6 Artists

6 Artists

On Decisive Moments

6 acclaimed artists reveal a decisive moment in their life – a strong personal experience which became crucial in their development, and in shaping their work as artists.

The German artist Jonathan Meese (b.1970) tells the story of how his life as an artist began on his 22nd birthday, when he asked his mother to buy him his first drawing materials.

American video artist Bill Viola (b.1951) fell to the bottom of a lake when he was six years old, and discovered a place which seemed like paradise, and caused him to realize that "the real things are under the surface." This was the beginning of Violas fascination with water.

American photographer Leigh Ledare (b.1976) talks about the Christmas he returned home to find his mother at the front door ”entirely naked.” It was his mothers late life sex rebellion which began the eight year long photographic project “Pretend You’re Actually Alive” (2000-2008).

Finnish photographer Elina Brotherus (b.1972) tells the story behind the photograph ”Epilogue” (1999) which was the result of a break up. The photograph had to be done right away, capturing ”the decisive moment” she says.

”My mother overturned my paint box and threw everything and said that if you want to paint, don’t come back home!” Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (b.1929) explains how she fell out with her parents, who wanted her to get married, rather than spend her life painting.

The Swiss video artist Pipilotti Rist (b.1962) tells the story of how she got angry with a guy and felt like smashing his car, but in stead chose to turn the destructive feeling into something creative – and created one of her most famous videos: ”Ever is over all” (1997)

Watch the whole interview ”The story of Jonathan Meese” here: http://channel.louisiana.dk/video/story-jonathan-meese

Watch the whole interview ”Bill Viola: Cameras are soul keepers” here: http://channel.louisiana.dk/video/bill-viola-cameras-are-keepers-souls

Watch the whole interview ”Leigh Ledare: Photos of inappropriate desires” here: http://channel.louisiana.dk/video/leigh-ledare-photographs-inappropriate...

Watch the whole interview ”Elina Brotherus: It’s not me, it’s a photograph” here: http://channel.louisiana.dk/video/elina-brotherus-its-not-me-its-a-photo...

Watch the whole interview ”Yayoi Kusama: Earth is a polka dot” here: http://channel.louisiana.dk/video/yayoi-kusama-earth-polka-dot

Watch the whole interview ”Pipilotti Rist: Color is dangerous” here: http://channel.louisiana.dk/video/pipilotti-rist-color-dangerous

Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Joyce Pensato

    Advice to the Young

    Homer, Mickey, Batman! Joyce Pensato – known for her unique work inspired by cartoon and comic book characters – here advises young artists to keep at it, love what they’re doing and, most importantly, “show your work, get it out there!”

  • Ulay

    Advice to the Young

    “If you want and need inspiration – go behind the central station.” The iconic artist – and self-proclaimed anarchist – Ulay here advises young artists to avoid art institutions and to make works that meet their own needs rather than that of the audience.

  • George Condo

    The Artist at Work

    The mind of American artist George Condo has been referred to as a place where “Picasso meets Looney Tunes.” Watch him at work in his New York-studio where he draws and paints his take on a 19th century painting by Manet.

  • Ulay

    Under My Skin

    This is the story of legendary artist Ulay, famous for his collaboration with Marina Abramović. As a solo artist in search for his identity, Ulay’s radical works have pushed the limits of photography and performance using his own body as material.

  • Olga Tokarczuk

    I Absorb Stories

    Olga Tokarczuk – one of the most important Polish writers of her generation – here shares how she draws inspiration from others: “People tell amazing micro-stories or even bigger stories. I seize them, absorb them and transform them in my books.”

  • Marina Abramović & Ulay

    A Living Door of the Museum

    Standing naked in the main entrance of a museum, facing each other while the audience passes sideways through the small space. Legendary performance artists Marina Abramović and Ulay share the story behind their poetic work ‘Imponderabilia’.

  • Bill Viola

    Cameras are Soul Keepers

    When video artist Bill Viola was 6 years old he fell into a lake, all the way to the bottom, to a place which seemed like paradise. "There's more than just the surface of life." Viola explains. "The real things are under the surface".

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.

  • Nick Cave

    The World is my Skin

    Have you ever wished that you could put on a suit which would open up the imagination and take you to the world of your dreams? In this video artist Nick Cave presents his wearable sculptures, the 'Soundsuits', made from discarded everyday materials.

  • Gerhard Richter

    In Art We Find Beauty and Comfort

    “I don’t really believe art has power. But it does have value. Those who take an interest in it find solace in art. It gives them huge comfort.” Gerhard Richter, one of the greatest painters of our time, discusses beauty in the era of the internet.

  • Mika Rottenberg

    What is the Connection

    The exceptional video artist Mika Rottenberg here presents her intriguing video installation ‘Cosmic Generator.’ Set on the U.S.-Mexico border and in a huge Chinese market, the work explores the collapse – or reinforcement – of distance.