Interview: Helena Schultheis Edgeler

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAImage courtesy of Helena Schultheis Edgeler

Luca Curci talks with artist Helena Schultheis Edgeler during LIQUID CITIES NYC event in New York on October 2015.

Helena Schultheis Edgeler is a painter and multimedia artist, born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1972. She studied in Holland and Zagreb where she graduated on Art Academy, as well as History of Art. She has been teaching drawing and painting for sixteen years now at the University of Textile Technology at Department of Textile Design in Zagreb. She founds working with her students a source of joy and endless optimism in her daily life. 

Luca Curci – Can you talk about your personal experience in New York City? What do you think about the whole organization of the event, the artists’ selection, the communication management and the opening night?

Helena Schultheis Edgeler – Unfortunately i was not able to travel to NY, I can only judge from a photos that I have seen, it looks like great deal of fun, and I think it was one of the purposes of that kind of presentation.

003Image courtesy of Helena Schultheis Edgeler

L. C. – Can you talk about the artwork you presented in New York City? How is it linked with the festival’s theme?

H. S. E. – The video work “Twelve“ in its very essence is dealing with a cycles or symbolically to capture a “whole“, since the number 12 is in our global heritage often perceived as a number that expresses exactly that a beginning, end and beginning of a new cycle, from a spiritual practice to a system that we often use to divide a year or day in our everyday life. The central motive is a crystal mask within 12 portraits holding the mask in different and unique positions in such a way as each of us as an individual have our on unique signature in accordance with our personality, and as I see it that personality is a sum of endless experiences that each of us have in our own life cycle that shaped us to the way we are right now. Since I am talking about a cycle in accordance to that the personality and experience of 12 different people in that circle represents to me in a symbolical manner totality of a human experience linked together as one by the crystal mask that they are holding which is one and unchangeable.

005Image courtesy of Helena Schultheis Edgeler

So I started to make a video with the idea to try to present in my own way of course, the endless cycle of life and human presence on this planet, the joint knowledge that we have collected during our own separate and limited time here. As I started to edit video I couldn’t get out of may thoughts, a friend that recently passed away an I have decided after some time not to fight against it but to join my thoughts and emotions that I have towards him into the work and dedicate that video experiment to him. As an answer to a question of how is the theme of my work is linked with the festival’s theme I can only say that if you would imagine the stream of thoughts like a data stream for each of individuals that have held this mask throughout time, and visualise it as lines coming from different sources, being joined all at one place – like an object in this case a crystal container. It would look like architecture, a structure, an unseen net that we are constructing and that connects us as a species.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAImage courtesy of Helena Schultheis Edgeler

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

H. S. E. – I am currently remodelling our kitchen and while doing it I am thinking how to fix the stairs in our house. My husband (who is also the author of sound in my video work) and I decided couple of years ago to move from the city and build a house in the nature. So we did, and bought 90 year old wooden house and we live in a quite isolated area surrounded with forests. Reconstructing and building our home is an adventure and source of joy for us and in a way a time when I am finding and accumulating thoughts and questions that I want to deal with and put in my next work. Now is that time.

004Image courtesy of Helena Schultheis Edgeler

L. C. – What is art for you?

H. S. E. – Art for me is being quiet and to listen. It is to hear the sound of axe splitting a log, birds that I hear around me daily or when there are days there is hardly sound at all where you can listen the sounds that your body is making while moving or breathing. Or when I enter the cities and I realise how quickly everything is happening, how people are rushing and talking endlessly. Than I get surprised how simple joy has left the lives of such a large number of us today and how they we are driven by fear even when things are going well, fear of what may be or what can go wrong. That is what art is for me, a life, or better a questions about life, to be able to understand it. Then my question picks a medium that I find best suited for dealing with that specific question. Weather it is in painting, photography or a moving picture and I get myself in the process finding an answer for myself in a form of art. So basically what I do in art is a kind of diary or a notes of my thinking or figuring out process and waiting for what will come out.

L. C. – What do you think about International ArtExpo and It’s LIQUID organizations? Do you think they can represent an opportunity for artists?

H. S. E. – International ArtExpo and It’s LIQUID. I can say only from my point of view, its how things and people should be in the art world or any kind of exchange and collaboration of similar sort. It is difficult to find an organisation so professional and at the same time so human, kind and considerate as the International ArtExpo and It’s LIQUID, together with curator Mr. Luca Curci. It gives me a great joy, opportunity and gratitude to be presented by them.

Share on Pinterest