Interview: Maria Boje Nissen
Luca Curci talks with Maria Boje Nissen during CONSCIOUSNESS, second appointment of ANIMA MUNDI 2022, at Palazzo Bembo – Venice Grand Canal.
My name is Maria Boje Nissen, I’m a 22-year-old artist from Denmark, I work with watercolours, ink, video performance and installations. I take inspiration from my own life, as a young woman, I combine personal experiences with references to cult movies and TV series, constructing my own parallel universe wherein invisible and seemingly immaterial phenomes such as racing thoughts, worries and anxieties are visualized and given a character of their own. Thus, my work attempts to bring forth these seemingly invisible, yet always present thoughts, by situating them in a universe which runs parallel to our own, making thoughts material to highlight their constant presence, and their effect on everyday life.
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Maria Boje Nissen – I’m currently working on a series of watercolors, inspired by the increase of femininity in menswear and how daily fashion gets more individual and expressive. Besides that, I’m currently working on some new video installation concepts.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
MBN – My surroundings have almost always encouraged me to be creative, so from very early on I’ve attended different art courses and, later on, also art school. While attending the art school I started working with another artist, whom I still work with once in a while. When we’re working together, there is a very special flow which I find incredibly inspiring. I also take a lot of my inspiration from my day-to-day life, the sensory impressions, the moods and the experiences. In my work, the inspiration I get from these impressions gets combined with inspiration from pop culture, movies and TV series, which thus lays the foundation for my artworks. My two main sources of inspiration are definitely David Lynch, especially the TV series’ Twin Peaks’, as well as the artist Pipilotti Rist.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
MBN – For the last two and a half years I have been constructing a universe in which most of my artworks are situated in- or part of. The universe is a manifestation of all the feelings I experience, sensory impressions, moods and experiences mixed together with pop culture and vibrant colors. The universe exists parallel to that of our own, almost like a paranormal phenomenon which I take and convey through my art in different mediums such as watercolor, video installations and performance. Prior to the creation of my universe, I worked a lot with just watercolors that were based on non-specific experiences, although some of these old works have morphed into my universe and are now part of it.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
MBN – Sadly it’s finding time to actually make them. I am a full-time student next to making my art, so I hope that can combine my studies with my art when I’m finished with them.
LC – How is your creative process?
MBN – I usually just get a sudden idea, I write it down, take some pictures, and then I just start making something. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, but then I learn from that and find out what worked and what didn’t. Sometimes when I work in an art group we discuss different ways to go about it, which is also highly beneficial, in my opinion.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event? How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition?
MBN – “PORTRAIT IN LIGHT” is a collection of works inspired by human-made light, highlighting its ability to create emotional atmospheres from colors which are able to create a sense of connection with others. The collection is part of the universe that I am constructing. “PORTRAIT IN LIGHT” explores this universe by focusing on works that explore how light can affect emotions and thoughts. It’s an exploration of experiences- and experimentations with light as a medium for creating- and affecting emotions – but also visually manifesting them. The artwork “PORTRAIT IN LIGHT” (2021) shown at ANIMA MUNDI 2022 – CONSCIOUSNESS, especially focuses on colorful lighting as an emotional force that enables self-staging, the production of adrenaline in the spectator and the visualization of an emotion-driven atmosphere. The artwork is connected to the theme in the way that light is able to connect people, creating a sense of togetherness through its ability to give a shared space an emotion which connects people through a sense of shared experience. The artwork is an attempt at visualizing light as an emotion-driven character and its ability to connect people, but also to speculate about where said ability comes from. Is it an ability inherent in the light itself? Is something inside us that has always been there, or is it something learned through society or culture? Light is such an intrinsic element required for sustaining almost all life forces, so it feels worthwhile to explore its emotional significance to us, both as a mediator of emotion and as a connective force, not only between us but between everything.
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?
MBN – It was not created for the exhibition. It’s a preexisting work that is part of my collection, “PORTRAIT IN LIGHT”.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
MBN – Yes, I did. I am very glad that you have taken into account that I have not quite been able to afford the fee for participation, but that we have been able to reach an agreement that made it possible for me to take part anyway.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
MBN – I did not know about the platform before you reached out to me. I do very much like the idea to help artists in getting their artworks out in the world, and I’m excited to see how it’s gonna affect me as an artist. However, I also think it’s a tad expensive for me as a young artist. I know I could perhaps have found someone to sponsor me, but by the time I was asked to be a part of the exhibition, it was not possible for me to find a sponsor in time.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
MBN – I honestly don’t know a lot about it, so I assume it’s good.