Wed, Apr 22, 2009 - Page 14 News List

Sometimes art is just art

Jane McAdam Freud will discuss Sigmund Freud and the relationship between art and psychoanalysis in a lecture this Saturday

By Noah Buchan  /  STAFF REPORTER

JMF: I love Duchamp and the American conceptual artists like Bruce Nauman and Joseph Kosuth. When I met Joseph Kosuth he told me that he was inspired by Sigmund Freud. What I admire about them is their use of language and visual symbols in art. In my own work I have always used symbols and language. I think that is what attracted me to the medium of the medal, which I worked with a lot initially.

TT: You’ve participated in Art in Action [where artists demonstrate and discuss their techniques with the public]. What is it and why did you participate?

JMF: Art in Action is about doing the thing I like best, making art, and doing it with people around. It is often very lonely being an artist … But I hate being alone. It is a contradictory state and the way I deal with it is to have people around me once a week. I open my studio to students for one day where I carry on my own project while they also do their own work.

TT: What do you get out of Art in Action as an artist?

JMF: It is important to connect with people. We all need people. At Art in Action it is another opportunity to balance out the usual day-to-day isolation. It is exhausting performing for two full days and being asked questions. But at the same time, when it works and people get it, it feels exhilarating and addictive.

TT: What do you think the public walks away with?

JMF: I think people feel the same thing I do when I make a piece. They look at something and it speaks to them on a visceral level and they understand something they did not understand before in a language not spoken. Neurologically speaking, the information goes straight to the heart, the gut or some other place where the unconscious may reside. The public I hope may walk away with something new.

TT: What is your process of creation?

JMF: I have the thought, the idea and then I seek out a way of expressing it but more often than not the process seeks me out. For example, sometimes I feel really restless and just get up and make or draw and that is a response to concepts I am mulling over. Other times I sit with an idea for a project and see how important it is by seeing if the ideas and desire to make something of them stays with me for a period.

TT: You recently re-titled yourself as an artist: 2D, 3D and 4D. What is this transformation, and why did you undergo it?

JMF: I don’t like to be pigeon-holed and notice that as soon as I am labeled I want to escape. In 1993 I embarked on a MA project at the Royal College of Art. I entered into the broadest program that I could manage which involved fine art, sculpture, bronze casting, silversmithing and ceramics. I wanted to learn many skills.

At that time the idea of multi-disciplinary did not exist. The college however proved to be an open and “multi-disciplinary” experience for me.

When I started making video it seemed that the work had become multi-dimensional too. The strange thing with the title you refer to which I use on my Web site “Artist 2D, 3D, 4D” is that it leaves out the most important dimension to me which is 2.5D. By 2.5D I mean two-and-a-half dimensional works. They are not works in the round but instead they operate in relief format. They employ the use of two sides, a distinct back and a front. Front and back implies the existence of the side and I like to play with these ideas. The psychological overtones of the interplay interests me.

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