Interview: Lauren Pringle
Luca Curci talks with Lauren Pringle during THE BODY LANGUAGE 2021 at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space and at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Lauren Pringle is a Director, Movement Artist and Performer, born in Hemel Hempstead, UK, who birthed her career in the belly of Buenos Aires and has since moved to London and Berlin. Her work aims to explore all of these mediums in the format of film and create experiential and emotional scenarios. On a quest to make people feel and connect more to their body-brain, Lauren combines her performance art background to create provocative and spellbinding visuals and interactive performances to wake you up to our of your skin. Lauren Pringle is a director signed to Familia Films and an award-winning producer (The Mess – Dorothy Allen Pickard – Open City Docs Best UK Short, YDA Cannes). Her debut film as a Director was nominated for Best Dance at Aesthetica Film Festival, UK. Her latest film “If I Was To Surrender” was also nominated for Best Experimental Film at Berlin Commercial Awards 2020, is a Semi-Finalist at Prague International Indie Film Awards and is a Finalist at Berlin Indie Film Awards. “Anima & Animus” will also be shown at Florence Biennale and at Czong Institute for Contemporary Art in South Korea.
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Lauren Pringle – I am currently developing a movement and film research project looking at the concept of community, togetherness, tribalism, ritual, instinctive behavior and the power of these concepts in our current state. I am working on ideas that call upon the intuitive magic that we all have inside of us and the power of being seen and feeling at the core. I have two projects in the pipeline that are a linking development, one is city-based research and the continuation is the nature-based development of the idea. I call it “Wolfpack” and the idea is about exploring our intuitive animal instincts and the notion of pack behavior.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
LP – I am a trained performer and studied dance, theatre and film, but I must say life has been my greatest schooling. I am from a small town outside of London, Hemel Hempstead, and then moved to Brighton to study and then to Buenos Aires to develop my artistic practice and explore and play. I moved back to London after 9 years there, couldn’t handle the energy and moved to Berlin. The nomadic settlement has been a part of my practice and the fluidity of life always guiding me. I think the greatest influence in my work was living in Buenos Aires for 9 years. I was part of a strong theatrical and dance community always in a process of DIY creation. We didn’t have much to make with so there was always such a creative need for exploration in place alongside all the cultural and political influences. Working with young women and tuning into the power of group collectives using creativity was the basis of my work there. Bridging the realms of theatre, performance, movement and film began there and it has since developed. I never really followed a structure simply a feeling and working a lot in the concept of a group has always been the way I process best. That is also what furthered me more into film making, it is such strong group energy, every one head of their field all working together for the perfect shot. The focus is completely aligned and there is so much power in that process. Coming from a performance world this has definitely inspired my filmmaking to work towards a way in which I celebrate and work with performance artists in film and create a harmonious environment where we can platform such an array of talented artists. I feel that life is a spectacle and film is an imprinted medium to keep exploring fantasy and play. Life is truly absurd and the film is a way to capture this, live in a fantasy world in order to cope with the real one. For me at least.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
LP – I am very curious about the relationship between the body, mind and soul. I think my work is always looking at the ways we can connect to our body and our intuitive forces. I am fascinated by access and creating spaces where everyone can understand and connect to their inner magic. The exploration of gender and the relationship to the physical body interest me and where bodies and humans sit in relationship to space, the public and private. I wrote my dissertation 12 years ago studying James Baldwin and it has stuck with me since then. What belongs where and why? Which spaces exist where we can explore our freedoms and allow the mind to be taken into natural states of trance and flow. Yes, flow, flow is also my focus, the life source, life flow and helping people access that. What happens if we truly trust and let life lead the way? Do we have the strength to trust? If so, where might it lead? This then spurs ideas of destiny or simple coincidence but that all goes a lot deeper.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it like your medium of expression?
LP – 100%. I think I can only make art when I have something strong to say. I never really care who sees it or what it does but more like I need to channel this energy and use my resources to do so. I am often triggered by an experience and when my subtle shadow comes to light. I am not saying I create from a dark place but perhaps the trigger comes from the constant contrasts of realities that we all face. The world is full of two opposing polarities and we need to recognize and converse with all sides in order to live in harmony. My current project for example is birthed out of the need to work towards a collective consciousness and bring people together to remember the power of our instinctual and communal behaviors. My last project “Anima & Animus” was exploring the subconscious shadows and personalities we all have inside of us and the surfacing light of them. The project before that was birthed out of the importance of the club sphere and the need to have tribal spaces of ritual in our modern dwelling spaces. Another film, “Face Filter”, commented on the extreme nature of face filters and images of perfection amongst teenagers and where it leads our mental health. So I guess in a nutshell yes I only can create art when I am triggered by something personally and it causes a rush and flow to move and put the wheels in motion to move and say something.
LC – What is your creative process like?
LP – I think I answered it a little bit above. First I need to just feel. I need to feel what I need to say and then it comes. I rarely pre-conceptualize an idea. It rather comes from a moment or a trigger and then once I feel into it calls me to research and develop and then because I am also a producer I can’t stop until it is done. As I said, it’s a very intuitive process and feel led.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
LP – I really liked the concept of this festival for its subject being ‘body language’ which of course is the subject of my work and how we can communicate without words. It inspired me in the sense to see all translations of the subject across all mediums on an international platform.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
LP – Yes of course. I presented “Anima & Animus” in this exhibition. It was really an experimental affair with this piece. I was given the space and equipment three days before and developed the concept there and then. Having a range of performers close to me I invited them to explore concepts and identities of Shakespearean female characters as a development project. We worked with the strong female archetypes in Shakespeare to support the performance and then I worked long in the edit to find the stories I wanted to share. After shooting I then began working with an editor and singer/songwriter Damsel Talk (amazing artist btw) who wrote the texts and then I developed the concept with composers Petra Hermanova and Jon Eirik Bosca (also amazing artists) who layered their magic and music over the piece. It was a beautiful play as I could be really experimental with it and really thought about the talents I have close to me and how I could offer them space to also feel this creative freedom in this collaborative exploration. The concept looks at our collective unconscious and the shadows we all have inside of us and how they might be manifested or represented in the fantasy of the mind. I wanted the piece to really transport the spectator into these archetypes touched upon in all kinds of literature and look at them through another lens or spectrum.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event? Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
LP – I couldn’t make the exhibition, but it all seemed very well done.