Artist’s Statement

The artist is a mirror of the world. He observes reality and offers what his findings for all to see.
Being an artist is as much an attitude and a consciousness as it is an activity.
Being an artist means looking at the world with eyes wide open and making reality visible, audible, conscious and comprehensible. With its tensions, its contradictions, its joy, anguish and hope.
Being an artist is about the relationship of the individual to the world.

I want to sow doubt into our daily perception of the world. I want to question and ask : Why ? Why not otherwise ? An artist is a free electron in a pre-established system. The grain of sand in the « clockwork machine ».

I consider an artist’s work to be that of asking questions. We certainly aren’t here to give answers (one should always be very suspicious of people pretending to have answers), but to ask questions. An artist is researching. I often have the impression that I learn more from neurology, anthropology, archeology or microbiology, by collaborating with an artisan or a creator working in a different discipline, than by reading an art magazine.

When I see something or someone, I can’t help thinking to myself : Why? How does it work ? Or : What is he (or she) thinking about? What would I do in his (or her) position ? …
I try to put myself into someone else’s shoes, and imagine the invisible part of their life, their existence. I believe one can only begin to understand the world, people, past and present if one can project oneself into someone else’s position. The greatest misfortunes, intolerance, war and injustice have been committed in the name of a refusal of others …

My artistic work deals with the perception of reality, and tries to open the cracks which may reveal what lies behind the appearance of things. I’ve always had the impression that the visible part of the world, the reality that is presented to the eyes of all, can only be a small part of everything, and that a huge and unexplored univers is hiding beneath the surface of things. You just have to scratch a little to make it appear.
Our relationship to space, to others, to time and to history intrigues me. We are memory, consisting of layers of debris and fragments of the past, but we are also the projection into the future, into dream and utopia. Between the two, the present might just be a short and vital moment of respiration. I want to captivate people’s attention and offer them a moment of questioning, of flight or of gravity.

My work deals essentially with images :
Images of all forms : drawing, photo, video, projection, and their relationship to space and time : installation, performance, actions.
Images as trace, as witness, as memory, but also « the image that we create », « the image we want to give », the image as the projection of our dreams, our desires, our fantasies, our nightmares and our desires. Working on images also means working on our visions.
I work on images, mental images above all, and their often tense, conflictual, unbalanced relationship with reality. The very first definition in the French dictionary « Petit Robert » of the word « image » is « reflection ». I like that a lot ! In fact, every image is a reflection. Reflection, projection.
To reveal what lies underneath the surface of things.

Jakob Gautel


Voir aussi
#Self-Portraits #Words