Louisiana Channel




Christina Quarles: Bodies Seen From Within

“I love the idea of not being born an artist. A lot of times, there's this mythology around artists that there's just some sort of inherent genius that gets passed down from the heavens. And I think actually one of the things that makes being an artist so fulfilling as a practice is that it is a practice. It's something that you do over a lifetime, and it’s something that is both a combination of acquired technical skills and also just living in the world, and you're always changing.” Having said this, Quarles, throughout her entire life, has had a special interest in the figure. “You're painting or drawing a body, but you're in your own body. We're constantly oscillating between the desire to be seen and understood and the desire to be an authentic self.” “And it's those moments of excess and those moments of lack that I try to express in the paintings. As well as to create a sense of meaning.” Christina Quarles (b. 1985) is a Los Angeles-based artist whose practice works to dismantle assumptions and ingrained beliefs surrounding identity and the human figure. Quarles received an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2016 and holds a BA from Hampshire College. Christina Quarles was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner in April 2024. The interview took place in her studio in Los Angeles, USA.




Rachel Rossin on the Journey to Self-Creation

“All art is like timekeeping.” Meet the multi-talented Rachel Rossin from New York, whose practice spans from painting to programming. Rachel Rossin started working with computers at the age of four and taught herself programming at five. Today, she reflects upon AI and developments beyond, for example, new ways of connecting humans to machines. At the same time, she sees art as one of the oldest and noblest expressions of being human. “It’s making traces of our time here. It’s like timekeeping. It’s a record of the artist’s time. Especially paintings and paintings with their expressionistic marks where you stand in the same place the artist stood. You are looking at a core sample of evidence of the trace the artist’s body made through time and space. I think we will have that as long as we exist. It’s just so precious and perfect.” Rachel Rossin, formed by her readings of the Bible during childhood, sees life as an ongoing journey to self-creation, a type of distilling over and over again: “I think that people that love life the most are the ones that are the most aware of death. It’s so brief. I want to be engaged and as present as I can. It feels like there is a spiritual calling to making art.” Rachel Rossin (b. 1987, Florida, USA) is an internationally recognised artist whose multidisciplinary practice synthesises painting, computer programming, video, built electronics, sculpture, installation, and new media to create works that address the phenomenological effects of technology on daily life. She currently lives and works in New York City, New York, USA. The New York Times has stated, “Ms. Rossin has achieved something, forging a connection between abstract painting and augmented perception that opens up a fourth dimension that existed only in theory for earlier painters.” She is widely considered a pioneer in Virtual and Mixed Realities for her innovative research. Rachel Rossin was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner in June 2023. The interview took place in New York at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Rachel Rossin’s studio in Manhattan.




Barbara Kasten: Advice to the Young

“As long as an artist continues to express themselves, it’s a contribution to the world.” American artist Barbara Kasten shares her advice to aspiring young artists. To Barbara Kasten, one cannot expect success right after finishing art school: “I think that young artists should think about the future of their work, but they shouldn’t get stuck on it.” She also acknowledges how much it takes, not only in perseverance but also in capital, to make it as an artist: “You know, it takes money to continue to make art. So, many artists aren’t fortunate enough to have the resources.” Barbara Kasten had to teach for many years to make a living as an artist: “It took me until 80 to get the kind of recognition that I’m getting now.” Barbara Kasten (b. 1936) is an American artist born in Chicago, USA. She is known for making photographs of abstract interior environments where the juxtaposition of light, objects, and mirrors forms the subject of her images. Kasten was educated in sculpture and painting, which both informs her work. She began investigating photography through cyanotypes of fabrics and photograms of objects placed directly on paper. Barbara Kasten attended California College of Arts and Crafts (MFA, 1970) and the University of Arizona, Tucson (BFA, 1959). Barbara Kasten was interviewed by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærksen in her studio in Chicago in February 2023.




Emma Talbot: Telling the Stories of Our Times

“My work is really about a very personal experience of being alive at this period of time.” We visited Emma Talbot in her studio in London, to talk about how she transforms the intangible realms of thought and emotion into tangible expressions on silk canvases. As she introduces herself in the opening moments of our conversation, Talbot articulates her artistic project as an exploration of stories that echo the zeitgeist. Touching on big contemporary issues, such as societal structures, and our relationships with technology, ecology and nature, Talbot describes her art as an interrogation of the human condition: “the brevity and fragility of life itself; what is given value and worth, what is memorialised, and the inevitable experiences of love and grief.” Talbot's artistic repertoire spans from paintings on silk to animations and drawings. The latter always works as her starting point: “I developed a practice in which I start withdrawing, and I let myself draw whatever comes to mind without really trying to direct the subject of the drawings or what they're exploring so that I can see what it is I'm thinking.” Yet, it's only after a phase of deep research - online, through reading, or by seeking diverse forms of knowledge - that she refines and enriches these raw expressions into motives and narratives. In her winning proposal for the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, Talbot took as a starting point her fascination with Gustav Klimt’s painting Three Ages of Woman (1905), which features a naked elderly woman standing in apparent shame. In her mind, the woman looked like a future version of Talbot herself, and so the figure became an avatar to tackle some of the contemporary issues that Talbot addresses in her practice. Talbot's pivot to using silk as a canvas reflects a profound quest for artistic freedom. Influenced by writers like Hélène Cixous, who explored finding one's own voice in writing, Talbot sought an equivalent liberation in her visual language. The ethereal qualities of silk offered the flexibility she craved - something drapable, cuttable, and wearable - a material that could carry the weight of ideas without becoming burdened by historical constraints. Her intricate process of painting on silk involves a delicate balance, where fluidity meets substance, allowing her to control the marks on the surface while embracing the material's inherent delicacy. The resulting large-scale paintings, described by Talbot as "collages of ideas," become immersive experiences, inviting viewers into a dialogue with the intricate narratives within. Emma Talbot (b.1969) studied at the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design and Royal College of Art. Her work was showcased at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia as part of the exhibition ’Milk of Dreams.’ In 2022, she was awarded the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, which cumulated in the exhibition The Age / L’Età shown in Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia and Whitechapel Gallery in London. Talbot's exhibition history includes solo shows such as “The Human Experience” (2023) at Kunshtall Stavanger ’In the End, the Beginning’ (2023) at Kesselhaus, KINDL, Berlin, "When Screens Break" at Eastside Projects in Birmingham (2020), ’Ghost Calls’ at DCA in Dundee (2020), and ’Sounders of The Depths’ at GEM Kunstmuseum in The Hague, Netherlands (2019-20). Noteworthy exhibitions also include ’Woman-Snake-Bird’ at Galerie Onrust in Amsterdam (2018) and ’The World Blown Apart’ at the same gallery in 2017. Her recent work ‘Seeds Grow in Fertile Ground (Every Thought is an Opening)’ (2023) was featured in the group exhibition ‘Irreplaceable Human? The Conditions of Creativity in the Age of AI’ at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Her work has found a home in collections worldwide, including Guerlain in Paris, British Council Collection, Arts Council Collection, City of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, David Roberts Collection, Saatchi Collection, University of the Arts London, Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth, Fries Museum NL, and Arnhem Museum NL. Emma Talbot was interviewed by Nanna Rebekka in her studio in London in April 2023. Camera: Alex Newton Edited and produced by: Nanna Rebekka




Per Kirkeby: We build upon ruins

Per Kirkeby (b.1938 – d.2018) is considered one of the most renowned artists of his generation, his skills as a painter, sculptor, filmmaker, and author making for a body of strong and unique works. His work has been shown at exhibitions worldwide including at prominent institutions such as Kunsthalle Bern, Whitechapel Gallery and Tate in London, MoMA in New York, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk and Centre Pompidou in Paris. In 1976 he represented Denmark in the Venice Biennale. Moreover, Kirkeby taught as a professor at the Art Academy in Karlsruhe and at Frankfurter Städelschule.




Weaving The Light | Artist Kimsooja 김수자

Follow South Korean artist Kimsooja into an underground water reservoir where she “weaves with light” while tapping into East Asian philosophy “reflecting our selves, our fortune, and our universe.” The world of textiles rooted in the handicraft of Korean tradition is at the centre of Kimsooja’s work. When given the possibility of making an installation in a huge underground water cistern full of darkness, she “immediately thought of doing a light project”, she explains, calling it a “light laboratory”. “As I have been doing many projects in relation to sewing and weaving or wrapping, all related to textiles in a way, those questions have been reached to the point that I call my project with the light ‘Weaving the Light’.” For Kimsooja, weaving has a profound meaning related to human existence: “Weaving is in a way breathing, it is living in a way because we don’t stop when we weave as if we breathe. Weaving is constant action, constant evolvement, and constant answer and interaction”. The rays of light dividing into colours have a special meaning in Korean: “For Westerners, you say rainbow colours but equally, we have a word in Korean called ‘obangsek’. “‘O’ means five, ‘bang’ means directionality and ‘sek’ means colour in Korean. So Obangsek means five directional colours “, and the colours represent South, North, East, West, and white as the centre. When using these five colours, Kimsooja reflects water, fire, earth, and air, but also different tastes like sour, bitter, sweet, and the seasons. All in Korean related to Confucianism and Taoism and some part from Buddhism: “East Asian philosophy, that consists of our selves, our fortune, and our universe. That is why I have always been using this colour pattern, not because I particularly like the colours itself, but because of the idea and the concept of it,” she says. Kimsooja’s woven light patterns embrace the idea of the other: “It always indicates the other, because, without the other, we cannot weave. I think it is the nature of life.” Kimsooja (born 1957 in Daegu, South Korea) is a South Korean, multi-disciplinary conceptual artist based in New York, Paris, and Seoul. Her practice combines performance, film, photo, and site-specific installation using textile, light, and sound. Kimsooja's work investigates questions concerning the conditions of humanity, while engaging issues of aesthetics, culture, politics, and the environment. Kimsooja’s work has been shown at major institutions over the world, including MoMA PS1 in 2001, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 2015. She represented Korea for the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. She participated in documenta 14, in Kassel, the ANTIDORON – The EMST Collection in 2017, and has taken part in international biennials and triennials in Busan, Venice Gwangju, Moscow, Istanbul, and Manifesta 1, 1996, among others.




"First, we will die. Then we will be forgotten." | Photographer Balder Olrik

What does a graveyard tell about life? Meet Danish artist Balder Olrik who has been walking around Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris for months, taking fascinating pictures of empty mausoleums. “I looked into one of the mausoleums, and it hit me really hard in the stomach. There was a huge bouquet of flowers made of silk with hundreds of spiderwebs on top of it. It was really painful. At this moment, I realized that we are going to be forgotten.” Olrik has recently been confronted with death in his personal life and took to Paris to recover from severe illness. By chance, he visited Père Lachaise and found – in the middle of vibrant Paris – a silent world of its own. “It’s obvious that somebody has loved somebody. The most touching mausoleums are the ones where you actually can see that there was love between some people – someone who is dead, somebody that’s alive. But at a certain point, it is left there. Maybe because the person who loved died. Or fell in love with somebody else.” “It made me realize that maybe I should just do the things I want to do in life. And maybe it is also an awkward worry – this worry of not being eternal. Why is it so hard for us to grasp the fact that we don’t live forever, that it has an end? Maybe it is causing us a lot of trouble while we live that we care so much about ourselves for when we are not alive.” Danish artist Balder Olrik (b. 1966) entered The Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen at age 16, one of the youngest artists ever to attend. Shortly after entering the academy, he was included in numerous exhibitions at museums and galleries worldwide, gaining international recognition for his works. In 1998, Olrik left the art world and became an early pioneer in new media technology, launching a successful viral media company. Sixteen years later, he returned to art, focusing on photography primarily inspired by behavioural and perceptual science. Olrik expresses a distinct silence and solitude within his art, a theme prevalent throughout his early works to the present. He lives and works in Paris and Copenhagen. Balder Olrik was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise in Paris in October 2022.




The Definition of Good Design | Designer Naoto Fukasawa 深澤直人

”To take the relation between people and things or the environment and shed light on it to find suitable and optimal solutions is my job.” Japanese design pioneer, Naoto Fukasawa, shares his work process, philosophies, and thoughts on good and bad design. Of course, Naoto Fukasawa drew as a child. But growing up with a father who was an electrician, he was also constantly surrounded by different tools that opened a world to create that went beyond drawings. When the time came to choose what to study, Fukasawa decided to become a product designer. “The first ten to fifteen years, I thought that the making of good forms or beautiful forms was my job,” he explains. “I was told that designs differ according to peoples’ taste. I don’t think so,” Fukasawa says and elaborates: “Instead of asking the opinion or sense of people, it’s better to be quiet and observe. I am sure that there are things that all people will like. I don’t know if you could call it universal. But I deliberately use this intuition and try to give it a form. To keep quiet and try to show is the essence of design.” Known for his minimalistic aesthetics, Fukasawa has designed products for several respected companies, including the iconic Japanese lifestyle store, MUJI. When talking about simplicity in design Naoto Fukasawa says: “Simple is not just a question of form, but also of harmony.” To him, the best-designed products needn’t necessarily be noticeable: “They just have to be there when you need them, without causing trouble. They show their love best by being quiet.” To achieve this in his design, Fukasawa uses the same method: “To observe people, their surroundings, space, and things have become a natural habit of mine.” “If a designer thinks about structure together with an engineer, it’s actually easier to do this ‘design thinking’.” An essential part of Naoto Fukasawa’s design process lies within his collaboration with skilled craftsmen and engineers: “As an industrial designer, the knowledge of the whole industrial production process from design to the factory is very important,” he says and continues: “Design is to have the power to feel and understand what everybody will like. And make sure this is understood by the craftsmen or the engineers. It’s not just something you should feel. The designer should also know precisely how to realize it.” Naoto Fukasawa (b. 1956) is a Japanese industrial designer, author, and educator, working in product and furniture design. He is known for his product design work with the Japanese retail company MUJI, as well as work with and for companies such as Herman Miller, Alessi, B&B Italia, Magis, and HAY. In 2003 Naoto Fuksawa started working independently after several years for Seiko Epson and IDEO San Francisco. His designs span a variety of fields, from precision electronic equipment to furniture, interior spaces, and architecture. Fukasawa determined that the impetus for design is found in people’s unconscious behavior and named this “Without Thought.” Naoto Fukasawa has been working on the advisory board of Muji and is on the judging panel of the Nikkei Shimbun’s Superior Products and Services Award. He was the Good Design Award chairman from 2010 to 2014. He has also judged on the Braun Prize in 2012. In 2018 he was awarded the Isamu Noguchi Award. Naoto Fukasawa was interviewed in his studio in Tokyo, Japan, by journalist Jens H. Jensen in April 2022.




“Inspiration starts with a kind of suffering.” | Artist Kaarina Kaikkonen

”Inspiration, for me, starts with a kind of suffering. It comes from a problem that is unsolved.” Finnish artist Kaarina Kaikkonen’s father’s sudden death when she was a child was a pivotal moment in her life and art. Follow her in her endless search for men’s shirts resembling what her father wore that she uses in her iconic, grand installations: “I want to use materials that have had a previous life. Then I change it and give it a new life, a new form of art. To make beauty from ugly.” “I like the suffering of life to become part of my art,” she says. “Inspiration is a question. And then you’ll have to try to find the answer.” ‘Get Inspired’ is a series of videos that draws close attention to the inspiration process that every artist must go through to create a work of art.” Kaarina Kaikkonen (b. 1952) is a Finnish artist who works with sculpture and installations. Her works are often made up of recycled materials such as used shirts, skis, or dance shoes, which she assembles into gigantic installations that cast a spell over viewers with an immediate and overwhelming beauty. Kaikkonen has held solo exhibitions at prominent museums worldwide, such as KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Kiasma in Helsinki, MAXXI Museo Nazionale Delle Arti in Rome, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and The Kennedy Center in Washington. Among the awards she has received the Finland Art Reward (2001), The Public Prize, Den Haag Sculptuur (2004), Honorable Mention in Cairo 11th Biennale (2009), and The Golden Chimera, 1. Biennale International d’Arte di Arezzo (2013). Kaarina Kaikkonen was interviewed by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen in her studio in Helsinki, Finland, in May 2022.




"The honest picture will always be a good picture." | Olav Christopher Jenssen

“My pictures are about something that's touched me,” says Norway’s great painter Olav Christopher Jenssen, who shows us around his studio and speaks about the inspiration behind his work. ”Painting fascinates me for several reasons. The circumstances of painting are quite clear. You can define a painting on a simple basis. The acceptance of these limits also defines the possibilities. Some pictures are good because they're honest while they're unfinished. But the honest picture will always be a good picture,” says Olav Christopher Jenssen, who built his studio in an old school in rural southern Sweden, where he spends most of his time with his family. Olav Christopher Jenssen (b. 1954 in Sortland, Norway) is a Norwegian artist who lives and works in Berlin, Germany, and Lya, Sweden. He studied at the National Arts and Crafts School in Oslo (1976-79) and the National Academy of the Arts in Oslo, Norway (1980-81). From 1996-2006 he was Professor at Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg, and in 2007 he was appointed Professor at Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Braunschweig. Recent major solo exhibitions include Astrup Fearnley Museum, Norway (2019) KIASMA, Finland (2010), Kunstmuseum Brandts, Denmark (2009) and Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany (2003). Jenssen also participated in documenta 9 (1992). He is represented in several significant public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, USA, Moderna Museet, Sweden, Astrup Fearnley Museum, Norway, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark, Centre Pompidou, France, Kunstmuseum Bonn, and The National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design in Oslo, Norway. Olav Christopher Jenssen was interviewed by Christian Lund in his studio in Lya, Sweden, in January 2022.




"I love painting because I can make lots of colour in it." | Katherine Bernhardt

“I am a busy body.” Meet the American painter Katherine Bernhardt for a talk about her work, her love for colourful, figurative motives, and why photographs are a great point of departure for starting a painting. “I love the 80’s aesthetic, which is very colourful. I love painting because I can make lots of colour in it. I like places that have lots of colours. I am attracted to colours. Art is a way where people can go and escape from reality. The bigger, the better.” Katherine Bernhardt (b. 1975) grew up in Clayton, MO, and received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts. Over the past two decades, Bernhardt, based in St. Louis, has established herself as one of the most sought-after painters. She first attracted notice in the early 2000s for her paintings of supermodels taken straight from the pages of fashion magazines such as Elle and Vogue. In the decade following, she began making pattern paintings with an ever-expanding list of quotidian motifs. Her vibrant images offer contemplative and multifaceted reflections of various facets of everyday life and pop culture, from childhood sticker books, toilet paper, and coffee makers to E.T., Darth Vader, and the Pink Panther. She cites Henri Matisse, the Pattern and Decoration movement, Peter Doig, and Chris Ofili as artistic influences. Bernhardt chronicles her life and the broader culture through her index of images, synthesizing her visual material with hard-won ease. She takes pleasure in variety and thoroughly investigates each of her obsessions before moving to another. Bernhardt’s trust in the fundamental underpinnings of painting gives her the freedom to depict anything she wants. The democratizing surfaces of her canvases work without illusion, perspective, logical scale shifts, or atmosphere. She is an artists’ artist, admired by many contemporary peers working today as a singular voice in painting. In a palette that ranges from restrained to vivid Day-Glo, Bernhardt paints the canvases face up on her studio floor, employing spray paint, puddles of thinned-out acrylic, and utilitarian brushwork to emphasize aspects of her motifs. Bernhardt’s process is improvisational and loose, at times inviting accident and chance into the works and asserting an equal relationship between artist and material. Bernhardt’s work is held in the collections of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Portland Museum of Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., among other venues. Katherine Bernhardt was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner in June 2022 in connection with the opening of her show Why is a mushroom growing in my shower? at David Zwirner Gallery in London.




Carlos Cruz Diez: The Colours We Create

”I always say that I do not make paintings or sculptures, I make support for events.” Follow Carlos Cruz-Diez, leading figure in OpArt since the 1960’s, into a world of chromatic experience. ”Today people have learnt to see. People now see more than before.” Says Carlos Cruz-Diez, considered one of the key artists in the OpArt and Kinetic Art movements, which became major phenomena in art and visual culture in the 1950’s and 60’s. Cruz-Diez has been experimenting with vision and colour since that time, dedicating himself to an almost scientific exploration of chromatic experience in order create a method for showing colour in what he calls ‘its permanent mutation’. ”We have made colour a certainty over the centuries, but it isn’t. Colour is just a circumstance created instantaneously before our eyes.” “When I started to tackle colour in my first works, people asked me: Where’s the human presence? Where’s the poetry? Well, precisely. There. They are there with the man himself.” Working with colour for over 50 years, Cruz-Diez’ career as an artist began at a time when painting and sculpture were considered the main, even the only acceptable media for artists to work within. As a young student Cruz-Diez would wonder: “Why was everyone applying paint with a brush on canvas? Were there no other ways of painting?” His search for an extended artwork, a deplacement of the experience of art away from the object, continues to this day. For Cruz-Diez, the work of art is not placed on the wall or floor of a gallery, but within the spectator’s experience: ”The work of art needs the viewer’s participation in order to become real. It’s not about passive contemplation but an active participation.” Carlos Cruz-Diez (b. 1923 - d. 2019) is a Franco-Venezuelan artist who has been active within the field of Kinetic and Optical art since the 1960’s. His body of work has established him as one of the key twentieth-century thinkers in the realm of colour. His work has been shown internationally at the MoMA, New York, USA, Tate Modern, London, UK, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA. He lives and works in Paris. For more about Carlos Cruz-Diez please visit: http://www.cruz-diez.com/ Carlos Cruz-Diez was interviewed in his studio in Panama in April 2016.

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