[= TB === BOARD ==== INTERVIEW ==== WITH = THE === ARTIST ==== MARIANNA ==== SIMNETT =]
Marianna Simnett Hyena and Swan in the Midst of Sexual Congress 2019 Silk, velvet, wool, pewter, glass, steel, toy stuffing and polystyrene 230 × 150 × 230 cm Installation view Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ Photo credit: Tim Bowditch
Claudia Santeroni: How would you describe your artistic research to someone approaching it for the very first time?
Marianna Simnett: My research is meticulous and intuitive. Personal experience, feeling and my gut drive my decisions, backed by an unquenchable hunger for new sensations. I chew through a horror movie each morning, write, make art and music during the day, and read books at night.
CS: You often work with non-professional actors, a predilection that also Pier Paolo Pasolini had, an artist who wanted people to play themselves as he didn’t want professional actors to give their own view to the part. How did you have this inclination?
MS: Meanie, meanie, Pasolini! I’m all for other voices influencing the work but why go through the hassle of pretending? If you want a surgeon, why not simply cast a surgeon? I love working with children and animals because they are willing to play games. They haven’t yet grown that cloak of self-awareness or shame.
CS: The connection you frequently create between the human body and the animal body is very interesting. This relationship is widely addressed both in cinema and literature, I think about Cronenberg as well as Kafka.
Where does the fascination for the syringe, injection, needle and vocal cords come from?
(I’ve recently noticed how in Paolo Sorrentino’s movies the figure of the dwarf returns cyclically, so I want to investigate the reason hidden behind the recurring themes in the gaze of artist-director).
MS: Any unconsciously resurfacing image can be read as a symptom of trauma. If a body is hit repeatedly, the border between the self and the world becomes damaged. My interest in instruments that penetrate the flesh can also be interpreted as a possibility to metamorphose and become something other.
CS: I know you are a trained musician.
How much and how does the soundtrack affect your work?
I think about the pervasiveness that the audio component has in works such as those of Nathalie Djurberg, Quentin Tarantino or Matthew Barney.
MS: Music can be an earworm. It lingers and resides in you, sometimes long after you have watched the work. Sounds and images have a complex relationship and require a very subtle alchemy.
CS: Which are your favorite directors?
MS: Claire Denis, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Kira Muratova, Shinya Tsukamoto, Robert Bresson, Hito Steyerl, Stanley Kubrick, Clive Barker, Lynne Ramsay, Yorgos Lanthimos, Werner Herzog, Agnès Varda, David Lynch, Emir Kusturica, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Lotte Reniger, Catherine Breillat.
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