Interview: Maria Katharina Rauchenberger
Luca Curci talks with Maria Katharina Rauchenberger during the 15th Edition of VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at Palazzo Bembo / Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Maria Katharina Rauchenberger (Switzerland, 1980) is a multifaceted artist of Central European origins who began her artistic career by measuring herself with photography, design, fashion, the study of singing and the piano. She lives and works in Florence. Exploring the expressive possibilities of digital tools and contemporary media, she creates digital photographs and videos, audiovisual performances and artistic projects that can be used both in person and directly from smartphones, tablets and computers. The stylistic code that characterizes all her works is the digital alteration of the image and sound. Through polarization, a technique that consists in the inversion or tonal change of an image, the superimposition of coloured filters, the use of recorded sounds and the creation of unpublished compositions of classic pieces reinterpreted in a contemporary key, the artist creates a new expressive code which gives life to a surprising vision of the world. Her works are characterized by a strong link with music, by the richness of intense and unusual color contrasts, and by the attention to detail often highlighted from unexpected points of view. The artist’s intervention does not intend to alter the vision of reality, but to present it from an unprecedented perspective capable of involving the viewer within a suggestive landscape. Focused on the perception of the surrounding reality and on a continuous search for what arouses amazement and enchantment, Rauchenberger’s poetics exalts the wonder of the world. The protagonists of her works are ancient sculptures and the natural world. She reinterprets the masterpieces of the masters of the past in a contemporary way and transforms natural landscapes into surreal and magnetic scenarios. Rauchenberger created ‘Wunderweg’, a map of Florence available on her website that presents her digital photographs and videos, and ‘Wunderfilter’, a project that sees applied Rauchenberger’s poetics and artistic language to Instagram with the creation of a personalized filter that arises from her works. She collaborated in the creation of Two Much, a shoe brand.
“I started with my artwork with a sense of curiosity and innocence. I started alone, without bonds and without preconceptions. I like the idea of a world where we can see and remodel the way we best believe only through careful observation. Each one for himself or herself. My artworks were born that way, they are full of contrasts, colourful, timeless, ageless and limitless”
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Maria Katharina Rauchenberger – The word “art” from the Latin “ars” has a practical meaning in the sense of ability in a productive activity, the ability to do it harmoniously, in a suitable way. In my opinion, there is this need to stress the “harmony” in the definition of art, which of course is very subjective. All my artworks are always aspiring to a certain harmony and sense of wonder. Now, of course, I cannot deny the influence on me of the fundamental characteristic of Aesthetism which is the extreme cult of beauty and art and the fundamental principle is “art for art”, in French “l’art pour l’art”. It expresses the exaltation of art in itself separated from any context and social conditioning, from any moral conditioning. My artworks in fact leave the viewer free to interpret the impact of the colour contrasts of the images.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
MKR – I started with my artwork with a sense of curiosity and innocence. I started alone, without bonds and without preconceptions. I like the idea of a world where we can see and remodel the way we best believe only through careful observation. Each one for himself or herself. My artworks were born that way, they are full of contrasts, colourful, timeless, ageless and limitless. My studies at the Music Conservatory have led me to use digital colors as notes on a pentagram to create a symphony. In Florence, I continue my research of interpretation “giving voice” to colors by solarizing and digitizing the lyric pieces or baroque arias I interpret. The experience that influenced my work most happened when I was 17 years old. During school holidays I have obtained a “stage” at a photo studio in my hometown in Switzerland. The first day I arrived I was given the most performing camera and asked to walk in the city and take pictures. I went with the idea to see my hometown differently, to show it in an unusual way to others. I then won a prize at school for the great result of this tour and all the activities connected to the development in black and white of the photographs. Since then, I always try to see the beauty that surrounds me in a different manner. Then, of course, I moved to Florence, a city in which the beauty reaches its paroxysm.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
MKR – I never feel I have completed a work. I always feel it is part of a bigger picture, the beauty of art, that still is evolving. Of course the digital technologies allow me a continuous research of harmony.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
MKR – Sure, at the beginning you always are less confident and have less trust in yourself and in what you strongly believe but coming back to the latin definition of art, I continue my research and try to do it harmoniously which provides me all the confidence I need. Also the pandemic period has influenced my style focusing on the relationship between the persons and the persons and art. I started with stronger colour contrasts and emotions and now my research is focusing on a better harmony between colours and emotions.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
MKR – I try to draw attention to the beauties of life that can be grasped at any time but that escape for lack of empathy. Through color and its musical harmony, including contrasts, I want to be able to give life and warmth to even the most polished but cold marble.
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?
MKR – The artwork that has been presented has been created for the exhibition.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
MKR – Sure, it is always a pleasure to explain what my artwork means and its connection to the exhibition. The artwork “Time of Water” reflects on the theme of liquidity related to the connection between the mind and the body. The drop and the flow of water conduct the viewer in an immersive dimension between the outer and the inner world. The boundaries between these two worlds are liquid and in a continuous movement that goes sometimes fast other times slow and sometimes even the other way round. This work invites to meditate and to explore the complex labyrinths of our consciousness.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
MKR – Of course, I think it is wonderful to collaborate with ITSLIQUID and your services are remarkable.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
MKR – I think the platform is very attractive for contemporary artist and ITSLIQUID social media are very active and its dynamics an example for other art platforms.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
MKR – ITSLIQUID GROUP provides information about design companies, new architectural projects, art exhibitions, fashion designers to some of the world’s leading international galleries, museums, institutions, private and public groups, artists, architects, designers, dealers, fashion companies selected. I would love to continue collaborating with it!