Adeline de Monseignat answer FADs Questions Catlin Art Prize Shortlist Number TWO

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Paper over cracks

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Hairy Eye Ball

1.If you weren’t an artist, what else would you be?
Unhappy.

2. Can you tell us more about your work and what are the main ideas you would like to express?
I am interested in making the familiar strange with Freud’s fascinating analysis of the ‘uncanny’ as constant food for thought. I like to suggest new ways of experiencing our known surroundings by means of unexpected combinations of familiar materials and notions into new realities. Whatever is considered ‘bizarre’ is often the result of something unfamiliar that one would expect to be familiar. It is when expectations aren’t met, when the comfortable daily routine is disrupted, that the familiar is subverted and the bizarre emerges.

Through experiencing the unfamiliar I aim to offer a platform to experience a sensorial displacement. I’m not interested in making objects but rather in letting creature-sculptures emerge. It is therefore essential for me to use organic materials suggestive of life, motion and decay.

Here’s a fun quote by Tony Cragg taken from a 2007 interview:

Evolutionarily you know what a pig looks like, you also know what an elephant looks like. There’s nothing astounding because they are part of our realities. But if you’re sitting in the park and suddenly a pig-ephant ran by, you’d be horrified because the pig-ephant would be a new reality for us, and in a sense the sculptor is looking for the pig-ephant.

3. How do you start the process of making work?
I rarely feel like I ‘start’ a process. It feels more like an everlasting on-going process. I consider every piece like a physical proof of each key step towards my research as a whole. Each artwork teaches me something new (or reinforces a thought or an observation) and leads me to the next work. Nothing is ever disjointed, everything is linked. Contributions to the research include ‘Googling’, ‘YouTubing’, exploring other artists’ works, observing nature, drawing, sketching, filming, taking photographs, observing, observing, observing, analysing, learning… This list is non-exhaustive and my research will always be this way.

4. Do you consider the viewer, when making your work?
Yes the viewer, but more accurately the human being. Since I am interested in the familiar and the uncanny, it is through understanding the human being’s psyche, fear, expectations and senses that I can reach interesting findings.

For every new piece I make, I take into consideration the way people have reacted and interacted with my work in the past in order to build an increasingly more interesting tension every time.

5. Name 3 artists that have inspired your work?
Louise Bourgeois
Gabriel Orozco
Nicola Constantino

6. Name 3 of your least favourite artists.
There are no particular names I would list and although I don’t usually gain anything from artists who are solely in it for the fame, I usually learn from every single artist whether I share common ideas and aesthetics or not.

7. What defines something as a work of art?
This is the one question that will always trigger heated debates but at the end of the day I believe Art is simply in the eye of the beholder.

8. In times of austerity, do you think art has a moral obligation to respond topically?
There is no such thing as an obligation in art. However, whether they want it or not, great artists are like sponges that absorb the atmosphere of the now and capture the zeitgeist. So whether the work responds, rejects or ignores, there will always be a way to discuss an artwork within its socio-political context.

9. Anytime, any place – which artist’s body would you most like to inhabit?
Louise Bourgeois. Not only did she have a fascinating mind but only the most agile of hands.

10. What is your favourite ‘ism’?
Surrealism, hands down. It allows my brain to breath like nothing else does.

11. What was the most intelligent thing that someone said or wrote about your work?
“It’s alive!” (My mum, 2012)

12. And the dumbest?
“I could do that myself.”

13. Which artists would you most like to rip off, sorry, I mean appropriate as a critique of originality and authorship?
If ‘good artists borrow, great artists steal’ (Picasso) then I have no shame in saying I’d love to steal authorship of Berndnaut Smilde’s cloud Nimbus, and while I’m at it, every cloud that Nature has ever created.

14. Do you care what your art costs? State your reasons!
Of course I do. At the end of the day I need to cover my costs, live and most importantly have the means to carry on to make more work till the day I die. Ideally I wouldn’t have to price anything and would happily live through bartering. That’s why I think the concept behind Art Barter is genius.

15. If Moma and the Tate and the Pompidou wanted to acquire one of your works each, which would you want them to have?
Hairy Eye Balls for all! Oh and why not rooms filled with Paper over Cracks – one each, no jealousy!

16. What’s next for you?
I am pushing the limits of my materials and my ideas further and further and I am lucky enough to say I’m being offered great platforms to do so. I am currently researching and working on new pieces for a variety of different and exciting shows. Here is a small selection of them:

‘You blow me away’ (7 June – 14 July) a group show curated by Silia Tung where I will be sharing the intimate space of Doors Showcase with the two talented artists Andrea Hasler and Patrick Furness, based on the theme of attraction/ repulsion.

‘Yellow Wallpaper’ (21 June- 21 July) a group show curated by Natasha Hoare and Roxie Warder, as a response to the 1898 novella The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman which deals with the themes of the domestic space, motherhood, hysteria and the ‘strangeness’ of the female body.
This will take place at the Cob Gallery in London.

Adeline de Monseignat has been shortlisted for the Catlin Prize 2012, the exhibition runs from 3rd-25th May at the Londonewcastle Project Space. www.artcatlin.com

Read Jonny Briggs Interview number ONE:www.fadwebsite.com/jonny-briggs

Read Max Dovey Interview number THREE:www.fadwebsite.com/max-Dovey

Read Interview number FOUR: Julia Vogl

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine Founder and co-publisher Art of Conversation and founder of the platform @worldoffad

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