Six questions for
Dominique Teufen

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

Artist Dominique Teufen
Lives in Zürich, Switzerland

How do you describe your own art practice?

Deriving from my education as a sculptor, material experiments make up a large part of my artistic practice. In addition, I research and experiment with the various processes and mechanisms of the digital photo camera and the visual language and aesthetics of photography. I am fascinated by the medium, the materiality of photography and its possibilities. I can sculpt and paint with light and shadows and I am able to show you things you cannot see with your own eyes. In my latest Series Rays of Light a silvery-coated and semi-reflective piece of cardboard transforms the harsh environment of concrete and steel from the city of Zürich into impressionistic like, colorful landscapes. The camera is the only device capable of capturing these fleeting scenes and making them visible.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

My work circles mostly around questions of the photographic. I research the tension between two- and three-dimensionality, identity and difference. I play with illusions, toy with our perception and try to challenge the photorealistic modified visual memory of how things supposed to look. Looking closely at my reconstructed worlds, the familiar loses its identity and questions our perception of being and appearance.

What was your first experience with art?

With growing up in the mountains of Davos in Switzerland, I had not many encounters with Art in my early years of Life. But after finishing my apprenticeship as a pastry chef, I moved to Zürich and started to draw and paint whole nights through. With starting 1999 my art education in the Sculpture Department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, I felt like finally coming home. In that time it was still possible to live and express Art more freely, burning your best Art pieces and breaking boundaries were encouraged.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

My curiosity about photography thrives me and what I can do with the medium is extremely fascinating for me. This combined with observing materials that can transform into something completely different through light, shadows and reflections, altering reality in the process, is very inspiring.

What do you need in order to create your work?

I need an Idea, a question that excites me. For example: “If I make a selfie in a fictive space, does this photograph then confirms the fiction as real?” These thoughts come mostly out of a moment of standing still, dreaming away and thinking about thingies. I love abstract and creative thinking.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

Some time ago I encounter Lillian Porter’s early prints from the 70’s and they really touched something in me. Discovering the oeuvre of László Moholy-Nagy is very inspiring and last summer at the Photo Festival Image Gibellina in Sicily, I met Robert Pufleb and discovered the work Alternative Moons. What a beautiful book! It’s all pancake.

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