Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Gizela Mickiewicz.
Lives in Warsaw, Poland
How do you describe your own art practice?
I deal with sculpture and drawing, I also create performative and situational sculptures. I treat the materials, out of which I construct my works, as a precise type of language. It’s interesting to me that using only the material that possesses appropriate physical properties, shape, texture, weight, I can invoke specific areas of reality, manage associations. It allows me to name the subtle regions of reality, define vague internal states or nuances of interpersonal relations.
Which question or theme is central in your work?
Contemporary emotionalism, latest material culture, memory work, errors, temporariness.
What was your first experience with art?
My first contact with art was mediated by small, poor quality, often black and white photos in albums or art textbooks. Photos that didn’t reflect the scale at all, didn’t bring the materials closer, distorted colours, but instead gave a lot of space for imagining what it looks like in reality. I remember a series of later astonishments and disappointments when watching live some of the works that didn’t meet the image I had built for myself at all.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
It’s hard to tell. I don’t have a regular source. I often surprise myself with the place, from which I start. In my case probably more important than the source is to obtain a special kind of mindfulness, which sets the priorities of importance for me. But this level of mindfulness is difficult to evoke, it arises somewhat by itself from a short-lived, good adjustment of many elements. The loneliness, looking at sleeping people, putting myself in a position of discomfort and abandoning small resolutions help me to achieve it. Franz Kafka writes beautifully about the latter one in “The Sudden Walk”.
What do you need in order to create your work?
Time and obstacles. I don’t trust myself when my work goes too easily. I think that I’m working to a certain degree mechanically then, which can’t lead to anything new. Even if my works have lightness in them, it is a worked-out lightness. Many times, I stopped working on a sculpture because it went too smoothly. I like to feel the resistance of reality, the difficulties of all kinds. Negotiations with reality have repeatedly led me to new, good solutions.
What work or artist has most recently surprised you?
Mark Leckey, maybe he didn’t surprise me, but I remembered how good he is. I’m doing clean-up on my computer right now, which allows me to have contact with past excitements. And so, I refreshed Mark Leckey for myself. His works are suspended in timelessness, they don’t age at all for me. I’m really looking forward to his upcoming exhibition and new works.