Tique | art paper asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Alexandra Hunts.
Lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands / Malmo, Sweden
How do you describe your own art practice?
My work is about transformation, obsession, and labour. I am rethinking the source material in order to create some new form of visualisation, new forms of understanding. The information changes and shifts between analogue and digital, between two-dimensional and threedimensional. I see this shifting as a great source of inspiration and use it to show the complexity of todays world.
In my work I am focusing on the tension between science and culture, reality and fiction. Perception of reality is influenced by the image that we have seen before. I am charmed by the struggle between the human interpretation and experience of the environment and reality itself, and the role of art in this fight.
What was your first experience with art?
My father is an Ukrainian artist, so my childhood was already somehow connect to classical art, especially painting. But I was never planning to become an artist myself. I always enjoyed to create and build something, but I was also interested in the exact science such as mathematics.
As a teenager, I got a small camera and was photographing a lot, the camera showed me some other perspective on the one hand a very artistic but at the same time very truthful. I never consider my photographic work as something serious, it was just a play.
I think that the only experience I got somehow, long time ago and still have, is the fact that I can not stop myself from doing it.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
The best source of inspiration for me is the “unknown”. I think that where non-knowing reigns, there is always an opportunity. So it could be nature, space, of some new invention. But I am interested in the topic of unlimited progress, transformation. In my projects I want to connect the theoretical understanding of thinks (theoretical knowledge) with the physical experience. I think as a humans with brain and body we need to use all our capacities and try to develop them equally. In order to discover something new I need to try to understand the system around the topic, to find the relation between things and to make my own connections between.
What do you need in order to create your work?
I always start with the research, so I need to have different sources of information. During that time I prefer to be and work alone, I need to have some isolation in order to figure out what exactly I am interested in.
When it comes to production, I really like to try some new materials, new crafts, new techniques. In my process of working on a new project I barely use just photography or images. My process is more physical, I research, build, construct. My work has an very visible element of labour and craft that’s why some of my process of making the work becomes a kind of a performance.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m living in Sweden where I started my MFA at Malmo art Academy.
Recently I started working on a project about knowledge. This project represents my personal way of understanding an ancient North European culture dated around 5000 to 6000 years ago. I am exploring the process of morphing a human into a machine through a desire for knowledge.
I am obtaining the theoretical knowledge, combined with empirical knowledge, by learning to make the typical pottery of the Funnelbacker Culture. So I try to produce a certain pot, without any idea how to make it. The project itself is the way, the process to get the skills and not the result. I think that the society we live in is mostly based on the result and performance, and don’t pay attention to the process, in my project I try to do the opposite and focus on the “hidden” part of getting the knowledge.
With this performative act of making pottery, I try to make the research physical, to grip the physical relation to the invisible worlds of theory. At the same time, I try to explore the value of labour and my role as a female artist through history, as well as the role of women in the ancient craft of pottery.
What work or artist has most recently surprised you?
During my visit to Munster Skulptur Projekte, I was very impressed by the work of Pierre Huyghe “After Alife Ahead” a sci-fictional landscape created in an old ice-skating rink. The new kind of a landscape which is completely unknown for our understanding, an isolated space, but on the other hand letting the viewer, the nature in. Constantly transforming, moving and developing artwork. The past of the venue, the present of the living creatures in the sculpture like bees and fishes and the future of development of genetic mutation. Artwork becomes an living organism, something I haven’t seen that much.