Six questions for
Antonio Jose Guzman & Iva Jankovic – Atelier GF Workstation

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Antonio Jose Guzman & Iva Jankovic – Atelier GF Workstation.

Artist Antonio Jose Guzman & Iva Jankovic - Atelier GF Workstation
Lives in Amsterdam, Gujarat, Panama City, Belgrade

How do you describe your own art practice?

Guzman & Jankovic: At Atelier GF Workstation we develop innovative multidisciplinary collaborative decolonisation projects with numerous organisations and institutions internationally. Working in collaboration with a global network of artists, curators, activists, academics and institutions. We envision interdisciplinary spaces and audio visual projects exploring the role of the arts in postcolonial cultural politics and researching on hybridising identities.

We currently working on the ongoing project Electric Dub Station. Together, we reinterpret the transatlantic connections of indigo textiles, which are deeply embedded with the history of western colonialism. In our work the indigo color represents the diasporic, cultural, and economic history of textile trade and memories of ancient spirits. The textiles are developed in our studio in Amsterdam Oost and block printed at Sufiyan Khatri’s Indigo Workshop in Ajrakhpur, India.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

Guzman & Jankovic: Decolonisation, textile circularity and primordial issues of race and power. Our work reinvent and re-contextualize modernism as a critical tool in the understanding of cultural textile studies.

What was your first experience with art?

Guzman: Murals in Panama City during the 1970s. In many Latin-American neighbourhoods, murals are a way to claim spaces from the white creole oligarchy and create a dialogue about identity and belonging. Murals often reflect the work of the social work of the communities. They are visible symbols of a group’s presence and resistance.

Jankovic: Yugoslavia’s Brutalist Monuments. Throughout the former Yugoslavia, monumental monuments dot the landscape, initiated by Yugoslav revolutionary Josef Broz Tito and designed by modernist architects. These brutalist concrete sculptures, which were public monuments to the countries fallen soldiers of World War II, explore the former countries triumph over fascism.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

Guzman: My children, they represent a true Homo Ludens, full of creativity and exploration. Like in Constant’s new Babylon project they are free to devote themselves entirely to the development of creative ideas. The free and spontaneous mode of expression in their work, inspire me continuously to return to the source of ‘soul creation’.

Jankovic: The invisible connection and the interaction that exists with the audience thought the work I make. The dialogue and exchange of emotions that happened in a metaphysical level. Been part of an art connection in a relation with another artists and their works.

What do you need in order to create your work?

Guzman & Jankovic: Peace, solitude and zen concentration, bebop jazz, world music, rock n’ roll, drums and bass and sonic frequencies that inspire the day. A day researching and exploring our Indigo textile collection, without being busy with administrative activities.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

Guzman & Jankovic: Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Black Garment, 1968, Collection Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Abakanowicz’s contribution and influence to contemporary art is unmistakable. Her mark can be seen in the practices of many artists these days. The colossal organic forms of Black garment at the Stedelijk Museum invite you to explore every detail and every curve, the work is infused with such power that becomes an Afrofuturistic object from a distant Sun Ra galaxy.

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