Interview: Esther Bunting

Interview: Esther BuntingImage courtesy of Esther Bunting

Interview: Esther Bunting

Luca Curci talks with the artist Esther Bunting during CONTEMPORARY VENICE – Architectures of Identities exhibition in Venice on April 2016. Esther Bunting is a performance artist, writer and life model. In 2010 she created Spirited Bodies with fellow life models, to provide a platform for women to try life modelling in a safe environment, and gain a new sense of embodiment. This project has developed to include men on occasion, and is very much a healing and model-centred event, ever moving forward. She has been evolving her performance Girl in Suitcase since 2009, most recently exploring the life cycle of woman as well as ancient Goddess culture, and reclaiming menstrual rites. She is a physical artist who is passionate about feminism.

 

Interview: Esther BuntingImage courtesy of Esther Bunting

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Luca Curci – We were attracted by your last artistic production, have the artworks presented been created for CONTEMPORARY VENICE – ARCHITECTURES OF IDENTITIES or are they part of pre-existent works?
Esther Bunting – Girl in Suitcase is a pre-existing work, of several years standing, however I created a special version for you in Venice. This was because it could not last more than 20 minutes, where usually it may be an hour and a half. Also I wanted to make it more accessible for an international audience, so cut down on text, and as well translated it into Italian. This was a pleasure for me as I love to speak in Italian, but could only learn a little bit!

 

Interview: Esther BuntingImage courtesy of Esther Bunting

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L.C. – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
E.B. – The piece is focused on woman’s journey in life, from objectification, towards empowerment. She has to free herself from the shackles of patriarchy, and instead celebrate herself and her cyclical nature.

L.C. – What do you think about the concept of CONTEMPORARY VENICE – ARCHITECTURES OF iDENTITIES? In which way did inspire you?
E.B. – The concept of Contemporary Venice, Architectures of Identities seemed to embrace a variety of ideas from emerging artists and I liked the way they were all brought together. I didn’t have a chance to study all the works so well as was preoccupied with my performance, but did enjoy what I saw, as well as taking part in Glynis Ackermann’s piece. There seemed a lot of freedom in the creativity and I love that, and also a supportive audience and company. The beautiful exhibition space is very inspiring, with a lot of character just in the building. A bit like the whole of Venice, which is a remarkable place to be to transport your imagination. It is a living history with a magical identity.

 

 

Interview: Esther BuntingImage courtesy of Esther Bunting

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L.C. – Are you satisfied of this experience?
E.B. – I was very satisfied with the experience. It gave me a chance to explore the possibilities of my own work, refining it and finding ways to make it transportable. It allowed me to test the work before a totally new audience, with a slightly different cultural background.

L.C. – What do you think about the whole organization of the event, the selection of the artists, the communication management and opening ceremony?
E.B. – I thought the event was very well organised, and all the advance communication was prompt and helpful. It was great that we could come in the day before and have a rehearsal, become familiar in the space and with you – the organisers, and try out the technical arrangements. That helped a lot as it can be a fairly complicated show.The selection of artists seemed diverse and interesting, and wonderfully international. It was lovely that so many could be there at the opening ceremony, and it was nice chatting with some about the works. I wished that I could have had time after my performance, to speak with people there more about their reaction, as that would have been very interesting. Unfortunately it took me a long time to clean up afterwards, and then when I was ready we all had to leave, so I missed a sort of debriefing stage. It’s tricky to foresee everything in advance, but it’s all a learning experience. Overall I greatly enjoyed the ceremony.

 

Interview: Esther BuntingImage courtesy of Esther Bunting

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L.C. – Do you think that this experience could be useful for artists and can contribute to increase personal background?
E.B. – I think the experience can be useful for artists to develop yes. There are so many different types of places one may perform in, and this offers unique possibilities. I felt a freedom in the actual creativity which is very important as we grow, and exposure to a new audience is enormously beneficial, allowing us to see ourselves in a way through totally new eyes.

L.C. – Are you interested in future collaborations with our organization?
E.B. – Indeed, I am going to be collaborating with It’s Liquid shortly, in August! So yes, I am interested in working with you again. I will be bringing two different shows this time, so there’s even more scope for trying things out.

 

more. estherbunting.com

 

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