domenica 24 marzo 2013

Interview with Thierry Cauwet

q) Introduce yourself, name, age, location.

a)My name is Thierry Cauwet. I was born in 1958 in France. I have lived in Sèvres (Parisian suburb), 
Rome, Martinique, the island of Reunion and then in Paris...

q) Can you describe your path to being an artist? When did you really get into it?

a)I settled in Sèvres at the age of 17, in the squat of the "rue des Caves", where we founded a house of artists (which seems to be the first squat of artists in France) with painters, sculptors, photographs, writers, poets. Political claims and esthetical experiences went together. There I discovered the direct 
administration (auto-administration) and the relation of the individual to the group, with its richness, its
complexity and its limits. There I started my research around the body and its representation.

q) Describe your ideals and how they manifest in your work.

a)What motivated me at that time was the impossibility to leave aside the real body for whatever representation. "We want the world and we want it now" (Jim Morrisson). The real body thus imposed itself quite soon in my work. Video actions followed one after the other, filmed almost always in an empty room of the squat which served as a space of experimentation. Little by little, the actions gave place to immobility, the film to the photography and I created a series of living pictures.
After a period, long enough, of a work mixing presentation of the real body and pictorial representation, I created paintings without real bodies lying on them and I abandoned photography at that time as a medium. Since then, apart for some exceptions, I almost always paint bodies.

q) Is music a part of your studio time? What do you listen to ?

a)Yes music is very important to me when I work. Jazz mainly. I think my actual painting is a form of jazz.

q) How would you describe your work to someone?

a)Let us come back to the chronology, if you don mind. My passage from living pictures to the painting was accompanied by the discovery of a new world when I settled in Martinique in 1988. It was an important experience in my existence, it marked my life and my work. I discovered myself as a "crÈole" and I remained so, I think, in my own way. Gradually, during the following years until now, I developed one by one "pictorial functions". (I have just written a book with this title, published by Ulisse editions). Each "pictorial act" (or function) intervenes in a given moment of the painting making process. My painting is not idealistic, I don' t do sketches, nor projects. My painting is in this way very materialistic. On the other hand, my work wants to give account of a particular connection between plan and space, which for a long time I called "space guillotine", that is to say the cutting out into parallel plans. This is linked to a vision experience I had when I was 17 in the Parisian metro when, in a train, I had the very precise impression that everybody was flat, painted on a glass plan. I had for the first time maybe that day the impression to SEE

q) Influences ?

a)They are of course multiple !.
In bulk : the illuminations of the middle age (in particular the mozarabs), Matisse, the body-art and the Viennese actionists, Yves Klein, support-surface, François Rouan.
I also maintained a privileged dialogue with my Martinic friend Ernest Breleur. I think that we influence each other mutually, which is very stimulating and a great source of joy.

q) Describe your process for creating new work.

a)It would be too long. I refer you to my book "Les fonctions picturales", Ulisseditions.
 What advice do you have for artists looking to show their work ?
I have no advice to give except never to yield on the essential of their work for opportunism.

q) What are you really excited about right now ?

a)The Peinturie and here is the founder text.
"I/we, at the beginning of this year 2013, decide :
Your world is over, your countries are worn out, your frontiers are down-at-heel.
I/we declare found this day the Republic of the Peinturie, independent and autonomous nation.
The Peinturie does not recognize the right of ground, even less the right of blood.
The Peinturie has supple and moving frontiers. 
The frontiers of the Peinturie may be the carnal envelop or any other envelop susceptible to include one or several people. The Peinturie is in the world and out of the world.
The Peinturie is less to do with geography than with time.
The plan of Peinturie is supple and moving.
In each place you find yourself you can declare yourself painting, inhabitant full right of the Peinturie.
Every territory painting may be linked to the others by ties invisible or not, it is for each citizen to decide.
The Peinturie is the memory of the future and, curiously, it is also the future of this memory.
A better world has always been possible, which does not mean that it will come. The Peinturie is the refuge of this expectation.
The Peinturie is an ark, bad times are to come.
The Peinturie is protection, it is expectation, no hope in its territory.
The paintings may paint or not, it is their free will and the paintings painters have no more rights than the paintings who do not practise painting. If our country bear this name, it is because of the vessel the "Peinture" which helped us to discover it.
The Peinturie is not a state, as it has a soul, that is to say a movement.
The Peinturie is one or more animated bodies, conscious of their movement and of that of the other. The Peinturie is a dance.
The painting may have double nationality. We can be painting and French, Belgian, Iranian or from Central Africa. If the painting citizen draws a certain strength to live in Peinturie, he does not forget the fights for the emancipation and the liberation of the individuals in all the other countries of the world. From the oppression was born the Peinturie, which will not forget the oppress.
The Peinturie is not a lick of the real, it is its laboratory.
The Peinturie knows the power of money without believing in it.
The economy of the Peinturie is not based on money but on the libido, that is to say on the desire.
The Peinturie is a provisional nation. The whole painting federations have for vocation to gather in an international confederation of painting territories, the ICPT (or CIPT). We know that this is only possible after climatic disorders have provoked the ecological catastrophes foreseeable
because of actual irresponsibility of the nations.
The Peinturie, in view of this perspective and by strategic necessity requests its recognition by the United Nations Organisation".

q) What do you love most about where you live ?

a)See previous question.

q) Best way to spend a day off ?

a)Alas ! I have less and less time to rest.

q) Upcoming shows/ projects ?

a)In June a show at the MaÎlle gallery in Paris and next year at the Alain Oudin gallery in Paris. The salon of the book in Paris and a festival of contemporary art in Brussels. Also the development of the activities of the group "humainternational" (Ernest Breleur, Jonathan Hecht, Thierry Cauwet). I would also like to have an expo with Jean-Louis Magnet and Yann Purcell.

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