June 17, 2013

Original article in Russian

Interview translated in English:

Eve Bailey - artist based in New York – presented her extraordinary creation to the Russian public this Summer : dance on a sculpture (that she built herself) in the open air. Her debut performance in Russia took place during the festival Art Ovrag 2013 which was held from May 30 to June 2 in Vyksa near Nizhny Novgorod. Bailey shared with reporter Jana Sobolev the story of the making of this original art form and its presentation in Russia.

How did the idea of your work come up? I created a kind of work that combines several types of mediums that I love. Dance and movement: I studied ballet for 10 years and practiced martial arts for another 10 years. Also, I have been sculpting since I was 17, and drawing as far as I remember. So I was eager to create an art form which combines all of these forms. The process involves the physical in dancing and in sculpting, and is intellectually stimulating because it requires some engineering. So I did put all my passions into one bag, shook it, and that’s what slowly came out of it.

Have you already done work similar to the one in Vyksa? I explore multiple directions with one main underlying concept. This particular work is new, a continuation of my very recent series titled “Entasis Dance”. This is the fourth sculpture in that vein: I made three in New York and one in Vyksa. It is a white column with organic shapes that derive from the imprints of the body in motion. Other works, which are also based on the concept of balance and coordination, are kinetic, with live -performances as well or in the form of videos.

What kind of work did you show on the water front in New York? The work was similar to what I have presented in Vyksa but the sculptures were displayed on the Brooklyn water front with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. A crucial distinction: because the scale and feel of the sculptures are very different when they are placed in a urban environment. For the project in Vyksa, the costumes stayed the same, the choreography and the sculpture were refined, but the main difference is the forest of pines which creates another kind of atmosphere: not as architectural, more symbiotic.

What can you say about your experience of the Russian culture? Too early to say: this is my first visit in Russia! I need a bit more time to process. This is one of the wonderful advantages of being an artist though: the opportunity to travel. When I was 12, I wanted to be either a scientist or an artist, because I was already interested in the characters and structures of forms, the transformations of matter and mass. I picked art because, at the time, I projected that it would allow me more travels. The people here in Vyksa are wonderful, such a warm reception, I had a great time.

What other artists inspire you? A lot of people, but among the first Gaudi and Leonardo Da Vinci, whose Codex have been at my bed side for twenty years.

And what kind of music do you like? Eclectic taste! The genre doesn’t matter: anything that moves me and makes my heart beat. For example: Rachmaninoff. I love his Concerto number 2. My mom listened to his music often when I was little.

Your parents are also artists? No. My dad: a sale person. My mother: a librarian. But both very sensitive to the Arts: they took me to a LOT of museums! My mother also plays the piano. Thanks to her, I listened to a lot of jazz as a child.

What are your creative plans for the future? I always have a series of ideas lined up in the back of my mind. I have an idea for a project on stage: a full length dance performance in the theater. It will take me a few years to realize that idea. And the older I get, the more I imagine that instead of having people go around objects, I shall bring people in. That is: I think I’m going to build architecture. I will probably grow in larger projects and slowly move to architecture.

How are your ideas born? Students often ask me that question. I say: “Don’t believe that creativity comes instantly. It doesn’t strike you as you sit at your desk. It just does not happen that way.” For me, creativity  is a set of problems. You choose your own set of constraints, define the framework within which you are working and experimenting. It’s a bit like a science. You can not create something out of the blue. Creating is an ever evolving and growing process that takes shape one very small step at a time. Exactly like in nature: one, two, three… And it grows and grows exponentially. I love the process and I love to dance and move. Sometimes I really surprise myself with the result. Importantly, the work must be authentic. Regardless of whether you like the end product or not, it must be true.

Would you like to come back to Russia? Definitely, I really enjoyed working here!

Interview by Yana Soboleva for Blouin ArtInfo, Russia | | press