Sunday, August 29, 2010

Interview with Christian Nicolay

Äkki: Hello Christian.

C.Nicolay: Ole Hyvä.

Äkki: You have been in Finland for seven full days now. What were and are your first impressions?

C.Nicolay: Surprised by the nature (in a good way). It kind of feels like home. And, I think the Finnish language is exquisite.

Äkki: And what about Jyväskylä, where you have been for most of your stay?

C.Nicolay: The train ride felt like my hitchhiking experience across Canada: nature, space and quiet. As soon as I got here, I expected it to look older, but seeing is sometimes an illusion and there is a lot of character here. Like any new place it is full of new things and these new things like cracks in the cobble stones, the smell of the weather and it’s all very- I feel very much at home. And the people look you in the eye and I enjoy that because in Vancouver nobody looks you in the eye!

Äkki: You are obviously an experienced/established artist; you are represented by at least one gallery, and you have shown internationally, but have you participated in many artist residencies?

C.Nicolay: No. This is my first international residency. My other residencies have only been in Canada: Toronto, Kelowna, Edmonton. I am about to do my second residency in Taiwan, when I leave Finland. But this is my first.

Äkki: You have been invited to participate in Äkkigalleria’s first artist residency. In what way or ways does this residency differ (or not) from your past experience of an artist residency?

C.Nicolay: Well this is all really new work. Everything is from scratch, everything is made over ten days. It is intense. I don’t have a lot of my tools so I am forced to play with the environment of Jyväskylä and what it provides which is something- it is a process I am exited about. To blur the lines of what is comfortable.

Äkki: You first discovered the residency and exhibition space ten days before the exhibition opening, What were your first impressions of the space?

C.Nicolay: Ole Hyvä!

Äkki: Do you still feel the same?

C.Nicolay: Ummm, maybe it has become more- a lot of possibility for installation because of how the space is compartmentalized like a labyrinth you can get lost in. We went in there and there were all kinds of treasures and smells. It is a space that hasn’t been used in a long time and to have this opportunity to transform it all, it is a nice way of working.

Äkki: A few days ago you met the other residency artist Roy Hopiavuori, how will you share the space? Will you collaborate on a piece or do you have any plans as of yet?

C.Nicolay: time is potentially a fabrication of our current perception of reality. We don’t have a lot of time, but I look forward to any kind of spontaneous collaboration with Roy. I think his work will hit a cord, or frequency with mine. To work with someone collaborating is always fund and stretches my own process.

Äkki: Do you regret agreeing to participate in this short-time-framed-project? Would you do anything differently? Would you do it again?

C.Nicolay: Ole hyvä! I wouldn’t change anything! I’ve been having the loveliest time here and I am still in the process of finding out what is happening with the work. The work is in process so I don’t know if I would change anything- but maybe the weather…

Äkki: Sleepless nights, working overtime, panic attacks… etc Do you think Äkkigalleria has anything else to offer your artistic career?

C.Nicolay: Every person, every moment everything is tied to who I am and of course it offers a lifetime of memory. I never would have come to this part of the world and it is amazing!

Äkki: and some one word questions and answers:

Material: tar

Colour: white

Process: 31-7= 28

Explanation: no mater what, my beard grows.

Äkki: the opening is in four days, how much more work do you have?

C.Nicolay: Two answers: one: Als ist gut. And two: x 2

Äkki: Thank you Christian.

C.Nicolay: Ole Hyvä.

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