Interview: Desirée Hilmer | ITSLIQUID

Interview: Desirée Hilmer

Interviews | September 4, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Desirée Hilmer

Interview: Desirée Hilmer
Luca Curci talks with Desirée Hilmer during FUTURE LANDSCAPES, third appointment of BORDERS ART FAIR, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.

“What is the reality of a society or an individual? What is fiction if there is no universal reality? My work focuses on the search for reality and fiction combining different media to stimulate multiple senses and to offer a holistic view of reality. Abstract paper sculptures installed in the room, combined with videos and other media question the perception of the individual and expose one’s filter. In general, my attempt is to use the medium of paper to its full potential and to redefine it in a world in which art moves more into the digital space. A key element of my artistic approach is to move art into the public space and redefine the concept of art. Therefore, I exhibited from a young age in community centers, grocery stores, and high schools to bring art to the daily lives of people and to break the stereotype of the unapproachable art world. In 2019 I founded SpacesforArt to connect local artists with businesses and had the opportunity to be a speaker for the Innovation Festival in Philadelphia to redefine art in a modern society. My background in cognitive Neuroscience influences my artwork and inspires the question of perception and how we process information. Self-reflection is often wrongly defined as a solely cognitive process. This is the reason why I wanted to provide the viewer with a more holistic emotional and cognitive experience by making the unconscious interplay between emotions and thoughts visible. Overall, my work is inspired by society, human relationships, and cognitive neuroscience. Questioning the individual, and society, and creating awareness for the diversity of reality and perception, constantly searching for the reality in our divided world, drives me to create my art. Because art opens the eyes to reality”.

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Image courtesy of Desirée Hilmer

Luca Curci – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
Desirée Hilmer – I remember drawing or painting since I was very little. My desire was always to understand multiple layers of reality, how perspective changes perception, and how people make behavioral decisions. My studies in Psychology and in Cognitive Neuroscience, in particular, have a big impact on my work. Focusing on art and science enabled me to connect both and to develop my artistic message through different media, from abstract paper sculptures to sound-/ video installations, film, VR, AR, fashion, and NFTs. All these different types of media support my goal to express the holistic and invisible parts of perception and reality. Making people wonder about their own fragile and incomplete self-perception is a crucial element of my art. I have always tried to move art into public space and redefine the concept of art. Therefore, I exhibited from a young age in community centers, grocery stores, and high schools to bring art to the daily lives of people and to break the stereotype of the unapproachable art world. In 2019 I was part of the Innovation Festival in Philadelphia where I was able to hold a seminar about the question of how to redefine the concept of art and make contemporary art more approachable for everyone. Experimenting with different types of media led to my participation in the NYC Summer of Art in 2021, where I presented a live performance and developed the topic ‘Metamorphosis’ from an abstract paper sculpture to an art film combined with experimental sound. Inspired by my art film ‘Metamorphosis’, I started working on a full-feature film ‘Animus’ and a documentary ‘Dippers’ about a local community in NYC. Both movies will be finished by 2024. My newest venture is my project ‘Art in fashion’. It is focused on the creation of wearable art with hand-painted designs matching every individual’s internal world. At the same time, I create abstract objects in a combination of fabric and paper. Both will be presented during a fashion show at the end of 2023/2024.

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Image courtesy of Desirée Hilmer

LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
DH – The process of how I choose my subject varies. Usually, I have a specific emotional state or science topic I focus on. Before I start painting, I have a general idea of what shape and color pattern I want to use. But I never create any sketches beforehand. The painting is created instinctively on paper over multiple days or weeks, depending on the intensity of the emotional state.

LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
DH – I use art to express a holistic reality. In my practice, I strive to make the internal reality visible in an attempt to offer a more nuanced perception of reality. Our perception of reality or a shared ‘truth’ as individuals is limited. Therefore, it is often necessary to question our own belief systems and to understand our internal reality. Art is my language to express my idea of a holistic reality. Hereby, I use the traditional medium of paper to its full potential and try to redefine it in a world in which art moves more into the digital space by combining it with sound, video, AR/VR, and NFTs. In my opinion, it is necessary to create abstract organic forms that remind of human shapes to allow every individual to project their own deep internal world into the frame I create with my artwork.

LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
DH – The moment I ‘finish’ an artwork is usually a difficult moment for me because from my point of view there is not a specific point when the artwork is completed. It is more an active choice to display this specific state in its development. I could have stopped earlier or later in the process. So, I usually have mixed feelings. But mostly I feel exhausted from being in a specific emotional state during the process of creating the artwork for extended periods of time.

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Image courtesy of Desirée Hilmer

LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
DH – I believe it is great that ITSLIQUID tries to globalize the language of art and to connect artists with curators and an audience. The topic ‘hybrid borders’ is essential in our global society where we are consistently confronted with changes due to technology and cultural differences. It was unique to see how different artists with various backgrounds respond to this challenging topic.

LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
DH – ‘Metamorphosis’ is an abstract art film based on a painting with poetry and experimental sound. It describes the moment of internal change within an individual, caused by the interaction with its social environment. Especially during the pandemic, when the piece was created, people were confronted with external changes that radically changed their daily life and internal state. Just as much as AI will continue to challenge society, the individual will have to find a way to deal with the internal and external changes everyone is presented with. The borders art fair focuses on the concept of borders between body and soul, human being and urban spaces. ‘Metamorphosis’ plays with the impact the external world has on human beings and how it is reflected back into their physical and social environment. It explores the borders between body and soul.

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Image courtesy of Desirée Hilmer

LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
DH – Cooperating with ITSLIQUID to present my abstract art film ‘Metamorphosis’ was a truly fulfilling experience. From the communication in the beginning to the final day of the event, I felt supported to display my artwork in the most professional way possible. It was an amazing opportunity to expose my artwork to an international audience.

LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
DH – The platform ITSLIQUID provides is an excellent opportunity for any artist to connect with a global art audience.

LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
DH – ‘Hybrid Borders’ was well organized. The mixture of artwork and artists such as the friendly staff and program, created a unique moment to discuss the topic of ‘hybrid borders’ expressed in the various creations exhibited in Venice.

Image courtesy of Desirée Hilmer

Image courtesy of Desirée Hilmer

Image courtesy of Desirée Hilmer

Image courtesy of Desirée Hilmer

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