1. What are you currently working on?
At the moment I am working on an installation that will be shown in xhibit, the exhibition space at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and also on a text-sound piece for an audio guide at Klosterneuburg Monastery, which is a collaboration with Chris Fladung. Maybe these two works will not be that different in terms of their content, although in one of them I am trying not to use any text, which is always difficult for me.
2. How would you describe a typical working day?
Not particularly exciting. I’m an early riser, which means that I am usually at the studio by around 9 a.m. I go to the studio even if I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do there. I work at the Academy two days a week; it is probably my »art Internet«.
3. What does your place of work look like?
I always had somewhere to work outside the Academy, even when I was a student. At the beginning it was in some shared studios, after that I shared three rooms with Cäcilia Brown, in another large studio, and now I have ended up in a two-person studio with Toni Schmale.
4. How are your works created? What do you make yourself, what do you have produced, and do you work with readymades?
It’s true that I am a real studio artist, I always need to be surrounded by my infrastructure – my small wood workshop, my drawing table, my peace and quiet. But in some ways that makes me very inflexible, because it’s difficult to produce works outside the studio. I make almost everything myself, which means that I work almost exclusively with my favourite materials: wood, paper, and text. There are projects that are on such a big scale that I don’t manage, either in terms of logistics or simply because of the space required. But I usually find outsourcing work stressful, because then I don’t feel independent any more. I think, though, that it is also important to recognize the limits of the conditions of production and find a way to deal with them. Otherwise everything keeps getting bigger and has to grow more and more. But again to the question of production: I am fortunate in that I can always ask friends who are also artists about details I’m not sure of, and they are real professionals – Cäcilia Brown, Gabi Edlbauer or Toni Schmale. When I’m doing graphic works I always collaborate with Christian Hoffelner, and I work with Chris Fladung on sound pieces.
5. What is the significance of the Internet for your work or your process?
It’s just for research, but I usually just get in a muddle because I’m just zapping through things. When browsing the Internet I only take in fragments of the content. A more focused engagement comes from reading texts, catalogue essays, press materials – the analogue stuff.
6. Is there any advice someone gave you that you find useful as an artist?
Stupidly you mainly remember the negative comments, the harsh criticisms …
7. Can you imagine someday not making any more art? What would you do instead?
Right now I can’t really imagine not making any more art. But if it comes to pass, then I already have a concrete idea: TV sports presenter.
8. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being an artist in Vienna?
Because I come from Slovenia, working in Austria and in Vienna has always seemed like a privilege.
9. What is the most ridiculous thing that you’ve ever heard or read about your work?
That I sometimes sound like Falco – that’d be nice, but sadly it’s not true.
10. Tell us about a recent exhibition that you liked, and why.
The Mike Kelley retrospective at P.S.1, simply because I am a Mike Kelley fan, although the exhibition really was pretty overwhelming. The second one would be a show about the Afro-Futurists, at the Studio Museum in Harlem. I didn’t know enough about them and was very impressed by the connection between music and visual art. Also Noële Ody’s exhibition at the 21er Haus, and, and, and… in general I’m more likely to be impressed than disappointed when I see exhibitions and artworks – but probably these three I’ve mentioned all share a kind of Pop attitude.
28 January 2014
MARUŠA SAGADIN born in 1978 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Lives in Vienna. Recent exhibition participations include: is my territory, Christine König Galerie, Vienna; Wenn gestern morgen wird, Lungomare, Bolzano; Hello Show, VBKÖ, Vienna (2013); Mit sofortiger Wirkung, Kunsthalle Wien – project space; Transnational Guerilla Art School, <rotor>, Graz, (2012); Black Sound – White Cube, Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin; Second Worlds, steirischer herbst, Graz (2011).