Six questions for
Bernd Oppl

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

Artist Bernd Oppl
Lives in Vienna

How do you describe your own art practice?

In my work I search for in between spaces, transitions and gray areas. I work with hybrid forms and materials that transform from one state into another or that are difficult or uncontrollable like liquids or wind and put them in sterile spaces where they enter into a chorography with the space.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

In my work I ask questions such as, what kinds of spaces and structure we move in: in real and virtual architectures, in outer and inner, in physical and mental spaces. What social changes and technologies these spaces are formed and influenced by. When new shapes of space appear or disappear from our lives. Usually, spaces are containers for life situations. Life takes place in spaces. In my objects and installations, the spaces themselves become protagonists and begin to tell themselves what happens or does not happen in them.

What was your first experience with art?

I don’t remember a particular event, but I was intuitively drawn to art early on, probably because I loved to draw. As a child, I found drawing entertaining. I drew picture stories and had to laugh myself at them. In school, I didn’t find drawing and art classes that funny. My teacher at the time always said: Well, you’re more of a modern artist, and laughed. I thought that was a compliment. It probably wasn’t. Nevertheless, I continued to be enthusiastic about it. Especially in my youth, drawing became like a homey place for me. I then also started taking photographs and experimenting in the darkroom, and I also started making sculptures. That’s how my interest in art grew. When I heard that it was also possible to study art, I really wanted to do this.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

That which does not conform to the norm, the uncanny, that which raises doubt, that which worries me, makes me laugh. The utopian, ruins, mistakes, gaps, holes, glitches, these all inspires me no matter where I find it.

What do you need in order to create your work?

Space and time in which I don’t feel crushed by economic circumstances. Friends and collaborators, relationships that can grow in which we can share and exchange. Even though art is often a lonely process, it is also often created together in an environment that makes you feel seen and part of something and that creates or imagines a different world.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

I find the exhibition of Liesel Raff in Franz Josefs Kai 3 – Space for contemporary art with the title “Liaison” a surprise. I liked how she changed and transformed the space, how the exhibition space itself becomes like a body and a sensual experience. I also liked the new theater piece by Susan Kennedy “ANGELA (a strange loop)”. I was especially surprised by the stage design by Markus Selg and his interaction with the actors. And another surprise for me lately was the performance of Jasper Marsalis alias Slauson Malone at this year’s Danube festival in Krems.

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