Lydia Ericsson Wärn
Routines are really important to me. I can’t act solely on inspiration or temper, I see the time in the studio as work. Right now I only move between my house, school and work at Carsten Höller. It’s been like this for the past two or three months. I spend a lot of time in school and work really hard to find my way back to a clear sense of a direction.
I was six when I saw the video installation Ever Is Over All. Pipilotti Rist is walking down a street with an axe, smashing car windows. The tension between these naive, romantic colors and an aggressive slow act made me feel sadness, excitement and strength in a way I hadn’t felt before. Those emotions still have a lot to do with each other, in my own work as well. My images are dealing with something aggressive of which I think can be perceived as uncomfortable. I find it really hard to talk about the things I’m doing right now, having just switched from one thing to another. Sometimes you just have to shut up. That kind of integrity in my work is important. I can talk and be very open, but within the process I’m really closed, it’s kind of an infidelity that has to exist in the shade… It’s definitely a kind of relationship. But when I’m done with a series of images I let it go entirely, with no integrity left, and then I’m able to be more rational about it. Then it’s just a love that dies.
For now I’m working on a series of selected family photos. The images usually get cropped a lot. I’ve never been able to relate to a photo without cropping it. I think this kind of reality-edit is interesting. I feel like I’ve just opened the door to a world that I couldn’t live without. It’s very obscure. Obscurities are important to activate the brain and not just walk around and understand but instead really face something and ask: it can be like this, but could it also be like that? I haven’t painted heads or faces in a long time, I think faces often reveal too much and I hate when an image gets too obvious.
I’ve never been able to relate to a photo without cropping it. I think faces often reveal too much
I’ve always been drawing, so moving on to painting wasn’t a huge step. As a person I’m really fast, I want things to be quick and when painting, I meet resistance. It’s the only time I can really slow down and try to be methodical. I’m really struggling right now, and that kind of challenge inspires me. My feelings about the future are double. It’s scary, you know, this thought of a life as an artist. But it’s also a joyful feeling, like wow, I really love this.