Six questions for
Margarita Maximova

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Margarita Maximova.

Artist Margarita Maximova
Lives in Berlin/Brussels
Website https://margaritamaximova.be

How do you describe your own art practice?

As chaotic, slow, semi-autobiographical, mostly unscripted story telling. My practice is build around the moving image. Images are collected or shot myself and get their direction from the text that is added afterwards. These texts are either written by me, overheard, read, or exchanged text messages. It’s a perpetual and non-linear process where I shuffle elements around until they reach some sort of emotional agreement in this alternate staged space that I’ve set up outside of my mind.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

My work mostly departs from personal events that occupy me in such an overpowering way that I feel a desperate need to materialize them. I find poetic qualities in certain situations and turn them into stories. In the past I’ve made works about intricate family relationships, my estranged father, my mother’s history in Russia and emigration to Belgium, the consequences of our present way of communicating and animals and the natural world are also somehow always present.

I am currently reading about the history of women in the field of medicine to gain a deeper understanding of how the persistent lack of care and understanding in that field towards everyone that is not a white cis male continues to exist today. These themes might not be explicitly present in the work but they help me depart from somewhere. As an antidote to these topics I also explore imagery in a more formal way through editing and finding new ways of filming.

What was your first experience with art?

My sister and I used to create home videos where we performed as ourselves or reenacted characters from television. We got into drag or conducted interviews with each other, did sketches with our dogs, reenacted our parents’ relationship, made horror films, did music videos and basically ridiculed everything that we knew through the medium of video. We always found a fitting track and the editing was quite experimental. That extreme hilarity we shared with video making always stayed with me. I don’t think this was art but it was the foundation for my love for filming and editing.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

My inspiration comes from visiting exhibitions, performances and live concerts. I love seeing what others are up to. I am most attracted to everything that has an audiovisual aspect to it.

What do you need in order to create your work?

I need to be deeply moved, burdened or agitated by something. And to have a feeling that there is some sort of necessity to what I am doing.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

There’s many. Workers in Song by Billy Bultheel and James Richards. An incredibly moving performance at an impressive art deco cinema in Porto (Cinema Batalha). Flautist Adam Sinclaire did an amazing job performing a text by Ian White (among other texts) while a flicker video of Tony Conrad was playing in the background. I was absolutely transfixed by the cadence of his voice and the speedy rhythm of the light. There were a lot of other interesting elements but I won’t spoil the entire performance.

The orange reflection videos by Dora Budor, mirror pieces by Diamond Stingily, Alexander Iezzi’s Little Shocker video with one of my favorite performers Shade Théret, who is stunning in everything she does. Emily Wardill’s video I gave my love a cherry that had no stone that I just saw in Porto stayed with me because of it’s confusingly realistic strangeness and labyrinthine setting. An entirely different experience was a live algorithmic piece at Waking Life festival by Yuri Bultheel called The Antechamber, where particles and abstract objects flock together and disperse while an automated camera follows these objects. I felt threatened but excited by the modernity of it. Martin Wong’s show at KW Institute in Berlin will stay with me forever because it was so devastating but beautiful at the same time.

Besides those recent encounters I’m continuously amazed by the poems and writings of artist Artun Alaska Arasli. Musically I’m currently into everything that tibslc and Broshuda bring out, two of my favorite producers. I’m also revisiting all the Actress albums since seeing him play at a festival some weeks ago. His music is my current summer soundtrack.

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