Mauren Brodbeck lives and works in Geneva. She crosses lines and transgresses categories to bring us an impressive body of work, through strange autofictitious or procedural stories in which she “produces” herself. Both playing by and playing around codes, she breaks down categories with a simultaneously distressing and glamorous aesthetic that dissolves the rigidity of social representation of the individual.
Her photographic practice is a tool for analysis and reappropriation, confrontation of the fantasised, hijacked, infinitely reproduced image
with its real referent.
Mauren, where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from the everyday life, from the banality of things and how they can clash with what comes from inside of me. It is that duality – inner world and outer world – that really interests me, the same way it resonates with a persona your built and your authentic personality. When I create, I stop time in a way, there is a certain awareness to the present and the now because magic happens in the present when time is stopped. You can finally use all your senses to feel and see and hear your reality and go beyond that to truly explore the life and our relationship to it.
Which is the relationship and influence between your cultural background (country, studies, etc.) and your artworks?
I lived in different countries (Switzerland, Canada, USA, Germany) and this brings a certain perspective and openness to life. It opens a lot of possibilities in art and creation and for sure those cultures influenced me and I have a strong relationship to them. My cultural background takes a big part in my sensitive to design, to art, to music, cinema and literature and therefore a big part in who I am. I was influenced a lot by the French Nouvelle Vague, The 80’s pop culture, and all sorts of movements in art but not only. Music has always been a big part of my life and how I hear music I see colours. We each have a unique background and sets of experiences and that makes our taste, aesthetics, interests vary and that is what is totally amazing because through our art and creations, we can share those.
What are you much focused in?
I focus on certain themes such as identity, memory, belonging and also on subject related to women and expression, intimacy, power. I am also very interested in crossing the lines of categories and playing with codes. For example I question a lot the rules and established and agreed upon ways to exhibit artists and where the showing of art has to stop or not. My work is really multi form and art should be confined to certain places, it is what makes our lives interesting and full and therefore I like to blend culture and genre.
Have you encountered any difficulties when you first started your art/freelance career?
I think difficulties and challenges are part of life and living the life of an artist is complicated in a way because it isn’t a choice. I could not live without creating. Challenges were not greater when I started than now, they are just different and my focus is different. What is nice about having experience is that you have so much more knowledge and clarity than when you start because you went through pain, successes, failures, joys.
I think the biggest difficulty I had when I started really was to own who I felt I was inside of me and believing in myself.
I think our societies are not very good at teaching young people this in a general way. It is difficult to take that road without proof of what will happen. It is much easier to take a job in a big company and know that if you do a good job you will raise the ladder. With art, you don’t know, nobody knows. You have to have faith and that faith will be challenged all the time because nothing is certain.
Over these years, what is the most important thing you have learnt from your profession?
The most important thing I have learned is to believe in my vision and keep going no matter what. Because showing your art is so personal, rejection can be taken in a very personal way so you need to keep a good perspective.
Do you think that a creative job is just creativity or it’s discipline too?
Discipline and perseverance, patience and focus are key elements.
Because without those your creativity can stay inside of you and never come out. There is real magic that happens when you persevere and focus, you have to go beyond the games of your mind. This is how you go beyond the “blank page” because your mind will make you stop.
Are you currently work on new projects?
I am working at the moment on two photographic series, one on portraiture called Erasure where I use a razor blade to erase ink and chemicals from the paper of the photograph and one on nature and the relationship to our environment. I am also working on video and sound for these series as I love to create really immersive universes.
This second series is a big one because it includes large scale images and wallpapers and universes. I am also working on a project called Motel Deconstructed which is an installation I did at the Contemporary Art Laboratory Andata Ritorno in Geneva where I am deconstructing the motel room and creating different audio landscapes with it.
Also, I am working on two music project, on is my first EP where I sing and compose which is an electro pop glam rock downtempo blend and the other one is a live electronic performance that I am creating with another female artist and musician.
Finally, I am creating an online community for female artist and creatives called Raw and Radical where I want to create a membership to inspire and help women find their inner volcano and light it up.
Artist Website > www.maurenbrodbeck.com
Instagram > @maurenbrodbeck
Tumblr > maurenbrodbeck.tumblr.com
Facebook > www.facebook.com/MaurenBrodbeckArtist
Twitter > @maurenbrodbeck