Women CineMakers, Special Edition

Page 52

Women Cinemakers meets

Sylvia Schwenk Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

I am a multi-disciplinary artist who creates new perspectives of the everyday and the familiar by looking at the relationship between performance and regular behaviour, reflecting upon the significance and beauty of commonplace activities and spaces. One of the biggest challenges of our times is isolation, fear and lack of connection with others. I break down barriers by bringing people together to share new experiences and encourage everyday people to become performers that actively participate in the creative process of making new works of art. Themes of community and communication run through my practice, which unites art with social considerations. I work closely with communities in projects that explore local issues, creating works of art that are both context-responsive and universal in their presentation. Sometimes I capture a moment, space or action with photographs, films, text and/or installations. Other times I create works that focus on inter-human relational practices that emphasise collaboration, dialogue and audience activation. For the last 10 years I have created more than 30 works of international socially engaged projects with thousands of people, in everyday situations and spaces as diverse as public places, prisons, naval bases, football grand finals, public transport, model airplane fields and art institutions. There is often an overlap between the two arms of my practice and I create films and other works of art to re-present my community-oriented public art projects to new audiences. An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com Hello Sylvia and welcome to : we would like to introduce you to our readers with a couple of questions regarding your background. You have a solid formal training and after your studies at the

Universität der Künste Berlin, you earned your Bachelor of Visual Arts (Hons I), from Sydney College of the Arts: you later attended the Köln International School of Design and you eventually nurtured your education with a Ph.D., that you received from the Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney: how did these experiences influence your evolution as an artist? Moreover, does your direct your artistic research?

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