Interiew: Krisztina Arláth
Luca Curci talks with Krisztina Arláth during THE BODY LANGUAGE 2022, at Palazzo Bembo – Venice Grand Canal and at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Krisztina Arláth was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1982. Throughout her life, images and various artistic materials have always fascinated her. Her interest was cultivated during her teenage years and further developed when she opted to take her Master’s Degree in the Sculpture Program at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts. During her studies, she was encouraged to explore a variety of visual forms, underpinned by intellectual inquiry, which led to exciting, innovative practices. After completing her degree, Krisztina delved even more into her art-making practices and learned video and animation making techniques. She cherishes this connection between sculpture and video art. She feels that the artistic exchange between video art, sculpture and the artist opens up many opportunities. The Austrian Cultural Forum selected Krisztina twice as exhibited artist (2011, 2012) in Budapest, she was a finalist in the Budapest Gallery Art Prize, and won participation in the artist in residence program in Salzburg, Austria. Her series has been exhibited in Wittenberg, Germany as well as in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Krisztina lives and works in Budapest.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Krisztina Arláth – I am a Budapest based artist from Hungary. I graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in Budapest, in 2014. Currently, I am pursuing a doctoral degree at the same university to research the connections between cities and artworks. I always had an interest in the life and rights of women at different times.
LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
KA – I am a sculptor, but I love to make animations as well. I studied at the Secondary School of Visual Arts in Budapest where I learned motion pictures and animation.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
KA – My artwork, which is exhibited by the ROOM Contemporary Art Space from the 27th of January till the 18th of February, is a series of animations of paintings about Italian courtesans. These courtesans lived in the Italian Renaissance and Baroque society. I started working on this topic in 2020 when I was invited to an artist in residence program in Venice. In the framework of this project, I examine the cultural and social impact of Venetian courtesans, as well as their historical and artistic significance. The people I have researched so far have played a particularly important cultural role in their own community based on their progressive thinking and multifaceted knowledge. The innovative effect of their activities, although indirectly, can still be discovered today. For example, Veronica Franco had the courage and talent to break out of the bondage of stylized emotions in the field of poetry. Tullia d’Aragona understood the knowledge of body cultivation and wrote philosophical dissertations on that topic. Barbara Strozzi was an excellent Baroque composer, whose notes are still performed by today’s soloists. With her dramatic plays, Gaspara Stampa became an accepted and famous actress beyond her own age. Portrait paintings were made of the above-mentioned ladies of their own age. For example; Veronica Franco’s portrait, made from Jacopo Robusti Tintoretto (1518-1594) Portrait of a woman with bare breast, oil, canvas, 61×55 cm, (Picture: Prado, Madrid, Spain), Tullia D’Aragona’s portrait, from Moretto da Brescia, about 1537, Tullia D’Aragona as Salome, oil, canvas, 56X39 cm, (Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo, Brescia, Italy), Barbara Strozzi’s portrait, from Bernardo Strozzi, about 1640, The Viola da Gamba Player (Barbara Strozzi [1619-1677]). The mentioned portrait paintings were the focus of my creative work recently. I created animations of paintings by using a digital versions of those images.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
KA – I am glad to see this motion portrays women artists from the renaissance and baroque periods at the exhibition because in these times an average woman was not able to read or write nor was able to be part of social life, except the educated courtesans in Venice, Rome and Florence. That was the only opportunity to be part of that as a woman artist at that time. It makes me very happy to be able to discuss this social phenomenon.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
KA – I consider this is a great idea and concept to create the opportunity for international artists all over the world to be members of the Venetian art scene for a month. My big dream came true to show my animations about the Venetian courtesans in this beautiful city.
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?
KA – My animations are part of preexisting works. I displayed a drawing transcript of the painted portraits in the form of large-scale textile drawings using a sewing machine. Perhaps once I get the chance to present both of these techniques together.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
KA – I consider that it is important to have role models for today’s artists and know about the works of the forgotten great women artists. I wonder if these ladies will become part of the artistic discourse of the 21st century.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
KA – I think the ITSLIQUID exhibitions curating group makes great work, I am very glad to be part of THE BODY LANGUAGE exhibition. Thank you very much.