Anne K interview
So we’re talking about your forthcoming solo exhibition at the Normalville Contemporary Art Centre for Contemporary Art. The first question I have is what are you making for the show?
I’m making three works. One work consists of a series of performances involving foldable objects, happening during the opening and throughout the show at set times. The second piece is a video piece, which I won’t say too much about. The third piece is a sculpture, a talking wall.
That sounds intriguing, can you tell me more about the talking wall?
Well it’s just a wall, and it says only one word. And I’m not going to reveal yet what that is but it’s just going to speak one word.
Can you tell me anything about the thinking behind that piece?
I was just caught up in research for a long time about how I can make objects talk, or how can I speak through objects or use objects to perform something. At some point I hit on the idea that I could make a very elusive thing like a wall that stands there - it can stand there very uncomfortably taking up space, standing in the way, blocking the view - and maybe I could just make an object like that talk, in a very literal sense.
And the performance work with objects, is this an existing work or something new?
It’s a new thing that came out of the same question of ‘how can I take up space?’ or ‘how can I use objects to do something with?’ The foldable objects just came out of a desire to have something, pick it up, put it somewhere else. It’s specific to the space, to the situation, to perform something with it. It enables you to do something different in this space than it did in the other, in the previous location, so it’s more a work about motion, and using the things around you as instruments. It’s really in line with the talking wall, they are from similar research. The video piece is something quite different, it’s an animation of objects that just occur and reoccur. I use a lot of animation because I feel like that enables me to let things appear in a very strange or unusual, unfamiliar way that’s detached from the way we deal with things around us on a daily basis.
A lot of your work talks about objects and the physicality of objects, how do you feel about translating that into video?
I think it enables me to explore the immaterial more than the physical objects do. I find it quite interesting that I can make things up, make things disappear, I can be very directive about the way that things are perceived or from what angle. I’m able to just make stuff up, you know, you can make anything, you can animate anything in theory. I try to have a direct link between the animation piece and the sculptures that I am going to show. Sometimes the objects themselves reappear in the video in a virtual shape. The video is taking place in a separate dark space, so when you’re watching it you will not be able to relate to the physical stuff at the same time. So these objects that you just saw somewhere over there are in your memory and now it they appear in a different shape and are able to move in another fashion. I like to explore that ambiguity.
And do you like to get involved in doing that work yourself, or do you work with an animator? Is this a collaborative process or something that you’re interested in taking control of?
I think it’s very important that I’m able to do it on my own, so then it shows some of the flaws, because I’m not really able to animate that well. I think it’s very important that I have it in my own hands, there’s a kind of truth in that, and also that when I want to animate something I’m not really able to do, I have to come up with other ways to do it. One piece of the video was consisting of an object that I wanted to rotate but I wasn’t able to animate it, so I hung it on a string. So you integrate the physical thing into the animation. It’s a bit of a stumbling process of being able and not being able.
What kind of spaces have you worked in before this exhibition?
Mostly smaller spaces, more flexible spaces or non-art spaces like living rooms or apartments. I did some small solo shows before, mostly abroad, so it’s great to be able to do something in my own country, and I feel like this is a really good point for me to be visible like this.
Who are the performers that you’re working with for the performance piece?
Mostly friends. Also artists that have an affinity with the project, who work on similar themes in their practices.
And what’s the process, what kind of preparation do you do for a piece like that?
We just meet a lot up front and discuss the choreography. I’m also working with a choreographer on this piece, so that was really important. We come together and rehearse a lot and also take the objects out onto the street and see what happens in different contexts. We build the work all together and then the performances that are going to take place in NCACCA are just outcomes of that process that we all went through together.
It’s quite a mixed-media exhibition, you’ve got a sculptural sound piece, a sculpture/performance piece, a video work, would you classify yourself as a multimedia artist—?
Totally. It’s totally a mixed media based practice. For me it’s very important. I don’t want to fix myself onto a medium, you know?
You don’t have a favourite?
No. Or maybe I have a favourite but I think it’s very important to just let that go because for me that doesn’t really say anything valuable about the development of the content, of the web that surrounds it. The physical thing that appears, for me, is secondary to that thing I’m busy with every day, which is reflecting on and developing ideas, working with ideas. And then this idea becomes partly performance, partly fashion, partly accessory or foldable object.
Where do you go for your ideas, do you have a specific research process that you go through when you’re looking for inspiration?
I see a lot of fashion shows, that’s very important. Sometimes when I am tired of reading and writing I like to go to Asian shops, where there are a lot of cheap things, objects that you cannot imagine, which you encounter there and which can be really disruptive for me. Those shops are really a source of inspiration. I also love furniture shops, websites and catalogues, it’s good for me to visit these places when I want to go out of this intimate headspace of studio work.