melissa chloe

Silent girl in the window – The work of artist Mélissa Boucher

These days, as you approach the Galerie Florence Leoni in Paris,  you are greated by a young, fragile and almost austere looking woman who stares you down and refuses to let you in on her secrets. She looked at me from the window thursday evening and drew me into the warmth of the gallery, where a vernissage was well on its way, and where I met her maker, the artist Mélissa Boucher.

Mélissa Boucher, Chloé

From afar Boucher’s piece entitled Chloé looks like a bigger version of a straightforward portrait photo, as you know them from passports, drivers licences etc., but when you really look at it you quickly realize that you are in fact facing a videoinstallation. The  photospell is broken by the girl’s random and natural movements that makes it appear as if she is waiting for something to happen while she stares into what used to be the camera, but is now the audience. You get the impression that she is waiting for her photo to be taken. She seems to pose herself as you would do in a photobooth waiting for the flash to go off, and this is, as I found out by talking to the artist, exactly what she is doing. The work captures the waitingprocess before a supposed photography is taken, and the video thereby seems to project an almost blank and ungarded side of the blueeyed girl. It is an approach that seems to capture a sort of nothingness. A blankness of expectation that occurs the moment before something actually happens. The same blankness that appears on most passportphotos, where you never quite get the timing right and therefore end up looking like an emotionless serialkiller. Not that this girl looks like a serialkiller, but she does look secretive. The artist mentions her looks as a rememberance from the paintings from the past, her outfit and the color of her hair.

The moment of anticipation is captured by Mélissa Boucher in a short video-loop that repeats itself every couple of minutes and which at times slows down to an almost undetectable slowmotion. Two effects, the looping and the slowmotion, that works together to create a moment frozen in time. Standing in front of the film, it does, in fact, feel a lot like standing in front of a photograph. Boucher thereby seems to have transfered the portraitgenre to the medium of the videoinstallation in a way that preserves, what I would call, the inherent quality of a photograph; its silence. She reenacts the way that a photograph captures a moment suspended in time, without a knowable before and after, and thereby taps into the enigmatic quality of a good photograph. In short, she leaves you wanting to know more. Like the physical presence of a photograph, Bouchers piece seems to underline an absence of information and to preserve a stubborn silence in face of the many unanswered questions. Unevitable questions like: Who is this? What is she thinking? What is she doing? What will she do? It seems like Boucher, who has previously worked with photography, is trying to transfer the inherent silence and the intriguing unknowabelness from the still media of the photography to the normaly more informative and noisy media of the video. She extends the momentariness of a photograph to the videoinstallation where the intriguing, but unknowable, subject is stuck in the videoloop. A loop that, along with the choice of an interesting subject, makes you want to know more, as many good photographs often do…

The smokers view

Another facet to the work is it’s placement in the gallery that seems to dictate the way the audience approaches it. I discovered this when I first stepped up to see the work, which I assumed was a still picture, and ended up obscuring it completely with the outline of my head. I thereby quickly discovered that I was standing in front of a projector and realized that I was in fact facing a projection and not a photograph. The obviousness of the projector might seem a bit obtrusive, especially as it makes one fifth of the gallery off limits if you don’t want to hide the work with your head or other bodyparts, but it is not an accidental placement. The obviousness of the projector is, as Boucher explained, a way to point out the connection between the photographylike video and the projector. That is, to underline the fact that it is a projection and not a photograph, which therby underlines the whole idea of the portrait gone video.
The projectorplacement forces you to see the video from any other angle than the one you would normally use; standing right in front of it. Instead you have to see it either from the sides, from behind the freestanding projector or as a last option; from the outside. The latter being an option as the work is projected on a sort of glassplate, which enables the freezing smokers to see the work as well. Which is also what creates the before mentioned effect of being welcomed to the gallery by the enigmatic girl in the video. An enigmatic quality of the silent projection that Boucher herself describes as « les paradoxes du visible ». A phrasing that I like, as it revokes the general idea I got of the video, where curiosity and the frustation of not knowing something collides with the visual and very direct presentation of the very thing that seems to be hidden and unknowable.

Mélissa Boucher’s play with the visible and the unknowable is also very prominent in another of her intriguing videoinstallations, that will be premiered at the KSAT CAMP # 1 on the 15th of December!

french touch2

A night out with 1024 architecture (or maybe two)

Before start reading, you should get into 1024′s typical workday playlist and listen to those beats:

Siriusmo – Goldene Kugel  +  Laurie Anderson – Oh Superman

[Press here if you are annoyed and you want to read directly the end of the tale]

I met Cinzia more than a year ago, it was spring and the architecture firm I was working for was celebrating the launch of a new project on the top of the Cité de l’Architecture. In this “so cliché” landscape, with the Tour Eiffel standing right behind us, and a wonderful sunset shading the atmosphere, I was sipping Gallia beer and being introduced to her. She told me about her job and the gist of her speech (elaborated by my brain and chewed out here) was “well, we’re doing great parties!”. Which was kind of cool anyway, but I soon figured out that this was not the only thing 1024 architecture achieved nowadays..

Change of location. A bunch of months later, I was speaking with a friend of mine who apparently attended the “coolest show ever”. Interested by the topic, I asked for more and I found out that he was talking about the event taking place at La Grande Halle de La Villette organized by We Love Art + The Creators Project (presenting Miss Kittin, LFO, Jackson among others).

And guess who were the magicians behind that itinerant BoomBox that made the crowd go crazy and dance like they mean it? Oh, really? 1024 architecture you say… Uhm, reminds me about something.

A Short definition of BoomBox courtesy of Wikipedia: “Boombox is a colloquial expression for a portable cassette or CD player with two or more loudspeakers. Other terms known are ghetto blaster, jambox, Brixton briefcase or radio-cassette. (…)”

Boombox created by 1024, Grand Hall de La Villette, Paris, 2011

Hell yes, I wish I was there. 1024 built a big reproduction of an enormous K7 Boombox structure sized 16x8m, where they eventually projected their super visuals through one Playstation 3 controller device especially modified for this particular use.

This was the first time I heard about Video Mapping.

Apparently I was the only one not up-to-date about this super contemporary technology, now widely developed, but à l’epoque of 1024’s first steps it was still a pretty experimental practice.

1024 architecture even developed a program designed to simplify the hard work required for “mapping” objects and projecting stuff on them, they invented MadMapper (launched in 2011 and developed in collaboration with Garage CUBE – a swiss crew who previously released the well known program for mapping Modul8)

Video Mapping; a definition for dummies (like me):  “The basic idea is: take a projector, point it at a physical volume like an object or an architectural element, and then map an image onto it.” (courtesy of www.madmapper.com)

1024 architectural path was an evolution of experimental ideas in-between the milieu of architecture, installation, vj-ing, live performance and ephemeral structures.

1024 was founded in 2007/2008 by Pier Schneider and François Wunschel, members of a previous existing collective named EXYZT (b. 2003, which included five architects founders and now spread to a number of about 30 individuals) that, in between other great projects, was invited by Patrick Bouchain in 2010 to invest for more than three months the Franch Pavillon at the Xth Venice Biennal, with the installation of Metavilla.

Metavilla, Franch Pavillon, Xth Venice Biennale, 2010

So, my statement about these guys shortly switched from “what the #?*$& is this video mapping?” to “Yum, this might be pretty interesting”.

Returning back to my relationship with lovely Cinzia, I finally received the invitation to attend the first 1024 architecture show of my life. Exciting.

It was to the occasion of the big Parisian annual rendez-vous of Fete de la Musique that 1024 was invited to realize a light installation on the notes of Four Tet, Caribou, Jamie XX. Particular remark: the location was the big hall of Grand Palais invaded by the colored joyful piece made by Daniel Buren “Excentrique(s)” (part of 5th edition of Monumenta). 2nd Particular Remark: everybody was supposed to wear white to obey to the classy rules of “Bal Blanc”.

Bal Blanc 2012: 1024 light installation + Daniel Buren « Excentrique(s) »

The show was mind-blowing, the location contributed the most, the music was cool and the light installation did its best to solve technical problems related to the complicated association with Buren’s intervention.

When I returned back home early in the morning I could definitely say “Well, these guys know how to party”.

The thing that 1024 does is not just to create happenings that amaze people with their cool lighting effects and great background rhythms, their aim reaches deeper in the research of a spectacularisation of architecture and forms.

The public is the actor of the creative process, the characteristic big scale of their installations diffuses a common sense of participation to a unique event. The architecture animates a debate which interacts with the human senses, opening up to a metamorphoses and digressions caused by technologic interferences. Their live shows are vibrantly powerful and diffuse a stunning and ephemeral visual shock.

Later on, back in July 2012, they were performing the experimental piece Euphorie. The piece was born from the collaboration between François Wunschel and Fernando Favier; a musican.

Euphorie, 2010 (François Wunschel and Fernando Favier)

Euphorie is the first part (initially presented in 2010) of a trilogy of experimental enactments realized through basically low-tech tools and which considers not only the visual experience of mapping but also the interaction between sound and images, movement and live performance. Euphorie is a 40min. long digital-theatrical experience and again a platform for developing new forms of exchanges between the static and dynamic, public and performer, music and its visual translation.

It was wow to say the least.

But 1024 does not only mean ephemeral performances, they’re also engaged in different kind of projects. Guess what, in October 2012 they even realized a scenography for the exhibition French Touch hosted by Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The aim was to expose various French graphic designers and illustrators that, in parallel with the slow spread of frenchie music around the world, contributes to diffuse the signature of this French wave.

Also this time our heroes couldn’t miss a respectful after-party, where we were kindly invited to move our fancy feet on Silencio dancefloor.

Views of the exhibition French Touch, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 2012

And we’re arriving at the end of the tale.

On November 27th  2012, the second part of Euphoria was performed for the first time at MAC in Créteil as a part of the NEMO Festival program. The piece was named Crise (the third part, still a work-in-progress will be named Recession, but we’ll unfortunately have to wait over 2 years to see the light) and was speculating about businessmen’s bottled-up utopias, ancestral failing fears and anxiety for future risks and breakdowns.

Crise, 2012 (François Wunschel and Fernando Favier)

François and Fernando, the two “actors on stage”, employed mixers, DMX-MIDI devices and unusual bizarre retro-futuristic objects to animate this piece involving lights, sound and projections.

The show was impressive and the awareness of the public was remarkable. Personally (and based upon my own presumptions) I didn’t expect such a crowd attending a show taking place unhappily out of “Parisian’s boundaries”. But in spite of this, the show was a success and the backstage was even cooler. Happy people, friendly people, people like Michel Gondry, people-champagne and people giving stupid descriptions like me.

A family portrait: Tijani Loussaief (collaborator), François Wunschel, Fernando’s cousin, Mike Latona (collaborator), Fernando Favier, Cinzia Campolese, Pier Schneider, Alban (trainee)

 

After all, this is a description based on my personal interest in following 1024’s work and their experimentations:

1024 (and their external collaborative projects) keep on generating new forms of overtures to create through a manipulation of traditional temporality and interaction between technologies and human receptivity.  Eliminating the traditional boundaries concerning the limits of the different independent tools they’re using, they establish innovative forms of fascination generated through art installation.

Nevertheless, in my mind they will still be “the party makers”.

Keep on going.

Cinzia and François

Cinzia has just started her collaboration with KSAT, joining the scenography team for KSAT events. We’re happy to welcome her on board!

Thanks to Cinzia for introducing me to this vibrant world, and for the fun.

Thanks to 1024 architecture for the permission to use those images and diffusing those words. Cheers!

Go to 1024 website

1024 Blog

What about Da Brasilians?

Je viens d’apercevoir des gambettes et des petits shorty sur youtube. Ah bah tiens ! Ca serait pas les Da Brasilians?!

Ils viennent de sortir la vidéo de About you faite par Arnaud Boutin.

Chez KSAT on est très friand des trucs faits maison DIY (c’est un peu notre motto aussi). Voici ce qui a ravi mon œil attentif et qui motive à pousser le clic sur le triangle ▶ :

- Les délicates petites cuisses précitées.

- Le fil de téléphone qui relie la guitare à l’ampli d’un style novateur.

- Le ralenti marche arrière réalisé sans effets spéciaux (impressionnant!)

- Les smarties pastels (mais où se les procurer?! – mystère)

- Le solo de danse à 1:45

- Le petit chien dans la grosse caisse

Le rendu est top !

Da Brasilians était présent dans le KSAT#4

 

[youtube="http://youtu.be/WLLYOa7ExUc"]

 

Some cute legs and little shorties just caught my eyes on youtube. Ah well, isn’t it the Da Brasilians?!

They just released their new video About you directed by Arnaud Boutin.

Over here, at KSAT, we love homemade DIY things (it’s a bit our spirit too). Here is what amazed my eyes and what should motivate you to hit the triangle ▶:

- The delicate little thighs mentionned above.

- The phone cord that connects the guitar to the amp with an innovative style.

- Backwards slowmotion achieved without special effects (how impressive!)

- The pastel coloured smarties (but where to get them?! – Mystery)

- The dance solo at 1:49

- The little doggy in the bass drum

Beautiful rendering!

Da Brasilians took part of KSAT#4

Back to teenage life for the MmMmM EP release party

English translation after the french version

Cette histoire a besoin d’un préambule. Le voici :

Lors de ma vie d’étudiante rêveuse, il m’est arrivé, quelques fois, de développer une sorte de fascination totalement injustifiée envers un type lambda qui n’était pas particulièrement d’une beauté époustouflante ou doté de quelque autre qualité apparente. Le seul point commun que j’ai pu trouver était peut-être le port de lunettes, l’usage du vélo et ils étaient souvent solitaires ou un peu en marge.

Une fois mon dévolu jeté, je m’amusais à leur imaginer une personnalité qu’il me conviendrait d’apprécier.

En début de semaine dernière, c’était la fête de sortie de l’EP du groupe MmMmM qu’on apprécie particulièrement chez KSAT pour de nombreuses raisons et notamment pour nous avoir mis une ambiance folle lors de la soirée de lancement du KSAT#5 au printemps dernier.

MmMmM c’est le groupe qui fait trémousser ton popotin et te propulse en adolescence. Les concerts sont toujours plein d’énergie et les voir s’éclater sur scène te donne envie de faire pareil. Cette fois là, c’était beaucoup de sueur, beaucoup de cris et quelques pogos enthousiastes.

La troupe habituelle de filles au premier rang dont je faisais partie dansait avec énergie. En deuxième ligne, la bande de skateurs a brandi haut la planche lorsque la voix aiguë de Manu a entamé le non moins énergique et bientôt hymne « Get ya ».

La troisième ligne était bien trop lointaine pour que je puisse l’appréhender mais je me permets de l’imaginer statique, dégageant un sourire nonchalant et tapotant du pied pour approuver le tout.

La scène s’organise comme une tournante, chacun tripote un instrument différent selon la chanson pour en sortir un cri de plaisir. Le public se prend au jeu : « If you wanna be my giiiiiiirrrll. Im looking for youuuu. We could be togetheeerr for ever and eveeeerr.

En bonne disposition, je sors ravie du concert pour m’apercevoir que l’un de mes « fantasmes crée » du passé se trouve au bar avec des amis. Je les salue, j’étais en cours avec deux d’entre eux. Ils me répondent mais je ne suis pas sûre qu’ils me reconnaissent vraiment – malaise. Plus tard, le fantasme en question revient vers moi légèrement gêné et on entame une conversation rarement entamée en soirée mais que j’apprécie. En effet, l’analyse économique du droit ou juste le droit ou juste l’économie peuvent êtres intéressants, mais il est rare de trouver un interlocuteur, passé minuit, dans de telles circonstances. J’apprécie l’audace. Cependant, alors même qu’il aurait pu trouver bon public, la conversation prend un angle chiant. Il dénigre tout ce qu’il fait et ce qui s’en approche. Je décroche, je souris, mais je n’écoute plus. Ses copains arrivent et accentuent la désillusion lorsqu’ils commencent à dénigrer le physique de filles en fac. Ces types dénigrent tout : les filles, l’environnement, leurs études… que reste t il ? Puis la conversation dérive sur moi et ma potentielle ressemblance avec une certaine « Sandra ». « Ah non le charme est différent » « non moi je trouve que Sandra est mieux » « ah non pas d’accord » – choc – «  eh oh ! les mecs ! je suis devant vous là ! » Je fuis la conversation absurde en prétendant un départ imminent.

Plus tard, le « fantasme déchu » revient vers moi pour achever une bonne fois pour toute l’image que je lui avais imaginé «Bon bah… on se recroise bientôt peut être ?… J’espère que je ne t’ai pas dérangé …?! Non, mais je veux dire…. C’est quand même TOI qui est venue me parler en premier !!! »`

MmMmM ont participé au KSAT#4 et ont joué lors de la soirée de lancement de KSAT#5.

Leur premier EP vient de sortir (le 19 novembre dernier) et peut être écouté et commandé ici .

[youtube url="http://youtu.be/VMWvGr7CYj0" ]

This story needs to be prefaced :
During my life as a student/dreamer, it sometimes happened that i developed a totally unjustified fascination towards a guy who wasn’t particularly beautiful or didn’t have other apparent qualities. The only common point that I can find is perhaps the glasses, the use of bicycles and that they were often lonely or outsiders.
Once I set my sights on someone, I had fun imagining them with a personality that I created for them.

Last week marked the release party for the new EP from MmMmM, a band that we appreciate here at KSAT for various reasons, but particularly for setting a crazy good atmosphere at the launch party for the KSAT#5 last spring.

[youtube url="http://youtu.be/tuwOEFOXVr4" ]

MmMmM is the band that makes your butt jiggle and propels you back into your teenage years. Their concerts are always full of energy and to see them having so much fun onstage makes you want to experience it with them.

This time was full of sweat, loads of shouting and enthusiastic pogos.

The usual gang of girls in the front row, myself included, was dancing with a lot of spirit. In the second row, the gang of skaters lifted their boards up high when Manu’s high-pitched wail began a song that is nothing short of energetic, the soon-to-be anthem “Get ya”.

The third row – ever quite far for me to grasp – I would imagine static, producing a nonchalant smile and foot tapping as an approval of the overall performance.

The stage is organized as a gang band: each musician grabs a different instrument according to the song to induce a cry of pleasure. The audience takes part of the game, singing, “ If you wanna be my giiiiiiiiirrrrrrllllll, I’m loookinnn for youuuuu, We could be togetheeeeeeeerrrr, for ever and everrrrrr… “

I leave the concert happy and in a good mood, and suddenly I notice that one of my « created fantasies » from the past is hanging out at the bar with his friends. I walk up to say hi. (I go to the same university as two of them.) They respond to me but I’m not really sure they recognize me – awkward moment. Later, the fantasy comes back to me – slightly uncomfortable – and we start a conversation rarely started when partying but that I enjoy having. Indeed, law and economics (or just law or just economics) are not the best conversation starters and it is rare to find someone who, after midnight and in such circumstances, is up to have it. I appreciate the boldness. However, even if I got the right audience, the conversation took a boring path. He started to denigrate and take down everything that he does or even the entire topic. I lost focus; I smiled but my mind was elsewhere, I wasn’t listening anymore. His friends arrived and only emphasized the disillusion when they started to denigrate the physical aspects of girls at our college. These guys would denigrate anything: girls, the environment, their education, anything… What’s left? Then the conversation drifted and they started to talk about me and a possible resemblance to a certain “Sandra”. “Oh no, the charm is completely different” “No, I think Sandra is better” “I disagree” – shock – “eh oh! Guys! I’m standing just right here!” I escaped from this absurd conversation by claiming need for an imminent departure.
Later, the « fallen fantasy » comes back to me to finish once and for all the image I had created for him. « Well well … maybe we’ll see each other soon? … I hope I didn’t upset you …?! No, but I mean … It’s still YOU who came to talk to me first! »

MmMmM took part of  KSAT#4 and performed during the  KSAT#5  launch party.Thanks to Buster Adams for shooting the teaser for KSAT#5

Their first EP was released November 19th. You can listen and dowload it here .

Thanks to Helena & Emilia for proof reading the english translation

Lionel Sabatté’s use of toenails and dead skin to make art pieces

Dead skin, toenails and dustwolfs ended up being on the menu last saturday when I lured two friends, visiting from Denmark, to the Backslash gallery‘s vernissage with tales of wine and art. The Backslash gallery was this evening celebrating its second birthday with the opening of the exhibition « Family and Friends ». An exhibition that summarizes the lifespan of the small gallery with a potpourri of the works of the different artists that have been showcased there throughout the years and some that have been invited as a guest artist for the event. The classical, but not too stern-looking, white-cubish space of the gallery contains many interesting pieces, but our attentions were especially drawn to the works of the french artist Lionel Sabatté. Works that can be labeled among other things as brilliant conversation starters.

From afar the works of Lionel Sabatté, exhibited at the gallery, looks quite traditional and almost more scientific than artistic; three frames with pinned butterflies on a white background. But as you look closer you quickly realize that the insect bodies have been replaced by what appears to be tiny human skeletons. Tiny bones and skulls made of nailclippings and human skin. A fact that is not pointed out by any plaque at the gallery, but which makes the works a sort of exploration, where you have to establish the artistic materials yourself. A task that we completed, when we found a skeleton thigh with a fingerprint on it. Whereafter our discussion quickly turned pragmatic and was infused with bad humor, as we wondered where the nails and the skin had been procured. The seemingly gloomy pieces do in fact seem to invoke humor, despite the fact that they are created by the stacking of mortality and fragility connotations, such as pinned butterflies and skeletons, and executed with literaly dead materials. The absurdity of the use of nail clippings and peeled of skin as artistic materials creates an interesting contrast to the representation of  bones and death. A contrast that destabilize the works and keep them from becoming too serious and too literal, which would have pushed them dangerously close to being clichés because of the overwhelming use of memento mori connotations. This means, that even though the artist uses instantly recognizable images in a very tradition way, he still makes sure that they suddenly become somehow distorted or more foreign when you look closer and discover the materials. The images that easily could have fallen into bad pathos and a reminiscent chanting about memento mori therefore appears interesting and the mini-sculptures seem too offer a new view on the old « we are all going to die sometime » theme, without being reminiscent or repetitive.

It is especially Sabatte’s choice of unusual materials that render the pieces interesting and induces discussion. A tactic that are also to be found in his latest project where he, as he jokingly explained, have made wolfs of dust. The juxtapositioning of odd materials and traditional motifs continues in this series of work, where the image of the wolf is contrasted by the ephemeric quality of dust. The main movement in Sabatte’s works seem to be an interaction between context and construction. An interaction which gives the initially easily recognisable works an unpredictable and interesting quality. A quality that is to be found in many of his works, where he, in different ways and in different mediums, seems to invoke the relationship between the expected and the unexpected. The friends might have come for the wine, but they ended up stayed for the nailclippings and the stories of dustwolfs.

Some more of Sabatte’s works, that also examine the relationship between motif and material:

One of Sabatte’s dustwolf, whereof a whole pack has been exhibitioned at Jardin des plantes – Grande Galerie de l’Evolution.

Another example of Sabatte’s work. An owl made of nails and footskin.

An example of Sabatte’s work on paper. A work which also incorporates the use of dust as well as the remains of an eraser.

Another work on paper, this time executed with eggshells.

A work made with traditional materials such as acrylic, oilpainting and vernis. The balance between the traditional and the untraditional (before seen with the untraditional materials and the recognizable motifs) is this time upheld by the relationship between the traditional materials and the more abstract motif.

N.B: Martina, Yasmine and me were invited at the Backslash gallery thanks to Frédéric Léglise and Jojo Wang who took part to the KSAT#5.

Lionel Sabatté was invited by the Backslash gallery and is represented by Patricia Dorfmann‘s gallery

Report of my conversation with Steingrim Veum

English translation of the article below after the french one

Orgy #14, 2011, ink on paper, 50 x 70, Steingrim Veum – appeared in KSAT#4 inspired by a song from The New Spring

Depuis bientôt 5 ans Steingrim Veum dessine des orgies sexuelles. Nous avons discuté avec l’artiste norvégien pour mieux comprendre son parcours et redécouvrir ses oeuvres.

Steingrim a commencé par s’adonner à la bande dessinée. À L’âge de 5 ans il a écrit sa première histoire avec comme personnage principal un jeune homme portant son nom et un sweater orange. A 16 ans, son intérêt a dévié de la bande dessinée vers les beaux arts.  » Peut être qu’à un certain moment ça ne m’intéressait plus de créer des histoires. »
Il rejoint ensuite l’école d’art de Bergen en Norvège. Il remarque que la plupart des étudiants étaient plus centrés sur l’art contemporain et l’art conceptuel. « Après l’école j’ai été rejeté par l’académie d’arts. Donc clairement je n’avais pas compris l’art conceptuel! ». A l’époque, Steingrim créait des oeuvres bien différentes de sa série actuelle. Il faisait des installations avec des fils en les mélangeant avec des effets sonores. « Quand j’y repense, ce n’était pas du tout un type d’art qui me représentait. J’essayais de m’intégrer et de comprendre quelque chose que je ne comprenais pas. Au final mon art se révélait être de la merde. Je pense que j’ai du mal à appréhender l’art conceptuel. Peut être que dans un sens je suis un peu conservateur? J’adore les peintures de la Renaissance et je trouve Joseph Beuys ennuyant. »

Pendant 5 ans, Steingrim réessaiera successivement d’intégrer l’Académie d’Arts mais en vain. Il compris qu’il n’entrerait jamais dans l’académie et commença la série de dessins d’orgies. « J’ai abandonné l’académie, le monde de l’art et l’idée entière de faire carrière dans l’art et j’ai commencé à dessiner des orgies. »
A ce moment, Steingrim décide de créer un projet artistique à sa façon, qu’il n’enverrait pas à l’académie d’art et qu’il ne montrerait à personne car ça serait pornographique. Puis, un de ses amis les vus et lui conseilla de les soumettre à l’exposition d’automne de Oslo. C’est à cette occasion que ses dessins ont été exposés pour la première fois.

Au départ il réfléchit à l’idée de mélanger l’art et la pornographie sans pour autant vouloir avoir une démarche politique ou passer un quelconque message. Il ne souhaitait que se concentrer sur l’univers intérieur du fantasme sexuel. Il n’avait pas pour but de faire quelque chose qui serait particulièrement excitant sexuellement. Il a essayé plusieurs médias dont le collage pour se focaliser sur le dessin. A cette époque, en 2008, cela faisait des années qu’il n’avait pas pratiqué le dessin. L’influence des bandes dessinées de son enfance se sont immédiatement fait ressentir. En effet, Steingrim remarque que les BDs se sont incrustées dans son art avec une influence certaine de Calvin & Hobbes et particulièrement les Simpsons.

La première fois que j’ai vu les dessins de Steingrim, je n’ai pu m’empêcher de rigoler. Le contraste entre l’aspect esthétique et la mise en scène avaient un aspect comique indéniable. Le style de dessin me plaisait beaucoup et je lui ai proposé de rejoindre le KSAT#4 et de l’exposer lors de l’événement à Hambourg. »La première fois que les dessins ont été exposés, j’ai remarqué que beaucoup de gens rigolaient en les regardant » me raconte- t- il. « Depuis je les pense plus comme comique que érotique. Je suis plus intéressé par l’aspect esthétique que l’aspect sexuel lorsque je les dessine. Je ne pense pas que ces dessins soient l’expression de ma sexualité ni de ce que je trouve émoustillant. »
Son dessin a eu beaucoup de succès lors de l’exposition et j’ai pu en effet observer ce type de réactions chez le visiteur surpris et confus.

Quand Steingrim parle de ses pièces, il insiste sur le fait que beaucoup de gens accordent le centre de l’attention à la mise en scène orgiaque tandis que le décor intérieur est tout aussi important lors de la réalisation des tableaux. »J’ai commencé à m’intéresser aux pièces et à y intégrer des gens dedans, à faire des compositions avec beaucoup de personnages donc ça a conduit au concept d’orgies. » Il feuillette souvent des livres d’architecture d’intérieur et dans les derniers dessins de la série, il a composé ses propres pièces en en mixant plusieurs ensemble.

Steingrim admet être monomaniaque dans son art. Il travaille dans une librairie et dans son temps libre il travaille à ses orgies. Il espère pouvoir faire évoluer son projet vers quelque chose de plus étrange. « J’ai envie de faire des pièces impossibles avec des perspectives impossibles et peut être que les personnages évolueront aussi. Je ne sais pas encore. Ce qui est une bonne chose. »
Il dit être un artiste lent à cause de son côté perfectionniste. Steingrim passe 6 à 7 semaines à élaborer un dessin.  Lorsqu’il a fait une ébauche du brouillon il le change plusieurs fois pour voir toutes les possibilités et lors de la mise en encre le dessin peut changer. « Je ne suis jamais vraiment satisfait du résultat final. »
Quand je lui demande si il y a quand même une orgie qu’il préfère, il me répond que sa réponse peut changer mais qu’en ce moment c’est l’orgie #21. « Je suis très satisfait des oiseaux dans la partie basse du dessin, particulièrement celui dans la bouteille et l’oeuf dans le verre de vin. »

Orgy #21, 2012, ink on paper, 50 x 70 – Steingrim’s current favorite orgy

Since almost 5 years, Steingrim Veum draws sexual orgies. We talked with the norwegian artist in order to better understand his path and to rediscover his pieces.

Steingrim started with drawing comics. At the age of 5 he wrote his first story with a main character wearing an orange sweater and named Steingrim. At the age of 16, his interest shifted from comics to fine arts. « Perhaps at some point, I was not interested in creating stories anymore. »
Then he joins the art school of Bergen, Norway. He notices that most of the students were more focused on contemporary art and conceptual art. « After art school, I was rejected at the Art Academy. So obviously I did not understand conceptual art! ». Back then, Steingrim created pieces quite different from his current series. He was making installations with wires mixing them with sound effects. « Looking back at it, it was not art that represented me at all. I was trying to fit in, and understand something I did not understand. In the end, my art turned out to be crap.  I think I lack an awareness for conceptual thinking. Perhaps I am in a way a bit conservative? I love paintings from the Renaissance and I find Joseph Beuys boring. »

During 5 years, Steingrim will try successively to enroll in the Art Academy without success. He understood that he will never make it to the academy and started the series of orgies drawings. « I gave up the Art Academy, the art world, the whole idea of doing a career in art, and started with orgy drawings. »
At this moment, Steingrim decides to create an artistic project his own way that he will not send to the Art Academy and that he won’t show to anyone because it would be pornographic. Then, one of his friends saw them and gave him the advice to submit them to the Autumn Exhibition in Oslo. It’s at that occasion that his drawings were exhibited for the first time.

At first he thinks of the idea to mix art and pornography with no will to convey a political message or any message at all. He only wished to focus on the inner world of sexual fantasy. He didn’t have as a goal to do something that will be particularly arousing. He tried different medias (collages) to end up focusing on drawings. At that moment, in 2008, it was years since he practice drawing. The influence of the comics from his childhood appeared immediately. Indeed, Steingrim points out that comics started to sneak inside his art project with an influence from Calvin & Hobbes and particularly the Simpsons.

The first time I saw Steingrim’s drawings, I couldn’t help but laugh. The contrast between the aesthetics and the scenary have a undeniable comical aspect. I liked the drawing style a lot and I asked him if he would like to take part of KSAT#4 and to exhibit him at the event in Hambourg.  » When the first drawings were exhibited, I saw that most people were laughing at the drawings. » he says.  » Since then, I have thought of the drawings as more comic than erotic. I think these drawings are not about me expressing my sexuality or what I find arousing. »
His drawing had a lot of success during the exhibition and I could definitely observe this sort of reaction on the surprised and confused visitor.

When Steingrim talks about his pieces, he insists on the fact that a lot of people focus more on the orgy scenary when the interior design is as important to him when elaborating the drawings.  » I started to be interested in rooms and to put people in rooms, to make compositions with many people. So it ended with an orgy concept. » He often scrolls through interior design books and in the latest drawings of the series, he composed his own rooms mixing many different ones together.

Steingrim admits that he is a monomaniac in his art. He works in a bookstore and in his free time he works on his orgies. He hopes to make his project evolve towards something more strange. « I want to make impossible rooms with impossible perspectives and maybe the characters will evolve aswell. I don’t know yet, which is a good thing. »
He says he is a slow artist because of his being such a perfectionnist. Steingrim spends 6 to 7 weeks to elaborate a drawing. When he does the first draft, he changes it many times to see all the possibilities and when he adds the ink the drawing can still change. « I’m never really satisfied with the end result. » When I ask him if there is still one orgy that he prefers he  answers that it can change but that at the moment it’s the Orgy#21. « I’m really satisfied with the birds in the lower part of the drawing, especially the one in the bottle and the egg in the wineglass. »

KSAT#5 Party – by Mia Frykholm

Performance de Pan et A2 dans la Chapelle du café A lors du lancement de KSAT n°5 à Paris

Performance of Pan and A2 in the Chapel of the café A at the KSAT #5 release Party in Paris

Performance de jaune! et Tristan Ihne lors du lancement de KSATn°5 dans la Chapelle du café A à Paris

Performance of jaune! and Tristan Ihne at the KSAT release party n°5 in the Chapel of the café A in Paris

More Photos coming soon

Plus de photos bientôt