interview: Glynis Ackermann

DSC_0364Glynis Ackermann, Naked Maypole, SELF Festival (Venice Art House, 2015  Venice)

Interview: Glynis Ackermann

Luca Curci talks with artist Glynis Ackermann during WHY SELF exihibition in Venice.

Glynis Ackermann was born in 1952 in Bristol (UK).  Her artistic career has always been closely connected to her love of movement and dance. She has danced and travelled with the Zurich Opera Ballet Company, including various tours in Europe and overseas starring Rudolf Nureyev, and tours of Italy with Liliana Cosi and Marinel Stefanescu. She also gained participation in major ballet competitions in Moscow and Japan. She has appeared in various TV and film productions. Later she became involved in Performance Art and developing avenues of physical and energetic body structuring and movement in space, taking her inspiration from nature, butoh and life encounters.

  Glynis AckermannGlynis Ackermann, Naked Slow Walk, Zagreb I love you Festival (Flower Square 13.09.2014). Photo: Tomislav Cuveljak

Luca Curci –  Can you talk about your personal experience in Venice? What did you think about the whole organization of the events, the artists’ selection, the communication management and opening nights?
Glynis Ackermann – There is something about this floating world, the colours and the “blue” that slowly seeps into my being and causes me to hold my breath in wonder as I turn each corner of this liquid city. I had not expected to be invited to perform my work and it was rather like entering paradise  as we artists were shown around the new exhibitions housed in the spacious 16th Century Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi and then led onto its magnificent terrace for refreshments and Champagne. Luca Curci himself offered us welcoming drinks and this personal presence and friendly support of the organisers accompanied us throughout our visit. A lovely ambience. This generous hospitality must require amazing energy considering that at the same time there are parallel expositions in various world centers and futuristic cities being realized in desert locations of the Middle East (referring to Luca Curci’s new project).  As we artists were all exchanging themes and experiences, more and more guests began to arrive for this May 9th Opening Night; all becoming part of a celebration of art, new contacts and newly made friends. The exquisit palace rooms offered a perfect contrast setting for the modern exhibition and I found the artworks to be arranged in a way that held my attention and encouraged me to meet the many artists present.

 Glynis AckermannGlynis Ackermann, Foil, Winterthur Perform Now Festival 2013. Image Courtesy of Glynis Ackermann

L. C. – What do you think about the collaboration between It’s LIQUID and Ca’Zanardi/Venice Art House?
G. A. – I am not equiped to answer this question yet I sensed a very authentic friendship and collaborative spirit between Luca Curci, curator of “SELF” exhibitions/director of It’s LIQUID/Interational ArtExpo, and Andrea Chinellato, director of Ca’ Zanardi and Venice Art House. This fortunate collaboration is for sure even greater than the sum of its parts!

DSC_0376Glynis Ackermann, Naked Maypole, SELF Festival (Venice Art House, 2015  Venice)

L. C. –  Can you talk about the artwork you presented in Venice? How is it linked
with the festival’s theme?
G. A. – As a Performance artist, I arrived very early in the afternoon to prepare for the Opening Night in Venice Art House. The assistants were calm and helpful and were setting up the spacious white walled gallery which backs onto a beautiful canale landscape. I was happy to have a modern setting for my performance and and Venice Art House is situated in a magical spot in Canneregio surrounded by bridges and waterways. As on the previous night, a mix of International artist and their high level artworks met the many visitors who were eager to explore the newly created Artspace. I required four asssistants for my piece and so Tommaso, Giovanni, Adua and Margherita, who were members of the staff, offered to help me out straight away and did a splendid job – What super individuals! Luca Curci and Andrea Chinellato were both present, ready to assist and also doing photographic work.

 Glynis AckermannGlynis Ackermann, Naked Maypole, SELF Festival (Venice Art House, 2015  Venice)

In “Naked Maypole”, I perform naked while standng on a pedestal; the “phallic woman” holding high the “crown of inner sovereignity” to which four red and black ropes ropes are attached. Four “dancers” slowly entwined these ropes along the lenght of my body as they wove in contra circles ,female principle, around me.  This reinvokes the ancient secret of the maypole ritual, with reversed gender. In the end the “dancers” form a circle at the foot of the Phallic woman. I remain in “statue” as an Objet d’art for a further 20 minutes. It is a ritual of “Oneness” in the fusion of male and female energies and the release of the powers of renewal as in Spring/Beltane. A ritual dedicated to the search for completeness within the Identity. This is very much my lifelong path of research. I wish to create meaning and value on my personal voyage between life and death (red and black ropes). […] I believe that a basis of “Wellwishing” is a key for human life and I try to be aware that everything i do reflects my lifestate at that moment in my life’s mirror. Ideally I identify with a diamond able to shine and reflect in a myriad directions.

 Glynis AckermannGlynis Ackermann, Naked Maypole, SELF Festival (Venice Art House, 2015  Venice)

L. C. – What are you currently working on?
G. A. –  Right now I am busy with my performances for an International Performance Festival here in “Noseland”, Switzerland, ongoing performances with various groups such as “The Gathering”, a bondage performance with Falbala Ropes and an International Performance Festival ” Body and Freedom” concept: Thomas Zollinger.

ensamble workImage courtesy of Glynis Ackermann

L. C. –  What is Art for you?
G. A. –  For me, Art is an intense focusing that invokes “magic” energy and has the possibility to touch the Universal “Being”. I agree with Marina Abramoviç that there is a great deal of “what art is not” around and a great deal of which I call “Artclutter” in most artists lives as in mine! It is possible to transform my “bad times” within this Art-vessel. Here I go unconscious Luca! Subject too big!

Glynis Ackermann Glynis Ackermann, Bodylandscapes/Körperscapes, Little Naked Performance Festival (06.2011). Photo: Carla Etter

L. C. –  What do you think about International ArtExpo and It’s LIQUID organizations? Do you think they can represent an opportunity for artists?
G. A. –  Perhaps International Art can be be a great means against envy and banality. Certainly this spirit touched me during the SELF Festival. It’s Liquid and ArtExpo are great achievements as they combine the Infrastructure, art and business knowhow, professionality, IT resources, The love of art and artists, the will to reach out and create MORE opportunities than would ever otherwise be possible and Great Personal Engagement.  Amazing! I would reccommend artists to benefit from this unique opportunity to develop and meet other artists. Thank you for my being able to work in these great conditions and for all the friendly support, photos, feedbacks, interesting media coverage and the possibility to be in touch with fellow artists over the world.


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