photographs by Alexi Hobbs
Where is your studio exactly and how long have you been working there?
My studio is in Montréal, in the old town. This is a new studio for me, and one that I applied for. I moved in November 2012. It is in an old foundry building that was reclaimed to now be The Darling Foundry (Fonderie Darling). It began as an initiative between Usines Ephémères in France, and the Fondation pour le développement des artistes de la relève in Québec. They have a number of live work spaces for international artist and curatorial residencies, 2 gallery spaces, an attached restaurant, as well as 8 work only studio spaces for local artists that are awarded on three year terms and subsidized in the rent. I was very lucky to have been awarded one of the local spaces for the 2013-2016 term.
What are the pros and cons of your studio?
Those are long lists. Pro: I have a lot of space for very little money, for three years. If I can stop agreeing to too many unnecessary deadlines that means I can take great risks. There are resources involved with the space, wood and metal shops with techs to go with, other artists around to take a beer break with and talk about art, lots of studio visits. Cons: there is no such thing as a free lunch so to speak, with any opportunity like this comes the bureaucracy involved.
How many hours do you usually spend there per week?
It varies wildly as I have been travelling a lot. The weeks out of town obviously 0. When I am in Montréal anywhere between 30 and 100 actually in studio. In studio I have an almost useful couch turns into an almost useful bed made by Ikea. I’ll often just crash in the studio a few nights a week. I work many 14 hour days in studio but the work continues even when at home or on a so called “day off” in terms of emails and things like that. In my head the work is 24/7. Lots of teeth grinding in sleep.
Do you have your own daily routine within the studio? For example, do you usually start by answering your emails then get to work etc?
You just named a problem I have been trying to solve. I was always starting with emails. At home, then continued into the studio. I’d have planned a bunch of studio work and come 7 or 9 or 11 pm still on emails. Or email interviews. Or press requests. Or other administrative work. I can more than full time job all of this and it would end I guess when I run out of art because for months no new art would be made. That is what is happening. It is a problem.
Are there things you deliberately forbid yourself to do/have within the studio in order to be more productive?
Starting next week I will no longer read my email. I hired a part time studio manager. I guess I’ll read some of them but she will filter. Back to the art making.
Do you sometimes wish you shared your studio with one or a few other artists?
Never. I would rather be punched in the face or hung naked from a flagpole than share a studio. I love studio visits and I love to throw little cinq à sept (often sept turn 4 am) small parties in the studio. I love the community of artist friends I have built up over the years. But for making work, I don’t want anyone around unless they are helping. I need a lot of space. Physically and mentally. I need to leave “live sets” up for days or weeks and if someone bumped a light in passing it would ruin everything. I need to cry or dance or spread a million things all over the floor in the middle of my space and not have to consider what anyone else thinks or needs.
What is your favorite track to edit photos to?
This one. Not a track exactly. I would have responded differently if you asked what music I like to work to in the studio. “Edit photos” to me speaks of the computer work. Because I am not shooting piles of digital images, my editing consists of long waits for hi res scans of large format film and then hours of meticulous dusting. For that I like to watch (more like listen/glance at) TV on a second monitor. Law and Order (and Law and Order SVU) is perfect because 1. awesome! 2. there are hundreds and hundreds of episodes…. and most importantly 3. the shows are largely dialogue driven. You don’t necessarily need to be looking at their pictures to get the story.
NAVSEGDA (Forever) is the silent dialogue between the two multi-disciplinary creatives Tatiana Leshkina and Erik Hart, an artifact composed of their selected works from 2009 to 2012. Investigating the values of loneliness and fragility, despite the indifference of the world that surrounds them, they turn them universal. The idea of eternity as privation of space and time. Static elements are not subject to decay and are frozen into digital fragments. The human condition is experienced and expressed with conscious naivety and cold objectivity. Distance, daily life, shared experiences, and mutual thoughts are collected in a visual, intimate and emotional 3-year narration.
Its a 92 page book that comes in a limited edition of 125 signed and numbered copies which are now available for pre order on http://shabazzprojects.com/. And will later be available in select stores.
MoMA - New Photography 2013
New Photography 2013 presents recent works by eight international artists who have expanded the field of photography as a medium of experimentation and intellectual inquiry. Their porous practices—grounded in photographic artist’s books, sculpture, photomontage, performance, and science—creatively reassess the themes and processes of making pictures today.
Adam Broomberg (South African, b. 1970) and Oliver Chanarin’s (British, b. 1971) War Primer 2 (2011), an artist’s book focused on the “War on Terror,” physically inhabits the pages of Bertolt Brecht’s first English-language edition of War Primer.
In his signature works, Brendan Fowler (American, b. 1978), a musician and visual artist, overlaps up to four framed pictures by literally crashing one through another, thus mixing photography and performance.
Annette Kelm (German, b. 1975) conflates several genres in single works or in series on a single motif. Carefully composed, not unlike advertisements, the precise objectivity of her pictures is often undercut by artifice and strangeness.
Lisa Oppenheim (American, b. 1975) produces photograms by culling Flickr images of fire in natural disasters or bombing attacks. She then creates digital negatives, which she exposes to fire and solarizes. In her cross-media practice,
Anna Ostoya (Polish, b. 1978) examines the histories of lesser-known avant-garde movements in East-Central Europe in parallel with their renowned Western counterparts.
Josephine Pryde (British, b. 1967) references the history of darkroom experiments and contemporary medical imaging techniques in such photo series as It’s Not My Body (2011).
Eileen Quinlan’s (American, b. 1972) forays into abstract photography are grounded in feminist history and material culture.
The artists in New Photography 2013 explore dialectical reversals between abstraction and representation, documentary and conceptual processes, the uniquely handmade and the mechanically reproducible, and analog and digital techniques, underscoring the idea that there has never been just one type of photography.
Via | MoMA
SO by Alexander van Slobbe (2001) | Ph: Viviane Sassen