There is no title nor label for this.
The brevity of your name is like an augur of the time we had together
Three letters for three months.
Like a breath of life,
and then I felt my chest sinking
You have the most beautiful of names
And I will carry it with me secretly
Just the thought of it is hurtful
I know I will name my child after you one day
And you will never know
I tattoo your name on my skin
With you time diluted
I felt the trepidation under my feet and the excitement vividly
and I tried hard to hold on to the surfboard
to catch that wave
to find the right combination of grip determination and relaxation
But you belong to the things that find no name no explanation no understanding no rest
You were late
But I didn’t left, I waited
I was curious and bored at the same time
Assured that nothing could surprise me anymore
I was done with love
You were late
You arrived smooth as a cold sea breeze
with a gentle tear of sweat running down the perfect line of your nose, that correct line that filled my childhood dreams
You had been cycling hard to be on time, despite being late
Your presence: smooth, clean, odorless, tidy and neat
Correct and perfect
Without noticing it, you were in my heart and head
Smooth, effortless and unknowing
I heard myself say:
You are beautiful.
You are beautiful.
With your white skin, your lovely accent, your blue eyes and your pointy nose.
You are the vision of my dreams.
You are cool.
You are the person I admire and want to be.
You are perfection, you are control.
But you will never be mine.
You are unknowing.
I don’t know why
You are like sand between my fingers
I am alone
And you are the greatest
I don’t know why
And it hurts like never before.
LILIANA RODRIGUES: Your 2011 film ‘Volution’ is loosely inspired by a scene from Charlie Chaplin’s ‘City of Lights’ (1931), while ‘Genet Piece’ (2010) freely re-enacts a scene from ‘Un Chant d’Amour’ by Jean Genet (1950). Why this interest in the re-enactment of choreographies taken from historical film footage?
ALICIA FRANKOVICH: In a way by coming so close to other works you can actually divert further from them than if you were not to look to them at all. There is a sense of a skeleton that you can build on and divert into a new language. You can kind of insert yourself into an old text and do something to it and come out of it, pushing it somewhere else. I also like the idea of making a kind of (feminist) modern day interpretation from works of the past. How do actions/ gestures from 1930 or 1950 read today? What if the actions are misused or if they are such a brittle vein in the final piece… The earlier works allow for layers of texts/ readings from the original text to the new one. There is also a politics in the way that you see the piece in terms of media, from Chaplin’s blackand white films (which I have seen on TV and on Youtube) through todays technology. Really I think that you are initially interested in a specific concept or a specific history and then it becomes entirely new … it adds context.
LILIANA RODRIGUES: Adam Budak has already referenced how your artistic practice “deploys and simultaneously deconstructs a variety of formal languages”, and how “it is gestural as it is performative”. Your most recent installation, titled ‘A Great Big Joke’ (2011), is no exception. It joins a two-dimensional historical painting, moving image, and sculptural elements with a performative aspect to them. Why do you feel the necessity of working a multiplicity of vocabularies within the same piece?
ASSAF GRUBER: Because comedy happens in threes.
‘A Great Big Joke‘ is consists of three elements: a highly pixelized cellular phone photograph of a painting by the French Caravaggisti Nicolas Tournier. It belongs to the ‘club’ of iconic crucifixion images, but it is not one that we can easily identify. The second is a short looped extract from the film ‘The Swimmer’ (Frank Perry, 1968). The loop shows a man climbing up a mountain, an image associated with the cinematic representation of the myth of Sisyphus, which recurs throughout many films. The last is the different sculptural elements made from photosensitive paper and steel, which I call ‘Isomorphs’ due to their ‘repetitive energy’.
This ensemble of familiar/non-familiar imageries and forms attempts to achieve a peculiar déjà vu experience where the viewer is being held somewhere in between awkwardness and ‘terrible beauty’.
LR: You used the expression “crime scene” in reference to ‘Great Big Joke’. Can you explain?
AG: Maybe because there is something transgressive in it, which leads to a feeling that something bad is about to happen or already did. But then, the overcharged use of imageries neutralizes the drama and the whole remains a great big joke.
Described by critics as “the drama of a woman who after ten years of living together with a genious couldn’t take any more“, this book “testefies that art is a deadly dangerous region, for which you pay with your life” (Karl Korn, Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung).
When sixty-two year old Picasso met twenty-one year old student painter Francoise Guilot, he made it very clear to her that “when love begins, it is already recorded somewhere, as it is its duration and content“. The book gives great inside to Picasso’s personality and how he was in his intimacy, with his boosts in temperament and manipulative character.
Though a bitter report by Gilot of ten years of living together, the book also allows a bit of insight into Picasso’s way of thinking, his art drive and all the people that populated his life. Especially interesting is the remark that in the ten years of their relationship Picasso and Guillot never really shared a social life, as Picasso was obcessed with his art.