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Aleksandra Mir, Planelanding in Paris, 2008

wings. I like them very much and would like to know how important these drawings are for you. Why are you doing them in black and white - black marker on white paper? Aleksandra: Because the drawings didn’t start as a premeditated art project. It was just a manner I had. I always used the Sharpie, which is an American permanent marker you can find in any stationary shop, to take notes with. People buy it to just write on anything, plastic or rubber or metal, it doesn’t wash away. I like the way the ink flows and the intense blacks. I used to have all these Sharpies sitting around my desk just to take notes with. Then, the very first time I had a studio; it was a very small studio in residency in London where I could literally only fit a desk and a chair, so I didn’t produce anything there. I was just on the telephone or on the computer. And I had this notebook and I was just doodling. I had a practice of doodling with this marker. While on the telephone I was making these unconscious drawings. And one day my friends Mark Leckey and Polly Staple phoned me and said, „We want you to make some Illustrations for a fanzine“, and while we were on the phone I made a first conscious


drawing with the same tool, and I never found there was a reason for me to go back to more traditional media, because I didn’t want my drawings to be art historical, you know, using charcoal or anything like that. I didn’t want to bring them into the whole history, or pretension, or assumption of Art. I wanted them to be freed and unburdened by the weight of tradition and I just wanted to make drawings, in the most natural way for my time and place. With the Sharpie already right there on my desk, I could just make a simple connection between an idea and my hand. So drawing for me is a direct extension of writing and larger physical movements, such as walking and even dance. Christian: And what come first, the drawings or the sculptures? Aleksandra: They exist in quite separate parts in my brain. The monumental sculptures are all about making something impossible, to find out about and transcend limitations. While the drawings are an extension of writing, which is a very ordinary practice for me. In traditional art education, drawing is a preparation for painting. It is relegated to being just a study for painting. For me, I never painted. I don’t

care about rehearsal. I made a doodle while on the telephone. First I took down a telephone number, and then added a little doodle. I made some verticals, maybe added a face or a flower or a geometric shape, and then suddenly I filled up the paper, so I needed a bigger paper. And then it became bigger and bigger and then I tried to arrive to a place of excellence with this simple medium. In the past ten years, I have spent thousands of hours with it. I have learned all about it. I started using the fading range of greys, I learned how to control a range of 12 grey tones, and how to control the thickness of the line. I made the drawings in big series and monumental in size, I showed them in a museum, I hired 16 assistants and spent 2 months in a gallery drawing live in front of a public so it also became a performance, endurance exercise, a total environment with people and food and music. But it all came out of doodling, it still is just doodling. It is also a way to keep an archive or record of things that I observe. The biggest drawings are still part of an ongoing notebook, and of a writing exercise. Christian: Your drawings are very big, from two meters to...! Aleksandra: Oh, even bigger. These things

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