Interview: Vera Nowottny
Luca Curci talks with Vera Nowottny during Venice International Art Fair 2021 at the Room Contemporary Art Space
Vera Nowottny, born in Bad Neustadt Saale in 1970, is a German visual artist and photographer based in Munich. In her artistic work she pursues two photographic perspectives. One concerns seeing and the situational reaction to external processes, for which digital photography is used. On the other hand, she works in an analogue manner, with the camera obscura and sheet films as recording media. This allows her technical flexibility in generating images that cannot be implemented using digital photography. In contrast to the former, these images are created in the head and are not based on sight.
The origin of the images lies in an introspection, which they then experimentally transfer technically to the medium of photography. Both objective information and subjective experiences, comments, emotions and sensory impressions play together and allow us to speak of socially critical and culturally relevant topics.
Another coherent focus on materiality in her work is based on the thesis of an increasing human loss of haptic handling of materials in the course of digitization. This discussion manifests itself in terms of content, as well as haptic and purely aesthetic,whereby the focus is on the consistencies, tactilities and colors of the materials. Based on experiments, contrary to current trends, she gives these properties a role inherent in the image.
LUCA CURCI – What is art for you?
VERA NOWOTTNY – According to me, art is the opportunity to show how I perceive what surrounds me and events in general. After perceiving and feeling, I use photography to visualize my impressions. At the same time, I feels that photography also helps me to better understand the world and general events.
LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
VN – I have been involved with photography for many years and on different levels. So it’s a process and an experience. A mixture of learning the process, working and, most important, studying for my doctorate in art and design at the Bauhaus, which left its mark on me.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
VN – It depends. The ideas just come up, but my subjective perception and my perspective on current events, society and nature and my immediate surroundings certainly always play a role. At the moment my artistic material monkey is very much determined by the pandemic and its effects.
LC – What is your creative process like?
VN – I see or feel it and than I take concentrated photos. For an artistic implementation I mostly use a camera obscura, analog sheet films and the camera in a way that differs from the usual usage.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
VN – Not easy, but always exciting.
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?
VN – Materials are the focus of my work and the way to make them visible and evident. Their haptic sensation and tactility, based on the thesis that we have lost the handling of materials through digitization. The series Greybreak was created after a long and dreary winter and express my feelings about the awakening nature and, at the same time, visualize the necessity and the presence of the digital life.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
VN – Certainly. I was very happy to receive the Winner of the Year award and I am excited to see what will happen in the future.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
VN – Yes, of course, although unfortunately I couldn’t come to Venice myself because of the pandemic and probably this year’s exhibition will not be noticed in the same way as under normal circumstances. Thank you for the experience!