Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A talk with Anne-Lise Coste

(Anne-Lise Coste, all Day long, 2009, airbrush and acrylic on board and mirror)

Molly Stevens: Anne-Lise, in the outside world, I make plans and it works (sometimes). But in the studio, forget about it: Things never go according to plan.

Anne-Lise Coste: No plans in the studio.
I enter the studio and start
with whatever is around
no plans
no projects
no projections
no drafts

what comes comes

MS: So, is that impulse that we see in your work?

AC: It might be

I don’t want any mediation

From whatever it’s called - soul-mind-spirit-conscience-unconscience - through the hand-pencil to the paper for instance

Superquick, no thinking as much as possible, a breath, a scream, a fast construction, a tear, a fuk

A secretion you cannot control

Out of control

In the world of control
Une jouissance aussi [pleasure too]

MS: Do you think that the superquick - which is so fleeting - can last in art? Can it make a lasting impression?

AC: Oui, because everybody knows about fragility.

MS: Well, not everyone wants to know about fragility.

AC: I’m not sure about that sentence, actually. I don’t like to say everybody. I don’t know everybody.

Forget it.

What I mean is that there is no hierarchy for me between a work that lasts 3 seconds and another one that’s high tech, that requires hours of working, a team, a super budget or whatever.

MS: A lot of artists make art to last forever in hopes of transcendence. We could call that macho, I guess. But there’s something very macho in the quick too. It’s brave. In women they call it impulse, I think. In men, they call it boldness, or risk-taking.

AC: You’re right: boldness versus impulse in the vision of what is male and what is female, which ends up being male versus female and then hierarchy again. One thing we should not forget is that it’s also a battle for the poor men who want to be impulsive and not bold.
first of all I believe in a queer progression in the look of the world

And perhaps no more woman-women shows

As soon as you’re a woman and you’re invited into that perspective, you respond. You have to reject this totally passé retrograde vision. That’s over.

MS: Tell me a little more about this: "I believe in a queer progression in the look of the world.”

AC: I mean that it will become clear. It’s impossible to enclose someone in terms of gender and to generalize about a sex. Like this is male, this is female.

Everybody – ha! again - but this time it’s for a joke: someday everybody will laugh when someone says "oh you’re a girl and you like soccer"

MS: I don’t understand.

AC: Funny you don’t understand my example. Yeah it’s so South of France.
What I want to say is that in the normal world, some activities are male and others are female. That’s over in the queer or free world.

It’s the fukin advertising propaganda, which imposes a very narrow world
for commerce
But there’s another world, out of the market, friendship and love.
I say friendship and love to mean that there are spaces of non-conventions, of openness, the bizarre, the ambiguous and out of control again.

MS: To end, what do you think of this image:

AC: Merde. Sais pas. [Shit. Don’t know]

MS: OK. Let's end another way. Just let me think for a second.

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