ABOUT NIKUNJA: INTRODUCTION

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Since 1995, Nikunja’s work is determined by three concepts towards an enlarged and synthetical perception to art research and development:

Split Authority

>authority, which accepts and incorporates its contrary, negation as essential part of it-Self and transcendentally finds to a third new and topping determination. This concerns subjects, objects, media, matter, time involved<

Interactive Matter

>interactivity as matter, being at the core of creation, being origin of creation<

TAZ (Temporary Autonome Zone ; expanded view of concept of a.o. Hakim Bey)

>temporary unconditional surrender of Time/Space to an individual/Other/media as fragment of his self-awareness<

These three working concepts compliment and expand each other mutually allowing a transmedia, interdisciplinary and interactive, evolutive art-form. This can also be felt as open- ended poetry on an in8inite timeline: a multilayered readability of evolutive content, interacting with the associative intuitive world of the user.

Nikunja

General


My artwork evokes an intimate interaction with the public, which allows new perspectives and unforeseen artistic formulations on an infinite timeline, interaction as a raw, but subtle evolutive matter. This relates not only to a new perception and growing awareness of a multi-layered present, but also to the immense creative potential and exchanges that can come out of that.” – Nikunja


  Since the early 1990s, Nikunja has put at the centre of his work the progressive energy of the artistic process as a formulation of interactive matter between all parts constituting the artwork, including the spectator/user as performer.


Nikunja’s work is in a constant flux of adaptation, mutation and transformation. The artist explores and values the nomadic, unknown inter medial space between existing media. He searches for hybrid beings or the “ultimate bastard” in the creation of his artworks. He is in continuous discovery of the in-between spaces where other elements may be born. “When we approach oppositions in a common subtle process we receive a new Third, which in itself is beyond the two original oppositions. Thus, what lies in between persons, matters, materials, concepts, objects, media involved in the constitution of the artwork, builds the interactive space in the artwork as a whole. This interactive space is the subject of Nikunja's formulations. This perception transcends even the separation between the artwork and the “profane”, past and future, here and there.


Nikunja acknowledges the intuitive mind as a form of ultimate creative energy, more precise than the analytical mind. He describes his approach synthetical in contrary to abstract, inclusive instead to exclusive. Here he sees the ultimate advantage of art beyond science or religion, also researching the human existential condition, “which are bound to institution and DOGMA and thus exclusiveness as basic intention: art as such is completely self-sufficient and therefore may claim and relate to all, be inclusive and MAGMA. The current danger to Art may be the science of art.”


Interdisciplinary artist Nikunja (born Basel, Switzerland 1956; currently lives and works on Reunion Island, France and Basel, Switzerland) studied painting and video art at the Basel Art Academy (Kunstgewerbeschule Basel) from 1975 to 1979. His artworks are a part of private and public collections in Mauritius, Reunion Island, France, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, United States, Japan, and Zimbabwe. His work has been exhibited recently at the 56th Biennale of Contemporary Art Venice 2015, at galleries, museums and art institutions throughout Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as sites and places related and relevant to his work.


Examples include: ‘Oneness-World Vision-Reality’ at the United Nations Office, Palais des Nations (Geneva 1997); ‘The Sky Over My House’ at University of Geneva (2001); ‘Fellini Now!’ at TENT (Rotterdam 2005), Centre d’Images (Reunion Island 2008) and French Institute (Mauritius 2011); ‘The Reconstruction of the Tower of Babel’ at TENT (Rotterdam 2005), French Institute (Mauritius 2011), and L’Artothèque de Saint-Denis (Reunion Island 2013); ‘Art:Re:Publique’ at Musée Léon Dierx (Reunion Island 2006); ‘Eagle Flight’ at Musée Léon Dierx (Reunion Island 2007) and Festival International de Danse Saint-Denis (Reunion Island 2007); ‘Transposed Heads’ at Hangar D2, Le Port (Reunion Island 2009); ‘Nama’, feature movie (84 minutes) premiered at Wild Cinema Windhoek International Film Festival (Namibia 2008), screened at Cannes International Film Festival, programme du Pavillon Les Cinémas du Monde (France 2008), Le Séchoir Le Piton Saint Leu (Reunion Island 2009), French Institute Mauritius (2010), Salle d’Art Contemporain Beaudemoulin, Ville du Tampon (Reunion Island 2013) and IS’Art Galerie, Antananarive (Madagascar 2014). The film was awarded 3 times for Best Actress, Best Experimental Feature and Best Directors Debut at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, Jury President was Abel Ferrara (New York 2009).

Personal


In 1995, I realised my public artwork in Prague, titled ‘Czech Flag’. Since then, I make my paintings and art work dependent on the interactivity with “the other”, the collaborative and interactive involvement with the spectator, viewer or protagonist of my art work. The production, as well as the presence of the artwork, inherits the space for the other.

I share the intimate moment of creation, the intuitive psychological space of my artistic personality with the protagonist or model I work with; either, in the intimacy of the studio or in public space with the audience. The sharing of authority can be compared to the collaboration between a movie director and actor, who develop an intimate partnership to achieve the artistic formulation of a character and movie product.


To realise my work, I develop a research and preparation period with the “model”. Often him/herself: artist or performer. Sometimes, I work with people from the audience who do not have any art experience.
The model selected for collaboration (similar to the actor) is chosen in regards to his/her qualities of personality and ability to identify with the content of the work. Sometimes the personality of a protagonist will lead to the choice of the content of the work and determine the direction the work will take.

This is especially true for my latest work XANADU, which questions the universal language of the dream and the collective timeless memory of humankind. The condition of the work is partly determined by the dreams of the chosen protagonists.

This creation process is a great artistic and personal risk, for it involves the intimacy of my whole artistic self-perception and existential reality of my person. But this danger, similar to falling, frees me from the determination of preconceived ideas and emotions or associations, which could hinder the appearance of the presence of the content in the work. Thus, this tension is important for the authenticity of my work and the form it may achieve, sometimes may even be defining for the reality of the presence of the artistic content.

My work is not an expression or representation of mere personal thoughts, emotions or philosophies.
It is not meant to represent an ideology or manifest an autocrat authorship. My artwork is the creation of a new approach to social and self-perception in regards to a precise content, which can be inspired by social or individual psychological and existential realities.

This creation process allows the artwork to invite the spectator or viewer to enter the world of content and complete the artwork by his own associative intuitive world, which is free of the limits of my own possible preconception as an artist. I, myself as the spectator of my own work, often experience and realise a larger reality. One I had actually been unaware of during the preparation of the creation process. Through this, my work has a timeless evolutive character.

The causal body of an object or subject is as important as the physical body shape; this in regards to the artworks realised, as well as the materials, process and personalities involved in the realisation.
The awareness of the causal body is the perception of the synthesis of the totality of the historical, creational, psychological attributes of a subject or object. This constitutes energy like colour or form or texture or material.
All media, materials, objects and subjects involved in the creation of the artwork bring their own energy, which is taken into account and used as means of formulation.

I do not merely situate my artwork in an art historical or art theoretical context. I believe this can raise interesting questions and propositions for reflection, but I find this of less relevance and determination to the creation process of myself as contemporary artist. The occidental views and conceptions in this regard, I find often artificial and limiting. The sole purpose often seems to be defining art market related needs to create scientific specifications, to determine objective values, define art related "positions", for subjective and evolutive realities, subordinate the individual experience to the collective system. To me, true art happens in the intimacy of both, the creator and the perceiver.

My performances, movies and installation works all develop from these basic principles of work and understanding of art. Please also see further writings on my paintings here and the individual conceptions to the various projects.


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