Interview: Roni Ben-Ari
Luca Curci talks with Roni Ben-Ari during ALCHEMIC BODY 2021, at ArtFix, and during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2021 – 9TH EDITION, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space and at Misericordia Archives.
My name is Roni Ben-Ari. I am an Israeli photographer, curator and multimedia artist. My work is characterized mostly by the long-term study of social issues in which the human landscape comprises the main part. I adore people, whoever they are and wherever I meet them. I have tremendous empathy for the ‘other’ as well as an ability to get close and offer them a warm hug. My patience and ability to listen have helped me to reach people others have labeled “the walking transparent”. With my camera, I present their daily lives and humanity as a mirror to the cultured world that ignores their very existence. The subjects that I photograph in stills and video are universal, and as such, they allow me to document in many places around the world, while I encounter over and over again the weak, the deprived and the silenced who are always found on the margins of society: minorities, the elderly, migrants, prostitutes and ecology. These are just a small part of the long list. The many projects I exhibit all over the world shine a spotlight on the society living in the shadows, with the photographs serving as a kind of journalistic essay, the role of which is to prod government bodies, NGOs, and private initiatives into action to expand the laws protecting the weak and enforce them.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Roni Ben-Ari – Art has always been a part of my life. All along the way and in different mediums (photography, video art and installations) I have used my artistic skills to express my ideas and thoughts.
LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
RBA – I have studied art and photography for many years and also worked as a tv director. All together helped to create my artistic language.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
RBA – I use art to bring social issues to the front of the stage and to evoke a discussion.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
RBA – Between the dream and the idea to the actual making of the art there is some distance and a long process is needed of researching and learning. To be able to create a work of art combined from many little parts till it is starting to take shape.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
RBA – Being an artist is wonderful, but nowadays it takes a lot of work, also financial, physical, and emotional resources to make your way in the art world.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition?
RBA – The concept of transformation is very interesting and allows a range of expression for many artists under that subject.
LC – How did it inspire you?
RBA – It inspired me to find the right work for this concept from my archive of artworks.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
RBA – This video art is a part of a big project by two German dancers who usually perform on stage in front of an audience. They choose to collaborate with different artists from different media and dance in their living room. Then the artists had to react to their intimate performance. When they came to my home, I decided to have them dance in my petting zoo in my backyard. Something in their movements and body language reminded me of my animals mainly of the poultry. “Space place” is the result of alchemy between the bodies of humans and animals and also between the art of photography and the art of dance.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
RBA – Yes, ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us?
RBA – Yes, I would suggest a collaboration with you.
LC – What do you think about our services?
RBA – I think the ITSLIQUID GROUP team is very useful, helpful, fast responding and welcoming.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
RBA – I think the different possibilities and spaces for exhibitions allow for more opportunities for artists from all over the world.