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Sasha Meret - Interview (part 3)

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• Maybe one of the obsessions preoccupying art since The Renaissance is "the blind spot", that "blank spot" or the white spot of the eye, or the white spot of the eye, dimension that can never be rendered. • and I am looking at your "optical nerves" , that are actually ... • ...they are beautiful, aren't they! • ...yes, they're beautiful! • ...and which are actually connected to your "Vectorial Dragons" , • that seem to be flying in every direction. • and now I am asking you if what you want to do may be impossible, the fact that the "blind spot" or "blank spot" • that thing that cannot be rendered • in this series of "Optical Nerves" is shifting from your perspective • into a different location • because evidently you have that effect of "optical illusion" • when you're actually looking into the eye • that should be looking at you • but everything seems to have the feel of an abstraction • and somehow ...somewhat interrupted. • Do you want to confront the viewer with the question •"Who am I?" and "Where am I in this very moment?" •This is always my goal - to place my viewer in the position • from where he could question himself, not necessary this particular question • but many others. • Well, first of all regarding this "non-verbal figuration" that I am currently using •one cannot find an immediate association between my images and any verbal reference I mean, one cannot definitely say it is a plant or animal motif. You are saying "Dragons" - that is what you are seeing. I see totems • a form of personal divination • a search of "the divine" in art which comes as a natural preoccupation for an artist • and this is not even a deliberate attempt • it is simply a pleasure to do this. • And what follows, the philosophical speculations • are just a consequence of what I am doing. • Do you also place yourself • in the posture of the potential viewer? • I am always there! • and I often manage to surprise myself! • This is one of the pleasures of this profession, • "when one manages to surprise oneself" - that is a pleasure! • You are reinterpreting yourself, not through painting or continuing a series, • but rather through a meditative stance • where you succeed to detach yourself from what you have created, • and look at them with a "new Optical Nerve". Do you have this kind of moments? • Yes, you actually said it very well! In my case, generally speaking the creative process is one of a meditative kind. • Those are the best moments, when I succeed to detach myself from the surrounding world, • and practically make space and time vanish and exist only through these evolving shapes, • That at a certain point I can feel are ready, • and there is no set of references that would tell you that, you just know it. it is purely intuitive, that moment of total knowledge, when you feel you have the certitude the work is ready, • It is an extraordinary feeling! • For me this is the nearest thing to a religious experience. • You have also photographs, this series... • Yes, these are quite recent. Let me show you the ones inside, • these ones are in vinyl presentation sleeves, • and you can't see the quality of the textures. • I have started all this about three years ago in the South of France. • The South of France again - the Land of the Chathars. • and I have developed a whole series with "portals". • This is turning into a kind of "Unifying Theory" of what I am doing now. • These are portals - the works over there ...”The Eye - The Portal towards the Mind"' • “The Mind - The Portal towards the Imagination" • ..and The Gates - "The Portals towards Portals", • "The Portal towards Life", maybe… • As you can see I am going into such details... It is more about composition and texture, • viewed as through an insect's eye. Let's put them here... • I am not limiting myself only to photography, but I am also using mixed techniques. • Take a look at this one, it is a serigraph applied over a photograph • and I rework it with a kind of "dry point", • engraving discreetly, with a fine knife my meditative imagery, • inserting them inconspicuously into the areas of shadow. • This must be the "Nymph's Trail"... • ..."The Goddesses of Night" • ...or "The Goddess of Shadow". I wander, is there a Goddess of Shadow? • It would be interesting to look it up...I do not remember of any... • The Shadow... • These ones are from China. • Do you see what a watercolor like effect... so painterly! • Practically it is already a painting - you just have to see it! • This must be the map of the Chinese Empire, scale one on one. • ,,,yes, The New One... • This one is a beautiful one! .... It is a beautiful series... • I have shown it to the director of the International Center of Photography in New York • and he was impressed, fact that made feel quite good about it, • as you can imagine the quantity of photography that he is reviewing. • This is crazy! • Extraordinary • I am really pleased with this series! • and it is constantly evolving into different things and all are connected. • You can see here that what happens in this one is very similar with what I currently do, • more or less at a conscious level... • Tell me please, when you get into the details of matter, to the point when it becomes • like in Cezanne's case a "geometry of matter", of the perceptible matter • do you associate it with motion, • ... a dance movement... • ...a forbidden dance... or...? • Yes, it could be the dance of the imagination. • Actually everything... • ...the leading concept in everything I do is that everything is energy • and everything is a manifestation of energy, and everything is in a continuous motion, • and anything that seems to be still, is only an illusion. • I could stretch my hand towards you ... • ....yes, can you see how the Middle Ages are meeting an intrusive Modernity • on this door from the South of France. • There are a lot of surprising things you can notice in these works. • Take a look here, it is as if you see a fossil. • I am trying to find one with a surprising texture. • Wait a moment, it is here somewhere... • This is the one! • This is the gate of a Japanese temple • in Kyoto • I shot this detail from very close range, • using "macro". • There is something almost cosmic about this composition. • A huge metallic star with a fur like sky, • And with to tiny asymmetrical planets. • These two asymmetrical nits were the details that attracted me the most in this image. • You are going to publish a book at Spuyten Duyvil • Yes, actually more than one. • I was thinking about prose… • Is it giving you, somehow the feeling of a wider reality, • the fact that you are writing now? • Oh yes, it is an extraordinary feeling! • It began as a playful diversion • but then I got an extraordinary pleasure out of it. • I realized that I can manipulate facts, histories and destinies • in a totally different way, compared to the visual arts. • It is an extraordinary feeling! • In a way the encounter between the verbal and the visual, is it also a kind of serendipity? • Is this the way you are perceiving it? • Well, probably there are more elements that led to this new way of expressing myself • Practically, there was this strange episode told by a neighbor that triggered all this. • I told myself, I have to write this down. • I was so strange. • So I wrote it down and after that there was a flood of ideas and I could not stop writing. • I started to write them down and they were coming in a totally spontaneous manner. • For an example, one morning I wake up with this very strange sentence in my head • The sentence sounded something like this: • "Muriel received the bullet in the general area of her forehead at 12 pm" • I had nothing to do with any dream. • It just happened that I could remember the dream I had before waking up. • It had nothing to do with this sentence. I did not see any movie or anything that could have been connected. • Absolutely no connection to anything. • I sat before my laptop and wrote down that sentence, • and then for seven hours I could not get away from it. • I wrote a short story, searching on the Webb • making a mixture of history and imagination and so on. • The result was a fun story, are saying those who have read it. • What you are saying, regarding "Muriel who got a bullet in the general area of her forehead" • could it be interpreted from this point of view: • that any image, be it verbal or visual, • could be an epitaph that has to be justified in a creative manner, • and I would refer here to your idea of the "migrant imagination" • which is not necessarily related to your exiles. • They were not actual exiles. • Ok, they were not exiles, the exile from the exile... • ...but these shifts you are making between the verbal and the visual • between different stages of your creative life • seem to me justifications for these "epitaphs for the imagination". • Is it a coherent theory or I am pushing it too far? • In my case, I could not say that I have moments • of arrested imagination. • Imagination is flowing. I don't think that it is an interrupted process. • From the things I have read and from the way my mind seems to be working • it is as if a little engine is working non-stop in there. • There are these moments • when things are emerging out of this creative background • and practically what I thing the artist is supposed to master • is a way to accelerate and multiply these connections between consciousness and the unconscious, • to let the unconscious to emerge. • The imagination is there all the time. • I find interesting this idea of an "epitaph for the imagination" as a metaphor • ,, but I don’t think I have experienced it. • You have so many extraordinary things here, a variety that is almost “frightening”! • Do you have the time to do it all? • No, I don't and if I have something to complain about • is the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day… • …at least this is the generally accepted fact. • And you very well know, how relative is the perception of time. • There are days when time seems to have vanished without a trace, • and other days when you have the satisfaction of accomplishing something • As the time we have or rather as time has us, all these things could continue without you, beyond you. • Obviously things are going to continue without me, but I don't have any doubts about my art. • To tell you the truth I am not too concerned with that. • What is done, it is good that is done! • I have a degree of fatalism, • but the positive kind. • I mean, I am not bothered by the fact that our existence is finite... • Yes, I accept that everything will continue without me....

Video Details

Duration: 15 minutes and 6 seconds
Year: 2008
Country: United States
Language: Romanian
Producer: Romanian Cultural Institute in New York
Director: Iuliana Ciugulea
Views: 474
Posted by: sashameret2 on Aug 7, 2008

This is part 3 from an episode, part of the pilot TV series about Romanian-American cultural personalities, initiated and produced by the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York in 2007 and broadcast by the Romanian National Television in March-April 2008. Moderator: Calin-Andrei Mihailescu Director of photography: Florin Tolas Operator: Victor Tolas Editing: ROY Directed by: Iuliana Ciugulea

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