4 February 2020

INTERVIEW: MARIANNA SIMNETT

Marianna Simnett, The Bird Game (film still), 2019. Courtesy the artist, FVU, the Rothschild Foundation and the Frans Hals Museum Marianna Simnett, The Bird Game (film still), 2019. Courtesy: the artist, FVU, the Rothschild Foundation and the Frans Hals Museum

In 2018, just after the New Museum in New York, the Museum für Moderne Kunst / MMK Zollamt, in Frankfurt hosted an exhibition that presented Marianna Simnett's immersive five-channel video installation Blood in My Milk (2018). I visited this work more than five times with different friends and colleagues. Rewriting narratives grotesquely, this work of Marianna Simnett stayed with me for months, causing flashbacks to multiple references in the 73-minute film, such as its sensual and often shocking images, sounds and dialogues. In her practice, she plays with barely-visible borders between reality, fiction and politics, while Simnett places herself into the scripts not only as the storyteller, but also the sorcerer, the observer and, eventually, the artist. Simnett’s current solo exhibition My Broken Animal continues at the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem until 23rd of February. We had a conversation about how fables and tales, processes of excess and Surrealism play into her practice, and about how she became to be an artist in the first place.

13 January 2020

INTERVIEW: HELL GETTE

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Hell Gette manages to perform the balancing act between analogue and digital media effortlessly: while travelling, she works on plein air watercolours, paints on the iPhone or iPad and creates abstracts from depictions of nature with Photoshop. She paints the resulting images in oil, photographs them and inserts emojis via mobile apps. Finally, these pictures are transferred back to the canvas in oil paint. Hell calls the results "#Landscape 3.0". At the age of five, she arrived in Germany from Kazakhstan. She studied painting with Markus Oehlen at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich from 2012 to 2017. At the end of her studies, she was awarded the debutante prize of the Bavarian Ministry of Culture.

25 November 2019

INTERVIEW: TAL R

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Tal R "Natten (The Night)", 2019 (Detail); ": Men Who Can't Sit on Horses" at Magasin III Jaffa, Photo: Noam Preisman

Tal R is one of Denmark's most influential artists, known particularly for his unique use of colour. Recently his show “: Men Who Can’t Sit On Horses” opened at the Museum Magasin III Jaffa in his birth city Tel Aviv. The exhibition includes only one commissioned painting, which has the exact same measurement as Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” from 1937: 3,49 meter high and 7,77 meter wide, "Natten" (The Night) took Tal R about 9 months to finish. A conversation about bittersweet tragedies.

26 October 2019

INTERVIEW: AHMET ÖĞÜT & BURAK ARIKAN

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To make visible the ongoing call-for-action for equal rights and fair payment in the arts, the researchers and artists Ahmet Öğüt and Burak Arıkan founded the outstanding online platform Code of Acquisitions. The website allows users to submit experiences and cases they had with an arts organisation and from the collected data it visualises complex mappings showcasing the institutions's or gallery's practices. These personal and disquieting experiences between artists, art practitioners and institutions are usually discussed in small, closed networks and they are often considered as unprecedented local system malfunctions. The platform, however, shows how these unspoken issues are embedded in the core of the global art system and how we can have alternative possibilities of collective discourses and support methodologies. 

7 October 2019

INTERVIEW: LATITUDES

Mariana Cánepa Luna & Max Andrews from Latitudes. Photo © Eunice Adorno (2012)
Mariana Cánepa Luna & Max Andrews from Latitudes. Photo © Eunice Adorno (2012)

I met the curator Mariana Cánepa Luna during her talk with the Spanish artist Lara Almarcegui at her current exhibition “Agras Volcano. Mining Rights” at the IVAM in Valencia. Afterwards we had such a lively discussion on the discourse of the Anthropocene and environmentally-engaged art that I felt the need to deepen our conversation even further. Together with the curator Max Andrews, in 2005 Mariana founded the curatorial office Latitudes, based in Barcelona. As they write, their current research focuses on “material narratives, biographies of objects, and a world-ecological perspective on art histories”. An interview with two pioneers on their curatorial practice and writing about the urgency of a geological understanding of the world, how to “think with” and from a perspective of different objects and the challenges of curating…

18 September 2019

INTERVIEW: NILBAR GÜREŞ AND KEVSER GÜLER

Nilbar Güreş Die Schublade, 2019 © THE ARTIST Nilbar Güreş "Die Schublade", 2019 © The Artist
all photos by Reha Arcan © Galerist

Together with the opening of the 16th Istanbul Biennial and the Arter’s new contemporary art museum building, Istanbul becomes a pool of surprising encounters from the month of September. Located right next to one of the biennial venues, Galerist is currently hosting a solo exhibition with Vienna-based artist Nilbar Güreş, while using its location to create a blissful gap to think and fluid the terms, concepts and ideas that are commonly presented in the biennial and its side events. I have talked to the exhibition’s curator Kevser Güler and the artist Nilbar Güreş about the urgency of this collaboration, the depth of Güreş’s recent works and the need of the discussions around transfeminism that shines through her practice. “Although the sky gets dark time and again, Magnet and the Moon calls us to remember the horizon of pleasure,” says curator Güler about Güreş’s show –– and we enter the horizon willingly more than ever. 

2 August 2019

INTERVIEW: ELSA SALONEN

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Elsa Salonen, "Stories Told by Stones (The Narrators)," mineral stones, earths, pigments ground from them, laboratory glasses, 2018 © the artist

Fossils are older than we can even imagine sequences of time. Imagine they could speak. They store historical information about our planet, which seems to fall apart in this very moment, in the age of the anthropocene – the human era. This current epoch is defined by the enormous impact human beings have on the earth's ecosystems and its geology. In light of the dystopian future this era promises, there seem to be only two sets of reactions left for us: resignation or activism. The Finnish, Berlin-based artist Elsa Salonen chose the latter and her activism – which is an essential part of her artistic research  – involves giving the earth and all its natural materials a voice to speak. She distills colours from flowers, and extracts pigments from stones, she uses bones, earth, meteorite dust, seawater from places all over the planet, to reveal something about the knowledge these materials store. In our interview, which we initially commenced in 2015 and continued in 2019, Elsa told me how she makes traditions of animism and processes of alchemy productive for her artistic practice.

31 May 2019

INTERVIEW: DERYA BAYRAKTAROĞLU

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Installation View "unspeakable home, enchanting companions, Badischer Kunstverein, 2019 © the artists, Photo: Stephan Baumann 

The Baden Art Association (Badischer Kunstverein) is currently hosting two expansive exhibitions synchronously focusing contemporary feminist art practices from Turkey; Nilbar Güreş’s solo exhibition "Lovers" and the group exhibition "unspeakable home, enchanting companions" curated by Derya Bayraktaroğlu. Collaborating with local artists, collectives, archives and publishing houses, and taking a satirical yet archival curatorial methodology, Derya Bayraktaroğlu focusses on bringing together current feminist and proto-queer discussions and practices from Turkey. In our interview, Bayraktaroğlu told me about the research period prior to the group exhibition, details about its public program and the difficulties of expressing up-to-date feminist discourses within and through art.