Conversation between Carmen Rüter and Daiga Grantina
CR: Your current show “Lunettes“at Bell Street Project Space revolves around the idea of Seeing in the broadest sense. The title can be interpreted on many different levels…
DG: The title ‚Lunettes’ comes from the direct French translation of “glasses“ and the word naturally sounds very different… This is then a concrete reference to the optical and the eyes. The act of seeing is always present, and it can also be a self-conscious process…in art. There is also a more international meaning to the word “lunettes“, in architecture and art history it describes halfmoon shaped arches. For example, when one stands at the entry of the Secession here in Vienna, one can experience the effects of the “lunettes“ beautifully. I believe Kenneth Anger always emphasized that the moon is actually the surface that the sun projects onto. And this is something that goes on in the exhibition space. There is the central work with the double projection but the room itself is installed with sculptural consideration. But at the same time of course the room was already there and so the execution of the work went in two directions.
CR: Pictures from a different context will be presented as a slide show. The projection lends itself to the goal of pictoral transparency, but should pictures be looked through? What remains of the substance of the picture? How its substance changed through this mediation?
DG: The material originates from periodicals and photo essays, most of them revolving around fashion. One can realize from the projection that the photographs deal with the body. The shadows generate the images, for example the shadow cast on the neck is what defines the head. One also sees the reproduced materials like paper and print quality. This is very important to me, because I can envision a two-dimensional surface. The projected images develop their own qualities, where they begin to vibrate. This produces levels in the picture that for me are by all means filmic.
CR: The room is not only visually dealt with. The acoustic accompaniment has never before been used but is now necessary. The floor is covered with used carpet from the Vienna Secession. The carpet has been used, but is no longer needed. What do you believe is the intention of this dichotomy?
DG: It seems that both of these elements somehow share a common ground, and yet go in opposite directions, if the concerns are about quality and value of the pre-owned/second-hand. For example, it could have already played a certain role for someone up to now, and is now given a new context. I find that artificial approach very exciting. The gray carpet and piano keys support the feeling of a Luna Room, thereby coming a little closer in my eyes.
CR: The process of appropriation changes both the appropriater and that which has been appropriated. What effect does the work in ‘Lunettes’ have on you as the appropriater? To what extent is this process successful as a control?
DG: The work in ‘Lunettes’ came bit by bit from some things that I am interested in through my practice. At the same time that it came together I distilled more and more of it . And in the end Lunette stands alone, I mean as a single piece so to speak.
CR: The interaction of these single elements appear like the staging of an undefined, temporal episode. It is the moment in the life of a person who is not present—Who is this person?
DG: I find the name Lunette to be a very charming female name, just like Sharon.
/translation by Alexander Ferrando & Clyton Finn/
Daiga Grantina ‘Lunettes’
exhibition at bellstreet project space
Glockengasse 22, 1020 Wien