Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Interview with Manfred Naescher

q)Who are you? Where are you from and where do you live now?

a)Manfred Naescher, visual artist. I'm from the Principality of Liechtenstein, and now live and work in Berlin, Germany.

q)What is it that you do?

a)My work currently takes the form of paintings, drawings, and limited edition artist books. I have an interest in creating installations and I've started making video works. Later this year I will make my first limited edition print that will be accompanying an upcoming exhibition.

q)What media do you use?

a)Currently mostly watercolor.

q)What do you think sets your work apart?

a)Although my work is very immediate and approachable in terms of style, my process is conceptual, with each group of works following the principle of the sequential test assembly. I try to achieve a spontaneity in my art that creates an emotional directness, something very simple, something to instantly connect with. At the same time, my work is an attempt at honing in on the concepts of memory and artifice and how they interrelate, reciprocate and overlap. I use source imagery from films, a medium that has its own complex inner workings of artifice and memory, time and movement, sequentiality and dream logic. I process extracted, fragmented imagery to create a set of visual surfaces, that, ideally, contain layers of complexities and ambiguities that are not visible at first, but that will reveal themselves, freely and necessarily, if the viewer allows for it.

In more general terms: I follow my instincts and personal interests more than I follow particular role models, so I think my work is naturally following its own course. At the same time, I stay up to date with what's going on around me and in contemporary art in general, so I feel I'm building a body of work that is of the now and at the same time occupies its own distinct niche.

q)How long have you been showing your work for? Did you have a “big break?”

a)I've only started showing my work in late 2009, and have been showing consistently in group shows and artist book exhibitions since then. No “big break”, but constant developments and some delightful surprises.

q)What are some things that have inspired you?

a)Some things I found inspiring recently: Recent art shows in Berlin by Marcel van Eeden, Cory Arcangel, Absalon; the video project Running Man by Mirak Jamal, Josh Peter's recent paintings; Patrick Juchli's iPhone app The Lake; plays by Rimini Protokoll; books by Italo Svevo, Marguerite Yourcenar, Gilles Deleuze, Luis Bunuel's autobiography; films like Zazie dans le Métro by Louis Malle, 1900 by Bertolucci, Aelita by Protazanov, Good Morning by Ozu, etc.

q)What have you been working on recently?

a)I have recently completed three artist books:

Mountains with Subtitles ( ), Faces ( ), and Architecture Without Films ( ).

q)Do you listen to music while you create your work? If so, would you give some examples?

a)Francoise Hardy, jj, William Basinski, Dum Dum Girls, Depatterning, Roberto Cacciapaglia (The Ann Steel Album), Volta Vital, Michael Hurley, Arthur Russell, Roxy Music, etc.

q)Do you do work in any other media? Other projects not necessarily related to your main body of work?

a)Completely separate from my art practice I work as an art director and graphic designer for hire.

q)What advice do you have for artists looking to show their work?

a)I don't know... I'm early in my artistic career. Maybe: Make your own shows. Show in your apartment, show in your studio, show online. Have a website, keep it updated. Elizabeth Peyton showed her work in a room of the Chelsea Hotel in 1993, and it was a crucial moment for her career. If your work is consistently strong, things will happen. Hard work helps. Social intelligence helps.

q)Do you have any upcoming exhibitions of your work that you can mention?

a)A complete set of my currently nine artist books is on view on March 26, 2011, in Copenhagen, Denmark, at Tryk Tryk Tryk ( ).

q)Where can people see more of your work on the internet?


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