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27 Aug '13

Inspiration by Ivan Vartanian, via Azito:  -You have done many inspiring events. Why did you decide...

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Inspiration by Ivan Vartanian, via Azito

-You have done many inspiring events. Why did you decide to organize these events?

"In 2010, I attended Marina Abramovic’s exhibition "The Artist Is Present" at New York MoMA. It was fantastic. She solved the problem of how to make an exhibition about Performance Art by recreating her performances within the gallery space. There were many performances happening simultaneously, so she had a troupe of performers to execute the production. It was quite impressive and made me think that it was possible to restage performances from the past. It was the perfect way to communicate the immediacy and energy of performance and to engage the audience.

Discussing photography is one way to learn about the medium. But, for me at least, I have always craved some other form of engagement with the work and with the photographers. In my role as an editor and publisher, I get to collaborate with artists to make things. It’s an extremely rewarding and creative process and I want to allow others to be able to experience that too, if only for a brief time.

The presence of the artist during the performance is key. During the time of an event or performance, the participant and artist are on equal footing and share a bit of time together. This transforms the venue space into an extension of the artist’s world. So, in a sense, the performances are a means for others to step into an artist’s world.

All the photographers I work with are very interesting and very intense people. I found that they are very interesting and very intense people. So if I could create a vehicle to bring the intensity of the photographer to the participants, creating a moment of one-to-one connection, it would transform how the participant views photography by changing it from something abstract or cerebral into something that is personal and immediate.

Putting Photography into a Performance context also disrupts the museum and gallery model of presenting work. Institutions are defined by their directive to archive, document, collect, and preserve; these are very important functions certainly. However, our post-digital world calls for something that goes between the hierarchy and dynamic that has become a conventional model for how people engage with art and photography. Also, the post-digital world has really pushed photography to rethink the difference between a photograph and an image. In working with materials and the physicality of prints and people, there is a whole other emotional register that is called upon, which makes the whole enterprise of putting photography in a performance context a fresh experience for everyone.”