape is interconnected by a shared thematic, which in the end is common to the human condition: transience, the passage of time as days go by. If there is a dominant idea that transverses my work, it is about the impermanence; about the movement always present on objects, experiences and places; the idea that things move on and evolve, and no matter how intense your feelings are to 22
Rui Filipe Antunes
which explores the role of collective memory in the construction of a community identity and a sense of place. This work takes expression in a virtual world, lately my preferential tool of exploration. Stemming from an emerging cyber-pop culture, and inheriting from video-games and social networks, virtual worlds are a privileged medium for artistic expression. They are part of our cultural landscape and reshape previous forms: photography, cinema, animation, audio, the database, the navigable space of gaming, etc. The fact that the virtual world remediates previous technologies plays a key role in the process of construction and the consequent materialization of this work. Where is Lourenco Marques? lives much of the tension created when multiple forms of representation appear combined and juxtaposed in the landscape. Overall, what I am trying to achieve through this practice is to build a sense of wonder and magic by means of the construction of spaces and objects that communicate in a universal language. These experiences are envisioned to engage with wider contexts and narratives of life. Some of the fundamental questions about human existence are echoed in these artefacts; and these are some of the eternal questions, about impermanence, about memory, that has been traditionally addressed in classical art.
pear in permanent metamorphose in the inhabited virtual world. As the virtual creatures continuously evolve and reproduce the images become more and more unrecognisable.
This technique has allowed me a series of explorations that take advantage of the narratives of life that surround works with artificial intelligence to engage these systems with a perspective more centered on interhuman relations, the human stories that these works may represent or produce. This convergence of human stories and the narratives from computational systems manifests in more recent experiments. Recent work interrogates how the spaces and the personal experiences of life are shared and transported in time. This is made evident in this latest development Where is Lourenco Marques? 23
Rui Filipe Antunes
an interview with
Rui Filipe Antunes First of all we would like to know something of your background, and how your experiences has impacted the way you make art. By the way, what's your point about formal training? Do you think that a certain kind of training could even stifle "free inspiration"?
Sometime I feel I am a kind of nomad, deterritorialized. I was born in Mozambique and am part of the community portrayed in the work. But I have lived in transit ever since. I grew up living in different locations in Portugal. Now I am based in London.... Of course this experience impacts my work in a strong way. I feel that one of the tasks of artists is to take the world and reinterpret and 24
reimagine it as a transformative force. This process of transformation entails the inner you, a respect for the origin, a respect for the unique voice that is yours. On the other hand there is a cathartic element in every artistic act. It is by no mere coincidence that my work has recurring themes such as roots and memory. It is a circular process. With regards to my thoughts about formal training, I am trained as a sculpture. However Ar.Co, my school back in Lisbon, has been traditionally a place of experimentation and as such in that respect we were quite free to engage and explore alternative materials, forms and processes. And this again reflects on the heterogeneity of mediums I have been choosing to explore. Later on I came to London to Goldsmiths, with the intention of studying
Rui Filipe Antunes
related with the technologies of realization. On the one hand technology is a tool, a vehicle and technical support of the work. On the other, technological innovations were the major driving force for cultural changes operated during the 20th century. Art in the modern era has continually refuted itself, has reinvented itself in response to changes in culture and technology, and its progress manifests in codes and canons being permanently rebuilt and redefining what art might be. Moreover, I would go as far as to say that Art and Technology are assimilating one to each other: if Art "uses" technology, also Technology is growing more "artistic"... What's your point about this?
Art, as a cultural process, has many aspects which are very useful to society in general. One of these aspects is the diffusion of ideas originated in scientific and technological areas, helping to establish new normative paradigms. For example, Titian and his workshop were very useful during the 16th century to create an understanding of the anatomical structure of the human body made of autonomous parts. In the 19th century, Edward Muybridge was also very useful with his use of photography in the understanding of bodies as kinetic and dynamic structures, putting in parallel the man and the other animals.
Still from #4, from the Halley's series, a series of reinterpretations on Peter Halley's paintings. Cannibalistic pixels eat each other based on their colour values.
interactivity in installations. There, I came accross 3D and virtual worlds, and it was an immediate affair. I realized immediately the narrative and metaphoric potential that the technology entails, and have been exploring these since. In that respect, my education has been very inspiring. It is my strong belief that everything you learn will be usefull later on. It is just a matter of giving it time.
Today, art using artificial inteligence produces a similar exercise of dissemination to a wider audience of abstract concepts such as autopoiesis, emergence and selforganization. Another of these useful aspects of art and technology is being a field for visionary exercises. When Paul Cezanne established that painting should be reduced to basic geometric elements he was somehow realizing the 3d computer graphics.
It goes without saying that today's technology allows us to carry out project that seemed to be unfeasible just a few years ago: notwistanding this, not few people think that there remains a hidden dichotomy between Art and Technology: what's your take about this?
Undoubtedly aesthetics ideas are closely 25
Rui Filipe Antunes
which I had no memory of at all. In that period, I lived in a small neighbourhood created on purpose to receive 'retornados'. A 'retornado' is someone who came from the former portuguese colonies after their independence during the 1970s. This work is about that imaginary place that I have constructed in my mind in those days. Put simply, this work is about an experiment in memory: putting together all these different stories and descriptions and to see what comes as the result. That's what I did when I interviewed this community of 'retornados'.
Something similar can be said about the radical movements from the 1960-70's: Happening, Performance, Fluxus, etc.. when these have dissolved the barriers between the audience and work in terms that would be those of the 'user interface' and 'interaction'. Now we would like to focus on your work about your process and set up for making this work? And what technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work?
In my childhood, I grew up surrounded by people telling me stories about this place, 26
Rui Filipe Antunes
Still from the virtual world xTNZ - self portrait as virtual world. This is a virtual ecosystem inhabited by evolutionary virtual creatures whose textured skin and emitted sounds are images and sounds originally from the author's body.
Aside from myself, there were five other people directly involved in the process, Vy Phan helping in 3D modelling, Rui Leitao and Teresa Cardoso transcribing the interviews to English, Joanna Pylak making the videos and helping with the production, and Prof. Frederic Leymarie co-authoring the model of artificial inteligence that we have implemented in the 'story-tellers'. The work is availabe on the internet at http://www.lourencomarques.net
I went with the purpose of knowing how the city of my birth was. How was the city and the life of the inhabitants of the former Lourenco Marques, before it changed names to Maputo after the independence of Mozambique? Some of these participants went a bit further, and besides their oral accounts, they have shared their personal objects of memorabilia. Some 'shoe-boxes' were opened and some visuals (photographies, postcards, drawings) and audio (songs) material was also added to the project. With this material, I have built a composition, a landscape portraing the former city. This was accomplished in a game-like 3D virtual world where you can navigate and collect descriptions by interacting with a population of cartoon-like residents, the 'storytellers' that transmit the accounts from the participants. With regards to the technical aspects of the work, this involved putting together the skills of different techniques. It combines photo-graphy, sound, character animation, 3D modeling and artificial intelligence
Still from the Virtual world
Rui Filipe Antunes
as a way to describe the evolution of art and technology. Classic themes (such as death or redemption for instance) are universal, timeless and recurr independently of the historical era or the technology being used. This generates interesting tensions to be explored aestheticaly with the properties offered by 'new' technologies. One of the challenges to the process of authorship is to enrich these thematics when translated with the coordinates proposed by new technologies. Not to mention that art should have an effect, or at least should communicate something. After reading your artist's statement, the following question might sound some rethorical: do you think artâ€™s purpose is simply to provide a platform for an artistâ€™s expression? Do you think that art could steer or even change people's behaviour?
Still image from AliveLife, a reinterpretation of the famous Vitruvian man from Leonardo Da Vinci.
As said earlier, art has an innerent transformative power. There are good examples out there of art made of silences, of art dealing with the transcendental, which completly overtakes you. This quality is one of the dimensions of the transformative power I am referring to. In A Portrait of the Artist as a
We have read that in order to realize this project you have gathered oral informations... I can recognize a perfect synergy between tradition and modernity. Do you think that there's still a contrast between tradition and contemporary?
There is a risk when using technologies, in particular computers, to mimick already established forms of production. In the process of technological adoption, there is always a time where previous methods and processes reappear unchanged. Later on, 'new' technology develops its own codes and canons. As Simon Penny puts it, "Cinema didn't find its place in museums; it evolved a new cultural context and a new code of behavior". Contemporaneity is defined by a particular moment in relation to time. The contrast between what is contemporary and what is tradition exists when we see art and technology forming a teleology organized on time. However, post-modern accounts have shown that this is not always the process. A Rhizomatic evolution would be more accurate
Rui Filipe Antunes
engaging when there is still a realm of possibilities, of trajectories that the work might take and decisions are made. I am very hands on, and materials and errors open paths not initially planned. So works are 'in-progress' until the last moment. There are always changes to be made. I like deadlines, because this creates a moment of rupture, when I have to say enough. Otherwise the work is never complete. There is something else to add, to grow. So in that sense the day the work is exhibited for the first time it is a simultaneously anxious and relieving moment. Your works have been often awarded. In particular, we would like to remember the VIDA competition of art and artificial intelligence. Awards often are capable of supporting an artist, but do you think that an award could even influence the process of an artist?
Still image from a story-teller in the Virtual world Where is
Young Man, James Joyce talks about improper and proper art. The former is kinetic, generates move-ment, desire. The later is static, it stops you. When an art work has this quality of stopping time, there is something organic about it that we might identify with Kant's idea of the sublime. Kant's sublime is phenomonologic. The interpretative process cames later, it is conceptual. There are also many examples of very good art which require this interpretative process to be present. This is a second dimension where this transforma-tive power resides. This is an area of an art partisan, art that is politically engaged with society. Saying this, I respect both approaches. But yes, art was, is and will always be magical in the sense of being able to transform those who make it and those who receive it.
In the case of VIDA, Telefonica assisted on the production of the pieces, so it played an instrumental role. But it was a straightforward process. The projects were sent and the jury accepted them. But this is a public contest with a particular agenda and a public brief. I belive that this influence might exist with other types of commissions, in particular with individual patrons where you might have to make some compromises. To answer clearly to your question: if the changes are about compromising processes of work and not the ethics, it is not something that bothers me. Comissions and grants play important roles in art production, and some works might take years to complete or might involve teams.
we're always interested in hearing the answer to. What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?
Thank you for this interview, Rui. My last questions concerns your future plans: are there any new projects on the horizon?
The whole process is different and develops different levels of affection. Perhaps because I produce on a very small scale, there is an affection between myself and the current work, whatever it may be. The early steps are very
Currently I am just focused on finish this academic stage. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tea Popovic (The Netherlands) â€œI make art out of everyday life, based on material found from television, movies , books and other media. I have been concerned with the pop culture and mass media through a drawing, painting, objects/ installations and photo depicting themes such as estetics politics, porn, gym/fitness, consumer goods and internet images. I observe the different aspects of society: popular culture, power struggle, current political issues, globalisation and cultural clashes. Often with ironic and humoristic style, I carefully craft stories that are worthy of belief-a skill requiring intellectual sophistication, emotional sensitivity and reveal observations on the everyday reality. In that sense humor "relativizes" the tyranny of reality. I don`t paint or draw fantasy world , I am more fascinated with understanding how the world works still I don`t have any grandiose illusions about changing anything. It is more the urge to create and the desire to find new ways of interpreting the world. In order to do so the first step toward the creation is observation . I feel that human creativity is central to our survival . I doubt everything ,all the time and try to be socially useful . Today we live in enterprise culture and nobody not only artists canâ€™t count on stability. As an artist I see the intensive interaction between cultures , all under a clout of globalisation , and wonder whether blending can enrich us all spiritually and economically , or make our minds more uniform , like the clothes of marching armies . The message perhaps is to make the viewer reflect, feel and empathize with the theme. While being visually sweet, I actually protest in a funny manner, like Isabella Rosellini would do. One way of possessing good manners is to insult in apparently harmless, charming way while at the same time raising very serious political and sociological questions. The common thread is visually saturating invitation for contemplation about more fundamental questions
of current day issues. Even if I can not suggest a solution at least I have to put up a question. Nobody cares anymore who did what first in contemporary art , being in the context prevailed over belonging to a stylistic epoch. We have now artist making things with an awareness of all other things. One must have either the robustness or flexibility to absorb the change in current art/life affairs . Being an artist also means insight in many possible outcomes and appreciating how many things in life turn out to be just right.
Tea Popovic RC de Ruimte, Ijmuiden/ Quantumvis V, De Service
Garage, Amsterdam/ Urban Jealousy, Magacin MKM, Belgrade Serbia/ 2008 - Urban Jealousy /1st International Roaming Biennial of Tehran/, Hafriyat Karakoy - Istanbul , Berlin and Belgrade….) Winner of two awards – Faculty of Fine Arts 1st Mosaic Award in 2007 and 3rd prize , 6th International Open , Woman Made Gallery , Chicago in 2003. Her works can be found in private and public collections in Serbia, Italy, The Netherlands, etc. She is living and working in Heerhugowaard, the Netherlands. www.teapopovic.com
Artist’s profile SOBERING ARTICLE IN METROPOLIS M: Ik ben wie ik ben omdat ik zeg wie ik leuk vind - I am who I am because I say what I like SOBERING BOOKS: Stuff Parisians Like, Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture SKIN COLOR: needs a lots of sunshine, all the time MOVEMENT: very sudden and intense AN AFFILIATE MEMBER OF :
Konstantinopolitischerduedelsackpfeiffermachergezells chaft mbH WEAPONRY: I stare at you with a nice smile until you realize you are defenseless I AM GOOD IN : scratching my own car in a miniature sized dutch public garages TV: travelchannel RELIGIOUS VIEWS : I respect budism but believe my own eyes only RANK IN A SOCIETY: aspiring socialite WINE OR BEER PERSON : kir royale
Utopian Romance, 200x160 cm , H2Oil on canvas
UNFORGETTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS FROM MY CHILDHOOD : climbing Machu Picchu
Tea Popovic was born in Belgrade, ex-Yugoslavia. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 1999. In 2002 she received an MFA(painting) from the same Academy.
(now I think mountains obstruct the view) I LIKE TO : talk, walk, listen to French people talking English, be in a click free environments AMBITION : not blond INFLUENCED BY people who have the ability to seem and act normal ..Dutch say be normal, that is crazy enough I WANT TO do everything very fast that`s why drawing makes me feel fulfilled. I don`t understand what is the point of needlework.
Beside solo exhibitions (e.g. in Belgrade, Utrecht, Haarlem, Heerhugowaard) Tea Popovic participated in many group exhibitions (e.g. 2011 - Blissland Project , Berlin / 2010 -Kunstvlaai (RC de Ruimte), Amsterdam/ De keuken van Jan Steen , RC de Ruimte, Ijmuiden / 2009 - Quantumvis V,
an interview with
Tea Popovic We would like to start with our usual ice-breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art?
In my view the understanding of what art is, may always be in a state of change. Even if some properties of an art work like (aesthetic properties, expressiveness, creativity/being original, having an individual point of view, showing a high degree of skill) can be defined, there is always a quinta essentia ( quintessence ) that makes the art work simultaneously undefined and complete. In other words, art is unpredictable and tends to follow life in evolving in ever more complicated and interrelated forms. We have to look at art contextually, in relation to other works of art, as well as to our discourse, as Arthur C Danto would say. Historical moments also define what can be a work of art and what cannot. "Dantoâ€™s theory suggests that because an artwork presents an abbreviated attitude toward whatever it is about, the viewer is invited to fill in the details and flesh out the significance of the work. Audience participation is built into the concept of art; disinterested contemplators need not apply." It all comes down to a change in the viewer, whether an emotion or an idea is passed and transformed in the eye of the beholder. An artist can not have any control of its effect on a viewer, so artwork itself becomes a virtual person who can make friends as well as enemies, at instant. Art work is absorbed, recognised and enjoyed in accordance with the properties of an inner word of its viewer, and hence can not objectively be valued. Interaction that , if we are lucky, results in transmutation. "Art is the kind of thing that depends for its existence upon theories â€Ś the art world is logically dependent upon theory". The world of interpreted things. Just like fashion that has its base upon a business, art world
nowadays has to be run as a marketplace because of non-artists being financially involved and many of them making a living without contributing anything original into it. As there is a market connected to media, theories are abundant, just like sport commentators for instance. Mapping the chaos was never an easy task, and controlling chaos means its end. The more theoretical work comes about, the less original art will appear, excluding talented people who may impose a self-censorship beforehand. As art is evolving like morality, to paraphrase Nietzsche, any theory is obsolete on the day it is published, as in the meantime new developments made it useless to predict the future, just like balance sheets of a company. Discourse in the art world denotes interaction of the work of art with its contemporary society, or even more precise, segments of society to whom that particular work of art resonates.
Somerset Maugham ,drawing 35 x 27 cm , watercolor on paper , 2013
global art world. Contemporariness is also used f or academic purpose as research for instance. It is highly conceptual. Time sorts out what is worth saving. I doubt that â€œourâ€? contemporary art is in essence different from, say, Etruscan contemporary art, but after a few thousand years, visual and statistic selection happens, so that we do not really know how enormously big quantities of art were being made in history. Most of contemporary digital art will be lost due to simple storage disks failure, but the ones really meaningful will survive by copying to yet to be discovered data carriers.
By the way, do you think that contemporariness it's just a matter of belonging to a "stylistic epoch"? Even though it might seems a bit paradoxical, I would state that piece of contemporary Art could even go beyond a time-based classification: what's your point about this?
An artist is free to make art in whatever way he/she wants, without any restrictions, there is no such thing as a contemporary style. Of course that piece of contemporary art could go beyond periodic framework, it doesn`t refer only to the current but also follows the tendencies in the
You have a formal artistic training in painting: moreover, you have received MA in Fine Arts from University of Belgrade, Serbia, which is your native country, focusing on Theory of Images. How much in your opinion training influences art? We were wondering if in your opinion a certain kind of training could even stifle one's creativity...
Let me begin with an ancient, Seneca, with his saying “We do not study for life, but only for the lecture room,” Non vitae, sed scolae discimus . That means that only the autodidacts are free. Hmm? Training defines tools and enables analysis, not the art being made. Just like encyclopedists tried to create some order in chaos, art theory serves to enable young artists to create the best way of expression of an idea or form. It is nowadays popular to dismiss classical training like punk promoters tried to dismiss conservatoriums of music. I only hope that painting materials factories are not serving the vane amateur market the same way punk’s real achievement was to sell instruments to people without talent. Informed, enthusiast amateur is always on a good path to succeed. Like in any other profession, you can be a good or a bad doctor, a lawyer, a carpenter or a good or a bad artist. Persistence, self- confidence, talent, intention, need, urge to make art, good choices, and of course a little bit of luck (or being in the right place at the right time) are the qualities that can help you in achieving your aim or your dream. Being a trained artist can at the same time help you shortcut your way into the art world but also be a burden to you or even frighten you in a way that you respect authorities too much, not daring to transgress …
C’est un scandale
“package life – satisfaction guaranteed lie”. The ideal landscape of Val d'Orcia, in Tuscany, is a perfect setting for this three girls who don`t drink to drown sorrow, but to celebrate the joy of being freed from the shackles of expectations. In the Val d'Orcia the landscape is strongly associated with utopian ideals. My aim is not to strengthen the ideals but to reconsider them.
Now we would like to spend some word about the artworks that we have selected in this issue: let's start with "Utopian Romance" which has immediately caught our attention... By the way, what is the scandal in your work "C'est un Scandale"?
In “Self portrait as a Luchadora “ the idea comes from lucha libre , professional wrestling and of course El Santo the most famous wrestling folk icon and a symbol of justice. For that purpose I bought/ordered his silver mask and adopted it in
“Utopian romance” is actually a triumph of awareness upon false promises, leaving emotional space for real pleasantries instead promotion of
tourists. Once an advertisement image becomes a drawing, it loses its hypnotic function and puts everything in perspective, making us think about many other ways of Paris in particular attracted impulsive spenders in the past. Especially in your recent pieces that our readers can admire in these pages, we can notice that you saturate your paintings, fill them up, with colours, shapes and forms: is there a particular reason? Colors seem to claim our attention...
My choice of colors refer to a contemporary culture and I am also aware of its sweetness and “happygo-lucky” appearance but I use them to protect my soul .I don`t want to grey them down. Different subjects that I often portray in my paintings give them the “heavy content”, while being visually sweet, I actually protest in a funny manner. The emotionally-expressive character of the art work is important and as you noticed it emerges in intense colors, shapes, forms, themes I am playing with. In order to attract a bee, the flower itself needs to present itself beautifully. I don`t like depressing art and lifeless colour schemes. Until a person matures and holds grudge on world’s „unfulfilled“ promises, lively colors and light are the most natural surroundings. Affinity to light and color is a measure of the health and the youth of the soul. The meaning of color in my work is really connected to optimism, cynicism and the joy of being alive. In other words, colors give me a sense of freedom.
guy" role, who plays by the rule , and rudos playing the "bad guy" role who break the rules , where I relate myself or the artist with technico. In case you didn`t get it already, artist are the good guys ! “It is a scandal” (drawing) is a funny french expression where one claims to have take a side in an argument while not making anybody antagonised. A very civilised way of agreeing to disagree, preserving quality time together for other niceties. In this particular case, tourist traps like Louboutin shoes, Louvre museum and Le crazy horse night club are perfectly blended together in one advertising image aiming for tax-dodgers
Self portrait as a Luchadora , 70x50cm H2Oil on canvas
There's a suggestive sentence that we can read in your artist's statement: humor "relativizes" the tyranny of reality: would you like to elaborate a bit this concept? It's very stimulating...
Humour makes it easier to reject the indecency while staying polite. It also gives a great sense of perspective, a “third role” in a world where you are forced to be either a butcher or a lamb. We would like to spend some words on your series of drawings entitled "Sociometry": I would go as far as to say that there's subversive appropriation of pop art themes, followed by a semantic expansion. And your statement "Our only mental survival weapon against media-invasion is our pattern recognition ability" is very revealing...
I like the way you put your observations into word. The power of words and copywriters presence and involvement in every layer of our society fascinates me so therefore my reaction. I heard from a marketing guru: everybody is selling something, but you have to entertain first. In omnipresent media I feel like a fish being exposed to millions of baits, and my only way of emotional survival is to recognise the types of those baits and the intention of entities holding the handle of that “fishing rod”. My drawings are representations of many such situations, where nicely packaged lie is clearly understood as such. You haven't maden a secret that Art could play a role in facing social questions, you mentioned the Italian artist Isabella Rosellini (an artist more than just an actress) and you have expressed your viewpoint with clarity in your artist's statement: so we would like to ask you if Art can steer people's behaviour and even change it, starting a revolutionary process... what's your take about this?
Parisian palm tree , A3, watercolor on paper drawing 42 x 29,7 cm , 2013
go” and acquire faith that everything is a part of a bigger plan that leads into more happiness.
It all boils down to a question of realisation of one`s own potential. Every time I hear the word revolution, which I find overpowering and confusing, I associate it with dividing, excluding, propaganda and denial of its meaning …. Art itself prefers evolution, gradual increase of awareness. I leave steering behaviour of others to mean bankers and other persons with retarded soul, tough I hope even those “frozen” persons will learn the art of “let
artists that we interview: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction? But in this case we would go as far as to say that the act of painting itself gives you an intrinsical satisfaction, isn't it?
Yes it is true, it gives you satisfaction tough not immediately. I always start to paint with the same intensity and stress. There is this preparation
Thank you very much for this interview, Tea. What are you working on at the moment? What are your future plans?
I am working on my drawings for an upcoming exhibition while waiting to hear some good news as answers to my proposals. Thank you guys also for the interview it is a good time to take distance and to reflect about myself and my work.
from ''Sociometric Series'' - drawing, 2011
process of finding inspiration in everyday life and images mostly from the Internet that I digitally transform and change the atmosphere. I do enjoy brainstorming. Refining ideas and talking about them is also a pleasurable activity. The act of painting is not only a pleasure experience. It is a mix of concentration, execution and not knowing what you do even if you have prepared everything. Only when the image begins to occur then begins the painting fun and satisfaction. After completing a painting there are couple of weeks of enjoyment, in the meantime you begin a new one or you go back to a drawing, write your own ideas for the future works.
They Don`t Eat Pandas in China 60x50x3cm acrylic,spray enamel on canvas 2007
Jeremy Newman (USA) In Living Things (2013) and The Persistence of Forgetting (2010), I intercut archival film clips and digital video footage in order to critique midtwentieth century depictions of women and technology. I interrogate Holly-wood’s contentform dynamic by using montage editing to create thematic patterns. Symbolic shot juxtapositions are for purposes of illustration and ironic pairings for counterpoint. Additionally, celluloid and digital video have different visual textures, lending my experimental films aesthetic dynamism. The resulting filmic language subverts conventional narrative meaning and necessitates viewer interpretation. Rather than Hollywood’s concealed directorial manipulations, my authorship is transparent.
Mad doctors subjugate them through quasiscientific experiments, and the representational violence is veiled by absurdity. I use additional materials such as classroom films, government films, newsreels, and home movies to ground these clips in their sociopolitical sphere. Digital video introduces visual motifs that infuse the story with universal themes. These range from the biblical tree of knowledge to an earth mother figure that embodies fertility. During this era, America’s fledgling suburban lifestyle was threatened by destabilized gender roles and unrestrained scientific advancement. These B-movies are cautionary tales that depict women as human guinea pigs.
Living Things examines the depiction of gender and science in Cold War era B-movies. In Shock (1946), The Wasp Woman (1959), and The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962), women are victimized as science goes horribly awry. A sequence of stills from The Persistence of Forgetting
A sequence of stills from Living Things
B-movie clips and sequences from children’s animations remind viewers that Hollywood authors modern fairy tales. Often, these stories perpetuate antiquated, and destructive, gender roles. In fact, a sightseeing excursion to Hollywood precipitates the protagonist’s divorce. Video clips of a praying mantis and a blizzard symbolize his isolation and despair.
A psychiatrist in Shock uses insulin therapy to torment a war veteran’s wife. The Wasp Woman features a cosmetics innovation that transforms an aging woman into a deadly wasp. In The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, a surgeon stalks potential body donors for his wife’s severed head. This violence is often obscured by melodrama. Further, these films escape critical attention due to their secondary economic status and inferior production values. Living Things critiques them by situating their clips in new representational patterns. In The Persistence of Forgetting, my recently divorced protagonist watches home movies of his former life, and systematically hunts for a new mate. I link memory and loss to the human eye and movie cameras by appropriating classroom film footage.
The Persistence of Memory is the basis for my title. The filmic equivalent of his melted watches; this nonlinear film immerses viewers in timelessness. I structure this film on a Carl Jung quotation, “There are truths which belong to the future, truths which belong to the past, and truths which belong to no time,” in order to create a sense of simultaneity. Despite lamenting the past and worrying about the future, the protagonist’s true struggle is in the present moment. He’s lost in an electronic wilderness where audiovisual verisimilitude supplants authentic lived experience. As archival materials displace memory, he has an amnesiac experience, forgetting through remembering. Rather than securing a replacement by any means necessary, he can only get to know someone else and fall in love again by letting go.
an interview with
Jeremy Newman We would start with our ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art?
Art encourages viewers to see the world differently. This can be recognizing the connections between things, or new phenomena altogether. In addition, there’s a visceral quality whatever the level of refinement. You have a formal training and you received an MFA in Media Arts from The Ohio State University: how much in your opinion training has influenced the way you make Art?
I’m a visual artist who makes films. My formal art training is ultimately a nontraditional film background. The focus on photography and avant-garde film at Ohio State had a lasting effect on me.
Can you tell us about your process and set up for making your work? What technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work?
By the way, do you visualize your Art before creating? Do you know what it will look like before you begin?
I start with a theme, and then search for archival footage that suits this subject matter. Often, I appropriate clips from sources that I’ve already used, as they become newly relevant for me.
Each film begins with a vision that I follow to a greater or lesser extent. The most successful parts are unplanned. Images reveal their thematic intersections during the editing process. My juxtapositions rely on these moments of crystallization.
My goal is to create a seamless film from varied sources, including original digital video. Whereas the resulting film can be viewed as an integrated whole, its individual parts gain resonance through juxtaposition.
Some of your works as "The Persistence of Forgetting" deal with intimate subjects, and we recognize clear quotations of psychology. So we were wondering if in your opinion art’s purpose is simply to provide a platform for
A still from The Persistence of Forgetting, 2012 12 min
an artist’s expression or if you think that art could steer or even change people's behaviour...
with deep subjects. Do you think that there's a dichotomy between Art and Science? I would go as far as to state that these apparently different disciplines are assimilating one to each other: what's you point about this?
Art connects people. Viewers can see themselves, including their personal contradictions and problems, in explorations of the human condition.
I don’t believe there’s a dichotomy. Art and science both involve creativity, innovation, and dedication. They also build on or challenge what came before, leading to discovery. These disciplines flourish in the realm of questions. Through creation, they cast light on human existence and our universe.
Art also presents alternate viewpoints and reveals that which is typically obscured during casual perception. Can a work of art lead to changes in viewer behavior? I believe that looking at art can lead to self-awareness, and this is a necessary component of change. In "Living Things" you have effectively dealt
A sequence of stills from The Persistence of Forgetting
In your works we can recognize an interesting synergy between tradition and modernity. In your opinion could Modernity be considered as the natural continuation of Tradition or there's an irremediable contrast between these two different approaches to Art?
movies that suggest cultural indoctrination. I establish the sociopolitical context for the B-movies through these materials.
In these last years we have seen that the frontier between Video Art and Cinema is growing more and more vague: do you think that this "frontier" will exists longer?
For me, technology is at the heart of this matter. Artists can use technology strictly as a tool or take advantage of its unique properties. For instance, a painting can be photorealistic or rely on the texture of brushstrokes. Further, artists can use chisels to create modernist sculptures and computers to render traditional drawings.
Do you think that new media art will definitely fill the dichotomy between art and technology?
Whether ancient cave paintings, Egyptian art, or Cubism, artists have long implied movement in still images. Perhaps the most literal example is Marcel Duchamp’s painting “Nude Descending a Staircase.” In the early twentieth century, European artists including Hans Richter and Viking Eggeling began creating avant-garde films.
In your interesting work "Living things" we can recognize clear references to B-movies: it seems that nowadays there's a renew interest towards this genre...
Whereas B-movies are blatantly outlandish, the classroom films, government films, and newsreels that I appropriate were accepted as unquestioned fact. These trusted cultural forms reflected and shaped viewers’ conceptions of themselves and others. In addition, I use clips from archival home
Over the years, mainstream cinema has adopted numerous stylistic innovations from the avant-garde without adopting its content. For me, this is the key. Form may be imitated, but the adoption of a visionary sensibility is prohibited by commercial demands. 42
Living Things critiques the depiction of gender and science in Cold War era B-movies. In these films, women are victimized as science goes horribly awry. Yet, representational violence is veiled by absurdity. This experimental video highlights the cultural anxieties, shifting gender roles and scientific progress, which fostered these representations.
The Persistence of Forgetting applies the Jungian conception of time to post-divorce psychology. Digital video footage and archival film clips are interwoven to blend past, present, and future. The archival material reflects the protagonist’s shift from subconscious to conscious awareness, and represents the societal impact of the Hollywood studio system.
Besides making Art you also teach and you are currently Assistant Professor of Communications at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey: how this has influenced your career as an artist?
next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
I’m currently working on an experimental film about pollution and homelessness in Chicago. While illuminating these problems, I’ll counter familiar postcard tropes.
My films have always been interdisciplinary, yet they’ve become more theoretical as a result of teaching at Stockton College. I’ve enhanced the conceptual aspects of my work by screening it at academic conferences and offering courses such as “American AvantGarde Film.”
Archival film clips will provide cultural and historic context for my original video footage.
Thank you for this interview, Jeremy: what’s
Jenny Van Gimst
Jenny Van Gimst (The Netherlands) an artist’s statement “Art has always been my passion. I knew from a very early age art was going to be the most important in my life. It takes practice and patience to be a full time artist and I am finally able to devote as much as possible to my studio work. I want to take the object out of his usual environment and put it in a new one, as if I can decide how it has to live or die. For me the object stands for the individual so if I take the object out of his usual environment and put it in a new one, I can rule his life. For me the object becomes an individual who in a group, the group as a social family, is much more powerfull than standing alone. This is why I call my work families: my settings / associations / stones / connexa / silent/ stagione morta / BOX / they are all moments of balance where the structure of the surface is for everything different. But no less important. Therefore, I have to reflect everything differently and the best possible. My way of working is to display the caracter of the object as faithfully as possible. I prefer working with things lived, used, rusted, broken, since it’s these things that make the greatest challenge. A broken piece of glass, old paint, photographs. These things painted correctly gives them a new life, a dimension more often. Beauty is hidden in everything, you only have to see it. So if I can seduce the viewer, is this not the intention of making art? The audience provided that he or she takes the time to stand still. “ Jenny Van Gimst
gloria in excelsis
Jenny Van Gimst
Jenny Van Gimst was born in Doel, a very small village in Belgium, and she currently live and works in Wechelderzande, Belgium. She started to paint with oil on panel in 1989, before she worked as a illustrator for magazines. EDUCATION: Art college (Academie Voor Schone Kunsten) in Antwerp KASKA 1974-1977 Specialisation Jewelry design KASKA 1977-1981 Hoger Instituut Jewelry design KASKA 1987-1989 Illustration KASKA 2001-2003
Jenny Van Gimst
an interview with
Jenny Van Gimst We would like to start with our usual icebreaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art?
have specialized in Jewelry design. Moreover you have worked as a illustrator for magazines. How much has these experiences has impacted on the way you nowadays make Art?
The meaning of â€œa work of artâ€? is for everyone different. For me if a work of art can capture someones eye for a second, I am satisfied, for than the deeper meaning comes later. Last week at an exhibition someone said to me that by looking at my work you get thrown into the painting, for me this was an increadible compliment.
My work as an illustrator has been a big advantage for my work now as a painter because as an illustrator I was full time painting with thin layers of oil. Before that, I did art school as jewelry designer and the advantage of having done that is thinking in 3D what helps me now by drawing a painting.
Would you like to tell us something about your background? We have read that you
Jenny Van Gimst Can you describe a little bit about your creative process?
I work always in series and they are all „family“ for me because to stand alone is more often a weakness than a good quality even how good it can feel being alone. Every serie has his own cultural qauality for me, (surface is different for everything). For instance: with the serie connected (or connexa) I wanted to connect the objects to each other or by tape or by shadow. Each object is different.
Serie entitled “Family” What better illustrates the word “family” than an egg? The beginning of everything. Depicted as a group of objects.
You often work with things lived, used, rusted, broken and in fact many of your pieces portray broken glasses, rusty padlocks. It would seems that your Art besides displaying the caracter of the object achieves to show the history of the object itself. Do you agree with this?
Serie entitled “Associaties”: By discovering these old pictures, I start questioning myself: Who are those people? What did happen to them? What do they believe? And why are they doing what they do?
That is correct, it shows the history of the object itself, but I prefer to say, the history of his own life because the object for my becomes an individual, with his own characteristics, that is why I prefer to work with objects with a life behind, with the patina of time, covered with rust, scratched.
Serie entitled “The Architect”. From the architectural point of view, a nest is a real technical achievement, only held together by twigs. Should one of the twigs being misplaced, the whole masterpiece would fall apart.
Old photographs and paintings, broken glass, a fallen leaf. Herein lays the biggest challenge: by painting correctly those remnants of life, they gain a new life, an extra-ordinary dimension.
Serie entitled“Connected or Connexa”. Being part of a group can strongly determine your identity. The use of tape and shadow play shape the group cohesion. Serie entitled “Settings”. The first and largest group. At the beginning there was the setting, the object standing on its own. Nothing more, nothing less.
Now we would like to spend some words about your interesting series that yuo have submitted and that our readers can admire in the pages of the current issue.
Jenny Van Gimst
to find it”. And yes of course it is the “symbolic function” of the artist, but don’t put all responsability with the artist. I used to make litthe settings where the objects were put in balance with each other. I assumed that the balance would bring a tension in the setting where the observator was forced to look at and at that moment would stand still. For me, at that moment I became part of the observators life and I became responsible.
We have been intrigued by your pieces entitled "Couleurs" and "Borstel": there's a stimulating kind of meta-art... the mere instrument can be artistic, too. Art that deals with Art has a deep conceptual impact, and we couldn't do without mentioning the great Belgian surrealist artist
I agree, my work has a kind of meta-art feeling, and especially because I am the observator at the sideline and look at my work I’m working at at that moment. I also know that art is not something you do, it is a way of life and sometimes it is a gift, sometimes a curse.
Not to mention that the feedback of the audience is important for everyone who has something to communicate. When you conceive a work, do you think to whom will enjoy it?
A sentence of your artist's statement "Beauty is hidden in everything, you only have to see it" reminds us a famous quote of Michelangelo: do you think that one of the role of the artist could be to reveal, even to decipher hidden beauty?
No, I force myself not to do that, you first have to serve yourself as artist, follow your own path, I think in the long-term it is the best.
Maybe it is better to say “Beauty is hidden everywhere. One just has to develop the ability
If you do not, then your work doesn’t become authentic. 48
Jenny Van Gimst
Jenny Van Gimst
we often ask to the artists that we interview: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction? But in this case we would go as far as to say that the act of painting itself gives you an intrinsical satisfaction, isn't it?
Yes and No Yes because at the moment Iâ€™m painting I am the lonely happy cowboy (or a feeling that comes very clos to this) No because exploring the idea itself is nearly as exciting as painting and painting is a hard work. And because I always work in series, the idea has to work for several paintings and not only one. Thank you very much for this inter-view, Jenny. What are you working on at the moment? What are your future plans?
For the moment I am working on a serie called BOX, It is about the bounderies of a box, round or square, the limits, the discrepancy of the edges and the used materials, what is possible within these little boxes, we as humans also live in boxes, we carry it with us all the time on our head.
Manuâ€™s collection 50
Jenny Van Gimst
setting oil on panel
Jeroen Nelemans (The Netherlands) “I am interested in the construct of an image, specifically how the digital image can be manipulated to contemporary notions of sight and seeing. With the increasing appearance of the visual language of digital technology and the Internet, I started using imagery that I collected from the Internet. The idea that the image has already had an existence in many different forms or materiality intrigues me. The lifespan of an image; painted on a canvas, shot on photo negatives, turned by the digital world of zeros and ones and then by me made into a physical objects that creates a new dialogue that blends the virtual and physical. This discourse is very much evident in the light box series: The More I see the Less I Grasp. This series challenges the relationship between traditional documentation and contemporary notions of representation. To create these layered images, I photographed each lightboxes’ innards, and using green-screen technology during post-production, I inserted photographs of nature scenes. Finally, the commingled image of the lightboxes’ inner bulbs and the sunny forest are presented on the light box, illuminated from within. In this presentation, Nelemans reveals that a picturesque image, so often taken for granted as ‘natural,’ cannot be separated from the mechanism of its creation.
Six Feel Above,
From the Postcard series are images of tulip fields were taken from Dutch Postcards and Calendars. These bird eye perspectives of color fields became even more abstracted when the actual backlit film is wrapped around the fluorescent light bulb. Early mapmakers frequently used imagery from early works without giving credit to the original cartographers. Eindhoven is made from multiple screenshots using Google Earth of road markers in the city of Eindhoven. Much like the More I see the Less I Grasp series, these new images of Eindhoven
cannot be separated from the mechanism of its creation, as the map becomes a negative space of the plexiglas, which is removed with a laser cutter, allowing the LED light to be revealed. Straight lines were crucial for Mondrian's ideal of harmony and order, which he achieved by reducing the image to vertical and horizontal lines and the use of primary colors. I decided to simplify Mondrian’s
Jeroen Nelemans removing the image from its original context. The new spatial forms are replaced with images of light installations that were taken from museums that control and light these Dutch 17th Century paintings. Today we know more about Vermeerâ€™s paintings because of scientific investigations rather then contextualize the actual image. Nelemans takes advantage of the medium and let the light source come from the back of the image, creating a more investigatory look. Since most images, in my art practice, are being introduced via computer or television screens. I like to continue this discourse and to see some of my work backlit as well. Using light in a direct way is also my interpretation of the Dutch light, which has been an obsession throughout history for most Dutch artists.
Jeroen Nelemans (1974) was born in the Netherlands and currently resides in Chicago. His recent shows include The Mission Gallery in Chicago, the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, the DelaCruz Collection Contemporary Space in Miami, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art in Greece and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids. His works have also been screened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, the Banff Center in Canada, the Werkleitz Centre for Media Art, Halle, Germany, Magmart International VideoArt Festival, Napoli and the Kortfilm festival in Copenhagen.
ideal even more by only using a tool that is designed to create the straight line. Over time 4/5 days each laser levels loose its brightness and eventually disappears. When the batteries die, they will be replaced with new batteries.
Nelemans collaborated with Anne Wilson in a video titled: Walking the Warp, which was part of a group show at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, the Knoxville Art Museum and the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston and the Trienale Design Museum in Milan.
This performative element of the piece is being repeated over the time of the exhibition, and therefore creating a new and continuous dialogue to Mondrianâ€™s ideal of harmony and order. Light and space have been two essential qualities that Vermeer illustrated within his paintings. Nelemans uses digital collaging to challenge these qualities by
Nelemans received a Full Merit Scholarship from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and finished his MFA in 2007. He was a resident at the Jentel residency, Vermont Studio Center and at the Santa Fe Art Institute.
an interview with
Jeroen Nelemans We would like to start with our usual icebreaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art?
Art is artificial; therefore it has to be manmade. A sunset is not art, unless an artist claims and presents the sunset as an artwork. Art is the product of a conscious intention. You have a formal artistic training in painting: moreover, in 2007 you received MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. How much in your opinion training influences art? We were wondering if in your opinion a certain kind of training could even stifle one's creativity...
I graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Fibers and Material study program. At that time I was exploring and manipulating materials and creating largescale installation work. I think it is healthy for an artist
to be in different environments and use these new surroundings to nourish new work. Whether it is academia, an artist residency or a changing your studio, an artist needs a community. You are a multidisciplinary artist: how do you choose a particular media for your works?
My previous work informs the new work. My installation work is always designed and intended to be experienced by the individual, perhaps a moment to be experienced by the individual, perhaps a moment to contemplate their relationship to the work. The sun and the water became part of my art practice, allowing
the More I see the Less I Grasp, 2012 25â€? x 25â€?
make these large-scale installation even more powerful. Now I work more with landscape imagery that I collect from the Internet. The idea that the image already has had an existence in many different forms or materiality intrigues me. The lifespan of images; painted on a canvas, shot on photo negatives, turned into the digital world of zeros and ones and then by me made into a physical object. We live in a visual culture that seems to be like a variation of Platonism as though we were returning to the cave.
natural cycles to occur in these unusual settings, like grass growing inside of Astroturf in Six Feet Above. These natural processes were not, however, brought back into the gallery space. Here the natural cycle stopped and decay continues to change the artwork. In Six Feet Above, a 12 by 24 feet piece of Astroturf is suspended six feet above the ground that bisects the gallery space. Traveling underneath, a vast network of roots weaves in and out from under this plane. Once above and within this floating carpet, the viewer realizes that the Astroturf is a new host for live grass. Video became a new media to explore as the element of time helped to
Untitled (from the Postcard series) 2012 25â€? x 50â€? light fixtures, back lit film
Now we would like to focus on your artworks that that our readers can admire in these pages: let's start with From the Postcard. Can you tell us about your process and set up for making this series?
The Postcard series is an extension of the More I see the Less I Grasp series. I was working with light boxes and wanted to continue to explore the possibilities with light fixtures. With the More I see the Less I Grasp series I was very interested in the framework of the light box. The new image became a new window of display. With the Postcard series I removed this framework and let the wall become part of the work, as the colored light was also cast onto the wall. The images are bird’s eye perspectives of Dutch tulip fields. These color blocks became more abstracted when I placed the backlit film, where the actual image is printed, around the fluorescent light bulb.
viously created maps from other cartographers without giving credit to the original maker in order to add new information as cities were expanding. I continue this type of investigation in my work. Eindhoven is made from multiple screenshots using Google Earth of road markers in the city of Eindhoven.
We would like to ask you some technical questions about your recent work entitled Eindhoven: by the way, could you explain to our readers why you have entitled it with the name of an European city?
Eindhoven is also called the “light city of the Netherlands” since Philips, a company both of my parents worked for, introduced the light bulb there in 1891. For me, it was a logical step to present my map as a light box.
I am Dutch and grew up near Eindhoven. The map I created completely disregards the practical qualities, so I wanted to clarify this with the title. Early mapmakers often pilfered pre-
You are also a video maker: in these last years we have seen that the frontier between Video Art and Cinema is growing more and
from the Postcard series 2012 25” x 50” light fixtures, back lit film
Mondrian series 2011 5â€™ x 5â€™ wall mount laser levels, batteries
more vague. Do you think that this "frontier" will exist longer?
great to see the creative energy when I introduce these tools to my students.
Most of the still imagery that I work with or alter is being introduced to me by the Internet. The same accounts for the moving image, as our experience is no longer separated between television and cinema. Further more, it has become increasingly easier to not only take video, but also editing video.
Your series The More I see the Less I Grasp challenge the relationship between traditional documentation and contemporary notions of representation: do you think that there's an irremediable contrast between Tradition and Contemporariness? By the way, do you think that contemporariness it's just a matter of belonging to a "stylistic epoch"? Even though it might seems a bit paradoxical, I would state that piece of contemporary Art could even go beyond a time-based classification: what's your point about this?
In the last 5 years I have seen a pleasant shift where established film festivals also introduce a video category and a lot of video festivals over the years have gained a great reputation. I am also in a privileged scenario where I teach video editing in a college here in Chicago and it is
Even though the word contemporary is associated with a term for a period of art, for me contemporary means of the present time. So I like to use and explore materials that are current. This discourse is very much evident in the light box series Eindhoven, which talks about cartography. Throughout history, mapmakers, who were often artists themselves, were reliant upon technological innovations to meet the demands of new generations of mapmakers and map users. This allowed me to think of different ways to represent an image of a map that cannot be 57
Eindhoven 2013, 16â€? x 32â€?
separated from the mechanism of its creation. The actual map of Eindhoven becomes a negative space, as it is being removed with a laser cutter, allowing the LED light to be revealed.
custom made LED Light box, lasercut plexiglass
of your work do you enjoy the most? And what gives you the biggest satisfaction?
Maintaining the newness and excitement of an idea until the work is finished!
to the artists that we interview: what aspect
to Leave an Incomplete Image of oneself approx 11â€? x 13â€?, custom made light box, back lit film
Caroline Bacher (Canada)
With influences including Bosch, Carl Jung, traditional fairy-tales and mythology, Caroline Bacher's mixed-medium work presents reccuring dichotomies, confrontations and relationships between the individual and facets of the self through a personal lens of metaphor and symbol. Themes such as memory, time, movement, transcendence, birth, death and regeneration, transformation and their varying effects on the psyche are prevalent in Caroline's mysterious, yet innately understood projections of the ever changing yet ingrained mental environment of the individual. Using a range of materials such as graphite, coloured pencil, ink, pastel, acrylic paint and watercolour, Caroline's fluid and spontaneous creative process is echoed in the dream like nature of the resulting work. Caroline was born and raised in rural Muskoka (Central Ontario Canada) and graduated from The Ontario College of Art & Design in 2002 as a Sculpture/Installation major. She has throughout her life enjoyed experimenting with a wide variety of traditional and unconventional artistic materials, but has always had a special fondness for creating 2D narratives, which stems from a great love of children's books and story telling. 60
Caroline especially loves when her work reflects and accents the creative works and ideas of others, especially independent artists of all genres. In the past her images have provided a fitting visual accompaniment to experimental music in the form of album covers and insert art, and have appeared alongside the short stories and prose contained within two published anthologies by Toronto writer Lorette C. Luzajic. Caroline pursued an independent study of Jewellery Arts at George Brown College (Toronto) in 2003-4, where she was inspired to wed her interests in sculpture with her love of story telling/gathering into a rewarding career designing contemporary jewellery/wearable sculpture. A big fan of gemstones and their attributed metaphysical properties, Caroline seeks to create Personal Talismans that seek to inspire, follow, and reflect the Wearer throughout their daily lifeâ€“ semi-permanent, intimate fixtures on the ever-changing landscape that is the Body.
an interview with
Caroline Bacher First of all, we would like to ask you: what defines a work of art for a many-sided and versatile artist like you?
To me, art is all about starting a dialogue or conversation, and the viewer's own story, choices and notions have a big part to play in it--it is play in fact! Art is very personal, and what strikes a chord with one viewer may not strike a chord with someone else. Some of the best known art wasn't even created as art in the first place, but it served as an "icebreaker" for ideation and contemplation outside of its original purpose. As a viewer, I find so much inspiration in everything that's around meâ€“I love to play! I think that's why I enjoy pursuing so many mediums as an artist. I strongly feel that art can be anything that actively engages the viewer. Although it's a simple concept, it's quite amazing to think that everything that we experience was created by something--an artist, whether it be a tool created by an engineer or a crystal by nature; all of it tells a story. People sometimes get too cerebral about it, and it doesn't necessarily have to be soâ€“ it's all up to the viewer. I think that if you're alive on this earth, you're a fan of art because the universe is made of art and it makes up our lives!
I was fresh out of high school at the age of 18, it was tremendously exciting. I'd applied under the impression that I would illustrate children's books, but it turned out that my creative career made a number of unforeseeable twists and turns. While I do do some illustration and 2D work, I decided to become a Sculpture/Installation Major at OCAD, which later developed into a strong interest in jewellery arts and wearable art. My love of narrative continues to carry through in whatever medium I work with however.
You have a formal training, and you have graduated from The Ontario College of Art & Design in 2002 as a Sculpture/Installation major. How in your opinion training has impacted your Art? And how your Art has developed after your left school?
In retrospect, my time at school was just a jumping off point, and a sort of validation that gave me confidence in truly pursuing something creative as a career choice. I was exposed to a lot of interesting people and
I grew up in a really small town, truly in the middle of nowhere, so when I was accepted to the Ontario College of Art & Design when 62
Caroline Bacher Not to mention that in your works there are clear marks of influence of Bosch. You have also cited Carl Jung as an important source of inspiration. Can you elaborate a bit on your interest in Jung's and Bosch's work? By the way, what other artists are on your mind lately?
I discovered Hieronymus Bosch when I was in my early teens and it was totally intriguing, and came at a fitting time in my personal development. Like all young teens, I was becoming more aware of myself as an individual trying to make sense of a world where everything wasn't quite as it had previously seemed. Elements of pure fantasy were mixed with a medieval reality in ways that were both scary and funny, beautiful and strange. It was refreshing to have this connection with an artist who, 500 years ago, also saw the world as uncertain and absurd. Little is known about Bosch or the motives behind his work, and I think that greatly adds to his paintings. Like most medieval art, there's a strong religious undertone that's quite foreboding. It's critical yet also quite humorous and playful. There are definitely many avenues open to personal interpretation and play, and many characters interacting with each other. Bosch's art was made at a time when people were really trying to capture reality in art, but notions of perspective and a more scientific understanding of colour or capturing 3D forms were yet to be utilized. I can really see how reality was being filtered through the artist in pieces from this period, and a lot of their solutions to the problems of "capturing reality" are very interesting, making them a little abstract and almost modern.
ideas, but it really took my own life experience to make all of it real to me. It took some time after my graduation to find my voice and to produce work that I was confident in. I guess that having a formal education in Art has made me more aware of my place within the scheme of things. My experience didn't make me an Artist, but it gave me the time to think a lot about it and expose myself to many artistic directions. I feel that being an Artist is a lifetime journey of discovery, and I look forward to what the next few years bring and how more experience will change my outlook and work.
Around the same time that I discovered Bosch's art, I had my first encounter with the theories of Carl Jung and I felt another 63
I wouldn't describe myself as religious in a definite way, but I think that the mystery of something greater than what the senses can behold is very important.
immediate connection. His work focuses on the determining factors that shape the individual within a larger context. There's a strong element of alchemy prevalent in Jung's ideas--that something can transform into something else the way a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. The type of mythology, symbolism and metaphor that transpires happens on an individual level that is also tied in to the history of humanity as a whole. Jung's theories about the psyche put me at ease, but in a way that encourages further exploration. There's also a strong interest in the concept of God and inclusiveness in Jung's work, and that's an element that I feel is often overlooked in a lot of popular modern western thought.
Louise Bourgeois has been on my mind a lot lately. She was a fantastic story teller and really knew how to make connections between her materials and her thoughts. Her work is very personal and there's a wonderful mind/body connection that often feels a little disconnected. She lived a very long life and produced work well into her 80's so there's a real feeling of a body of work, and her place as an individual throughout time. 64
many years before picking it up again and adding to it. I tend to work directly on the finished piece, but other times I'll sketch out an idea first or combine a variety of sketches and characters onto the final piece. One of the first feature of your pieces that leaps out, is the interesting blend of realistic details with your own imagery. There's an effective synergy between traditional -and especially mythologicalelements with a feeling that reminds us that we are in the 21century: do you agree with this? By the way, do you think that there's necessarily a contrast between tradition and modernity?
I'm very interested in the metamorphosis of a concept or idea. Everything we experience is analyzed and filtered through the mind and seasoned by what we already think we know. We don't live in isolation and are constantly changing with the times and our own personal experiences. Obviously the time that we live in shapes us more than anything else, and we are mirrors of it that also reflect back.
Modern Elegant Kanji Medium 10k Green Gold ''Dao'' Earrings
Now we would like to focus on the artworks that our readers can admire in the pages of this issue. Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project?
A concept or idea that comes into the mind probably won't be the same once it has been mulled around a little and our own experiences are added it it. And that's inevitable. While things change, I think the basis of what makes us human remains pretty constant. We all have feelings that certainly change and evolve and we all have a desire to communicate. That said, I don't think there's such a huge gap between tradition and modernity.
My process is very involved yet organic. I love to research and discover things, so I often find myself on random, unplanned research escapades. Something very insignificant, like a pretty rock, or something that I've read, will inspire research or just trigger an idea that will make a great piece of work. Other times, an urge for me to sit down and create something will seemingly come out of nowhere and I let my intuition take the lead. Sometimes I'll finish a piece in a few hours and other times I'll put the piece away for 65
Caroline Bacher A visual from your pieces "Another Portrait of Myself Right Now" that impacted on me is the deep yellow which seems to claim attention. Can you tell us a little about these pieces?
It's kind of funny that you mentioned this as it reminds me of a funny little snippet of a conversation I overheard a few years back. The daughter of a well-known and very successful Toronto art dealer was helping to set up a show in the gallery with her own young daughter, who was about 4 years old at the time. The child laid eyes on a huge abstract painting that was predominately yellow and quite commanding in its yellowness, and exclaimed, "Wowwww" in that pure child-like drawl. Her mother responded in a humorous tone, "Yes sweetie, it's lovely. But it's yellow!" It's true. Yellow is a powerful colour. It's gentle, but it doesn't speak quietly. It's not for everyone. Personally, I like it a lot and while I wouldn't want to live in a yellow environment, I do appreciate a pop of yellow just about anywhere. In fact, I've always sort of thought that a composition isn't complete without at least a dash of yellow. To me, it's a very spiritual colour. It's symbolic of growth and regeneration. I think of harvest time as well. It's thankful and hopeful.
Another Portrait of Myself Right Now
dominant palate was an intuitive one that I think works extremely well with the theme of the piece. It's been one of my most popular pieces and I find that people really relate to it on my website or on my Flickr page. I'm pleased to say that the piece sold on the first night that it was exhibited. I think its yellowness had a lot to do with it in fact.
"Another Portrait of Myself Right Now" is a self-portrait of sorts, as the title implies, and is about elements of the self interacting and seeking to progress, or at least carry on. It's sort of like a still in an animation.The story presented isn't completed, but there is a sense of what will or can happen. I painted it during a difficult time, where I really was seeking progression. It's a happy piece, but there is an undercurrent of melancholy. It is usually difficult to leave the past because that is what we're used to, and have tried to make the best of. The choice to use yellows as my
"Vessel" is another piece that uses a lot of yellow, but in a more subdued way. It's probably my current favourite of all time (ha ha). As the title implies, it plays with notions of the body as a container for the soul, and the fleeting yet cyclical nature of such. My love of pun plays in here too--a vessel as a ship sails, a vessel as a container holds something, a vessel as a vein pumps--there is constant movement, but also a recycling. I am an avid collector of old toys, especially old dolls. Toys are very special "vessels" and 66
I try to go to galleries and exhibitions as much as I can, but lately, one of my biggest sources for inspiration has been Pinterest! I'm addicted to it and I love that it's all visual based and such an eclectic mix of everything. I do have specific jewellery boards that I pin other people's wonderful work on, but that's mostly to celebrate it and spread the word to others. I get especially excited when I find something for my Japanese Dream and Dark Surrealism boards, but my inspiration from them is more mood based. I also love my Flora and Fauna board. Nature is truly so amazing and I love how something like a super nova explosion is also reminiscent of a carnivorous plant, or a nerve hidden within the body. I like my jewellery work to evoke many things within the viewer, and I like it to be a jumping off point for the viewer's own story, exploration and interpretation. Although there are lots of people who think it's a waste of time, I'm a huge advocate of extra sleep! Some of my very best ideas come to me in dreams or during deep relaxation. Sometimes I even dream that I'm creating jewellery! If I'm lucky, I can recreate the piece to be a part of this world. A lot of the time I'll come across a gorgeous gem and the concept for a piece is based on the stone's personality. I usually always start out with a sketch before making a piece in metal. Sometimes my idea isn't feasible as it comes to me so I re-work it a little. During the fabrication process, the metal often has ideas of its own and I try to embrace that and go with the flow.
BURST SterlingSilverOpal 2.5x2.25x1
mediums for fantasy and therein lies their vast appeal to me, containing hopes, dreams, aspirations and the beauty of the childhood soul. My favourite cat died unexpectedly, and this piece (depicting a cat's skeleton as well as the Egyptian cat headed goddess, Bast) is also in honour of my special friend. It's a celebration of life. We can't do without mention your intriguing Jewellery artworks: do you visualize your pieces before creating? Do you know what it will look like before you begin? Whatâ€™s your process?
Yes and no. As I said earlier, I love to research things and check out other people's work. 67
Mori Skull Nesting Pendant
Since we have read in your biography that you love children's books and story telling we would like to ask you: do you think that art could play an important role in chil-dren's education?
adult or intellectual perspective. Art should be fun and a part of everyday life. Admittedly, I get a little miffed when I see young children in the art gallery as they're not allowed to touch the work on display or respond to it in any other way aside from looking at the work quietly. Although parents have the best intentions, a traditional gallery isn't the best place to expose children to art or foster an appreciation of it in my opinion--a varied, hands-on and encouraging everyday life should do that just fine.
Of course! Children are very hands-on and visual beings that certainly respond to all sorts of creative expression. What child doesn't love being read a story or looking at pictures or dancing to a funny song? Most children are also very artistically inclined, but tend to lose this as they get older and try to "make sense" of the world and ergo often get discouraged. Sometimes I think that the label of "art" gets in the way a little. I do think that most good childhoods already include art, and that doesn't have to be going to galleries and pondering the mysteries of existence from an
Your images have provided a visual accompaniment to experimental music... Do you find that there's a particular relation between your Art and Music?
Yes! I really enjoy working with musicians and 68
have done a few projects with various musicians that I'm quite pleased with. Music is a very diverse and emotional language, yet very much open to interpretation. It is very imaginative and often tells a story. I like to think of all of my work, whether 2D or sculptural, as snippets of a larger story, so I think that a lot of music works well with it because of that. Thank you for this interview, Caroline: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
I try not to plan too much for the future--I find that the most exciting things are often the most unexpected! I put myself out there, and go with the flow. But I'm thrilled to say that I'll be relaunching my jewellery with a firm in London, England, this Spring and I'm very excited about connecting with a wider audience on that front and all of the wonderful stories that are about to start! I'm also in the final stages of completing the Graduate Gemologist program through GIA Distance Education, which is wonderful and will undoubtedly add to my work as a jewellery designer.Thank you so much for this interview, it's really been a pleasure.
Manuela Vuplescu & Corina Olaru
Manuela Vulpescu & Corina Olaru SWARTE “One square meter of roots” an artist’s statement
“I can only be amused instead of terrified seeing that humanity was once more tricked – this time by the sparkles of globalization - and forgot again the fundamental things that define it, and which are the only ones able to offer us the chance to avoid ending up in a sad individualistic era. I would rather define the current global crisis as being basically a spiritual one as it reflects the level of conscious evolution of the human species. It is, therefore, hard to imagine that it could be resolved without a radical inner transformation of humanity on a large scale and its rise to a higher level of emotional maturity and spiritual awareness. Watching how the entire world struggles now to build the future, the first thing that came in my mind was a quote from Donald Sutherland saying that it would have been great if we would have gotten a chance to live our lives backwards. That is exactly what the art collection “One square meter of roots” is trying to sustain: a wise way of living. “The task of “feeding” humanity with an entirely different set of values and goals might appear too unrealistic and utopian for most of us. Still, we are facing the necessity to instill humanity with profound ethical values, sensitivity to the needs of others, acceptance of simplicity, and a sharp awareness of ecological imperatives. Even if such a task appears too fantastic even for a sciencefiction movie we all have to admit that a radical mutation of ourselves is already under-way. I have no idea if the formula provided by the art collection
Manuela Vuplescu & Corina Olaru
“One square meter of roots” is the ultimate answer to the question we all have in mind today, but it is definitely a good start, at least for some of us to have a look at what made more than 70 tribes all over the world be able to survive and conserve themselves during time. The 18 works within this collection represent a personal vision about those basics which might help us avoid walking about our lives in a dark tunnel filled with selfish thoughts and handicapped feelings. The message of each artwork of this collection is explained in details on www.sw-arte.com/stories. When creating it, the composition of the paintings was reduced to the same repetitive framing, as the main thought was to express each part of the entire idea with the help of symbols from lives and rituals of the surviving tribes, as they were chosen and considered as letting the art work breath its own message in the most clear way. It was painting, it was drawing, it was body art and in the end it became photography; so many levels and so many ways, as a kind of representation of all historical human lessons that made us what we are today and what we can become in the future. All characters in the art works were “drained” of their own individuality for a better comprehension and fluidity of the narration. One square meter of roots is supposed to be a balance between symbols and emotions. Therefore some works are full of representations while others include free painting and drawing, meant to offer place to personal reflection while creating strong emotions at the same time. The entire assemble of each photographed painting is supposed to generate such an impact, while having an amazing force meant to define it as a clear statement of the message it contains. Last but not least… we did it together. One of us defined the project, searching for the “roots” while looking up every little detail of the surviving tribes around the world and expressed her vision in a body art form which was consolidated by the other one, who completed the story and caught it in a second of photography. That was probably the most emotional and intangible part of the project, as it came out so round on base of mutual respect and empathy.
Manuela Vuplescu & Corina Olaru
an interview with
Manuela Vulpescu We would like to start with our ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art?
A piece of art is that creative work which transcends the barriers of beauty for the sake of truth. It is an assumed authentic gesture of communicating one’s deepest thoughts or states of mind. That’s probably the reason why the core never lays into necessarily liking it, as it’s not the esthetics exclusively which makes it so valuable. It is more about the mystery around and its power of popping up strong feelings and question marks, that defines it as no ignorable. Would you like to tell us something about your background? How much different experiences have impacted on the way you make Art?
Well, as a team we are having a very complex / diverse background. We know a bit about business, we had a lot in common with marketing, we have an idea about the way in which editorial works, and we also know photography and painting and body art. That’s the advantage in working as a duo. It offers the possibility to abuse a variety of experiences if you want to become a story teller in visual formats.
you would lose the focus and become overcritical. The provocative in these moments is to not take you too seriously and to never forget to play, to stay flexible, and to simply let yourself go. Do you think that the dichotomy between Modernity and Tradition could be reflected also in Art? I would go as far as to state that even the more innovative pieces of Contemporary Art reflects in a certain way kind of "dialogue" with the Past... what's you point about this?
By the way, Manuela, we have read in your bio that you have 12 years of experience as strategic planner and business consultant. So we would like to ask you: what are some of the challenges for a sustainable relationship between the business and arts?
Modernity and Tradition are a good match and sometimes a wise solution. The claim is to find the right balance between them. As we were creating our series “One square meter of roots” we were firstly concentrating in finding out what made more than 70 tribes around the world able to survive till our days. It was almost amazing to realize that the humanity didn’t ba-
I think the biggest challenge is to stay true to yourself and develop things from your heart. A business experience has the ability to enforce the analytical side of a human mind, which actually helps a lot in creating solid concepts for your artistic projects. The threat of it might be if 72
Manuela Vuplescu & Corina Olaru Do you visualize your Art before creating? Do you know what it will look like before you begin?
In most of the cases, yes, but there are also moments when we just let a free form of expression guide us and simply take control. Now we would like to focus on your recent series, whose pieces can be admired in the pages of the current issue: could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project?
It all begins with the stories. I create them one by one till we are both satisfied with the round message we intend to put out there within an entire series of art works. That’s probably the main reason why, in most of the cases we preview our pictures, as we have already and entirely digested the message they will contain before starting to visually transform it. On the other hand, as we are both women, we have to deal on daily bases with a sack of emotions so therefore some of the works were matter of free expression and came out in shapes which were in the end surprisingly also for us.
sically change so much. It was more the form of it or it’s “packaging” that suffered bigger transformations. Otherwise, men and women are the same since ever, all forms of social organizations coexists since aboriginal times, we share the same triggers and since we collapsed into each other, we more or less deal with the same issues today. It’s therefore probably not a bad idea in times of crisis, to have a look into the past and hang on for a while on the traditional basics or “roots” while trying to build up a more stable version of modernity. With that in mind, we elaborated our works starting from the most primitive form of art which was the indigenous body painting and stepped up through different layers of modernity such as the drawing and the photography, till we obtained a round assemblage in which the two opposites harmonically coexist. 73
Manuela Vuplescu & Corina Olaru
The Round Universe of Kayapo
Manuela Vuplescu & Corina Olaru
nica. It is probably the best known piece of political art yet created, and definitely one of the most important. But that’s not the only example. Goya’s series “The Disasters of War” or the Brueghel’s “Massacre of the innocents” are also clear version of art meeting politics. Art can register big problems and influence the world towards a better future. It is clearly not its role to offer the clear solutions but it is in its power to rise up fundamental questions and to invite to personal reflection. In a recent interview, the German artist Swaantje Guentzel stated that "the exploitation of the environment have never been executed on a higher level while at the same time people have never been more convinced of their passion for nature". It's quite impossible to not share this analysis, and although this is evident, we still accept this paradoxical situation: would it seem that this contradiction is not clear enough as to force us to change our behavior or, at least, our consciousness?
Dan’s Power and Respect
We suggest to our reader to visit the related website www.sw-arte.com/stories and read the stories close to each piece. By the way, we have been impressed by "An Inuit story"... could you elaborate a bit the role of a story as a "companion" of a visual art piece?
I start to believe more and more that the process of fully understanding things in this
Thank you! Our works are generally categorized as mixed media art. So within this mix, we like to include words too as we basically communicate through them. They function more or less like frames for our paintings and they induce an extra touch and sensitivity to what the eyes can usually see. Anyway, we do not intend to glue the mind of a viewer to our personal way of thinking. On the contrary we would like his/her imagination to further flow. It goes without saying that your works reveal a clear social criticism. Do you think that art could play an important role in facing social questions? And what role does the artist have in society?
I think it always did. Let’s think about Guer-
Manuela Vuplescu & Corina Olaru
world is partially handicapped as long as it is reduced to its theoretical level or limited palettes of personal experiences. We start changing our behavior and way of thinking only when we are both emotionally and rationally capable of totally relating to an issue due to the fact that we were
The Freedom Of Yolngu
personally and directly affected by it. Is it good so? Is that bad? I donâ€™t know, but itâ€™s definitely classically human.
Manuela Vuplescu & Corina Olaru
and respect. I feel free to build up my stories, to transform them in body art and never interfere into the rest of visual concept which stays fully in the hands of Corina. She has a way o seeing what I think that makes me fully trust her instincts in rounding what we both separately create within our projects. Thank you for this interview Manuela and Corina: our last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
Thank you too for having us! Last but not least we would be more than happy to let you know that after winning some international competitions immediately after launching “One square meter of roots” in January this year, we will present our series in a solo exhibition at Ross + Ross Galerie, Friedrich-
And last but not least, you have established a fruitful collaboration: could you tell us something about this effective synergy? How did you two meet?
would be honored if the readers of your magazine would have the pleasure and time to visit us there. The exhibition will run from 22nd of March till 31st of May 2013. Thanks again!
We met each other few years ago, when I left the business career and came back from Germany after attending the studying program of the Make-up Academy in Munich. We became friends and realized that we have a lot in common so we decided to start our SWARTE project which we probably would have never done apart, as we definitely need the way in which we complete each other within the creating process. By the way, we would like to remember a quote of the artist Peter Tabor who once said that "collaboration is working together with another to create something as a synthesis of two practices, that alone one could not": what's your point about this? Can you explain how your work demonstra-tes communication between two artists? This reminds a famous line by Shakespeare: "for the eye sees not itself, but by reflection, by some other things"...
Actually it’s all based on communication, trust
Balobedu The Queen of Rain
Ambrose Yalley (United Kingdom) an artist’s statement
“I’m frameworking; adding surfaces and texture, ‘gardinsing’ particulars for prosperity...” That’s a line from a short script I wrote and I am very much looking forward to elevating more of my visuals, my video installations and uncapping ‘uncertainty’ in stories. Crafting visuals for escapisms. I have no idea where my concepts will take me and that process really opens and moulds me in flourishing as an experimentalist. With every idea conceived, I allow it to take me, display me, welcome me with open arms, shake me, detest me and thereafter manifest itself into tangible meanings for my own atmospheric surrounding. Still from
Still from Plink Prescription, 2012 written and produced by Helen 'Boots' Downes directed and edited by Ambrose Yalley
When it comes to a majority of my works, some have noted that it seems to find residence in ‘overcasting swallows of sadness, absurdity, depression and emotive decline’ (tut tut) but with ‘excitable obscurity’. I personally believe that one can also find similarity and ‘self-debate’ in conversation, study and reflect on aspects on one’s own personal attributes of life. Whether that be investigating disconsolation, effusive culture, formalities unseen. The list is endless.
I’m very much an experimentalist, discovering and unsettling my ideas, finding and sourcing, delving deeper, there’s many op-
‘where and what and this and that’ and that’s where I find my own joy and merriment. I suppose I would liken myself to a sailor at sea who visualizes and creates stories as he looks into the distance... I suppose, I’m very much a seaside person and any opportunity to be by the sea is always a rewarding experience. (Ambrose Yalley) Another still from Plink Prescription, 2012
a short bio
South East London born artist, Ambrose Yalley, studied Computer Programming at Portsmouth University and Digital Arts at University of Arts London.
opportunities in mysteries and possibilities and my work is exactly that. I myself, I’m on an expedition with film, of which, most of the time, I find myself walking on cobblestone pathways, it’s never a smooth and gleeful foot stepped walk but that journey happens to find favour with film, sentimental deliberation, indulgence in concepts with the perfect ingredient of not knowing and that approach fuels my investigation for excitable matters that allows me to delve deep into character and emotive development and this is something I’m very fanatical about. I’m learning always; as I craft, concepts walk hand-in-hand and these inform me on,
His evocative work in video, stories and installation is distinguished by its vivid, bizarre and intimate narratives. Yalley’s practice has been particularly concerned with the uncertainties of developing new characters, constructed through untapped narratives. His work explores the ambiguities and clout contact that are part of the processes of personal interaction. Ambrose’s art endeavours to enhance and push characterizations through non-closure.
an interview with
Ambrose Yalley Could you describe your background, and how you first became interested in video as a visual medium?
I started by studying Computer and Games Programming and this ignited my passion to write different codes and generate mini-games. The use of Visual Basic, C++, Actionscript and other programming languages, I have found to be astounding. I previously had always been interested in video/film, and my curiosity led me to study at the University of Arts London, LCC campus; it was there that I wrote a short story and this consequently got published in an arts magazine. I was soo excited, I couldn't believe it; the editor of the magazine contacted me and asked, ‘have I ever made any sort of visual work?’ I said, ‘I wouldn't even know where to begin’ and he stated, ‘make something and once you’re done, let me know’ and from that point, I’ve been making ever since. Ambrose Yalley a photo by Christopher Powell
You have studied Computer Programming and Digital Arts: how much has this impacted on your process? We were wondering if a certain kind of formal training in Art could even stifle young artist's creativity... what's your point about this?
by then and therefore I decided to continue teaching and learning and thus working on my own projects.
Computer Programming and Digital Arts during my university years were wonderful and memorable days; the use of this ‘decipher writing’ within coding has manifested into my visual arts work deeply. Writing and illustrating concepts for visuals and allowing ‘deeper sentimental thinking’ to be reflected in my work is always my intent. I did make plans to go to Goldsmiths however I was well into assembling
Do you visualize your works before creating? Do you know what it will look like before you begin?
I do. I conceptualize thoroughly. I focus on detail so particularly in writing and in illustrations; it almost becomes the progressive steps towards a novel. Every shot materialized naturally flows.
commencing and concluding with whispers. By the way, how new technologies such as video editing and DSLR has impacted on your process? Do you find that there's still a contrast between "traditional" 35mm and modern technology?
I started using a trusty DVX, whilst others were using DSLR’s but in all honesty, I think the appreciation just to make, is the greatest opportunity and it’s does reveal that modern technology always rapidly develops. I find myself to be very fortunate to be working with technology that aids the birth of concepts. Another interesting video, whose stills have been published in these pages is entitled "Salome": I would go as far as to state that there's social criticism in it and moreover I can recognize a subtle irony... ... do you agree with this?
Well, with Pyramid Pyramid’s video, ‘Salome’, my intention was to find ‘enhancement in rewards’. By that, I mean my research and interests in owner and dog companionship and how they ‘mirror’ each other in terms of contentment. The barking from both counterparts is measured, simply by happiness and that for me was joy in creating the video.
Now we would like to focus on your works: let's start with your recent and interesting short entitled "The Surroundings and its Bearings": it reveals an effective cinematographic approach. Can you tell us about your process and set up for making this work?
Yes, it all began with the creation of the characters and the characters dictating to me how behaviour should proceed based on the environment. With this piece, ‘proximity of words’ and its ‘immediate delivery’ to quickly be selective on ‘feelings’, whether that is ‘good or bad’ sparked a spinning interest, which naturally led to conversations between the two individuals
Still from Tongue Wrongs Bread Believe
Another still from Plink Prescription
Directed & Edited by Ambrose Yalley Written & Produced by Helen 'Boots' Downes
You have often collaborated with musical bands as in "Bear Mist Hunger" and "Tongue Wrongs Bread Believes" which have impressed us very much.
I liken partnerships to building bonds towards credible friendships, feeding and aiding each other for the best results possible. I’m interested in ‘unstudied emotions’.
The artist Peter Tabor once said that "collaboration is working together with another to create something as a synthesis of two practices, that alone one could not": what's your point about this?
In regards to communication and ‘many’, when I’m working with other practitioners, everyone is there and versed in their chosen fields, from sound to lights to atmosphere and much more, the succession towards realization of the visuals is evident through the desire to act as one.
Can you explain how a work demonstrates communication between several artists? This reminds a famous line by Shakespeare: "for the eye sees not itself, but by reflection, by some other things"...
we're always interested in hearing the answer to… What aspects of your work do you enjoy the
I’ll commence with the first part of that question; for me ‘collaboration’ is much more.
A still form
most? What satisfaction?
Directed and Edited by Ambrose Yalley Produced by Timothy Bachman
that you would like readers to be aware of?
Yes, at current, I’m preparing new visuals for my first London, Fulham exhibition and I’ve been commissioned by start-up novels purveyor ‘Alice Literature and Books’ to compile
I thoroughly enjoy initiating concepts, putting words down, sketching shots, creating the atmosphere from commence to conclusion.
I am excited and extremely grateful for the opportunities provided and in return thank you very much for this interview, very kind of you.
Thank you for this interview, Ambrose: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally
"An artwork doesn't communicate anything: it simply creates a mental space. Language, gestures, or rather a masterly brush-stroke of a paint...