Hope you all had a good start to 2021. Not much new is happening these days around the studio. We are slowly cleaning and sorting out things for the upcoming residency season; and working toward the opening of our new project space Red Flamingo, aiming to discover and promote experimental and progressive ideas within contemporary art. See you back on live events in mid-June. (Fingers crossed!)
This issue is bringing you
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five plus one question
Alexandra Ungern Sternberg
Q1 : Describe yourself in three words!
practical, generous, romantic.
Q2 : Finish the sentence: Art is…
where we manifest our past, our memories, and bring reflection to our feelings and our views of the world around us. Art is the dimension of thought, the force that moves human beings to find answers. A way to see reality through other lenses.
Q3 : Who or what is your biggest inspiration in art?
Memories, family history, daily experiences, and my grandmother! Her stories and experiences gave life to many of my artworks.
Q4 : How do you create, do you have any protocol?
Creation flows the moment I come across something that instigates me, attracts, or bothers me. There is a need to look for answers and ask me questions on topics that surrounding my day to day experiences
Q5 : What’s the hardest part of being an artist?
The most difficult part is finding ways to lead my work into communicating my thoughts effectively to any kind of public.
+1 question : If coffee was illegal, what would its street name be?
follow Alexandra : @aleungern
“ I am a Mexican visual artist based in Zurich. I am a diaspora mother and a ‘mestiza’ daughter whose work fictionalizes historical, ecological, or social problems as means of analysis and critique. My Projects nourish visions of connection between human and more than human spheres, they dream of emancipation from marginalizing dominant structures and emphasize practices of care across different topographies and borders. My favorite spaces to work range from kitchen to river shore, from international crossing bridge to agricultural land, from community meeting to Akelarre. Before the pandemic, I moved a lot, traveled for research, made residencies, procured collaborations with people around the globe. Now the work happens a lot on online platforms. I do publications, videos, installations, reading/cooking sessions, and zine workshops directed to a different public, including individuals outside of cultural institutions.”
Your latest art project, how would you describe it? What do we need to know about the concept behind it?
This work is a perfect example of what has been happening with art processes that try to survive and respond to COVID restrictions.
It was supposed to be a performative reading in the frame of the exhibition “Intimacy of Strangers” by Riikka Tauriainen, at the sic! Elephanthouse art space in Luzern. Riikka created an extraordinary video installation there, in which she dived into topics of the Anthropocene like aquatic life, plastic, and water. She invited the artist Anne-Laure Franchette and me to create a piece around her research and her piece, but COVID measures got tighter and we could not do a live reading performance.
So we did another kind of reading, an oracle reading. We thought that in unstable times, in our lives, oracles had always given us direction. So we got inspired by Astrida Neimanis texts, by Riikka’s show, and by an experience that we shared together at the Rhein river, where a group of women, mostly artists, came together in a 10-day retreat, to develop collective care and ritualistic practices. During this gettogether, we printed cyanotypes from the river ecology and talked about ways of “reading” the river. You can find more info about this event here: siluetas.coalitioncyborg.org
We decided to call the final work “River Oracle” The website that you see was coded by me. This is another thing that I did during lockdown: I learned how to code html and a bit of Java script.
COVID seems to influence or change a lot of art-making/experiencing. What is your opinion about virtual space; can the art world benefit from it in ways we did not imagine before?
I have no problem with virtual spaces. I live 9000km away from many friends and family, and I am developing projects with concerns situated over there. Of course, I would love to go to Mexico and be with people in real life. But life is how it is right now and new normality will hopefully be not to travel so much, not to assume the earth has endless resources, and respect the healthy personal space of others. Plus the virtual world is an invaluable source of connection… a strong one,
I must say.
I’ve experienced all sorts of new spaces online, starting with the crazy get-togethers via zoom. I’ve listened to awesome talks, had super interesting conversations, led workshops, participated in discussions, organized my projects.
What is your usual working routine?
Unstable. In pajamas. No showers unless I have to. I work a lot on the computer from anywhere and anytime. It sounds relaxing, but no. It´s just the extraordinary times that we are living, meaning more work on the computer. I do have a studio, it helps me focus and I share it with fabulous artists that do not give a shit if I wear pajamas.
Pajamas in the studio?
Yes, comfortable, nobody cares; it is not about rebelling or anything. If something, what it does is bond us as a community because we are empathic.
What meaning and interpretation do you expect from the viewer??
Oh, bad idea to have expectations, no? Maybe a good expectation is to provoke good conversations with the work, even online somehow. Another good expectation is that one job leads to more jobs.
Are you influenced by other art forms, movements?
Sure, so many things.
Lately, I’ve been enjoying the program from the New Alphabet School in HKW called „Healing (Fajú)”. I also like to watch the Critical Cooking Show.
Can you share some memories from your D’CLINIC time?
It was one of my most relaxing months. It was all about self-care practices. I woke up early in the woods, exercised, had good food, and slept enough. Energizing!
What is your witchcraft, besides cooking?
Not sure! I forage all the time and know a lot about edible plants and mushrooms.
follow Paloma @palomito.a
“The paintings of Dávid Szentgróti provide refreshment for the retina, similarly to how we welcome a well-timed soft drink in the lead hours of summer heat. The artist shakes up the ingredients – the metallic sheen of amorphous gradients, the brush strokes running in every direction, the ambiguous collisions of soft and sharp edges and the kaleidoscopically reshuffled geometric shapes – like a professional mixer. For Szentgróti abstract painting is a platform where unique pictorial qualities, materials with highly specific attributes blend with each other to form exciting, feather light compositions.
The layers dancing around the canvas glaze each other and collide with yacht-like elegance: the informal meetings of colour create new-found virtual depths. The gaze can roam freely in the space delineated by the gestures of different transparency. The painting creates a contemplative situation for the observer, where he or she can map the plotting board of imagery, which is in continuous movement and is perpetually under construction…”
(excerpt from : Tayler Patrick Nicholas: Cruising in the Virtual Spaces of Painting. About the paintings of Dávid Szentgróti)
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON CURRENTLY
It may sound a contradiction, but last year, despite the pandemic, brought me some important breakthroughs: on March 13, the last free weekend before the lockdown, my solo exhibition at the Nick Gallery in Pécs opened, we also published a catalog, and I had several appearances on web and printed media. Currently, no upcoming exhibition is planned yet; the studio work continues as usual, and I am working on a series of screenprints. Related to this, I am advancing my skills in the field of digital painting/design.
WHAT IS YOUR LATEST CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENTS YOU ARE PROUD OF
During the period of the first pandemic wave, I started modelling regular geometric shapes from found packaging materials. I haven’t yet figured out exactly what I’m going to use them for, or where is this road leading to, but these corrugated bodies are already filling up all our space. Perhaps this was also my therapy during the lockdown. As working with these perfect, eternal forms provided me with something else, something new to focus on.
What I am proud of? Primarily of the work and success of my students.
WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD TELL YOURSELF 10 YEARS AGO? (AS AN ARTIST)
Looking back, I see that I have put a lot of unnecessary energy into things that are admittedly nonsensical, in my belief that emotional attitudes override everything. I think a little less of that would be enough. I would ask myself a little more awareness!
WHAT IS YOUR GENERAL CREATION PROCESS
After a lot of preparation and procrastination, sudden decisions, and quick work.
Over the years, I am beginning to realize that continuous work of the same intensity is not really my method of creation. My work is rather a kind of cyclical process full of omissions, u-turns, and probability.
ONE OBJECT YOU CAN’T GO WITHOUT WHILE CREATING, OR DURING STUDIO WORK
Hi-Fi amplifier. I usually listen to something while painting.
YOUR RECOMMENDATION TO THE UPCOMING D’CLINIC GUEST ARTISTS (WHAT SHOULD THEY NOT MISS OUT WHILE STAYING IN ZALA)
for more David visit www.szentgrotidavid.jimdofree.comclick here for flipbook version, with more content and photos
e-Zine 05 : expected April 20, 2021click here for e-zine issue 03
December, 2020 click here for e-zine issue 02
October, 2020 click here for e-zine issue 01