An Interview with Austria’s Hans Weigand: Solo Show Now at the Icehouse

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Water is a strong element and subject in your work, in this series what does water function to symbolize?

HW: There are several aspects of water that interest artists. It is the element on the planet that shows, that the earth is alive. I always say that the waves are the breathing of the planet. The second is that the water is the liquid- its catching the moment of the liquid element- it has been a discipline through art, even the Greeks and Egyptians tried this, and symbolized this- it’s the transportation to the other world and so on. It has so many aspects, the waves, not only the waves of water but, but the waves of everything.

I am aware that you often view your work as an exploration into how perception is built, hence the amalgamations of images from antiquity to create these waves and whitewash- what instigated you to start exploring mental states and the subject of the psychological realm?

HW: My experience is that perception and the mental state are growing things, they are not stable-they are not like forever-you can expand them, it eh.. has a lot to do with that you let it grow, that you go to new experiences and you make experiments and you get a wider and wider perception of things, and a more abstract perception of things. The more your mental state and perception grow the more you see it as a kind of mathematics – so the same thing can have two possibilities, or more possibilities so- a musician knows almost the mathematical structure of the music.

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Do you believe perception is creative?

HW: I do believe perception is creative yes, for sure- because eh I always say in French there is the expression flaneur, which means when you flaneur through the city, where ever it doesn’t matter- you get impressions and then bring them in another state not one to one. If I see this turtle right here I don’t paint it like this- so on a whole it goes somewhere to the conscious and comes somewhere out, so I think…  perception is a lively thing. But it doesn’t mean it goes out the same way it comes in (laughs).

Why do you think Interdisciplenary art is so necessary and what is your response to “conservative” notions that claim Art cannot be digitally printed?

HW: Oh this is a good question because I think I was one of the first artists to work with digital printing, and anyway other medias, and it was always a big discussion and we always had to laugh about it. Because I say you mean, what about should we talk about- if a writer writes should we talk about the typewriting? I think that’s ridiculous. Its only the question- can somebody handle this technique or not- that’s the whole question of art, so I make no difference at all if I make a piece just a painting, it makes no difference , it doesn’t interest me. Its even boring when people say its digital because well what does is it mean? I also do woodcarving and copper engraving and we live in 2010, (2014) its here to be used. I think the doubts out there are from dumb people- who cares if a photo is digital or or… I don’t care, I don’t care, I just don’t- a photo is a photo if its made very good- thankyou, it’s the final thing- if somebody can handle it, digital printing is all aestetic and you have to get it under control. Its ridiculous- for me its nonfactor in contemporary art, for me yes, and for a lot of people who really understand it. It’s the content- if its good art.

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What advice could you offer aspiring artists for marketing themselves or getting their work out there?

HW: I can only advise something for young artists and that is fore sure- you have to move not sit here and wait until the biggest gallery comes into your studio- he isn’t coming. You have to move, that means eh – what we did was a group of artists show together, you exhibit with your friends- make it happen and not  wait until someone comes into the studio- that that is really my first advice. The other thing is forget about all the glamour in art, the glamour is just working- the glamour is here 3-5 times a year, and for me its anyways boring, it’s at the opening yes- all the rest is like hard working shit, that’s what its all about. Everyone should remember immediately its not glamorous at all its just hard working shit. That is forsure, and I think that through the media and perception of it- it looks like eh everything is so easy, but its not, its not-  when you imagine that city’s produce artists at the end, in every country and in Austria – there are only like 32 artists who are really in Public and every year there are starting about two or three thousand. I always say have plan B making books, making whatever, making a living-.

Hans Weigand’s  Solo show at the Icehouse will be on view through march 16th. Admission is free, for more information Icehouseon10th, or visit icehouseon10th on facebook.