Interview: Elke Seppmann

Interview: Elke SeppmannImage courtesy of Elke Seppmann

Interview: Elke Seppmann

Luca Curci talks with artist Elke Seppmann during BODIES+CITIES SKIN exhibition in Venice on May 2016. Born in Münster (Germany) where she currently lives and works, Elke Seppmann studied Painting, Graphic and Visual Media Art at the Free Adademy of Fine Arts in Essen. Her works explore the global landscape, time and space, intimacy and social realities. She takes the viewer on a journey into the mystery to look out for points of navigation, a kind of social mapping field. Changes that occur due to the influence of social phenomena are integral parts of Elke’s imagery. Elke Seppmann has showed her artworks in Germany, Netherland, Sweden, Egypt, Tunisia and Italy.

 Interview: Elke SeppmannImage courtesy of Elke Seppmann

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Luca Curci – Do you agree with our vision of art and what you think about the theme of the festival?

Elke Seppmann – I like the idea of a festival parallel to the Architecture Biennale to conceive exhibitions whose titles and contents are also dedicated visions of architecture and smooth transitions. I see a double interpretation in the term “Borders” – a festival adjacent to the Architecture Biennale with contents and topics, that in turn address the boundaries between man and his environment.

L.C. – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?

E.S. – Topics are focused on the mutual relation between the man and his (urban) habitat, in times of constant, rapid change a current and important issue. The works presented in Bodies+Cities Skin named “Kiosk I und Kiosk II” are in line with the issues and express them with different media in their actual state and visions. In spite of the rapid technological development of cities, Kiosks are for residents islands for supply, safety, communication and human relationship. This traditional meeting places are less and less, they are displaced by large supermarkets with long opening times.

 

Interview: Elke SeppmannImage courtesy of Elke Seppmann

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L.C. – What role does the artist have in society? And the art?

E.S. – Artists have the chance to hold up a mirror to society to perceive situations and developments with a different look and reflect on them. Art can do that in many ways: humorous, subtle or aggressive, definitely free in the expression and the choice of means.

L.C. – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?

E.S. – Since I often work in series the backgrounds are different. In painting, for example, there are perceptions of curiosities (series “Transparency” because we often lack this Tansparency), or current, and socio-political situations and changes – or the humorous treatment of traditions. Very strong influence on my work have repeatedly childhood experiences that have shaped my life and my sensation of values (series of filling stations or camping paintings).

 

Interview: Elke SeppmannImage courtesy of Elke Seppmann

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L.C. – How do you find creative inspiration?

E.S. – Everyday life gives me inspiration – I’m watching and researching and discover … Here I often reach environmentally critical issues, such as in my work “Flying Carpet” (2013) when in Tunisia I ask Berber women and children to weave carpets from stripes of plastic bags that had been collected for me in the landscape – an indication of a global environmental problem.

L.C. – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?

E.S. – A challenge for me is to find the right form of expression in relation to specific issues (environment, social policy, human behavior). I prefer to work with a humorous, winking approach. Another challenge is the development of ideas for themed project work. Occasionally I have to realize that  my plans are difficult to transmit in the reality. In project work, I often walk into new technological territory – sometimes I miscalculate the dimensions…

 Interview: Elke SeppmannImage courtesy of Elke Seppmann

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L.C. – What is your idea about It’s Liquid Group?

E.S. – It is the first time that I work with It’s Liquid Group. I am very impressed by this internationally operating platform that provides comprehensive information on national and international events, initiates exhibition projects and moreover functions as an art mediator between artists and art operators. Due to this collaboration two of my works are shown in the Venice Art House Gallery, that is a pleasure for me.

L.C. – Did you feel comfortable cooperating with us?

E.S. – Yes, in any case. We have had an open and straightforward communication.
All questions were answered promptly and in detail and I felt very well supported. I am very pleased with the presentation of my works submitted in the Venice Art House Gallery and publication for the exhibition. I thank all those involved in the organization.

 Interview: Elke SeppmannInterview: Elke Seppmann

 

Interview: Elke SeppmannInterview: Elke Seppmann

 

more. elke-seppmann.de

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