Interview: Lara Saget
Luca Curci talks with Lara Saget during VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Lara Saget lives and works in New York, NY. She received her BA from Barnard College, Columbia University and her MFA in Fine Arts from New York University. Her work has been exhibited in the US and abroad in varied spaces including Art School, Maihar, India; Fortnight Institute, New York, NY; 80 Washington Square East Gallery, New York, NY; Studio 106, Los Angeles, CA; Wells Studio, Paris, France; Peninsula Art Space, Brooklyn, NY; A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Art Helix, Brooklyn, NY, and more. Residencies include Yucca Valley Material Lab, Yucca Valley, CA; Iris Projects, Venice, CA; Art School Bronze Casting and Stone Carving Residency, Maihar, India; and CCA with Grzegorz Kowalski and Artur Żmijewski, Warsaw, Poland. She has received grants and awards including the 2017 New York University MFA Artistic Practice Award, the 2016 Steinhardt Scholarship Award, and the 2017/18 Urban Glass Scholarship Award. Public projects include Art School, Maihar, India; Native Woodland Garden Public Art Project, Schwartz Plaza, Washington Square Park, New York, NY; Collaborative Concepts, Saunders Farm, Garrison, NY; Collaborative Concepts, Tilly Foster Farm, Putnam County, NY, and Clumber Corner, Brooklyn, NY.
My work makes materially visible the limitations of logic. My practice is fueled by the belief that not all facts are absolute. Facts are, more often than not, placeholders for future facts. The truth is bigger than the brain will ever cognitively understand, it’s limitless. I start with rock and historic sourced Tuckahoe marble, potently compressed matter. I don’t know where the matter has been or who has held it before me. I trap rock and historic sourced Tuckahoe marble in glass and metal. Logically, the heat of the rock and the marble crack the glass and the heat of the metal crack the rock or marble. However, I have found that this is not always the case. When heated to the same degree, the materials cohabitate. The separation between them is circumstantial, temporary, everything material is temporary. Within something as basic as stone lives a story that is impossible to cognitively know or understand. I introduce glass to the tree, to the oldest tree I know. Glass burns the tree, paralyzing its remains. Maybe trees speak a language that humans have gone deaf to. There may be no answers, nothing concrete to hold onto. But there are patterns; my charge is to distil the patterns in order to reveal new archetypes and, in doing so, crystallize the transience of certainty.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Lara Saget – Art is a way to ask questions about what is possible. It is a way to make materially manifest what seems logically impossible.
LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
LS – I have been sculpting since I was 18 years old. I was classically trained as a painter from the age of 7. By 18, I was making large scale installations. For me, making art is my way of interacting with the world around me
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
LS – I find my inspiration in the natural world and the body. For me, the natural world is more brilliant than any invention. For example, trees are constantly communicating via the fungal webs around their roots. They share nutrients and work together. Everything is connected. My inspiration comes from spending time with what exists on this planet, however subtle the connections may be.
LC – What is your creative process like?
LS – I am constantly in my creative process. For me, there is no separation. Meditation is an integral part of my life and my artistic practice. Resolutions to material questions always come when I allow rather than force.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
LS – Being an artist is the only thing I know how to be. I have nothing to compare it to.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
LS – The artwork I have shown are glass cast Joshua Tree rocks. I have utilized glass techniques including embedding Joshua Tree ground and dichroic glass in the casting, which is theoretically not possible. Glass and rock are incompatible as they have different heating and cooling rates and this dichroic glass isn’t meant for casting. But it works.