Monday 7/3/17 time 9:19 AM
Background as an artist:
I am the daughter of a filmmaker and a printmaker. I grew up in a house full of art and surrounded by artists. I didn't want to be an artist myself and I trained to work in television. I hated it though and realized after a while that the only place where I would fit was the art world.
How did you end up choosing your media?
I was trained to work with film, but I constantly expand. Most of my media are digital but I have a soft spot for everything conceptual and performance. Growing up I was interested in many things (theater/film/music/history) and I developed an art practice in which I can play with all these interests. My only consistent media is absurdism.
What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?
The best side of being an artist is that art takes over every aspect of your life and you end up enjoying every experience as a source of meaning and inspiration. Art is almost more a religion than a career. The worst part about being an artist is that art is not a career and making a living is a constant struggle.
Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?
It was, in fact, my first time in Finland. I was always attracted to Finland because of the beautiful surrealism of Arto Paasilinna and the Moomins. I didn't know what t expect about Joutsa but I knew it would be a radical change of pace from my regular lifestyle and I knew that was what I needed. However, I mostly came with no expectations and the will to experience something new.
What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?
I wasn't sure what an art residency was going to be like. I had long lists of things I thought I wanted to do. Once arrived at Joutsa everything changed and I started to question everything I was doing. This new environment allowed me to look at my work (and even myself) with a whole new perspective. I didn't produce as many works as I would have wanted, but the amount of mental work I did hadn't happened since I was a student. I also met very interesting people who really supported me through these change. I think that art residency may become addictive... I surely want to do another one.
What are your plans after Haihatus?
After spending a few more weeks in Europe in my family, I will head back to the US where I will start a brand new life in Philadelphia. I hope to continue to travel for art purposes. I have plans to do art projects in Texas, Ohio, and Portland. I am also scheduled to talk at an art conference this coming October on the topic: "Oulipo for Google".
How does Haihatus meet your expectations?
Haihatus exceeded my expectations. I wasn't sure what I was going to be doing there but I got to live a life there that I will never forget. I met so many Finnish artists, along with the International artists that were doing the residency. I also got to learn about the Finland art traditions in a really direct way. I was so glad I was able to attend all the art events (openings, concerts, festivities) that took place in this dynamic institution. Even though we were isolated, the art events came to us. That was a wonderful experience. If I have one regret, it would be that I was so shy that I did not get involved as much as I would have liked. There are so many opportunities I did not take because I was mentally struggling. I hope that in the future I will have opportunities to interact with these beautiful people again.
Many Many thanks. This experience has changed my life.
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