Interview: Barbara Duran
Luca Curci talks with Barbara Duran during the 17th Edition of VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Born in Rome to a cosmopolitan family, Barbara Duran is a contemporary artist, painter and video maker. She works through multiple mediums such as painting, photography, and video art. She started exposing in the early ’90s, in collective and personal exhibitions in Italy and abroad. Her work is currently exposed in private and public collections, in Italy, France, England, Greece and other countries.
Luca Curci – What’s your background?
Barbara Duran – I have quite an eclectic background, I worked in theatre and with dance and mime, later I studied art in high school and I graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, training with important teachers such as Toti Scialoja and Guido Strazza. I worked in many different situations, including the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, as a set designer and as an illustrator, publishing with important publishing houses. I specialized in animation cinema with Lele Luzzati and Giulio Gianini making short films. I have written and published children’s books and my poems have been presented by Elio Pecora. Then I devoted myself totally to painting and video art, exhibiting in Italy and abroad, and my works are part of private and institutional collections. I have travelled a lot and this has been really important for my training and experience as an artist: I have worked, lived and exhibited in France, Greece and Latin America. I have always been attracted to the light and colors that are so different in the South and the North of the world, just as I am attracted to the multifaceted nature of the people I meet while travelling and living elsewhere.
LC – What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
BD – Meeting, at a very young age, Lindsay Kemp, taught me the study and practice of the art of movement and the body, of artistic expression in all its complexities and peculiarities. Then the colors, the signs and a wide variety of media became the tools to express myself. It was a moment of great evolution and creative awareness in which I made an all-encompassing choice relative to the art to which I have dedicated my entire life. Over time there have been so many important experiences and masters who have influenced my work as an artist, including Turner, Monet, Burri, Rothko, Kiefer, Vedova, Twombly, Richter and many others, each time it has been a vital encounter that by affinity has become the reason for a new pictorial research and a new cycle of works.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
BD – I am working on a project entitled“Ongoingness”. The theme of the exhibition project I am proposing connects the Gaia Hypothesis with the Anthropocene discourse and is based on one of the most interesting contemporary debates – having its roots in the works of Bruno Latour, Isabelle Stengers and Donna Haraway. The project proposes an exploration of this very topical issue through my art. The desire is to actively express a profound reflection on the debate, through my tools as an artist.
LC – Is there an unrealised or unrealisable project, even a crazy one, that you would like to work on?
BD – It is precisely Ongoingness that I am presenting in institutional and non-institutional venues in Italy and abroad. An important project that is very dear to me.
LC – What are the three hashtags essential to define your poetics that you could not give up?
BD – I #art #poetry #freedom
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
BD – I find inspiration in nature, mostly. I live in the country with my animals, and my studio’s windows look at the sky, at the oaks and the plants in my garden. But I am just as interested in the relationship with others, I always have my gaze projected into the stories of the world, into the interfaced universes: nature and living beings, with all the complexities of our contemporary world and the dichotomies that derive from them; all of which is always a source of reflection and civic engagement.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
BD – The concept of the exhibition was the first thing that struck me; I was inspired by the location as well, and by the diverse community and my desire to be a part of it. I was very pleased and honoured that my works were chosen.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event?
BD – The three works I chose for the exhibition are part of the White Duran Project. More specifically, they are part of the recent cycle IS land, which began when I lived on an island in the Cyclades, in Greece. The island is land, it is a symbolic temple that allows an ascent towards the sky, leaving the human world and entering the sacred one; a world that will allow one to find oneself and also the other, but only after leaving everything behind. The works I have exhibited are islands, and Venice appears; the connection is, indeed, this.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
BD – It’s important for artists to have spaces and places that allow them to be present and visible. It’s also necessary for those places to be immersed in the contemporary context, and for them to be a source of knowledge and exchange between those who produce and create art and those who enjoy and collect it. ITSLIQUID group, Luca Curci and his staff, understood this effectively, through excellent knowledge of international contemporary art and fluent and helpful communication.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
BD – Yes, I felt comfortable, everyone was very professional and serious, and the atmosphere was interesting and lively.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
BD – I am happy to be part of it, I can safely say that it is not easy to find such effective platforms!