Interview: Denis Douvenau
Luca Curci talks with Denis Douvenau during Venice International Art Fair 2020 at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Denis Douveneau turns intellectual concepts into drawings, abstraction being the only vivid means of doing so. He develops the concept of ©OPPRESSIONISM, a movement that expresses contemporary constraint on individuals, be it social, political or technological. For this artist, creation cannot be controlled, any society where it goes differently being illiberal. Art must challenge, promote and provide a mirror to our alterities which are our freedoms as well as our intimacies. Time are challenging for the later. Artwork is a concrete piece that fills the space of reality from “nothing”, just a scratch of paper. It turns to a free item in the world. Denis Douveneau is inspired by traditional arts with urbanity, multitude and masses, resilience of Beings in the city, couple, woman as a key inspiration. From privacy to agoras, ©OPPRESSIONISM opens channels and bridges.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Denis Douvenau – Facts of life and troubles: impact of society and individuals on human identities. Whether it is self constraint or social constraints of any kind, constraint is our destiny. It turns from time to time to coercion until the very last experience of it, on our bodies. And freedom is our aspiration. ©OPPRESSIONISM is an art process to ‘dig’ this evidence of tensions and compromises one has to face life long. ©OPPRESSIONISM is a gesture for freedom: a piece of paper is a free space where I am confronted with unrestricted freedom. Apart from my own limits or capacities. It is sometimes scarry (laugh).
LC – What are you currently working on?
DD – Every morning is a new day to start working on or to achieve a work that was stuck in my mind days long.
LC – What is your creative process like?
DD – I feel to be confronted with a math problem and a philosophical questioning. And I do not give up unless I feel I have reached a solution. At that time my drawing was completed. Time to time I fail – and my work is stored in the garbage basket! That is when I feel unsatisfied with what is on paper. My creative process is a kind of asceticism. Anchored in this particular reality called an artwork, with no satisfactory definition.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
DD – No particular art theme. To me art doesn’t exist in many ways. Nature is art, isn’t it? A while ago, I was happy to create customized T-shirts for myself with that slogan at the back: “Art doesn’t exist”. And that was a piece of art to me. Art is related to intimacy.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
DD – Artists are suddenly under arsher pressure than before due to the sudden locked down. But creation is an intimate process that cannot be changed whatever the circumstances are. It is related to animality, instinct.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
DD – It is part of my daily works but I chose it for the festival: “Movements” in a time of pandemics and attacks to freedoms…
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
DD – I see it from far, from Paris. I couldn’t have the opportunity to travel to Venice. Due to borders (laugh).
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
DD – It definitely does. Artists need help.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
DD – It looks good from far (laugh).
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
DD – That is all perfect, art and artists need platforms like yours.