In het laatste kwartaal van 2015 verbleef Camilla Steinum twee manden in Gastatelier Leo XIII. Zij nodigde de eveneens Noorse kunstenaars Aurora Passero en Robin Danielsson uit om met haar te komen werken. Op 30 oktober presenteerden zij gedrieën hun werk in de groepsexpositie ‘The Pit Of Your Stomach’.
Domenico de Chirico deed een korte Q&A met Passero en Danielsson.
1. How would you describe yourself in few adjectives? And how would you describe in few adjectives your partner in this artist residency?
A: Myself: Optimistic, stubborn, enthusiastic.
About Robin: reflected, good looking, good taste, hard working, funny, honest.
R: Myself: curious, determined and playful.
About Aurora: Optimistic, ambitious, inspiring and supportive
2. What is your personal definition of identity? And in which way this concept is linked with your work as an artist?
A: When you see or experience something with a clear self confidence.
R: For me personally, identity has to do with how you want to be perceived, and where you think you belong. It is the result of all your experiences and how you position yourself in relationship to other people and different traditions.
And in which way this concept is linked with your work as an artist?
A: I think it`s important to build up a strong confidence in what your doing. In that way your work becomes both invulnerable and independent, something I think is essential for a strong artistic practice.
R: I work in the tradition of drawing/painting and I try to be transparent with my influences and references. It`s important for me that my work can be read in context with the artistic disciplines I relate to.
3. Can you discuss some of the influences and inspirations behind your work?
A: I have a lot of different inspiration sources, mainly visual material that I collect and arrange in my studio. It`s an eclectic mix, everything from fashion, art and cultural history, craft, ethnological material. I also use my camera a lot, capturing things I find interesting in my surroundings.
Besides that I also look a lot at different artist; at the moment I’m interested in Magdalena Abakanowicz, Sigmar Polke, Thomas Houseago and the Danish artist Martin Erik Andersen.
R: I get most of my influences from looking at other artists; how they have solved different artistic decisions, like textures, format, composition. I also pick up ideas from my everyday life and different interests such as music, literature, traveling and nature.
A+R: As a couple it’s sometimes hard to say who found something first. We influence each other a lot too, looking with four sets of eyes at the world. We can make each other aware of different things and then these images or experiences will influence both of us in different ways. We are very supportive of each other, sharing ideas and reflections all the time.
A: For example: I need to be totally isolated while I’m working, except for Robin. He is the only person I let into my studio and whom can ask for advice and that I completely trust. There is no competition between us, and that’s very important.
4. Could you describe your working process?
A: I can go around for a long period of time, thinking of how something should take form, which colors, placement, titles etc. should be used. Then I collect inspirational material through my own photos, magazines and books, where I like to think about the material as an guide for where I`m going. Then, when I`m getting closer to deadline, I start to physically produce the works in my studio. That is often a very intense process- I think I need the pressure to risk more.
The last period of time I have worked in a model. That makes it easier to sketch the compositions between the works and the given space and makes the mounting easier
R: For me, it’s in the studio where things happens. My process is very much about ”trial and error, and then try again”. Every work is related to the one I did before and I often work in series. Im trying not to be too self-critical and to be open for surprises during the way; often unexpected incidents gives me new ideas.
5. What about the fusion of your work with the environment in which it is placed? How important is this, and how precisely should the work interact with the space itself?
A: The environment is very important for the way I work and how everything ends up. Because I work very site-specific, different spaces bring different possibilities and challenges. Even if I have decided beforehand which works I want to include in a show, I always bring extra material. There are always unexpected decisions taken in the end.
R: The importance of a room can not be overemphasized. It sets the conditions, and the relationship between the work and architecture determent the way you experience the work.
6. Before your residency, what were your ideas on your working process? Have they changed while you were in Tilburg ?
A: I knew I had upcoming shows when I came back so I used a lot of my time to make sketches. The studio was very nice to work in.
I don’t think my ideas changed much -maybe if I had stayed there longer-, now it was only five weeks so I didn’t really have enough time to settle down.
R: Not really. But for me the fact of being in a new environment, a different country, felt very liberating. When you are away from your own environment, you become observant to everything that’s different from home, and that can be very inspiring, especially when the emphasis of your work is on the visual.
7. What are you working on at the moment? And do you have upcoming exhibitions?
A: I just finished two bigger shows that both opened in January, so since I came back from Tilburg I have been working non stop to get all the works ready. Now I want to have a little time off just to catch up with reading and such.
Then I´m participating in a show in Paris that opens 4th of February curated by Thimotee Chaillou and some other group shows in Oslo and at Stavanger Art Museum later this spring. I`m also making a bigger book together with my brother who works as a graphic designer.
In November both of us are going on a residency in Paris for six months and after that we are curating a sculpture parc outside Oslo together with Camilla Steinum.
R: We just moved in together in a new studio in the city center of Oslo. Right now I’m trying to settle down, making a good working routine. Then I have different shows coming up after summer.
8. Has your artistic practice been effected in any way by the turbulent economy of the past years?
A: Not directly, because Norway still has a good economy and therefore good cultural fundings compared to other European countries. Now that the Norwegian oil industry is going down, the same thing is happening with the Norwegian kroner which has fallen a lot. It will definitely have consequences for all of us.
R: I can’t say that it has, but I’m thinking about it a lot. I`m concerned with the European political situation in general, and the fact that we are closing borders to immigrants in need.
9. Which book do you have on your bedside table at the moment?
A: World of Interiors January 2016 Issue and The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
R: Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield
10. Yes or no?