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Question 5: How has your artistic practice or approach developed over the years?
Well my progression in visual arts bothers me a lot, because 20 years after leaving university, I haven’t practiced visual arts as much as I should have. I’ve put in about ten years, if that, interrupted by film projects, interrupted by book projects. Put together, I might have six years all told in visual arts as such. I’m a young artist even though I’m not the same age as young artists with a six-year practice. But I’ve always followed all the exhibitions and activities that were going on. My own work is defined by my sense of humour. That’s not something that I aim for, it just comes out by itself. I know that some people force themselves to produce funny things, but for me it’s natural. It’s also sarcastic, that’s pretty much who I am. When you do visual arts… I’ve never followed fashions or trends and I don’t want to follow them. I produce, in the moment, what I need to bring out, what I have to say, what I want to express. It’s not what society wants me to say, but then it would become commissioned work, or less interesting work. I never expected to make a living from visual arts. For me it’s about expressing myself and having fun. So when I treat myself between two contracts, visual arts is what I do. Because contracts are more about putting food on the table, paying the rent, that kind of thing. I can’t live off the visual arts, but they help me live sometimes. My approach is funny, sarcastic, satirical. And also, I work with recycled materials. I started that in a no-money phase. I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have any money to buy materials, so I started to pick up found objects in flea markets or straight off the sidewalk. I started to assemble some of that and turned it into all kinds of stuff. I’ve made a number of objects out of irons. The composition, the objects are from things found outside, on the ground, or things that people bring me. I’ve always said that there is “gold in that there garbage”, and that gold can be turned into art (French word play on the similar pronunciation of “or” (gold) and “art”). What it is, I find that people are wasteful. And now they’re bringing their junk to me. Not that I don’t want it, but that’s not the idea. The idea is that people should do their part. Not all solutions to our waste problems will be artistic solutions. I’ve found my own but people don’t seem to think that they too have to find a process to apply to their stuff. Waste can be used in different ways, for all kinds of projects, and it’s like they don’t see it. They throw things out, then go out and buy brand new right afterwards. I find that’s too bad.