She Ate the Crumbs: Post-Exhibition Questions

The exhibition reached a warm end on March 21st, only to be followed by disquieting news from all over the world reminding us how precarious human beings are, as with the freedom and equality that we struggle for. While staying home and producing as best we could, we wanted the life of the exhibition to continue and reiterate the sense of being together by asking our artists a few questions about their practices and everyday lives. About inevitable trajectory changes.

Cendrillon Belanger

Cathy Burghi

Laura Garcia-Karras

Luísa Jacinto

Shelly Silver

Yuan Gun Gun


Cendrillion Belanger

Then the Fog Lifted, Cendrillon Belanger, Photograph, 2019

1- What do you see as the most important theme to you at the moment and throughout your career? Why?

Je ne sais pas si il y a vraiment un thème dans mon travail, mais ce qui m’intéresse en ce moment et ce avec quoi je travaille, c’est la nature. Parce qu’elle est intemporel. Avant je travaillais beaucoup avec le nu. Pour les mêmes raisons. Maintenant j’associe les deux. Et finalement j’ai l’impression que çela me rapproche de la peinture même si je travaille en photo.

I’m not quite sure if there is a theme within my work. What does interest me now is nature, and it’s also what I’m working with. Because it’s timeless. Previously I worked a lot with the nude, for similar reasons. Now I connect both of them together, and in the end I have the impression it brings me closer to painting even though I work with photography.

2- you work with different mediums. how does the process of moving forward with a work differ from medium to medium?

quand je travaille, cela part toujours d’une image que j’ai en tête et qui m’obsède. Je dois la réaliser à tout prix. Cela devient une obsession. Après soit je trouve un décor qui existe déjà, soit je le construit. Où je détourne un décor existant. Après pour réaliser mes images j’utilise la photo et la vidéo. Je sais que le hasard peut donner des choses intéressantes et auxquelles je n’avais pas pensées. Parfois très différentes de l’image que j’avais en tête. Donc je joue aussi beaucoup là-dessus. Quand je fais des photos, j’en fait des centaines. Pour avoir une banque d’images. . Même si je pars de mon idée de départ cela m’est égal je prends le plus de photos possibles pour voir ce que le moment m’aura permis de faire. Pareil en vidéo, même si j’ai une idée de départ, je laisse la caméra tourner. En ce qui concerne la vidéo, je regarde par la suite rapidement les rushs, et je me laisse inspirer de l’ambiance qui s’en dégage. Puis je compose le son. Je commence par monter le son. Et c’est ensuite sur ce son que je monterai les images vidéo. C’est le son qui me dictera tout en terme de vidéo : son rythme, l’enchainement des images, sa durée. Pour finir, le résultat photo et vidéo est la plupart du temps bien éloigné de l’image qui m’obsédait au départ.

When I work, it always starts with an image in my head that obsesses me. I need to do it at any cost. It won’t go away. Then I either find a setting that already exists or I build it myself. Or I transform the purpose of an available setting. In order to make my images I use photography and video. I’m aware that chance can produce interesting things I hadn’t considered, at times very different from what I had in mind. So I use this a lot as well. When I do photos, I make hundreds of them. In order to have an image bank. I may start from an initial idea but it doesn’t matter; I take as many photos as I can so that I can see what the moment will have allowed me to achieve. It’s a similar process with video, I let the camera run, then I look quickly at the rushes and let myself be inspired by the atmosphere that emanates from what I shot. Then I compose the sound. I start by editing the sound. It’s that sound that I will use when editing the images. The sound will dictate everything for the video: its rhythm, the linking of images, its length. And in the end, the result, whether with photography or video, is often far removed from that first obsessive image.

3- Do you usually see where you’re headed when you start a piece, do you let the creative process guide you, or do you sometimes get pulled in another direction while making a piece, and decide to save the original idea for later?

je crois que je viens de répondre à cette question.

I think I just answered that question.

4- If you have to name one essential object that you have to keep at hand when producing a piece of work of any medium, what would it be?

Je n’ai pas ce genre d’objet.

I don’t have that kind of object.

5- Which of your works do you think helped you define what you are doing as an artist? Do you associate a piece with a breakthrough?

chaque fois que j’essaie de me dire ce sur quoi je travaille, Je pense à autre chose l’instant d’après. . En fait je crois que ce qui me plaît justement c’est de ne pas savoir. Même si j’ai toujours l’impression de préciser ce que je dis. De finalement toujours dire la même chose. Mais de l’aborder peut-être différemment. De telle sorte que j’ai toujours l’impression que je ne sais pas où je mets les pieds. Le doute est un moteur. C’est ce qui me plaît. C’est un espace de liberté. Si je savais ce que je fais, j’arrêterai tout de suite puisque j’aurais une réponse.

Each time I try to tell myself what I’m working on, I move to something else in the following moment. In fact, I think what I like is that I don’t know. Even though I’m always under the impression of clearing up what I’m saying. Of saying the same thing over and over in the end. But to approach it differently, so that I don’t really know where to set foot. Doubt is an engine. It’s what I like, it’s a space of freedom. If I knew what I was doing, I would stop right away since I’d have an answer.

6- What’s the best thing happen to you as an artist? Would you change the answer if asked as a female artist?

D’avoir été amené lors de voyages pour des expositions à rencontrer d’autres artistes et de m’apercevoir que nous avions beaucoup de points communs. C’est très agréable car on se sent moins seule.

Having met other artists when traveling for exhibitions and realizing that we have many things in common. It’s very enjoyable because you feel less alone.

7- The title of the exhibition was “she ate the crumbs: the other nature of women”. Could you give 3 words to sketch out the nature of women in your idea?

malheureusement je n’ai pas de réponse à cette question.

Unfortunately I don’t have an answer to that question.

8- What have you been thinking about the most under the current virus situation?

la beauté du printemps et l’impossibilité d’être dans la nature.

The beauty of Spring and the impossibility of being in nature.

translated from the French by S.


Cathy Burghi

‘ça pousse’ (it’s growing)
Mosaicos contemporáneos Patricia Fachini & Cathy Burghi, Ceramic, 2019

1- What do you see as the most important theme to you at the moment and throughout your career? Why?

Es difícil decir que hay un tema principal, porque en una obra cohabitan varias ideas, pensamientos, emociones, historias, y luego de ella surgen diversas interpretaciones, que muchas veces escapan de nuestras propias intenciones o de nuestro consciente. Pero es cierto que existe una columna vertebral que sostiene el resto del esqueleto, y es eso que le da al mismo tiempo una continuidad y una coherencia a la creación de un artista.

La energía feminista es omnipresente en casi la totalidad de mi obra. Actualmente participo en una exposición virtual en una galería de Arte (White Cuib) en Rumania invitada por Dan Perjovschi junto a otros artistas. El tema de esta exposicion es crear un jornal del Virus, compuesto de varios trabajos, escencialmente dibujos. Por lo tanto, en este momento estoy dibujando y haciendo animaciones artesanales sobre la pandemia y la cuarentena. 

It is problematic to say that there’s just one main theme because in a work several ideas, emotions and stories coexist. out of them stem different interpretations that many times escape our own intentions and conscience. It is true, however, that there usually is a backbone that holds the parts together and that gives both coherence and continuity to the creation of the artist. A feminist energy is omnipresent throughout my work. Currently I participate in a virtual exhibition in White Cuib Gallery in Romania, invited by Dan Perjovschi, together with other artists. The aim of this exhibition is to create a Virus journal, made up of several works, mainly drawings. Thus, at the moment I am drawing and doing animations about the pandemia and quarantine. 

the passage from one medium to the next, in my case, is natural and accompanies the moment of life I’m in, the people in my life and my emotional needs. When I did embroidery (2010-2013) on an everyday and continuous basis, it was an unconscious need of getting ready for maternity, as if this process of meditation and introspection were essential for that stage in my life. Last year (2019, Florianopolis) I took an interest in mosaic, as it is a technique frequently found in public spaces in this city. I was allured by its glistening, cutting and textures. I started to try this technique, convinced that I wouldn’t be able to master the difficulties of the technique. Yet, I was able to deal with the complexities of the new material, tiles, a material I never thought I would handle. My work in collaboration with Patricia Fachini, a mosaic artisan by profession, was the result of a need to go out onto the streets and find a new, wider public and to give my work a more social edge. it really gave me a lot of satisfaction to establish networks with other women. It is very important. 

2- you work with different mediums. how does the process of moving forward with a work differ from medium to medium?

Mi obra es multidisciplinaria, pero escencialmente es el dibujo quien cobra protagonismo, ya que todo lo que hago, sea pintura, instalacion, bordado, todo es abordado desde una perspectiva del lenguaje del dibujo, como un lenguaje que va a lo escencial.

Si bien he incursionado en otros lenguajes, que llevan otros tiempos, otras complejidades técnicas propias de la materia, del color….etc siento que todo lo llevo siempre hacia la dimension simple del dibujo. La linea gràfica es la misma independiente si es mosaico, bordado, o instalacion. 

My work is multidisciplinary, but drawing is protagonist, since all I do, installation, embroidery, and so on, is approached through the language of drawing, as a language that searches for an essence.

even if I have tried other languages, with different timings and other technical complexities associated with the material and color, I end up gravitating towards the simplicity of drawing. the graphic line is the same, no matter if I am doing a mosaic, embroidery or installation. 

3- Do you usually see where you’re headed when you start a piece, do you let the creative process guide you, or do you sometimes get pulled in another direction while making a piece, and decide to save the original idea for later?

En mi caso pasar de un lenguaje al otro se hace de manera natural, acompa~nando el momento que vivo, las personas que estan en mi vida, y las necesidades emocionales. Recuerdo que cuando bordé (2010-2013 Paris) durante tres a~nos de forma cotidiana y continua fué una necesidad inconsciente de prepararme para la maternidad, como si ese proceso de meditacion e instrospeccion fueran escenciales en esa nueva etapa de mi vida. El a~no pasado (2019 Florianopolis) comencé a interesarme en el mosaico, por ser una técnica muy presente en los espacios publicos de esta ciudad. Seducida por el brillo, los cortes y las texturas de esta técnica, sentia que todo lo que veia era mas bien del orden decorativo. Comencé a incursionar en la técnica del mosaico casi convencida que seria incapaz de llevar mi universo artistico hacia esa técnica, sin embargo consegui lidar con las dificultades propias de un nuevo material (azulejos) con la que nunca me imaginé trabajar. Este trabajo en colaboracion junto a Patricia Fachini (artesana mosaisista de profesion) fué una necesidad de salir a la calle, buscar otros publicos, otras alternativas. Con una impronta mas social, acercando el arte a un publico mas extenso. Y viendo como es importante y placentero ampliar redes entre mujeres. 

4- If you have to name one essential object that you have to keep at hand when producing a piece of work of any medium, what would it be?

No tengo objetos importantes, tengo utensillos necesarios, con los que trabajo, como por ejemplo una lapicera y una hoja escencialmente. 

I don’t own important objects. I have some necessary tools with which I work, basically paper and a pen. 

5- Which of your works do you think helped you define what you are doing as an artist? Do you associate a piece with a breakthrough?

5-1 Tengo varias maneras de trabajar, por lo general, me gusta sentarme a dibujar sin pensar, y dejar que las ideas fluyan, sin saber a donde estoy yendo. Esa forma onirica, es una de las mas inspiradoras. Aveces escribo ideas o bosquejo a partir de algun sue~no, o sentimiento, para crear futuras obras, generalmente eso funciona para las instalaciones o los trabajos gran formato. Inclusive en las animaciones que estoy produciendo en estos momentos, suelo trabajar con asociacion de imagenes, una me lleva para otra y asi sucesivamente, sin guion previo. 

I work in different ways. In general, I enjoy sitting and drawing without giving much thought to it, letting things flow, not knowing where I’m headed. this oniric way of working is very inspiring. Sometimes I write ideas or sketch inspired by a dream or feeling, to create future works. That generally works for installations or big format pieces. Even in the animations I am producing these days I tend to work with associations of images. One takes me to the next one, without a previous script. 

5-2 Creo que la obra mas significativa, donde pude reconocer que mi trabajo estaba siendo contundente, fué en el 2011. Ese ano realicé una instalacion (que a mi entender es una de las obras mas bellas que hice), bordados sobre ilustraciones de pajaros del libro de poesias de Juan Burghi “Pajaros Nuestros” (1945 Buenos Aires) presentada en una mesa bajo algunos vidrios sanos y otros apedreados. 

I think my most meaningful work, the one in which I could perceive that my work had a strength, was a 2011 installation. It is to me one of my most beautiful works, embroidery on bird illustrations from a book of poetry by Juan Burghi, Our Birds (1945, Buenos Aires) presented on a table under broken and whole pieces of glass.

6- What’s the best thing happen to you as an artist? Would you change the answer if asked as a female artist?

Supongo que no me ha pasado nada muy importante como artista, justamente por el hecho de ser mujer? Entendiendo como “algo importante”, aquello que puede hacerte sentir reconocido en el mundo del Arte a nivel internacional y a su vez ganar tu vida economicamente con tu profesión. Existen muy pocas artistas mujeres reconocidas, y compradas por colecciones y museos. Cuando ese “algo importante”se entiende como expandir sus relaciones sociales gracias a tu trabajo, atravesar fronteras, y tener personas que escriben sobre tu obra o quieren exponerla. Me siento muy feliz de poder exponer en varios paises, como Mexico, Francia, Japon, y Uruguay al mismo tiempo….Es evidente que eso es algo importante, por no decir fundamental en la vida de un creador. 

I guess I haven’t had any breakthroughs as an artist. I wonder if that is so because I am a woman. If I understand a breakthrough as something that can give you international recognition in the world of Art and or making a living out of it. There exist very few women who are renowned and whose work is actually purchased by galleries and museums. Then one can understand a breakthrough as expanding one’s social networks through one’s work, cross borders and have people write about your work and showcasing it. I feel very happy about my exhibitions in countries such as Mexico, France, Japan, and Uruguay, which are taking place simultaneously. That is certainly something very important, essential I would say, for an artist. 

7- The title of the exhibition was “she ate the crumbs: the other nature of women”. Could you give 3 words to sketch out the nature of women in your idea?

El problema es que siempre hemos asociado a las mujeres con la naturaleza por la reproducción, y no por su temperamento. Quiere decir, que nos han podado, domesticado, para no depasar ciertos limites y asi ser fácilmente dominables, explotadas por el hombre. Y las mujeres no teniamos hasta hace relativamente poco tiempo la posibilidad ni siquiera de repensar nuestra propia naturaleza y si la impuesta, que es exactamente la misma con la que el hombre ha tratado al planeta. Una sobreexplotacion sin escrupulos de la que dificilmente hay vuelta atràs. 

El feminismo se complementa con el movimiento ecologista en un momento donde el mundo precisa necesariamente de un cambio urgente de paradigmas.

Generosa, intensa, resiliente. 

The problem is that we have always associated women to nature due to their reproductive capacities, and not for their temperament. What I mean is we have been pruned, domesticated so as to be kept within certain limits and thus be exploited by men. And women did not even have, until very recently, the possibility of rethinking our own nature. Only the same imposed logic with which men have treated the planet. Overexploitation without scruples, from which there is no way back.

Feminism is complementary with the ecologist movement in times when the world requires an urgent change of paradigms.

Generous, intelligent, resilient 

8- What have you been thinking about the most under the current virus situation?

EL virus es un hecho del que debemos protegernos, siendo conscientes y solidarios, con la convicción de que todas las vidas son valiosas, y no creer que es normal que la vida de los viejos, enfermos o sedentarios no tiene valor.

Si esta pandemia fue un arma desarrollada para crear una tercera guerra mundial, creado en un laboratorio, o una consecuencia del calentamiento global, etc nosé si en este momento es realmente reelevaante. Lo que si queda claro que una nueva era se abre delante de nosotros, y el sistema de control serà aun mas macabro. El concepto de biopolitica del que hablo Foucault hace cuarenta anos ciertamente encuentra un significado en este contexto actual

Desde los primeros dias de confinamiento continué trabajando para procesar emocional e intelectualmente esta situación que es mas bien dramática. Claro que si hablamos de drama, quienes están mas expuestos, son los mas vulnerables, aquellos que no tienen recursos económicos y que escasamente tienen algun tipo de acceso a salud, higiene y vivienda.

Lo que deeriamos hacer en estos momentos, es protegernos, y cuidar del otro. Porque en este parentesis de “normalidad” -el otro- cobra un sentido primordial. Qué seriamos sin el otro? Percibir al otro como parte fundamental de uno. 

We must protect ourselves from the virus, with awareness and solidarity because all lives count. it is wrong to think that the lives of the elderly, the sick or the sedentary are worthless.

It is irrelevant if this pandemia is actually a weapon to cause a Third World War, created in a lab, or a consequence of global warming. It is clear though that a new era is before us and the system of control will be even more macabre. Foucault’s concept of biopolitics, proposed forty years ago is certainly very up to date. 

from the very first days of confinement I have been working to process emotionally and intellectually this dramatic situation. Of course is we say dramatic, those who are exposed are the most vulnerable, those who do not have access to healthcare, hygiene and proper housing. what we should do now is protect and care for ourselves and others. in this parenthesis of “normality” the other becomes very important. what would we be without the other? I consider the other as a constitutive part of myself. 


Laura Garcia-Karras

Feed, Laura Garcia Karras, Oil on watercolor paper, 2019

1- What do you see as the most important theme to you at the moment and throughout your career? Why?

Depuis le début de ma production, j’ai toujours utilisé les formes et les couleurs que me propose la nature. Certainement parce que j’y trouve une vérité absolue, indicible, sans défaut, avec laquelle il m’est difficile de rivaliser formellement. Étant citadine, peut-être qu’elle me manque souvent. Aussi je m’inquiète pour elle. C’est une façon de me rappeler qu’elle existe. A partir de ses matériaux premiers, la nature propose une possible arborescence, ou une arborescence des possibles. Il m’incombe d’en proposer une autre arborescence, passée par le prisme de mon rythme, de mes intensités, d’instants de grâce ou de crises extérieures qui finissent par me traverser intérieurement. 

Since the beginning, I’ve always used forms and colors suggested by nature. Because I find in it an absolute truth with which I would be unable to compete formally. Being from the city, perhaps I often miss it, and I also worry about it. It’s a way to remind myself that it exists. Starting from its elemental materials, nature offers a possible arborescence, or an arborescence of possibilities. It’s up to me to come up with another one, filtered through the prism of my own rhythm, my intensities, those moments of grace or external crisis that end up going through me.

2- you work with different mediums. how does the process of moving forward with a work differ from medium to medium?

Je ne travaille qu’avec la peinture. Si j’esquisse très rapidement sur du papier, c’est uniquement pour avoir quelques repères visuels. Travailler avec d’autres mediums et supports n’est pas exclu mais ce n’est pas ce qui se passe pour le moment. 

I only work with painting. If I sketch quickly on paper, it’s solely to get a few visual bearings. I don’t exclude the possibility of using other mediums, but it’s not what’s happening for now.

3- Do you usually see where you’re headed when you start a piece, do you let the creative process guide you, or do you sometimes get pulled in another direction while making a piece, and decide to save the original idea for later?

Tout dépend du type de tableaux sur lequel je travaille. Il y en a certains que je prévois. Ils demeurent pendant un long moment une image mentale qui finit par ne plus bouger et que je réalise selon la dernière forme qu’elle a prise. D’autres découlent d’un geste naturel exécuté sur la toile qui va donner la direction au reste du tableau. Il y a toujours une place pour les surprises. 

It depends on the type of paintings I’m working on. There are some for which I have an idea in mind. For some time they remain a mental image until it finally stops moving and that I execute according to the last shape it took. Other stem for natural gesture on the canvas that will give direction to the painting. There’s always room for the unexpected.

4- If you have to name one essential object that you have to keep at hand when producing a piece of work of any medium, what would it be?

Ma radio.

My radio.

5- Which of your works do you think helped you define what you are doing as an artist? Do you associate a piece with a breakthrough?

En 2012 j’ai commencé à faire de la peinture abstraite. J’appelais ces tableaux des toiles de trouvaille. Elles étaient générées grâce au rythme de la musique des minimalistes tel que Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Brian Eno etc. C’est à ce moment-là que mon style a commencé à se définir.

In 2012 I began doing abstract paintings. I called them ‘found paintings’. They were generated by the rhythm of minimalist composers like Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Brian Eno, etc. It’s at that moment that my style began to emerge.

6- What’s the best thing happen to you as an artist? Would you change the answer if asked as a female artist?

Avoir la nécessité de faire des œuvres. Je ne crois pas que cette nécessité dépende de mon sexe. 

The necessity to make works. I don’t think it depends on my gender.

7- The title of the exhibition was “she ate the crumbs: the other nature of women”. Could you give 3 words to sketch out the nature of women in your idea?

Instinctive Protectrice Kamikaze. 

Instinctive, protective, kamikaze.


Luísa Jacinto

The Promise and the Dream, Luísa Jacinto, Video, 2009

1- What do you see as the most important theme to you at the moment and throughout your career? Why?

What things really are like. Because I don’t know.

2- you work with different mediums. how does the process of moving forward with a work differ from medium to medium?

I start with what is the most natural media to suit a certain idea or project. While working, sometimes the process suggests a move towards another media and I just follow that logic. It is usually a clear choice, although the logic might be hard to explain. Then each media individually has certain requirements – painting and editing video are two different planets.

3- Do you usually see where you’re headed when you start a piece, do you let the creative process guide you, or do you sometimes get pulled in another direction while making a piece, and decide to save the original idea for later?

I often find myself obeying a process I started but have few control over. “Kill your darlings” as Yeats put it, to give up on my previous ideas and follow what the creative process is asking for.

4- If you have to name one essential object that you have to keep at hand when producing a piece of work of any medium, what would it be?

My ring.

5- Which of your works do you think helped you define what you are doing as an artist? Do you associate a piece with a breakthrough?

I remember the video Things Change Quickly, 2010, the paintings from the series All I want, 2018-ongoing and the painting Nameless I, 2017, as very important works that express what I’m doing. The painting Nameless I opened ways that I am still pursuing, for instance in my most recent project Stone-Veil.

6- What’s the best thing happen to you as an artist? Would you change the answer if asked as a female artist?

I would confront the question if I was asked as a female artist since my artistic work is autonomous from my gender. The best thing that has happened to me as an artist was having time, space and production means to do my very best.

7- The title of the exhibition was “she ate the crumbs: the other nature of women”. Could you give 3 words to sketch out the nature of women in your idea?

contradictory, opened, pliant 

8- What have you been thinking about the most under the current virus situation?

How we have to change the way we used to live if we really wish to live.


Shelly Silver

The Lamps, Shelly Silver, Video, 2015

She ate the crumbs. Or did she?

1- What do you see as the most important theme to you at the moment and throughout your career? Why?

It’s 8:43am in NYC and I sit drinking my morning coffee in lockdown, looking out at the grey sky, red brick buildings, the so-called Freedom Tower, green-gold budding trees.  It was announced today that a million people have tested positive for COVID19 in the United States, and very few Americans have been tested.  Outside my window, the controlled explosions of a jackhammer, the beep of a truck in reverse, pigeons moaning, seagulls registering a loud group complaint. 

Video captures this moment and this moment and this, the former already shifted from now to then.  An ongoing theme of my work is the contemporary.  What does it mean, how does one inhabit, where does one find the contemporary?  Agamben proposes the poet who sees into the darkness as opposed to the light. A beautiful counterintuitiveness – look where you see least.  But darkness and light smell too much like good and evil.  Instead, I search out the contemporary in the fissures and cracks brought on by change, where one can see the contradictions and shifts in long-held belief systems, which are always there but most evident in a system undergoing change or in crisis.  This is what we’re seeing in the US today.  The impossible becoming possible in all its liberation or hideousness.  

‘Why is tonight different than all other nights,’ to quote from a favorite holiday from my grandparents’ religion.  To sing of blood, frogs, lice, flies, plague, boils, hail, locusts, the killing of the first born, and then eat.  In reaching back to the past one also finds the present.

3- Do you usually see where you’re headed when you start a piece, do you let the creative process guide you, or do you sometimes get pulled in another direction while making a piece, and decide to save the original idea for later?

The motor of the project starts with an initial question or curiosity, and the nature of this question typically demands its own particular approach. There’s a starting point and a direction to start searching in, but there’s no real knowing where the search will take me. Why bother doing it if I knew?  While this quest might sound quasi-heroic, it’s not my own creative process that guides me, but rather the interactions with the world, place, character or game that I’m entering into. It’s really the beginning of a relationship – a collaboration, with awkwardness, false starts, detours, etc.

4- If you have to name one essential object that you have to keep at hand when producing a piece of work of any medium, what would it be?

A camera.

5- Which of your works do you think helped you define what you are doing as an artist? Do you associate a piece with a breakthrough?

5-1 From my vantage point, each work I do seems to (re)define me – I can’t land on one. The first work that people would watch was Meet the People (1986/16:32). So, one could say that work located me as an artist.

5-2 I’m ever caught in an uphill cycle of breakthroughs. This is awkward and time consuming. It’s a mix of infuriatingly hard work and adventure. I recently made Score for Joanne Kotze (4:00/2019) for a public presentation of a short piece I wrote for The Hoosac Journal (https://hoosacinstitute.com/Shelly-Silver). The text is not a score one can dance to, rather it describes but doesn’t show the passive-aggressive space where the dance might take place. The video is a sketch based on this score, that was literally made overnight. With a three-part structure, it pivots from part to part, place to place. When I watch, the jumps feel liberating, a feeling related to breakthrough. But a breakthrough is also defined by what comes after, right?

6- What’s the best thing happen to you as an artist? Would you change the answer if asked as a female artist?

Pass.

7- The title of the exhibition was “she ate the crumbs: the other nature of women”. Could you give 3 words to sketch out the nature of women in your idea?

The title of the exhibition was “she ate the crumbs: the other nature of women”. The impact of donna haraway’s cyborg manifesto

I get nervous seeing the word nature and women in the same sentence.  I’d also replace the word ‘impact’ with ‘impacts.’

The story Hansel and Gretel navigates a chain of evil women – the mother/stepmother, the grandmother/witch.  By the end of the story, both are dead, and this is considered a happy ending.  Whereas when Oedipus kills his father, it brings plague to an entire city, and in general ends rather badly. Birds, male and female, ate some of the crumbs, and shat them out elsewhere.  But there weren’t many left to eat, as a sudden gust of wind took some and rain dissolved others.

8- What have you been thinking about the most under the current virus situation?

I’m thinking about bodies and fragility, mine, yours, and upended habits and assumptions.  Inequality, which grows, like the virus, exponentially.  Solitude and the dangerous situation of people unable to gather, over time, untenable in a democracy.  The anger welling up everywhere, over bodily constraints, and the complete lack of understanding of what it is to live in a community.  The need for leadership and the terrifying realization that the current American president has no interest in the safety of the population.  Dissent is unlikely, with everyone focused on personal needs and safety, locked into our own individual domestic spaces, with masked or unmasked neighbors who could be potential carriers and therefore threats.  The time is ripe for dictators, totalitarianism and invisible power grabs familiar to readers of mythology, fairy tale, science fiction, history and political science.

There’s this:

There is no need for you to leave the house.  Stay at your table and listen.  Don’t even listen, just wait.  Don’t even wait, be completely quiet and alone.  The world will offer itself to you to be unmasked; it can’t do otherwise; in raptures it will writhe before you.  Kafka, Blue Octavo Notebooks

Shelly Silver, NYC, April, 2020


元滚滚 Yuan Gun Gun

Soul in the Game, Yuan Gun Gun, Charcoal on paper, 2017

1- What do you see as the most important theme to you at the moment and throughout your career? Why?

目前最重要的创作主题:人与自我的关系;虽然我的艺术生涯才刚开始,创作也不够多,但会一直围绕人与自我的关系、人与他人的关系、人与社会环境的关系作为最重要的主题。这些是我感悟最深的部分,且认为是人之为人最内核的部分。

The most important theme at the moment: the relationship between one and the self. My artistic career has just started and there is still a lot to do. But my work will always focus on the relationship between one and the self, the relationship between one and the other, and the relationship between people and the social environment. These are the aspects that I have the most to say about, and I think they are the core of being a human.

2- you work with different mediums. how does the process of moving forward with a work differ from medium to medium?

首先,会选择尝试很多媒介,是因为我是一个好奇心比较强的人,对新鲜的媒介总是充满好奇,学习新东西也总会感到惊喜,学习新东西甚至成为某种爱好,总想去接触自己未曾接触过的知识或技能。其次,在尝试各种媒介的各个阶段,现在复盘来看,这些媒介或多或少都有关联,并非没有交集,所以在我自己的体系下已经慢慢开始呈现一个网络的雏形,我在这个网络中会举一反三触类旁通,这是一个有意思的事情。回到这个具体的提问里,不同的媒介的工作方法、创作历程和对我本人的能力要求都确实不太一样,且这几个媒介的共同出发点都是从零开始的构建创造,而非摄像媒介的在场记录。绘画是一个相对广泛和直接的媒介,小孩子都可以画画,所以我最开始使用的是绘画的媒介,绘画也是一个很天然,包容性非常强的媒介。我的绘画作品都是非常直接反映我的内心情绪感受的作品。而装置或3d数媒这类作品,技术门槛和实际操作层面相对绘画要更高,所以为了这类作品能够完成,其实更多时候都是在解决技术性的问题,而非在处理和提炼感受。石雕雕刻更接近一门手艺或者工艺,且因为石料的坚硬且不可修改性,石雕雕刻是在创作时最最最需要小心谨慎、耐心的媒介。

First of all, I try various media, because I have a strong curiosity. I am always curious about the next medium. I’m always pleasantly surprised when learning new things. It has become a hobby to explore new knowledge or skills. Secondly, in hindsight, the various media that I tried at different stages are not without intersection. They gradually weave a network in my own system where I’m able to make sense of a lot of things by analogy, which is interesting. Back to the question, the different methods and working processes require different abilities which are built from scratch for all the media that I work with, unlike say, video, which is very much about recording what’s present. Drawing is a relatively wide and straightforward medium– even children can draw. That’s why I started with drawing. It’s also very natural and inclusive. My drawings directly reflect my inner emotions and feelings. As to works such as installations or 3D digital media, the technical threshold and actual operation level are higher than drawing. To make these works very often is about solving the technical problems, rather than processing and refining feelings. In comparison, stone carving is closer to handcraft. Since the material is hard and unmodifiable, stone carving requires the most prudence and patience.

3- Do you usually see where you’re headed when you start a piece, do you let the creative process guide you, or do you sometimes get pulled in another direction while making a piece, and decide to save the original idea for later?

就我的创作经历而言,这个问题与媒介关系紧密,也跟不同媒介下对时间的消耗有关。对于炭笔绘画、雕刻等直接用手持工具来操作、且这个媒介并不具备操作随机性,更加可控的特质的情况下,且炭笔绘画或者石雕雕刻等非常耗时间和耐心,这种情况下我会更加倾向于先有大体明确的想法后,再开始创作。并且因为有过设计服务的工作经验,在艺术创作的过程中也会追求表达的准确性,所以我会借用PS等工具先在电脑里做一些方案,比对方案间的差别带来的不同的感受,反复调整达到我认为合适的状态后才会开始正式执行,在执行过程中遇到拿捏不准的情况时,会把中间状态拍照继续在PS里尝试各种可能性,选定后再继续执行。所以我在创作炭笔绘画等艺术作品的状态更像设计然后执行一个工程,鲜有那种一边画一边灵感炸裂的时刻。但在3d数字媒体等作品的创作过程,因为媒介不同于绘画雕刻等这些相当可控可预期的媒介,3d的随机性大很多,所以创作初期可能还是会保有创作想法,但是大多数时候都是一边调整一边修改设置和逻辑,且软件给我的反馈经常会出乎我的意料,所以实验性和乐趣更多,创作结果也常常是出乎我一开始的预设的。

As far as my experience is concerned, this issue is closely related to the media and the time consumption of different media. In regard to charcoal drawing and stone carving, the operation of the hand-held tools doesn’t provide much space for randomness and everything needs to be under control, which makes them very time-and-patience-consuming. So usually I’d have a rather clear idea before the actual work starts. Because of my work experience in design services, I also pursue the accuracy of expression in the process of artistic creation. Before making the next move, I’d come up with several drafts with Photoshop and other softwares on the computer, compare the differences, and make adjustments until reaching the ideal state. When I make charcoal drawings, the process is more like designing and realizing a project– very few moment of sudden inspiration in the middle of work. However, when dealing with 3d digital media which is not so controllable or predictable, I’d usually have a general idea in the beginning , yet constantly adjust and modify the settings and logics along the process of making. The software often gives me feedback  beyond my expectation, which makes it more experimental and fun, with results often beyond my initial intention.

4- If you have to name one essential object that you have to keep at hand when producing a piece of work of any medium, what would it be?

音乐或播客;如果是动脑思考比较多的状态是需要音乐,如果是动手操作比较多的状态是需要播客。

Music or podcast. Music for moments that involve a lot of thinking, and podcast for hands-on work.

5- Which of your works do you think helped you define what you are doing as an artist? Do you associate a piece with a breakthrough?

对我而言,跟我个人的生活成长体验或感受最为紧密连接的作品才被我称之为作品。当我2017年创作《Soul in the Game》的时候产生一个萌芽状态的意识是,可以把自己的成长经历中的感受作为灵感和素材来创作一整个系列,2018年创作《The Spring》的时候这个创作系列的想法非常明确和肯定了。

Only the ones that are most closely connected to my personal life experience or feeling that I call my artwork. When I made Soul in the Game in 2017, I came to realize that the inspirations and materials from the feelings of my growth experience can be used to create an entire series. In 2018 when The Spring came out, this idea of making a series became much clearer and determined.

6- What’s the best thing happen to you as an artist? Would you change the answer if asked as a female artist?

对我而言,作为艺术家最好的事情是:我可以把个人有限的感受和思考提取出来,用艺术创作的方法来表达,当有些观众看到我的作品并从中收获思考或其他感受的时刻,甚至他们会给到我自己没有意识到的一些潜意识表达,我会认为这是一种层面上与陌生人获得连接,这种连接是其他职业比较难以实现的,这是我觉得最美最好的部分。不会改变答案。

For me, the best thing as an artist is: I can extract my limited feelings and reflections and express them in an artistic way. Sometimes when the audience sees my work and generates thoughts or feelings, they even show me my subconscious expressions that I wouldn’t have realized by myself. I think this is a kind of connection with strangers on a level. This connection is more difficult to achieve in other professions. That’s the best thing.

I won’t change the answer as a female artist.

7- The title of the exhibition was “she ate the crumbs: the other nature of women”. Could you give 3 words to sketch out the nature of women in your idea?

自由 坚毅 包容

Freedom, perseverance, inclusiveness

8- What have you been thinking about the most under the current virus situation?

抓紧时间多做自己想做的事情,很多事情并没有那么重要。

Make good use of time to do what you want to do, many things are not so important.

One thought on “She Ate the Crumbs: Post-Exhibition Questions

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