Interview: Sittig Fahr-Becker
Luca Curci talks with Sittig Fahr-Becker during CONSCIOUSNESS, second appointment of ANIMA MUNDI 2022, at Palazzo Bembo – Venice Grand Canal.
Born in Munich and being influenced by the work of my mother as an art historian, art was a big part of my life from a young age. Having the privilege of seeing masterpieces up and close at the museum my mother was working as a curator, while there were hanged or packed up. The creative process of creating something which transported what an Artist was seeing or feeling fascinated me. Not being the best painter, photography was a medium which I found really appealing. The whole process from taking the picture to developing it seeing the picture appear on paper, was something magical. Luckily all the boarding schools I went to had a darkroom where I was able to play with photography.
After finishing school I started studying town planing in London, after my roommate bought a digital camera and I was able to play with it I knew thats what I wanted to do. Instead of going to lectures I started to take photoshop (4.0) corses and saving money to buy my own digital camera. Then I had the opportunity to study at the Bauhaus in Dessau where I got my degree in graphic design and photography. Being so close to berlin which was just reinventing its self as a city I just had to move there. There I started to work as a freelance photographer for clients like Karstadt and exploring the city with my camera.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Sittig Fahr-Becker – Art is a way of expressing a unique perspective or perception of life, which is then communicated and enhanced through a technique or medium used by the artist. To quote James Nachtwey (a war photographer): “I don’t believe there’s any such thing as objective reality. It’s only reality as we experience it.”
LC – What are you currently working on?
SFB – One of my current projects is encasing iconic or everyday objects in acrylic paint. The color selected for each object is used to paint a large canvas to serve as a monochromatic background. Each object is suspended in the foreground. Then, the same acrylic paint is dispensed by hand over the object to create a slick coat, with drips falling naturally. This creates a sleek reflective look, simultaneously obscuring the recognisable details of each object while highlighting and bringing more attention to its simple form. The concept started with the project “The Black Fruits” which depicts fruit coated in black acrylic paint to represent the destructive consequences of our world’s dependency on oil. This collection aims to raise awareness of the toll taken by the oil used to ship exotic fruit worldwide so we can consume them whenever we want, without considering the consequences for our planet.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
SFB – I was there for the opening night of the exhibition, so I was only able to get a glimpse of people’s reactions to my work. But something which always interests me is to see if what i wanted to express is transported through my work, or if the viewer has a different interpretation, which may give me a new perspective or ideas to push the subject even further.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
SFB – I would say yes, as for me or probably any other artist who draws from their experiences and an ever-changing world, which will inevitably change you and your views. ((did it change YOUR style, i.e. my first camera was This, and with the invention of This, I realized…) Or “I’ve always appreciated symmetry, and this theme remains constant in my work…” Additionally, the discovery of new techniques in the art world, specifically photography and the evolution of digital cameras, has changed everything. We went from being able to just capture a specific point in time, a record of history which we saw, to being able to create what we “saw” with the use of Photoshop.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
SFB – If I had to choose, there are two themes which actually could be viewed as opposites. One is focused on objects and items, where I try to show how I view them by obscuring, taking them apart or taking them out of the context they live in. The other is documenting life/people/cities, where reality is captured and shown exactly as it was in that specific moment.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
SFB – The theme of consciousness, which for me is a person’s awareness or perception of something, relates closely to my own goals as an artist. My pictures are supposed to change the perception of everyday things like the Porsche or raise awareness about something like the BLM demonstration in Munich.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
SFB – In the Porsche picture I am obscuring the object with a coat of acrylic paint which changes the perception of the object as most of the details and colours are taken away by the paint flowing over it, so that just the basic shape remains. This places the focus on the most basic or minimal view of that object. Then the viewer sometimes needs to take a second or third look to see what it is – even if they have seen it countless times – and it can be perceived as something new. In a city like Hong Kong, we mostly look up. As we are fixed to the ground, having a birds-eye view with this drone shot just completely changes the perception of the city. It sometimes feels like looking down on a maze where people just go about their life without even realising that there is another perspective. Crete Beach Kids is an everyday situation wich seems to be timeless, but as the kids are busy with their ever present smartphones despite the beautiful location or the physical presents of their friends. it represents how our society and the way we communicate has changed over time. BLM Munich for me marks a point in time where something could not be ignored or pushed aside any longer, as the whole world decided to stand up to say “No more.” Racism has been and is something we have to address. As a German and in light of German history, I am very mindful of the fact that the demonstration at the Königsplatz, which was the biggest BLM protest in Europe, was held in the same place where Hitler once delivered his speeches. Now people, no matter the color of their skin, are standing side by side to demonstrate against racism and inequality. That shows we are able to change, even if we still have a long way to go.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
SFB – I do think so. In my opinion, one of the biggest obstacles for artists lies in getting noticed and finding the right places to present their work. The ITSLIQUID Group is giving an opportunity to those who might get overlooked and offers the audience new chances at understanding the world through the artist’s eyes.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
SFB – Yes, very much, as ITSLIQUID helped with the organization from start to finish and help with all the details.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
SFB – I think the ITSLIQUID platform is helping artists to be discovered and reach a wider range of people, which can be difficult in our oversaturated world.