Marcius, let’s act as if we had normal times and would sit together now in your studio. Please describe the location and the atmosphere. My studio is on the second floor of a building with a discreet entrance in the neighborhood of Santa Cecília, close to downtown São Paulo. I have two rooms, which are large and have no divisions. On one side are my projects, drawings and other painting, assembly and carpentry. I have a record player and I am now listening to the album “A Tábua de esmeraldas” by Jorge Ben Jor.
Marcius Galan, Studio, Photo Douglas Garcia
Where do you come from, where were you born when? I was born in the US, in Indianapolis, in 1972 but my parents are Brazilians. I was just born and soon returned to Brazil at 6 months and grew up in Bauru, a city in the interior of the state of São Paulo. I left Bauru to leave in Rio de Janeiro when I was 18 years old. Where do you currently live and work? Now I live and work in São Paulo. Which authors and books can be found on your bookshelf? Which books have influenced or shaped you and what are you currently reading? On my bookshelf I can find brazilian literature, argentineans like Julio Cortazar Silvina Ocamo, Bioy Casares and Borges, I really like the Chilean Roberto Bolaño, art and architecture books, culinary recipes. I have reread the Faulkner ‘Sound and Fury”, which is wonderful and the last sentence of the book titled my exhibition in Berlin … “they endured”. I am now reading Macunaíma, by Mario de Andrade, from 1928, which is considered one of the main Brazilian modernist novels. What music do you listen to and when? I like listening to music doing dishes, dancing with my kids and walking with headphones. I’ve heard a lot, but I can highlight Tom Zé, Nick Cave, Nina Simone, Jorge Ben, Jorge Mautner, Cat Power, Patti Smith, Fiona Apple, Itamar Assumpção. If you would cook something for us, what would it be? What do you like to eat most? I really like to make roasted vegetables with cous-cous and tahini or a polenta with ragu. What do you think about breakfast? I spend a lot of time at breakfast, every day. The breakfast for me is more about this time I spend talking at the table. In Brazilian Portuguese we don’t have this world “fast”. Café da manhã (in a literal translation coffee from the morning). I’m very happy not to use a term that hurries me in the morning. What kind of sport or counterbalance do you practice? The only regular exercise I do is to walk. I walk quite a lot. Do you have a concern that you would like to share with us, or a personality trait that defines you, special thoughts, a fetish, typical idiosyncrasies, etc.? No.
Marcius Galan, Portrait
To begin, please tell us your artistic vita in a few sentences.
My works includes installations, sculptures, objects, drawings, videos, photos and conceptual projects. My most direct inspirations are found in the anonymous experience of large cities. In my practice I use visual communication and architecture as codes for operations and constructions. In the end my very subject matter is the concept of space and our relation with codes that defines our perception of space.
Two sentences about your current project / the upcoming exhibition at Gallery Weekend.
The name of the exhibition is “They Endured”, a phrase taken from the last dialogue in the book “The Sound and fury” by W. Falkner. The show consists of sculptures, installations and a video that deal in different ways with concepts related to tension, resistance and balance.
What are you most concerned about at the moment; what is on your mind?
The fragility of democracy in Brazil, the damage that the current government will leave for the next generations, the inability to create a model of sustainable life worldwide.
Marcius Galan, Diagonal section inhotim, Photo Edouard Fraipont
How did you come to art? Why art?
By chance. Why art? I don’t know how to answer that question.
What makes you happy at the moment? What is currently scaring you?
Being close to the people I like makes me happy. taking care of my plants makes me happy.
I scares me to see so many evil, cruel and evil intentioned people in power.
Do you believe that art has a social responsibility? And what do you think it can do?
Everything we do has social responsibility.
What makes your art special? What are the central themes of your work?
– – –
How do you protect yourself from too much inspiration these days?
My firewall is open.
Marcius Galan, Studio, Photo Douglas Garcia
How much in your works is planned in advance – how much is created intuitively?
I design everything in detail, then start to absorb errors, changes in plans and accidents during production.
What should your art effect on the viewer?
I prefer not to project these expectations on the viewer.
What are your (next) goals?
A house in the countryside with a small vegetable garden.
What is your opinion about faith? Do you have principles of faith or is there a motto?
I don’t have faith as a motto, I don’t have a religious practice. but that doesn’t mean I’m faithless.
Which project would you still like to realize, if lack of time, courage or financial resources would not play a role?
I don’t have any project that is impossible to do, but some end up on standby, due to the complexity and time that I would need to dedicate to do it. I have a project about time that involves some trips to specific points of the meridians for example.
What do you consider to be attributes of good art?
When I read this question, I think of a consistent research that creates its own vocabulary. I like a little noise, when work bothers and fascinates me at the same time. This is very rare.
Is one born as an artist? Or is studying art compulsory in your view?
I think that no one is born an artist and no one becomes an artist studying.
Marcius Galan, Immobile 01 2013, Photo Benjamin Westoby
To whom do you show a new work first?
– – –
What does the first hour of your day look like?
The quietest hour of my day.
In Times of the internet of things, are galleries (from your point of view) still necessary? If so, why and what for?
I think the gallery has an important role, when you have a partnership relationship. The gallery has to be a partner of the artist.
Social media – in your view a blessing or a curse?
The exhibition They Endured with new works by Marcius Galan can be seen from 10th September to 25th October 2020 at Gregor Podnar, Alt-Moabit 110, 10559 Berlin-Moabit. For the Gallery Weekend the gallery offers Private View opening hours: 9th, 10th, 11th Sept 10 am – 7 pm, 12th + 13th Sept 10 am – noon. Extended Opening hours as part of Gallery Weekend: 12th + 13th Sept noon – 7 pm.
In times of Corona, when travel, studio visits and personal contacts are inappropriate or even impossible, the written interview remains an important medium to introduce artist personalities, to spread their messages and to stay in touch with art enthusiasts.
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