INTERVIEW: BETKA FISLOVA | ITSLIQUID

INTERVIEW: BETKA FISLOVA

Interviews | September 28, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Betka Fislova

Interview: Betka Fislova
Luca Curci talks with Betka Fislova during VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 17TH held in Venice, Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.

Betka Fislová is a Slovakian dancer, performer, choreographer and somatic trainer based in Vienna. After her studies of modern and contemporary dance at the Conservatory of Vienna and at the „Accademia Isola Danza“ in Venice she cooperated with numerous dance companies in Austria and Italy and received several awards for her choreographic work. In her artistic projects, she uses movement, voice, images and language to create an evocative, sensual, fluid and multi-layered space, inviting the audience to embrace the experience of their humanity and to expand the sense of personal and collective coherence. She is the founder of „Liquid Space“, a somatic resilience training method that empowers the connection to the inherent intelligence of the human body as the place of defragmentation, healing and transformation.

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Image courtesy of Betka Fislova

Luca Curci – Which artists have somehow had an influence on your work?
Betka Fislova DV8 Theater, Björk, Laurie Anderson, Iva Bittová, Pina Bausch, Dire Straits, J.S.Bach, Tori Amos, Milan Rúfus and many more

LC – How much has the city/country in which you grew up/born affected your work as an artist?
BF – Very much! I grew up in Slovakia (former Czchoslovakia) during the communist time, with all its restrictions, oppressions and ambivalences. At the same time, I spent my childhood and youth in an environment which was very inspiring and nourishing intellectually and artistically. The house of my parents was full of music and books. There were profound talks about life, society, philosophy and art with my father and my mother brought me in touch with her Ruthenian culture of Eastern Slovakia – there was the folk music and the dance as well as a deep spirituality. It was a kind of bubble, and I understood very early that art had the power to make people endure or even survive in life circumstances that would be unbearable otherwise. There was the political and artistic underground movement I got present to. The work of many artists was very much shaped by the political and societal conditions; there was a unique density, depth and complexity to it, a language full of metaphors, symbols and hints that we learned to understand and relate to. That formed me as an artist and gave me the ability to move through those multiple layers, gradually developing whatever tool was needed to express myself – movement, voice, language, images.

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Image courtesy of Betka Fislova

LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
BF – To stay present in the moments in which I feel like „losing it“ – losing connection to the work itself, losing the ability to assess where I am in the process. In those moments stress, disappointment, and self-doubts come up and I´ve learnt it is crucial to relax and literally trust the process – embrace it, take a step back, get a resonance, maybe let go of ideas and allow the logic of the creative process take me into the flow again. In the past another challenge used to be with the finished work – I would have many self-doubts and inner criticism. This one is gone, as I am deeply connected to who I am and to the value of my work. That´s a bliss! 

LC – How is your creative process?
BF – It depends on the setting, as I´ve been working in all possible constellations – solo, group, creating my own concepts or co-creating. It may start from a concrete idea, from an abstract image, from a specific research, or from re-enacting and developing topics that are in the space already – like was the case with Undine. Once the process starts, it has its own logic and I see my task in being able to be in communication with what wants to be articulated. As a mature, middle-aged artist I notice feeling more and more at ease and grounded in that.

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Image courtesy of Betka Fislova

LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme? 
BF – There has been a huge variety of topics in my works throughout the past 30 years – poetic, political, spiritual, narrative, and abstract. What I can see is common to all of them is the phenomenon of space and the potential of the experience we can make as human beings when relating to it. Spaces have their own qualities and I love listening to them and creating from that space. For me, there is the essence of constant transformation and expansion contained in that relationship.

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Image courtesy of Betka Fislova

LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event? How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition?
BF – My short film „The Return Of Undine“articulates that every breakdown is an opportunity for rebirth, shift and transformation. Undine is leading the spectators through a very personal process of defragmenting and reconnecting to the source of Life´s power. It happens by being willing to embrace parts of the Self that have been suppressed, hidden or avoided, by befriending the forces behind those dynamics. The film can also be seen as a tribute to water as our primordial inner and outer environment and life force with its transforming and healing qualities. I think it resonates perfectly with the theme of the entire exhibition.

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Image courtesy of Betka Fislova

LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the exhibition or as a part of preexisting works?
BF – My film „The Return Of Undine“ has been created for the exhibition. It contains parts of the film „Pole“ which was produced in 2018. Choosing the format of „a film inside another film“ is a perfect example of what I mean by defragmenting and integrating pieces of the past. I am very grateful for this opportunity!

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Image courtesy of Betka Fislova

LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us? 
BF – Yes, absolutely! And I can´t wait to present my future artworks in your events.

LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform? 
BF – I love the philosophy and the concept behind your platform. There is also a unique quality of bringing high professionality, expertise authentic passion and human commitment into your projects.

LC – What do you think about the organization of our event? 
BF – As I´ve said, there is a unique quality to it and I am really sorry that I wasn´t able to attend the events in Venice and London personally this time! Next time I will make sure to experience those vibes! Thank you for having me as part of your amazing journey!

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Image courtesy of Betka Fislova

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