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Lives & Works

Anna Artaker

Anna Artaker & Meike S. Gleim, Read what was never written, 2013
Exhibition view VBKÖ, Vienna 2013
Photo: Ulrich Dertschei

1. What are you working on at the moment?
A contribution for the monthly magazine Datum on invitation by the museum in progress, a performance in the context of the spoken word series Ephemeropterae at TBA21 and an exhibition at the Neuer Kunstverein Wien in the framework of Atlas of Arcadia, an artistic research project I am developing with Meike S. Gleim.

2. What does your schedule look like?
It varies. Every year I produce one or two new works (usually series). Otherwise I’m primarily engaged in research and developing new projects, as well as writing applications and self-administration. Last semester I was teaching in Germany too, which involved a lot of preparation and travel.

3. Do you work in a studio? What does your work space look like?
At the moment I have a desk in a large shared office at the Academy of Fine Arts, where I work when I need space for example to arrange things spatially. Other than that all I need is a table and computer with an internet connection or a spot in a library, because my production is outsourced (photo lab, frame-maker, workshop, etc.) and not bound to my work space.

4. How are your works generated? What do you get outsourced or find ready-made, and what do you make yourself?
Initially, my works are generated in my head. By the time it comes to production I usually already know pretty much what I want. I outsource a lot: when I take photos I work with someone who has the gear and the know-how, then also get the photos professionally developed and I design my exhibition displays with people who have the workshop and skills to build them, etc.

5. What does the internet mean to you in relation to your work / practice as an artist?
I use the internet mainly for image and information sourcing, but I haven’t really reflected critically on the medium as such within my work. Considering I often work with found images – at present almost purely web-sourced – it is probably due.

6. What advice have you been given that you found really useful or helpful for you as an artist?
As far as I can remember, I have not followed any of the little advice I’ve been given. No idea whether that was useful!

7. What can you imagine yourself doing if you ever stopped making art?
I could always imagine myself engaged in a wide scope of activities, and the fact that one generally chooses something was a reason that I decided on art, as I figured that way I could pursure various interests at once.

8. What are the pros and cons of working as an artist in Vienna? 
Both ensue from the city’s scale and familiarity.

9. What is the most absurd thing you’ve ever heard or read about your art?
I can’t remember.

10. Which show have you seen recently that you really liked and why?
An exhibition that really impressed me was Massimiliano Gioni’s Gwangju Biennale 10,000 Lives in Korea in the autumn of 2010. Despite the immensity of showing 134 artists in thousands of square metres of exhibition space, it really managed to present a set of topics precisely so that the show as a whole was more than the sum of all the individual works. I’m looking forward to the Venice Biennale, which I’ll be visiting next week.

ANNA ARTAKER, born in 1976 in Vienna. Lives in Vienna. Recent exhibitions include: Read What Was Never Written (with Meike S. Gleim), VBKÖ, Vienna; Utopie beginnt im Kleinen, Triennale of small-scale sculpture, Fellbach, Germany; Sweet 60s, Gallery Nova, Zagreb, Croatia (2013); History Lessons, MUMOK, Vienna; Time, Place and the Camera: Photographs at Work, Kosova Art Gallery, Prishtina, Kosovo; Talk Show, Casa del Lago, Mexico City (2012).

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