Tique | art paper asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Claudia Djabbari.
Lives in London
How do you describe your own art practice?
The origin of my sculptural and often site specific installations are amongst others the fact finding of how certain social stereotypes of living, working and housing manifest themselves in the world of things. A special interest lies here in collecting, accumulating, storing and the sequencing of things. The assembled, re-contextualised, reproduced, referential replicas and invented collections of things with an internal logic, function as models and are exemplary for projections, phantasms, social rituals, and codes.
A returning element in my work are insinuated storage spaces – places in which remnants of the past find a place that might no longer be directly relevant and have no present purpose but still remain important and yet carry a personal or otherwise meaningful value.
What was your first experience with art?
I started my ‘art practice’ as a very nerdy child and spent hours in my room working on my first ‘projects’. I spent weeks producing presents and all my pocket money went into ‘art-materials’. Early ‘installations’ took place in my room as well. – As a serious grownup I studied fine art in Germany and the UK after studying set-design initially. Still some of my installations feel like sets just without actors.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
In my work I try to investigate how social structures and geopolitical circumstances influence form and how everyday life can be transformed into a personal formal language and put up against a sculptural tracery. My work is based on personal observations, and experiences rather than objective analysis but is still applied to question a certain collective self-image.
What do you need in order to create your work?
That differs quite a lot from project to project. In contrast to some of my painter friends I hardly use art supply shops but prefer hardware stores and very specific and specialised places who offer for example all kinds of rubber and nothing else. London is a perfect place for that, but I also really like to find material on-site when I work on installations in countries and places new to me. It is part of my site-specific methodology.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am setting up a space in rural southern Germany at the intersection of art, design, well-being and social interaction. This is based on an urge to develop beyond the traditional gallery context, to create a ‘safe space’ for meetings, interaction, practice and exchange, and is routed in a desire for an art that reaches out into life in the tradition of what literary critic Peter Bürger has called ‘Lebenspraxis’ – a convergence of practice and life.
What work or artist has most recently surprised you?
I recently really liked the project ‘Wohnungsfrage’ – a collaboration between ‘Stille Straße 10’ – a group of elderly squatters in Berlin – and the architectural collective Assemble hosted by ‘HKW Haus der Kulturen der Welt’ in Berlin.