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Our net review presents a selection of artists whose works shows the invisible connection betwen inner landscapes and actual places. Apart from stylistic differences and individual approaches to the art process, all of them share the vision that art is a slice of the world to be shared. An artwork doesn't communicate anything: it simply creates a mental space. Language, gestures, or rather a masterly brush-stroke of a painter are nothing but ways to invite us to explore our inner landscapes". Thirty years have passed since this Borgesean deep and at the same time provocative statement has been written by the fine Italian writer Giorgio Manganelli.
M a y
44th and Landis
“I create experimental, interdisciplinary installations and performances. I use found and designed objects with time-based media to activate environments. My work is influenced by the power of sound and visual media to trigger human beings to physically move their bodies through gesture and dance.”
“I see art, in Goethe's words, as the mediator of the unspeakable. In my art I am able to use the materials, colors and techniques to express my thoughts, feelings and personal experiences. It is part of how I communicate. Painting is for me a supremely joyful process, which always comes with an inner smile that only grows. ”
(Germany - Netherlands)
Triangle - State of Affairs
“I pay close intention to the candid subtle details within the environments we create or life in. My interpretations are at the end embedded experiments through alternations observations and analysis of our visible and non visible environments and human behavior.”
Shimon and Tammar Rothstein (USA)
“Our artistic drive is to explore the edges of our work in relation to the wonderful things that we take for granted: our planet. We are fascinated by the unseen processes, slow graduate minor changes accruing in our subjective perception” Where are you?
Freya Kazemi (Iran - USA)
“Freya Kazemi’s work reflects her inner sole. Incredible artistic use of her creative hands allows her to transfer her flow of energy into her work. As a result, communicating her inner feelings and deepest emotions through her creations.Copper and gold sheet collage paintings from her motherland have also inspired and influenced her greatly. ” Persian Blue
M a y
“The subjectivity of human perception is a fascinating experience; it is what makes the human race one of individuals. As we begin to decipher how the mind works, we must first be familiar with the branch of physics that focuses on vision. Optics deals with the physics of interpreting the behavior of light so that our brain may process what we see before us.” Spacial Reflection
“One day in winter as I stepped out of the door I noticed that huge icicles were hanging down from the eaves. Such beautiful and amazing forms I had never seen before. Melting is an amazing phenomenon of nature. But we must realize that melting is not everywhere a joyful event. “ Drops
“There is no painting I have made that I have not struggled with, but it is a struggle I love. Each painting feels like a complete lifetime. Birth-life-death. Each work has its own history, meaning, and story to tell. Making art in the present is contemporary but you can regurgitate old ideas or themes in a contemporary context. "
Last Day of Winter
(Iran / USA)
“Recognizing the cultural dualities in my upbringing, I use my work to explore my identity formed by my personal memories and stories my parents often expressed to me as a child. Growing up as an Iranian in America makes me hyper-aware of the differences in many aspects. Creating a lexicon for these memories in a tableau, I narrate stories to the viewer— instigating the observer to decode according to their own ideologies. ”
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“Dancing Landscapes is a video that endeavors to reveal the poetics of everyday life unconstrained by the standard documentary format. A selection of random shots and sounds taken from an area in the village of Kissonerga for a period of over three years”
Margaret Noble (USA)
An artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s statement
I create experimental, interdisciplinary installations and performances. I use found and designed objects with time-based media to activate environments. My work is influenced by the power of sound and visual media to trigger human beings to physically move their bodies through gesture and dance. I push myself to create visceral moments; I work towards activating imaginations. Underneath my art practices lies a series of narratives. These stories explore environments, societies and the problems of communication. My work plays with time travel as I move between historical myths and future fantasies. I use symbolic sound, image and text to uncover the manipulations of mankind upon nature, space and itself. The creation of 44th and Landis was a personal venture into understanding the environmental influences that colored the life of myself and other neighborhood children in the community of City Heights, California during the 1980s. In returning to this overlooked urban neighborhood of welfare dependency and dilapidation, I tracked a psychogeographical path of memory and escapism. The neighborhood remnants of Victorian architecture alluded to a past fairy
44th and Landis
tale life of privilege and wealth. But, the memories of bright plastic candy, rattling beat boxes, low riders and an overexposed community clashed with this Victorian fantasy. To highlight the differences between these two worlds, I weaved together a story
These paper forms were suspended from thin clear fishing lines mounted into the gallery ceiling. Together, these paper dolls created a hanging sculptural environment which historically and metaphorically represented the neighborhood blocks of City Heights. The classic Victorian toy, paper dolls, was a natural choice for the installation medium. The design framework allowed for a juxtaposition of loud colors, 8-bit pixel culture and the commercialized pop icons of the 1980s. Paper was also perfect because it symbolized the fragility of children as well as a status of poverty (toys fabricated exclusively with cheap paper). The final installation incorporated an experiential soundscape spread over fourteen handmade paper speakers. Ultimately, 44th and Landis evokes the external and internal worlds of a child navigating the streets of a city pressured by waves of disinvestment and gentrification. Integrating memory and fantasy, and public and private histories, 44th and Landis offers insights into a complex American neighborhoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s past and present.
Installation Detail by Joseph Mangat
Visual collaborator: Bridget Rountree;
"Sweet and Low" refers to an inner city car club from southern California during the 1980s.
Lead Illustrator: Ciara White; Assistant Illustrators: Caroline Brand, Angela Marie Ilagan, Tina Milz, and Sendy Santamaria;
of poverty, class and childhood using signs and symbols.
Fabrication Support: Fab Lab; Creative Support: Mauricio Chernovetzky and High Tech High,
For my process, I worked with hand drawn illustrations and archival images to create over 400 unique paper dolls and accessories.
Funded by The San Diego Foundation and The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
an interview with Margaret Noble
(A photo by Angela Carone, KPBS Arts and Culture)
Hi Margaret, a warm welcome to LandEscape. We would start this interview with our usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, do you think that there's still a contrast between tradition and contemporary?
logical tools and global information systems. I feel that both ideologies have always been about solving problems whether they be formal, conceptual or both. Before getting in the matter of your Art production, would you like to tell us would you like to tell us something of your background, and how your experiences has impacted the way you make art?
In my opinion, a work of art is something that is motivated by an urge to create and express. Once in process, the final version of the artistic work must be executed to its fullest conclusion. It should also have the intention to communicate something to an audience so it works beyond the artist.
My background is mixing and remixing medias and ideas into new concepts, contexts and forms. At first I was a dancer who stole bits and pieces of choreography from instructors, street dancers and MTV to create my own form in motion. Later, I became a DJ who mixed records made by others into mul-
For me, the contrast between traditional and contemporary art is disappearing more and more each decade due to innovations in techno6
A still from 44th and Landis (A photo by Angela Carone, KPBS Arts and Culture)
tilayered sets to create dance floor environments. When I did my MFA in sound art at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I used the art of audio sampling from field recordings to create compositions. Now, I have augmented my practice with the use of visual mixed media to interchange historical forms and ideas into the new or even foreign. In all mediums it is the same, I am sampling and resampling using the process of experimentation as artistic inquiry.
matters is results. Did you do what set out to do and is it a fully developed idea? Whether academic or informal, every art camp has its own bias and what stifles free inspiration is becoming a prisoner to rules. Do you think that your BA in Philosophy that you received from the University of California plays an important role in your creative process?
Most of my philosophy courses were grounded in epistemology and logic. I am most interested in how we understand and process the world around us. I learned to analyze ideas and formulate my own conclusions through texts and writing. Now, I analyze and put forth ideas through artistic process in new mediums
By the way, what's your point about formal training in Art? Do you think that a certain kind of training could even stifle "free inspiration"?
Each to their own is what I believe. All that 7
A still from The Artist from 44th and Landis
(A photo by Angela Carone, KPBS Arts and Culture)
This is the extension of my philosophical training, I make things based on how I analyze them.
that environmental and social influences color every moment of the present. We are living, breathing portals showing every pain, pleasure and trauma that ever happened to the past generations.
Now let's focus on 44th and Landis: I would define this stimulating artwork as a timebased performative installation... and the concept of time I'm dealing with has to do with our inner time... moreover, even though you have defined it as a personal venture it seems to function as sensitive barometers to measure and record the epochal sociocultural changes... Do you agree with this analysis?
As you have remarked in your statement, you have used paper in order to symbolize the fragility of children as well as a status of poverty: what is your studio process typically like, and how do you decide upon which materials you incorporate within a piece?
Yes, I do agree with this analysis and I am pleased that the work reads beyond the artistcentric personal connection. My work encourages reflection on oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perceptions of the past and present. I want to know how these periods intertwine and inform each other? I feel
I always consider the space where the work will be shown - first. In fact, all of my work is oriented to space and environment - it is only alive when it is installed or performed. When not in use, the work lies dormant in boxes in boxes waiting for its next breath of life. Once 8
A sequence of stills from
(Photos by Angela Carone, KPBS Arts and Culture)
The Artist from 44th and Landis
I know the space, I consider how to fill it out to create a living breathing world. I examine light, site lines and the sound environment. Once I know the framework then I look to materials and often time period fits into this consideration.
the usual practice of designing sound for traditional time-based media such as film or video. The paper dolls evoked a weightlessness that had to be supported through the character of the sound. They were also very delicate in detail and this was scored by higher pitches and granular moments. And when the paper dolls swayed from their strings in motion, the sound worked to accent their gestures through rhythm. Together, I used sound and physical forms to create an experiential cocoon.
The goal is to be as authentic as possible and if we are looking at the past then I prefer to incorporate materials such as vintage toys, music boxes, old paper and/or obsolete technologies such as overhead projectors. I want to capture a look into that world of the past. But, we are in the present and so I also use contemporary tools freely to design. This means computers, digital sound devices and speciality printers.
Not to mention that art should have an effect, or at least should communicate something. Do you think that artâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s purpose is simply to provide a platform for an artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expression? Do you think that art could steer or even change people's behaviour?
It goes without saying that sound plays a crucial role in this artwork and I'm sort of convinced that sound brings a temporal aspect to an artwork, while the artwork itself brings a physical aspect to sound.
Once the work of art is ready for an audience,
Could a symbiosis between two apparently different media give birth to a completely new kind of art, or just reveal hidden features of what we use to call "tradition"?
It would be hard to say that there is ever really a new kind of art with the amount appropriation and re-appropriation we are all guilty of. But, I did very deliberately score inanimate objects and that feels different than
A still from The Artist from 44th and Landis (A photo by Angela Carone, KPBS Arts and Culture)
an interview with A still from The Artist from 44th and Landis
(A photo by Angela Carone, KPBS Arts and Culture)
soft Global Educator Award for Arts and Mathematics that you have received a couple of years ago... By the way do you think that there's a synergy between Art and Science? I would go as far as to say that the more time it passes the less I can recognize concrete differences between Art and Science. What's your point about this?
the work should go well beyond being just a platform for artistic expression. In this over inundated, media saturated world, I feel that artists have a responsibility to offer a little bit more than just their person. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be much and it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be sexy but it needs to do something: pose a question, make a statement or offer an experience (even if only an experience of form).
For me, the greatest link between the disciplines is the nature of inquiry. The process of experimentation to gain knowledge through trial and error links these various disciplines. The growth we experience from theoretical failures and experiments is the quest for new knowledge and this happens in math, science, the arts and humanities.
With that said, I would say that art does have the potential for more influence than the mainstream media. Frequently, we tune out from the news and its reporters because we have become numb to its methods. We need to be shaken up and we pay more attention when meaning is communicated in a new form.
I find this to be the most concrete alignment between the disciplines.
Your works have been often awarded: in particular, we would like to mention the Micro-
A sequence of stills from The Artist from 44th and Landis
Besides producing Art you also teach: how this has influenced your career as an artist?
(Photos by Angela Carone, KPBS Arts and Culture)
Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Margaret: nothing has left to say than asking you about your future plans. Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
My classroom is a test kitchen of ideas and experiments. I have witnessed first hand the problems of communication when articulating complex ideas to my students. I have learned to articulate concepts in a wide array of styles to reach every learner and every perspective. My students show me new ways of seeing and understanding experience.
I have an upcoming public arts commission work with the San Diego Port Authority doing a series of outdoor sound art performances called Tideland Sessions. Tideland Sessions is a choreographed land, sea and sky work using large scale kites with tuned wind chimes suspended from their kite lines.
Together, we rigorously work on art problems and challenges just as I do in my own art practice. In both cases and on multiple levels, we are working on communication. How do we communicate with each other and what do our artistic works communicate to our audiences?
The sound and visual forms will be augmented by the voices of Sacra/Profana, an experimental choir here in San Diego. firstname.lastname@example.org
Just wondering if you would like to answer to a cliche question that we often ask to the artists that we interview: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction? Well, actually ain't that cliche...
I enjoy problem solving through process. I am fascinated with putting forth a goal and then fighting through the challenge of trying to create what you said you would. I also love the final moment when the work is set for exhibition and you can look at what you made as a member of the audience.
A still from The Artist from 44th and Landis (A photo by Angela Carone, KPBS Arts and Culture)
Monika Mori (Austria) An artist’s statement
“I see art, in Goethe's words, as the mediator of the unspeakable. In my art I am able to use the materials, colors and techniques to express my thoughts, feelings and personal experiences. It is part of how I communicate. “Painting is for me a supremely joyful process, which always comes with an inner smile that only grows. Part of the pleasure of painting is the hope that the results will spread light and goodness in the world, and help viewers to get in touch with their inner selves. “In this way, it fits into the rest of my life, especially into my work with the non-profit organization I set up to assist the rehabilitation of unemployed and socially disadvantaged individuals. Dorf der Verlorenen
My art is all about Power! My color choices often come from an inner voice that has guided me throughout my career. When painting I dive into a revealed world and I feel as if someone is offering their help and encouragement. My complex character rebels against other shallow decadence of others. My mission is to wake people, to excite and motivate them!
painting is an intensely erotic experience for me! When I gently caress the canvas, I feel it almost has goose bumps and my whole body shakes; my sensual, sensitive art flows from this intimate relationship. I love to experiment. I want to flout the laws of physics, cross boundaries and find my own limits. Often I experience a little girl’s joy. When the colors are following, I can build a symbiosis which is the highest expression of my feelings. I cry during these wonderful moments and experience true joy.
My paintings carry these desires within them – qualities that can’t be properly expressed in words alone. One of my ambitions is to excite and re-animate people who have lost their joy in life...
I don’t care whether my work finds general acceptance because I’m convinced that its unique energy will attract those people who share my vision. I am sure all my works will find the right home and I’m driven by the desire that the radiance of my art will always generate very positive energy.
My favorite shape is the circle. This may well be because they mirror my life journey of voyage and return. Noli turbare circulos meos - do not disturb my circles - was my guiding theme when I embarked on my art career and I will paint circles, in all their forms, till the end of my days.
The complexity of my character is revealed in my art and I hate it when people try to pigeon hole my style. Why? Because my work is about surprise and astonishment! My biggest challenge in art, as in life, is always to be true to myself. 13
an interview with
Monika Mori Hello Monika, we would like to give you a warm welcome to LandEscape with our usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art?
Now let's talk about your background. By the way, we have read that you received formal training: how much has this experience impacted on the way you produce you art? And how has your art developed since you left school?
Thanks to you for your kind invitation, I'm really very pleased!
Through the formal trainings I?ve learned techniques and stiles of art but as a free spirit I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really like the pigheaded sight of it and I werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t able to transact the tough targets. It took more than 30 years to find my way in making art and to believe in myself. For me art is a game and I love to play this exciting game
Well, in my opinion an artwork has to provoke an emotion, regardles of wether its indignation, blister, frowns, amazement, scandals or something like that. A work of art must call up something otherwise it doesn?t deserve to be called art.
for the game and nobody â&#x20AC;&#x201C; enclosed me â&#x20AC;&#x201C; knows what there will come. That's really true! There are times where I prefer stretched canvas or there are weeks where I only work on artist paper or linnen and it is possible too that I find materials which I want to work with. It depends on the basis of the work if I use acrylics, oils, water colors or crayons. Now let's focus on the pieces that our readers can admire in these pages: I would start from the colorful "Dorf der Verlorenen", which is in the first page of this article and "Citta di Mori". Could you take us through your creative process when starting this project? By the way, why have you chosen a title in Italian language?
These paintings are created on artist paper with water colors and ink and declare my imaginings of cultures in landscapes and civilization. I'm a very open minded woman and I love the mix of buildings and styles in scenes which tell us so much about their history and habitants. The Italian language appears from time to time in the titles or descreptions because I always felt very familiar with this country and I've learned the speech just for fun.
and the surprise through the result. Therefore I do not make any commissions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; there are enough paintings already done to be sold! For me it's essential to be self-contained in art as well as in life generally.
We have read that you have been inspired by the well known American artist Cy Twombly... Have other artists influenced your work?
Before getting in the matter of your Art production would you like to tell us what is your studio process typically like, and how do you decide upon which materials you incorporate within a piece?
I call Cy Twombly full of respect and thankfulness as my Father in Art. Through his work, his inspiration I became a real artist! I admire many artists but at that time I can't name another than Cy Twombly who influenced my artistically work.
Normally I do not know what will be the next work, the process starts when I'm ready for
Landscape of the Earth (Painting for the earth day)
Another series that we couldn't do without mentioning is Die Welt Im Auge Behalten, which in a word-for-word translation could mean "Keep The World In One's Eye"... what was your inspiration for this series? By the way, does your process let you to visualize your Art before creating? Do you know what it will look like before you begin?
mulating series "Noli turbare circulos meos" (that I suggest our readers to view at your website http://www.mori-art.at/galerie/noli-turbarecirculos-meos/werke1.htm) was a Nietzsche's quote: "Die Mitte ist uberall. Krumm ist der Pfad der Ewigkeit"...
It was my great concern to animate people through this serie to look around in order to find their point of view (again) and/or new perspectives, to get sight for the essentials, the values for which one stands - to capture this moment with the eyes, the brain, and especially with the heart.
Wow! If I'd had knowledge of this wisdom during this cycle maybe my way had been a easier one. For me the circle is the central figure in my life. At the beginning of this year I started a workshop called â&#x20AC;&#x153;conCENTREtionâ&#x20AC;? to share my experiences and to give people an under-standing of the importance from circles in their lives.
I must confess that the first thing that came to my mind when I have met up with your sti-
I know this sounds a bit crazy but as a very sensitive person I’m able – sometimes unfortunatly – to feel the vibes. You have exhibited your artworks all around the world: from USA to Europe, form Mexico to Australia. What experiences have you had exhibiting in different countries? Moreover, what are in your opinion some of the challenges for a sustainable relationship between the business and arts?
Above all these great experiences there is an incredible excitement guided by heavy stage fright. I’m pretty proud that my work is accepted and I?ve learned very much for my career as a paintress. In my opinion the most important in sustainability is to work tirelessly in promotion and to reach always a win-win situation in collaborations. Superficially seen it seems as if fairplay in business is outdated but as we can see in the current economic system there’s only straightforwardness successful. Although it?s heavy-going. of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction? But in this case we would go as far as to say that the act of painting itself gives you an intrinsical satisfaction, isn't it?
You’re absolutely right! Additional pleasantness is the moment when an artwork is done, when it?s accomplished and I?m entirely satisfied with it.
In your artist's statement you have remarked that you see art as the mediator of the unspeakable. Sometimes it seems that environment hides informations which -even though are not "encrypted" tout court- need to be deciphered. Do you think that one of the roles of artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of environment or Nature -especially our inner Nature- in the wide sense of word?
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Monika: my last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
I'm working on various projects this year, became an ambassador for the brand of Van Gogh by Royal Talens and have ambitious plans as usual. Many thanks for your well thought out questions, the pleasure is all mine!
Absolutely! I'm convinced that the highly developed sensibility of artists discloses in their creativity more than they knew by theirselves.
Johannes (Germany/Netherlands) An artist’s statement
“ I pay close intention to the candid subtle details within the environments we create or life in. My interpretations are at the end embedded experiments through alternations observations and analysis of our visible and non visible environments and human behavior. graphic work, installations or printmaking, there are as well certain main themes and topics my work focus on. “It goes about inner strife, identity, transit, borders, melancholy, loneliness, broken dreams, relations, Eros, destruction, violence, death, lost, silence, philosophical and political matters, “In the process of my work. I threat objects and images equally. Sometimes there is a order in the sense of a cause and effect. “At other times it seems to be the other way around. The means of expressions are different but for my work it all belongs together.
Johannes Gerard 18
Triangle - State of Affairs
An interview with
Hello Johannes, a warm welcome to LandEscape. Let's start with our usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art?
Be honest, I never keep myself busy with a question like this. I would say everything what inspire me. It sounds maybe weird but, falling rain, a woman reading, a broken beer bottle on the street or meelting ice cubes can be a work of art in my eyes. Tell us something about your background: we have read in your bio that before earning your MFA in sculpture and printmaking from IADT in Dublin, you studied in Germany: how have these experiences impacted on your art practice? And how has developed since you left school? an interview withabout your evolution Please tell us something as an artist and what has lead you to become the artist you are today.
up today I was not able to really recover. At the end this kind of situation let me change radically the view about myself, on life in generally and about my artistic versions. In early 2007 a process of transit started. Literally over night I stop painting and sculpting, only keeping up printmaking. Falling in a vacuum without inspiration and no concrete direction I began to experiment with some old photos I made once in Art School. For to get more out of it I started to teach myself in digital photography and techniques. At the same period I developed an interested and curiosity for installations and Land Art. Ironically enough until 2007 I was not really interested in both disciplines at all.
My career as an artist encounter some drastically twists and turns in the context of disciplines and styles. I learned book printing and typography in the 70ties. Initially I slowly began moving towards the visual arts. Between 1981 up until mid 2001 my work was figurative using the mediums of painting, sculpting and printmaking. As I spent a lot of time abroad, every culture and country where I lived and stayed had some kind of impact on me as an artist. In 2001 after a journey to Finland and Estonia I began to experiment with colored papers from Asia. The paper collages were the first abstract works I ever made.
By the end of 2007 I had switched completely towards very different disciplines. In the same process of transition my artistic version and way of expressions changed as well. The temporary final point of the transition is my move to Berlin, Germany.
From 2003 onwards, after a serve illness also my paintings like my paper collages before, became sole abstract and also bigger in size. In May of 2005 I became again very ill and until 20
Shadow Woman Against Mad Man
Now let's focus on you art production: I would start from your works on canvas and paper. In particular I have found very stimulating your pieces Oeuvre 3311 and Oeuvre 3313 that our readers can admire in these pages...
want. However recently I start to give titles again, but everytime in combination with an oeuvre number.
By the way, I know that the following question might sound some rethorical, but why do you entitle your works with serial numbers?
The pieces Oeuvre 3311 and 3313 belong to a series of paper collages. As well both works reprents the move towards an abtract style and expression. In my collages I used different types of papier, acrylic colours, crayons and pencils.The insperations of my paperwork are based on Japanese and Chinese Gardens and the landcapes of Finland. About the numbers. Since many years I work with series and portfolios, so by the number you can see to which series the work belongs to. But the most important reason for me is a title sometimes can have too much influence on the onlooker and lead him or her to a tunnelverOeuvre 3311
inspired me in certain occassions And we couldn't do without mentioning is Shanghai Moon: what was your inspiration for this series? By the way, does your process let you to visualize your Art before creating? Do you know what it will look like before you begin?
Another stimulating works of yours on which we would like to spend some words are Shadow Woman I & II and Lonely Woman. In particular, whay have you decided to focus on the theme of women? It seems to be a recurrent feature of your recent production...
When I saw the scene with the moon and the buildings in Shanghai in 2012, I had within a minute several keywords in mind : moonwoman-loneliness. In general all my photo installations and object installations got influenced by Chinese and Japan culture in the way how to paraphrase and indicating a situation or story visually in a subtle manner. Shanghai Moon is no exception and reflects a lot of metaphoric symbols.
In 2010 I stay for an residency in Berlin. I deciced to rent a photo studio and work with a see what comes out attiude. But the first shooting in 2010 went quiet well and gave a lot insperation for to develope ideas much further. So from that time on, women began to play an promined role in my motives and themes. However I give the model the possibilty and freedom to bring in her own ideas.
The other reason is maybe a more personal one. I have a keen interest in women and like them, but hole my life my relations with women
It depends on the situation, sometimes I know directly what it will look like, but in other cases it can ask a lot of time of searching and try out .In the case of Shanghai Moon even I had the keywords very fast in my mind it took months before I was sure which motives I will use and how to arrange the images in relation to each other and where the subtle metaphoric story should lead to. .
some kind of therapy that I began to focus on the theme of women. The last one now sounds
As you have remarked in your artist's statement, a crucial part of you process is the analysis of our visible and non visible environ-
ments and human behavior. I'm sort of convinced that environment hides informations which -even though are not "encrypted" tout court- need to be deciphered.
stand and -of course- enjoy a work of art?
disregarded. The landscape leads my inspiration, it tells me what to do.
Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of environment and of Nature (and of our inner Nature) in the wide sense of word... what's your point about this?
I would say every artist defines his or her role different. For myself , yes I can say after I turned towards the disciplines of photography and installations I became more aware that I want to reveal the unexpected sides. Nevertheless at the beginnig it was more a subconsiously process before I became really aware which role I want to play as an artist. What support my role, is that I am a quiet person, with a touch of lonely wolf attiute, combined with the charcteristics to observe and knowing that every truth has two sides. I have been very impressed with your land art works: in particular, In many works of yours, like Oeuvre 9005 , Triangle - State of Affairs and Oeuvre 9010 I can recognize a deep interaction with landscape, which doesn't play the simple role of being the "background", but actually it seems to serve a precise purpose. Do you think that the "landscape" is a condition that cannot be disregarded in order to under-
Triangle - State of Affairs
Your artworks have been exhibited all around the world: from Australia to Bolivia, from Germany to Egypt, where your works have been recently shown at the prestigious Biblioteca Alessandrina. What experiences have you had exhibiting in different countries? By the way, what are the main differences that you have found between in a so wide range of exhibitions?
That you learn to improvised, take things easy, tations but have an open attiude. Because things, visions and attiude can be very different in other countries or cultures. I noticed also that the repons and feedback about my work is much bigger when you show it at art festivals,symposiums and residencies, then rather in a white cube gallery. That specially work out very well for example last year in Belgium, China, Myanmar, Portugal and Berlin. Besides producing your art, you have also gained a wide experience in teaching: you have taught around thewith four corners of the world. an interview How has this influenced your career as an artist? By the way, I'm very curious about the impressions that you received during the first '90, that you have spent in Taipei...
towards my own work. Specially childeren you teach can see something very different in a piece of work. The impressions Taipei gave me where overwhemling at the end. It let me changed in many ways.
About the influence. I became more selfcritcal
Even until today after so many years the impact on me.is still there. Lets say without the impressions from Taipei of the `90 , I Moon, Shadow Woman or Lonely Woman nowadays. During this last twenty years your artworks have been often awarded, both in Europe and in Asia: it goes without saying that any kind of feedback, and especially awards awards are capable of giving support to an artist... just wondering if an award could
even influence the process of an artist: what's your point?
Again I only can speak about myself about this my work at all and strange enought I never see or feel an award as a long lasting feedback as such. Thanks a lot for your sharing with us your thoughts, Johannes: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
I will take part at a Land Art Symposium in Maastricht in the Netherlands in mid-May 2013. In August and September 2013 I will have two one man shows in Berlin. One is at title of the exhibition is Fliessende Welten and will focus on my photography work between 2010- 2013. The other will be in September at Galerie 1892, it has no title yet, but it will be a juxtaposing of artist residence work I created in India and China and the common life outside the residencies. Oeuvre 9010
Work from the Portfolio No.13 ''Autumn Diaries'' 80 x 30 cm
Shimon and Tammar Rothstein
Shimon & Tammar Rothstein An artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s statement â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blank allows us to be unconditional in the present moment" Our artistic drive is to explore the edges of our work in relation to the wonderful things that we take for granted: our planet. On 2005 we moved from analog photography, to digital photography, which is the closes thing in our opinion to thinking and dreaming. Immediacy comes with digital photography, it allows us to be more flexible, we are free to explore new artistic forms that fully connected to this media, we take traditional raw image, and explore what it holds within. Our whole life constructed from many small images, memories, these images combined together is what makes us alive in time and space, the illusion of passing time, created from singular stillness, it is also shape our identity, We are fascinated by the unseen processes, slow graduate minor changes accruing in our subjective perception, In our projects we allow ourself to dream about reflections on impossible realities where there is no technology available to execute it at the present moment. this is the privilege of been an artist, to dream the absurd, step out from conventual perception in order to get a clearer view on our reality what is been taken for granted, we become present. we embrace the unknown to revile something new, and disco-neck-ted from conditioned thinking. When there is a dream in the spiritual world someone will bring it into form and matter.
from Migration series demand to here and now, we are reaching to the point where there will be no process, everything will be flattened into condensed present, where everything is happening all the time at once. In our projects we rase the questions: how we can coexist with our planet with advance tools that allows us to developed even more? How we can create new technologies that help us keep the cycle balance of our planet So each time we travel in an airplane, it helps to balance the atmosphere, much
Massimiliano Gioni the chief curator of the New Museum, and curator of the 2013 Venice Biennale said: "We need to remind ourselves that contemporary art is first of all a form of conceptual gymna-stics, in which we learn to coexist with what we don't understand." We think about our world, and how we were able to shorten time and distance, the goal is to free ourselves from efforts and suffering, we where able to create a technological world that supply our
Shimon and Tammar Rothstein
like the Sahara desert storms carries particles, minerals help to nourish the jungles of the amazons, We see our role on earth not in a global fashion but a holistic one, an optimism that burst out to create new forms, it is a joyful process playful one, we should open our soul and our mind to the endless realms of possibilities. Art should inspire new ideas, impossible ideas and innovations that may change the world, an artist should be an advanced Steve Jobs, individual that inspires others who
have the talent to engineer those dreams. In our project we do not focus on solving the problems of the world. we rather look more into creativity that comes from the inner freedom to explore the endless possibilities that are waiting in the unknown. We should look into the darkness of the unknown and draw from their wisdom, discover the quite genuine wisdom of nature.
Shimon and Tammar Rothstein
An interview with
Shimon and Tammar Rothstein A warm welcome to LandEscape, Shimon and Tammar. We would start this interview with our usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of art? By the way, what could be in your opinion the main features that characterize a piece of Contemporary Art?
Tammar: I have no definitive answer, sometimes I see a work of art as a concept that forms as an art work by identify it as one, Or when my consciousness observe something as an art, so it become a form of art, What characterize a piece of Contemporary Art, it really can be anything, maybe is individualism. The act of redefining art, by exporting new tools, technologies, ideas from other fields of life such as science social media, politics. Shimon: I see it as a self-observation, art look at art, endless self-reflection, looking at the world through a looking glass mirror and believing that the reflection is reality. the reflection becomes an original, self-similarity. A work of art have that an interview with power to inspires me to interact with it. I can be engaged with it. A great work of art has the ability to redefine common consensus, see the extraordinary in the ordinary, stimulate discussion, or leaves you speechless. It may feels like part of the element, it smells like eternity, it has the energy of the nature cycles, it may disappear from our global conciseness, it may rise again, but it is there with us, in the sub-consciousness of the global consciousness
Shimon and Tammar Rothstein gave us a lot of confidence and experience, Other then that, there is no connection between our art work and editorial/ commercial, it is a different set of mind, the subjects that we explore in our art are more introvert, a meditation about integral world of technology nature and human.
We would like to ask you something about your background. We have read that you have worked for 18 years as editorial and commercial photographers. How this experience -an exciting experience, I guess- has impacted on your current art practice?
We think a lot about the future and the role of art science and design will take in shaping the evolution of the worlds, the direction is integral, we are looking into it and see how it evolve, it is fascinating.
Shimon: It helped to polish our craft, improved our technical skills, We developed a good sense to lighting and composition, of course, it also opened up possibilities and abilities which only comes from practice, experience working with range of assignments, varieties of equipments. It
Tammar: I feel lucky to have such high technical skills, by having an experience working in editorial and commercial assignments, quite often we were required to perform at a high technical standard, adapt to different kind of requirements, that made us very resourceful. It widens the range of things
Shimon and Tammar Rothstein
Childhood Nostalgic, from Migration series
that we can do and apply in our art. It was a good ground to grow our creativity and our artwork.
tool period, imaginary images are been documented.
Can you tell us about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, on what technical aspects do you mainly focus in your work?
Tammar: One of my early inspiration from childhood was a documentary that I saw about a Russian man who claimed to photographed his own thoughts and images that he saw in his mind, he had a small camera that he pressed against his forehead, then he showed a blurry image of a building. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a fascinating subject to explore, especially with modern science and new technologies can detect thoughts, or Machines that can be operated by the power of the mind. So what is considered to be real? We have many conversations some of them becomes our next projects, we start taking pictures in
Shimon: its is a flexible process. It always starts with a thought, an idea, and a conversation inspiration. There is a narrative that keeps coming back, and it is connected to the idea of photography as a documentary tool. So the question we explore is what we really document? Documentary is trying to observe objective reality, real events as it may; our take on documentary photography is an observation
Shimon and Tammar Rothstein
from Migration series
raw files and then we let the project reveal itself, We both love to roam between what real and unreal, I personally think that everything is real every thought every dream, it has it moment of forming into reality, something may never materialize, some may last just fraction of a second, We did set up some rules, guide-line: we always use images that we photo-graph. So the source of the final artwork is taken from the world outside, then we replace the images, we take within the world outside, we inhale objective reality and exhale our inner reality, then it becomes part of the outside world in the form of work of art. We use digital photography, and our digital lab; it is the closes thing to thinking. It is all zeros and ones.
scape, so we merged the real objective landscape with a real subjective landscape, much like and author or a poet does with his memories and experiences. Tammar: We were amazed how thick the fog was, and how something so light like tiny water droplets transforms the landscape, and how quickly is changes, the landscape colors changes during the day and from day to day. It is a marvel that we take for granted, we realize that everything is in constant motion and in a process of transformation, although in our mind we have the illusion that the world is fixed solid, we cannot see the changes as they occur,
Now let's focus on the artworks of your that our readers can admire in these pages: I would start form "Fog and Mirage". Each photo of this series has been shot at the northern shores of California, so it goes without saying that there is a clear reference to reality. Notwithstanding this, I can recognize an effective synergy between reality and imagination. It gives a weight to the structure of the image, and the colors become a more ethereal thing... Can you tell us something about the development of your imagery?
Shimon: I came up with the idea to shoot landscape that covers in fog, we chose the northern shore of California, its diverse landscapes rocky cliffs and hills reaching into the ocean, it was and interesting way to show how the element on earth interact with each other, air earth and water, and then how our imagination interact with the land-
Shimon and Tammar Rothstein
Shimon: choreography in photography is a dance in a still image, in some of the images you can see the same dancer in different motions, the dancers were moving all the time, we both shot constantly from two angels, capturing thousand of images, we selected images that had some definite movement and strong expression. We later choreographed the images that we have selected. Each final art piece tells a different story about how migration affects identity.
we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel this transformations. We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel the earth moving, so we took everything within and thought how can we translate this changes in one single image. We love the fact that photography captures one single fraction of the present moments, so we took many of those fraction moment and constructed a new images, a new landscape. Another series of yours that I have found very stimulating is Migration, that our readers have admired in these pages. Can you describe a little bit about your creative process for this series?
By the way, in this series you have seemingly used a lot of editing: a how new technology has impacted on your process?
Tammar: It came to me in a vision; I saw an image of a dancer flying on a chair in a dessert. I had an idea do create choreography in photography, each images is a new dance piece created digitally, we invited some wonderful dancers to improvised dance moves, We selected the images and add them to images of land- scape that we shot in New Mexico and Utah, the idea was to give an atmosphere of a performance in a theatrical environment.
Shimon: it has a tremendous impact we replaced the analog lab with digital lab we use digital cameras, it became the only tool that we use. We use our own photography for our art pieces, the ideas that come to our mind are linked to the techniques that we uses, the immediacy of the digital technology, give us a lot of flexibility, and there is endless possibilities for cre-
Shimon and Tammar Rothstein
I personally find absolutely fashinating the fruitful collaboration that you have established during these years: could you tell us something about this effective synergy?
ativity that are possible only in digital work. The tool is the closes thing to the way our mind work. Tammar: it gives us freedom; it is more like composing music in a way, or writing a fiction story usinginterview zeros and ones.with an
Tammar: It happened from the very first moment, it is something that we both wanted it, even before we met. It became second nature, very integrated. I learn to listen to myself better, I become better observer.
Since our magazine is called "LandEscape" we cannot do without asking you: what is the significance of the landscape in your art?
Shimon: I was always looking for a partner to share my life love and art. It was a mutual choice, and we enjoyed it tremendously. I share my life with the women I love, We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t live in parallel universes, were the most important person in my life is not taking a part of it. We share our subjective worlds, it helps to keep our mind open to fresh new ideas, we land on new solid ground after we escape from fixed concepts.
Tammar: whether it is inner landscape or a landscape that is outside my body, any surrounding any environment is a landscape, it is always subjective, for I am observing it in my mind, and my art work becomes a new landscape that been observed by others. Shimon: The landscape is the realm where my imagination prospers. It really is everything.
By the way, the artist Peter Tabor once said that "collaboration is working together with another to create something as a synthesis of two practices, that alone one could not": what's your point to create something as a synthesis of two practices, that alone one could not": what's your point demonstrates communication between two artists?
Shimon: I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t agree more, Nature work this
Shimon and Tammar Rothstein
way, it all about collaboration and integrations it is how life become, bringing a child into the world for example. It is a labor of love. Our work is so integrated I can’t really tell how we communicate our ideas, it’s just happened in a very organic natural manner, we work together we bring into the pool our separate ideas, be blend them like alchemy, it’s fusion.
communication. I was not even aware to that, it is amazing how much cognitive behavior is unconscious artists that we interview: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?
Tammar: When I discover something new during the process of our work, when I’m able to let go of what I already know, and see something else evolving that is even more wonderful that I could ever imagine.
Tammar: We do work individually on different mages from the same projects. We often hear from people that watch us work together that it’s seemed to them that we communicate in telepathy, wireless
Shimon and Tammar Rothstein
From Fog and Mirage: Panorama 6
Thank you for this interview: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
Shimon: I love to glance on the evolution of our projects, it gives me a lot of satisfaction, when I look at work how it grew from it’s early stages, I reflect back on all the ideas thoughts the process of making the decisions and the choices, it is a learning experience, you learn about yourself and the process of art making, the turns and the changes that was made.
Tammar: these days we are working on a new project called: Central Park - The Park that Hides the City, it is a Multi Media video and light sculpture and Print, link to Architecture, and our present urban experiences. We have taken over a thousand photographs of the trees and landmarks in Central Park. We’ve assembled panels comprised of layered individual photographs. We have already created over 70 panels all in digital.
I specially enjoy to see how an image in my mind become an actual image, how an idea evolve to have a life of it’s own.
Shimon: Olmsted and Vaux's poetic visions for the park, was a prophecy. They were able to see
Shimon and Tammar Rothstein
park project contain more almost 86 color art work that we created, we sent a book proposal to publishers, we are hoping to bring this project into the light soon.
and foresee the problems of the modern era, what we are only now beginning to understand.â&#x20AC; The Central park is a living proof that brilliant design inspired from nature, is possible. It is a bridge from the past to the future, as we are looking today at new ways to build our futureâ&#x20AC; cities.
Thank you so much for having us.
Connecting nature to new innovative technologies targeted to find ways to bring harmony in our modern life for the future, break the artificial boundaries between the city and the park. We are looking for a gallery representation, a curator to collaborate with us to execute our project, we also in the process publish a bookwith about our central an to interview
Freya Kazemi (Iran - Canada) An artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s statement
Freya Kazemi is an Iranian-Canadian abstract painter. She was born in Tehran, Iran where she studied Fine Arts and acquired her degree in General Painting. Her journey in art began with pencil colors and pastels influenced by her childhood memories. She later evolved into more abstract work as her touch became more expressive. As the youngest artist gallery owner in her hometown she also supported other emerging artists through solo and group exhibitions in Iran . Ancient Persian art, Iranian elements and rare art miniatures, bold colors and Farsi poetry coming from her native roots contributed to her inspiration resulting in extraordinary paintings and art creations. Her work reflects her inner sole. Incredible artistic use of her creative hands allows her to transfer her flow of energy into her work. As a result, communicating her inner feelings and deepest emotions through her creations. Copper and gold sheet collage paintings from her motherland have also inspired and influenced her greatly. Thus, all this has resulted in making Freya the person and the artist she is today.
Mirage, 30 x 30 in mixed media on canvas
Selected Exhibitions: 1999 Group exhibition, Afrand Art Gallery ,Tehran
Group exhibition, Afrand Art Gallery ,Tehran
Group exhibition, Afrand Art Gallery ,Tehran
Solo exhibition, Private ,Tehran
Group exhibition, Golestan Art Gallery ,Tehran
Group exhibition, Ontario Science center
Group exhibition, Parvizi Art Gallery ,Toronto
Group exhibition, Firouzeh Art Gallery ,Tehran
Group exhibition, Firouzeh Art Gallery ,Tehran
Solo exhibition, Firouzeh Art Gallery ,Tehran
Group exhibition, Firouzeh Art Gallery ,Tehran
Solo exhibition, Firouzeh Art Gallery ,Tehran
Solo exhibition, Firouzeh Art Gallery ,Tehran
Group exhibition, Firouzeh Art Gallery ,Tehran
Group exhibition, Hittitie Art Gallery ,Toronto
Group Art Gala ,speaker box vision ,Toronto
Group exhibition, Bizune Art Gallery ,Toronto
Group exhibition, Bizune Art Gallery ,Toronto
Group exhibition, Ben navaee Art Gallery ,
Group exhibition, Moniker Art Gallery
Abstract art exhibition,Light and space time
Art Quench Gallery
an interview with
(A photo by ……………….)
Hi Freya, a warm welcome to LandEscape. We would start this interview with our usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And what are the features that mark a work of Contemporary art?
bination of talent, view point and the ability to create and construct one’s own personal view of the world. It demonstrates how deeply you sense your surroundings and is an expression of your mind and soul that creates a unified and specific power that is essentially the character of your art.
Hello and thank you so much for having me for this interview. I believe that everyone is born with a specific talent which they should discover within themselves. I also believe that each of us has a unique perspective of the world and perceives the world in a different way. In my opinion, art is a com-
Art really demonstrates and presents the inner side of the artist. How we each connect to art points to a unique snap shot of our individual character. To me, contemporary art is an innovation in our ability to discern and also in our way
Hope, 30 x 30 in mixed media on canvas
of thinking. Of course new techniques and methodologies for applying materials also help develop a more personalized form of art. I believe as an artist you should just be yourself and be passiona-
tely dedicated to what you do. This is the only way that I believe efflorescence in an artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work is possible.
City, 24 x 48 in mixed media on canvas
Would you like to tell us something of your background? I have read that you have formal training: you studied Fine Arts in Teheran eaning a degree in General Pain-ting... How much in your opinion training influences art? And how has your art developed since you left school?
during that time. Although my family was displeased when I passed the art school entrance exam I was determined to study art - and I did just that! Attending art school was so helpful to me and opened up so many new doors. I gained a wealth of experience by being exposed to a plethora of different ideologies, traditions, cultures and so many new things. It swept me away and was like a tidal wave.
Painting has been my passion since I was a child. Most of my fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s side of the family are artists. From the time I was a child the political upheaval in Iran deeply affected my life as well. Following the Islamic revolution I lived through the Iran-Iraq War. This gave me a strong incentive to study hard and go to university. There is fierce competition in Iran to gain acceptance into university and at the time that I started it was even more so the case since young men who were not attending university were required to do military service.
Iranian universities are different than universities here in Canada because there are so many political and social issues in Iran that influence students. While I was in university we were dealing with the issues of the time, and as in many other countries, art was the only tool we had at our disposal to object to things. University was not just a place to study, but a place where I learned many of my life lessons. It certainly was a valuable experience for me but in my opinion you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to go to university to be an artist. What you really need is for art to be in your blood and to have the ability to discover whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inside of you and nurture it. In order to improve yourself as an artist you need to be educated in different ways of course. It is impor-
Art was last field students elected to study primarily because of the expense but also because it was considered fri-volous. Most parents would force their children to choose between either to medical school or engi-neering school. For two years I studied computer software engineering; however I was actually preparing myself to go to an art school
this happens I usually leave it for a while and sometimes I am later inspired by a dream that enables me to finish the piece. In some cases the dram it is exactly what I had visualized initially and at other times it is something totally different. Now let's focus on you art production that our readers can admire in these pages: I would start from a very stimulating piece entitled Mirage, that our readers have admired in the first pages of this article. Could you tell us something about your initial inspiration for this work? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an interesting question. Landscape art is not a common form of subject matter for me despite the fact that I am inspired by nature and I like being surrounded by it. I found your website when I was browsing the internet and at first nothing in particular struck me. But then something happened - all of the sudden I became inspired by the subject of mirage. It was through your website that I found exactly what I was looking for. A mirage is essentially a fantasy: a physical phenomenon which doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exist and is
Heritage 2, 30 x 30 in mixed media on canvas
tant to be conversant in psychology, sociology, poetry, literature, politics, etc and you should have strong analytical skills to support all of this. These are the tools that will open your eyes up to the world around you. Before getting in the matter of your art production, would you like you describe your methodology when creating your abstract art? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a painting? Moreover, do you visualize yourworks before creating? Do you know what it will look like before you begin? Good question. It really depends on my mood. So many things in my private life affect my artwork. I believe that in times of strife an artist tends to be more creative and innovative. I usually spend some time thinking about what I am feeling inside which helps me to then visualize what I am trying to express in terms of color and texture. It is a combination of both controlled circumstances and certainties. In many instances I am unhappy with my work and simply unable to finish a project after painting the same work over and over again. When
Eclipse, 30 x 30 in mixed media on canvas
Inner Child, 24 x 36 in mixed media on canvas
unreachable and untouchable. The further that you delve into a mirage the more you become lost within it until you are eventually enveloped and it is all-consuming. This was exactly that state of mind that I was after so I found this subject both interesting and one which I could really relate to. Another pieces on which I would like to spend some words are Hope and especially Inner Child, which combines an interesting mixture of abstract forms with realistic elements. Can you talk about the development of your techniques and imagery? Moreover, the idea of childhood seems to have something to do with fragility and introversion, am I going wrong?
Persian Blue, 24 x 36 in mixed media on canvas
The Idea of Inner Child comes from a book that I
was reading at the time about psychological healing of the ‘inner child’. I was trying to show the conflict between the inner parent and the inner child that exists within us and how that unconsciously destroys the joyous part of our soul. I used more realistic elements to emphasize and bring about the meaning I was trying to convey. I believe when you name an art work you are actually giving the audience a hint of how to connect with it in some way. Hope is a fragile bubble that we create for ourselves and rely on as the oxygen of life. It is a part of us that we are largely unaware that we can’t live without. In this particular piece I was trying to show that even in the worst of times when you think all is lost you can soar away on this bubble of hope. A visual of your paintings that has impacted on me is the red color, which in Heritage 2 and in Confused is capable of giving such a tactile feature. Can you tell us a little about this feature? By the way, any comments on your choice of palette and how it has changed over time? The way I choose my palette is determined by my mood and the purpose of my application. In general I try to apply the colours used in ancient Persian art. In the Persian tradition there is a specific method used to mix the herbal pigments with resin and other materials. In addition styles were also rendered with certain a certain set of colors, designs and compositions. It is obvious the brownish-red that I use is not an exact match to the traditional colour of the ancient Persians but it is close enough to express that it was my intention. It goes without saying that traditional persian elements often appears in your pieces: especially in Persian blue I can recognize a reference to miniature art. Do you think that there's a dichotomy between Contemporariness and Tradition? I would dare to say that your artworks go beyond this classification... You are absolutely right. I don’t believe there is any
Confused, 24 x 48 in mixed media on canvas
limitation when it comes to art. One should not limit what is on their mind or in their ideas and dreams. Simply put, there is no template for what you should or shouldn’t think. Yet at the same time I can’t deny where I am coming from and how my background influences my artwork. It is a combination of my cultural heritage and today’s modern world. It is much like employing a state of the art camera to take photographs of ancient archaeological subject matter. As an artist I believe it my duty to represent my culture and keep it alive for the next generation. As artists we are mute voices of society. Even though I do guess that the following question might probabily sound a bit rethorical, I can't do without mentioning Edward Said's concept of "Orientalism" and the related stereotypes on this subject... I'm wondering if Art might have the power of going beyond these artificial dichotomies. What's your take about this?
As I said before, there is no limitation that should be placed on art. While we can easily define geographical borders like East and West or Occi-
30 x 30 in mixed media on canvas
dent and Orient I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think that we can define such boundaries in our minds. Civilization began in the Middle East at a time long before Christopher Columbus discovered America. Over time, civilization moved westward building and improving itself along the way. The East held on to many of their traditions but the West evolved to what we call the Modern World. I think the cultures and traditions in our world are being lost in a way that makes borders somewhat obsolete. Technology and mass communications present in the modern world have shattered those historical boundaries between people. The world is a paradox of dichotomies and harmonies depending on how we look at things.
often ask to the artists that we interview: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction? I enjoy the process of creating texture and the way it feels on my fingers when I touch the intense colours and work them on the canvas. Most of my recent works are on wood, a material that gives me an indescribably good feeling. Canvas and wood are vastly different and this is especially noticeable when I create coarse textures on wood as it makes the work more organic and alive. The ultimate satisfaction for me is when I finalize a piece of work and I feel the certainty that it has turned out as it was meant to. It is much like when you finish reading a book and after you turn the last page the story is still there, locked away in time. Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Freya. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of? I am planning to display my work at some art exhibitions in North America this year and in the longer term I would like to also show my work in Europe. I appreciate your time and once again I thank you having me for this interview.
Yiannos Economou (Cyprus)
An artist’s statement
“Dancing Landscapes is a video that endeavors to reveal the poetics of everyday life unconstrained by the standard documentary format. A selection of random shots and sounds taken from an area near the artist’s home in the village of Kissonerga on the Western coast of Cyprus, for a period of over three years intertwine with the international news headlines of the day they were created. “The musical piece, a Chopin nocturne, which gradually binds the disparate shots, was recorded by the artist as a favour to the musician who simply wanted some recordings of her playing, independently of the project. The title is borrowed from complex system theory where a model resembles an unstable mountain range when nothing is constant, and everything is in a flux and interconnected. “The work juggles between the verisimilitude of the medium and the arbitrary manipulations of the artist. The weaving of the images and sounds is unapologetically lyrical yet a sense of objectivity permeates by means of the unpredictability of the shots and the given, time-matched, headlines. Some shots point towards a social realism while others borrow romantic notions of the sublime. The piano piece is another ghost in the machine from another century: romantic composers, especially F. Chopin, embraced the mechanical sound of the instrument, where miraculously the
the soul of the musician, often in those days both composer and player, revealed itself through wood, pedals, hammers, levers and other machine parts, without direct contact with the human hand. 46
A still from Dancing Landscapes Music: Nocturne in C sharp Minor by Frederick Chopin, played by Galina Dimova.
Note: The work was completed before the financial meltdown of Cyprus
An interview with
Yiannos Economou Hi Yiannos, welcome to LandEscape. To start this interview, I would pose you our usual ice breaker question: what in your opinin defines a work of Art? By the way, how you first became interested in video as a visual medium?
Thank you for inviting me to your publication. For the first question I will use someone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s definition: A work of art is a creation that generates a truth. In this respect it goes beyond (though it includes) the mere representation of a reality or a concept and becomes a thought process in its own right. My interest in video started in my early years in art college, when I acquired an analogue camcorder. It soon became obvious to me and to most of my teachers that this was the an interview medium that I waswith most comfortable with, though I remember that in my final show in 1993 I was given a hard time by my lecturers because I chose to show only two self contained video pieces on a screen without any other accompa-nying work.
Yiannos Economou (Photo by Galina Dimova)
We would like to ask you something about your background. We have read that before earning your MA in Fine Arts you have studied Economics: how much has these different experiences impacted on your art practice? I do guess that moving for a while from Cyprus to United Kingdom, then coming back to your native country has enriched your personal background...
lege at the age of 18, and lived in a quasiautonomous art world thereafter, but I think the only difference would be on the width of my perception. Can you tell us about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, on what technical aspects do you mainly focus in your work?
First I develop a vague idea, and I tend to think in images, though I am more likely to write notes than draw sketches. I shoot a little, put the shots on my pc and edit a little, see what I have and shoot some more. This goes on until the fog clears out and the idea begins to take
As always it is difficult to speculate on the course that things would take had we taken alternative decisions at critical moments in our lives. I too often wonder whether my art would be different if I went straight to art col48
Yiannos Economou Born in Cyprus, Yiannos Economou studied first Economics in UK, but re-entered full time education and obtained a Fine Arts Degree and Masters from the Kent Institute of Fine Arts in Kent. Though mainly a video-artist, has also worked with film, photography and animation. He participated in many shows such as Videomdeja 2012 in Serbia, GIGUK in Germany, Raising Dust in London, Cinesonika, in Canada, The Little Land Fish in Istanbul, Breaking Walls in Thessaloniki , Vidoeholica in Varna, Kunstifilmtag in Dusseldorf , In TransitionRussia in Yekaterinenburg, The Mirror Stage in Limassol, Zero Visibility in Diyarbakir, Isolomania in Nicosia, Disaster and Oblivion in Nicosia , Ideodrome in Limassol 2007 and 2008, Screens: Telling Stories in Greece, Somatopia in London  and others. He had three solo shows in Cyprus and Germany and collaborated with dance company Echo Arts. He initiated and co-produced various projects such as Ancient Whispers in Limassol 2009 in collaboration with NEME and the show Without in association with Pafos 2017. His short film The Machine Dream won the best experimental short film award at the Cyprus Short Film Festival 2005.
the fog clears out and the idea begins to take concrete form. Normally I am trying to work within a theoretical framework regarding both the form and the intentions of the project. I always try to execute myself all major processes such as shooting, editing and sound design. At first this came out of necessity as I could not pay for the crew, but now I see this as part of my aesthetic direction: It allows me more spontaneity and improvisation, but also keeps questions of authorship on a clear-cut level.
A still from Dancing Landscapes
A lot of art is a collaborative process but I feel that I have always been a solitary artist. 49
A sequence of stills from Dancing Landscapes
Now let's focus on your stimulating work Dancing Landscapes whose stills can be admired by our readers in these pages. As you have described in your introductory statement, the shooting process has been carried out in an area near your home in the village of Kissonerga on the Western coast of Cyprus, for a very long time. Can you describe a little bit about your creative process for this piece?
mode. It was during those excursions that I realised the power of the landscape, with the subtle changes of light, the weather, the time of the day. The idea of matching the shots with the world events of the day they were shot came afterwards during the editing stage. Experience as starting point of artistic production is a recurrent characteristic of your works, in particular the one that we are now taking into consideration: in your opinion, is experience an absolutely necessary part of creative process?
I will go back a little for this: When I started with video about 20 years I worked a lot with animation, close-ups and other effects with which I could surpass the limits of my means. Gradually I felt that the ability of video to capture instantly and unobtrusively images, sound, colour and movement was the most powerful characteristic of the medium. The aim is to be poetic and at the same time stay connected with the real, the ordinary life around us, rejecting not only tricks, expensive equipment such as cranes, lights and so on but also avoid those visually exotic locations which expressive though they maybe, they still emit an aura of unreality.
The way I see it, experience in public and personal sphere is very important in art making but on its own it does not amount to much. Like everything, it is what you make of it, how critical you are with what is happen-
What I did for this project was to set myself a limit of 5 km radius around my house, a distance that I could cover on foot if necessary and looked out for interesting shots. It was not like 24 hours and day, seven day a week for three years, but I was always on a standby 50
Yiannos Economou of your artist's statement that Dancing Landscapes was completed before the financial meltdown of Cyprus... what if someone ask you to shoot an up-to-date remake?
A remake is out of the question, but a sequel is an interesting proposition. The truth is that it would have a radically different outlook. Dancing Landscapes reflected my perception, shared by many others, that we were walking near the edge, that our security was a deception and that a collapse of whatever construct we made ourselves was imminent. ing to you and to the world around you that makes you wiser. At any rate I can say that it gave me a wide perspective, which I appreciate.
Now society is in a state of shock, and posadvice to think and not act(yet). But can art change anything? Yes definitely, but if anyone expects tangible, quantifiable re-sults, they are deluding themselves.
I could add that my teaching job in secondary education also gave me a deep understanding of the complexities of everyday life because the kids carry unfiltered all the social, economic, psychological and ethnic conflicts of our society.
Now, since our magazine is called "LandEscape", we cannot do without asking you: what is the significance of the landscape in your art?
It goes without saying that this works reveals a deep involvement into facing social questions... Do you think that art could steer or even change people's behaviour?
One of the reasons I responded to your call is that the more I work the more I see myself as a landscape artist, if, as I believe we should, we still maintain the major categories of visual art such as “portraiture”, “narrative art”, “still life”, “landscape” and so on. In particular I see myself as part of the Cypriot
And what in your opinion is could be the role of an artist in the society? Moreover, I do think it's important to remember to our readers that you have remarked at the end A sequence of stills from Dancing Landscapes
painting tradition of the mid 20thcentury which is heavily indebted, due to historical reasons, to the British landscape art. Besides producing video art, you are familiar to contiguous disciplines as animation and photography: moreover you have worked to films, as well. In these last years we have seen that the frontier between Video Art and Cinema is growing more and more vague: do you think that this "frontier" will exists longer?
Somewhere the experimental film-maker and theoretician Malcolm LeGrice says that the word “cinema” applies to all media- whether film, video or digitally generated imagery- provided that the work endeavours to deal with the languageof the moving image. I assume that he uses the last proviso in order to distinguish art from commercial movies, which are becoming more and more crass commodities. In this respect yes there is hardly any difference between video art and cinema. In fact I would an interview with argue that today’s video art is the heir of the experimental films of the 50s and 60s. Aesthetically it is closer to those experiments than the video works of the same period by Bruce Nauman and Nam June Pike, who worked with real time TV, multi camera set ups etc.
A still from Dancing Landscapes
Most video makers today adhere to the “single camera-into-editing suite” process, same as in cinema while the single channel video with sound is the most widely used format.
cenario in your native country, where your work The Machine Dream has been awarded as the best experimental short, in 2005.
At the same time however we should not forget that video art came out of the sphere of the visual arts which means that it moves along the same path with the powerful tradition of painting.
The Cyprus scene is very similar to the Westernworld, and this is understandable since there is no Fine Art school in the country so we all train somewhere else and carry with us elements from abroad. This is a good thing provided that these influences are assimi-lated into the particularities of Cyprus, they are further developed and do not become a sterile application of universal art practices.
You have participated in many festivals around the world, from Germany to Russia, from Canada to United Kingdom. What experiences have you had exhibiting in different countries? By the way, I'm very curious about the artistic s
Yiannos Economou Thanks a lot for this interview, Yiannos. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
I really enjoyed talking to you. There is one general point that I would like to make, not about myself but about the art world, and this is that there is a general feeling that a saturation has been reached. I strongly believe that there is a new artistic configuration brewing somewhere, and though nobody knows from where and in which form this is going to come, we can be certain that it will not be found in the established channels of the last few decades, the big museums, the private collectors and the standard publications. In this new scheme of things I find it difficult not to see the impact of the internet and organisations, websites or publications like yours, that work quietly but in a substantial manner. email@example.com
Just wondering if you would like to answer the artists that we interview... What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?
When people who see my work say that they â&#x20AC;&#x153;getâ&#x20AC;? it but they are not sure what they got.
A still from Dancing Landscapes
An artist’s statement
“The subjectivity of human perception is a fascinating experience; it is what makes the human race one of individuals. As we begin to decipher how the mind works, we must first be familiar with the branch of physics that focuses on vision. Optics deals with the physics of interpreting the behavior of light so that our brain may process what we see before us. “My work is highly influenced by such physics. In my work, I utilize visual perception in terms of interior and exterior space and light. The one color used in my work is that of a tone of natural light (the sun) deepened and lightened to create contrast and pause with mono-chromatic gradients, though not taking on the function of the sun. “Orange areas are interrupted by passages of spatial recession. These areas of space typically lead the viewer’s eye to make nonsensical turns around the picture plane. Perceptions are granted and refuted when looking at this imagery. To the viewer, each percept acts as a puzzle piece, with multiple ins and outs that fit together only in certain ways to create unique, surreal interiors and exteriors. I'd like to trigger my viewer’s cognitive process, allowing them to discover their own unique perception of the spaces I create through optical phenomena.
Jamie Earnest Jamie.firstname.lastname@example.org
an interview with
Jamie Earnest Hi Jamie, welcome to LandEscape. Let's start with our usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what are in your opinion the features that mark a work of Contemporary art?
Art is enclosed in a shell of subjectivity. I feel that most of this subjectivity resides within the current time of contemporary artwork. Contemporary art can technically be defined as work that is being made in the present time, which coexists with us. Contemporary art is one of the least understood movements in art history because of its subjectivity; definitions of this movement vary from person to person. As for my opinion of art, I think that art offers an alternative form of meaning and learning. Fields in academia use discursive and proposi-tional language; while art uses nondiscursive language where what an artist is portraying cannot be directly translated into a logical statement or statements. Just like fields of academia, you learn the language of art. This growth is often seen in artists who have had a long career, and can be shown through the way their work changes and matures; artists never stop learning.
today? Cameras. The invention of the camera was a huge turning point in art making and the traditional world. Why take years to paint a portrait when a machine can do it in minutes? The invention challenged artists. Even with the definition of art ever changing, there is still a division between traditional artists and contemporary artists. Art is a learning process, and artists today have thousands of years to learn from and then take that knowledge and create something new. This is harder than it sounds, therefore I think all artists need to have a well-developed traditional, contemporary, and experimental background in order to take all of their knowledge and apply it to their personal aesthetic pursuit.
Moreover, do you think that there's still a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?
Traditional artwork is what most people think of when confronted by the term â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;artâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, the Mona Lisa is very well known for example. While most of the world knows of the Mona Lisa and Da Vinci, who knows of artists such as Bruce Nauman or Andy Goldsworthy? What is different about the times when tradition was in the place where contemporary artwork is
Before starting to focus on your artworks I would like that you tell us something about
your creative process and especially about your set up for making your works. By the way, do you visualize your works before creating? Do you know what it will look like before you begin?
with more writing and sketching. Throughout the time frame of making a piece, I’m constantly writing out my thoughts and process in my sketchbook, which then will come to help me completely develop the piece I’m working on.
do not do much preliminary work beyond thinking and writing. I find that most of my work tends to change as I work on it, because I make all of my important decisions through the experiences I have when making the work. My sketchbook isn’t so much a sketchbook as it is a notebook. I am constantly thinking about new works all the time. First comes the image of the work, which is subject to change, and then I write down what I think I’m visualizing and reflect back on it
Now let's focus on you art production that our readers can admire in these pages: I would start from a very stimulating piece entitled White Light. Could you tell us something about your initial inspiration for this work?
‘White Light’ was actually the beginnings of what I am currently pursuing in my artistic process. With this piece, I was observing how 57
different colored white lights affect white walls. I was observing the subtlety of changes that was happening to the space I was living in. This piece was the start of my observation of light and the beauty of the subtlety of spaces and light.
Many of your artworks as Subjectivity are permeated by a sense of geometry: would you like to tell us something about this distinctive feature?
Another piece on which I would like to focus is your installation Spatial Reflections, that I personally like very much and that I suggest to our readers to view in 3D on your website http://jamieearneststudio.webs.com/apps/photos/ ?ss=13704488 . By the way, what is your studio process typically like, and how do you decide upon which materials you incorporate within a piece?
My work is highly inspired by architecture and the surreal experience that is interiors vs. exteriors. I translate that into the geometric and formal execution in a way that resembles architecture. But unlike the practice of architecture, the spaces I create cannot physically exist, not only in terms of physics, but in terms of practicality as well.
My studio process involves a lot of reading and writing. You can never stop learning, so I am constantly reading art philosophy as well as art history. Once I have a loose plan of what I want to make for my next piece, I think of three things: subject matter, content, and form. Form is the basic elements that make up aSpacial work ofReflection art beyond its meaning (i.e. color, 58
In particular, Spatial Reflections deeply involves the viewer into the artwork itself... what do you try to communicate through your work and what role plays your audience in your process? When you conceive a piece do you think to whom will enjoy it?
Through my artwork, I try to communicate through cognitivism. This is a practice of art making where, according to contemporary philosopher, Berys Gault, 1) art can nontrivially teach us, and 2) the capacity of art to teach is part of its aesthetic value. When viewers look at my work, I want them to learn something from it, create something through it, or learn something about themselves. My artwork is not what you would describe as emotional, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to des-
shape, texture). Content describes the iconography of the piece (i.e conventions and genres). And Subject matter is the visible image in a work, which is separate from its content. The subject matter suggests aspects of the image and the conceptuality of the work. Everything an artist chooses to include in a piece automatically becomes essential in the viewing process. For Spatial Reflections, I wanted to combine two basic rooms (four walls per room) to make an octagonal room. I wanted the viewer to be able to interact with the space I was creating, so I chose a typical material used for building spaces and rooms: drywall.
cribe it as spiritual, though most people may see past the spiritual and see the cognitive and interactive aspects. Although I want my viewers to take part in my work through their cognitive processes, I’d like them to realize that spirituality and subtlety of beauty behind what they are looking at because essentially everything I’m showing through art are things we encounter every day.
gnized for what they are doing. What is important is how you grow from this recognition. Unfortunately, there are artists who will abandon their personal artistic process to cater to what the people want: commercial art.
There is one quote from Mark Rothko that I’d like to also apply to my work, “The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them.” I think the viewers who enjoy my work will be able to see the beauty of subtlety and changes in the spaces we interact in every day, which can theoretically be applied to everyone under the right circumstances. I hope that my work can serve as one of these circumstances for viewers.
Commercial artists are typically well known and are sometimes described as ‘sell outs’ in the art world. On the contrary, awards are can be a great thing. Everyone deserves to be rewarded and recognized. The best way to grow once you get a taste of recognition is to keep both feet on the ground, keep a healthy amount of determination, and never sell yourself out as an artist. Every artist is unique and should never have to compromise what they have to offer.
Your works have been often awarded: your piece Untitled #1 has been recently selected to travel across USA with Scholastics Art Write Now Tour. It goes without saying that awards are capable of supporting an artist... do you think that an award could even influence the process of an artist?
As you have remarked in your artist's statement, your art triggers your viewer’s cognitive process, allowing them to discover their own unique perception of the spaces. Sometimes it seems that environment hides informations
Yes. Everyone likes to be rewarded and reco60
of your work do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the freedom I have to learn. I’ll never stop learning more about my work, my practice, and myself. Through all of my artistic endeavors thus far, I have grown and matured all by learning. The more I learn, the more I can put into my work. Learning is not limited to reading and research; learning is also working through problems in your artwork. If an artist hits a roadblock, the only way through it is determination and the action of constantly producing more work. The more work an artist produces, the more easily he/she can see where they are having trouble. It really is that simple. I’m an artist and I will never cease to continue learning.
which -even though are not "encrypted" tout court- need to be deciphered. Do you think that one of the roles of artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of environment or Nature -especially our inner Nature- in the wide sense of word?
The role of an artist is just that. Art is a form of meaning, it is communication, it is learning. I think that artwork is so unfortunately overlooked because that is exactly what it is doing, it is revealing something in a new way. Art is a constant communication through the work itself, the artist, the viewers, and the members of society. Just how technology and science influences the way we live our lives, art should do the same. They are all providing new realities and learning experiences/opportunities for their users and viewers.
Thanks a lot for your sharing with us your thoughts, Jamie: nothing has left to say than asking you about your future plans. Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
This summer in July 2013, I will be having a drawing (Alabamian Hippocampus) displayed in a show in New York City in Manhattan with Teen Art Gallery. he venue and date have yet to be announced, so make sure to check up on their website. I have been experimenting with video art a lot recently and installation, all of which will be up on my website over the next 2-3 months if it isn’t up already.
ask to the artists that we interview: what aspect
Ruzsa (Hungary) Director’s statement
“One day in winter as I stepped out of the door I noticed that huge icicles were hanging down from the eaves. Such beautiful and amazing forms I had never seen before. They heralded in spring, the revival of nature. Melting is an amazing phenomenon of nature. But we must realize that melting is not everywhere a joyful event. Melting in the arctic ice is by no means the revival of nature. “Polar ice is melting faster than scientists thought. Many scientists say that at the end of this decade or even sooner the ice will melt away entirely each summer. “Unfortunately nowadays it is not too difficult to find negative topics. We have a lot of problems that we can see around us. In this rushing world we forget what is really important. Making this film was a good opportunity for me to think about what I can and should do for the environment. “My aim is to present a new, unusual kind of visual experience. My partner Fruzsina Spitzer makes computer graphics, which hark back to cubist paintings. Georges Braque especially has had a great influence on me, so I thought we should make Drops in a similar style. The pictorial world of the film is extremely simple as we really wanted to focus on the gist. Only the forms and the shapes are visible against the dark background.
A short biography
Hungary. He studied Media and Communication at the University of Debrecen, Hungary. Since 2004 he has been making short films and documentaries, and has participated in many international short film festivals, amongst others, in Germany, Austria, Croatia, Italy, Greece, UK, France, Russia, Canada and USA. From 2007 he has been making films commissioned by artists, museums and art galleries. He also works as a photographer for books, catalogues and art magazines. Videography 2012 201.2FM 2010 Bonds 2009 +1°c 2008 „All the World's a Game” -
2007 Blue Corridor 2006 Banga-tekercsek – Portrait of Ferenc Banga You can visit his works at www.dokuweb.hu
Poster of DROPS
Animated by Fruzsina Spitzer Music by Cornel Kovacs, Gabor Nagysolymosi 63
An interview with
zsa start this interview with our usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, how you first became interested in video as a visual medium?
Art has been defined by many people in many ways. Maybe these deffinitions are not perfect, but they cannot be perfect anyway. I think if we knew exactly what art is, it could never have such a great influence on us. I have been interested in filmmaking since I was a child. In those days I often went to the cinema. I watched not only the contemporary works but I also looked for classical movies. At the beginning I was interested in scriptwriting, later when I started studying media I had an interview with the opportunity to try directing and photographing. Soon I recognized that my special subject is experimental filmmaking. I started filming because it is a very complex art, it gives you a lot of possibilites. Would you like to tell us something about your background? We have read that you have formal training and that you have studied Media and Communication at the University of Debrecen, Hungary: how much has training impacted on your art practice? And how has your art developed since you left school?
Many people think that art is unteachable. I think at a University you have to obtain technical and theoretical knowledge. The rest depend on perseverance, diligence and on luck, of course. I could compare formal education to a weekend forest trip with the family where
(Photo by Fruzsina Spitzer)
we have to follow the route signs. After finishing the university you walk alone and you can find your own way. Can you tell us about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, on what technical as-pects do you mainly focus in your work?
I am thinking in pictures. I am thinking visually. Many times this is the starting point for a story or to a message. It happenes when a picture never lets me rest but I still don't know why should I deal with that particular picture. When I realise it, I begin with the technical aspect. First I started to use photos in my short videos +1째C and Bonds. In these cases it is easy to manipulate the frame per second. And I started to experiment how can I transform a single still picture into a motion picture. Now we would like to focus on your work Drops, whose stills have been published in these pages in these pages. 5
Could you take us through your creative process when starting this work?
Two aspects interested me very much in this project: how it is possible to reduce movement to a bare minimum yet give the illusion of motion and be enjoyable. I set out from photos and the pictorial world was drawn on the basis of those pictures. On the other hand in the video we only used certain elements of the photos. For example the little girl with the a polar bear toy was waiting for a bus with her mother. We really wanted to focus on the gist. Only the forms and the shapes are visible against the dark background. 65
Land Escape As you have remarked in your statement, in this rushing world we forget what is really important: I'm sort of convinced that one of the roles of an artist could be to say "Hey, people, stop for a little whileâ&#x20AC;Ś let's focus on this!" Just in order to reveal unexpected sides of environment and of Nature (and of our inner Nature) in the wide sense of word... what's your point about this?
I find it important that an artist should create artworks which draw attention to a problem, to share a message about which it is necessary to talk. If he can achieve this, then his work was not futile. Of course it is not necessary to think of world-saving ideas, many times it is enough to focus on the importance of a feeling in today's weird world. Many of your artworks focuses on the theme of the landscape, and our reader can admire some of your pieces in these pages... So, even though it might sound a bit rethorical -since our review is called "LandEscape"- we would like to ask you: what is the significance of the landscape in your art?
Us humans drastically transform the landscape around us.
more vague: do you think that this "frontier" will exists longer? By the way, do you think that new media art will definitely fill the dichotomy between art and technology?
Unfortunately we can more and more realise the negative effects of this process. For example one of my video entitled +1Â°C gives an illustration of the problem.
The border between the Video Art and Cinema really starts blurring, but it still exists. They use each other's language mutually. The new media art expanded the newest technical opportunities. Think about the Internet which nowadays is a medium where it is possible to publish artworks, possible to make the work interactive, authors allow the spectator to become a creative partner. So the new media art blurs the borders between art and technology. We cannot seperate the two.
Here a human being appears only for a short period of time when he has to ride a bicycle in a mask, because he too is only suffering victim of the process. We lose control of the powers we set free. Editing and computer graphics plays a crucial role in your art practice: no doubt that during these last years the frontier between Video Art and Cinema is growing more and
You videos have been exhibited all around the world: from Germany to USA, from Russia to Canada, and your short Drops is going to be screened at the ArtDeco Film Festival in Brazil. What experiences have you had exhibiting in different countries? By the way, have you found any relevant differences between exhibiting in Europe and exhibiting in the USA?
The language of the film is without borders, it almost doesn't matter in which country it is screened. Often the style of the festival or exhibition defines why the artwork is liked. Because the form of the work crosses borders, or the theme of the atrwork is timely, the narration is not built up in a usual manner. I am very glad when a stranger, people who I don't know, congratulate me or offer an opinion. In your artist's statement you have mentioned your partner Fruzsina Spitzer who is an artist as well, with whom you have a established a collaboration. Would you like to tell
A sequence of stills from DROPS
us something about this interesting synergy? By the way, can you explain how your work demonstrates communica tion between two artists?
I am very lucky that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve found her. When we first worked together it was obvious for me that she will be the editor and animator of my short videos. With Fruzsi we are not only partners at work, we are together in life too. If one of us has a problem the other will help. We can help each other not only in technical matters but emotionally as well.
but an interesting one. What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction? an with It is interview necessary to like all aspects of the work, because only then can you work on it with full devotion. But probably I have to emphasise that in this project it was the animation process which I enjoyed the most. When the photos and CG - these two different techniques - came to life. Thanks for your time and for what's next for you? Are there any new projects on the horizon? Thank you for the interview. We are working now on a short experimental dance film, which is based on a ballet performance. The landescape receives a totally other sense here. Apart from this, quite a number of ideas are waiting for realisation.
A still from DROPS
You can watch the complete movie on vimeo at http://vimeo.com/60446142
Julian Lee (United Kingdom)
An artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s statement
"There is no painting I have made that I have not struggled with, but it is a struggle I love. Each painting feels like a complete lifetime. Birth-life-death. Each work has its own history, meaning, and story to tell". Julian Lee is a international contemporary artist orignally from the UK and based in Frankfurt, Germany since 2001. With Solo and Group shows across Europe, plus work exhibited at Art fairs in New York, London, and Berlin, numerous works of his are housed in private collections worldwide.
Last Day of Winter Oil on Canvas, 50 x 40 cm
Julian Lee Education: 1996 - 2000 Bachelor of Art. Fine Art Degree (Honours) Newcastle University. UK 1989 - 1991 B Tec National Diploma in Art & Design. Southport College of Art. UK Solo Exhibitions (Selected)
Frankfurt, D 2010 'The Architects Dream', Ausstellungsraum D * 2010 'God Shaped Holes', Kunstverein Hoechst Bolongaro e.V. Hoechst, D 2008 Galerie Schuster, Frankfurt, D 2007 Galerie Schuster, Berlin, D 2005-6 Galerie Schuster, Frankfurt, D 2001 'Ein Englischer blick auf Deutschland' Schiffenberg-Galerie, Giessen, D 1994 Knapp Gallery, London, UK Group Exhibitions
Frankfurt, D 2011 PageArt â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ein Sammlerprojekt, Kunstraum Bernusstrasse, Frankfurt, D 2011 Superheroes, Heyne Kunst fabrik, Offenbach, @Zeilgalerie: D 2011 'Birches', Timisoara Art Museum, Timisoara, Romania, RO. 2010 'Kettle full of Diamonds', Nachtspeicher23. e.V., Hamburg, D 2010 X-Mas 10, Galleri Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, DK 2010 'Quadratkubikmeter mal zwei', Nachtspeicher23. e.V., Hamburg, D 2010 Summertime10, Galleri Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, DK 2009 IV. Ellwanger Kunstausstellung, Ellwangen Kunstverein , D 2009 Selected09, Galleri Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, DK 2009 'The Lure and the Seducer', Galleri Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, DK 2008 'Kapellmeister pulls a doozy', Seven Seven Contemporary Art, London, UK Frankfurt, D 2007 Scope Art Fair, Miami, USA 2007 Scope Art Fair, Basel, CH 2006 Scope Art Fair, Miami, USA 2006 Scope Art Fair, London, UK
An interview with
Julian Lee Hi Julian, a warm welcome to LandEscape. Let’s start this interview with our usual intro-ductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, could be the features that mark the contemporariness of a piece? Do you think that it's just a matter of making art during these years?
A clear definition of what’s a work of art is difficult as you could argue that anything is potentially a work of art thanks to Duchamp and his Urinal. And I generally tend to agree. However, in this day and age the spectrum of the arts is so enormous that I tend to subconsciously define a work art, or better said, a great work of art, simply if it stikes an internal chord with me or not. What defines an artwork’s contemporariness is an open book. Making art in the present is contemporary but you can regurgitate old ideas an interview with or themes in a contemporary context. That’s why I think painting is often overlooked or easily dismissed as a lot of people feel painting is something rooted too much in the past and that new media, especially digitally, is more aligned or suited the meaning contemporary in art. I feel it’s always the content, the subject matter, that’s the most important aspect of any work of art. The form it’s made in is mostly irrelevant.
Julian Lee in his studio
later as I approached my teens and once it had its grip on me that was it. I was only ever going in that direction. Many years later I met my wife who is German whilst studying Fine Arts at University in Newcastle. After finishing my degree I moved over to Germany permanently around nine months later in 2001, long before the Berlin hype I might add. And have been here ever since. Moving to Germany definitely changed me and my art. An instant impact was the inclusion of more green in my work. Cities in Germany tend to be very green. Just outside of Frankfurt (where I live) are huge forests. I can’t think of another city in Europe where in 20 minutes on a bicycle you can be in a forest with deer running around and 20 minutes in the other direction in amongst the highest skyscrapers in Europe. The contrasts are incredible, hence the fusion of Architecture and nature plays a significant role in a lot of my work.
Before getting into the matter of your Art production, would you like to tell us something of your background, and how you first became interested in painting as a visual medium? By the way, has moving from the UK to Germany impacted the way you make art?
I grew in up in Liverpool with just my elder brother and Mother. As far back as I can remember I only ever wanted to be an artist, it’s sounds a cliche but it’s the truth. Pencil and paper was my childhood. Painting came a bit 72
and what that means, and helped me a lot. There were formal aspects of the degree but I’d say the danger was to follow trends. I think I was the only one who stayed with painting the whole 4 years, which often left me in the cold a lot but I always knew where my strengths lay. But never felt I had to follow anything. A key factor for that personally was I’d just come from living and working on my own in London for 4 years. Anything from cleaning toilets at Heathrow Airport to working on building sites all over the city. When I finally went off to study everyone else was considerable younger and dare I say immature, they had only ever been in the education system up until starting Uni. I’m a firm believer in life experience being the most important and significant teaching an artist gets.
First day of Spring Oil on Canvas, 50 x 40 cm
You hold a BA in Fine Art that you received from Newcastle University. What's your point about formal training in Art? Do you think that a certain kind of training could even stifle "free inspiration"?
It’s extremely difficult, especially in Germany, if you don’t have “qualifications” in whatever you do. I know here in the art schools it’s a lot more formal which I think isn’t good. Artists are treated more like students instead of practising artists, albeit at the beginning of their careers, but practising artists nevertheless. So yes, in that aspect too much formal training I would consider stifling. Without sounding arrogant I always had the talent so I didn’t have to learn how to paint or draw, but learning to become an artist is another world entirely and I was definitely uneducated in that aspect. My Fine Art degree was more about learning to become an artist
Sky Line Oil on Canvas, 50 x 40 cm
Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with Last day of winter and First day of Spring that our readers can admire in these pages and that seems to be part of a series: could you take us through your creative process for this project?
The two works you mentioned refer to the changing of the seasons, which for some reason I’m not sure of I seem to becoming more and more obsessed with. The works have a lot of connotations, not just the changing of seasons but change in all aspects of life such as passing over from life to death or even the other way round if you like. Other stimulating works of yours on which I would like to spend some words are Landscape reinventing itself and Highly Accurate Shapes: what was your initial inspiration? By the way, does your process allow you to visualize your works before creating? Do you know what it will look like before you begin? Do you work out the idea for the painting beforehand with drawing?
Before I even start priming the canvas for a piece I’ll have a good Idea of what I’m going to paint and a wealth of sketchbook material with developed ideas. The moment I start painting though anything can happen and it can go in any direction. The sketchbooks are always at hand as important reference points so I don’t chop and change too much and stay to some sort of running theme. I’ve never done a work yet which ended up looking the same as a sketch; they always develop during the painting process. Guided largely by intuition the paintings develop over time into something far removed from the original source to create a dialogue with my immediate environment. The benefit of hindsight is often a good clue as to what will develop in the future for me. Sometimes I look back at previous work cycles, maybe works over a few years old and try to figure out what I was getting at, then try and take the most decisive and important 74
elements and develop them further. It’s a continuous development. A visual of your paintings that impacted on me is the variety of nuances of green, which is recurring in your palette: this colour gives a sense of "liquidity" -I may dare to say- to your pieces. It gives them a sense of movement... and of life. Could you tell us something about this feature? By the way, any comments on your choice of palette or how it has changed over time?
The immediate association of green is nature and life and that’s correct but green is also a very spiritual colour. As I mentioned before, Germany is very green and that’s impacted my work considerably. Green and blue have been the base colours and main components of my work over the last five years or so. I never use red much as I find it a difficult colour to work with. Maybe only Matisse and Chagall are the only painters I can think of who really can use red, or rather understood red. Strong colours are very powerful in painting and should be used cautiously; they can so easily make or break a work of art. I spend a lot of time thinking about my palette of colours. I'm sort of convinced that Art -or better, the artistic process- is in a certain sense structurally similar to scientific research: there's an aim on the horizon, but you don't exactly know what it is about it until you have finished your work... what's you point on this?
Even after a work of art is finished I often don’t even know what the meaning of it is. My work contains multiple meanings and layers. They are like puzzles. It’s often better to suggest than define in art and that’s what I aim for, a more ambiguous approach. I don’t like to produce work which you’ll fall asleep in front of, but I’m also not out to shock either. I agree Studios are definitely a similar environment to a scientific research lab, however they are ultimately fact and logic based, and logic is the enemy of art. The best parallel for me is between painting and song. A really great song
Landscape reinventing itself Oil on Canvas, 50 x 40 cm
millions and millions of Solar systems in the Milky Way. There are billions of Milky Ways in our Galaxy! We (as in the Earth and its inhabitants) are so utterly insignificant that we simply cannot fathom the sheer scale of the universe; it’s too abstract for us. We don’t’ understand why we die, there is no explanation to our existence and as death is the last taboo for many it’s often a very uncomfortable topic. I feel the reason religion and “God” were invented was in order to cope with the finality and inevitably of death. Make of that what you will. Your works have been often awarded: I'm wondering if an award could even influence the creative process of an artist... So I would like to ask you what are in your opinion some of the challenges for a sustainable relationship between the business and arts…
Most regular people wouldn’t necessarily German Altbau, Oil on Canvas Oil on Canvas, 50 x 40 cm
an interview with and decipher, the notes, the structure, everything in fact but it still won’t tell you what makes it great and it never will thankfully. There is a factor, a magic there that makes it great that you can never put your finger on it but you understand it in every sense with you soul. That’s probably ultimately my goal..to make some great art that just has something you can’t define but you like it. Since our magazine is called "LandEscape", we cannot do without asking you: what is the significance of the landscape in your art?
I have a theory that the Landscape or Nature is what most refer to as ”God”. When I look into the sky I don’t think of God, heaven or some other man made invention such as religion, I see only a continuation of nature. Everything is nature out there, us too. Consider this: The Earth, one of the nine planets in our Solar system, is just one Solar system amongst
Heimreise Oil on Canvas, 50 x 40 cm
associate artists as being tough, but I’d say it’s one of the toughest jobs there is. Some get lucky, most don’t make it, most just give up for an easier life. Every serious artist though needs recognition of some sort sometimes. Artists need it, no matter how tough or independent they are. As for the business side of it, I learnt the hard way that talent isn’t enough. And my honesty meant being taken for a ride sometimes by Galleries. If a gallery or some other set-up is honest and committed though, then there is no reason why a very successful and sustainable relationship can’t be built, it’s works both ways. I could write a book on the challenges artist’s face but I’d say the single biggest challenge for me is simply to earn a living from it. Even when it’s good financially I can’t take anything for granted. You just don’t when you’ll get the next show or if you’ll sell anything. Highly Accurate Shapes Oil on Canvas, 50 x 40 cm
Thanks for this interview and for sharing with us your thoughts, Julian: my last question deals with your future plans. Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like our readers to be aware of?
Thank you as well LandEscape. I enjoyed answering your questions. As for the future, well I’ve just brought a ton of painting material and am hoping to start painting a new cycle of works again, there will be a few surprises in there too so watch out!. I’ve got lot’s of exciting ideas will hope to stage some exhibitions with new work around 2014. I’m getting a small booklet produced right now in colaboration with a collector friend which will soon be available through my website; www.julianlee.de. Plus there are also some other things in the pipeline, and as ever I’m open to any new opportunities.
Inner Oak Oil on Canvas, 50 x 40 cm
Sheida Soleimani (USA / Iran) An artist’s statement
“Recognizing the cultural dualities in my upbringing, I use my work to explore my identity formed by my personal memories and stories my parents often expressed to me as a child. Growing up as an Iranian in America makes me hyper-aware of the differences in many aspects. I didn’t fully speak English until I was six, and spent hours listening to my mother’s stories about Iran. The connections between her memories and my life took place in odd relationships. For example, her former home with mud walls were contrasted with my childhood drywall, which both adorned a collection of neatly pinned insects. “The outside world of American culture always seemed to sneak into my life. I didn’t consider my two cultural experiences any different, and remained unaware of my position as someone living in two spheres until I was older. As I explored these themes in my work, particularly cultural identity, fracture, and reconciliation— I began to embrace the complexity of my bi-cultural background. “In my photographic scenarios, I re-appropriate memo-ries that situate the viewer within a single space in regards to a specific instance. Elements are placed inside the frame to form a symbolic language, then arranged to form relationships running throughout the series. Creating a lexicon for these memories in a tableau, I narrate stories to the viewer— instigating the observer to decode according to their own ideologies. My most recent works embellish the dichotomy between the multifaceted reality of the East and the romantic notion of the ‘orient’. The images of Eastern culture I encountered during my childhood were often simplistic and comedic, such as Disney’s Aladdin. These examples of orientalism inversely led to my romanticizing of Western culture.
Maman 30 x 35, c-print, 2012
an interview with
An interview with
Sheida Soleimani Let's start with our usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And how you first became interested in photography as a visual medium?
my own photographs, I always was drawn to the different types of photography and what they revealed in their imagery. Seeing textbook photographs in science journals elaborated upon the verity of a subject, and presenting something in a form in which it was self explanatory. The same principal was elaborated in photojournalism: the photographer uses the camera as a tool to capture some sort of truth, or to create an impression upon the viewer that sheds light upon a subject. The alternate ap-
I think most anything can be defined as a work of art: the realm in which it exists elaborates upon what type of ‘art’ it is, or how it functions in relation to its surroundings. Art is communication, a method of defining and transcribing ‘things’ (events, objects, issues, ideas) My interest in photography first came about when I was a teenager. Before starting to take 80
Jackie 30 x 35, c-print, 2012
approach that prompted my interest was the creation of photographs that were more illusionary. I became interested in telling stories in my photographs, where I created symbols to represent characters and subjects. Through the creation of tableaus, stories were narrated in a way which elements of the com-
position could be decoded and refashio-ned based upon a platform of truths. From that point, photography was not just associated with the camera and the photograph as an end product, but became a performative practice in which every action lent to setting the final stage for the image. 81
You have formal training and you have received Master's Degree in Fine Arts, focusing on Photography from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. How much in your opinion training influences art? And how has your art developed since you left school?
20x24, inkjet print, 2011 bases on which to create work. However, sometimes it makes one inhibited and a bit less explorative because of the knowledge you learn of previous works made, or being in fear of creating something ‘ ’.
I actually just finished my BFA, but will be leaving to attend Cranbrook this upcoming year for my MFA. I think academic training in art can heavily influence ones work, in both positive and negative forms.
Since I have left school, I have worked with trying new methods of representing my narratives, as well as elaborating upon my tableau scenarios, and finding alternate methods of representations and symbology.
Academic training can open new frontiers to be explored, as well as providing alternative 82
compare an artist’s studio to a laboratory; both environments supple-ment creation and experimentation through similar means. Can you tell us about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work?
While creating my tableaus, I focus most on what the environment surrounding the stage for my photograph is, and how it can be altered to lend itself to the image I am making, as well as what the subjects in the photograph are and how they relate and interact with one another. Each one of my photographs is a narrative in relation to specific stories, and my first step is always sketching out my subjects and experimenting with their relationships to one another. I’ll probably do about 100 sketches of the same scenario, but each with minor adjustments, so I can decide where things will reside inside of the frame. An interest to me while making my works is keeping an aspect of continuity throughout the series, a
Suri, 30 x 35, c-print, 2011 You have an interesting background, you have studied Biotechnology and I must confess that I'm always happy when I discover synergies between Art and Science: I 'm sort of convinced that the more time it passes the less there are concrete differences between Art and Science... what's your point about this?
I completely agree; I think art and science really go hand in hand, and in a sense overlap in many facets. Science is about finding answers to the unknown, and both art and science follow similar principles: they are hypothesis driven, and have to be tested. A scientific image is simple, but elaborates and highlights specific qualities of what it is trying to represent. Making an image self-explanatory is really a work of art on its own, and this relationship really is important when many artists are creating work. The creation of work itself can be extremely scientific via experimentive processes. A hypothesis is posed before a work is created, and the experiment is the creation of the work itself. What works? What doesn’t? Is there a variable and a control variable present in the work? Many contemporary writings on the synergies between the two
Shir 30 x 35, c-print, 2012
control variable, one might say. In my two most recent series ‘Namaz Khaneh’ and ‘Panjereh’ a diorama background serves as a constant, while things inside and around the frame are changing to narrate a larger whole story that connects the smaller fragmented stories in each photograph. Now I would focus on your artworks that our readers can admire in the previous pages: let's start from Jackie and Maman. What was your initial inspiration for these pieces?
Jackie was the name of a dog my mother had while she was growing up, and she always made a note of her presence in the stories she told me as a child. In the stories, her character was menacing and wolf-like, and she would sometimes harm the animals my mother would take care of and rehabilitate. Her character was not a very significant one, but one that always stuck with me as a child, especially when my mother expressed such scorn for her. While growing up, my mother always spent time teaching me howwith to rehabilitate animals, an interview specifically birds. The stories about Jackie always made me worried about protecting my fledgling birds as a child, and even now, from things they sometimes cannot be saved from. An interview with
Panjereh 30 x 35, c-print, 2011 The photograph ‘Maman’ which literally translates to ‘mother’ in Farsi is a parallel between a tradition my mother and I had together, as well as me learning how to speak English and subsequently making friends as a child. When my mother lived in Shiraz, she was a nurse, and spent a lot of her time trying to make her patients happy. When she would take them meals, she would peel their oranges to make ornate roses that sat on top of the fruit. Outside of the aesthetic appearance, these flowers smelled wonderful, and became quite reminiscent of Persian orange blossoms, which are
Balesh Mar, 20x24, inkjet print, 2011
First Christmas, 30 x 35, c-print, 2012
some time on the web, and although all we have managed to get is just an impression, we have to say that it has been a wonderful impression... Persian language seems to be "artistic": it's just an impression?
I think the Persian language, Farsi, is quite artistic, and would venture to say that it is very poetic. Farsi is an extremely adjective based language, and sometimes one can spend a lot of time just giving a description of something because of all the adjectives packed into a sentence. The first thing that makes me think of the poetic qualities is how simple objects have very poetic names. For example, a potato is called ‘seebzaminee’. ‘Seeb’ means apple and ‘zamine’ translates to ground, so a potato is known as an ‘apple of the ground’. Asparagus would be another good example of poetic naming: ‘marchubeh’ is the name for asparagus, where ‘mar’ means snake, ‘chub’ means stick, and the ‘eh’ on the end associates it as being little; therefore, asparagus is known as a ‘little snake stick’. Albeit being poetic, I think these descriptions are very simple, and even though there are many adjectives involved, the associations and parallels in the language make simple sense of things.
known as ‘narenj’. She made these roses for me when I was a child, and packed them in my lunch box for school. Other kids would see them and want them, so I started giving them away at lunch time in efforts to make friends. Another piece of your on which I would like to spend some words is entitled Panjereh, that has been published here above, which in Persian language means "window". By the way, you have stated that you didn't fully speak English until you were six: I would like to ask you something about Persian language which is your mother tongue: we have spent
This lead us to another relevant aspect of you art practice on which we would like to focus: the important role of the cultural duality. I can't do without mentioning Edward Said and his deep opinion about the concept of "Orientalism" and the related stereotypes on this subject... I'm wondering if Art might have the power of going beyond artificial dichotomies. What's your take about this?
Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funny that you mention Said, as I co-curated a show last year that addressed his writings on Orientalism. The topic that the show addressed was the perception of the magic carpet, and how this symbol was an Orientalized entity associated with the East, but is not of Eastern origin. We included artists of both Middle Eastern and Western origin, who created works in regards to this stereotypical symbol and what it meant to them. I think art certainly has the power to go beyond artificial dichotomies, and is a means to address these artificialities head on. Whether it be through addressing something in a tongue-and-cheek lighthearted manner, or through a philosophi-cal stance, art provides a means to look at these viewpoints and opinions through a different prism. Besides producing art, you also teach: you are currently Adjunct Professor of Photography at Antonelli College. How has thisÂ influenced your career as an artist?
Teaching has been a major game changer in how I address my own works and what type of risks I want to take with my work. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve taught both younger children, as well as college-aged students, and one thing that I see happening in both groups is the questioning of the academic, and how un-inhibited students are in their processes while making work.
Hose, 30 x 35, c-print, 2012
times while I was a student and was constantly frustrated with my work, and felt that they needed to be perfect the first time I executed them. Through teaching, I watch others worry about the same things and am able to encourage them to experiment a lot more with their processes, instead of settling on the first thing they make. That was certainly a mistake I made during my under-graduate, so learning this through teaching has pushed me to try more things with my current works.
This is constantly a challenge to me, and forces me to step outside of a strictly academic viewpoint so I can address the ideas that my students are coming up with, and work with them to bring their works into fruition. I remember the 86
in the name. When we were first thinking about names for the space, I liked “Third Party” the most because it addressed two different things to me: a third party is one that is not directly involved with political and social interactions, but is independent in how it functions. This also reminded me of how we have a dual party system, but a third party may present an alternate perception. I think art can certainly play an important role in facing social questions. It can assume its platform opposing or supporting ideas and viewpoints, and do so in a way that provides an alternate perspective and medium for its audience. I think that in some situations,
Havapeymah, 20x24, inkjet print, 2011
You have co-founded the Third Party Gallery in Cincinnati: I would go as far as to state that there's an evident sociopolitical connotation in this name: am I going wrong? Moreover, do you think that art could play an important role in facing social questions? Could art steer or even change people's behavior? By the way What are some of the challenges for a sustainable relationship between the business and arts?
art can change ones perspective and behavior, but I think that this also depends on how open minded a viewer is. Change requires more than one parameter, but art can supplement one to have a viewpoint to change behavior upon. As far as the relationship between business and art is concerned, there are many facets that highlight the interactions between the two. One major question is whether the relationship between business and art is symbiotic, synergys-
There is definitely a sociopolitical connotation
tic, or parasitic. At the very minimum, the ideal is for the relationship to be symbiotic, however, I believe that we are very far from that now. The ultimate would be a synergistic relationship that enriches the community. The ultimate challenge I think is creating this type of relationship, instead of one entity corrupting the other. There's a cliche question, that we often ask to the artists that we interview: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?
While creating my works, the biggest satisfaction I get is through working in a performative way while creating the stages for my photographs. Through building and fabricating specific elements, as well as assigning specific placement and roles to my subjects, I am able to control what I present in front of the lens. For me, this is the most important and enjoyable thing about making work. Thank you for your time and you thoughts, Sheida. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
For now, just grad school, and making new work! I just received a grant through the Ohio Arts Council, and am working on making a new series that will be vastly different from some of my previous works. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m excited to see where the work will be going, as well as moving to a different city to explore different avenues in regards to my production. Mr. Jones and his dog Bill, 30 x 35, c-print, 2011