Interview: Ulla Hasen
Luca Curci talks with Ulla Hasen during RITUALS, first appointment of the ANIMA MUNDI 2022 art fair, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
“I grew up standing behind my grandfather watching him painting naturalistic landscapes. I did ornamental drawings as a child, but never got any proportions right. Drawing and painting never seemed an option for me also due to the lack of idea of what to depict. But accompanying my studies in natural sciences and ongoing in the following decades I very much enjoyed attending lectures at the University of Vienna and the Academy of fine arts Vienna on aesthetics, anthropology, and cultural studies held by Konrad Paul Liessmann, Elisabeth von Samsonow, and Peter Sloterdijk, complemented since 2016 by lectures on History of arts at the University of Vienna and the University of Applied Arts Vienna. I started taking pictures in 2019 after having gained distance from the idea of depicting something given. Since then I attend classes in an acrylic painting by Haider Al-Zubaidi and since 2020 also by Udo Hohenberger.”
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Ulla Hasen – I was asked to contribute a series of special works to go along with a collection of poems, which will be published as a book. That´s really an interesting task to incept poetry and respond to it with abstract paintings in a way, that the quintessence of the words emerges in colors and lines. It’s much more than a matter of mere illustration.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
UH – Grown up in a world of craftsmanship, being educated as a technician with an ecological focus, I experience the limits of intended action in my daily work when trying to implement sustainability. The very different experience underlying my artworks is the one of playing explicated by Friedrich Schiller in his inquiry on aesthetic education.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
UH – To make a living out of one’s paintings is the privilege of a few like it always has been. So work-life balance is one of the big challenges if you have to work in the daytime to afford what you do in the nighttime.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
UH – Indeed I always encourage people to contemplate my works for a few minutes and tell me, what impressions, associations, thoughts, etc. arise in them. Thus I find out about additional dimensions of my works. In favor to stimulate a free approach to my works, most of them have no title.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
UH – My style is experimental and evolves slowly along with contingent differences by exploring them in depth.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
UH – Exploring the hidden connections between mankind and the natural elements is my daily exercise when working on sustainable development, and exploring the hidden connections between the soul and the body is the focus of my art. Thus the theme of ANIMA MUNDI is a perfect match for me.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the exhibition or as a part of preexisting works?
UH – The presented work is not one of the most recent ones, but it is from a period, where I concentrated on exploring the perfection of gestures. Synchronization of the mind and the matter is one of the core functions of rituals. In east Asian traditions and art this approach is more prevalent than in western ones. Creating artworks out of the momentum of harmony tends to be suspicious to modern minds, which are trained to negotiate differences. Nevertheless, I think you can’t underestimate the value of such a practice on the individual level as well as on the societal one. Minimalistic reduction enhances focusing and – maybe a key factor in achieving sustainability.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
UH – I like the straightforward and very friendly collaboration with ITSLIQUID, always willing to find the best solution and the experienced handling.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
UH – Itsliquid as a communication platform offers a rather broad portfolio, but as I try to keep my focus, I concentrate on the art exhibition program. ITSLIQUID enables access to great venues, which really make you want to show your works there.