Marta reads

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J: How do you encounter reading everyday?

M: It depends on phases; sometimes I read everyday, and sometimes I am just focused entirely on my work: I go film, record, edit and go back home and sleep, so there is no time for additional activities. And reading becomes one of those. But it changes, from one week to another and definitely I have a proper reading practice when I am more relaxed. But I also read a lot when I work (fragments), especially when I write (try to make reading & writing intertwine). I mostly read for professional purposes: articles, essays, excerpts from books, not necessarily whole books. During holidays I read more fiction, also just for pleasure.

J: Do you read news?

M: Sometimes I do not read news for weeks, and sometimes I read them everyday. When I am in Poland I spend an hour a day for keeping up to date. It is also a way of engaging with the world that is around you. So it depends very much on the context. Here I don’t engage that much with the world around me yet, so I read less news.

J: How does reading coincide with your practice, what is your relationship to reading?

M: In general reading is a very intimate activity, to me reading is maintaining a relationship with myself. There is no distinction between the things that are good to read for my practice, and the things that are good for me personally. It always feeds back into my practice in the end. Often it is an instrumental way to treat books that way. I wish I were more humble, I wish we could trust in books more, and not have expectations of a reward. Sometimes I commit to text even if I don’t like it, but it requires a lot of decision. I also use other people’s writings and stories in my art.

J: what about reading on computer screen?

M: I don’t like online reading, I feel that it makes me stupid, I can skim and scan but it is not a reading process. That has to do with the internet more than with the lack of physicality of the paper. I don’t read on kindle and tablet, so I don’t have the experience.

J: How has your experience changed over the last years?

M: I am more distracted nowadays, not able to concentrate so much. I use rewards to help myself to read through things: listen to a song or something else. It is not about being more productive, but just to make space for something that doesn’t necessarily have a purpose. The idea of death of reading is overrated; it is similar to the idea of the death of painting: it’s the end of a match but not of the game.

J: What do you read at the moment?

M: Many books at the same time. Jonathan Littell, Czesław Miłosz, fiction and non-fiction, both are important for my practice. I read a lot of books at the same time.