Interview: Angelika Rinnhofer

Angelika RinnhoferImage courtesy of Angelika Rinnhofer

Interview: Angelika Rinnhofer

Director Luca Curci talks with artist Angelika Rinnhofer during Hidden Rooms exhibition in Venice.

Angelika Rinnhofer works primarily in photography, video, dance and performance but incorporates non-traditional art media such as baking, gaming, and trace making into her practice. In her work she reflects on the feeling of belonging and the effect of memory on her sense of affinity. Her investigations rely on philosophical, historical, and scientific aspects of Western origin to inform her artistic concepts. In 1995 Rinnhofer immigrated to the US from Germany where she trained as a commercial photographer.

Angelika Rinnhofer Image courtesy of Angelika Rinnhofer

In 2005 she committed herself exclusively to her art practice and has since shown her work in solo exhibitions at the New Britain Museum of Art, at Light Work in Syracuse, NY, and the Paul Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles. She is the recipient of grants and a fellowship, and the New York Foundation for the Arts/ARTSPIRE granted fiscal sponsorship to her current projecta priori“. It has been shown during the Jewish Music and Theatre Week in Dresden, Germany in the fall of 2014.
In 2010 Rinnhofer received her Master’s degree in Fine Arts in New Media from Transart Institute in Berlin.

Angelika RinnhoferImage courtesy of Angelika Rinnhofer

Luca Curci – Can you talk about the artwork you presented in Venice? How is it linked with the festival’s theme?

Angelika Rinnhofer For my project “a priori” I record and collect narratives of people, whose curiosity and attempts to make sense of memories, stories, and facts eventually led to the disclosure of their Jewish ancestry. The topic of the exhibition “Hidden Rooms – Identities, Memories, Cities” implies my participants’ experiences of searching, inquiring, discovering, and eventually forming a new identity based on encounters and revelations. The discovery of a secret carries the potential for revision, melioration, and transformation, and with “a priori” I sift through the meaning of my participants’ fragmented narratives and the effect on their sense of self.

Angelika RinnhoferImage courtesy of Angelika Rinnhofer

L. C. – What are you currently working on?

A. R. – There are many levels to “a priori”, which allow me to immerse myself deeply to consider the various aspects of this work. At the moment I am in the midst of transcribing in my own handwriting my participants’ stories onto large sheets of vellum. These sheets will eventually form a wall installation. In addition, I take pictures of the transcribed words and project them onto walls in hidden, dark rooms. The temporary presence of the stories as ephemeral projections allows for a different kind of engagement with the recorded word. It implies the physical absence of the narrator and emphasizes the process of making art as communication.
 
Angelika RinnhoferImage courtesy of Angelika Rinnhofer

L. C. – What is art for you?

A. R. – To me, art is not a noun but a verb. I can only describe it by what it does, not what it is. Art speaks, connects, screams, and accuses. It stirs, awakens, and provokes. It calms, comforts, and enlightens. It excites and soothes. I believe that art is our innate method to connect with each other.

Angelika RinnhoferImage courtesy of Angelika Rinnhofer

L. C. – What do you think about International ArtExpo organization?

A. R. – I have only recently found out about International ArtExpo when I started to follow it on facebook. Since then I have been impressed by the photos that document the performances and video installations in splendid spaces in Venice. These photos make me want to fly to Venice right away and see the exhibits in person.

Angelika RinnhoferImage courtesy of Angelika Rinnhofer

L. C. – Do you think International ArtExpo organization can represent an opportunity for artists?

A. R. – It can, it has for me. I am grateful to have received the opportunity to show my video about the performative aspect of my project “a priori” in one of International ArtExpo’s exhibits.

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