when i first stumbled upon alexandra gorczynski’s work, i felt like i met a genius child who solves mathematical problems in school with an unorthodox and unofficial way but somehow that way was faster, more effective and more pleasant.
i started searching her work. not only my initial impression did not alter but i was delighted as soon as i started to identify a perverse pattern of an adult world behind her work . i had the opportunity to talk with her. i projected all my agonies to her work and i tried to construct a solid theory. i loved the way alexandra shot down the foundation of almost every question and put the conversation in a more effective framework.
but no need for words now. alexandra gorczynski’s work is a celebration of the ephemeral happiness. and this celebration is riveting because it includes the strong need for a celebration and at the same time a deep sorrow as soon as the guests are leaving. all the rest are between this vital hunger.
d.n. Emily Leisz Carr included you in her article 25 Internet Artists You Need to Know. I can assume that you use the internet as a medium, as a tool, as a platform that blends real life and unspoken desire, as a real place where you can create and exhibit at the same time. But, as I consider your work, I can not distinguish the fundamental boundary between your real life and your work [obviously one reason for this is that I do not know you personally]. Do you think that the disappearance of this boundary is, on the one hand, a strategy that characterizes your work and, on the other hand, a natural mutation in the new media art scene?
a.g. In short, I do not use the Internet as a “medium”. The fact that you ask about my practice without referring to singular works explodes the possibility of discussing the framed conditions that make each work singular. As a result, you are asking me to think of my practice in terms of the general aesthetic that I present to the viewer rather than conceiving of my own sense of invention within the domain of a given medium. Therefore, I cannot comment on how a strategy animates my practice because each work is a part of my life, reflecting a condition within my life, and then saved within a frame. This is the difference between art and a media aesthetic, the latter category with whom I do not identify my practice. In so doing, you have projected, with your question, the very condition that makes the distinction between my life and my produced art works blurred as much you have compressed individual creations in terms of what you deem to be “the new media art scene.” Making an animated gif, say, is a merely a fun visual exercise, perhaps even a sketch (here, I agree about the issue of immediacy). However, a finished work like “Tidal Wave” (Digital animation on Print, 2012) is made to fit within the room conditions of a gallery space. In addition I do not perceive the Internet “as a real place where you can exhibit and create at the same time.” By contrast, finally, my turn to painting takes part in the timeless and exciting probe into physical possibilities of art. This is an age-old, affirming practice which is all together different than contributing to a flat stream of merely aesthetic production.
d.n.One of the words I would use to describe your work is “transparency.” Not in the sense that allows you see into something, but in the sense that it brings everything to a surface and neuters / eliminates the notion of depth. I find this version quite interesting because it looks like a strange call to a right here / right now demand. Have you got an ideal context in which you’d love your viewers to put your artwork?
a.g.There are several separate issues within this statement and this question and their connection does not make sense to me. So, let me begin with the first concept, namely, “transparency.” Transparency and depth relate, within the field of the visual, to be sure. However, this third category, as you put it, “a call to a right here/right now demand” seems to me to be an immediate sensation that the works invite. If my thinking follows, that means the surface and its relationship to depth appears to its viewer to be so flat that the issue of time itself enters the experience. Keeping things to the purely visual plane, I will say that the production calls forth this very anxiety. Again, we are not discussing singular works but instead, my “work” in terms of the aesthetic, rather than, say, the painterly. It is difficult to consider my work in total, then. This is a huge point because my newest pieces have been considering the conditions of painting, and have been making a radical return to the closed frame of a physical picture while not abandoning totally these issues of depth, transparency which are “right here/right now” of which you speak. To your point, then, never before have screens had the power to re-assert the absolute flatness of vision, to reflect the truth in the sensation that real life gets painted in the depth of our eyes. It is exciting, then, to be making work on paper that takes this new, perhaps traumatic understanding of the flatness of vision and play with it, even make it sexy. What, then, is the ideal context in which I’d like these works to be hung? A white gallery wall.
d.n.Is there sadness behind the joke, the sarcasm, the sexuality, the exposure, the naivety, the innocence (meretricious or not)? [yes, of course I’m talking about your work].
a.g. I project the joy that comes from a sadness—always examined slightly in the form of a joke contained in my own sense of sarcasm—whose origin could be the relationship between innocence and sexuality somehow impinged upon by exposure.
d.n.One of the things I like in your work, is the provocative dimension. And that this aspect is wild and tender. It’s like embracing someone and at the same time biting him. You can deny it or not. But in my eyes it looks like a cynical version of an entire generation. Rather than consisting an imprint, your work is capturing one fleeting moment through the filter of criticism. Have you got any thoughts or suggestions on this?
a.g. I cannot speak to a generalized version of an entire generation’s beliefs. I agree, I avoid consistent imprints—again, this is the realm of the aesthetic in general that I have spoken to in the last few questions. However, I think I know which images you are speaking of when you say I invite and reject the gaze of the viewer simultaneously. This point is neither generational nor critical—it could be that those images on the computer emerge from a simultaneous embrace and bite to the camera-as-mirror itself.
d.n. What do you want someone to remember when he will finish reading this short conversation? Is there any key you could give us for a better approach to your work?
a.g. A viewer should understand that my practice, at its base, is always physical. Whatever aesthetic practicing I have done on the Internet is separate from the actual practice that I use when approaching the physical process inherent to the work of art. These two categories are not mutually exclusive—however, to properly view my work is to at least be aware that the separation of my life and my artwork exists in the frame. This separation, while exposing, even containing me in some senses, allows for a greater unfolding to emerge, one that goes beyond myself and really has nothing to do with me at all, even though I might be contained in the work. I become separate from myself, but insodoing, give myself within a frame. This frame then becomes a plane upon which an open separation from technology— the aesthetics of the webcam, say—becomes, if only for a moment, subject to truthful viewing.