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November 2013

SERENE GREENE SCOTT VOGEL KEITH ANDERSON ANTONIA COCIC DOROTHEE ZOMBRONNER JOANNA TAM RAIT ROSIN ALMA BAKIAJ HEIDRUN KLOS JON BARWICK

Dorothee Zombronner (Photo by Kathrin Heidenreich)


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November 2013 Keith O’Neill Anderson

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“Simplicity of form, minimal gesture, referencing my black American experience, purification, African traditions and art forms, spirituality, alchemy, ritual, and a creative process laid bare for all to see. ”

Dorothee Zombronner

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My works are about memories,the meaning of time. In a collage of different pictures from magazinepictures or photographs as,but from my own biography as well. I create stories,that never happened in that particular way, but inherits myriad's of other stories,that can be found out n the viewers mind.

Alma Bakiaj

Jon Barwick A work of visual art can be defined as a physical manifestation of an imaginative or creative thought that serves to provoke aesthetic resonance or convey meaning. I consider a work contemporary if it coexists within the times we are living, in terms of subject matter, materials, or technique.

Heidrun Klos Patterns of social interaction and repeating mechanisms in society fascinate me greatly. I am looking for the effects on identity and the individual. The intersection of individualism with mass phenomenons is thereby what interests me most.

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My art is an attempt to process visual objects in a way that strongly suggest the presence, but also the absence.

Rait Rosin Rosin’s works are rooted in conceptual art disciplines whereas film, installation, performance, painting and drawing are the basic medias for expression.

Through the observation of my personal environment, I show a new reality, a result of a subjective perception.

Paintings are made in expressive way without much conceptualising of the objectives.

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Joanna Tam My practice focuses on my interest in examining the notions of nationality, patriotism and standardization as well as the issue of displacement. I investigate through the use of spoken languages in order to highlight our physical, emotional and psychological responses when words are verbalized and heard.

Scott Vogel

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We’re living in an age of information overload and communication breakdown, so when I look at my own work, I feel that it is trying to return to simpler times. There's a sense of majesty and nobility on the one hand, and a sense of isolation and despair on the other.

David Wilde

Antonia Cacic Through the medium of painting, asking questions - about the functioning of the system of values and social conventions of the ethical beliefs of the socio- political elites, the ideas and ideals, especially the truths discussed sideways - or shut up about them.

Serene Greene My work is a visual soundtrack, calligraphic in nature, and fused with the emotions of color. Created with successive layers of images, written messages, texture and color, they fuse techniques of painting and drawing, and represent the excavating of secrets and unrevealed life.

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The process of creating and the presentation of art is a fundamental blessing and encouragement for human society that arises from the artists' ability to open to the primal elements of life's appearances. Feeling the heart of events and finding the freedom to express that in media and terms beyond the distortions of ego is a liberating thing that wakes people up to the natural benevolent vividness of circumstances.

Erin O’Malley “With digital macro photography I have been exploring the interaction of light with transparent and reflective surfaces. I consider my photography a series of experiments, a process of trial and error that builds upon past succes-ses through the manipulation of variables”

Feel free to submit your artworks to our art review: just write to peripheral_arteries@dr.com III


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I am not a Romantic she said (Emphacticly) Stencil letters on Tree trunk - Dimensions variable-2013

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Keith O'Neil Anderson

Peripheral ARTeries

Keith

O'Neil Anderson (USA) an artist’s statement

My art practice is informed by my existence, it’s rooted in an aesthetic that is fertile, vast, inclusive and malleable. Simplicity of form, minimal gesture, referencing my black American experience, purification, African traditions and art forms, spirituality, alchemy, ritual, and a creative process laid bare for all to see. Combine with unconventional materials, elements, and substances that possess little monetary value, while infusing new symbolic meaning and currency. Keith O'Neil Anderson Global Warming 2


Keith O'Neil Anderson

Peripheral ARTeries

an interview with

Keith O'Neil Anderson Hello Keith and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

When the past and present are in a constant dialogue, interpolated with traditional or unconventional materials, technological and scientific innovations something is bound to happen be it sublime or of atrocities near or far. Would you like to tell us something about your background? You have attended the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York: how has this experience impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks? By the way, I often ask to myself if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... what's your point about this?

I was born and raised in Miami Florida, studied fashion design at Parsons School of design, immersed in the fundamentals of draping, color, textiles, fashion illustration, patternmaking, etc and also the formalist theories of painting; color, texture, and composition. My creative path has been enriched by these various experiences that have not only impacted my work but also contributed to the continuation of an aesthetic that is vast, fertile, inclusive and malleable. While at Parsons I had a life drawing teacher who expected the entire class to mimic his style. So, two or three times a week during the evening I would attend Life drawing sessions at The Art Students league with the intention of concentrating on my development without the presence of a teacher. Freedom and discipline were a constant then and they remain so now in my life and art practice!

Corps Sublime, Spray paint on light bulb- 7 x 3 in - 2012

Cassandra Hanks

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Keith O'Neil Anderson

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

Idea and material being simultaneously caress, and jolted until I have arrived at a compromise between both. This process may take a day, month, year, or years before I am fully satisfied with the outcome, nevertheless attention to details and materials culled from anywhere and everywhere to make the work I think I should be making is vital to my art practice. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would like to start with a very stimulating work entitled I am not a Romantic she said (Emphacticly) that our reader have admired in the starting pages of this article. Would you tell us something about the genesis of this project? What was your initial inspiration?

I cut this tree that was approximately 25 to 30 ft in height for my employer, suddenly I was inundated by the name Elvira, a person who actually exists, now propelling me to spontaneously place her name in stencil letters onto this tree trunk, ensued by me photographing from various angles with a manual camera under the influence of natural light. Another piece of yours on which I would spend some words is Corps Sublime: I have been struck with the way you have been capable of establishing such an effective synergy between different colors and materials, creating a symbiosis rather than a contrast... by the way, how do you decide upon which materials you incorporate within a piece?

The materials have a way of imposing their will and I am more than willing to be an active but yet flexible participant in this precarious art making journey. An indoubtely important feature of your Art is the clear reference to your black American experience: in particular, I can recognize it in Throne and in Thoughts, Thoughts, Thoughts... I would like to ask you if in your opinion experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process...

Yes, experience is indispensable.

Throne, Burnt match sticks and a chair 36 x 16 x 16- 2010-11

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Thoughts, Thoughts, Thoughts, Burnt marks on Wiggleboard- 24 x 22 x 15 in- 2011

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

No, I do not think the creative process can be disconnected from direct experience. And we couldn't do without mentioning Wedding Ring, that I have to admit is one of my favourite work of yours... A feature of this piece that has particularly impacted on me is your skilful capability of creating a conceptual synergy between apparenly distant worlds... it's a reflection upon the concept of value... I think that your practice of combining with unconventional materials, elements, and substances that Keith O'Neil Anderson Warming possess little monetary value posesGlobal to us such a deep 9


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Keith O'Neil Anderson

Wedding Ring, 2011

question: what is the nature of the value?

your point about this? By the way, do you think that Art could play an active role in social questions?

Yes, it is a reflection on value. Is there a contrast between value and meaning?

Art can only steer the behavior of those who are willing participants. Yes, I do think art can play an active role in posing social questions.

Yes, absolutely! Monetary value is nonexistent in regards to Wedding Ring, however the meaning is momentous!

So far you artworks have been exhibited in many occasions: you have had many solo and you received a fellowship from Urban Artist Initiative / NYC‌ it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an awardcould even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is Cassandra Hanks

In your interesting work The Rebuilding of Rome I can recognize such a subtle social criticism as well... Today, it's quite obvious that Art can influence society more that we have ever seen before: and I would go as far as to state that nowdays Art can steer people's behaviour and even alter the perception of the individual "self"... what's 10


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The rebuilding of Rome, Tee-shirt (Artist), plaster, steel nuts, bolts and nails- 24 x 22 1/2- 2012

for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

I do not envision the reception of an award influencing my art practice at all. I do appreciate the feedback from those who take an interest in my work, but I do not necessarily think of whom will enjoy my work. Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Keith. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I will be participating in the Bronx Museum AIM, Artist in the Marketplace program In 2014.

I no longer write poems for her was I nothing more than just a rebound ? Felt pads on thigh - Dimensions variable - 2013

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Jon Barwick an artist’s statement

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Jon Barwick

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Jon Barwick

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an interview with

Jon Barwick Hello Jon and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

For me, a work of visual art can be defined as a physical manifestation of an imaginative or creative thought that serves to provoke aesthetic resonance or convey meaning. I consider a work contemporary if it coexists within the times we are living, in terms of subject matter, materials, or technique. Could this work have existed or been made 30 years ago? If so, I don't consider it contemporary. There a plenty of present-day artists who regurgitate art history in their work, and that's fine, but I consider good art reflective of the times and culture from which they were created.

Jon Barwick

assurance. I agree that artistic training can indeed stifle some people's creativity, and I’ve seen it happen. Having your work under constant scrutiny can make you self-conscious and overly cerebral, and that will indeed emerge in the work. I personally learned early in my formal education that, due to the highly subjective nature of art, you may receive many conflicting opinions, and you must trust your instincts at the end of the day. It's good to take everyone's opinion with a grain of salt and not allow it to become doctrine or over-influence you.

Would you like to tell us something about your background? You hold a MFA, that you have received form The University of Georgia: moreover you have studied in London. How have these experiences of formal training impacting on the way you produce your artworks? By the way, I often ask to myself if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity: what's your point about this?

The invaluable aspect of a formal arts education is that it provides you with a structured environment to make lots of art, experiment with a variety of media and techniques, and feedback from peers and instructors. As with any discipline, the more you practice, the better you become, and Ive never been more prolific than I was in art school. In a community driven education model as are most of the arts, the comradery amongst peers is unmatched. Artists tend to beat to a different drum and are inherently loners or outsiders. In school you are immersed in a peer group of other quirky, creative individuals, and this provides a lot of self-

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

Forefront to my artistic process is drawing. I spend alot of time sketching and expanding my lexicon of invented imagery, which becomes Cassandra Hanks 14


Jon Barwick

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ting around them to make them harmonize. This process may seem counterintuitive at times, but results in the most originality. Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with your recent and interesting work Orange Dots and Fustercluck, that have been admired by our readers in the starting pages of this article: would you tell us something about the genesis of these pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

For the Fustercluck, my goal was to create a composition that simultaneously appeared to recede into apace while also popping out at the viewer. This push/pull effect provides a sort of dynamic tension for the viewer, drawing you in while simultaneously radiating forward. I often view my paintings as windows or portals into some otherworldly realm, and Fusterluck was a bit of departure from this. While it is my impulse to cover every square inch of the canvas with dense imagery, I tried to restrain myself and leave space

Orange Dots, 2013 acrylic on canvas, 36x36x2 inches

components of future paintings. I also use the computer to manipulate and create imagery, which comes with its own digitized aesthetic. As far as assembling these components into a final product, my process is mostly improvisational. I don't preplan or map out paintings in advance, but may start with a vague template in my mind. Through the weeks sometimes months i am working on a piece I like to take many digital photos of it and play with the composition on the computer, moving imagery around and seeing what interesting combinations I can come up with. Artists have always used new and available technologies to aid their process. Digital imaging programs such as photoshop are, in my opinion, some of the most invaluable tools to come to our disposal since the invention of the camera. Making art is essentially problem solving, so often I will create a set of problems for myself, like painting two completely clashing motifs, then figuring out how to construct a pain-

Fustercluck, 2011 Mixed Media on canvas 72x72 inches

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Jon Barwick

around the cluster of information in the center. In this way the composition functions more like an object or abstracted still-life than a window, a grouping of separate, interworking parts- an organism. Orange Dots was part of my latest series of acrylic paintings which all featured backgrounds of vibrating patterns and op-art inspired effects. Of course my usual imagery of morphed architecture, geodesic prisms, and biological-inspired blobs were layered on top of the optical patterning. I used the contrasting colors of fluorescent orange circles on a cerulean background for the first layer of Orange Dots, and constructed the painting on top of that. As the background itself was already visually commanding, I wanted the subsequent layers to weave in and out playfully, rather that complete for attention. in these last years we have seen a great usage of digital technology, in order to achieve outcomes that was hard to get with traditional techniques: do your think that an excess of such techniques could lead to a betrayal of reality? Intraduplication,

My most recent series, and all my work from the past year or so have been strictly acrylic paintings,

2008 acrylic, mixed media on

but as I mentioned earlier I often use the computer in my process of image generation. I will often take drawings, and translate them into digital images, print them back out, and trace them back onto the canvas- only to be painstakingly rendered with paint. Like you mentioned, there are outcomes that can be achieved with digital imaging unlike any other, and I like the comtemporariness of this aesthetic. In older series of work, such as the Overload series, i was creating imagery, printing it out, cutting it out with an exacto, collaging it in layers, and combining this with paint and other materials. I have also used the technique of direct image transfer where I pull the digital image off the paper with gel medium to make it part of the canvas itself. If an artist is making interesting work, I’m not so concerned about the process being digitally driven as opposed

Overload 1, 2009, mixed media, 40 x 40 inches 16


Jon Barwick

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Scrape 143, 2011, Acrylic, Mixed Media on canvas 84x48 inches

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

It would be an understatement to say that color is an important part of my work. I often use a bright, highly saturated palette of jewel tones and neons because i feel like they have the most visual impact and reverberation. The Overload Series is definitely an example of where I was trying to convey a stimulating and vibrating experience through color. I additionally used reflective metallics and shimmering iridescents sprinkled throughout this series for their ability to sparkle and grab you. These colors don't seem to translate as well in photographs but their effect

paper, 48x264 inches

to traditional techniques. There are simply some things you can accomplish with a printer that you can't do with your hand. As far as an excess of these techniques in contemporary art, I think theyre creating a new, more authentic reality. Reality is overrated anyway. As I'm obviously not opposed to the use of printing or digitally enhanced techniques, there is a certain continuity and connection to the past that painting with traditional methods provides. Traditional paintings are also still taken more seriously and deemed more valuable in the current market, so they sell better, which is always something to consider. Another interesting pieces of yours on which I would like to spend some words are your installations Overload and especially Intraduplication, whose nuances of colors have impressed me very much: by the way, any

Space Mountain, 2012 Global Warming Acrylic and hand-cut paper on canvas, 44 x 66 x 2

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Jon Barwick

in person is undeniable. Another important component of my color repertoire is black, not for shadow or tone, but as a color itself. Black is one of the most rich, dynamic and intense colors to me, and I try to incorporate it into every painting. For Intraduplication I wanted to create my own modern interpretation of an ancient Chinese scroll painting. While I incorporated the same types of futuristic, industrial, and scientifically-derived imagery, I wanted to evoke the earthy, antique feel of the ancient scrolls through color. I used coffee and tea and spices such as tumeric and paprika to stain the paper and achieve this effect. While I experiment from time to time with more subdued or restricted color palettes, I always go back to the hypersaturated, in your face colors that I love. And I couldn't do without mention Big Bang!, which I have to admit is one of my favourite work of yours... I would call it a "painted instal- lation": I have been struck with the way you have been capable of establishing such an effective synergy between different materials, creating a symbiosis rather than a contrast... by rhe way, how do you decide upon which materials you incorporate within a piece?

Big Bang! originated as a drawing of an explo-

Big Bang!, 2011, cut paper, mixed media on wall

ding cityscape with buildings radiating out in all directions from a central nucleus. I wanted to create a site specific wall piece as compliment to my paintings in a show I was having, and got the idea to build this "explocity" out of cut paper. Since I've been using collage in my paintings for years, it felt like a natural progression to attach cut paper to the wall. The malleability of the material allowed me create 3-dimensionality, and weave the elements in and out of one-another. As previously mentioHanks ned, I use aCassandra variety of media in my work such

Flora 55, 2013 acrylic on canvas, 36x36x2 inches 18


Jon Barwick

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expectation of an award- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

If I get a particularly strong audience response to a certain piece, I will try to figure out what aspect of it is particularly impactful, and may shift future work toward that direction. I also may change the scale or materials I use to fit the parameters of a certain show or award I am applying for. As far as the content of work I think it's important to remain authentic to yourself as much as possible without trying to please someone else. Artists must make a living though, and there are times when you have to make a piece that someone wants, even if it's not exactly what you want to be making. asking to the artists that I happen to interview, since -even though it might sound the simpler oneI receive the most complex answers: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?

Stretching Canvas. No, I'm kidding. That is a necessary evil. While it is highly gratifying to start with a blank slate and watch a painting reveal itself to me over time, the part of my process I enjoy most has to be the more repetitive, monotonous elements like painting a pattern over and over. There is something highly therapeutic about mindless repetitive tasks, and I go into an almost meditative trance when doing this. And of course, completing a piece you've been laboring over for weeks or months also delivers it own amount of satisfaction.

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as paint, collage, drawing, digital printing, and transfer techni-ques. I appreciate a no-rules approach to art making, and I will combine two or more techniques within one piece. My choice of materials is largely dictated by which ones lend themselves best to the desired, final outcome.

Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Jon. Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I just had my debut exhibition in Canada in a group show in Toronto, have several shows in Brooklyn towards the first of the year, and have been invited back to my hometown in Georgia for a show at The Columbus Museum this coming spring.

Your artworks have been exhibited in many occasions and you have been awarded... it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the

An interview by peripheral_arteries@dr.com

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Dorothee Zombronner (Germany) an artist’s statement

My works are about memories,the meaning of time. In a collage of different pictures from magazine-pictures or photographs as,but from my own biography as well. I create stories,that never happened in that particular way, but inherits myriad's of other stories,that can be found out n the viewers mind. 15

An other issue of these works are the reflections of the aspects,the possibilities and the limits of painting. The series "Pippletips" is a queer-feminist work.It is about perception of pictures. Like a mental test, the viewers are invited to associate what they are think to see. These works are playing with figures like hair, skin, spots,organs, blood, genitals. In my exhibitions i got often asked "But what gender has it?". That is a central point of this work, because there is no definite explanation for each picture. Its the vievers mind, who categorizes and tries to decide the question of gender, beauty and about what the want to see.

Dorothee Zombronner Serpentine details, year, dimensions 20


Dorothee Zombronner

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an interview with

Dorothee Zombronner Hello Dorothee and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

Hello, and thank you very much for inviting me for the interiew. It is hard to me to find an answer to this question because to me art can be everything. My guess is,that in general (or at least in western civilisation )it is often the context that decides, what art is and what' s not. I mean,most of us allow things exhibited in museums or galleries as art, but if we would find them in other contexts we wouldn't define them as art. I think that too many people faith in the judgement of galleries and artcritics but not on their own cognition. Many people are very critical (at the wrong point) but coevally have issues and doupts on their own opinion. Personally,I like art that plays with uncommon media or shows me things in a way I havent seen before. Im interested in arts that touches political or social issues. And I like art that dosent take it self too serious. Would you like to tell us something about your background? You hold a Diplom in Fine Arts that you received in 2007 from the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts Kiel. How has this experience of formal training impacting on the way you produce your artworks? And how has your art developed since you left school? By the way, I think that living in Berlin these days might be even considered as an experience of formal training itself, isn't it?

Definetelyy, my study affected my in my esthetical perception and possibly intellectual as well. On the other hand, I often felt opressed and unfree while studiyng in Kiel. I had a very dominant Professor there who used to read the writings of Clement

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Greenberg with us all the time. He tried to convince us, that only abstract painting would be accepable, contemporary art. Most of my fellows continued to paint abstract and started to quote our Professor or Greenberg without any reflection or to try to find out their own point or position about their art or the art in general. No one ever scruntinized his opinion. And what was worse: no one concerned about the person Greenberg and his role in culture-politics of the USA while the cold war. I really suffered under the preassure of this Professor. At that time, I ritired from my art class. I was relly depressed and was thinking about to give up my studies. Finally,I decided to make my degree and to move away. To me it was a kind of rescue to go to Berlin and start from the beginning. In Berlin, I started from sctatch. And I have to say that it was the best choice I've done. Two weeks ago, it happend to me that I read an Artcritic from one of my exfellows at Kiel. The text was a speech about the works of an other colleague of us. And still- she was talking about Greenberg. I was really amused. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your works? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

Usually, it starts with a abstract idea of a picture, an action. Than can be something that happened to me in reality, it can be also a motiv or a picture wich I find on my everyday ways, or in magazines. But I also like to tell stories. And I like to show pictures that teling stories. In chase of my painings, there can be an idea of an experiment at the first moment. At the picture „Voodou“ for exampIe,I wanted to try to make a picture whose structure basically consitsts of lines. But I also had a diffuse image of a landscape and a house in my head as well. I can not say, that there would be a special way or a usual tecnique when I start to paint.

Dorothee Zombronner (Photo by Kathrin Heidenreich)

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Dorothee Zombronner

Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with your recent and interesting works Bats House and Serpentine that have been admired by our readers in the starting pages of this article: would you tell us something about the genesis of these pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

In Bats House and Serpentine, I tried to work with different layers, stuctures and vanishing points. It was an experiment to me to create a kind of painting that works with optical illusion (illusion of spaces) but also with areas of unbroken colours at the same time. And,- as I have already said- also to tell a story, or better: to evoke a vague feeling on the viewers mind. A visual of Voudoo that has particularly impressed me is the synergy between the apparently contrasting ideas of horizontality and verticality, which gives a sense of rhytm to the canvas: you used such technique also in another interesting piece entitled Das Leben ist uninterssant, with a quite different effect: in this case, the vertical flooding lines suggests such a staticity that, as the title suggests, lead us to meditate... by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

I think „Das Leben ist uninteressant“ is a more

Bathouse details, year, dimensions

direct and more personal picture than Voodoo is. It came into existance when I was in a very difficult situation in my life and was at the end of my rope as well. This work is a very sarcastic and ironical statement on my cognition at that time. Even though,there are simillarities on both pictures, there are huge differences as well. As I already said, the first picture was more like a personal statement,

Voodou details, year, dimensions

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Caption X details, year, dimensions

rent stories, establishing a channel of communication between apparentely "separated realities"... I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Well, I think experience- in wich way it may ever happens - has influence on creativity, or the kind of work you do. Personally, I think that most of my works, if not everything, is somehow connected with my experiences, my feelings or my opinions. And I think that this mix of famillar figures or athmospheres and inchoate forms creates sometimes a „stack in a stomach“ feeling. But I think experience does not necessarily makes a good artpiece. I like to fabulate. Others do not.But I think they are also concerned with topics that are important for them for a reason.

the second, Voodoo, was a picture,where formal ideas where more interesting for me. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, through your collages, as Auro-ra's Fluch, you create stories,that never happened in that particular way, but inherits myriad's of other stories: your creative process is capable of discovering such an Ariadne's Thread that links together diffe25


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Dorothee Zombronner

a kind of modelling plasticine, that is sold in Germany for childrens play. But not all of these Micro-Sculptures have that extreme colours: Some of my latest sculptures reminds more on natural skin. This series has a very humourful aspect as well. For instance, I created also a sculpture called „Chucky der Bundesadler“ (Chucky, the german federal eagle) that is a very ironical statement on politcal icons- in this chase it is the symbol of the German Bundes-tag). By the way, I would like to stop for a moment to consider the "function" of the background of your pieces: most of the times it doesn't seem to be just a passive background... and I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our Auroras Fluch details, year, dimensions

I would spend some words about your MicroSculptures, and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at http://dorotheezombronner.com/?page_id=1199 to get a more concrete idea of this series... in the meanwhile I would pose you a simple question: why did you choose such deep, intense red for these creations? It suggests an evident reference to pulsating life...

Yes, I chose this colour because of its affinity of dyed cells as its known from scientific illustrations and photographs. But it is also a very artificial ,extreme colour. It is about playing with expectaitons and known pictures from medically and scientific magazines dealing with new perceptions in medical genetics or -more philosophical- the meaning of life. In contrast to that, my sculptur are extremly tiny (ca. 2,5 cm-5 cm size). Their material is unusal as well: It is made by Fimo,

Ein Junge wird details, year, dimensions

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From the Micro-Sculpture series (photos by Inka Junge)

inner Nature... what's your point about this?

The thing is, that a picture has other rules than a single symbol or a written word. It can transport informations and feeligs in a more direct and emotional way than other media. But a picture needs time. Like when you hear music, you need time to capture the structure. The more you are used to see picutes,my guess is the more you can see on it for your self. But sometimes pictures hide their secrets very well,and you can only find glimps of the informations inhereit at the picture. I dont like people who explains pictures and find for every symbol a meaning. That is a kind of work,that art-historians love to do but in the end a picture is more than the sum of its icons. Our inner nature... I guess that you will never find two people gwatching or gazeing on a picture in the same 27

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Peripheral ARTeries

Dorothee Zombronner

I received very different reac-tions about these works: Younger persons are often amused and positive about these pictures. Older people where more negative and sometimes got really agressive. I remember an old man, visiting an exhibition and started to shout: „Why are you painting cancercells?“ During these years your artworks have been exhibited in many occasions, and in 2012 you had the solo Objects in the rear mirror at the European Parliament in Bruxelles... it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an awardcould even in- fluence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do

From the Pinippletits Series

way. That is caused by the individual feelings, their actual personal life, their biography, and maybe yes, it is also caused by their inner nature that makes them see things in a different way. But to be honest: I m afraid I am not able to give you a halfway qualified answer on that question... And I couldn't do without mention Pippletips which I have to admit is one of my favourite piece of yours... And even though I'm aware that this might sound a bit naif, it has suggested me the idea of an artistic Rorschach Test: I have been struck with the way you have been capable of creating a deep intellectual involvement, forcing the viewer to pose questions about her/his own process of inner categorization of reality... would you tell us more about the evolution of this stimulating work?

No, the Rorschach-Test association fits perfectly. It is exactly what this work is about: the categorization of forms, bodies, expecta-tions of the viewer as well. But my main interest is to reflect our perception of gender and beauty. This series is a very ironicially and light work concerning how our cognitions work and how quik we fall into sterotypes. The funny thing is that alost every viewer starts to associate something by seeing these works immediately.

From the Pinippletits Series

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From the Pinippletits Series

you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

nally that you would like readers to be aware of?

Of course I will continue doing arts. Actually I'm working on my „Pippletipps“- Series. At November 21 st at Kunstquartier Bethanien. There I will show some brand new works from this series, with sizes as 120x150 cm watercolour on paper. I'm also planning to work more with collage. And of course I'hope, that I will have the possibility to show my work in exhibitions and to get more supporters, to continue my work.

something like that....) and haven't had the feeling to get „formed“ from a curator or gallerist. Of course I take feedback- positive or negative- very seriously, but I also have to say that in the act of making the others opinion dosent count to me. Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Dorothee. My last question deals with your future plans: what’s next for you? Anything coming up for you professio-

An interview by peripheral_arteries@dr.com

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Heidrun Klos (Germany)

an artist’s statement

Patterns of social interaction and repeating mechanisms in society fascinate me greatly. I am looking for the effects on identity and the individual. The intersection of individualism with mass phenomenons is thereby what interests me most. In my photographs I reflect and reconstruct my observation.

Heidrun Klos

From the Creation's Crowning Glory series 30


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Heidrun Klos

an interview with

Heidrun Klos Hello Heidrun and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. To start this interview, I would pose you my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

I believe that a good art work defines itself and therefore, it may sound a bit paradox, I think contemporariness is to be one step ahead. Would you like to tell us something about your background? Besides your Master of Arts that you have received form the Royal Art Academy of Antwerp, you have attended many masterclasses and internships: how have these experiences impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks?

I find it important to learn new things, to increase the input and to know the possibilities I have. Working with and for different photographers and being in dialogue with mentors, artist from other disciplines and collegues disclosed a lot of interesting possibilities and inspiring thoughts to work with and to think about.

Heidrun Klos work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

By the way, I often ask to myself if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... what's your point about this?

I spend a lot of time reading and thinking about a subject, and when I have a vague picture in my head I start to execute it. Sometimes it takes one try, the next time it might take more or change completely while working. Some pictures turn out to be a sketch which I want to elaborate, some turn out to be wrong somehow. Technique is for me a vehicle to make a picture work.

Everyone has his own way of learning, so I guess the only thing that can stifle someone is not to be aware of what is the best way for one self; or to be afraid to admit (to oneself) that the chosen way might not be the right one. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your

So I adjust the technique I use to the subject I am working on. This is also why I prefer studiowork: I want to control an image and I don't want to depend onHanks circumstances. Cassandra 32


Heidrun Klos

Self Portrait with Flowers

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Heidrun Klos

Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would like to start with a very stimulating work entitled Selfportrait with Flowers, and I would suggest our readers to visit your website directly at http://www.heidrunklos.com/ in order to get a wider idea of this stimulating work: in the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this project? What was your initial inspiration?

The photograph 'selfportrait with flowers' is from 2011 and it is a single picture which was part of a serie/project. Back than I was already working around the subject of identity, but - retrospectiveit feels quite unconcrete. I had something in my mind and made various pictures, which where meant to be a serie/project. But they just did not fit. After a while I thought they are pictures on there own. I wasn't really comfortable with that either. Eventually I came to the conclusion that "selfportrait with flowers" is the picture I was looking for, and the others where sketches, try-outs, a-search-for.That was a very important experience and ever since I question every picture even more before 'accepting' it; furthermore I work and look at series more concious and critical; the serial aspect seems in photography often taken for granted. Another series of yours on which I would spend some words is the mirror, me and other liars: there's a a clear reference to yourself... I would like to ask you if in your opinion, and especially as a photographer, personal experience is an absolutely indispensable step of a creative process... could a photography also reveal rather than simply "show"?

The title refers to Jaque Lacan's mirror stage. His psychoanalytic theory says -very briefly summarized - that at about 18 month a human being is capable of recognizing himself in the mirror. This is - according to Lacan- the moment where two 'sorts' of the "I" are seperated. A coherent (mirrored) image of the body is recognized as oneself, while oneself only has a fragmented view on oneself. Thus the mirror becomes the 'moi', an ideal version of oneself. And there is the 'je', the social "I". The gap

From the mirror, me and other liars series

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between those two causes a lack, of which a constant feeling of incompleteness is the result. So everyone is directed by the wish to overcome the lack. I find this a really interesting thought and - in the serie you just mentioned- it was more about 'I' in general, than about me as a person. Personal experience is a wide term though. I think it is definitly part of the process to undergo a certain experience, but that does not necessarly need to be directly the one to work with. I am often attracted to things I experience indirectly by observing my surroundings. That makes me curious to explore

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Heidrun Klos

them. I'd say that a photograph shows -in my case- the exploration; it also can reveal, but on another layer than the depicted, I think. In my opinion a good photograph includes leads, but if it actually reveals something also depends on the viewer, the way he looks and the his willingness to let the image have impact. By, the way, I've noticed that during these last years your work has become more photographic... would you like to tell us something about this aspect of your evolution as an artist?

I think that started after I had made the 'selfportrait with flowers'. As I said it was an important experience to make a serie which happens to be no serie in the end, but a working process. I realised that I've often worked in loose

From the the mirror, me and other liars series

pictures, which were connected by a very wide field of interest. First I liked that, because it put me in a kind of workflow. I made fotocopies, snapshots, staged portraits, I photographed abstract patterns, but I couldn't really connect them. Eventually this workflow started to feel random. So I focused on one "stream" but that felt like I was repeating myself. (That's why 'selfportrait with flowers' remained as a single picture). Then I began to work in series - one aspect which I consider more photographic. It sounds paradox, but the restraint of 'detailing' my field of interest and working out single From the mirror, me and other liars series

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From the pond is a body of standing water series

aspects in a serial way, gave me the freedom for which I was looking. The concentration which came with that allowed me to finally use a wide range of photographic possibilities and characteristics without that feeling of randomness or repetition.

reassembled from various attempts of definitions. But -for example on wikipedia it is mentioned- Kitsch can be dangerous because it always contains a certain mendacity.

Your series the pond is a body of standing water, reveals more than a subtle irony... as you have remarked, Kitsch is considered as an euphemism, an exaggerated dreamworld: could you elaborate a bit this concept for our readers?

Kitsch is also connected to a certain group and, strangely enough, became 'cool' and trendy at a certain moment in a complete different group. I found that very interesting how meanings can change, and how image (in the social sense) is created by adapting and discharging original meanings. (which leads, by the way, back to the mendacity....).

I find it interesting that the word Kitsch has no proper translation in many languages. Maybe that is because my first language is German. Nevertheless, in German aswell, there are so many definitions or partial explanation what Kitsch is, but it just keeps avoiding to a steady or clear definition. I just trust my intuition when I call something Kitsch. The sentenceKitsch is considered as an euphimism, an exaggerated dreamworld- is extracted and

So I wanted to depict that in a neutral, notjudging way, but with references to commercial photography, as Kitsch being often a (cheap) mass-product, but still touch the core of that difficult phenomenon of Kitsch. The innocent appearence which hides many meanings. (the title refers loosly to a german saying about that.). So it is about Kitsch but at the same time Kitsch functions as a metaphorwhile being one himself.

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Heidrun Klos

And we couldn't do without mentioning Creation's Crowning Glory... A feature of your work that has particularly impacted on me is your skilful capability of communicating a wide variety of states of mind... have you ever happened to discover something that you didn't previously plan and that you didn't even think about before? I'm sort of convinced that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal hidden sides of life and nature... what's you point?

Thank you for that. It is nice to hear that, be- cause it is important to me, to approach subjects from different points of view to grasp not only loose aspects of it but also to find and under-stand the connections inbetween. Yes, sure, there happen lots of things I did not expect or planned before. In a positive and in a negative way. I think that is what makes it exciting. I said before, I like to control pictures, but that is in a technical way. Often the picture develops during the process - but that would not happen when I'd stick to the picture I had in mind, so I also need to let it develop. I agree with you about 'revealing' as one role of an artist. But I would not say that they are necessarily hidden sides. I prefer to say that they're spread and need

From the creation's crowning glory series

to be collected, to be concentrated in one place. As our readers have read in your artist's statement, patterns of social interaction and repeating mechanisms in society fascinate you greatly... Today, it's quite obvious that Art can influence society more that we have ever seen before: and I would go as far as to state that nowdays Art can steer people's behaviour and even alter the perception of the individual "self"... what's your point about this? By the way, do you think that Art could play an active role in social questions?

I wonder if art is influencing or even steering people or if that is what the artmarket and smart marketing people do. In my idea it is often the way art, creative and cultural activities or alternative lifestyles are promoted that almost makes it obligatory for people to try to be different and to have specific interests. It's of course a good thing to stimulate people, but it Cassandra Hanks

White Observation

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Heidrun Klos

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From the creation's crowning glory series

By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

Constructive critique and feedback is important to me because it is a way to learn and to develop. I think it is a challenge to accept and work with feedback without assimilating to certain expectations or opinions. I do not think about a certain audience while working, that might cause assimilation, but I do think that it is very important to consider the public. Not in the sense of directing the work to a certain group, but to find the audience where the work can unfold. To make that possible, I believe, there has to be common ground with the audience.

is often a quite superficial influence, but still, in a certain way, mandatory. The influence of art should be more profound in my idea. I believe that a more active role could work out in the wrong way, because art would lose it's autonomous character and turn into a manipulating tool. Good art is in my idea more like - excuse my rude choice of words - constant pain in people's ass, which makes them want to move, but does not necessarily tell them where to go.

Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Heidrun. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

So far you artworks have been exhibited in

Thank you, I enjoyed this opportunity to share my works and words. At the moment I am busy with some ideas and exhibition plans, but it's too early to talk about that. To stay informend about upcoming projects or exhibitions just keep an eye on my website.

many occasions and you have recently had an exhibition at "Searching for the White Cube", just few weeks ago at Viktoria Quartier: it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- could even influence the process of an artist‌ 39


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Alma Bakiaj (United Kingdom) an artist’s statement

My art is an attempt to process visual objects in a way that strongly suggest the presence, but also the absence. Through the observation of my personal environment, I show a new reality, a result of a subjective perception. I look for the depth of the pneumatic space to achieve an indeterminate image that distracts the reading of the work. I use the technique of blurring of the objects through a monochromatic color. The objects do not have a normal configuration. They create multiple vanishing points. The shapes and the lines vibrate together. A rectangular shape is not what it seems. The lines seem to be parallel, but with better observation, the viewer concludes that it is only a quadrilateral shape consisting of non-parallel lines. A building’s facade is ‘architecturally incorrect’. An architect would say that the building would collapse if it was based on this plan. That's what interests me: the game of minimum deviation of lines, the objects show an ‘objective representation’ of the depicted subject, but it is not as it seems. I study the meaning of the ‘uncertain image’. It is that image that has got multiple interpretations and creates mind games, so I can invite the audience to give or complete its meaning. I find it quiet interesting how this kind of images can activate imagination and thoughts. ‘I see- I think- I wonder’ are the three key words that I involve to my art.

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Alma Bajiaj

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Peripheral ARTeries

Alma Bakiaj

an interview with

Alma Bakiaj Hello Alma and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

Hello! Thank you for hosting me to Peripheral ARTeries. There are two ways in which we perceive the world around us: the representational and non-representational way. In the representational way we have the real world, and in the second have a more complex and spiritual process of the active engagement of the individual with the environment. In the first case, I would say that reality is presented through a photographic documentation. In the second case, I would call this individual an “Artist�, as he creates images that cannot be shown and cannot be seen in other ways. So these images for me are works of Art, as they engage the viewer to a deeper perception of the world. They can show insufferable beauty but also nightmares, related to the society around us. We can see this in many types of artistic expressions. In Photography as well we have samples of real works of Art: D.Arbus, R. Mapplethorpe, J. Saudek, R. McGinley.

Alma Bakiaj

at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. I knew little about life and even less about Art. I was taught three years of strictly Academic painting from live models. After this, I had the opportunity in the 4th and 5th year to create my personal work which would lead me to the Degree Show and Graduation. For me this was a necessary and creative process.

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Besides a Diploma of Fine Arts with a major in Painting, in you hold a Masters of Fine Arts that you have recently received from School of Plastic Arts, University of Ioannina. How have these experiences of formal training - and I would say also moving to the United Kingdom - impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks? By the way, I often ask to myself if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity: what's your point about this?

For many other students, studying three years of Academic painting is a waste of time. Each psychology varies, so I can only talk about myself. My Masters was an inevitable action to be done. When I finished my BA in 2008, I had difficulties to pay an art studio. So I was trying to find many ways of how to deal with this situation. In 2009 I was given a Scholarship and an offer place in the studio-based Masters of Fine Arts of the University of Ioannina. It was pure luck. Other Awards and Scholarships followed, as I was an excellent student. I also had a very good professor, Christos Charisis, whoCassandra helped me inHanks his own way for the

Art and the School of Fine Arts shaped me as a person and as an artist. I was 19 when I attended Art School 42


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Immunity To Self, General view from the MFA Show at the University of Ioannina, Summer 2012

the evolution of my work. Of course there were disagreements, but they demonstrated something new to be born. I don’t think that Diplomas “makeup” an artist, I personally would find various ways to be creative and find healthy environments to evolve what I do, rather than chase Diplomas. In 2012 I was a teacher of Visual Arts in Primary Schools in Greece, it was a very creative process for children, however, it didn’t left me enough time to create. So I moved to England. It is a very tough and diverse society. I try to incorporate in my work elements of this society. I like the contrasts and different experiences. When I’ll be bored, I’ll move to another country.

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

I like to work with oil colors, this old medium with long tradition. The result given from oil colors that I want for my paintings can’t be achieved with other materials. Sure science has advanced to color technology and various color-mediums can be found in the market for the result of various textures. There are acrylics that look like oil colors and water- dissolved oils , both of which I've tried and I think they are junk materials , particularly acrylics which carry the label of Pop Culture. I’m not doing Pop. So it is a non- friendly material to me. I prefer to keep it simple and real. Oil was the first material I used in the first year in Fine Arts ten years ago. All the time I have been working on the creation of different layers. Some of them are more transparent and others more solid. I have various ideas in my mind which I continuously work on. Sometimes I reject one and keep ano-

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your works? In particular, what technical with Flowers aspects do Self you Portrait mainly focus on your work? 43


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Alma Bajiaj

ther. Sometimes, the rejected ones come back in my mind and I edit them. My ideas always change and they are formed depending on the stimuli of the external environment. I cannot count the time of preparation of each idea, and during the creative process there are many "accidents" and various factors that may extend the completion of a project. In a very good day with good spiritual condition and a proper preparation with photographs and sketches, I started a painting of 80 x 80cm, which I finished next day. I had to work for three weeks on another painting of same dimensions. If something goes wrong on a project, I leave it apart and start another one. This is also important for another reason: working with oils and multiple layering needs some resting time in between the two layers so, to allow them to get dry and not mix all the colors together, they need some “break”. Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with your interesting work 'It's been a long time, but the day seems much longer to me' that our readers have been admired in the starting pages of this article: would you tell us something about the genesis of this piece? What was your initial inspiration? Untitled, 160 x 110 cm, oil on canvas, 2013

It is a piece created specifically for Insprire Festival 2012 "The World Is Not Enough" of the Macedonian Museum of Thessaloniki, during a workshop 20/09/2012 until 26/09/2012. The Workshop was led by two established artists Alexandros Tzannis and

changed- non existing friends, nor the greenery that filled up with life our garden, or the sounds of the chickens and other animals, nor the friends’ voices that called me to play. Even now I live in another country which is not the country I grew up (Greece), not even Albania.

I had to follow one of the given issues: Time and Memory??, Symbol and Metaphor or Constellations: The Collection. I chose Time and Memory. After a presentation of the works of the two guest artists and other artists related to the themes of the Workshop, I had already the idea on my mind. It was the bars of the window from my childhood home in Albania. It exists until today to remind me the haunted past of a carefree childhood, freedoms and family environment restrictions and the Civil War that followed in 1997 which I experienced. Everything has

So this image seems to be more distant to me. I grew up, I hurt, I succeeded, I failed, I lost loved relatives and moved on. I did not watch the life of this window. It is still there unchanged; all that has changed are the crumbling walls. But there is "a particular day ", which was to change my life. What happened? Even artists have the right to keep secrets. Besides my art is a game of visual elements that invite the viewer to play. 44


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impressionable, volatile, disorganized and prone to emotional outbursts. On the other hand, people (artists) who operate based on the shape of their visual perception are more introverted, having intense control over impulses and creating usually apathetic environments. It is also stated that color is related to emotional experience, while shape corresponds to mental control. I would say I’m half- asleep or half-awake regarding to my relationship to the reality, when I create. This means that I am aware of the reality out there but I chose to have half of my body inside my studio and the other half outside the world. So I prefer to do an equitable distribution of color and shapes into my art. I cannot speak about violence, if I don’t experience violence. I cannot speak about pain, if I don’t experience pain (physical or psychological), I cannot speak about sick people bleeding in hospitals, if I haven’t experienced hospitals. Otherwise, I can speak about all these issues from a safe point of view, as a journalist can do. In this case we are not talking about Art. As a result, I believe that personal experience is important for the creation process, but needs to belong to a wider context, so that it can create a universal dialogue.

Untitled, 70 x 70 cm, oil on canvas, 2013

Another paintings of yours on which I would spend some words are and the recent works Untitled (2013)... You currently focus on abstract artworks: how much do you draw inspiration from our reality? I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

The last 4 years I study the phenomenon of perception and try to relate my art to a more universal spiritual level that has a starting point my personal experience related to the world. It is an extremely difficult process, while it is very easy to be doomed and “recycle” myself around my ego, to create the Big Selfie. I have studied the work of different artists, philosophers and psychologists about the optical perception. One of the remarkable studies was that one of psychologist Rorschach which showed that the happy mood of a person is expressed through colors, while the depressed mood is usually expressed through shapes. The dominance of the color indicates person open to external stimuli. It is considered that such people are sensitive, easily

Untitled, 70 x 70 cm, oil on canvas, 2013

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I would like to spend some words about your last figurative painting, that I've found particularly interesting: it's entitled "Difficult to interpretate the songs we love" and the feature that has mostly impacted on me is the contrast between a static visual on the top, and the colors that seems to suddenly appear below... it's a work that in a certain sense forces to search something in the depht pneumatic space, and involves the viewer to think about the perception of the space...

As I told above, visual games are my main interests and specially the game between color, shape and perception. I work with contradictions on an aesthetic level. What interest me the most is How? I am going to paint something, rather than What?. Through this process I give particular attention to the background of the painting and I paint every single part of the canvas. The composition has got a “freshness” but nothing is random. And apparently nothing is what it seems. With a first glance, it seems an everyday image of a facade of a building with a human figure on top. In the bottom you can see the other half of the composition, and that’s right. It seems quiet controlled and realistic painting, but with further observation it is the “Self portrait of Chaos” and obviously abstract. Everything is architectonically wrong. The lines of the building are not parallel, the analogies are slightly wrong, though the shapes seem to create a well- balanced whole. The above part of the painting is compactly structured, in contrast with the other half which is characterized by immateriality and a freedom of gesture. In visual perception we tend to see from left to right, same as clock-way, same as Western world has been taught to read and write. Also, from nature and human creation we know that heavy parts of an object or a building begin from the bottom. For example to built a house, the underpinning which starts from under the earth is the most fundamental part of the house as it supports the

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whole building. The roots of a tree and its bole are heaviest than its branches and leaves. In this piece I reversed optical weights and perceptions. This way the image had got a seemingly balance which can collapse with a single movement, always in viewer’s mind. And dealing with your Landscape series, I would like to stop for a moment to consider the "function" of the background suggested by your painting: most of the times it doesn't seem to be just a passive background... and I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a wayto decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

As long as there are disagreements that can create dialogues and as long as there remain elements as yet to be discovered, either in terms

Self Portrait with Flowers

Landscape series, 35 x 30 cm, oil on canvas, 2012

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of personal development of the individual and his ambitions, either on a Research level regarding medicine, sociology, psychology, either concerning artistic development, another so there will be continuation of life and evolution. Artists must create gaps (questions) to be filled by the viewer, or to create more gaps, so that to activate people’s thoughts and wonder of alternative perceptions about the world they live in. Besides your paintings, you produce videos, and I couldn't do without mention your work HTRAUMA (homage to Mark Rothko) and Ariel... while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

A still from Ariel, 2011 3’02’’

Both videos have been created as a reference to works by other artists. It was an effort to create a work of art with another medium of expression different than that one of the referred artist. Thus, H-Trauma (Homage to Mark Rothko), is like a moving image of Rothko’s painting. The title “HTrauma” refers to Home-Trauma, such as HomeCinema. The word cinema was replaced with the word trauma. The element of snapshots taken from a movie, creating an incoherent continuity of the storytelling is another characteristic of my paintings. Each painting is like a frozen moment from a scene of an action.

cently had your solo Anamorphosis, at the Folklore Museum of Ioannina, Greece... and you have been also awarded in many occasions... it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

I don’t do “easy to perceive” or “easy to sell” Art. When I participated in the Inspire Festival 2012 I was living in England, I left my job for 10 days, paid a whole journey, made a piece of Art that was destroyed after the exhibition and what was left after that was some impressive feedback and few photographs of my piece, plus someone else had taken my job.

Similarly, “Ariel” shows the relationship between mother and daughter, which is quiet close to the relationship described in the novel of Elfriede Jelinek “The piano teacher”. The title “Ariel” refers to a poem of Sylvia Plath. When I created this video, I was dealing with the questions of how I can create a moving image based on my perception of images, colors, shapes and feelings created from the reading of “Ariel”. In both cases, there is the involvement of the human condition as something emotionally vulnerable.

So I returned unemployed with some images for my files. By extension, being awarded is a personal satisfaction that obviously makes me feel I want to try for more success, but also for artists financial help is very important (when it is a money Award) for the support of studies and personal development. It is not about putting money in the bank; there is nothing left to save after all these years being self funded in order to produce artworks that

During these recent ten years your artworks have been exhibited many times: you have re48


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A sequence of stills from H-Truma, 2010, 1’16’’

may never sell, travelling to visit Museums and Exhibitions, investing in books and Research, etc. It is just to support artists doing their art in that period of time. At this point, I’d like to thank Institutions that supported my art and my studies: DIMITRIA, SKTVE, Academy of Athens, Metaxas Group A.E and the “News of Art” Magazine, L. Voudouri Foundation, IAOA I. Latsis Foundation and P&E. Papagiannopoulou Foundation. Their help and support was precious. Regarding to viewer’s feedback, every positive or negative feedback is welcomed, but I won’t spend too much time analyzing it. I’ll follow my own line. Otherwise I’d follow people’s preferences or Market Trends.

and buy the fabric I need, going back to the studio, attaching the stretcher woods together, each angle should be strictly 90 degrees, mounting the canvas on the frame and layering the preparation base, which is in my case rabbit skin. When it’s dry, it is a ready surface to be used. I love this process, it is exhausting but I need to decide for the ingredients of my art, same as food- I wouldn’t buy something to eat if I didn’t know its quality. For many artists, preparing a canvas is a real nightmare, so they decide to buy ready ones. Who knows, on day when I’ll be famous and very busy to spend time on the canvas preparations, possibly I’ll buy readymades too!

without asking to the artists that I happen to interview, since -even though it might sound the simpler one- I receive the most complex answers: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?

Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Alma. My last question deals with your future plans: What's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I would give the most simple but weird for many artists answer! I like the process of preparing my canvases. I like to buy the meters of stretcher wood, going around to carpenters, telling them the lengths I need, going to draper's shop to select

The Past is gone, the Future is unknown- so I focus on the Present. This is what matters! Currently, I am working on a Watercolor series. I‘d like to expand my Research through different disciplines. Time will show where this work will lead me to. Thank you! An interview by peripheral_arteries@dr.com

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Rait Rosin (Estonia) an artist’s statement

Rait Rosin is practising artist and scholar of pragmatist philosophy. His master thesis on pragmatist aesthetics is focused on topic: In which way emotionally enriched expression could be conceptualised as wholesome and on what extent we could account this conception as useful for artist practices. His works are rooted in conceptual art disciplines whereas film, installation, performance, painting and drawing are the basic medias for expression. Paintings are made in expressive way without much conceptualising of the objectives. Emotional patterns as one side of the expression are for creating the main character of painted images. Videos, films and performances have secondary importance in Rait's own valued perspectives. There all out figured situations have more general ground for simply understandable contextual ideas. By the way paintings are giving for artist more change for drawing emotionally enriched compositions and fantastic figures. Sympathies are more given as personal visions and preferred issues that lay on hope to have more intimate relatedness in social situations, we are living in as personalities, who may give ideas according to such a way mixed and domesticated private or public interests.

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Rait Rosin

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Rait Rosin

Peripheral ARTeries

an interview with

Rait Rosin Hello Rait and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. To start this interview I would pose you my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

I would say it trough the John Dewey idea that the real work of art is the building up of an integral experience out of the integration of organic and environmental conditions and energies. That means that work of art is not some painting or sculpture or also some performance piece as you see them as objects. In my view every attempt to integrate personally valued ideas with those concepts as have placed temporarily in current art sphere is enough to be defined as a work of art. What makes some work to be more valuable is much more difficult kind of problem. I put my definition to be in broad manner because in my vision there is no proof explanations why for example longer durational activity in performance piece guarantees more valuable results. There is no proof ground for different types of artworks together to say that one is better than another because one is made in longer period of time and has done with much effort put in the process.

Rait Rosin in SWERVE! In Tallin fields does not give support for young and ambiguous artists. I see in creativity the way how one could be mixing these different methods also from different fields but unfortunately others can see it only in results. So we are always alone in studying from efforts we do to have better ideas or better skilled works of art.

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Besides the MA that you have received from the Estonian Academy of Fine Arts, you hold a MA of Philosophy, that you have recently gained at the Tallinn University. How have these experiences of formal training impacted on the way you curently produce your art? By the way, I often ask to myself if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity: what's your point about this?

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

I think after these studies that education does not give or take much for practitioner but there are condition in times when you cannot be very open for didactical methods that universities may offer for you. I would be miserable to study syllogistic logic in pace in moment when you need fresh start to prepare for your first or second solo exhibition. Those

I am quite stubborn in planning my paintings and activities in longer run. But usually the results and time schedule is depending occationally on mood. Therefore I may know well what I am Cassandra Hanks 52


Rait Rosin

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pieces? And what was your initial inspiration?

These paintings are made by thinking on general issues that have been placed on many peoples mind. Actually new journalistic ways to look at human kind is first ideas which I got to know as one of the contemporary art world problems. In doing Energy Crisis I made visual interpretation to this kind of publicly well known topic. Putting together some semiotic signs, the meaning is seen as wide as possible. Painting Ars Longa Vita Brevis Est 2 one version of earlier made image that have the same dimensions but is new attempt to recreate visual image that is more symbolic and designed for certain human kind existentialist idea board line between life and death as may look like the artistically evaluated process.

going to do in near future but concentration on doing things done depends on situations that occur during the process. In performance media I am very keen on following situationists way of thinking. In doing paintings which I put as my main interests, I have once envisioned ideas that I realise in one or two paintings. So I have collection of different types of paintings which have different roots. In general I have principle that I don’t use photos, usually I do not paint in photorealist technique (painting series Nimeline is only one of that kind). Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with your recent and interesting works Energy Crisis and the recent Ars Longa Vita Brevis Est 2, that have been admired by our readers in the starting pages of this article: would you like to tell us something Self Portrait with stimulating Flowers about the genesis of these

Ars Longa Vita Brevis Est 2

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peace on earth 2., 2007 oil on linen (150 x 200 cm)

Another interesting pieces of yours on which I would like to spend some words are from the series Rahu Maapeal: I have been struck with the way you have been capable of establishing such an effective synergy between different colors and materials, creating a symbiosis rather than a contrast... by the way, how do you decide upon which materials you incorporate within a piece?

Actually Rahu Maapeal is made together with one documentary film with the same title which was telling a story about old man who’s profession was wrestler. Hi got to be blind more than 10 year ago and all about he spoke was old memories from times when he was young and made lot of sport.

peace on earth 3., 2007 oil on linen (150 x 200 and Institution... by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

By interviewing him I had such impressions that I knew, were my own ones, but I found them to be so colourful that only expressive paintings with the introvert storyline could have effect enough for expressing the feeling. Usually I am much dependent on the material that I use so all planning which material I take, is very intuitive. I am not calculating much, I just take what get by change and I combine them intuitively in being open to the situation where I found myself in the process of painting on some topic.

The idea for the series Nimeline was taken by thinking on discussions where different medias were opposed in theoretical contribution, on one side old medias and on other side new medias. I liked thoughts on topic on so called “internet age�. The claim was about the way of choosing images and analysing them is refused because we are accustomed of surfing on internet where are images of all kinds. Therefore every image is non personal until it is not titled or explanation or other data still missing. My aim with these painting was just coping them from somewhere and do them more sympathetic even tough the images are

A visual of your stimulating series Nimeline that has mostly impacted on me is the deep reed, whose nuances are recognizable also in other pieces of yours, as for example Welcome to Kopli 54


Institution, 2012 oil on linen (70 x 60 cm)

Rait Rosin

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Institution, 2012 oil on linen (70 x 60 cm) Art could play a crucial role not only in speaking about sociopolitical questions through providing of a platform for an artist's expression, but even and especially in steering people's behaviour... What's your point about this? Do you think that an Artist could play a political role?

Political agenda needs some involvement of the movements on the larger scale ground than one institution or some club organisations together. Since artists have interests to be outspoken as similar to other peoples interests as could be enough to be shacm)

some photographs from wartime and situations of confrontation are a bit morally disturbing ones. Welcome to Kopli and Institution are also in the same way critical towards to the situation where I have lived in. Kopli is the suburb area of Tallinn and there you could find especially many homeless or poor people on streets. I like much my close surrounding to paint and when I was moving from one flat to other I changed also my choices. I choosed those ideas towards what I found enough interest to do notes or to create metaphors and interpretations. By the way, especially in Nimeline 1 which I have to admit is one of my favourite work of yours, you seem to clearly face sociopolitical issues... I'm sort of convinced that

nimeline 1, 2010, oil/ canvas (130cm*240cm) 55


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Rait Rosin

red with those activities that provide some kind of regulations. So there is no difference in my mind of the effectiveness of the ways of expressing ideas. Opposing and dispute is normal condition for creating communicative ground, but we cannot forget the everyday thinking and habits of which we are dependent on. I am agree of your standpoint of this question about artist involvement and function in concrete socio-political situation. If any of speakers could have ability to overcome of just speaking condition we have much followers among people from public sphere. The critical moment of this overcoming process might be our choice when we start reasoning in drying to place artist as “social actor”. Do we count an artist as one who has technical knowledge and methodology to resolve social standing and its behaviour? And I couldn't do without mentioning your performative works as Artist's Monologue and especially SWERVE!, an interesting conceptual performance... and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website at http://www.pragmatist.ee/poika.html in order to get a more complete information... in the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the evolution of this project?

Rait Rosin, Artist’s Monologue in Riga in the very beginning of this action main character on stereotypical of seeing it. Main idea that you may have as an idea when you see someone on street acting without people of watching it, is came from some kind of romantic existentialist way of thinking. And I should say that this period of doing this performance cycle was for me preparation to go to study at university practical philosophy in 2010. Artist's Monologue was my intervention to Latvia, where I stated that Latvian people could have their own views. It could be possible without switching themselves into self-development to

Performance cycle SWERVE! I started with two choreographers in moment when I found that all so called institutionalised gallery spaces in Estonia with high rental fees too difficult to get in order to have personal or even collaborative ground for an exhibition. Solo exhibition was seen as too naive attempt do do from the communicative aspect. In being inspired of theories about the private and public space and the confrontational actualities that are taking place most visibly on streets where also one of the reasons why we decided to go on streets. There I met

from SWERVE!

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to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

In summarising some longer run projects and periods of realising one’s different kind art works is easier to create general vision and more wholesome concept about it. I think you cannot fully express any concept without practicing different medias or develop skills in some direction. This is physical and corporeal dimension of the subjection. In individual level there is no matter if one is moving through the one single channel and it make the expression more focused and effective to conceptualise. I guess this is dependent on individual in which direction one is needing to go, but generally I adopt the view in which everyone has different periods in life. Well developed personalities have many sides well developed and to get this condition one should do ones decision sometime alone and in being in separation from others with similar professions. It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

the level of EU standardised humanitarian programs. I hope that this manifestation could be good example for Estonians too because there are too much information in the cultural study and translation process.

I think this situation that occurs in my example is a specific matter of Estonian cultural and political situation. Here the cultural thinkers have low self confidence that is caused in one side by dominant aggressive neo-liberal politics. This is why there less critics have been written in magazines and newspapers.

Your works are rooted in conceptual art disciplines whereas film, installation, performance, painting and drawing are the basic medias for expression‌ If I have been asked to choose an adjective that could sum up in a single word your art, I would say that your it's "kaleidoscopic": while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened

Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Rait. Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

Thank you for interesting and intriguing interview questions. My next plans are to focus more on my own philosophical views to develop and to prepare for personal exhibitions in the moment. Maybe I go in near future to some university again to make my PhD in arts. Of course I would continue there my writings on practical philosophy and aesthetics to be more open for different aspects that in could endorse as practicing artist. Ars Longa Vita Brevis Est 2 An interview by peripheral_arteries@dr.com

Self Portrait with Flowers

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Joanna Tam (Hong Kong / USA) an artist’s statement

My practice focuses on my interest in examining the notions of nationality, patriotism and standardization as well as the issue of displacement. I often approach my investigation through the use of spoken languages in order to highlight our physical, emotional and psychological responses when words are verbalized and heard. Saying something out load has been a strategy for me to embody the impact of language in our society. By employing humor and performative techniques, I attempt to make work that serves as cultural commentary. This endeavor is just a means and not an end though. I am equally fascinated and intrigued when I find the issue that I originally concern with becomes meaningless, irrelevant and even absurd.

Joanna Tam I'm American (Happy 4th Edition) - Video Still

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Joanna Tam

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Joanna Tam

an interview with

Joanna Tam Hello Joanna and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. To start this interview, I would pose you my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

Thanks for having me. Instead of defining what a work of Art is, I would like to tell you what I want my art to be. I want my work to question and to reimagine certain conditions and issues of our time. It is very difficult to describe the features of contemporary art, as there is almost no boundary in contemporary art. Perhaps this is what contemporary art is about. Would you like to tell us something about your background? Besides your M.F.A. in Studio Art that you have received from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts / Tuft University, Boston, you have attended a Performance Workshop with Roi Vaara, Istanbul: how have these experiences impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks? By the way, I often ask to myself if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... what's your point about this?

Joanna Tam, in a still from Reduction Study I guess there are probably training models that restrict one's creativity but I would say it also depends on the artists if they are willing to challenge those limitations.

I was born and grew up in Hong Kong and moved to the U.S. to attend college. I studied Computer Science and then worked as a software developer for many years. While I was doing computer programming, I started doing photography and that was how I got into art. Since studying at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) was really my first art school experience, my time there had a huge impact on my current practice.

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work?

I usually start my production by identifying a subject matter that interests me. Then I would learn more about the subject matter and then decide what and how I want to do with the subject matter. Very often one piece would lead to another in a very organic manner.

My education there got me interested in research and critical theory. It taught me to approach my work in an interdisciplinary manner. In addition, SMFA introduced performance to me. All these elements are evident in my work. I must say that when I say education, I meant not only the classes and the professors but also the interaction I had with my peer group, which had influenced my work significantly.

I work primarily in video, photography and performance. Embodied experience, both my own and Cassandra Hanks 60


Joanna Tam

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http://www.joannatam.net/kingstonamerican.html in order to get a wider idea of this stimulating work: in the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis and the evolution of this project that you have started in 2010? What was your initial inspiration?

The concept of 'I'm American (Happy 4th Edition)' (2013) came from a videoperformance that I did in 2010 where I repeatedly said 'I'm Chinese and I'm American' in Cantonese and English in a studio setting. As a Chinese who grew up in Hong Kong during the British colonial time before Hong Kong returned back to China and being a U.S. immigrant at the same time, my ideas of China and the UK are very abstract and foreign. I do not find myself connected to the U.S. either. I was also a Canadian immigrant at one point. So at that time I was thinking about what it truly meant to be someone of certain nationality and ethnicity. And I still think about this a lot. I always find the connection between the body and the use of verbal language fascinating. I am interested in the physical and the emotional effects on a person when a word is said out load. When I was making I'm American(2010) I originally wanted to create a hypnosis effect by saying the same phrase repeatedly. Then I realized I have essentially made the phrase or my declaration of being an American and being a Chinese meaningless, ridiculous and funny. Since then I have been making variations of I'm American, in the form of either videoperformance or live performance, based on the same framework.

the viewers', is very important in my work. I also use words a lot in my work. I verbalize them, I write them down and I make prints of them to read and look at.

When I did 'I'm American (Happy 4th Edition)' I was doing a residency in Woodstock, New York, which is a small town about 2-hour drive from New York

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

Depending on the project I have spent from as long as a years to as short as two weeks to make a piece. I also like making small-scale side projects while I am working on more involved long-term projects. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would like to start with a very stimulating work of yours entitled I'm American (Happy 4th Edition) that our reader have admired in the starting pages of this article, and I would suggest our readers to visit your website at

Reduction Study (Ping Pong) - Video Still

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Oh Say Can You Act - Video Stills

City. I thought I should do an I'm American project on July 4th during the fireworks. It would tie nicely to the concept of the work and it would be interesting to watch visually and to listen sonically as my voice had to compete with the sound from the fireworks. Since there was no fireworks in Woodstock, I then went to a close-by town Kingston to do this intervention/live action/videoperformance.

ting point to talk about larger issues. The fact that I enrolled myself to an accent reduction class was critical to the project. My enrollment to the class constituted the research and the artwork simultaneously. It allowed me to gain unmediated knowledge of the accent reduction industry from a perspective of a non-native English speaker in the U.S. This was exactly what I referred to as embodied experience before. Performance artist Marilyn Arsem, who is also a Performance faculty at SMFA, calls this embodied research.

Another series of yours on which I would spend some words Reduction Study: a project focused on you as a not-native English speaker that has impressed me very much especially as regards the meta artistic aspect of it: it suggests me a reflection both on one of the main themes of your work - the pressure to assimilation- , and on the role that Art could play in creating such a modern koin?... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion, personal experience is an absolutely indispensable step of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnec-ted from direct experience?

Your work Oh Say Can You Act, examining how patriotism is being performed in sport events, reveals in my opinion more than a subtle irony and social criticism... I can recongize such a political feature in this interesting piece, and I'm sort of convinced that Art these days could play an effective role not only making aware public

All of my work came from my experience not only as a foreigner in the U.S. but also as a human being living in this contemporary world. The books I read; the art I saw; the news I consumed from the media; the places I have been; the people I met; everything affects what I do and not do in my art one way or the other. I cannot even imagine my creative process could be disconnected to life. But of course the level of involvement varies. In Reduction Study I wanted to use accent as a starting

Reduction Study (Ping Pong) - Video Still

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opinion, but I would go as far as to say that nowadays Art can steer people's behavior... what's your point about this? Do you think that it's an exaggeration?

ting collaborations that artists can established together: especially because they reveals a symbiosis between apparently different approaches to art...

"I do not want to do an interactive work. I want to do an active work. To me, the most important activity that an art work can provoke is the activity of thinking." -- Thomas Hirschhorn

And I can't help without mention 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 demonstrates communication between several artists?

I could not agree more with what Hirschhorn has said. I think a good piece of art could trigger the viewers' emotion and and to provoke the viewers to think about certain issues regardless if the issues are personal, cultural or socio-political.

The kind of exchange I had with the shopkeeper in Cok Tessekkur Ederim was very different from my interaction with Leah in Shower Talk.

And we couldn't do without mentioning Cok Tessekkur Ederim and especially Shower Talk that you have created collaboration with Leah Craig... I personally find absolutely fashina-

In Cok Tessekkur Ederim, my only interaction with the local shopkeeper in Istanbul was that I asked him to write the phrase 'Thank you very much' in

Reduction Study (Ping Pong) - Video Still

Cok Tessekkur Ederim

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Photo by Aaron Wan


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Joanna Tam

Cok Tessekkur Ederim - Performance @ Pasajist, Istanbul (Photo by Aaron Wan)

particularly invested in emerging, underrepresented, non-traditional and cross- disciplinary approaches to artistic production What is the importance of this type of experience in relation to your art career?

Turkish at the beginning of the performance. Having said that I would not have been able to do my subsequent actions as I planed if he did not do what I asked him to do. In the case of Shower Talk and other pieces that I have done in collaboration with other artists, the works definitely reflect my practice and my collaborators' very equally.

My involvement and experience in founding and running Howard Art Project are very important for an emerging artist like myself in an environment with very little support for the arts.

In Shower Talk even though our conversation followed a predetermined theme, the way we talked, the words we used and our body languages revealed our individuality as a performer. For instance, I am a fast talker and Leah is calmer.

Depending on the gallery system is not enough for artists these days. We often need to start our own initiatives instead of waiting for other to offer you an opportunity to do the project that you want in the context and space that you want.

Besides producing your artworks, you have cofounded the Howard Art Project, an artist-run gallery/studio space in Dorchester: as I have read at your website http://howardartproject.wordpress.com/ you are

So far your artworks have been exhibited in many occasions and you have recently had an award at Best Art Film, Aesthetica Short Film

Cassandra Hanks

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Shower Talk – Performance @ Herring Cove Beach Bathhouse, Provincetown

(Photo by Thomas Willis)

Festival, York, in the United Kingdom: it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

account of my speculation of the viewers' reactions. It is quite difficult to predict who would enjoy my work more than the others and I think it is the fun part of this process.

Of course I welcome awards and recognitions. But I do not think that an expectation of an award has influenced my work except maybe it gives me a deadline to finish a piece or a proposal so that I could enter a competition on time. All I want is to make a piece that I am happy with. I enjoy getting feedback from the viewers. Even though I would not make work to tailor the taste of the viewers, my creative decisions certainly take into

Thanks again for doing this interview with me. I am working on a solo show what would open in March 2014 at a gallery in Denver, Colorado.

Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Joanna. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

The theme of the show follows my usual thread: examination of national identity and patriotism.

An interview by peripheral_arteries@dr.com

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Antonia Cacic (Croatia)

'Welcome Croatia , Croatia Willkommen , Benvenuta Croatia'' When Jean Monnet, French politician and economist, one of the creators of the European Union, 9 may in 1950. signed with Robert Schuman a document called the "Schuman declaration ", under which began the process of forming the EU, said: " ... if I should start all over again , I would begin with the culture .. . . "Today, after more than five and a half decades of existence of the EU and its excrescence of the first two states - France and Germany, to the present 28, the same statement proves Monnet ability of strategic views in the future. In a future in which, now that we have witnessed, the expansion of the Union to all European countries and its functioning as a populous, multi-state and multinational community full of diversity causes frequent breaches of various interests. It causes uncertainty and confusion, confusion and paradox, anger and misunderstanding.

messages, hearty handshakes. Visuals by artists, however, recorded a little different - in the spirit of contemporary art , which can get under the skin of reality, acting so that captures life in depth and width. Because these artists are best understood, instantly recognized without delay react to events.

The only solution to balancing the tension is compromise and communication. Still Monnet realized that communication was established through culture, one that is the best and most effective. It is the experience of Croatian, whose path to EU membership was neither easy nor short, but grueling, exhausting and full of obstacles. But the obstacles are solved and not once bypassed by means of culture and the arts as an important means of communication, because their language is all understandable and close. Because it is a direct truthful - and often critically sharp. Now that the ten-year odyssey Croatian on the road to EU nears its end, the mass media record "on the surface" as a spectacle: the smiles of politicians, welcome

React exactly as on this occasion responded and ANTONIA CACIC : adding to the Croatian accession no applause, euphoria and idealized flattery, but thoughtful visual and critical commentary. Through the medium of painting, asking questions - about the functioning of the system of values and social conventions of the ethical beliefs of the socio- political elites, the ideas and ideals, especially the truths discussed sideways - or shut up about them. Its author critical commentary of the events, consists of portraits of politicians who are in the process 66


Antonia Cacic

of Croatian and EU played a decisive role. The physical reality of this, however, is not a literal transcript, but it is interpreted and filtered through the author's personal visual optics . So, we are welcomed with politician courteous smiles. Their physiognomy are known and identifiable, and nationality underlined the colors of their country flag in the background of the portrait .

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deliberate - symbolically disclosing the authority of the government of powerful countries of the EU . The concept is supported by the transformed perception, with the help of color, his main medium, escaped from the areas of reality and focus in the area unreal and illusionary. Her color is becoming the deceptive, bombarding the senses constantly changing impression: at one point strong and vibrant energy, and the second transparent and enlightened, making flat characters, and so reducing them to the concepts and metaphors. And as such, depersonalized and unnaturally red, with an expression like a mask, stiff smile and surreal - unpleasant eyes, make us to ask ourselves whether there are as the face or back of something, as it is here, or another dimension, as what is, or what will happen?!

But it stops there, and all contact with mimesis, a moving Antonia visual language of symbols and associations. Moving visual language and grotesque irony, which she discusses and comments on the event. Foremost among them, in terms of space and time, there are different truths and different reality . Antonia has developed her way of commenting the concept of heraldic relations; head as a " hump" and the background as flags, and thus a specific,

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Antonia Cacic

an interview with

Antonia Cacic Hello Antonia and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. To start this interview I would pose you my usual introductory ques-tion: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

Hello and thank you for inviting me ‌ hard question for beginning. For me, an artwork is defined with what the philosopher Wittgen-stein called the unspeakable which refers to transcendental properties of work of art. When I first saw Raphael live I had a feeling that I got shot in the head, literally, which made me dizzy. Contemporary artwork is what captures the spirit of the times, the spirit of postmodernity and also contains this transcendental component. Would you like to tell us something about your background? I have read that you have studied Fine Arts both in Zagreb and in Ljubljana, specializing on Painting. How have these experiences of formal training impacted on the way you produce your artworks? By the way, I often ask to myself if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity: what's your point about this?

Antonia Cacic

nothing less from his students. By doing so, you could say that he was a hard mentor. And yes, this kind of training can suppress you. One can conclude that the painting is not for him, or choose to overcome those challenges and continue to search for his own expression. It is a kind of catharsis. Of course, I talk about my experiences, not every kind of education is cathartic.

I finished Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, Painting department, 7th degree and went for postgraduate study in Ljubljana (because there was no postgraduate study of painting in Zagreb) where I gained Master of Arts degree. My experience with my former mentor, Slovenian painter Gustav Gnamus is more than positive. For me, he left the impression of a man who is interested only in the truth of the art piece and he demanded

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your works? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your Cassandra Hanks 68


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sleep. Sometimes I over-paint already finished work. Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with your recent and interesting series entitled "Welcome Croatia, Croatia Willkommen, Benvenuta Croatia" that have been admired by our readers in the starting pages of this article: would you tell us something about the genesis of this project? What was your initial inspiration?

Firstly I made an exhibition of Croatian politicians (just before the election) in a grotesque gestures, and until that moment (at least as far as I know, or at least not in such way) nobody was involved in such political painting in Croatia. Somehow, logical extension that came to me was to paint politicians who were important for the Croatian entry into the EU. I was provoked with presence of their heads everywhere on TV and in newspapers. For me that was some kind of phenomenon. Despite the fact that one does not have to be interested in politics, one can not avoid it, you are drawn into it. Especially in these Balkan areas, politics has the meaning of life: Who you are?, Whose side are you on? Who are your ancestors? Etc. In a certain sense, through their portraits, you have chosen establishing a symbiosis between the imagine of the leaders of the most "powerful" countries in the EU and the transformations that the UE politics will cause in your country... I'm wondering if in your opinion this could reflect the inhabitants of the aforesaid "powerful countries": I mean, have you ever happend to conceive a painting representing for example "common people" of Germany or France? Is there a strong dichotomy between the leaders of a powerful country and the citizen of the same?

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

I often prepare canvases by myself. Then I make some ideas, put them in sketches and after that I begin to paint. Sometimes it takes weeks for a single painting, and sometimes just a couple of days. It usually depends on the medium (is it oil, is it acrylic) or painting method. For preparing canvases I need two days. But the process of elaboration of ideas is something else. It could not be measured. Sometimes I think of some sketches while walking, watching TV, readingSelf newspapers, ‌Flowers even during the Portrait with

Croatia is in a specific position in relation to the EU. It is a post-communist state where the government (power structure) remained the same as during the communist era, only the 69


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countries? Or is there another reason?

Italy was an important member of the EU in the past and had an important role in preaccession negotiations for Croatia. But also because of sound that is produced by the pronunciation of the title.

name of the party have changed. Perhaps the position of Croatia's territory in the EU could be, so to speak, the position of the “colonized�. Young people in Croatia who are unable to find a job because there aren’t any might even prefer this alternative than what we have now. Yes, I think there is a strong dichotomy between political elite and ordinary people, with the difference that in some countries that variation is greater, depending on the standard of a state. It could be the next painting motive, ordinary people.

As you might imagine, there's an inveterate stereotype about the Balkan Peninsula: it's "a mosaic of different and sometimes contrasting cultures, that have been hardly kept together during the past century"... I would like to ask how local artists have influenced (or have been influenced by) the creation of an emerging new cultural consciousness through the country...

By the way, I noticed that a part of the title of your series is in Italian language, and Italy especially these days is not considered a "leader country" in Europe... did you choose to include a bit of "Italinity" just because of the fact that Italy and Croatia are adjoining

The beauty of the Balkan region is the diversity of cultures in really little space. So let's say in Mostar you can see the influence of the Turks, and only an hour drive from Mostar you have beautiful Dubrovnik. I think 70


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kind of a table, and have an impact on our lives which we gave them. My point is, from where these people got so much power? These paintings are created out of powerlessness I would say, my own inability to change something as an individual, but also impossibility to reconcile with disability. Generally, a man can hardly reconcile with impotence because he is not without power. During these last ten years you had a lot of solo exhibitions... It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

I paint and get motivated from the inside regard-

that the impact of local artists to the cultural awareness across the country is weak. In fact, politics is everywhere, even in arts. Here there is no art market. People do not have money. The middle class population has been converted to a lower class, and in the higher class things are somehow divided by clans. There is no market and there are no those qualities that market brings forth. I'm sort of convinced that -especially these days- Art could play an effective role not only in facing political and social issues, and I would go as far as to state that Art could even steer people's behaviour.. what's your point? By the way, what could be the role of an artist in the society?

The role of the artist in society has always been a kind that brings awareness. The point of my paintings is to ask ourselves who are these people watching us from television and billboards, looking at us like we are at some 71


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less of the awards. In this matter I can not make compromises. Also, painting is pretty withdrawn process and I am always wonde-ring if anyone else sees what I see. It is natural to want to reach out to others because it is some kind of internal process where it gets important did you manage to get through to the other. I am also an audience when I look at paintings of other artists, or when I watch a theater play or when I listen to music, read a book. I think that only the truth of the art works can have universal value, and in that way reach the audience. help without asking to the artists that I happen to interview, since -even though it might sound the simpler one- I receive the most complex answers: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?

The greatest satisfaction for me is the physical and psychic (complete) presence in the painting. The relationship between visual, haptic and intuitive when I forget everything else and just focus on that piece of canvas and its own world. Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Antonia. What's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I am working on new series of paintings that also includes figures of politicians. They seem to have a lot of inspiration for me :) I am also preparing an exhibition that should take place sometime during the next spring. Thank you very much for inviting me. An interview by peripheral_arteries@dr.com

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Self Portrait with Flowers

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Scott Vogel (USA) an artist’s statement

We’re living in an age of information overload and communication breakdown, so when I look at my own work, I feel that it is trying to return to simpler times. There's a sense of majesty and nobility on the one hand, and a sense of isolation and despair on the other. I enjoy the contrast. I don't put a lot of conscious thought into any particular piece beforehand. When beginning a painting, I work from a vague notion of what I want and from there, kind of let the piece itself dictate where it goes. What tends to arise are dark and lonely subjects, which is interesting since I'm not a particularly gloomy person. However, in many pieces, there's some source of light that might be interpreted as a "ray of hope" or perhaps a contrast to the darker, lonelier elements. In addition, l try to get across some basic idea of a story. What that story might be is up to the observer. A lit window in a lonely city... people scrambling as a city crumbles around them... a deserted tire-swing in the autumn woods... it’s up to one’s own imagination from there.

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Global Warming

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an interview with

Scott Vogel Hello Scott and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

Thank you very much for having me and for having my art featured in your striking and eloquent publication. In my opinion, art is any creative work that elicits an emotional or intellectual response and hopefully both in the best cases. And in this regard, art is highly personal, as what moves one person may not necessarily move another. It’s hard to define what’s contemporary. Through the ages art has changed according to tastes, what’s ‘acceptable’, and so on. It gets to a point where anything new is not necessarily revolutionary because it’s been done before in some form or other. To me, contemporary art derives from whatever it chooses as long as it’s honest. Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there particular experiences that have impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks? By the way, I would like to ask your point about formal training... I sometimes happen to wonder if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity...

Scott Vogel would have been great if Hendrix would have been formally trained or if Van Halen hadn’t? It’s very difficult to say and I guess just comes down to the individual.

Well, I personally have no formal artistic training. I started drawing at a young age and through the years I picked up a lot of knowledge from books and observation. I’m sure formal training can be very helpful in building a solid foundation and, as long as it doesn’t impede on one’s creativity, it is a good thing. However, at the point where it stifles one’s ability to “think outside the box”, or their inspiration or point of view, then it’s done more harm than good.

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

I almost always start with the background: skies, terrain, etc. Sometimes this background is very whimsical; I get an idea and 30 seconds later I’m throwing some paint down. Other times it’s very methodical and thought out. Once the background Cassandra Hanks

For instance, Eddie Van Halen is a classically trained musician and it obviously didn’t suppress his creativity, whereas Jimi Hendrix was entirely selftaught yet equally visionary. Who knows if either 76


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to start with your recent and interesting piece Global Warming that our readers have admired in the starting pages of this article: would you tell us something about the genesis of these pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

I have an ongoing line of inspiration that stems from a feeling that the human race is kind of screwed. There are issues like pollution, how we treat the environment, and so on, but really, the foremost underlying issue is the population explosion of the last 100-150 years. The world population increases by over one million every five days. Where do you find the resources to take care of that many people? Where do you find the food, the water, the jobs, for that many people? Where do you put the trash and waste? So, although most of the paintings have some ray of hope in them, when I look at Global Warming, and perhaps a few others, all of the positivity has been stripped away. There’s just this imposing, choking negativity; an underlying ‘we’re doomed’ message that I feel to some extent. I hate to sound gloomy but it’s hard denying that things often seem headed in the wrong direction when you look at the big picture. Another pieces of yours on which I would like to spend some words are Kingdom and Lone Witness. By the way, I would like to stop for a

is there I may set the piece aside for weeks or months. I may even hang it on the wall, but it lies dormant until the next inspiration comes as to what will now take place in the foreground. And again, the process repeats. I may come up with a very whimsical idea for the foreground and be executing it within minutes, or I may, as in the case with Kingdom, arrive at a very methodical, thought out direction for that foreground. Where it becomes more interesting, I think, is when a well thought out foreground meets a whimsical background or vice versa. A painting might go from start to finish within a few days of starting or it might linger a year or two before completion. Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like

Kingdom

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moment to consider the "function" of the background of your pieces: most of the times it doesn't seem to be just a passive background... and I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

Well, with most paintings I begin with the background first so I absolutely agree that these backgrounds are not passive. They are very much a part of the whole piece. Some elements are obviously less intrusive or persuasive, but they are none the less carefully deliberated. So in Lone Witness the moon might add to the loneliness and isolation of the city. But in Kingdom the moon is reflecting off of the clouds to give the city more of a majestic, mystical feel. As far as inner-human nature is concerned each of us has this duality within that nature: light vs. dark, good vs. evil, what society expects of us vs. what we want, and so on‌. These are all fascinating questions or issues of duality and the hard-wired dualistic nature of humanity. If we return to these two pieces, Kingdom vs. Lone Witness, we can see that the moon, for example, shows two completely opposed ideals. You recent works are more figurative than your early paintings, which had a more abstract feeling... as we can read in your artist's statement, when beginning a painting, you work from a vague notion of what you want ... so would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Is the reality that we touch and feel the only source from which an artist could draw inspiration? Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I guess in my early, more abstract paintings, I painted because I liked to paint. It was a creative outlet, so to speak. But as my paintings matured I noticed that in many of them I was trying to convey some sense of story. Perhaps this is because I am a writer and movie-maker as well. I think those stories and the creative process can be disconnected from obvious personal experience and therefore seem to derive entirely from one’s imagination, but on the other hand don’t all of the best paintings, books, movies, etc. usually seem to come, at least to some extent, from

Lone Witness

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a creator’s strong personal experience? This is something I’ve heard emphasized by filmmakers such as Darren Aronofsky and Cameron Crowe, that they’ve discovered what the audience most responds to are always those extremely personal flourishes that they were almost reluctant to put into the work in the first place. And you hear many other artists, actors, etc. emphasize this point. So there’s no ignoring the importance of the directly personal in any creative work. On the other hand, our imaginations have been with us since early childhood and at some unfathomably deep level, we continue to form a strong bond/link to that forgotten childhood-- a portal, if you will. It’s another idea I find creeping up in my work—the portal…’the way’. I have a piece called Portal and that could also be another interpretation of the lit window which appears over and over. Maybe the window itself is a portal into another time or place? Even the tire in My Old Friend could be seen as a portal, as the piece itself seems to portray a longing for childhood and lost times or places. I believe an artist can work from sheer imagination but even that has a strong ink to personal experience whether we realize it or not. Our imaginations have been with us since early childhood and what could be more personal than childhood? There’s no escaping the personal influence of what we create in our own minds. Of course this could be over-analysis. I’m not saying there has to be some deep, hidden psychological angle. But on the other hand that’s what comes up when I think about it.

My Old Friend

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Noir Nights, 16 x 20, acryl on canvas

Aftermath, 16 x 20, acryl on canvas admit that might sound too much personal, and... a bit exaggerated, indeed...!

It makes me happy that you key into the darkness—the so called negative space—in the work, and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head in regards to the light within that darkness because we are always drawn to the light in life, literature, art, and so on.

A Wish in the Vastness, 16 x 20, acryl on canvas

Despite of My Old Friend and Judgment day, in A Wish in the Vastness and in Noir Nights there's few light, and the real subject of the works seems to be the deep darkness that involves both the canvas and the viewers... Notwithstanding this I am convinced that these are works that speak us about hope: and one of the feature on which I would focus the attention of our readers is the fact that they forces us to search a way in the darkness... Do you agree with this analysis? I

We’re always looking for the message; we’re trying to make sense of things. It’s human. Since earliest childhood I’ve had a profound sense that life is fleeting. I feel that we are so small in relation to the universe. And that’s a sad thing but it doesn’t have to be a tragic thing, because we’re here and we have our families, our friends and things that bring us Cassandra Hanks 80


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and how it has changed over time?

Well, in a lot of paintings I go with a blue background, a cool color. This can go back to the importance of backgrounds, and also duality. Blue can give a sense of coldness, but it can also give a sense of greatness and the enormity of the universe. But for Aftermath, it is one of the few paintings that I started with a warm color. That’s interesting that you would define the visual as an incandescent nuclear winter, because I’ve been told that it looks like a nuclear bomb has just gone off; the red, fiery sky. At the same time, winter evokes a certain coldness and notions of death, and with every living species wiped out there wouldn’t be a lot of warmth, would there? I’m not sure my palette has changed over time. I’ve always been drawn to bold colors but maybe now I’m not using bold colors for the sake of them being attractive to the eye, but rather to evoke a feeling: the coldness of blue, the heat and destruction of red, and so on. During these years you discovered a great niche for your drawing via storyboard art in the entertainment business... so I would I would take but all in all, an important one... what are in your opinion some of the challenges for a sustainable relationship between the business and arts?

Well, it’s hard to make a living as an artist but I

fulfillment, joy and hope. So in many of my dark, lonely works, I think you are right and they are about hope: a shooting star, a light on in the window. People can interpret them specifically how they want, but they do have that element of hope, in my opinion. And I couldn't do without mention Aftermath, which I have to admit is one of my favourite piece of yours... I have been struck with the intense nuance of red that suggest me a sense of dramatic -and I would daresay "tragic"- luminosity that seems to flow out of your canvas: even though I'm aware that this might sound a bit naif, I would define this visual as an incandescent nuclear winter... by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette"

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have access to all styles of art at our fingertips, from professional to the kid down the street. Storyboards are a great way to use my love of art in a professional way and get paid to draw. At the same time, what you draw is dictated by someone else’s vision, so there’s also a very limiting aspect to it. I still do storyboards as the opportunities arise and still very much enjoy that collaborative process, it’s just not where I derive my greatest creative satisfaction. By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

I would say that in the midst of a painting I’m not really conscious of what anyone else might later think of it. I don’t let thoughts of how it might be received inform my own enjoyment of just doing it. During the development and execution, I’m just trying to please myself and my own aspirations of what it could be….where it might go. To return to a filmmaking analogy, I’m reminded of Woody Allen’s comments about how the finished project—in his case the movie—always turns out very different from what he’d originally planned. I find that paintings and drawings and so on often do take a left turn along the way, veering off from what you may have thought was the “right” way for them to go. And at that point you can either work to stay “on track” with where you feel it should go or you can venture off into this new, unintended direction. Back to the audience, I think it’s easy to say that during the creation, I just do my own thing and don’t care what anyone else thinks. But I later swallow that notion when I show the work. Then, like most artists, I hope that it’s appreciated and well-received. I’m the fiercely independent artist until the works out in public and then I morph into the “I hope they like it” artist. And some of the feedback I’ve gotten has been very valuable. For example, my buildings seem to resonate with a lot of people. I’ve been told that they have a film noir quality evoking feelings of loneliness and despair. At a recent art show, this guy was observing my painting Lonely Night and informed me that it was a visual interpretation of his last Valentine’s Day. These comments are inspiring and make me feel like I’m going in the right direction. Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Scott. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

You’re welcome. I am currently working on several new paintings and drawings and have a few more shows planned for next year. Additionally I continue to produce the web series It’s Always Smoggy in LA as I enjoy the process of writing, directing and working with actors. Again, thank you so much for this opportunity. 82

Judgement Day 2, acryl on canvas

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Serene Greene (USA) an artist’s statement

I divide my time between Silver Lake/Los Angeles and Portland, always working on new images and visual vocabulary to express within my large abstract paintings. I am fascinated by the layering of history and experiences, and the visual memories left behind in the cultural and architectural landscape. The textures and forms in cities and streets create a visual landscape to be interpreted into the lines and notes . One of my greatest influences is a life-long love of Jazz. My work is a visual soundtrack, calligraphic in nature, and fused with the emotions of color. Created with successive layers of images, written messages, texture and color, they fuse techniques of painting and drawing, and represent the excavating of secrets and unrevealed life. I usually work on several bodies of work concurrently. I also create site specific commissions for indoor sites. The paintings, drawings and prints, cross pollinate each other and are like individual movements in a composition. Painting is like a story which stimulates the imagination and draws the mind into a place filled with expectation, excitement, and a mystery to be interpreted by the viewer. It is a very luminous art form reflecting emotions with color and experience with line.

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# 003 Silver Lake Series

Global Acrylic on Canvas 40 "Warming X 49 " 2013

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an interview with

Serene Greene Hello Serene and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

“Contemporary” is a very illusive concept. There are works from the Etruscans, or Turner or Miro that are as contemporary as many works out there today. Fashion, art , design, and furniture, that are currently considered “contemporary”, are actually recycled mid- century design. Once in awhile a song, a painting ,a novel or a film will resonate with originality, rooted in some recognizable tradition, but reinterpreted in a fresh way , and that is contemporary to me.I love a personal vision and I love originality, but rarely see it because we live in a world where we are bombarded with symbols, information graphics and images. Too often works of art are defined by collectors , the media and art historians.

Serene Greene

certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity: what's your point about this?

I see “ art” everywhere but much of what is defined as art, is often more oriented toward design and illustration. It is not enough to be edgy or go for shock value which a lot of Contemporary Art seems to be based upon. There is definitely a movement toward non academic outsider art, but much of it seems derivative and now conformative. It is becoming more and more difficult to find ground breaking and thought provoking art , literature and music , even though the world has more artists , musicians and writers than at any other time in history, and with the internet, they have the advantage of being more visible.

My family moved from Los Angeles to a small town in Oregon without television, so I spent most of my childhood outdoors exploring and building things and creating my own entertainment .I come from a family that was very musically inclined, but I was the only visual artist. I had many years during my childhood to develope a sense of wonder, without any exposure to art, museums, art classes or formal training. I always had an instinct for observation and exploration.I am still fascinated by the invisible, microphotography and nature on a cellular level. I loved to draw and would spend hours drawing. When I went to university I was self taught and very adept at drawing, but also very intimidated by art classes and being surrounded by students that had been studing art for several years. I immersed myself in art history and biographies of Cassandra Hanks

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Besides your studies of ART & DESIGN at the Portland State University, you hold a BA that you received from the University of Oregon. How have these experiences of formal training impacting on the way you produce your artworks? By the way, I often ask to myself if a 86


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That is the role of a really great teacher and without knowing it at the time, I had that experience. They in essence, gave me permission to “color outside the lines”. It was also a time period that produced several young galleries which provided opportunities to begin exhibiting while I was still studying. It was invaluable to travel and leave for over a decade which helped to define me as an artist, but returning to Portland and coming full circle was the catalyst for this new body of work. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your works? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

I try to approach every piece with “Shosin” ; beginners eyes. I take with me into every experience and into each new work , my language, personality and experiences and try to interpret them in a fresh manner. All forms of art , architecture, and design begin with a line , but there are no straight lines in # 40 - Jazz Series Acrylic on Canvas 36 " X 48 " 2012

artists , and in the end, decided that spending my developmental years working on art alone, without distractions, was a very good thing . It was also something I had in common with many of the artists I most admired who were very original. It gave me courage to not follow the norm and to stretch the boundaries. The Northwest Region and Portland, in particular, has produced many creative writers, artists and musicians. Two of the major artistic influences of the last century , Richard Diebenkorn and Mark Rothko were from Portland. As a student and young artist developing in Portland’s very vibrant art community, I was exposed to many national and international artists and had the opportunity to meet them and hear them speak about their work. I had a several teachers that played the role of mentor, and rather than rigid instruction, they gave me free rein and a great deal of confidence to trust my creative instincts. It was never an issue that I should imitate their style or tastes.

# 27 -Jazz Series Acrylic on Canvas 48 " X 48 " 2012

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nature, so it is that personal and organic line that I am attracted to. I am mesmorized by great Japanese calligraphy, or a great line drawing and how profound they are in their simplicity . I am very focused on the quality and personality of line and the interplay between line and color. It is a delicate balance that I continue to explore. I will work with several large pieces of canvas cut from a roll ,taping a few to the wall and laying several on the floor . I always work on several pieces simutaneosly which prevents overpainting and I like to paint very fast so I do not have time to over think the process. My goal is to have a related palette for the first three colors . I then proceed to work on each painting individually , using the same techniques and materials , but respecting the uniquness of the piece. I begin with laying down the colors and then overlay them with tape and stencils to add additional layers of color. The integrative quality of the line is the most important and defining element of the work. I try to achieve this with a variety of media , keeping the strokes very spontaneous and calligraphic.

Works on Paper # 68 24"x 30" Study for Jazz Series 2012

with everyday objects to achieve the desired result when I am overlaying pattern onto color. I find readily available art media too predictable, so I usually use found objects and make my own pens and brushes out of sticks, bamboo, or interesting odd materials that I may find at a thrift store or hardware store.

The element of black can be tricky. It is important to not let it dominate or overpower, but serve as a cohesive part of the composition.I always listen to jazz and often work at night . It keeps me very relaxed and inspired. I love those hours when all the energy of the day has settled. I am a huge advocate of upcycling and using unconventional materials or whatever the enviornment provides. I experiment

Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with your recent and interesting works [1] and [2], that have been admired by our readers in the starting pages of this article: 88


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gation with this series. I decided to address the influence of music directly and try to interpret various moods without being totally specific about genre of jazz or artist. It has always played a significant role in my life from the earliest days and really is the soundtrack to my life. I always listen to jazz when I am painting . The role of art, is to reveal the unseen, emotional or hidden aspects of experience and bring them to a visual level without necessarily interpreting them literally. That has been my goal. It became easier to simplify as I did more experimenting on paper and I eventually saw that a white background was more of a statement and worked well. White space is a very contemplative space and provides and active backdrop to the color and motion without interfering, similar to the white background of a musical score. I had the same mind set as if I was composing a song. I am ofen asked or requested to give titles to the pieces, ie. "In the mood for Mingus" but it would be

would you tell us something about the genesis of these pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

At first it began with works on paper to explore various colors and patterns. It is very freeing for me to work without regard to finished product. I discarded many along the way. I would take elements from those pieces to larger works on canvas. Not specifically reproducing them, but refering to aspects of color or patterns that worked . I wanted to experience a poetic investi-

Global Warming

# 31 -Jazz Series Acrylic on Canvas 36 " X 48 " 2012

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too cliched and too specific as well as dating the pieces. I mainly want to deal with core elements and the overall influence and touch on the center of those feelings. I use circles a lot in my work. It is a symbol that is univeral and loaded with mythology and at the same time it simply represents all things creative . I would like to suggest to our readers to visit http://www.serenegreene.com/#!__paintings A visual of your works that has particularly impressed me is the nuance of colors that suggest me a sense of luminosity that seems to Even though I'm aware that this might sound a bit naif, I would go as far as to state that your canvas spring a light... by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

I love the term “naif“, you do not hear that in the US and it reminds me of England. Earlier in my career, my art was dominated by color and surface. It eventually evolved to more of a balance between line, image and color. I paint in both Portland, and when I am in Los Angeles and notice that I integrate different colors depending on the location. It is quite subconcious but noticeable. I originally worked with more of a color field background and evolved to using the essence of pure white as a backdrop for line , form and color .Embracing white as an active element, is not the absence of color, it is a contemplative space that enhances the movement of the piece. It allows the painting to be more lively and charged with content and more aesthetically pleasing and , as you mentioned, more luminescent. I am very facinated by light and color, and I would love to recreate similar pieces using pure light. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, you are fascinated by the layering of history and experiences, and the visual memories left behind in the cultural and architectural landscape... I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

For most painters personal experiences cannot be seperated and is an influence. It does not enter into the process as much if working on designs , crafts, photography or any art form with more of an infra-

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- Jazz Series

Cassandra Acrylic on Canvas 36 " X 48" Hanks 2013 90


Serene Greene

Peripheral ARTeries

structure. I try to let my experiences and knowledge be a factor to a certain extent. Like most activities in life , we learn the basic skills and then we are on autopilot. I heavily edit and filter, but it is inescapable and definitive. Most paintings are a dance between color and line and creating a balance within a personal style . I deal with this balance a lot and it is a fine line between too much and too little. Like all of life, there is a great deal of choice involved. I choose to focus on certain elements and edit the extraneous. Turning negatives into positives. The more I travel and the more I art work that I see , it has become easier to define my own style and shed the influences of others. I still enjoy looking at art and have a great respect for many styles and artists, but I do not feel the need to imulate them. Many abstract works are an attempt to convey emotion, rather than exploring the visual dialogue between form and space. I try to address both, and I am more concerned with spontaneity to achieve that quality . I want them to appear fresh and not overworked so it takes a lot of clearing out and editing before I begin a piece. By the way, I would like to stop for a moment to consider the "function" of the landscape suggested by your abstract painting: most of the times it doesn't seem to be just a passive background... and I’m sort of convinced that some information & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

I totally agree. The role of artist has always been as a guide to inner nature. Writers, artists and musicians throughout history have used different media to create a visual metaphor, and some are much more gifted and effective than others. The role of art from the earliest times was to reinterpret nature. With the advent of the camera we were liberated from literal interpretations and free to explore the inner nature of experiences. Modern art continues that tradition. We are exposed daily to layer upon layer of information , and much of it is useless . I try to disregard much of it and become inspired by a line on a sidewalk or textures 91


# 43 Jazz Series 36"x 48" Acrylic on Canvas 2013


Peripheral ARTeries

Serene Greene

throughout the city. I also use use forms and lines created by automatic drawing.Never underestimate the value of scribbling! Like Miro , Tapies, Breton and several other other artists who pioneered the technique, I do believe that it is a window to revealing more or a primal connection especially while living and creating in an urban enviornment. I often do digital drawings to explore lines and shapes that will be in my memory bank so I can call upon them at a later time. Often they will reappear in a very intuitive way. It was a definite evolution and I struggled between abstract and representation in the early days and changed from using oils to acrylics. I spent several years making the adjustment and transitioning from texture and more saturated dark colors ,gradually evolving into the style I have now. While I believe my work is precieved as very contemporary, it is very deeply rooted in the tradition of Lyrical Abstraction, and even further back, connected to ancient rudimenty markings and the development of visual symbols and language . Organic shapes and line work fuse memory and movement through current experiences and are remnants of our early stages of evolution. And I couldn't do without mention [3] which I have to admit is one of my favourite pieces of yours... I have been struck with the way you have been capable of establishing such an effective synergy between few dark tones and light all around, creating a symbiosis rather than a contrast... would you tell us more about the evolution of this stimulating work?

# 003

SilverLake Series

Acrylic on Canvas 40 " X 40" 2013

Thank you , I appreciate your comments.I also feel that I achieved more of a balance in this composition and love the interplay of color and line. When I work, it is a form of meditation for me and I try to turn off the critical mind. Jazz of course is my soundtrack and it transcends daily life to a creative space that is very transformative.

elements are in movement through space. To accomplish this it is essential to think of white, not as the absence of color, but as a color and to pare down to essentials. I love the quote from William Morris, “ you should have nothing in your house or life that you do not deem either beautiful or useful“ . I think it also applies to my philosophy of art. Too many elements, whether you are cooking or writing a story, creating a painting or a design, are counter productive .I really feel that it is a metaphor for my personality and philoso-phy. I tend to reject divisive elements in my life and I am contantly striving for Cassandra Hanks

Without producing a literal translation of a score or composition, I do see the influence of musical notes and the essence rhythm. If I had a large color field background dominating the canvas, with a predictable horizon line, it would be the antithesis of the organic quality I am going for. I like to feel that the 94


Serene Greene

Peripheral ARTeries

the fabulous Jazz musicians who forged a new language and an original art form from a great deal of pain and personal sacrifice. The art and music are a testament to the best in human nature to rise above circumstances and choose creativity. I wanted to pay homage to those influences. Your artworks have been exhibited in many occasions, both in the USA and in England... it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are cacapable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

I have rarely been in exhibitions that give “awards�

a creative harmony. I noticed over the years that so much of art is created out of angst and art can be very compelling without that element. I try to create artworks that I want to see, but have not seen out there in other galleries or online, while working with shapes and colors that are my personal language. Again, I look to the Lyrical Abstract artists who were healing from war and developed an art form that was a major influence and rose above all of the negativity and tradgedy of the era, as well as

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Jazz Series

Acrylic on Canvas36 " X 48" 2013

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Peripheral ARTeries

Serene Greene

and typically exhibit in galleries rather than open competitions. It really does not influence me. I am also my own critic and I am surrounded by my friends and family who are very accomplished artists and are very supportive, but also quite honest and keep me humble. I also try to avoid expectations in my life and in my art. That would be a distraction and never really enters into it for me. I prefer to put all my energy into the work. As a result I have had very good responses , this year in particular. I have traveled and lived in the US , England and Canada, and found that art, like music ,is very personal . I have taken time off from painting, and also gone periods of time without exhibiting, until I felt that I had developed my work to a point where I wanted to be more public . Some people will enjoy and get it and others prefer something totally different. I love the work of Austrailian Aboriginal Artists. They are good examples of pure art that was virtually undiscovered and they developed their patterns , language and images without concern for acceptance or how it would be percieved. The “Dreaming Paintings� were actually temporary and and unseen to the outside world, for several thousand years. The creations were their own entitiy without ego or influence by the media, or outside expectations . There's a clich help without asking to the artists that I happen to interview, since -even though it might sound the simpler one- I receive the most complex answers: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?

I have a very Zen approach. I think it is in part, my eclectic background in drawing and printmaking that taught me to love the process. I incorporate both techniques into my paintings, which is a large part of their definition. I enjoy all aspects from the inception, to the gathering of materials, to


Serene Greene

Peripheral ARTeries

the actual laying of paint to canvas. The entire process is all consuming to me. l would have to say , my love of color and seeing the juxtaposition of colors, is probably the highlight. It is a very intuitive process, even though I have a background in design and art, I feel that we still have so much to learn about the effects of color and it’s perception , and as artists we are in the forefront of that exploration. I am very intrigued by the journey. I also enjoy the finished piece if I feel that I achieved the balance I was going for and if I am surprised by the unexpected nuances . Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Serene. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

Thank you . Your questions are very thought provoking and I have enjoyed working with you. This has been a very busy year with several exhibitions and travel, so I am catching up and working on new pieces at the moment. I have some things in development and I will post news to my website soon. I have always wanted to work in light and to explore light installations , so in addition to continuing to paint I will work toward accomplishing that.

An interview by peripheral_arteries@dr.com

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SilverLake Series

Acrylic on Canvas 40 " X 40" 2013


Peripheral ARTeries Art Review November 2013