Suzana Dan – The Artists’ Portraits | 11172014
In January 2014, Art Yourself Gallery launched an experimental project involving 17 artists, over a period of 11 months, with 11 exhibitions on 11 themes, opening on the 17th of every month.
Aitch, Felix Aftene, Gabriel Caloian, Codruța Cernea, Mihail Cosulețu, Cristian Crisbășan, Suzana Dan, Amalia Dulhan, Andreea Floreanu, Cornel Lazia, Ileana & Cătălin Oancea, Dragoș Pătrașcu, Tudor Pătrașcu, Radu Rodideal, Adrian Sandu, Bogdan Teodorescu, Ioana Ursa.
Within the project, Cornel Lazia and Cristian Crisbășan proposed The Artists’ Portraits, a series of photographs and interviews that would reflect the way in which these artists see themselves as well as the way in which they are seen through the two photographers’ lenses.
Portrait of Suzan Dan | Interview by Art Yourself Gallery
What do you seek in life?
Are you born an artist or do you become one?
For me this is a question similar to “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”, even though for this question that has troubled many minds the solution of the proto-chicken has been found. We have several millennia of culture, and in addition mountains of theory of art yet we innocently return to the same question because there is no answer. And nowadays with Beuys’s postulate there is absolutely no borders: everyone is an artist.
What do you see, where do you see and how do you see?
I see my life, planet Earth, micro history, macro history, the shard of sand and the mountain. I see them around me, in my personal space and beyond, in the physical reality, augmented or virtual, and I struggle to feel them freely, outside the learned or imposed conventions.
How do you create and when are you ready to show your work to others?
I create chaotic, at the push of a button, I benefit equally of unlimited freedom and imposed freedom. I communicate when I am allowed, basically a display of a product created according to the rules of the game. I sometimes deviate (I am human so it’s normal to flare up in the corset of conventionality) and I practice a takeover of public space but always with the small finger of the hand up.
How do you see yourself within the 11172014 project and what do you look for in it?
– the idea of 11 group exhibitions, on 11 themes, over a period of 11 months
As I once said, I see this project overall as a collective work.
– what was the greatest challenge?
The dynamic of the project.
– what has your collaboration with ArtYourself been like?
– how do you perceive the others in the group?
– how do you hope the project to develop?
To end, with no part 2, part 3, etc. I hate sequels like this. They are totally misunderstood and not constructive, against the very idea of continuity.
– what do you think of the public’s reaction?
Civilized. I think I want more, but there’s a general problem related to the public of art galleries and their involvement/ reaction.
What is the role of art and creation in life?
It justifies the existence of the brain and soul in the human body. My creation is my own therapy, if it somehow becomes panacea for others, hallelujah!
Ask yourself a question and answer it.
– Are you happy?
About Suzana Dan
“If it works, it’s obsolete.” (Marshall McLuhan)
Suzana Dan was born in one of the twentieth century summers near the most beautiful mountain in Romania. She had one of the most beautiful childhoods on the planet. The most notable work of art in her career was “Mormântul eroiului” personally considered by the artist as the moment of awareness of the creative thrill and turmoil, as evidenced by the intervention, a few years later, on the same work influenced by the conventions of correct representations of reality. Subsequently, this has been consciously realized in a greatly dramatic manner, and led to the personal decision to free the personal and artistic vision of any rules.
She studies at the School of Art in Brașov, the Brașov School of Arts, and the University of Arts Bucharest. She hates the methodology of teaching so she scrapes through the years of study. She learns what she likes, she hates her general knowledge teachers (except the biology professor) and loves her specialization professors.
In the 9th grade she finds out about Beuys for the first time. She understands nothing, however a few years later, in the first year of university, she smiles contemptuous when talking about him.
In her wild years at university she enjoys an adventurous life as far as the 90s allow in a Bucharest of the bitter transition and also according to her own rules of life. Following the wisdom of the Transylvanian school and the confusion of her first years at university, she continues the understanding of things as started in high school thanks to professor Florin Mitroi and her study travels in Italy. The direct confrontation with the opulence and the chromatic brazenness of Italian painting provokes profound aesthetic exaltation. She cries in front of Madonnas and smacks in front of the pictorial flavor.
She returns home and finishes her diploma thesis, in which she sinks her lover in a lascivious and devouring vegetal jungle.
After graduation, follows the natural course of the artistic career, the exhibitions, the specializations, the recognition of merit, the scholarships.
Questions by Cristian Crisbășan.
Photo credits: Cornel Lazia and Cristian Crisbășan.
Translation: The re:art. Read the Romanian version of the interview here.
More info about Suzana Dan on her website.
View photos from the previous 11172014 exhibitions and other portraits of the artists involved in the project here.