Interview: Tasha Wolff
Luca Curci talks with Tasha Wolff during FUTURE LANDSCAPES, 3rd Appointment of BORDERS ART FAIR 2021, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
“I was born in the USSR and this fact was probably determinating in my artist formation. As I lived there I felt trapped and suffocated by the permanent regulation of human beings, preventing using the creativity, hypocrisy, and terrifying boring quotidianity. I didn’t want to study Arts because of the soviet realism as an imposed norm and I studied languages instead. Still, I was always creating, painting essentially. When I was able to leave I fell into some kind of excessiveness, I wanted to catch up with the lost time and live in several lifetimes. The intensity has become my quest in real life as in my artistic work. I wanted to meet a multitude of simultaneous experiences. Times and periods get piled up, layers of feelings, memories, sensations are interposed, some fade away, some of the surface like in a palimpsest. I’m like an astral plane: a magnet for a lost dream. Time appears like a human construction, a maze in which footpaths man get easily lost. The technics I use reflet the same problem: I use essentially paper maché, which is produced from the layers of wood, papers, sentences, thoughts, and calcination, which constitutes a return to the roots, to the stars dust. Calcination represents a permanent change of matter. The material is fusing, flowing, and becomes fixed randomly. The chance is the main vector in the staging and the composition of my work in the same way as it is done in a human’s or an in a star’s birth.”
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Tasha Wolff – It’s without a doubt my soviet past. Being born nowhere, because this country doesn’t exist anymore. And as such it became legendary. It is also an extremely dramatic history of this country which is better b understood when we look back from afar. “Beauty and horror” using M.Rilke words. On the other hand, with time I began to appreciate some soviet art’s expression, mainly soviet sculpture, which releases huge force and energy and seems to be timeless.
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
TW – Usually before starting to work I drink tee and I look long my creating. Normally I have some very general idea when I start working but then I prefer to be guided by intuition. My thoughts are cascading from one scenario to another. I always listen to music, essentially the radio” France music” and my work is punctuated by its cadence. It’s mostly classical and contemporary music, opera, and jazz. Some of my works are products of synesthetic association of music inspiring pictures. I even did a series called “Cantare oh-oh, volare oh-oh-oh-oh” (from the famous song).
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
TW – Everywhere, some object with unusual form, some sentence from a series I watch, could be a picture from the magazine, some song and lately it is actuality from my birth country Belarus who fights against the dictatorship. The word is important. If I find the right title it helps me to figure out the rest.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your works?
TW – The begging, just after the calcination process. The support is black, ugly, devastating, hopelessly silent. It’s quite challenging to captivate chaotic forms on it, to rescue them from abysmal depths and reconstruct them in their new appearances.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in society? And contemporary art?
TW – The artist reflects reality. Each artist has his own reality, so one can be a passive reproductive, pensive contemplator looking for harmonious colors and forms or rebel, shocking, challenging, destroying learned norms. I think all of them have their importance as they “talk” for someone, helps somebody to define his affinities, to find his bright and dark sides, to recognize his own truth. Of course in some dramatic periods of our history, some artists placed their creativity for the service of the ideal or a common cause like Picasso with Guernica, Diego de Rivera, Alfaro de Siquieros, etc. And doing this they only emphasized their genius. But it’s also because it was not only engaged art but the sum of expressiveness, the magnitude of beauty. So I think the role of the artist is to touch a spectator. Contemporary art has also the role of creating new forms of expression, to surprise, to put an end to the routine.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
TW – If I generalize it’s about how a human being is dealing with social and environmental pressure, the way he builds liberating places using his freedom of mind, how he’s evolving through history keeping the possibility to preserve his own world. The red spectrum, the spaceman, the young woman, embodying the revolt or a cyclops in my works are beyond conventions, rules, and directives, they run and fly away from the oppressing reality living in the land of insight and ideas.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
TW – Actually I was really inspired by the festival’s topic and ITSLIQUID’s vision. It has helped me to deepen my reflection about “7 zip time”: human peregrination through the centuries and dimensions where old and modern habitats coexist, they are they interfere with each other, they are blending creating the possibility of the permanent metamorphosis, the possibility to shape our own future landscapes.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us? Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
TW – I did, as I said before it was very exciting to develop the festival’s ideas. I’m sure it’s a good opportunity to exhibit, be represented, and be interviewed in such an exciting place! It is important for an artist to show his art, to show it in Venice, it can only enhance it further.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
TW – Yes, I highly recommend it. The communication with your services is excellent, as well as the attention towards the artists, the efforts to promote their work.