Interview: Joss Carter

interview-joss-carter_001Image courtesy of Joss Carter

Interview: Joss Carter

 

Luca Curci talks with the artist Joss Carter during OXYGEN – FRAGMENTED CITIES+IDENTITIES in Bogotà.

Joss Carter is an international contemporary dance theatre and live performance artist based in London, UK. Born and raised in South Shropshire/West Midlands, he graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds, UK, in 2010. Since 2009 Carter has performed, toured and taught professionally on an international level with companies and choreographers such as: BalletBoyz – ‘The Talent’, Russell Maliphant, T.R.A.S.H, Mor Shani, Tilted Productions, Gary Clarke Company amongst many more. Joss also works in T.V, film, and camera including: ‘Anna Karenina’ starring Keira Knightly and Jude Law, directed by Joe Wright, movement direction by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and ‘The Mummy’ starring Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe, directed by Alex Kurzman, movement direction by Alex Reynolds & Charlie Mayhew. His body of works include ‘SALVATION’, MISERY FLESH’ and ‘The Ravenous Flight of Misanthropy’. Carter is also co-coordinator, programmer, producer, administrator, and living resident at K5 Studio, North London.

 

interview-joss-carter_002Image courtesy of Joss Carter

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Luca Curci – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition?
Joss Carter – ‘SALVATION’ shadows the righteous path of a religious fanatic. Devoted to his Gods, possessed by the divine, tormented by his own psychological god-fearing insanities, and interrogating the beliefs of ones own moral disorders, we witness the destructive devotion of Man and the primitive cathartic desires of spiritual communication, mortification of the flesh, and transcendental awakening’s in an attempt to obtain, or relinquish Salvation. This controversial and transgressive contemporary dance theatre and live performance art concept of human suffering investigates the diverse ideologies of historical, present-day, cultural and mythical beliefs, understandings, and practices of religion through radical sacrificial rites, rituals, and obsessive worships of dogma. This is a 25 min extract and amalgamation of the full length 1 hour solo work.

 

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L. C. – How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
J. C. – The work connects to Fragmented Identities of boarders by firstly engaging with all types of religions, beliefs and cultures across the modern and historical world. All of these are conceptualised into the being of one man who struggles to accept his own being. It shows the physical and mental fracturing of a man loosing his life long beliefs only to be shunned by the Gods he once believed in.

 

L. C. – What do you think about the concept of this festival? In which way did inspire
you?
J. C. – The venues for the festival are rather beautiful, though sometimes not all that accessible for a live performance work. I myself and my work are very adaptable to I am at an extreme advantage to working in unsuitable locations. I am inspired by the ability to create such a festival and plans for the future are to create something similar yet more accessible in the UK.

 

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L. C. – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your
work the most?
J. C. – I am trained in contemporary, classical ballet and release based techniques of dance movement and theatre. From my education I began to study and work within Butoh, physical theatre and performance art, whilst still being influenced by my childhood passions of martial arts, extreme sports, music and acting before I started dancing a the ago of 16. I am also self taught in taxidermy and handpoke tattooing of which I incorporate within my performative works. I cannot pin point an exact influence from my background that inspires my work. I am mostly influenced by the unsettling nature of humanity, the psychosis of the mind and distortion of the body. I take a huge pleasure in exploring the disgust and decay of both of these, whilst discovering a beauty, compassion and empathy within the soul. I am always searching for new extremes within my physicality and performance so I can viscerally awaken the senses of my audience.

 

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L. C. – What is art for you?
J. C. – A constant contradiction, and an entity of desire, an instinct, a gut feeling. All my art comes from the depths of my soul. It is all a very personal piece of me that I manifest into the physical being over a long period of time. Art needs to resonate all the senses of its artist. It needs to show the individuality of the person and not through one single medium. It should constantly challenge the artist first, not the audience. It is the ability to do, say, act and react to anything that touches the soul and imagination. It is a reason to live and a reason to die. It is there to understand and appreciate the beautiful and the grotesque. It is creating new rules and not conforming to the rules and regulations of society. It is the research into and therapy of understanding one’s self.

 

L. C. – What do you think about the whole organization of the event, the selection of
the artists, the communication management and opening ceremony?
J. C. – Since writing thing and having performed at three opening events in Rome, Venice and Bogota, I am pleased to say that the audiences have been very extremely engaging and interactive. It has been fantastic meeting, watching and learning for the performance artists. The online communication with the company is great and I never feel left behind out of date with information, however, on the opening events I feel that there could be more planning and organisation to help the evenings run smoother.

 

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L. C. – Do you think that this experience could be useful for artists and can
contribute to increase personal background?
J. C. – Of course it can, however only if the financial cost and risk is worth it to you or your work. I make it a crucial thing when I am exhibiting/performing work to make the most out of my trip. When I travel to other cities and countries I always make a strong investment in interacting with the members of the organisations, the other artists involved and the audiences that attend, as you never know what may come out of a conversation. I cannot rely solely on having my work exhibited to increase my personal background, I must interact with the people face to face so I can express my own true self.

 

L. C. – Are you interested in future collaborations with our organization?
J. C. – I am very interested in future collaborations with the organisation….I just do not know how long I will be able to financially or morally afford or pay for flights, accommodation and living costs for the benefit of an organisation who make their successes out of not financially supporting the professional artists who perform and exhibit their works. Not everything is about the financial side but as I have been very fortunate and been invited back again and again there needs to be something in place within the organisation that supports returning artists.

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