Thursday, November 22, 2007

Late Interview with Katarina Eismann

YS: What artwork of yours would you be proudest of?

Katarina: I think it’s always the latest one. It’ s always difficult to say. I don’t know. I was very proud of the music piece that I finished in spring, the one that I did with the composers that I showed in Singapore [three-part music and video installation Algol]. It’s a collaboration with composers and musicians that are waiting and playing.

YS: I really liked the other one you showed us in Singapore, where you collaborated with a linguistic engineer to create an epic poem in Swedish, which was then translated into unintelligible speech…

Katarina: I was more writing a different kind of… I was just trying out how to use different kinds of languages. Different voices and different kinds of stories. I was looking for the language and the sound of different kinds of lines and epics and love stories… very much love stories. The way you write a love story itself is a gesture of tenderness.

YS: What do you feel you’ve got out of the Flying Circus Project?

Katarina: Oh it’s so much… not to be so afraid, maybe? Of talking about my things. I think I’ve been out of practice, and to see how other people are presenting works in so many different variations, and of course we’re doing all those encounters and all those people we’re invited to meet… I think that will change my way of working lot, actually. I will stay on here for a while.

And it was fantastic to get this compare this stage of people it was like coming to a set table… can you say that in English?… you come to a table that’s already set, you just have to eat. I don’t know how to say that in English. That’s fantastic, it’s really a huge gift to receive.

YS: Will you collaborate with Vietnamese artists?

Katarina: I’ll have to see. Collaboration is something that takes a long time. I don’t have a special... it depends. I think there were so many very good people, so I think there are a lot of things to do, but later on. I haven’t made that kind of decision.

YS: What’s next for you then?

Katarina: I will work with this Hungarian Danish journalist [ referring to Foldout, an experimental documentary process exploring how family memories are passed on to the next generation. The journalist is the daughter of a Hungarian woman who corresponded with Katarina’s father, who worked for Nazi Germany during World War II.]

Then of course I have to work for money. I have to script and make a DVD; things like that. And I will film some pieces, I will have a workshop in school… I will have a lecture.

YS: How would you describe the Swedish arts scene? What do you think is its greatest strength?

Katarina: It’s quite a small group, but very hardworking, I think. I think it’s a very good opportunity to be in such a small country. It’s good politics, we’re quite supported in many ways… good facilities, especially if you go abroad… we’re all very spoiled, never satisfied.

YS: Do you have a certain philosophy behind your work?

Katarina: I like stories. I like people to tell me stories. I like to listen to how they tell me stories. How they perform, and their voices. I am an individual artist, but I always do my projects in collaboration - I’m not doing the music or composing myself.

YS: When did you start to realise you preferred to collaborate?

Katarina: I didn’t understand it until last summer… no, no, much later on. It took me a long time to see it. I think I really always have been doing that, collaborative work. In the beginning it was very innocent, I was interested in these people, curious, but then I was quite shy of knowing people and ask them to work with me. And if they ask me to work with them I’m quite happy to do it. But now maybe I trust it, now that I know it’s like this.

I think that’s my main… I think work is a very good way of knowing people, how people do their work, how people are presenting their works. It’s nice to enter someone else’s world. You get the possibility to share our loneliness. (laugh) but it’s… lucky to be here, privilege.

I think after this I I have to fix my English. It’s a mix from movies, television, books and travel. I don’t know whether I speak British, American or Australian. Maybe I speak Singapore.

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