Sound of the surreal

2011-04-16 16:03

Your background is as a classical composer and musician, how does this inform your work?
Rigour, erudition and hard training were the basis of this education.

I hope I can still rise to the challenge.

The bad side is a certain respect for pre-existing formats, with its twin brother the desire to break them.

How would you describe your ­art-making process to a newcomer to your work?
I start with improvising, trying to get in contact with images, texts or music which I like, which are mine, which are bizarre to me.

Then I elaborate from that, and it becomes music, film, text or theatre.

What were you up to during your 10-day stint at NIROX earlier this year?
Painting. In order to make backdrops for projections.

I am interested in fixed backdrops and movies, and moving backdrops for fixed images.

The idea of blending and crossing over artistic genres is becoming more and more prevalent, what is the greatest value of doing it for your work?
Probably the sense of risk and the absence of professionalisation.

I have no pretension to making any career in these domains.

It is a good start to cut oneself off from social pressure and to develop something quite personal.

Art is the last domain where uselessness of mind is required, divorced from the devouring modern profit conception of life. To do a lot of different things is a good way to prevent any efficiency profitability.

Lectures of Professor Glacon is a far cry from the one-dimensional experience of a lecture, what’s the essence of this work?
It is based on the surrealist assumption that the truth lies in the unconscious.

From that point nothing should overtake the emotional potential of what dreams, free association and improvisation tell us.

Since I don’t know anything in many, many domains, I thought this work would be an activity where I could feel free.

Therefore I am writing an irresponsible scientific treatise on anything.

The result, as strange as it seems, is very communicative and interesting. It’s not an art work, but definitively a knowledge project.

What are your enduring memories and lessons learnt from your collaboration with William Kentridge in 2008?
It was a great moment of discovery and sharing.

William gave me a lot of space to improvise, try and put forward strange ideas and texts of sounds. It was also the first time I came to South Africa, so it was a rich period!

The project of collaboration with Kentridge, Telegrams From the Nose, will be on at the National Arts Festival this year, what can art punters expect to see?
A mix between music, performance and visuals by William.

It is closely related to the spirit and themes of Gogol and Shostakovich in his opera The Nose.

So it is inspired by the Stalinist terror, the censorship and absurdity as a reaction to fear.

You have come to collaborate artistically over a number of years in South Africa. What brings you back here?

I developed artistic and friendly connections which give a very special value to South Africa for me.

This time it will be a set of exhibition of my visuals, shows and concerts with a percussion group called Drumming Grupo de Percussão.

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