[interview]

How do you think your photography influences your curatorial practice and vice versa?

The fact that I studied fine arts and photography opens my mind in my curatorial experience. First, I was an artist and then I was a curator. I always have a special sensitive feeling as a curator because it makes me think from two perspectives: as an artist and as a curator. When I assist the work of another artist, often I am sympathetic with their situation because I am in the same boat (as an artist myself), so it is easy to be in tune. Both sides are interesting in my performance; they feedback into each other, opening my mind and helping me to make sense of my position as a creator and as a thinker. Understanding concepts from both sides enriches my practice. 

What makes art such a powerful tool for recovery and rebuilding the community after a global crisis?

Art is a massive communication tool. Nowadays, thanks to the internet, art has no limits. We can connect around the world with a simple ‘click’. At the beginning of the human era, art was revered for its magical qualities, followed by religion and then appropriated by the elite society. But currently, art – not the business of art, as I am talking about art as a way of expression – is inexorable. Art always will be a way to transmit feelings, concerns, philosophical questions, fears, criticism, etc… on the other hand, it is well-known that art-therapy is a considerable recovery tool. We can work through art to find ourselves as a community, creating music, photography, performance, painting… unleashing our creativity and feelings, and finding ourselves sharing knowledge, being strong as a population, believing in our consciousness, recovering from our pain and fears. The practice of developing creativity is the most powerful tool because it activates our minds.

Name five artists who are making really exciting work right now.

Such a difficult question – I always hesitate to talk about my favourite one, because I have millions of favourites. Obviously, I fall in love with the artists who I’m working with at Escalera de Incendios, my Curatorial Contemporary Art Project; Alexander Grahovsky, Natalia Carminati, Miguel Andrés and Alejandra de la Torre are the team. But here are some other artists: Kate Just, Jenny Holzer, Sol Rezza, Carlos Tardez and Jacob Jonas. Jacob is a Creative Director and Choreographer who I really enjoy, especially his Instagram profile recently.

What got you into the creative industries?

Finding a way to make a living. The romantic idea of ‘doing things for the love of art’ is fine, but everyone has to pay bills, and art is not free. There is always someone working behind an art project or artwork – investing time in it, and time is money. Professionalizing art or culture is the way to develop a smart society. Education and culture are the goals. The thoughts are free, but materializing an idea has a price, always!

If you could go to any gallery or museum in the world right now, which one would it be?

Well… another difficult question! Probably Kiasma – Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki. I have never been to Finland, but I am so interested in the way they think as a society. Always smart choices, looking after their population, an inspirational education system and politically advanced. The only problem is that it’s too cold in Finland! That said, it is an advantage for them, as they spend more time at home developing creativity and cognitive skills. 

By Chloé Hazelwood

Chloé Hazelwood is an arts manager, curator and writer. She currently works as the Volunteer Officer at Linden New Art in St Kilda, Melbourne, and is also Chair of the Board of Directors at BLINDSIDE, an artist-run space in Melbourne’s CBD. Chloé has curated exhibitions and public programs across a range of not-for-profit arts settings, and is passionate about mentoring volunteers and students who are pursuing a career in the cultural sector.