Dmitri Galitzine answers FADās questions
September 27, 2011, FAD website.com
Where did you study art? Did the school shape your approach to art making?
I went to St Matins. The best thing about art school was the other students. There was a real sense of camaraderie, a sense that we were all in it together. Everyone made their own little discoveries each day and the rest of us really benefited from them. That collective energy was the thing that I really appreciated.
How have you come to live in Herefordshire? Has being outside of London changed your approach to your art?
I moved out of London because I was starting to make work about the British countryside and it seemed that in order to do this with any integrity, I had to immerse myself in it. I felt like I was looking upon rural culture in this country as a tourist, which was something I was very aware of.
I feel very good about the work Iām making in Herefordshire. Last weekend I went to a medieval reenactment called, The Battle of Mortimerās Cross and next weekend is the Malvern agricultural show. London feels very far away.
CRUX is an exhibition about shifting perception and knowledge, how does your work respond to this?
My work in CRUX is built around a very specific piece of information. I am presenting an object, which looks like it has a very explicit function. My presumption is, that most people in London wonāt know what that function is, so they will perceive the object in a certain way, in terms of its formal qualities and their own particular associations. Once the function of the object is revealed, knowledge is gained and perception is altered. The object is then explicable through this piece of information. The form, size, history, materials and composition can be understood in terms of its function and there is a shift. I have made an object that has evolved only through its own, particular demand or functionality.
Your work seems to be concerned with narrative, and usually has a sense of humor. Do you think humor and narrative creates a closer bond between work and viewer than say form?
No, I think that there are many different tools that can be employed by artists in order to make people think about certain things. I donāt see any sort of hierarchy within these.
Youāve recently exhibited in Russia ā how does the art world differ there? Did you feel it was a radically new audience for your work?
Very few societies have ever had to sit down and say, āright, what are we now?ā which happened fairly recently in Russia. Socially it is a very new country and the art world in St Petersburg, to me, seemed rather aspirational. Galleries and artists are looking to Berlin, London and New York, and in that, there is a denial of any actual artistic identity of its own, perhaps because culturally its been so fractured over the last century. Itās a difficult thing to go to a city as a tourist, and try and give something back culturally, rather than just take something away.
Do you feel like there is a coherent movement or group of artists emerging in London the moment?
Itās a very exciting place to be at the moment. I suppose time will tell.
Do you think the arts cuts will impact on young peopleās ability to pursue careers as artists?
Definitely. Everything is getting much harder and itās the little people that really suffer. Trying to do anything outside of the commercial art world is becoming more and more difficult. Even the realities of trying to put a show on nowadays, getting a space together, no one seems to be on your side. Even getting a cheap studio you are competing with Tesco and the Olympics.
What projects are you working on beyond CRUX?
Iāve got a show opening on the 7th October at Fold Gallery in London. It is a 2 man show with Toby Christian, called āPruneā. Iām showing some vegetables. Iām also doing a project called āHotel Palenqueā at Outpost gallery in Norwich on 24th November. For this Iām showing some work involving the NANMA (Norwich and Norfolk Medieval Association).
You can also see Dmitri Galitzine at the group show CRUX
THE WORLD IS YOUR LOBSTER
1st September 2010,by Roxie Warder, Arthur And Albert Magazine (p.46)
Dmitri completed his BA in Fine Art at Central St Martins, and has since been feverishly working away in his studio.
To support his artistic endeavours he has been working for YBA Gavin Turk. Turk along with partner Deborah Curtis, has been running a project based troupe of artists, The House Of Fairy Tales, which is designed to further community art education projects.
Unlike the usual part time bar or call centre job (or just about anything to pay the rent) working three days a week for Turk, Dmitri has ample time to focus on his own practise.
ā I suppose Iām lucky. Admittedly, itās a fine balance and one has to make sacrifices, but a nine to five would be much more of a struggle for meā. Unfortunately, for most young artists this opportunity remains illusive ideal, not many fifteen year olds get the option to intern for one of Britainās home grown greats.
Initially introduced to Turk by his brother in law, Dmitri was underwhelmed at the prospect of working as an artistsā assistant since he ādidnāt like art much at school and couldnāt draw realisticallyā. This soon changed when he saw decks in his studio. āWe ended up spending the week playing Biggie records and making a record box from ply wood. It was pretty cool. When I left school two years later, I called him up and asked him for a job. I spent the next six months sanding bin bags in Hackney Wickā
......For Dmitri his surroundings inspire and provoke him. He confesses an obsession with the tender mundane moments within everyday life, āitās not the landscapes or the sunsets that inspire me but the little things, the little moments in peopleās front gardens or broom cupboardsā. The beauty in the accidental is another source of creativity. He is always stopping on the street, surprised by the way the roots of a tree can push up through gaps in the tarmac, or the way a pipe can snake around a window sill. Mainly he works sculpturally but wouldnāt class himself under a particular genre as he doesnāt like to confine his work by the restrictions of categorisation. Dmitri views sculpture as his default vehicle āprobably just because I canāt paintā.
To get a handle on art we are inclined to try to divide it up by discipline or by country or by aesthetic in order to make it penetrable, āI try my best not to see it like thatā.
Recently, he has been experimenting with collages as a different medium, to explore his artistic parameters.