EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Francesca Pirillo
DIRETTORE RESPONSABILE Dario Carotenuto
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TRANSLATOR | PROOFREADER Sharon McMahon
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ISSN | 2532-1773 registrazione della testata al Tribunale di Cosenza nÂ°2/17 del 10.02.2017
COVER | JULIA KRAHN
Mutter und Tochter | Mother and Daughter 2014
CONTENTS 05 | JULIA KRAHN 26 | JAKUB PASIERKIEWICZ 40 | KARISSA HAHN 56 | KUNLIN HE
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Julia Krahn _________
When and how did you become interested in the visual arts? Art has always been present in my life, from childhood, through my family. My godmother took us to museums and questioned us about what we had seen, my grandmother took us to classical concerts, and my uncle was an artist. From art education a personal interest was born when I became aware that the artist, through his work, communicates concepts and emotions despite being absent. I remember one of the first classical concerts that completely upset me, I cried tears of joy and despair indecipherable at the same time. I felt relieved, and for the first time I had feelings of wanting to be able to wake up similar feelings in others. The medium of photography is one of the main instruments which serves to communicate your message; you already have catchy concepts such as “rendering eternal”, “eternalize”, or to distort the concept of time, enthrusting a complex narration at the instant of the shutter click. What was the aspect that has intrigued you and that made you decide to choose this as your main medium? I like to touch things and so I try to produce my thoughts and feelings. I am able to do this thanks to photography. I was drawn to the fact that I can summarize, testify, and at the same time I feel that I have the power to do magic. Photography frames inevitably, but this is one of its greatest limitations as well as its immense strengths.
The use of pictures has changed greatly over the past decade, also in relation to its widespread diffusion: the smartphone always in hand, social networks, selfies, to show your appearance at all costs. What do you think has changed in the enjoyment of such a presence of images in everyday life? Has this transformation altered your research? My research investigates the basic needs of man and of society. I believe that selfies are a consequence of a need to hear the testimony of themselves, to exist and to show this existence to as many people as possible. This interests me, I am interested in what is at the origin of the social phenomenon; therefore yes. It intervenes in my research, but no more than other social phenomena. In the choice of subjects there is often a strong emotional component of a strictly personal nature, as in the works which involve your family, for example Mutter und Tochter / Mother and Daughter, Vater und Tochter / Father and Daughter ... it’s interesting that the image becomes the result of your emotional interaction, tell us about this aspect. My work is me. Each work is the materialization of my thoughts and/or emotions. For a long period of time I was the protagonist. In front of and behind the camera. Even my parents, who themselves are part of me. Getting naked in front of the questions requires opening up to the discussion, it requires honesty and availability of wanting to seriously look and this inevitably leads to answers, often quite serious. It is getting naked in all senses. A few years ago I started to work with people outside
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Mutter und Tochter / mother and daughter, diptych traditional photography color print, natural oak frame, museum glass 40 x 26,5 cm - 16 x 10,5 inches edition 3 + 2 AP courtesy the artist + Casa Testori 2010
of my private life. These people are never models, but people who go with me to explore themselves. Again, in these cases there is a very strong emotional interaction. I think this is precisely the strength of my work, which is able to feel these emotions, on the contrary to only seeing them in a simple photograph. What is the relationship that you have with performance? Being physically in the work of art makes you have a direct link with the spectator, how do you live this confrontation with the viewer? Over the years Iâ€™m getting closer to the public. I think the answer is a more elusive and virtual everyday reality. There are always more things that we see or hear but always less of those of which we allow ourselves to be touched by on both an emotional and physical level. We are more concerned with creating a virtually perfect life for everyone to see, rather than taking care of our real life and our relationships with those who live around us. In the long run, however, photos on social networks and telephone messages are enough to satiate our need to feel loved. Especially if the world responds to an image of us that we are not, but that we created trying to get closer to an ideal. We are no longer credible, not for the world, nor for ourselves. So even photography today is no longer credible,
Melancholie wachsend / Melancholy growing, Detail traditional photography color print, cherry wood frame 55 x 69 cm - 22 x 27 inches edition 3 + 2 AP courtesy the artist + Antonella Cattani Contemporary Art 2011
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Vaterâ€™s Melancholie / Fatherâ€™s MelancholY traditional photography color print, cherry wood frame 55 x 69 cm - 22 x 27 inches edition 3 + 2 AP courtesy the artist + Antonella Cattani Contemporary Art 2011
Vater und Tochter / Father and Daughter traditional photography color print, cherry wood frame 113 cm x 142 cm - 44,5 x 56 inches edition 3 + 2 AP courtesy the artist + Kultumdepot Graz 2011
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no one expects reality in a photograph, given how easy it is for everyone to manipulate it. There is no room for manipulation in the performance itself. itâ€™s true, accepts the errors, puts the artist naked, makes the artist human, touchable, and so also gives the public the opportunity to exist for a moment, to be present. Images of birds are recurring, such as the doves in the performance Petticoat, the ravens in the installation Bread Wine Flesh, in the video the Last Supper ... a figure full of iconographic references. How do you serve in these works? What is the symbolic meaning that they give? Each attribute in my work has its own significance, historical or personal: the pigeondove is for the holy Spirit as well as for the sacrifice, for passion and hope. When â€œYour eyes are like dovesâ€?, a phrase from Song of Songs, she brings us a message of love; the raven is about religion itself, he is myth, death, wisdom, reincarnation. it is he who leaves noahs arc with the dove, but he never comes back, not until my work Bread Wine Flesh.
lilies and linen, gallery View @antonella cattani conteMporary art installation of 3 wallpapers 3 m x 4 m, gold-leaf on wall 300 x 400 cm - 118 x 157,5 inches (18 ceramics) 2012
zerbrechliche Melancholie / Fragile Melancholy installation in photo ceramics 18 photo ceramics (Chromalin Dupont), handmade gold leaf application 2 cm and 40 cm each - 0,8 and 15,8 inches unique piece courtesy the artist 2011
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zerbrechliche Melancholie / Fragile Melancholy, detail photo ceramic (Chromalin Dupont), handmade gold leaf application 40 cm - 15,8 inches unique piece courtesy the artist 2011
And then there are the angels. Yes, it is true, there are many birds, perhaps because I am attracted to anything that can make me forget the gravity. You work not only with photography but also with video, performance, I also saw sculptures and small objects. How do you choose your medium? Every time I approach new research I ask myself by which means would be suitable, which matter to experiment. Often the materials are direct symbols, like golf leaf, the ceramic epitaphs. The material reflects its general affinity and other concepts that reinforces the work. Also use
Ultima Cena / Last Supper traditional photography color print, oak frame, museum glass 85 x 103 cm - 33,5 x 40,5 inches edition 3 + 2 AP courtesy the artist + Kultumdepot Graz 2011
existing objects, such as brooches and cameos. I give them a second life, placing my Polaroids on photography or existing miniatures. Itâ€™s always a I dialogue between my thought and what has to be associated to the object itself or of its past. I like the idea of timelessness. What do you think should be the role of art in our society? And what do you think of its uses? More and more we try to bring the work outside of museums and galleries, to give art back to live and share with everyone. Are you interested in this kind of sharing? Art must make us ask ourselves questions, make us look over the walls of our existence.
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I personally choose topics concerning society and its current problems. I’m interested in the values that change., the myths that transform and the emptiness that is increasingly filling our society more. I’m interested in man’s basic needs. My work feeds on these questions of society, for this I’m interested in an public, not just a niche, encountering these issues, allowing an interaction and an osmosis. Some say that art should not educate, but I believe that today it is our duty to give meaning to thought. It’s my responsibility to take a position and to invite the observer to question themselves, their values and the world around them. There is a very intriguing work from 2014 that I would like you to describe, a sitespecific in fact, born in Sorrento - Sirens built on the narrative of the myth of the Sirens; a very refined and suggestive piece. How did this idea arise and how did you develop it? The myth of the Sirens struck me as a metaphor for life and research on human omniscience. In the course of my research I came across one of Plato’s texts which tells of the Hades Sirens, and I remained fascinated by his story of our passage from life to death. The work was born in Sorrento, namely the Art Hotel Gran Par-
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Petticoat Kyrie Eleison Petticoat traditional photography wallpaper, collage unique piece 2015
adiso, by Mario Colonna; it was made entirely on site. The ‘vortex of fire’ has been interpreted as a volcano, and the ‘Lete river’ like ceramic necklines. Sculptures in Vesuvius stone were born, baked in an 800 degree oven several times to create white ceramic necklines. Then these sculpture sirens were launched into the water to be shot in photography and video. The video is accompanied by a cello composition by Luca Signorini, viola by Eleonora Umidon and singing by Megateri. In my new research for the award ArtOnTime I examine this thought in depth. The Oblio in fact investigates the abandonment of thoughts and feelings. We return to the Lete river and takes us to the Island of the dead of Böcklin. The research carried out will be mise-en-scene in a performance in Venice on June 30th and then in Rome at the Europa Festival at MAXXI. Elements of iconography and religious art of the past often appear in your work. What aspects in this respect are dear to your heart? The iconography is used to describe, to write a story under the lines. Symbols are nothing but a way to communicate, to communicate what is significant for the
Petticoat Performance traditional photography edition 3 + 2 AP courtesy the artist 2015
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Mutter / mother traditional photography color print on aluminium, natural oak frame 83 cm x 103 cm - 32,7 x 40,5 inches edition 3 + 2 AP courtesy the artist + Marco Genzini 2009
sonal assets and the collective. Like this I tell stories instantly. It’s a way to reach the soul directly.
artist. When a symbol becomes a part of my work it happens completely naturally. I begin to create without asking myself too much, then I come to the stage where I wonder why I have done something, I investigate the sources and it is then that I am realizing the real work. First the unconscious wisdom pulls out the source and then you add the form thanks to the experience and the ise of reason. Those symbols that I use in my work are part of me, of my per-
Sirens 03 heart Sirens color print on aluminium, white wooden frame 50 x 40 cm - 20 x 16 inches edition 3 + 2 AP courtesy the artist + Antonella Cattani Contemporary Art 2014
Tell us about your last work, SchönerHeit; Investigation of the body, about its function, on communication. A rich work of references and messages. Tell us the way through to the finished project. SchönerHeit(a neologism that can be translated as: more-beauty) tells of love through his eyes. It shows that beauty is not tied to the appearance of a person or an object, but was born in the eyes of the beholder of that person or object. As it is said in Hebrew (see Song of Songs): “your eyes are like doves”, which means ‘to love’. The project started in 2013 in collaboration with the Foundation Anna von Borries Stiftung and thanks to the contributions of Hanns-Lilje Stiftung. It was decided to create a work involving the people who live in a large hospital complex in Hanover, in Annastift, specializing in serious physical illness. Knowing them, I decided that I didn’t
Sirens 02 horizontal wing Sirens color print on aluminium, white wooden frame 40 x 50 cm - 26 x 20 inches edition 3 + 2 AP courtesy the artist + Antonella Cattani Contemporary Art 2014
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SchรถnerHeit. Granat SchรถnerHeit traditional photography color print on aluminium, alder wood 85 x 100 cm - 33,5 x 39 inches edition 3 + 2AP courtesy the artist + Kultumdepot Graz 2013-2015
SchรถnerHeit. Harkan SchรถnerHeit traditional photography color print on aluminium, alder wood 50 x 60 cm - 20 x 23,5 inches edition 3 + 2AP courtesy the artist + Kultumdepot Graz 2013-2015
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SchรถnerHeit. Lukas SchรถnerHeit traditional photography color print on aluminium, alder wood 50 x 60 cm - 20 x 23,5 inches edition 3 + 2AP courtesy the artist + Kultumdepot Graz 2013-2015
SchรถnerHeit. Sabrina + Thorsten SchรถnerHeit traditional photography color print on aluminium, alder wood courtesy the artist + Kultumdepot Graz 50 x 60 cm - 20 x 23,5 inches edition 3 + 2AP 2013-2015
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SchönerHeit. Wundergewächs SchönerHeit traditional photography color print on aluminium, alder wood 85 x 100 cm - 33,5 x 39 inches edition 3 + 2AP courtesy the artist + Kultumdepot Graz 2013-2015
Diana and Andrea
Monika and Karl
Janina and Oliver
NEEDS. film stills 6 videos, 3 min each courtesy the artist 2016 MADE IN MIND | 21
NEEDS. Monika + Karl NEEDS. film still courtesy the artist 2016
want to work on their illness, but on the opposite, their beauty. I chose the Song of Songs as an influence, to be used as if it were a musical in which the notes are words and the words the pictures. A hymn to love and beauty was born, a more-beauty. The exhibition travels to various host venues since 2015, leaving Germany and now on display in Italy at Antonella Cattani Contemporary Art in Bolzano, and until July 8th at Kultum in Graz. Additional stops will include Jerusalem and Washington. The project can be followed at www.schoenerheit.com I saw your latest work NEEDS. Again working with disadvantaged people. Tell us about that. NEEDS. focuses on the essential needs of man. I started from the idea that all people are in need of attention and physical contact; I talked to some disabled people regarding love, relationships, friendship and trust, from these conversations I made several videos. Janina and Oliver are a couple for 10 years. They will get married this summer. Miriam is 18 years old and is looking forward to her first real kiss. Karl has been seeing Monika, an “Intimacy carer”, for some years, that has changed their lives. Monika and Karl show us intimacy, sensuality, complicity. Diana and Andreas have been married for many years. Their relationship
is marked by his autism, and her need to feel close to him. Kurt has been in foster care since he was two years old. He has been tied to a bed and chair since he turned four. When I ask about his mother his face lights up. This work was created for a project in collaboration with AkademieGraz in Austria on the occasion of an exhibition at GrazMuseum, but it does not finish here. We have decided to continue the project on a European level. www.juliakrahn.com/needs What are you working on now? I have been invited to a residence in Bad Wilsnack, near Berlin, which will be completed with the exhibition figura. Bad Wilsnack has been a place of worship and pilgrimage, because of the three bloody wafers that were destroyed under the Protestant Reformation. In Italy I’m working on a performance, l’Oblio, in occasion of the ArtOnTime award. It is possible to participate in the realization through the online crowdfunding portal Artraising.org Also I carry on the 33MM research - Maria Magdalena, which consists of 33 portraits of different women who together create a collective of sacred contemporary.
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needs. diana + andrea NEEDS. film still courtesy the artist 2016
Julia Krahn was born in Jülich and grew up in
she was chosen as a winner of the Combat
Aachen, Germany. To devote herself to photog-
Award. In 2014 she opened her exhibition Trust
raphy in 2000 she left studying medicine at the
Me at HdkK in Stuttgart (Germany) and won first
Albert Ludwig University in Freiburg and in 2001
prize 100³ - 100 artists - 100 rooms in Sorrento,
she moved to Milan (Italy) where she began her
where she made the permanent installation Sirens.
collaboration with Galleria Magrorocca. In 2008
In 2016 she inaugurated the SchönerHeit project
she participated in the Biennale in Tehran (Is-
in Göttingen in Germany, Bremerhaven and Berlin
tanbul) and won the second prize San Fedele in
and was invited to the exhibition SEIN. ANTLITZ.
Milan. In 2009 she received a special mention of
KÖRPER, besides realizing NEEDS in collabora-
the Tequila Cuervo Centenary Award for Emerg-
tion with the GrazMuseum and Akademie Graz.
ing artist - Zona Maco Art Fair 2009 Mexico City
The project is expanding on a European level.
(Mexico). With her personal Angelus Militans /
In 2017 there are plans, residences and exhibi-
Nunc Instantis she began a collaboration with
tions in Bologna, Bolzano, Massa, Bad Wilsnack,
Carlotta Testori Studio in 2011 in Milan. In 2012
Hamburg, Graz, Jerusalem, Washington.
Benedizione e Colpa (retro) / Benediction and Guilt (rear) original Polaroid recovered frame, handmade cut glass 4 x 4,7 cm - 1,6 x 1,8 inches unique piece courtesy the artist 2010
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JAKUB PASIERKIEWICZ _________ What initially inspired you to start doing art? Did you attend art school? Considering this question I cannot stop thinking that my dad played a massive role in shaping my preferences and interests. He was my first teacher thank to whom I started to discover the world of art. I remember that it was under his directions when I managed to draw my first artwork. As time passed, I started to develop my skills, which allowed me to make a final decision about continuing art education. I chose painting as my main discipline but soon after I realised what photography can offer. Finally, I graduated from the University of Silesia with a Masters in Fine Arts in 2005. In short, it was during my studies when I consciously started to control or use a chosen medium to clearly express my ideas. How did you come to work with the mediums you use? My adventure with photography started when I was ten and I received my first manual film camera: a Russian Zenith 12XP. It took another 6-7 years before I really started to use that camera to take some pictures. However, I was not aware about of all of the technical aspects of this device, this experience became an introduction into a ‘photography world’. Only during my studies I discovered the phenomenon of the darkroom, which gave me an incomparable and direct exploration of the medium of photography. With
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one’s own eyes we can then observe a single image appearance, which we are a creator of – a person who decides about a final form of the produced picture. How would you best define your approach to photography? I use my camera to transfer and materialise the emotions, which develop in my mind, the excitement caused by encountered reality. Sometimes the photos can be abstract, showing different aspects of colours and forms, whereas other times they can simply reflect certain situations taking place in front of my camera. I would say that photography is an essential accomplishment of my artistic language. What has been the biggest single influence on your way of thinking? This is a very problematic question, as I cannot figure out a simple answer. It is not possible to hierarchize everything which had an impact on my current attitude. On balance, I can say that everything is influential in some way and affects my personal viewpoint, especially what I experienced in my private and professional life. Certainly, my first contact with abstract art was a fundamental moment in changing my perception and allowed my mind to open for a different understanding of reality.
Natural resemblance III Natural resemblance series photography c-type print 2015
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Can you tell a bit about the inspiration behind Natural Resemblance series? The set of these photographs evolved from images collected over the years, taken in different locations and at different times. Often, we come across images, which have very little in common regarding their subject, yet which seem to be closely resembled. It is a sort of unintentional recollection, where retained images in our memory appear in newly encountered situations, phenomena, or objects. Some might call it Déjà vu - as an anomaly of memory, which creates a distinct impression that an experience is “being recalled”. Subconsciously similar motifs draw one’s attention. Individual elements of compositions, or colour combinations, all bring deeply embedded memories of past experiences.
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What is the relationship between your work and nature? Tell us about your mysterious landscapes of Encoded Suprematism and Soomaa series I love nature and it has always taken a special place in my life. Actually, I try to spend my free time close to nature which often is an inspiration in some of my projects – not only photographic ideas. In my drawings, for example, I try to use found objects, paper sheets. It is about recycling and reprocessing these elements. Situated in southwest Estonia, Soomaa National Park is one of the most valuable parts of the remaining extensive wilderness area, known for its fifth season when waters rise and the land is flooded. The unique swamp forests are not only of a great botanical
Natural resemblance II Natural resemblance series photography c-type print 2015
value but also they are a home to many species. This is why it became a destination of my explorative trip around that amazing place. Thanks to its untouched nature, the alluvial meadows and forests, this land presents outstanding views and provides relaxing and memorable experiences. The surface of the water flowing over plain grassland can be found as a natural portal, which reflects the characteristics of the land and invites us into a fabulous, surreal world. Talking about ‘Encoded Suprematism’ it would be hard to hide the fact that the inspiration comes from an art movement, which was founded by Kazimir Malevich. Suprematism – because it is about this – focused mainly on
Natural resemblance VIII Natural resemblance series photography c-type print 2016
basic geometric forms, such as circles, squares, lines etc. In my photographic compositions, which are full of cubist shapes, we can grasp a personal and simplified ‘Malevich’s grammar’. We experience the dialog between dimensional forms that appear in a world surrounding us and advanced forms used in art. Geometric abstractions, sometimes created as a result of pure coincidence or an unwitting intervention of the creator, constitute some specific forms of coded information. Arranged in stable, architectonic compositions, these fundamental art forms of abstraction follow Malevich’s vision about the world’s only true reality: that of absolute non–objectivity. A primeval function and meaning of these geometrical signs are being switched off. All duties such as warnings, directions,
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Natural resemblance VII Natural resemblance series photography c-type print 2016
Natural resemblance V Natural resemblance series Photography c-type print 2015
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Soomaa - land of bogs I Soomaa - land of bogs series photography c-type print 2013
Soomaa - land of bogs V Soomaa - land of bogs series photography c-type print 2013
Soomaa - land of bogs VII Soomaa - land of bogs series photography c-type print 2013
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Soomaa - land of bogs III Soomaa - land of bogs series photography c-type print 2013
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The velvety dawn II The velvety dawn series photography c-type print 2013
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information or giving orders, are replaced with a minimalism–style aesthetic, a new language. Signs unloose it from its concreteness. The visual characters are no longer linked to the objects they identified – they are insignificant. As Malevich said: ‘forms must be given life and the right to individual existence’. What do you hope people take away from your art? Everyone perceives art individually and subjectively. I can only hope that my art shows a transparent message. I don’t expect that all observers will automatically agree with my vision/idea. What I want to achieve is a dialog with a viewer. This would not be possible if the concept in my art is not clear. What about Shreds of Memory? How did this project come about? I started this project many years ago and it is still a work in progress. The main focus of this series is the symbiosis of a figurative image of a human with some elements of an arbitrary action, which is caused by natural factors such as time. These are often a result of coincidence, which creates in the end an abstract image. These compositions of layers, which were created with reminiscences of past events, represent a collection of coded information about a variety of aspects of our life and unravel the passage of time.
The velvety dawn VII The velvety dawn series photography c-type print 2013
The velvety dawn VI The velvety dawn series photography c-type print 2013
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The velvety dawn III The velvety dawn series photography c-type print 2013 36 | MADE IN MIND
What are you working on at the moment? I always have plenty of concepts in my mind so to be honest there are a few projects, which I started or I am going to. I donâ€™t want to tell a lot as I always try to finalise the idea before I start talking about it. I can only say that I am close to finishing a series of photographs that will show similar places, character is mainly dictated by one leading colour. Sorry â€“ I cannot add anything else.
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Encoded suprematism VI Encoded suprematism series photography c-type print 2016
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Jakub Pasierkiewicz was born in 1980 in Po-
That’s why looking at different aspects of com-
land. He graduated from the University of Silesia
positions, subjects, colours, tones, textures we
with a Masters in Fine Arts in 2005.
are able to name those contrasts and find ‘the
He gets ideas for his projects from the sur-
bridges’ between those elements’.’
rounding world and his personal experience.
Since he moved to England in 2006, he has
The main subjects of his photographs are op-
exhibited his works mainly in Europe, US and
posites and harmony. As he stated: ‘we can wit-
ness those processes and factors everywhere: in nature or human behaviour. It takes sadness to know what happiness is, noise to value silence, etc. This unity of opposites supports each other creating indissoluble connections.
Travel of light photography c-type print 2015
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KARISSA HAHN _________ Did you attend art school? I attended the California Institute of the Arts and received a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in film and video. What influenced you as an artist growing up? The art program in my high school had been the first to diminish in a budget cut (and a brand new astro-turf football field appeared...) I wanted to make videos, to make anything really... and started making these weird little narratives in my friends basement. We would construct these sets and emulate what we would see our mothers watching on television, what action movies our siblings were viewing... think ‘James Bond’ meets ‘General Hospital.’ I was fortunate to have an english teacher who would screen my movies in his class, and that became my reason for showing up and for graduating. I favored my time more at a circuit breaker factory where I had a workbench and toolkit and felt like an adult. I enjoyed the routine of testing circuit breakers all day and I believe I harbor that fascination still and use it when creating my inkjet pieces. I copy and paste each frame of a video onto a template in photoshop
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and then print it out through my inkjet printer. The routine is repetitive and meditative. The factory had a huge influence on my practice today. I am trying to recall some moment of epiphany where I saw a painting in a museum or some sculpture an an exhibition, but I realize now that I did not have such exposure to fine art.... I do recall looking out the window while driving on the freeway and realizing one cannot keep their eyes from movement. If you fixate on one tree or sign you’ll crane your neck and soon it will be gone. The eyes have to keep up - like when working with individual frames of film, you can create each one meticulously, but while projected you cannot decipher one image from the former. I anticipate the action of projection. Another influence may have been my fascination with ‘unseen barriers’ of situations. I was so perplexed that an action could cause such disruption with consequence and more-so; that one has the ability to do it. The fact you can make an object from a seed of thought, that you can sculpt a figure from idea....with a camera you can create imagery just your own, hold the spool in your palm, and project
Retracing Home Super 8 to digital, color, sound, duration 02:00 2013
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coy with Conviction Super 8 to digital, b&w, sound duration 01:00 2015
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BLOOPERS Super 8 to digital, sound duration 04:00 2017
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it onto a screen or wall. I am interested in the things that we do when no one is asking us to do them. This caustic medium can harbor such power. I feel that my works In Effluence accord; Emulsion and Effigy in Emulsion are most inspired by or trying to grasp that freeway feeling. How would you describe the way you approach your work? What is your work process like? Describe to us your relationship between your subject and your medium. My medium is often film: super 8mm or 16mm, looping installation, and sometimes digital8 video. I picked up this binder at a tag sale that has the words ‘Cosmetic Bootcamp’ inscribed on the front. I am not sure what this means but I like keeping all of my ideas in it. I also carry around a cassette tape recorder that I’ll talk to or record sounds on. I’ll return to these two characters for inspiration when approaching new work. The subject of my films are often inspired by a gesture, a painting turned into sculptural pose. The medium of film is something that I enjoy reflecting the subject back to.... when shooting on film I want a connection to the medium.... so the subject often involves notions of the frame or process of filmmaking. I am currently involved in making digital-born images emerge onto celluloid. Photogrammetry is something I am trying to explore further, the reverse action of the inkjet process. I suppose the mixture of analog and digital is important in regards to the subject and medium. Setting up situations where analog and digital machines can
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converse conjures up moments where subject falls into medium or vice versa. Can you tell a bit about your work in detail? Which is the video that you’re most fond of and why? Startup. It was one of my first films, and one of the only pieces I made purely digital. It is a documentation of musicians in their bedrooms turning on their laptops and loading up their editing software before sitting down to make music. Although I rarely ever work with or film other people, it is the foundation for a lot of where my work went to since. The Mac logo is a recurring symbol in my inkjet pieces, and the structuralism is something that I have stuck to in both my performance pieces and optical printer films. This is funny to realize because my process in that piece is most far from what I do now. I spend a ton of time editing or splicing up a film or optically printing. This piece was just shot on video and put together in order and then it was done. Perhaps I am just saying this because it was easy.... and now I work mostly with film so I am dealing with labs and equipment and various logistical and expensive dilemmas. Where do you find your biggest inspiration? Literature and the everyday. I always seem to have three or four people on my mind that change constantly, and they are often authors. Right now it is Carson McCullers, Russell Edson, D.M. Thomas, and Daniil Kharms. Jack Goldstein continues to inspire me....I’ll have a thought for a super short film and think it away....but then I’ll revisit his work and be
CATARACT CHURNING GREY Super 8 to digital, b&w, sound duration 04:00 2017
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1_ _ _ _ 1 Super 8 to digital, B&W, Sound duration 03:00 2016
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reminded you can do something short and significant. I go to this place called Phillips for 50 cent coffee and just watch people. I try to go places where I think I’ll find inspiration- yet often find it on my way to it - like seeing someone try to open a mailbox with a wrong set of keys, or I’ll notice the light hit some object at just the correct moment and remark it as cinematic. I suppose I’m most inspired by what happens when your not watching - moments when the eyes are fixated elsewhere and the mundanity continues on. Perhaps it is my current fixation with Russell Edson, but I enjoy the notion of phenomena and a certain collusion with absurdity. For example: I will notice the colors of leaves change on a bush outside my home and think “oh, this woman named Linda came and touched each leaf changing its color yesterday so now they are different....that is why it is what it appears to be now.” I would rather live and function within that
absurd reality in order to come up with scenarios for film work. You often use your portrait in your videos. What meaning does your image have in your work? I sometimes look to painting for filmic inspiration as the single frame of portraiture often brings about notions off the canvas - the moments before or after the often male figure paints women... I try to give the subject some sort of life in the moment he fictionalized her existence. My first 16mm piece, Before the Portrait, was a direct response John William Waterhouses’ painting, A Mermaid. I later returned to finding influence from painting with 1_ _ _ _1, where I tried to recreate the emotion or tension behind William- Adolphe Bouguereau’s A Young Girl Defending Herself Against Eros. Those cemented-extended arms which are usually depicted supple and wavering, backed by a face unconvincing and
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CHESTNUT STREET super 8 to digital, color, sound duration 01:00 2014
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REVERIES super 8 to digital, b&w, sound duration 04:00 2013
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filled with volition. Something about her arms, locked elbows, chilled, contracted, and resolute. It was there that I imagined a chain extended (something harsh yet pliable) and drew the connection to making films in this current landscape. She lounges and emits coy, she arches her back and holds her arms stiffly out â€œdefendingâ€? yet simultaneously playing hard to get. What were in his brushstrokes then as he extended those arms locked? The portrait is a nice starting point to create moving imagery as there is so much activity contained in stasis.
TURNAROUND TIME super 8, b&w, silent duration 03:00 2016
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What is your favorite experience as an artist? It is funny because I only really feel like an ‘artist’ or ‘filmmaker’ when at a festival or while at a gallery opening, and when I get into that scenario I find myself both petrified and amused by the whole system. When I’m home making a new piece I just feel like I am focusing on something that keeps me sane and fills the hours between work. I titled myself ‘visual artist’ on my webpage but I don’t truly know what that means. I often just introduce myself to people with whatever current random job I am working. Currently I work as a freelance videographer and find myself setting up lectures for visiting artists. I guess whenever I get to speak publicly about film .... it’s like I am acting out someone else’s life or mimicking all the lectures I’ve filmed for work. I remember the gestures I’ve seen and emulate their voice in
my public speaking. I guess its fun to play a role and slip into that life once in a while. I distress through - and though delight in this lovely confusion. What are you working on now, and what are your plans for the future? Every day I collect snippets of the news that I download and print out onto 16mm film. Since graduating from CalArts I have been working odd jobs - one of them being a videographer at an architectural institution. I treat this as my graduate education as I often come home inspired by architectural theory and apply it to my ways of thinking about the material of film. I hope to finish a book of prose poems by the end of the year. The future is all at once here and fleeting, it feels fragile.
CHIPPING OFF, TOO video, color, sound duration 01:30 2014
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EFFIGY IN EMULSION optically printed 8mm&16mm color, sound duration 03:00 2014
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In Effluence accord emulsion, optically printed super 8&16mm, color, silent duration 03:00 2013
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STARTUP video, color, sound duration 10:00 2012
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Karissa Hahn (Bridgeport, CT- 1992) is a visual
She currently makes performative short super 8
artist who uses the mechanical devices of cin-
films, hi8 video, and 16mm pieces.
ema to deconstruct former artifacts by physically
Hahn has shown work around the globe in vari-
transforming celluloid - an osmosis of digital
ous micro-cinemas and institutions.
manipulation & optical printing; creating a degraded aggregation into resurrection. Her work
often employs a series of format transfers to birth digitally-native effects on film and homogenized products which have been referred to as â€˜spectra ephemera.â€™
NewsReal inkjet printed 16mm, color, sound Duration 10:00 2017
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What is your cultural background and how does it affect your work? I was born in a small inland city called Nanchang in Mainland China. Nanchang is not as internationally famous as metropolis like Beijing or Shanghai, but played a very important role in Chinese modern history: it is the city where the first Chinese Communist Party uprising took place; also it is well-known for the traditional craftsmanship, such as the famous blue and white porcelains. On the other hand, this city is surrounded by mountains. In my childhood, I often went climbing with my grandpa. I think the geographical environment in the city where I grew up had an impact on my creation. When I was young, I listened to various stories about Chinese history and politics told by family members, and learnt local traditional crafts. My long-term living in the mountainous environment brought me the ability of emotional communication with nature as well as aesthetic experience. All the above have closely linked my work to the transformation of Chinese geopolitical culture and traditional ink arts, also to the pondering over applications of natural elements and materials.
Jiang Xi Flood A acrylic and ink drawing on three difference layers (bottom: muslin / middle: mylar / top: acrylic sheet) 101 x 76 cm - 40 x 30 inches 2016
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#02_Jiang Xi Flood A, Detail acrylic and ink drawing on three different layers (bottom: muslin / middle: mylar / top: acrylic sheet) 101 x 76 cm - 40 x 30 inches 2016
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30 Days Painting Project acrylic and ink drawing on three different layers (bottom: muslin / middle: mylar / top: acrylic sheet) 121 x 61 cm - 48 x 24 inches 2015
30 Days Painting Project acrylic and ink drawing on three different layers (bottom: muslin / middle: mylar / top: acrylic sheet) 121 x 61 cm - 48 x 24 inches 2015
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How did you get into art? What has influenced your work? When I was 4 years old, I started to learn Chinese painting and calligraphy as amateurish hobbies from local teachers, and kept the amateurish way. I earned the bachelor degree of Environmental Art Design instead of applying for professional colleges of fine arts. I got my first MFA in America. Hybrid art learning experience has made my works different from new ink and wash artists in Mainland China, as I havenâ€™t been restrained much by orthodox techniques and have tried to integrate ink and wash into environmental design and considerations over culture hybridization. My undergraduate studies on architecture have helped me much in understanding the relation between space and human activities, while the multi-cultural atmosphere in San Francisco along with historical foundations of the Left Wing have influenced me in jumping out of the dual thinking, separating the world as oriental and western. Instead, I use the form of culture hybridization to create my works. Can you talk to us about your approach in general? What characterises your work? What themes do you pursue? The topics that my works discuss include culture hybridization, geopolitics, and traditional Chinese painting innovations. There is a special developmental issue in advanced arts of China. When the student movement failed in 1989, political atmosphere of the whole Mainland became conservative. Then the government started to pursue fast economic development despite damage to the ecosystem, which led to the expansion of Mainland cultural industry. The ink and wash experiments in the Mainland only plays a role of cultural symbol by which the totalitarian government shape the imagined ethnical community. However, my research enlarges the view to think about the ink and wash art in the light of modern cultural identity complexity and to ponder over reaction to western cultural power and colonization.
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Every Bush and Tree Looks like an Enemy acrylic drawing on three different layers (bottom: muslin / middle: mylar / top: acrylic sheet) and mask tape, stainless steel standoffs 152 x 76 cm - 60 x 30 inches 2016
Tell us about All the Way to the West from Geary Boulevard. How did this project come about? The inspiration of this piece comes from my experience on a bus one day. I was reading a very interesting work by Jimmie Durham (he was using a giant stone to smash a car). I appreciated his way of expressing the political claim of native Americans using a natural material. It was at the special period when Donald Trump won the election. I felt deeply inside that I needed to create a social intervention work in the city to express my own political opinion. As an Asian living in America, I knew about Chinese immigrants’ anxiety and helplessness for integration into American mainstream society. Therefore, I wanted to use stone which had cultural symbol implications to intervene into everyday living space, hence to create collective anxiety in the public space of a bus. This also expresses my worry and thinking on present multi-culture situation and future circumstances of ethnic minorities. What about your paintings? Can you tell a bit about the inspiration behind it? Describe the 30 Days Painting Project to us. I will also focus on how to mediate in the production of traditional ink painting through the artistic creation to change the state of ink which employs a conventional material and technology. I will study and use ordinary industrial materials, including acrylic, mylar, glass and metal in my Shan Shui painting. I will consider how these materials can deconstruct and transform the content of a Shan Shui painting. For example, I will simultaneously use a transparent and translucent material, covering the canvas layer by layer to build the space pattern of Shan Shui paintings to mimic the matte medium and varnish in Western paintings, which implies the entire cultural space. The 30-day painting plan was an experiment on composition. When I started, I didn’t know what result the painting would present. I selected three pictures from the news everyday, and drew them onto the canvas. Then I waited until tomorrow and drew another three, and so on. All the Way to the West from Geary Boulevard site-specific duration 6’18” location: SFMTA 38-Geary 2016
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The Raindrop Cun 16 Cun Project video Sculpture water jet, natural rock, two-channel videos 2016
On the 30th day, 90 drawings covered 4 canvases. I intended to integrate the concept of time in our daily lives into the painting. In the whole process of drawing this work, relations among all images were random but relevant. The text is open to audience interpretation. What role should the artist have in society? What do you think of political art? Firstly, as Chinese modern arts are closely connected to discussions on social realism, I think an artist bears the responsibility of expressing his thinking on social values. But, an artist is not a politician. Artists should play the role of coadjutant in politics because an advanced social ideal will only be realized through collaborations among different professions. I participated in many social art projects. I believe more of “politics for arts”
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than “arts for politics”. There are few artists who are really able to speak for the interests of vulnerable groups while belonging to such groups. Artistic expressions should be obscure. Political thinking should be expressed subtly through the creation of a new art. Political arts with too distinct objectives always fail to attract discussions on form language as the incidents themselves are too eye-catching. Could you tell us about The16 cun project? In 2015, I started a long-term project titled as The 16 Cun Project (十六皴). Cun (皴) is a term that is used in traditional Chinese painting to describe the results of different movement of the paint brushes. The 16 Cun Project is rooted in my childhood memories of conducting repetitive movements when
The Raindrop Cun, Detail 16 Cun Project natural rocks 2016
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This is a Mural ink on wall Diego Rivera Gallery 8.8 x 3.7 m - 29 x 12 feet 64 | MADE IN MIND
This is a Mural, Detail Ink on wall Diego Rivera Gallery 8.8 x 3.7 m - 29 x12 feet 2016 MADE IN MIND | 65
The Axe-Cut Cun performance Fort Manson Center 2015
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trained as a painter, and interprets my sensation to the natural features of my homeland - the river, trees, and rocks. In Chinese painting, every single type of Cun has its unique aesthetics and energy, something that I strive to translate in my work. As the 16 types of Cun are ways traditional Chinese painters employ to express their recognition of the world around them, I employ forms and concepts from the Western art history to interpret the philosophical core of each type of Cun. Such forms and concepts include but not limited to Minimalism, conceptual art and performance art. In Axe-cut Cun, for example, I use the receptive movement of cutting a wood board with an axe to create an image that mimics the bold and vigorous Axe-cut Cun, which is traditionally used to depict the texture of the rocks. What about About Ghost Face Strokes in Ink and Wash (鬼脸皴) ? This video work comes from when I climbed mountains with my friend and family in my childhood memory. In China, they have a lot of strange stones and trees named by people in many famous national parks. Most of these names are associated with local history, myth and, fairy tale. When I came to the Bay Area, I traveled to the city and landscape to evoke my childhood memories of mountaineering and topophilia. I was searching for stones and trees whose shape resembled like human figure, organs, and animals in the period of three months, shooting and naming them, recording my movement by GPS and editing them for a video. In this work, I’m interested in how to affect the memory of peoples own identity and culture in the different spaces. What are you working on at the moment? At present, I am working for a one-year residence program in Headlands, an American military base during World War II. There are many cannon fortresses built for protection against the Japanese navy. The funny thing is, the war did not involve San Francisco. Those fortresses have been abandoned after such a long time and became a tourist site. I am very interested in the phenomenon of such landscapes. For us, the war is not over. Now there is an invisible economic war between China and America in the post-cold war period. My current work, focusing on the landscape of contemporary war remains, will be themed cannon to discuss global issues after Trump won the election.
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Kunlin was born in China, he lives and works in San Francisco, CA. He utilises the traditional language of Shan Shui painting based on strokes to create new paintings and works in other media and discuss how landscape and geopolitics respond to the formation and identification of a national identity. Kunlin obtained an MFA in Studio Art at San Francisco Art Institute in 2016. He was a Graduate Fellow and finalist of Tournesol Award at the Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, CA) for a full-year residency program in 2016.
Kunlin has shown his work at the Chinese Culture Center, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Headlands Center for the Arts, Arts Benicia, Kearny Street Workshop, Fort Mason Center, Andrea Schwartz Gallery, Embark Gallery and Art Market San Francisco Art Fair in the Bay area.
The Axe-Cut Cun performance Fort Manson Center 2015
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Published on May 13, 2017