Marie Kølbæk Iversen
[tekst polski w przygotowaniu]
The World is Beautiful
“The world is very, very beautiful if you look at it.”
In this short and uplifting video, the influential British painter David Hockney talks about looking and painting for more than 60 years – and shares a story that made him reflect on our time.“The world is very, very beautiful if you look at it. But most people don’t look very much. They scan the ground in front of them so they can walk, but they don’t really look at things incredibly well, with intensity. I do, and I’ve always known that.” In March 2020, Hockney sent out his iPad drawing ‘Do Remember They Can’t Cancel the Spring’ (2020) in response to the coronavirus outbreak. In this video, he shares the story of how a philosopher on a news program was asked how he could be optimistic with the current news: “And he said: Well, that’s television. Bad news sells.” The reporter then inquired what the good news was, to which the philosopher responded: “Well, the arrival of spring,” Hockney continues laughing.
In the video, you also get to experience the world premiere of an animation technique, which Hockney himself calls “time-based brush painting.”
We are in Constant Panic Mode
The iconic multimedia artist Laurie Anderson speaks her mind about our changeable world today, and why we should stop panicking and being so territorial: “You cannot close your doors anymore, everyone’s banging on them and you’d better figure out what to do – and see the positive thing in that.”
One billion people are homeless, constantly moving around, Anderson says: “And these enormous shifts are very, very unsettling to people.” It’s equally overwhelming for those arriving and those already there, and we need to look at it, she finds, because it’s the way things are going. To Anderson, this blending of people is very exciting, and she compares it to the “real brew” of a New York port, but on a global scale. However, she believes that we are all in a “media panic mode,” constantly expecting something bad to happen, and advises that we “try to see these great surges and great changes in a mode that’s not panic.” What’s happening is inevitable, and we must try to see the good in it because fighting it and being angry won’t help: “Go with the flow, find a really good way to ride that.”
Marie Kølbæk Iversen
We Extend Each Other
Marie Kølbæk Iversen – whose work frequently revolves around natural phenomena – explains how seeking out new, unknown spheres gives her a haven: “I point out things that I find fantastic or thought-provoking and that are a mystery. Then I research them and reveal or expose them as much as I can.”
In her project Io/I (2015-2019), she broke with her usual choice of “tangible” materials (such as crystallized gravel aggregates) and instead focused on a moon in circuit around Jupiter: Io. The moon, she explains, is present through NASA’s picture archive, through satellites, which extend humanity into space: “Since I’m part of humankind, it’s an extension of me. In that sense, Io is available to me by proxy.” Her interest in Io, Kølbæk Iversen continues, isn’t just astrophysical or biological, but also narrative. The moon is a symbol of the people we are today: It is named after a Roman-Greek mythological figure and was discovered by physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), who was Italian – and in Italian ‘Io’ means ‘I’: “There is a collapse of several identities. Very disparate ones. A distant moon and a young woman and Galileo, who was a Renaissance astronomer.” In much the same way, Kølbæk Iversen feels that collaborating with people in other artistic fields, extends her as well as the other: “We become something different and stronger together.”
Olga Tokarczuk – On Poland
Olga Tokarczuk talks about Poland’s complicated history and why it’s a great – even unique – place for a writer: “Nothing is obvious in Poland, you have to narrate everything afresh.”
“You need to retell Polish history by means of a new language. The Polish language is one of the best when it comes to expressing difficult things. That’s why we have such brilliant poets.” Tokarczuk praises the Polish language for being “great working material,” generating no less than two Nobel Laureate poets in the last generation – Czeslaw Milosz and Wislawa Szymborska. On the other hand, Poland, which is located between the West and the East, “is a place where you rarely feel safe in an existential sense.” This, however, is also what makes Polish and other Central European literature unique: “It questions reality more. It’s more distrustful of stable, permanent things.” Tokarczuk feels that posing these questions enriches rather than limits their literature.
“I suddenly realised that being Polish meant belonging to a cultural community that posed a real challenge. It’s not easy to be Polish. You can easily lose your Polishness by disappearing into the big world.” On the subject of Polish patriotism nowadays, Tokarczuk believes that it comprises many different identities, which interact “and grow into a sort of cultural affiliation with Western Europe.” In the past twenty years, rather than being nationalist or xenophobic, patriotism has more to do with working, creating and connecting with the surrounding world
Sjón on Henry Moore
“When you look at me, I become a reclining figure.” The renowned Icelandic writer and poet here interacts with a sculpture by the pioneering British sculptor Henry Moore.
“Once there was only the possibility of me. The metals that would become me. Metals that could have become something else. Or just stayed the way they were,” Sjón writes.
In the video, Sjón reads a text about Henry Moore. The text is called ‘Thoughts of a Reclining Figure’ and the focus of the text is ‘Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 5, 1963-64’ by Henry Moore written for the anthology ‘Looking Writing Reading Looking – Writers on Art from the Louisiana Collection’ .