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ARTIST SALI MULLER’S WORK EVOLVES AROUND CONCEPTUAL APPROACHES

In this short interview artist Sali Muller talks about her work and the art scene in Luxembourg.

Can you share a few words about the city you are living in and how is the local art scene?

Sali:

I’m currently based in Luxembourg, a very small country in the middle of Europe. Luxembourg is a very nice place for living, we have some very good galleries and major institutions. But if you are waiting for some good open calls, it’ll be a long time. Another problem is that normally every country tries to promote locals before artists from abroad. Most institutions in Luxembourg do not. So you have to try to get out and show yourself in international exhibitions. Maybe after you gained some reputation they are willing to exhibit your works. Well, there are some exceptions. This year I had the opportunity to showcase some works at an internationally acclaimed gallery. They did what others don’t, doing an exhibition with only locals to show the public what’s going at the Luxembourgish art scene. Another gallerist launched an international art fair last year. So not everything is bad.

The Imperceptible Self, 2016

How would you describe your work and what are your main influences?

My work evolves around conceptual approaches to reflecting surfaces, ready-made, video, light and sound installations. It explores issues of environmental pollution, loss of identity, loss of interpersonal communication and consumerist culture by mixing different media and placing the materiality of the work in sharp contrast with its subject.

Although my work may lean toward the cynical, my creative approach to dystopian ideas and use of visual paradoxes allows for the viewer to tap into the tensions arising from the process of disenchantment in order to acquire a singular view of the surrounding world.

The Moment in a Small Window of Time, 2016, Stacked Venetian Blinds, 80x200cm

What made you want to become an artist?

I have always been a dreamer, not a realist. On the one hand, my skills in logical thinking were not so bad, on the other hand, my creative mind was always thinking how to turn my imaginative ideas into reality. So I tried to make connections between those seemingly unrelated facts, and to find solutions to perceive the world in my ways.

I chose the artistic section in high school and graduated with an M.A. in Visual Arts. After my studies I rented an old mechanic’s garage on the outskirts of Luxembourg City and transformed it into a co-working & exhibition space for artists and I started being an independent artist.

Are there any artists in particular that you identify with today?

When I saw Troika’s work ‘Dark Matter’ at Unlimited, Art Basel, I was really impressed how they manipulated our perception while turning around the artwork. This experience paved my way for future projects where I tried to place the viewers in a confrontational relationship with themselves, raising questions on their own perception of self while blurring the boundaries between subject and subjectivity.

Another artist I identify with is Jeppe Hein, not because we have some reflecting surfaces in common, but because he questions the viewer’s position in space and time. I also like to take apart the relationship between identity, space and time, to explore what it means to retain one’s own individuality in a world of boundless repetitions, as well as playing with the deconstruction of identity.

My installations always bring repetition and deconstruction as well as the tension between the visual and the verbal to the fore.

My work evolves around conceptual approaches to reflecting surfaces, ready-made, video, light and sound installations.

How do you feel about using online platforms to expose your works?

I think, as an artist, it’s very important to have online presence. Every artist should have a nice, clean website which can be easily updated. That’s why, in addition to my own website, I have chosen works.io to host my online portfolio. I’m not such a big Facebook fan, because you get a lot of information you are not really interested in. I prefer Instagram, there you can follow the things you are really into.

Network, 2015, Patch Panels, Network Cables, 300x200cm

What are you working on currently or your plans for the near future?

Among my ongoing projects, I am preparing several upcoming exhibitions, including a project at the IKOB Museum of Contemporary Art Eupen in July 2017 and a solo show at the Suprainfinit Gallery Bucharest in fall.

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