He Jing | 贺婧





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访谈:Ignacio Uriarte
采访人:贺婧

北京空白空间,2014年12月


Ignacio Uriarte个展,北京空白空间

贺婧: HJ
艺术家Ignacio Uriarte: IU

HJ: 你曾在大型跨国公司工作,也学习过声音影像艺术,这种经历肯定赋予了你与其他艺术家不同的创作视角,但我好奇的是它究竟是以怎样的方式在影响着你的创作?

IU: 有两种。一种是创伤,我不得不在我之后的艺术生涯中面对这种经历;第二种影响是,正如其他艺术家会使用颜料和画笔作为原始材料,我将自己办公室的经历作为原材料,再将它转化为创作的主题。

还有,我觉得办公室就像监狱一样,这是一个对于生活来说很好的隐喻。生活被日常常规规范着,所做的事情总是周期性地重复,我把这种重复性的工作方式当作我的主题。通常我的绘画作品是以一种特定的方式或节奏重复着一些小动作或姿势。例如,涂涂写写本身像是一种逃避,这个过程并不具有创造性,但是我把这种逃避转化为一种看起来就像是创作的活动。当你去涂满一个巨大的长方形,它就开始是一个创作了。这就好像是一种惩罚或净化训练,要去克服这种经验本身。

HJ: 在你那里,这种经验究竟是一种源源不断地激发创作的能源,还是它已经成为非常自然的、但同时又带有强迫性行为的思考和行动方式?

IU: 我觉得是第二个,这不好说。就好像有些艺术家起床会问他们自己“今天该做什么?”,我也不知道我该干什么, 但是起码我知道该从哪入手去寻找主题和素材。之后我就会深入这个主题,并尝试去超越它本身。通常我的思考所反映的并不仅仅是我的工作环境,但环境是开启思考的起始点。

HJ: 但你的这种涂写绘画与任何一个办公室里的普通员工的涂涂写写区别在哪里呢?你是把自己定义为一个“艺术家”,还是一个“非艺术家”?如你自己所说,只是在一些“特定的创造性时段”在进行创作?

IU: 我觉得两个都有。当你问道我和其它人的涂写区别在哪里,我的答案是没有区别。最理想的情况是,任何一个在办公室因为寄信要折叠纸张或是涂写的人,他都有可能想到我的作品并会心一笑。如果事物本身突然被放进一个框架之中,从那时起,你日常生活中的一切皆可以成为艺术,任何事都可以。那是在最理想的情况下。

如果你把我的绘画与诸如Sol LeWitt 等人的创作比较,会发现在美学和方法论上有着很强的关联。但这就像是一个有着办公室经验创伤的人,以过去几十年的艺术史为参考,并把它们以自己的方式过滤一遍。因此可以说这其中有百分之五十是我自己的,而另外百分之五十是来自本来不属于我的那些参考物。但有参考物并不见得是坏事,因为在我的创作中总是有一些规则要去遵循和执行。这就是为什么作品看上去和六七十年代的东西很像,因为它们遵循了同样的方法论。我不过是使用了更多生活中平凡的素材,加以幽默或讽刺的因素,并不全然是严肃的。

HJ: 你能更详细解释一下所谓“办公室艺术”(Office Art)吗?

IU: 我想我们已经涉及到一些了。它更像是一种冥想,或是做白日梦,让人不再有生产力。有生产力就意味着你应当工作…….这有点像一种小小的反抗。但你的老板认为你还在用excel在工作,你确实也是,但你其实是在画画。所有的人都是这样工作的:一边上facebook,一边在装作工作。

但这仅仅只是其中的一点。打个比方,我把这种“办公室艺术”比做笼中之鸟,一只鸟被困在笼子里飞来飞去。令人悲哀的是这其实是毫无意义的,因为它不可能因为能够飞而变的更自由,但是你可以从这些经验中学习什么是自由。 所以我做的这一切行为都非常像一种小资产阶级似的抗拒。因为你并没有改变什么,你不是在革命,你还是待在笼子里发声。对我而言,我是自愿待在里面的;即使你来打开门,我还是愿意待在这里,继续给笼子上漆。我觉得这其中产生了一种对于这个笼子本身的意识,关于“限制”的意识。

当你把这些创作的可能性全部展现出来,就制造出了一个小小的属于“我的世界”。这世界就像面镜子,站在它面前的时候你会发现你周遭的环境是多么无趣。我不会用一种很激烈的方式,比如“宣泄吧!把电脑砸碎!”,创作对我而言是很敏感又需要保护的,它非常柔软和平滑,有一点点苦涩。我描述它的方式是很单调、平静的,正如生活本身。你之前问我做和别人做会有差别吗?我觉得是没有区别的。这是乐趣之一,有可能让人们能对他们的工作环境产生反思。

HJ: 你说到“反抗”,这让我想到了Bartley,作家麦尔维尔笔下的那个著名人物:一个男人坐在华尔街的办公室里什么都不做,当他的老板让他去工作,他说:“我宁愿什么都不做”。我想到了他是因为你们都制造了一种“空白”的时间,一种对办公室日常标准活动和对人的异化的反抗,即使你们的方式完全是相反的。

IU: 是的,这是一种反抗,因为你对某种核心规则产生质疑,这个规则就是效率。你必须得有效率,你必须有生产力。事实上你可以倾向于不做任何事情,我就要那样,坐在那里不做任何事情。

换言之,这种法则在通常情况下是行不通的。因为当人们选择“不去工作”的时候,他们会去森林,去滑雪,去做个艺术家,沾染波西米亚风,喝醉酒,做疯狂的事情,表达他们自己,但是不会继续待在这个框架里。所以我所做的是在体制内的叛逆,只是很小很安静的叛逆。对于一个对艺术不了解的人,艺术可以理解为两件事,其中一个是逃避:逃避眼下无聊的生活。于是有的人就会疯狂地把颜料甩上墙壁,从以前的生活中解脱。对于我,艺术不是这样的。比起逃避,它更像是在你面前放了一面镜子,让你看到自己的无聊和无趣,而不是为你提供疯狂的调味剂。

HJ: 与那种从一开始就是职业艺术家的人比较,你可能对“自由”这个概念有更强烈的意识。对你来说自由的生活究竟意味着什么?它必然与“标准”或“常规”相悖吗?

IU: 不,不见得。但我以前的经历是有帮助的。正如你所说,我觉得经历过普通上班族生活的人会更珍惜自由。一个从艺术学院毕业、对自由习以为常的人,他/她可能并不像我那么感谢自由。经历过被束缚的人生之后,你可能会更对自由心存感激。但这与艺术并无关联。这世上有很多像卡夫卡那样的人,他们拥有极其深刻的意识和富有创造力的想法,但我们能发现卡夫卡的作品只是一个侥幸,它们本来有可能被摧毁。我相信在办公大楼里尚有很多卡夫卡们在写作或创造,我敢肯定,他们的作品也是非常有价值的。

HJ: 这种创作的意识,你觉得是因为人的不同而产生,而不是环境。

IU: 是的,我认为这完全取决于每个不同的人,你是否有这种意识。我会花很多时间在我做的事情上,但我确信这不代表我比别人更有天赋。事实上,我们一直都在装做正常人——我的意思是没有一个人是“正常的”。我们在某种程度上都很特别,所以,坦白说,我们都有第二次生命。不是所有人,但肯定有些人过着与你所看到的非常不同的生活,只不过因为各种原因,没有人会去在意罢了。但艺术家是有特权的,人人都在意你怎么想、怎么做,人们会在展览开始之前就祝贺你。而如果你只拥有一个普通的工作,人们仅仅会在你出错的时候才会注意到你,这糟糕透了。

HJ: “时间”在你的创作里是个关键词,就像当你谈日常例行的行为时,不过是时间范式的一种。在你的作品《向前向后》(Yorwärts rückwärts, 2005)中,时间被转化成某些具体的形式,比如字母的样子、打字的声音……从某种层面上,意味着你塑造了时间的具象形式。

IU: 是的,还有常规。因为打字的时候向前走又向后退,就好比是一个钟表,前前后后。你是在观看一个机械式的运作方式,这在我的作品中经常出现。这就好像是西西弗神的徒劳,不断地上山又下山,前进再后退,做了什么,然后再抵消掉。这个现象在自然中也是很有趣的呈现,比如大海平静的波浪来回波动,一波一浪,好似冥想一样。这些不见得是消极的,不过是常规罢了。我们的世界就是被构建成一个有周期性规律的运动。

HJ: 我们能看到或者感受到你作品中流逝的时间,所以你真的认为时间是可视的或是可触摸的吗?

IU: 当然。我觉得我们都会这么认为。就比如在等待下班的时候你会看钟表或是其他的什么在动的东西,当你盯着时间看的时候周遭有太多正在发生的运动。尤其在你处于冥想状态或感受自己的肚皮起伏的时候,时间就像一种你正在观察、感觉和进入的节奏。所以我觉得会有很多种方式去观察时间的各种形式,有意识或无意识的,我们都会有很多机会去感知时间的流动。

HJ: 你的作品带着批判的目光去看待当代社会日常生活中那些机械的活动和千篇一律的行为,如法兰克福学派所声称的那样;或者更复杂,正如你在以前的访谈里提到的,实际上存在一个“互为恋物”的情况:“艺术家使用办公室里的霓虹灯和档案作为创作媒介;而办公室里的人最喜欢极简主义艺术风格的装饰品”。

IU: 对,那是Guillaume Déuillau 的想法。

HJ: 是的,我读到过。

IU: 对,在我没读之前我也没有意识到。但他这个说法对我来说很成立:六七十年代的艺术家开始运用办公室的工具如打字机、文件夹、电话、霓虹灯等去创作那些基于信息化生活或与非物质化概念相关的作品,甚至制作的方式都更像是在办公而不是艺术创作。Dé至制作的方式说,在那个时期,所有的办公用品都是统一补给的,就好像更重要的是提供服务而不是办公用品本身。无论是工业或艺术领域都开始了“去物质化”运动。办公室也因此变得更简洁、总是被漆成白色、米色和灰色,这些麻木的颜色就像极其单一的极简主义装饰品,都是抽象的,没有景观,好像只有这样人们才能放空他们的脑袋来产生新的想法。
这不是我的想法但我认同。这就是为什么我并不是很喜欢六七十年代的风格,但这些元素却在我的作品中自然地反映。我不觉得会比其他任何人做得好,所以我会尝试把任何事情都做得非常系统化,哪怕是填充颜色。因此自然而然的,我的作品就会有种六七十年代的极简主义风格。

HJ: 我们可以来谈谈这种涂涂写写的创作方式,这在你的作品里是很关键的。对我来说,随意的“涂写”本身就是非常具有精神分析性的动作,与身体有直接的关联。从某种层面上来说,这种自然的动作就好像是“意识流”的流淌,就像在文学创作中,“意识流”是一种叙述手段,而这种涂写好像是另一种导出创作能量的方式。

IU: 涂写是一种非常自由的潜意识表达,但是我会把它们有条理地规划。什么是涂写?有时候是螺旋的,有时候是直线,有时候只是手腕的自然运动。我把上诉提到的这些用一个规则重新进行梳理,把这种带有精神分析潜意识的行为用严格的规律来管理它们。所以再一次地,把自然的东西变成一种规律。好似工作本身,在以一种非常残忍的方式进行着。这些涂写式的小动作本来是为了工作中小小的解脱,好像水泥地里长出的小花朵,但是我把它们扼杀在填满一个大方块的过程中。通常我会运用规则控制它们,所以到最后一点自由的感受都没有。因为工作量太大,这个过程几乎是带有施虐/受虐性质的。我变得很残忍。

HJ: 也很有强迫症特征。

IU: 是的,就像工作。比如扫大街和在工厂流水线上工作。

HJ: 那你觉得艺术给你带来了自我治愈的功效吗?或者说这种普通的、重复性的动作会带来疗愈的功效吗?

IU: 我觉得是的,它可以避免想自杀的念头,我的意思是,有时一首歌也可以。我不觉得所有人都需要艺术,但有些人需要,他们需要想得更远一点。有些人喜欢一些很正常的东西,比如一辆好的汽车或者工作,我觉得这很好,但这不是生活的全部。有些人因为某些理由就会想更深入一点。我不知道是不是更多了,它们只是不同。所以我觉得做这个会有帮助,哪怕仅仅是因为它们存在,这就像分享一个状态、经历或想法,之后它们会制造出一种…… 不是宗教,更像是一种人与人之间的关联,会带给人们一种能量去过得更好。所以不单单是我的作品,总的来说,艺术就会给有些人带来一种力量。但只是有些人,不是所有人。

HJ: 我读过你写的文章,提到“突如其来的自由会赋予一种强大的责任感”,那是什么意思?

IU: 嗯,当我说我是一个艺术家,通常就会被贴上一个波西米亚式的、疯狂的标签,你懂的。成为一个艺术家最常见的做法是,抛开过往开始新的生活,但是我并没有这样做,我继续做着几乎和之前相同的工作,这就是在我看来的责任感。一个好的艺术家是真诚的,他们更能让人相信。真诚的诀窍就是说你知道的,说你经历过的,痛苦过的,你的背景以及你的全部,你知道的全部。如果你表达你不知道或者不是做你自己,那很难令人信服。这就是为什么我应当从我所知道的、了解的地方切入:我不知道怎么去绘画,但是我会用Excel绘制表格,所以我就开始用Excel去画画。

HJ: 这很谦逊。而你作为职业艺术家的生活是不是也受到了之前行政工作的影响,它给予了你规律的生活节奏?

IU: 这其实是很自然的。规律给了我一种严格的工作方式和时间表。每周有三天,我和我的助理从早晨八点开始工作。有责任感和保持节奏是非常有帮助的,它对我的艺术生涯很有帮助。因为作为一个“艺术家”,其实是很容易迷失在时间或者任何其他事情里的,有规律结构的生活其实是很有帮助的。

编者注:Guillaume Déuillau,法国策展人。



Interview with Ignacio Uriarte

by He Jing

White Space Gallery, December 2014.

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He Jing: Since 1995 you work for many corporations, in your statement it saids that you studied audiovisual art parallel to your administrative work. This experience give you definitely another perspective compared to the other artists, but what I’m really curious is how this experience act exactly in your work?

Ignacio Uriarte:
In two ways. One way was as a trauma, a traumatizing experience. But then I had to deal with the rest of my artistic career. And the second is, it gave me a lot of raw material to work with. Just as other artist might use paint and brushes, I use that experience as raw material. And I turned that into the subject matter of my work.

And also, I think the office is just like jail. It’s a good metaphor for life. Life is ruled by routines. You have activities that get repeated periodically. Things you do and time periodically means time in a timely organized way, and I turned that into my subject matter in the way I worked. Usually, you see that most of my drawings, for example, is one particular activity, one gesture that gets repeated and organized in a certain way. So you have in the end a system of drawings or sequence of drawings, and often these little gestures they might be the same from one’s routines. For example, the scribble like that is an escape. You’re not being productive. But I take this escape and turn it again into an activity that looks just like a work. I fill out this huge rectangle; that’s like a work. It’s almost like punishment, or a cathartical exercise, an exercise to overcome that experience.

HJ: Does it works like an “original source” which is non-stop to inspire your creative energy, or it has already transformed into a sort of natural but obsessive behavior of thinking and acting?

IU: I guess the second. It’s hard to say. It’s like some other artists might get up in the morning and ask to themselves, “what am I going to do today?” I don’t know what I’m going to do, but at least I know what I’m going to look for: ideas and stuff. And in that way, I can go deeper into the subject matter and if things that go beyond the subject mater. Often my reflection on time or on work apply not necessarily to only this environment I work with, but the environment is just a starting point to make a reflection on something.

HJ: But what is the difference between your scribbling drawing and the drawing of an ordinary office clerk? Do you define yourself as “an artist” or a “non-artist” who just creates during the “little creative moment” as you said?

IU: Yeah. I think it’s the two things. When you say what is the difference between me and the man who scribbles, I think there is no difference. In the ideal case, whoever folds a sheet of paper in the office before putting it in an envelope or scribbles, he might think of my work and find it funny. If suddenly things are put into a frame, from that moment of your daily life, everything can be art. Anything you do. That would be the ideal case.

I think my work has a very strong relationship in terms of art aesthetic and also strategies if you compare my drawings with those of Sol LeWitt, I think there are a lot of connections. But it’s like taking all these references from the last few decades and filtering it through the eyes of someone who is traumatized by the office experience. So that’s fifty percent ordinary things and fifty percent a reference to something that wasn’t there before. But I don’t think that’s a bad idea. That’s a good idea that you have a reference to this work that has existed before. Because in my work, there’s always a set of rules and you follow them. That’s how you get to, that’s why the results resemble so much the works in the ‘60s and ‘70s, because it’s following similar strategies. It just uses more mundane materials and adds the aspect of humor to it or irony. It doesn’t take it completely seriously. Because you can always recognize the gesture.

HJ: Could you explain more about “office art”?

IU:
Well, I think we mentioned already a few aspects of it. It’s almost like a result of a meditation, and just fantasizing and allowing yourself to be nonproductive. Be productive means, you’re supposed to work, but you could just... it’s almost like a small kind of rebellion. But your boss could still think that you are working on an Excel sheet, and yeah you are, but you’re making a drawing. Which is many people do at their workplace - well not in China - but like in Europe they are on Facebook but pretending they are working.

But that’s one aspect of it. In my case it was also maybe another metaphor. Let’s say you have a bird in a cage, and the bird makes like pirouettes and flies form one corner to another which is big pathetic because the bird is in a cage. You’re not going to be freer because of that. But you learn from that experience the limits of your freedom.

So I am doing all these baroque exercises with everything, trying to see from different angles, do this with that and mixing it, which is in a very way a petit bourgeois kind of rebellion. Because you’re not changing things, you’re not creating a revolution. You’re saying inside the cage. In my case, I’m staying voluntarily. You open the door, and I decided to stay the cage and paint the bars of the cage. I think it creates a kind of consciousness about the cage, about the limits.

By showing all the creative possibilities, which is in a way a good thing or a fun thing, it also creates a sort of like, “this is my world.” This tiny bit is my world which I spend my time in. So in a way, it’s a world that gives you a mirror and puts a mirror in front of you and allows you to see what your boring surroundings are. I don’t do it in an aggressive way, like, “break out, destroy your computer.” It’s very sensitive. It’s almost like a caress. It’s very soft and smooth, but it’s a little bit bitter Like sweet bitter. The way I’m describing it is very monotonous, like way of working or way of living. So it’s both. It’s very ambivalent in that sense. But as you said before, is there a difference between someone else who does it or me doing it? There is no difference. That’s the fun part. Maybe this allows people to have this sort of reflection on their own workspace, and even performing the most mundane activities maybe have a reflection on it.

HJ: When you talk about rebelling, it makes me think about Bartley, the writer in Herman Melville’s story, the man stayed in his office at Wall Street and never work at all. When his boss ask him to work, he said, “I’d rather not to do”. I thought about him because both of you create a blank time, a sort of protest to the standard office activity and the overwhelming alienation, even you acted totally opposite.

IU: And this is a kind of rebellion, because you’re questioning one of the main rules, which is the rule of efficiency. You got to be efficient; you got to be productive. But you decide to prefer not to be productive. I’m going to do the same thing, I’m going to sit here and not do a thing.

Or in my case I’m doing a thing in the usual laws of life would make no sense at all. Because if people decide not to work, they would go to the woods, go skiing, become an artist, become bohemian, get drunk, do wild things, express themselves, but not stay inside these confinements. So it is very rebellious, just rebellious in a very small and quiet way. For somebody who is not an expert or not an artist, art can be two things. Either an escape: let’s say you have a boring life but you put colorful, crazy paintings on the wall. That’s like an escape. In my case, it’s not really like an escape. It’s more like putting a mirror in front of you. You could find it boring and unpleasant. It doesn’t provide you this little spice of craziness. Oh, he’s a crazy artist! I’m going to put a square of craziness in this flat, and my work doesn’t do that.

HJ: Comparing with the others who became a full-time artist at the very beginning, you might be more conscious about the concept of “freedom”. What means for you a “free life”? Is it necessarily opposite to “standard” or “routine”?

IU: No, it’s not necessary. It just helps a lot. As you said, I think people who have ordinary jobs appreciate freedom a lot more. Because an artist who had always grown up in art school and always be so used to freedom, he or she doesn’t really appreciate it. Whereas if you’ve gone through that you are very grateful. But I think it doesn’t matter. You’ll find many people like Kafka, who have extremely profound consciousnesses and create the best ideas. Kafka’s work could have been destroyed. It’s a coincidence we found it. I’m sure there are many Kafka’s in those office buildings here who write or create, and I’m sure that work is extremely valuable. It’s just that they don’t call it art, or they might burn it or not share it. Because also to be an artist you need a big ego, and some people don’t have an ego. They don’t want to share it. They don’t care.

HJ:
This consciousness, you think it depends on people, not the environment.

IU: Yes. I think it depend on the person, if they have a consciousness or not. I can spend more more time on what I do, but I’m sure I’m not more talented than many of these people. And one of the funny experiences is you always try to pretend you’re normal. I mean none of us is normal. They’re not normal either. We are all special in certain ways. But there, you always pretend you are normal and try not to appear too crazy or something. Honestly, and they all have a second life. Not everybody, but some of them have very really different lives than what they do in there. It’s just that, for some reason, nobody cares. Artists are very privileged. Everybody cares about what you think and what you do, and they ask you and congratulate you before seeing the show, whereas in a regular job nobody cares and usually only if you do something wrong people will notice. It’s terrible.

HJ: Time is a key word in your work, like when we’re talking about “routine”, which is just a featured paradigm of time. As in your work of taping words “forward”, “backward” (vorwärts rückwärts, 2005), the time had been shaped into a concrete form as the appearance of letters, the sound of taping... In another way, it means that you are creating the form of time.

IU: Yes, and also of routine. Because it goes backward and forward, back and forward. It’s almost like a clock work. You’re watching a mechanical movement, which happens a lot with my videos. And it’s also the idea of the Sisyphean work. You do something, and you undo something. You go up, and you go down. You go forward, and you go backwards. It also may remind you in a funny way of nature, because if you watch the sea, it goes in and out, lie meditating. It’s not necessarily negative, this routine. Our world is structured like that in periodical movement and activity.

HJ: Sometimes that structure is necessary.

IU: Yeah, yeah, sure! But in this particular work, and in many of the videos, you will see this idea of some sort of relationship with time, and some sort of relationship with the idea of Sisyphean work of doing and undoing. There are a few other videos which relate to time. One is called Acumlative Clock, and that’s a video of where I try to collect time for one minute. So I record 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0 every second and collect six hundred figures written on top of one another, like attempting to graph something so ephemeral like time. And there are few other words that deal with time in one way or another. I don’t know if you know 60 Seconds? It’s a circle of 60 watches. It’s almost like an animation, because you have this movement, a beep tone every hour. And each one goes one second ahead. So it’s really trying to show one minute in a structural way and the flux of time in this structural time. Like taking the actual moment and stretching it to the future and back for thirty seconds. Because time is infinitely small. I mean a moment, 12 o’clock lasts nothing, not even a mini second. And we cannot think in precise moments, we can only think in time lapses. One second, one minute, one half hour. And this work tries to represent that time lapse.

HJ: But we can see or feel the time through your works. So you really think the time could be visual or tangible.

IU: Sure, actually I think we always do. Let’s say you are waiting for the day to end, the work day. And you’re watching the clock and something moving. There’s so many movements where you do watch time. Even when you mediate and feel your belly go up and down, time it’s almost like a rhythm that you’re watching and feeling and getting. When you watch a wave its the sort of the same thing. It’s a kind of a mediation, but it’s timely. So I think there are many ways to observe time or different features of time. I think we, unconsciously or consciously, do many exercises to be aware of the passage of time.

HJ: Do you think the routine as you talk means necessarily repetition, or vice-versa?

IU: Usually, I think routine is an activity repeated periodically. Let’s say you wake up and brush your teeth every morning. That’s a routine. So it’s activity and it’s periodicity, keeping the same time every morning, or every Sunday.

HJ: And as you said, some of your work lends a critical view to our contemporary society, the daily routine, the mechanical activities, the formulaic behaviors, as the Frankfurt School claimed it,. Or more complex, as you mentioned that it exist a “mutual fetichization which led for instance to the use of neon light and the archive as artistic media and to the preferred use of minimalist art as decoration in offices”.

IU: Yeah, that’s the idea of Guillaume Désanges.

HJ: Yes, I read that!

IU: That’s true, I wasn’t aware until I read it. It seems so logical to me. Because he says on the one hand, artists in the ‘60s and 70s started to use all these office tools: the typewriter, the archive, the ring binder, the telephone, the neon light... to create this immaterial work or works based on information, even instructions is a thing that is closer to the office than to the traditional arts. And he says that at the same time in the office, when products were supplemented by services, like it was more important to offer full service instead of an object, the dematerialization of the object happened in the art world. Both industry and the art world had this dematerialization movement. And for that reason, he says that the office became clearer, the certain palette of colors, the white and beige and grey, these numb colors almost, very simple decoration, minimalist works on the wall, all abstraction, no landscape, so people could have empty heads to generate new ideas.

It is important that people create this new idea for service and stuff. Super interesting. This is not my idea but his, but I agree. And that’s why it also feels I’m not into do that looks like the ‘60s or ‘70s; it just happens very naturally. Because I don’t want to be... I don’t think my gesture is going to be better than your gesture. So I’m trying to take this gesture and do it very systematically. I do a monochrome, do everything that is systemically in a certain order. So I automatically have the aesthetic that looks like ‘60s, ’70 art, where there’ s not much where I’m trying to have an authorship sort of thing... There of course maybe thousands of gestures of mine, but I don’t give them any importance as the grand gesture.

HJ: Let’s talk more about scribbling, the very essential action in your creation. For me, scribbling is very psychoanalytical and connected tightly with the body. In a sort of sense, this automatic gesture seems very alike to the stream of consciousness. As in the literary, the stream of consciousness is a narrative device, here scribbling seems like another kind of “device” who drive the energy of creation.

IU: Scribbling is a very free thing as you said, subconscious, etc. And I organize it. So basically, I draw a line, for example. What is scribbling? Sometimes it’s spirally, sometimes it’s straight lines, sometimes it’s just your hand, the natural wrist movement. I take each one of them, and I set up a rule and then I follow it. So I take this psychoanalytic, originally subconscious gesture, and organize it in a very strict way. So again I turn it again into a routine. Like work, in a very kind of cruel way. You know this little moment of freedom, like a little flower that lives in the concrete and you strangle it and you turn it into a rectangle that is completely filled out. Usually I use a system. It’s no longer free at all in the end. I’m almost a sadist in that way. And it’s a bit masochistic, because it’s a lot of work. I’m being cruel.

HJ: And very obsessive.

IU: Yes, like work. It’s like sweeping a street or working an assembly line.

HJ: Normally people works in this way.

IU: No, less and less, because we have machines now. The materials I use in ten years will look so old. Even paper will look old. And even what you just said is a very important point. Work in the future will not be very repetitive, because more and more the computers and robots will do the repetitive. The funny thing that right now, we are in a very particular moment. We can call it the analigital moment, somewhere in between analogue and digital. We are still stuck in the moment and haven’t taken the final step towards digital yet. So my work is very retro, but our life is still a little bit retro, because the physical aspect of it is still there.

HJ: And do you believe that art presents a self-healing role for you? The creative action or even normal repetitive action could be “curative?

IU: Yes, it can avoid that someone commit suicide even. I mean, a song could make that happen. I think not everybody needs it, but some of us need something that they feels go a little bit beyond. Some of us like the regular things, like a nice car or a job, it’s fine but it’s not necessarily everything. Some of us for some reason need a little bit more. I don’t know if it’s more, it’s just different. It seems to go slightly beyond the surface of things and have a little reflection of them. So I think doing it helps and even seeing the fact that it exists. You can Google it: even that has a healing effect on some people, it’s almost like sharing a moment or experience or thought. And that creates a sort of... not a religion. but a bond between people that gives them a little bit of strength to live better. So it’s not particularly my work, but in general art has the power to do that. To some people, not all.

HJ: When I heard the sound of vorwärts rückwärts, it almost like a sort of effect of neurosis. Because it drive obsessively the energies.

IU: Yes, that is actually the rhythm. It is a second, so it’s almost like a watch. And you have heard this rhythm a lot in your life, so it might connect to a lot of previous experiences when you’ve experienced the sound of a clock.

HJ: One more question which is as far as related to freedom. I read in your statement that you were talking about ““the new gained freedom implied a great deal of responsibility”, what does that mean?

IU: Well, I’m an artist, I’m a bohemian, I’m a crazy. You know. The classical thing to do is to leave it behind, and in my case it was left it behind and I continued to do something that almost looks the same. And that is the responsibility. I thought, in my opinion, the better artists are honest artists. They are more believable. The shortcut to honesty to is to talk about things that you know. Talk about things you’ve experienced or suffered or know very well, your background, everything. Everything you know. If you talk about something you don’t know or someone you aren’t, maybe I won’t believe it. And that’s why I thought I should look into what I know. I don’t now how to draw, but I do know Excel. So I started making drawings in Excel.

HJ: Very modest.

IU:
And then from Excel, I realized I can do something else. And then something starts growing from there. And between artists, not many have had that kind of experience in a working environment. Maybe it’s my responsibility to deal with that. And it’s not only the skills, the few skills I had, there were not that many. If you spend quite a few years, then maybe you will have something in you that you can share with others. Whereas the artist that has only seen art school relates to the office in a very different way as an outsider. Like I said before, with painting the bars like someone was in jail and made photorealistic drawings of the bars of the cell. I think that would be a very nice work actually.Very honest. Nobody knows the feeling as well as the person who is in jail. He has had so much time to think about it. And it’s a great metaphor for life as well. It’s really very intense existential experience, I believe, in jail, way more than the office.

HJ: So it’s long time that you stop administrative work and become full time artist. I suppose hat in this full time artistic situation, you establish a very structural routine for work, similar as before?

IU: It happens naturally. It helps me a lot to work with a certain, not very strict, but a certain schedule. Three times a week I work with someone who helps me, and we start at eight. And that’s great. Having that obligation and rhythm is very useful. In general, I think it helps a little bit because as an artist, it’s very easy to get lost in time, to get lost in everything, and it’s good to have structure in your life. I must say that I have a bit of a chaotic mind, so that’s why structure helps me a lot.