'The creation leaves a trace'
Les Anges Ne Meures Pas (2019), courtesy of the artist, experimental video drawing, mixed media, drawing on cintiq and montage after effects
Sandra Krasker (b. France, 1976) is a visual artist who uses drawing and digital media. After graduating from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris with a National Diploma of Plastic Arts, she joined “59 Rivoli”, a residence for 30 artists, a former artists' squat located in the heart of Paris. Her work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions since 2011, recently "Santa Dolores", Jean-Louis Ramand gallery, Bologna (2019), “Verser l'offrande I" (“Sacrifice the offering I”), Jean-Louis Ramand gallery, Círculo de Bellas Artes gallery, Madrid (2018). She is represented by Jean-Louis Ramand gallery in Paris. Before following her vocation in the arts, she started her career as an art director in advertising agencies, amongst them TBWA Paris, which has been elected 4 times "Agency of the Year" at the Cannes Lions, 2 times "Best French Advertising Agency" and 2 times "Agency of the Year" at the Effie Awards.
You are combining a traditional medium with a very contemporary one, such as video, you add a new dimension to your work. Suppose we interpret this as a look into future, could we hope for healing the past wounds? Can art contribute to social change? What is the mission of art, the role of artists?
The work exists when we come out of it emotionally changed, troubled. So, art is not a solution to social change, it is the mirror of our society, of each one of us. It then raises social questions by its creative power and allows to open the perceptions of each one without being dogmatic.
What form could a dialogue between art and other disciplines take to promote social change and shape the future? What new impulses and ideas might come out?
Crossing different disciplines is crucial, it is, in my opinion, the only way out of an artistic academism. For example, I explore video, which I integrate with classical drawing. Confronting the two, is for me opening a vital dialogue between modernity and tradition that allows an appropriation of time. Art gives us the possibility to play with this time. I would like to collaborate with drawing animators, motion designers and explore optical illusion techniques such as holograms.
What role does storytelling play in times of great upheavals? In the light of crises that characterise our world today, can we still dare to imagine a better future?
SK: The work shows the unspeakable, it is probably a bottle in the sea, a hope to be heard, seen, listened to... The creation leaves a trace, it testifies to its time, not by facts or evidence as a documentary could do, but by emotions. In this sense, wishing a better world too quickly exposes oneself to radicalism. To build a better world would be to give meaning back to temporality, to question our past history, our physical and psychic wounds.
Assuming a better world can be built on the ruins of the old one, what do you think it would be like? What do you wish for a better future?
SK: I don't think the artist, alone, can imagine a better future. We should believe in a bubbling collective artistic emulation that draws an idea of a better future or sometimes utopias. Built on this basis, the utopias I imagine would be the possibility of merging more urbanism and nature so that our body finds its place in an environment that better meets its basic needs. It would also be necessary to bring back the sacred in cities that are too much of concrete, I think that is something that is very present in my artistic work, this need for the sacred and self-collection.
It is often said that the special power of art lies in the courageous and fearless pursuit of the new, always starting from scratch on a blank paper. What strategies, rituals or techniques do you use to find your own way into a new work, and start with a new project?
Starting over and renewing oneself is the motor. Among my creative strategies, I use the confrontation of drawing and video. The two intersect and the lived experience of time is different; this form new ideas, sometimes even new formats (such as initiating a drawing from an image extracted from a video sequence).
I am also very interested in suspended plant installations and I am thinking of a new way to make my work of drawings and videos interact with plants. In particular, I would like to project a video on a suspended plant installation, the relationship to the living in the work interests me, organs being present in my work, integrating living or ephemeral would be in my projects.
Translation from French: Cécile Nebbot
The interview was conducted in April 2020