Interview: Stella Brajterman
Luca Curci talks with Stella Brajterman during FUTURE LANDSCAPES, third appointment of BORDERS Art Fair 2020, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello and The ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Stella Brajterman is an artist, actress, poet and mover. Graduated in Performing Arts at UNIRIO and in Cinema with Darcy Ribeiro. Stella has a 10 years career in Theatre and has researched theatre-dance in Italy with the Potlatch Theater and in London at Trinity Laban, Siobhan Davies and Wayne Mcgregor Choreography Lab. Her last works combined hybrid art expressions. In 2019 she presented her dance-theatre solo “Pé do Ouvido” at Galeria Aymore – RJ and performed in the Art Rio at C Galeria and in the performative installation “Entre Cinzas Ossos e Elefantes”.
The key matter that moves Stella as an artist is the connections between constructed social spaces, movement and poetry. In her work as a performer, she aims to explore the concrete space of the city, the woman’s role in the community and her gypsy family background as a starting point to create new imaginary spaces and narratives. How to insert the woman in this dialogue in a ritual sense in their respective urban jungles, observed by nature in the open and touched by the incessant poetry of those who seek the encounter with themselves. How to recreate the world in combination with Stella’s memories and fantasies requires movement, strong images, and a way of being in touch with the ghosts who linger in chosen urban spots and inside her story.
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Stella Brajterman – I am still working on my new solo “Ava” (the theatre play version) that will be showcased in a gallery in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil next year. I am also working on another project based on a tale of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, that blends theatre/cinema/dance. And always researching performance and movement with my group to not lose the rhythm during Covid times.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
SB – I believe that my first Art expression background was writing (at the age of 6), so it is something that follows me in my artistic path until now, especially poetry… I think I am a poet and a poem seeker. But then I moved to Theatre when I was 12 years old and I’ve been working on it since then and it has a big influence on my current research now. As I also teach Theatre, it obliges me to always go back to this art expression. At the age of 16, I met Pina Bausch’s work and then everything changed for me. I started to search for dance classes and I fell in love. Not only about the dance but also about how Pina was able to combine so different art vocabularies and how passion, fear and desire drive her dancers. From that moment I realized that I could write poems not only with words but with dance, theatre, images, sounds. I think the most powerful experience that influences my work is when I allow myself to enter the “unknown” zone. This happens when I am experiencing a crisis, a big change (job change, house change), a trip, a challenge or the act of falling in love with someone.
LC – What is your creative process like?
SB – Since I am interested in all art expressions, a piece for me starts from a poetic stimulus: an image, a sentence, a song. From there I create a particular universe of everything that I can relate to the theme. The stimulus to create “Ava” was my grandfather’s glass eye. I started to research and study about glass, artificial eyes, my family background…For the compositions, I work with the sound stimulus, so I create a playlist of songs and sound effects that can also work as a Dramaturgy in my own body.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
SB – I believe to be an artist transcends the limits of time-space, because he can transform them. To be an artist is a state of presence, attention and engagement. For example, you can be an actor and not be an artist, or you can be a janitor and be an artist: it depends on how the person gets involved with the world around them and how it affects the world inside them. That is why I would say that to be an artist today is a big responsibility. The world is struggling in so many ways that the Artist has a huge impact on the way (or possibilities) of seeing reality and maybe of transforming it. The artist can be a “window” and a tool for the art itself to happen and awake people around them.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
SB – That’s a hard one. I don’t think I have a “theme”… I think I pursue poetry. I love poetry because of its ability to turn reality upside down, it gives me a sense of freedom and at the same time a feeling of immortality and fragility. About the subject, I prefer what I don’t know yet…
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
SB – The word border already inspired me a lot…Side, Edge, it gives me an idea of something that is about to fall. The beginning of a creative process is like this, you need to allow yourself to fall, something inside you needs to fall so that you can fly. The ‘Future Landscapes’ theme fits the community nowadays since we were all trapped due to the CoronaVirus. So to create a feeling of hope, we invent possibles “ways out”: how our own bodies are connected with the environment could be one of the keys.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
SB – The origin of the word “future” is “grow, become”…The main message for me in this piece is the possibility to recreate the world and recreate yourself: “Ava” is about a girl trapped by the pandemic in an apartment where her blind grandfather used to live, Ava tries to create a world of images for him, so he can “see” the world she now lives in. We tell stories to create possible landscapes so that humanity can keep up on growing and improving. Ava’s last line in the video is “This is the name that I am going to become”. The future is a decision. I hope we choose poetry, Nature, and equal rights.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
SB – Absolutely and I hope to present the performance in Venice very soon.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
SB – I thought that since we have artists from all around the world it would be nice to have a big meeting with all of them so we can discuss Art and Culture.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
SB – I think it is a powerful platform that allows artists to exchange creative processes, ideas, and possible scenarios for Art nowadays. It is very positive to have a space that stimulates dialogue between artists and art lovers.