Tara Donovan

Tara Donovan

Sculpting Everyday Materials

Everyday materials like drinking straws, tooth pics and needle pins are elements used by American artist Tara Donovan, when she creates her amazing sculptural works: "Inspiration is a joke, real artists sit down and work" Donovan says.

Tara Donovan (b. 1969) is fascinated by everyday materials, which she turns into sculptures. She regards herself as a kind of scientist, investigating the potential of different materials, transforming and shaping them, making them transcend themselves and turning them into holistic Gestalten of their own. The element of light plays an important role in Donovan's artworks, as her materials take light in and reflect it different ways. “My sculptures become activated by the movement of the observer” Donovan says. Her works vary in size, depending on the surrounding architecture and the size of the room, they are shown in. She goes on to explain how the magic happens within the sculptures, underlining that her sculptures are artworks rather than critical comments. “I feel like my work is mimicking the ways of nature, not necessarily mimicking nature per ce.” Donovan states.

In the video we hear the voice of Tara Donovan, who doesn't like to be filmed. Her works are exhibited for the first time in Europe in February 2013 at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Tara Donovan was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Camera: Mathias Nyholm
Produced by: Mathias Nyholm and Marc-Christoph Wagner
Music by: Trentemøller.
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Joachim Koester

    A Dark Sea of Awareness

    Danish artist Joachim Koester discusses his acclaimed black-and-white film from 2009, which wordlessly investigates the legendary American author Carlos Castaneda’s idea that a certain set of exercises can help us “navigate the dark sea of awareness.”

  • Margaret Atwood

    The Woods Inside Me

    “I was carried into the woods in a packsack when I was six months old.” Canadian Man Booker Prize winning author Margaret Atwood here describes her special relationship to the woods, and her first overwhelming meeting with the city.

  • Sammy Baloji

    The Past in Front of Us

    Through his intriguing and poignant pictures, Congolese artist and photographer Sammy Baloji confronts the Western portrayal of his country by linking old photographs from Belgian colonial times with contemporary ones. The result is captivating.

  • COBE

    Monuments of the Future

    Dan Stubbergaard, founder of the internationally praised COBE Architects, takes us around his hometown Copenhagen in Denmark to show and discuss what motivates their exciting socially conscious and highly innovative projects.

  • Juliana Spahr

    Politics in a Poem

    “Politics are constantly shaping literary practices.” Pioneering and conceptually challenging American poet Juliana Spahr here ponders on the tenuous, ever-changing overlap between poetry and politics.

  • Christien Meindertsma

    The Illusion of Safety

    Does increased security make you feel safer? Cool Dutch designer and artist Christien Meindertsma investigates this issue in her compelling art book ’Checked Baggage’, which comprises a week’s worth of objects confiscated in Schiphol Airport after 9/11.

  • Alfredo Jaar

    Images are not Innocent

    "A million people were killed in 100 days under the criminal indifference of the world". In this interview artist Alfredo Jaar reminds us of the importance of images and why they are not innocent.

  • Michael Ondaatje

    The Music in the Words

    “The rhythm of music has been the biggest influence on my writing – it’s not Wordsworth, it’s Ray Charles.” Michael Ondaatje, one of Canada’s greatest authors, on how music and writing are so connected that they must sometimes be separated.

  • Michael Ondaatje

    We Can’t Rely on One Voice

    Man Booker Prize winner Michael Ondaatje, widely known for the novel ‘The English Patient’, here contemplates how his novels always start with a landscape and end with a conversation. It’s through these different voices that his stories truly come alive.

  • Susan Hiller

    Advice to the Young

    Too many people think that you can only be creative within the field of art: “It’s not just a little ghetto called ‘art’ that allows you to do that.” Internationally acclaimed artist Susan Hiller advises younger colleagues not to make art unless they have to.

  • Susan Hiller

    Stories from the Other Side

    A cascade of voices belonging to people who have been declared physically dead, but lived to tell the story, comes together in a ghostlike installation of 104 screens. Experience the intriguing art installation by the influential American artist Susan Hiller.

  • Jeffrey Eugenides

    Reading from 'The Marriage Plot'

    “The problem of being Superman was that everybody else was so slow.” Enjoy this video of Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Jeffrey Eugenides reading a hilarious section from his novel ’The Marriage Plot’.