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Alumni News |
Oct, 2012

Artist Interview: Andrea Bianconi on Romance

Andrea Bianconi, Artist in Residence at RU and author of Romance, interviewed by Sara Schifano, New York Editor of CURA on October 22, 2012.


SS: Let’s talk about the title first, Romance. What’s behind it, how did you chose it?

AB: The title came when the book was already finished. I was struggling about it in my studio in Brooklyn because I couldn’t find the right word to describe what I wanted to communicate. I wanted one word capable of describing passion and love, complicity and desire.

Then I was talking about this to my gallerist on the phone and she suddenly said ‘Romance’! I knew there and then that was the right word. I particularly loved it even because romance is the first literary form to focus on human relationships.

SS: Romance is a sequence of drawings where one image calls the next one and it’s easy to spot various autobiographic references. How and when did you start working on this project?

AB: It all started from a moment of discomfort. I was in Austria and I started looking at myself in the mirror, feeling uncomfortable and desiring to escape. I started drawing a sequence of images and words and that’s how the first page was created. It was a good way to feel protected. The first image is a juggler because I often put myself in this perception to have a better understanding of what I am experiencing. So it started with a deep need of self-understanding.

SS: The book has a number of recurring figures such as the drafting compass that becomes a submarine or a drop of water. Another one is the mask, the result of a constant overlapping and addition of images. The whole spirit of the book is about separating, listing and putting together again a wide number of elements, isn’t it?

AB: Absolutely, I’m deeply interested in shape and its continuous evolution, back and forth. The mask is a good symbol for this whole project. The superimposition on one mask on top of another is exactly that desire of going forward without the possibility of avoiding what came before. The aim was to summarize all this in a bigger metaphorical mask containing all the others.

SS: The book starts with a juggler and ends with a dot. It looks like this last image is something alive, ready to reignite and transform itself in the future. When did you understand that the project was strong enough to be closed? Do you think there’s a possibility for it be reopened?

AB: That dot is everything: the sun, the moon, the juggler’s ball, a center, a hole, a head, a mind, a connection to a new opening.

I knew the book was ready as soon as I was drawing that dot. I liked the connection with the juggler and his ball because their bond made Romance an endless book. I thought about Joyce’s Finnegans Wake where the word ‘riverrun’ holds together the beginning and the end. So yes, the project might continue in the future, with new life and new shapes.

See the publication here: http://www.curamagazine.com/?p=6182

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