Bunny Rogers (b. 1990) talks about creating autobiographical work that draws from memory and deals with her childhood by archiving her feelings from that time: “You can’t make objective art, it’s going to be subjective.”
“I feel like I’ve revealed something private when I’m the most specific about my feelings. So rather than trying to talk about something broad in a broad way, you can talk about something broad in a hyper-specific way.” From an early age, Rogers made digital artwork specifically for the Internet and liked playing the virtual pets games ‘Neopets’. Her current website (meryn.ru) resembles a personal homepage from the late 1990s or early 2000s: “It kind of represents the website I wish I could have made when I was younger.” Because it was still the early days of the internet, Rogers had a feeling that she was doing something that she shouldn’t be doing, and that she was escaping into a different world: “But now the different world doesn’t offer the escape that it once did.” Popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are still connected to you: “It could potentially be more artificial than characters I was trying to fill out when I was a child.” Rogers’ artwork deals with memory and refers to the teenage culture she grew up with.
Bunny Rogers graduated from Parsons, New York in 2012 and is a MFA graduate from The Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, Sweden (2017). Rogers has held exhibitions at several prominent venues, including Société in Berlin, Queens Museum and Whitney Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Katharina Grosse Interview: On the Edge of Something Else
“As artists we produce alternatives. Constantly. We are manufacturing alternatives for whatever.”
Meet German artist Katharina Grosse in this very personal conversation in which she reflects on her upbringing, the importance of traveling, different elements meeting each other, and the idea of giving back to society.
Katharina Grosse uses painting, sculpture, and architecture in her artworks, which tend to be large-scale, site-related installations. Her international reputation has grown steadily over the past years. Born in 1961 in Freiburg, Germany, she attended art academies in Düsseldorf and Münster. After her education, she taught at the Art Academy Berlin-Weissensee for more than a decade between 2000 and 2010. From 2010 to 2018, Grosse was a painting professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy.
She currently lives and works in Berlin – a city, that she has known since childhood, but used to have split feelings about: “I did not really love the city. Today my staying here has a lot to do with the people that I meet from the different areas – writing, theatre, music. So when you have an invitation at night and you meet people, you never know what’s coming out of it, who are you going to be with, what’s the night going to do with you and your thinking.”
Eventually, Grosse built her own studio in the center of the city that incorporates all necessary features for her large scale formats. “There is only skylight, the paintings are super sharp, you can see everything.” At the same time traveling and working abroad are still central elements in Grosse’s life and work: “I like to get to know a new place. I like to be a stranger to a place. And to come as a person that is not part of a place, a space, a location – to come as somebody who doesn’t know it. So being abroad became a very important part of my studio-life.”
Grosse continues reflecting upon central elements in her work: color, places, structures, the role of art, social responsibility, and the importance of having grown up in Germany in the 1960s and 1970s with its dark shadow of history. Also for her artistic development shadows played a vital role: “When I woke up in the morning, I would see shadows in the room and I would imagine a paintbrush to paint them away. I was very convinced of things even though they couldn’t work. And I was very convincing even though my results did not match my conviction. Sometimes my surroundings wouldn’t agree and I was surprised. I was truly imagining something that maybe wasn’t visible. I was always very confident in terms of art. Without reason really. I mean, I wasn’t like Picasso drawing pigeons.”
Today, Katharina Grosse is working and exhibiting around the globe and has won numerous recognitions for her work. “I don’t know whether or not I can describe myself as outgoing. I like to be by myself, I have no problem being by myself for days and days and days. But I do believe that I make the work for somebody else. I don’t think about the public as such. But I absolutely want it to be seen. And I think it has to be loud and noisy.”
Katharina Grosse was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at her studio in Berlin in August 2020.
Anupama Kundoo: More Common Than Different
“We all feel that human society deserves better.”
In this personal interview Indian architect, Anupama Kundoo reflects on her way into architecture. Growing up in Mumbai, she had an early interest in both the arts as well as math and science. Due to a test, which a family member suggested to her, architecture came up as a profession. “I stumbled into architecture, but it was a blessing. The second I realized it, there was no looking back. Architecture and design would allow me to develop my interest in everything. But they would also ground me and allow me to be of service.”
“I had a very strong intuitive voice telling me to just prolong whatever I was doing, even though it did not seem clear from the outside. I decided to leave Bombay and move to South India to figure out and understand my country. I didn’t know where I was going. But I knew what I was leaving. I didn’t know what I wanted. But I knew what I didn’t want. If you see something, you cannot unsee it anymore.”
Kundoo ended up in Auroville, engaging herself for many years in a project that defines itself as a “universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity.”
Kundoo also speaks about time as the most important human resource. “I feel that a lot of the problems we have in today’s world have come because of that wrong notion that time is money. No, time is the only resource we have when we are alive.” While we’re saving other resources, Kundoo argues, we don’t seem to mind spending our own time freely on anything. This is why she encourages people to use their time wisely – to use fewer natural resources and more human resources: “Use more brain, use more muscle, use more time. Because people grow clever in the end when we do that.”
Anupama Kundoo was born in Pune, India in 1967. She graduated from Sir JJ College of Architecture, University of Mumbai in 1989, and received her Ph.D. degree from the TU Berlin in 2008.
Anupama Kundoo was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner in her studio in Berlin in March 2020.
Shirin Neshat: Advice to the Young
“I think it’s so important for young people to think about the world, the bigger picture.” The renowned Iranian artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat here encourages young artists to be socially conscious and open to what goes on beyond the walls of their home: “Otherwise you make work that other people don’t need to look at, because it doesn’t really have a place beyond a very small narcissistic conversation.”
Neshat feels that in the Western culture we are encouraged to lead a life centred on individual ideas and interests. She finds this emphasis on self-interest worrisome and considers America, where she resides, a very capitalistic and individualistic society, where people are basically told to just look after themselves.
Shirin Neshat (b.1957) is an Iranian visual artist, known primarily for her work in film, video and photography. Neshat gained international prominence in 1995 with her iconic series of black and white, calligraphy-overlaid photographs ‘Women of Allah’, and broke new ground winning the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale (1999) for her video installation ‘Turbulent’ and the Silver Lion at the International Venice Film Festival (2009) for directing ‘Women Without Men’.
Shirin Neshat was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at Faurschou Foundation in Copenhagen, Denmark in connection with the exhibition ‘Shirin Neshat, Looking for Oum Kulthum’ in March 2018.
Laurie Anderson: Advice to the Young
“Be loose!” The legendary multimedia artist, musician and film director Laurie Anderson puts it as simply and clearly as that when she here advises artists to avoid being pressured into limiting themselves artistically.
Calling yourself something as “vague” as a multimedia artist – as Anderson does – gives you the freedom to do whatever you want, without having to worry about whether it fits a certain definition: “It’s so easy to get pigeonholed in the art world.” Anderson is aware that sales are a strong underlying factor – “I am a 21st century citizen in a highly corporate world” – but she nonetheless maintains that you should always follow your own interest and obsession: “Whatever makes you feel free and really good – that’s what to do. It’s really simple.”
Laurie Anderson (b. 1947) is an internationally renowned experimental performance artist, composer, musician and film director, based in New York. Initially trained as a sculptor, Anderson became widely known outside the art world with her single ‘O Superman’, which reached number two in the UK pop charts in 1981. She is considered a pioneer of electronic music and is praised for her unique spoken word albums and multimedia art pieces.
Laurie Anderson was interviewed by Christian Lund at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark in May 2016.
Jean-Marc Bustamante on Per Kirkeby's Brick Sculpture, 1994
“It’s in between sculpture and architecture,” French artist Jean-Marc Bustamante says of a site-specific brick monument by the lauded Danish artist Per Kirkeby (1938-2018). Watch him reflect on the mesmerizing sculpture, which at first sight looks “like the house next door,” in this short video.
Per Kirkeby (1938-2018) is one of the great, international Danish artists, having exhibited at museums all over the world, and is considered one of the most important painters in the second half of 20th-century Danish art.
In the video, Bustamante talks about ‘Brick Sculpture’ (1994) by Per Kirkeby (1938-2018), situated at – and intended for – Humlebæk Station in Humlebæk, Denmark. The sculpture was erected in collaboration with the Danish Railways and belongs to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.
Jean-Marc Bustamante was interviewed by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen at Humlebæk Station in Humlebæk, Denmark in October 2017.
Tomás Saraceno: The Art of Noticing
Follow the acclaimed Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno into his installations of intricate spider webs inhabited by solitary, social and semi-social spiders, bridging the architectures of each other’s webs. In the video, Saraceno talks about how spiders mirror human beings and help us understand ourselves and the way we live.
Tomás Saraceno was interviewed by Helle Fagralid at his studio in Berlin in November 2019.
Like a spy, American artist Taryn Simon uncovers the hidden places of the USA. Her work is a portrait of American society seen through the spaces that are foundational for America: religion, governance, security, law. Like the country itself, the meaning, says Simon, is “ever morphing.” Taryn Simon (b. 1975) is an American artist who has worked in photography, text, sculpture, video, and performance. She was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at her studio in New York, October 2016.
Louisiana Channel meets one of the world’s leading architects, Peter Zumthor in his studio in Switzerland. In this extensive and rare biographical video interview he tells the captivating story of his childhood, his studies in NYC and his parents’ strong influence.
“You’re on the right track if you’re excited about what you’re doing.” British visual artist David Shrigley, known for his humorous spin on common situations, here advises his young colleagues to be open to learning from mistakes and stresses that being an artist “isn’t for everybody.” Interviewed by Christian Lund at Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen in January 2016 in connection to his exhibition ‘Coloured Works on Paper’.