Six questions for
Barbara Kapusta

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Barbara Kapusta.

Artist Barbara Kapusta
Lives in Vienna, Austria

How do you describe your own art practice? 

A mix of animated video works, writing and installation. I also work with ceramics.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

Lately I think a lot about the borders of our bodies and politics. I speak a lot about leakiness and the permeability of things and its effects. What I mean here, of course, is our skin, but also national borders, soil, the network of transportation of fluids like crude oil and portable water that cross state lines, private land, continents and seas. They all leak. We all leak. Life and beings are leaky, and at the same time are threatened by the leakiness of neoliberal financial capitalism, and its infrastructure and machines. Still, I keep thinking and reminding myself of the possibilities that lie in the realm of the leaky. A leakiness, that also means communality, care and relationships. ‘What is being spread?’, my voice asks in the sound over to the video piece “The Leaking Bodies” (2020) and this refers not only to toxic substances but also to something collective, something that can be shared and spread without fear.

What was your first experience with art?

I remember Valie Export. I remember looking at her work Encirclement from the series Body Configurations from 1976, where she wraps her body around a curbstone in Vienna. I still love these pieces.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

A lot of things really, poetry and writing and theory. 

What do you need in order to create your work?

I need people to talk to. I need conversations and to work on things that are not necessarily part of my artistic practice. Like doing the “Feminism against Family” screening and lecture series at mumok cinema together with Rose Anne Gush and Sophie Lewis in fall 2020. I guess I need communality.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you? 

I was very impressed by the book “Women in Concrete Poetry: 1959-1979″, that was published by Primary Information in 2020. It includes so many beautiful pieces. Selections from Humpty Dumpty (1967) by Giulia Niccolai, Ruth Jacobys Rondelet from the 1970s or Silvia Trevales Segmenti alfabetici (1972). I’ve always loved concrete poetry, so it was wonderful to see so much, such diverse work coming together.

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