Interview with Anne Cecile Surga, whose art piece, ‘Connected,’ can be found in Issue One of Into The Void.
Why do you create art, and what do you hope to achieve in doing it?
Creation is a natural impulse, like an instinct to me. I did not actively plan on being an artist or on having marble as my main material, it kind of fell upon me as if the universe chose it on my behalf. And I have to admit this is the greatest path the universe could have chosen for me! To me, art creation is both a personal journey into self-discovery and a life-long discussion with the public. I think I try to create art that is bigger than me in terms of its impact, an art that can embrace the private, the intimate, and the public aspect.
What are the major themes found in your work, and why?
The main theme of my work is the definition of the self in the Western contemporary society, which is a reason why I like to create artworks that invite the public to question its own positions. Sometimes I am challenging perceptions of the world; sometimes maybe I am comforting one’s position. I do not consider myself a political artist but I have to admit my work is much influenced by what is happening in the world these days, especially situations that I consider unfair. For these reasons and because I am a woman, feminism is very present in my work.
Why is Literature/Art important?
To me art is the reflect of Humanity, which is why it is so important to learn, to appreciate, and to care for it. The entire history of Man can be read through artworks as it reflects every little changes of technology, economy, or philosophy and it is amazing to lose yourself into it. On top of elevating your soul, Art as well as Literature are mankind’s intellectual legacy and I believe our society would be making better or wiser choices if more people were studying these on a regular basis.
What are some of your favorite artists?
It is difficult to pick only a few favorite artists, so instead I would rather list the ones whose art has the greatest influence upon me: Michelangelo Buonarroti and Auguste Rodin for their mastery of handling the marble; Constantin Brancusi for his capacity of keeping the simplest, purest and fullest quality of form in his works; Mona Atoum for her socially committed work and her ability to do so in a very poetic way; and finally Louise Bourgeois and David Altmejd for their very different and unique universes and the visceral response it creates in me.
What book are you currently reading, and how is it?
From my Art Historian training, I kept the love of reading art theory books. Most of my readings are about artists’ biography, treatise about the art market or about specific art movements. I also read some psychology books and social studies in lines with the themes of my work, in order to keep on feeding my mind for my artistic research. The book I am currently reading is by Jacques Lacarriere “Au Coeur des Mythologies.” It is a great survey of all original mythologies across the world, which points out the similarities about how the first men try to make sense of the universe around them. I do recommend it to everyone with an interest in mythology and how cultures evolve.
What is your favorite piece in Issue One?
My favorite piece is “Mary With P.M.S” by Cinthia Ritchie, I found it so funny yet so sensitive and right to the point. The piece makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time, this is total mastery! Also I guess I particularly love it because it resonates with my own artistic approach.
What is on the horizon for you with your art?
As of today my two greatest upcoming events are: my first solo show, which will take place in France in September 2016, and the Belgrade Triennial to which I have been invited to as an artist, it will take place from December 2016 till Januay 2017.
www.annececilesurga.com Instagram: @acsurga Twitter: @AnneCe_Surga