Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Nico Krijno.
Lives in Stanford, South Africa
How do you describe your own art practice?
My experimental fluid practice spans staged photography and collage.
I’m constantly probing and investigating visual codes, symbols and patterns. Always working on a few things at the same time – so it can take me a while to really discover which path I’m instinctively being dragged towards.
In my case creating a world for the camera representing more the inner world and not a vision of reality, where time is stretched and scrambled and new realities are fabricated, borders are contrived and crumbling. The world within the rectangular frame becomes a stage rather than a window into this world. My focus is directly linked to scrambling and subverting the spatial information within the frame as well as photography’s perceived role in communicating and creating a world in which we live, by compressing and challenging the visual information, as a response to the perceived referential use of everyday conventional photography.
To highlight the absurdity in the visual representation of reality, by including the
strangeness and ambiguity, in this process the constructed reality of our daily lives is revealed.
Which question or theme is central in your work?
How fluid can an image be?
I’m interested in photographs that serve up uncanny, unreliable evidence about a fragmented reality, and not just the world in front of the lens but also a world behind the lens, as a vehicle for unique artistic expression, with an emphasis on process and performance over the finished product.
My photographs are entangled in the mediums of sculpture and painting and I use the tools of the two like a free child would experiment and play, and then I use the medium of photography to distort and explore the irregularities in information and the depiction of objects as one-off staged performances for the camera.
What was your first experience with art?
I really liked to paint as a young boy, but I think music and theatre were more central in my formative years. I took pictures from a very young age but never took it seriously, it just felt so domestic.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
The smallest things like doing the dishes, a good sentence, climbing a tree, a conversation with a friend, a long walk, just staring into a river’s mouth, the feeling of a rock in my hand. Watching people, at the moment watching my two small daughters solve problems and stumble around is a great source of inspiration.
What do you need in order to create your work?
Not much, just some money and a calm space so I can improvise. it depends what I’m working on – privacy also usually gets the best results.
What work or artist has most recently surprised you?
I really love the work of Cameron Platter, he distills the African experience with bright humour and irony.