Aleksandra Mir

Interview with Aleksandra Mir

Work, #19, Trento, 2007
By Maurizio Cattelan

Maurizio Cattelan: You said somewhere that you were going to take a gap year and have no shows for the whole of 2007. How do you feel today?

Aleksandra Mir: 

It is 3am in Palermo. I have 4 assistants here finishing up the day's work in the studio. I feel happy and sleepy.

Your work is related to both social practice and personal stories, maybe revealing the intimate feelings behind our presence in reality. Are we pieces of a jigsaw or do we count a singles?

I prefer thinking through the puzzle, but I seem to be losing the pieces quite a lot.

Uncommon subjects for ordinary materials such as postcards, biographies, and snapshots: is the world around us an unending source of inspiration?

Definitely more interesting than depicting one's inner life.

Are we all looking for fame or the so-called success is just a temporary light leading to a dark and permanent shadow?

Luckily, contemporary artist don't need to worry about fame. When Matthew Barney started dating Björk, Melody Maker called him a "video maker" and as far as I know, only Yoko Ono travels to biennials with bodyguards.

Where are the heroes of everyday life?

In my apartment hanging out after work and refusing to go home.

Do you feel optimistic?

On and off. More on.

Time passes by and some of your work keeps developing and changing through the active intervention of different groups of people without your direct control. What are they becoming?

I don't know and I don't mind.

Are you trying to outsource your work as an artist?

If my assistants make a good creative mistake, I will take credit for it. If the mistake is bad, I am still responsible and have to count it as part of my work.

What makes people come together?


Are you trying to build a cooperative joint out of your art practice?

Not intentionally, it just happens that way when I work on big projects and need lots of help, and when the help needs to be fed, the commune starts.

Do you ever feel alone?

Existentially, all the time. In practice, I don't know how to kick these people out of my house so I can finally go to sleep.

Your website is an unending source of information about you and your work. Do you want to share everything about you?

I see self-publishing as the optimal form of artistic autonomy and resistance. I started publishing in my childhood. I worked with print media before I knew what art was and simply continued publishing online when the web came about. But this is not my personal diary, not even a blog, simply an expanding archive of frail and ephemeral work.

Do you want to become immortal through archiving?

I am not particularly concerned with my death. My archiving is a way to stay organized and accessible while I am alive.

What is memory?

The lack of which is the success of post-its.

You are born in September 11th. Did your life change after 2001?

I still celebrate my birthday every year.

Where will we all end?

Tonight, in bed.