Monday, July 14, 2008

Interview with Michel Ducourneau

q)What is your name?

a) My name is Michel Ducourneau.

q) Where do you live and work?

a) I live and work in Malmö, in the south of Sweden.

q) What is your creative process like?

a) Well, it’s a quite stormy and unpredictable thing actually, which can be quite frustrating from time to time, but it basically is building up a tension between harmony and chaos, which is also pretty much what is the daily thing going on inside my head I guess… And I think I really need it. Too much harmony disgusts me as much as too much chaos does; I’m looking for the balance on its way to burst. I need to build up to destroy, to build up again, and unfortunately I can not go straight to the final result without going through those stages, which results in lots of time spent on things I will never use. But it’s part of my process, I discovered this pattern in my own behaviour not long time ago, and now it feels good to embrace it, to use it, because it’s me, and it’s mine, you know? I’m not sure this makes any sense to anyone else…

q) What is your favourite medium?

a) Drawing, cutting, Photoshop.

q) What is your current favourite subject?

a)I recently started coming up with titles as starting point, as a source of inspiration, and then I try building up a picture that corresponds to them, as an illustration of my thought. So I never or rarely have an idea of what the picture will look like, just a wish of what I would like it to tell. And it has to go through this whole process of cutting up things I spent hours of work on etc. And the subject are mostly emotional, existential, all these questions about how we can be proud of what we are-being what we are, what is serious knowing that we know nothing, humanity versus nature, where the fuck is God? Hypocrisy, power, love, disgust, hate, beauty, humiliation, flowers, and so on. I guess humanity is my favourite subject…

q) How long does it take for you to finish a piece?

a) Depends on, I honestly have no idea, I rarely work on one picture from beginning to end in a row. I always try to have several things going in case I get stuck.

q) What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

a) I had an animation shown at Stuttgart Trickfilm Festival, Europe’s second biggest animation festival a few years ago. That was nice. This year is a good year too, things move, things happen, I like it, I’m having some contact with a gallery owner in Berlin, seems like it’s going to lead to something. That would be huge.

q) Are there any contemporary artists that you love?

a) Love is a strong word, there are a few artists that really impress on me, like William Kentridge, Michel Gondry, Sara Sze, Blublu, Joe Coleman, Damien Hirst, Tony Oursler among others, but mostly I try not to dig into deep into others art, especially if it is close to what I do, I fear being influenced, and also I sometimes get envious and jealous. Peoples ways of working often impress on me, I admire obsession, and I guess I am appealed by the same tension in others art as the one I am trying to create in my own. I rarely get emotions out of others art though, I blame artschool for that, I sometimes wish I made music, it connects to me in a much more direct way emotionally than other arts do. On the other hand, I really enjoy making pictures.

q) Can we buy your art anywhere?

a) The 20th of august at Rostrum Gallery in Malmö, in October at Selfmade in Malmö, or from me anytime.

q) What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?

m) I don’t think I have any. Or maybe I’ll keep it for myself… No, seriously, I don’t know, maybe ask yourself if it’s worth it and why, and if you don’t find a reason good enough, do something else because it’s not the smartest career choice, and if you do find reasons good enough, make sure staying focused on that and work hard.

q) What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?

a)I think it’s a good thing taking a break from time to time, to allow yourself to breathe, not the waiting for inspiration thing, that’s crap. But finding other ways. The road is blocked, keep pushing forward and you get exhausted, I try to stay creative in some way, playing, doing musicbeats on the computer or writing stuff down.

q) How do you describe your work to those who are unfamiliar with it?
a) I really hate doing that. I avoid it. If they’re interested they get familiar with it, it’s not difficult, and fore those who aren’t, I’m not going missionary.

q) What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?

a) My older half brother listened to lots of hard rock when I was a kid, he had albums with great covers and cool T-shirts with Iron Maiden, Dio, Saxons, Megadeath and so on, and he was drawing a lot as well, morbid drawings of punks with bloody knifes and people cutting off each others heads…so I guess he was the one who inspired me at first even though we never lived together.
I’ve also studied art and animation.

q) Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?

a) No

q) What inspires you to create?

a) Quite much the subjects of my work I mentioned earlier, and fear of death of course, and music. Lots of music. Radiohead, The Knife, Pj Harvey, heavier electronic music, and much more. Film. People I like and people I dislike. Relationships and social codes. Absurdity. I guess I am kind of a nihilist, but against my will, only because I can’t find anything to get a grip on. Maybe some kind of religious emptiness I’d like to fill out, but please, religious fanatics out there, don’t bother, I’m way too cynical.

q)…your contacts…


No comments: