Tique | art paper asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Claudia Hausfeld.
Lives in Reykjavík, Iceland
How do you describe your own art practice?
My work always evolves around photography, in one form or another. This can be on a pictorial level where I find an image or create a situation for the camera, or on a theoretical level where I’m inspired by a text or a certain technical aspect of a photographic function that I translate into a form. In general I don’t believe in the photograph as a tool to depict reality but I’m fascinated with the trust that is put in it, the way it is used to proof the existence of things. So my work deals with this dichotomy, and my attention is on the point where the gaze becomes unreliable, where the visual doesn’t correspond with reality.
What was your first experience with art?
Probably the first contact with the kind of magic that photography is in essence I had as a small child, looking into one of these stereoscopes with slide images of Grimms’ fairytales, appearing three dimensional.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
Reading. Walking around aimlessly, looking. Looking at art. Sitting in my studio, looking out the window, doing absolutely nothing.
What do you need in order to create your work?
Not much, actually.
What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I’m a lot in the darkroom, printing with light. I’m trying out different materials to print on, clay objects, wood and textile. My intention is to push the image into the direction of painting, making it less and less bound to representation. I also work on a series of color slides, using this delicate material on the brink of extinction to take images of rather pixelated screenshots from Skype conversations. And then I’m putting together a small book, Involuntary Poetry, a collection of strange assemblies.
What work or artist has most recently surprised you?
A projection of Phil Solomon’s Nocturne, an experimental 16mm b/w film from 1980. Solomon worked the film material itself in ways that made it look sublimely surreal and abstract, yet it had content and even a form of subconscious narrative, very dark and threatening. I was mesmerized.