CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?
FB: We always try to escape categorizations of our artwork, and believe we are always evolving in our practice. The style, aesthetics and reflections around it are always moving, changing and developing. Although there is a structure within our work and thoughts that keep it together, it is never the same. We want to be free to re-invent our work and the shape it takes constantly, that’s why we prefer to not be classified. Maybe there is the notion of a dream, utopia that is inherent to our work.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
FB: We always relate to the world we are living in, to space, time, architecture, social and political structures. We are interested in modernity and our relation to the world, space, time and to others. This is where most of our ideals are rooted and come from. We love to inquire about ideologies, histories or spaces that surround us and reflect on it. We like to give a response to how this can trigger us or enchant us and how to question it or how we feel about it in a personal way.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?
FB: We often start of from an issue that triggers us, a place with a strong history, something we experience or some news that hits us and makes us think about the world, society and how this can change our relation to it or to each other. We started our installation titled ‘Un monde parfait’, because we drove through the suburbs of Paris along the modernist buildings and it brought us back to our childhood memories and to the way our parents transmitted the ideas of modernity to us and how these utopias changed over the years. These places lived through a kind of dislocation, they are worlds of upheaval and crisis. We are very interested in these moments of shifting and transformation. It made us think about the project. It started from there. Then we had an artist residency at the Cité des Arts in Paris and we researched a lot about the architecture of the early modernity and the ideology relating to it. We visited many places and started to draw out the project…
CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?
FB: We often think of our work for a particular place or context. When we conceive a work, sculpture or an installation we want it to be in relation to the context in which it is shown but we also think of the public that will encounter it and experience it. We want people to relate to it and be part of it. To feel a strong connection to it. Beyond an intellectual or conceptual relation that challenges them, we want people to have somewhat of a physical experience. In some of our work we want the public to be able to appropriate the work, use it. In the work ‘Many dreams’ situated on the beach of Blankenberge, people could step into the sculpture to see the landscape through it.
FB: Recently we managed to keep a permanent work ‘Les Brutalistes’ in the public space in the city of Nantes. These sculptures are fitted with ovens which will bring the inhabitants together around a custom of cooking with firewood. We wanted to create an artwork as a sculpture, one which gave new ways of sharing and new forms of co-existing around a culinary experience.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
FB: We can find inspiration everywhere, art is everywhere. We have a quite nomadic lifestyle and have lived in many places. We love to walk through the city, through landscapes and observe things, taking hazardous new routes and encountering the unexpected. We love to read, we go to see many exhibitions, concerts, we love to meet our friends and discuss for hours, go out and meet new people, different people. We love to travel, encounter the unknown, visit museums and we spend a lot of our time working at the studio concentrated on doing new works, working together, discussing agreeing and disagreeing. We enjoy listening to podcasts when we work and I believe we are very lucky to be able to share this intense life as a couple.
CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?
FB: It’s a bit like starting an investigation and putting things together. Then you can find the clues and decide what to do with them. We get intrigued by some ideas and speak about them, drawing is important in our practice. We often let things go round in our minds and talk for a long time, going backward and forward between drawings and talking, reading and trying things out. Each project has been matured for a long time, but nevertheless intuition, impulse and hazard are a big part of it…
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?
FB: We have learned to never give up and to always continue, keep on going, to keep on believing in our personal projects and in the world. Even though we may have many doubts, critics and fragility, we learned to resist and be resilient.
CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?
FB: Personal taste and style are important for an artist in the way that it is also related to their personal perception and the view they have on the world.
FB: We are visual artists, so we will always express our thoughts through a visual shape/style, and it matters of course what aesthetics we give it. It is a form of expression. The aesthetics is always related to the meaning we want to give to the artwork but it is also something very personal and intuitive.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
FB: As artists we have a certain responsibility, we give our opinion on the world and it is in some way a public opinion, our work might stay for centuries and we have the responsibility to make it right, to help invent and think a better world for the future to come.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
FB: Nobody knows what to do with us, what use can be made of us or our art. It gives us a lot of freedom…
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?
FB: Many artists inspire us such as:
FB: Just to name a few.
FB: We recently had the chance to visit Pompeii which really impressed us through its beauty, modernity and tragedy. Ancient cultures and traditions such as Egyptian, Greek, Sumerian, etc inspire us a lot as well.
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
FB: We never really use technology as a way of doing things in our work but more as a way of exploring some concepts. This is something that happened in our exhibition ‘Automatic revolution’, we started by using industrial robotics. We didn’t really use the robotics to make our sculptures, instead we learned how to make movement in the sculptural form in a meaningful way. We took over this technology in a way of appropriation and empowerment. We learned to program the robotics and through a wild, unlimited possession-taking of the industrial robotics we made use of it for an unproductive purpose. It’s a way to reinvent this technology and to find another meaning to it. Beyond a theoretical and purely intellectual approach related to the world of informatics, it is a search for the practical and physical experience that we are talking about.
FB: We investigate all this new technology and all the changes that it has had in our lives. It’s a very important issue today in order to understand the society we are living in.
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
FB: Artists always try to re-invent, re-think the world and everyday life. We always try to fight stereotypes and hasty conclusions on politics, society, space, behavior and to think things differently.
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
FB: We have a very strange feeling with the travelling industry. You can’t travel and avoid it completely and you can feel the burden that this industry does to many places you have known a long time. You see yourself in those places as the other tourists and wonder if it was a good idea to travel.
FB: Cities are changing and become more and more museum for tourism. Tourism has such a huge effect on the environment and on the city and their inhabitants.
FB: But of course, we love to discover places and confront ourselves with the other… We had a summer in Naples and really love this tragic, magnificent, intense, monumental and buzzling city.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
FB: There are to many of them; just a few:
Virginia Wolf: Orlando
Olyinkan Braiithwaite: My sister the serial killer
Charles Darwin: The Voyage of the Beagle
Torey Peters: Detransition, Baby
Jenni Fagan: Luckenbooth
Rem Koolhaas: New York Delirium
Douglas Adams : Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy
Ivan Goncharov: Oblomov
Stephan Zweig : The world of yesterday
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?
FB: More time to do the works, more nature to be inspired, more time with friends to discuss and visits and confrontation with the very strange reality we are living in together.
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
FB: Be aware and at the same time have enough time and resource to make something of it.
CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?
FB: Haha / Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul
FB: Paloma /Mexican institute of sound
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?
FB: Despite the serious matters we are dealing with in our work, we always hope to think things positively and we love to give a sense of freedom, lightness, joy and humor to the work we are creating. This probably shows through in our aesthetics.
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