Read our interview to artist Jacobien de Korte, member of Pulchri Studio, in The Hague (NL).
Would you tell us something about your artwork and how you responded to the brief?
After reading the invitation, my first thought was that it would be nearly impossible to realise my work in such a small format. More accurately: I wasn’t used to work in the way being proposed, the size of the work being smaller than 15 x 10 cm, including the frame. For a while, I’ve held off the invitation, but in the meantime I started thinking on how to still do this. I realised that it forced me to think in a different way about the elaboration and this attracted me. Together with the prospect of collaborating with international artists and working at different locations, I decided I wanted to participate in this project.
What did you gain from this international collaborative project?
I attended both openings, in London as well in the Hague, and I very much enjoyed meeting new people and talking to other artists about our projects and about art and life in general. As an artist, most of the time you work alone. This project gave me the feeling of belonging to a group. I find it amazing how everybody interpreted the project in his own way and from a different cultural perspective.
What do you feel the role of the artist can be in relation to current political affairs?
I think that the independent thinking and the sensibility of an artist are very important. To act as a sounding board, to retain a critical view and to dare to express this, to put forward possible solutions through another language -namely the language of visual arts- may affect and trigger a wider vision which allows us to continue to communicate.
Miniature portraits were often given to as political gifts to kings or ambassadors …what message would you embed in such a gift?
The work I’ ve chosen for this project, isn’t a portrait in traditional sense. On my portrait, where the face isn’t visible, you can see the sitter photographed from the back. The work portrays introversion, the sitter is not immediately visible or even unrecognisable, but has its own presence and the right to have “a face”, an existence.
What do you think your collective brought to the other groups and what do you think they brought to your collective?
In my vision, in art collectives the artists should remain autonomous. Everybody’s contribution will therefore be different. I hope I can contribute with my work, as described above, and by my personal presence, which allowed me to interact with several people.
One of the aims was to create an opportunity for the artist to work on a unique and inspiring conceptual brief and become part of a collective work , was that successful for you?
Sure it was. I had not previously participated in international projects like this one. As I indicated before, in the beginning I was a little bit reluctant to take part in the project. So far I’ve been present at every opening. Finally I was initially anxious to give this interview, but now I find it very refreshing and meaningful. For this I’m thankful.