Interview: Anja Strelec | ITSLIQUID

Interview: Anja Strelec

Interviews | December 2, 2021 |

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Image courtesy of Anja Strelec

Interview: Anja Strelec
Luca Curci talks with Anja Strelec during ROME INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021, at Medina Art Gallery.

Anja Strelec (born Varaždin, 1985) is a Croatian director, photographer and audiovisual artist who lives and works in Brussels. In her work, she mostly concentrates on social topics, portraying both individual human stories as well as society as a whole. Her multidisciplinary approach, working with a diversity of visual formats – video, documentary film and street photography – enables multifaceted storytelling. Anja is a director of several award-winning documentary films shown at international festivals and on TV channels in different countries. She also participated with her work in solo and group exhibitions in Croatia, France, Slovenia, Germany, Greece and Belgium. After obtaining a Master’s degree in audiovisual and documentary film directing at University of Toulouse Le Mirail, France, Anja has been working for the last ten years as a director and, together with her artistic work, has also held audiovisual and photography workshops in Europe, Africa and Asia, most notably for the European Commission and international organizations.

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Image courtesy of Anja Strelec

Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Anja Strelec – For me art is freedom and a possibility to get to know myself better and the world around me, it is like a deep meditation where you enter in different worlds and layers of yourself that you didn’t even know they existed…and then you share these snippets of yourself with others and see how they respond to it, sometimes people like the things that were inside you and sometimes they don’t. Either way my art is an extension of me and my observations.

LCHow did you get to your current artistic practice?
AS – Everything started with a photography from a very early age, I used to take my analog camera and take pictures of people on the streets, architecture, situations. At that time, I was only 11 years old and I kind of observed world around me with my camera. That led me to study TV journalism and filmmaking so I was always a visual artist first and then a journalist and documentary filmmaker. All these disciplines are very connected but the stories which I am telling are sometimes told through stills and sometimes through moving picture.

LC – Which is the role the artist plays in society? And contemporary art?
AS – It depends if your art is socially engaging or political. Art must exist, if art wouldn’t exist we would be deprived of the beauty of the world through all of the senses and we would certainly be deprived of our voices and our vision. I wish that world would be as filled with art as it is with negative media on a daily basis. Art makes people think more and most importantly to feel more. Role of every artist is to share their talents with others regardless of the fear of rejection.

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Image courtesy of Anja Strelec

LCAre your artworks focused on a specific theme?
AS – My art through photography, video or through film is mostly talking about people and the society that we live in, I am archiving these moments that I experience or which other people experience and I am trying to put these stories in a sensful ensemble. It is always the way I see things or remember them which is not necessarily correct but it is my voice speaking through different subjects or people. If I am doing a photo series or films of someone else’s story then it is a combination of me and that other person intertwined

LCHow do you feel when you see your work completed?
AS – Good and sometimes sad because it is finished.

LCDo you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
AS – Yes, I think that a combination of a topic mixing identities and future landscapes is very important and it analyzes present that we live in currently.

LCIn which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
AS – The short video “Interspaces” was created using a stop-motion technique from several hundred black and white photographs during the first week of the lockdown in Brussels, capturing the atmosphere, space and people using intermittent moments that represent a new reality without fluid continuity. The video builds on the cycle of photographs, creating an interspace in which we find ourselves – a space of adaptation and transformation. Using only street photography, I am documenting the movement of people in new, empty spaces. Video corresponds perfectly to a topic of the exhibition Future landscapes.

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Image courtesy of Anja Strelec

LCDid you enjoy cooperating with us?
AS – Yes, very much.

LCWould you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
AS – I would very much suggest collaboration with ITSLIQUID because your platform allows artists to show their work in different cities in Europe and I was very much satisfied with the whole organization.

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Image courtesy of Anja Strelec

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