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December 22, 2011

No limitations : Tania Mouraud

Tania Mouraud has been creating art since the 1960's. Her work has ventured through multiple mediums over the years. These different mediums are relevant to the times upon she chose to create. Once upon a time she burned her old paintings and called it Autodafe, created novel installations with electronics and sound, designed posters and public art, organized visual storytelling in photography, and today she uses common technology – technology accessible by most people. She has always been smart, and current in her time. Her art seems to reflect an interest in a generation, where the idea is key.
Autodafe 1969

Interested in her eventual use of video and sound, I was able speak with Tania Mouraud about her choices as an artist.

Her work seems to be molding with technology, or possibly transforming with technology. She acknowledges that she is “usually changing.”

"When it becomes too easy for me I get bored and I try to change."

Her process has much to do with the analytical process.

"When you are an artist and you think, you analyze how it is done, and doing that concerns me, it becomes part of your function."

Mouraud wears her shoes as an artist proudly, with confidence. She accepts herself, and accepts her "moments" of epiphany. Artistry allows her to "express a kind of philosophical gaze about the human condition, to show things ‐ and the viewer makes what he or she wants with it. I am allowing myself to be emotional, to convey emotions about what I see about the state of the world."
The computer has allowed her to move into mediums that weren't easily accessible in the past. Her interest in making moving image artistry has truly allowed her to continue this vision of her work. For instance, an interest in creating video and music has become manifested in her use of technology. Technology is merely a tool. When Mouraud shoots a video she shoots with a hand held camera. Nothing fancy.

"I don't believe in professional camera because I am not working for the TV or film industry. I don't want my work to be too technical."

It is important for her viewers to see the image and imagine they could have done the same. She wants to erase the distance between the viewer and the specialist. A camera set on automatic mode is preferred, to presume the importance of what is purely seen in the composition.

"I don't want to be concerned with pressing all the buttons. If it is complicated then I am fed up. That is what I like in digital."

In order to compensate for her lack of "sharpness" within the image, she focuses on image color and composition, similar to a painter. This painterly approach is instinctual, rooting from first hand accounts of attending the Louvre as a young girl, on the weekends as part of her history program in school. Digital tools have made this process "easy," and with her artistic outlook, the work becomes. She criticizes her ability to use Final Cut Pro, saying we may be "horrified" of how she uses it ‐ lightheartedly. Her process may be complicated, or simple, but the result and conveyed concept of the work is her main concern.
A spontaneous (or long‐desired) interest in creating music rooted in the early 90's. Mouraud expressed her desire to her class at the time, and they returned to the college with a variety of music making machines ‐ mostly electronic. Mouraud, whom had never been one to play a real instrument, took this opportunity to the next level, and began to make music on her own. She has dived into the production and performance of electronic music, sampling from a plethora of sources, and combining sounds in mindful ways. Live performance of these musical ventures has been her most recent adventure. Her sound performances are "experimental" with little to some planning. She often combines her sound performances with video. Sometimes subliminal messages are spoken into the microphone.

Though this recent infatuation seems to be the contemporary work of Mouraud, she is still working in other mediums. Video is still a primary choice, and will be the medium of an upcoming, in‐process work, to be showed at the Nuit Blanche in Toronto, Canada for Fall 2012. Her work will be a part of the main projects for this sleepless night in the city dedicated to contemporary art. She will present a video of wood logging in Canada. The piece will be projected on Toronto's City Hall at 600 feet in length and 286 feet tall. The juxtaposition of wood logging in the core of the city will have a certain insinuation. It will become a monumental installation amongst the buildings as the infrastructure itself will become part of the piece. To the viewer, it will be their interpretation, but an overall idea is ever present and looming.

"The perception is very important. Mastery of perception to convey your message and the possibility of a reaction. I believe in humanity."

Tania Mouraud's work, especially in video, has a certain power that can mesmerize you. Her approach is so subtle, with her concept penetrating the viewer at their deepest subjection. As an artist of so many mediums, it is evident that her professionalism in all forms of art truly comes from within. She follows her instinct, and allows the medium to be her tool. With a refreshing outlook on making art, with a core interest in the project, Mouraud "plays" and thus learns new ways.

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