Interviews | November 12, 2021 |

Image courtesy of Jod

Interview: Jod
Luca Curci
talks with Jod during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2021 – THE SECRET GARDEN, at Misericordia Archives.

Following his training in Applied Arts at EAA in Vevey in Switzerland, Jod, whose real name is Joël Dewarrat, begins his artistic approach which questions the human being, his present and his future through a symbolist approach. The various works, the premises of this approach, will lead him to create unique pieces for thematic group exhibitions under the aegis of the Center d’Art Fantastique du Château de Gruyères. These works will be exhibited in exhibitions in Italy and the United States. In the desire to explore the potential offered by the diversity of mediums, Jod tackles his favourite subject and turns to performative art in a multidisciplinary form. In 2011, he created the Born to Be project, which produced a hybrid performance combining sound and video. This project will be performed at several festivals. In this continuity, in 2014 he founded the Ruletka collective where the chanted text intertwines with pictorial gestures. This group will also discuss a more immersive version of the performative experience through the Snack project, produced for the Luff (Lausanne Underground Films Festival). This approach is also found in the JF & Mort project, which produces a mirror effect between the stage and the spectator. From this period, the gesture and the material take a primordial place as much in his workshop works as in his performances, like those produced by the collective Antimatière co-founded in 2015. This collective explores in music the choreographic potential of the pictorial gesture. The collective tends to experience this gestural and musical dialogue as a full-fledged medium towards approaches to dance and text. The Antimatière collective performs in festivals, galleries and cultural centres. From then on, Jod’s works, from his studio in Bulle (CH), are oriented towards a reinterpretation of the human form in favour of the play of matter and the narration of the line. In this process, the paper he uses as material becomes the centre of his artistic process. Jod will decline this research in his pictorial works for the exhibition The Paper Man at the Trace Ecart Gallery in Bulle (CH). and in the realization of the sculptural installations, Le Livreur and Vanitas exhibited during the Low festival in Pantahlaz (CH). Currently, Jod continues this approach during the exhibition Escape Art at La Distillerie de Bulle (CH). and more intensely explores the relationship between the symbolism of the material and that of the subject.

Jod 002
Image courtesy of Jod

Luca Curci – What is your background?
Jod –
My artistic activity began following my training at the school of applied art in Vevey, Switzerland. At the beginning of my approach inspired by symbolism, I exhibited my work at the international centre of fantastic art. After that, I turned to multidisciplinary performance art in order to open the range of mediums. I founded the collective “Born to Be” which mixes video drawing and sound, then the collective Ruletka which presents immersive performances where the spectator is directly involved, like Snack, a sculptural and culinary performance that proposed to the spectator a symbolic anthropophagous experience. In this same type of approach, I also approach the installation on a human scale and develop the collective laboratory Antimatière where I work on a circular dialogue between the sound and the narration of the painted image in life.

LC – What is the experience that has most influenced your work?
J –
It was a kind of trigger in my artistic reflection where I went from the illustration of a principle of thought to the confidence in the artistic matter. It was a real revelation where I started to think through the material and the gesture, where the action is no longer the result of the reflection but the reflection of the result of the act.

LC – What subject do you work on?
J –
I work on the human figure, the body and the flesh, on the relationship that the body and its components have with the material and the pictorial support.

LC – How does your creative process unfold?
J –
It is research more than a creation. Everything comes at the base of a spontaneous act in which I will seek the human figure and its reason for being. It is a progressive dialogue with these entities that I build and listen to.

LC – Are your works focused on a specific theme?
J –
Yes, they follow a question that is the very basis of my research. What does Home intend to do with Man? This is an experiment that I constantly make in my work where I reinterpret the components of the body in matter and technique in order to build a being. Therefore my images remain open questions about their nature between the living and the artificial, the consumable and the consumed, the past and the future.

LC – What is it like to be an artist today?
J –
It is like that the always been a real sacerdosse, where it is necessary to devote body and soul the evolution of its artistic step, by hoping that the fruit of this work can be noticed. It is a work dedicated to hope.

LC – What is the message linked to the works you presented in this exhibition?
J –
The entities present in these works are products of perception of our time. They speak to us of their lives between humanity and societal illogic.

LC – What is the link with the theme of the whole festival?
J –
In view of the treatment of the human figure in my works, my work is linked to the theme Mixing identifies proposed by the festival. The very structure of my works speaks to us of this connivance between the living and the memory and of the exploration in the complexity of the being.

Jod 003
Image courtesy of Jod

LC – We were attracted by your latest artistic production. Were the works presented created for the festival or are they part of pre-existing works?
J –
Surprisingly, they are pre-existing works in the continuity of my research on the human being, which seems to fit completely with the theme of the festival.

LC – What do you think of the ITSLIQUID platform?
J –
Before this first experience, I knew little about the ITSLIQUID platform. I discovered it through this exhibition and I am delighted. It is for me the means to open concretely my approach towards the international through a structure linking the speakers of the artistic environment.

LC – Do you think that the ITSLIQUID group can represent an opportunity for artists?
J –
Because of its structure, it is obvious. ITSLIQUID allows artists to be guided in the development of their careers. It is an important support in simplifying the accessibility of the various actors of the artistic milieu to the international scene.

Jod 004
Image courtesy of Jod

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