Interview: Monika Blanka Katterwe
Luca Curci talks with Monika Blanka Katterwe during THE EXTENDED BODY 2020 at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space.
I was born in Luckenwalde on March 16, 1966. After high school, I began my long way of studies in science, nature, art and pedagogy. During my educational activity, I put special emphasis on the practical teaching of scientific foundation among the students, combined with high-quality development of multiple perceptibility and very good skills set around decrypt images. It was important to me to introduce my students to intercultural collaboration. We participated in international competitions. Since 2016, my interest is in the Story of Photography and his practical implementation in artistic form and lots parts of nature, especially crystals and the space-time continuum. So I use scientific, artistic libraries for my individual education and public scientific lectures. In the joint projects with scientists and interested citizens, I was able to further develop my communication skills through photographs. Taking advantage of this, lately, I began to establish international contacts with photographers, art lovers and artists via various networks and personal encounters. The exchange enables me to gain a deeper understanding of the culturally influenced diverse artistic expressions. This is a basis for the further development of my artistically scientific light painting as a global form of communication. The actual combination of light painting with sculptural, multimedia elements opens up new expressive dimensions for me.
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Monika Blanka Katterwe – I am working on research, description and visualization of dynamic spatial structures. In particular, I examine its essential components and its principles. This is based on literature studies, nature observations and artistic-scientific experiments. For example, I am interested in exploring the properties of light, because it is the basis of our visually oriented knowledge. To me, it is a marginal phenomenon of higher-level energetic processes. I would like to present their complex shapes using a simple energy model. This is based on a small module. To illustrate this, I work photographically, artistically, mathematically geometrically, and multimedia. I hope to create the scientific, aesthetic visualization of my knowledge and experience in a new way for multicultural communication forms. At the same time, I’m working on a project for the artistic and scientific reworking of lawn iron as a defining element of regional historical development processes. I find support from local researchers, interested citizens, the regional authorities and in particular from the GeoUnion. But I also like to take social issues photographically.
LC – What is the background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
MBK – The background of this type of activity has been my enthusiasm for science and art since my childhood. I got first insights into communities of interest in astronomy, geology and art and gained my first practical experience. However, these committees were quickly exhausted for my thirst for knowledge and so I found contacts in the astrophysical institute in Potsdam, for example. The experience that people of the same age could hardly follow my explanation so fast, they deal with completely different things. My explanations were mostly too complex and too specific for them. Therefore, I liked to be involved in practical artistic work at the same time and was active in many other interest groups. An important, up-to-date, defining event for my freelance artistically- scientific work since 2016 is the divorce of my family. I was only able to work up the related experiences artistically. They led to an intensive examination of the human psyche and merge in the series of photographs “Nature as a mirror of the experience” and in the realization of my first book “Speaking to”.
LC – What is your creative process like?
MBK – The creative game as part of an experimental setup based on scientific principles, in which the randomness offers sufficient scope. The accompanying photographic capture with my iPhone and the subsequent consolidation of the knowledge gained in artistically- scientific photo painting. The representation of reality is particularly important to me, so I do not use any digital processing. This culminates in crystal models to illustrate complex systems.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
MBK – The lack of my own high-quality digital camera which enables me to capture the observations in sufficient-quality for large format prints.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
MBK – My works are intended as aesthetic scientific stimuli for the viewer to reflect themselves and their perceptions in the work and thus go on their own journey of discovery. In combination with linguistic elements, multi-functional extensions are possible and desirable.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
MBK – Is my first work in the tradition of representatives of surrealism as Magritte and de Chirico, of the analytic cubism, who seek a simultaneity of the spatial by permeating different sides and the futurists of the engine age, wanted to make the simultaneity of the temporal visible. My work is now increasingly oriented towards international visual languages from different cultures and scientific visualizations using special types of light. The break with conventional rules of photography in favour of painterly effects became increasingly apparent, as did the conscious work with the error. Through this, I try to arouse the attention and curiosity of the viewer. In the age of striving for perfection, a game with slight imperfection. In addition, the work experiences a transcendent spatial effect. Clearly and firmly structured form a distance, this is lost on closer inspection and opens up spaces for individual discovery of reality.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
MBK – I’m happy to get to know you and excited about the new opportunities that you as an artist make possible for me. The international network with artists from all over the world from different areas of art corresponds exactly to my approach to worldwide peaceful communication.