Cristiana is for me one of those people with whom I couldn’t ever reach a wall (like an end) of consciousness, imagination, thought and knowledge, even if I would live outside of time. When I say wall, I’m talking about a blockage, an end – the consumption of the creative source that lies within her. I think, that even if I would be immortal, I still wouldn’t have the time to grasp, to find the edge, the beginning and the end of what is and isn’t Cristiana Cott.
Since when I’ve been a monster for her project Les monstreuses saveurs du palais, I figured that if you search for her in the physical, concrete and everyday plane, you will find yourself in a cryptic circle of illusions. You have to be open to feel (fact which applies mostly to her creation, for me at least), you have to be willing to find within yourself the natural, savage and pure side, to be able to fully and truly communicate with her in a way in which you can relate, in a way in which you can pick something, in a completely different way than normal human interaction.
I refuse to place her person and creation within a category, a type of art, because I feel that there is no place in any. Maybe the only place suitable is somewhere in the Universe, in that place from which she pulls out her ideas to reality, opening a gate which you can see only if you close your mundane eyes.
I am convinced that somewhere, in the future, something like a Big Bang will take place. I can’t name anything else about it. I just feel that what she gathers now, as a human being, as a creator, will unravel at some point, in something with a shockwave so strong that it will remain.
Alexandra Crisbășan: Your method of creation is pretty bizarre to some (fascinating to me), a jumble of textures created by more or less obscure materials. How are those ideas coming to you? I feel as if you are trying to exploit and explore something different in every creation. Is this the sole purpose? What is the “machine” you use to conceive art, how is the backstage?
Cristiana Cott: Yes, it’s alike a hard, abundant journey on the ocean or sea. I don’t have a certain method, I couldn’t create the same thing twice – from here comes the continuous experimentation, maybe. I like textures and I’ve discovered recently that my phobia of holes/patterns has a name (Trypophobia). Since when I was little, I would touch every texture which I found odd while being, at the same time, afraid of it.
Ideas come, always, alone, but I swallow a lot of information for the lubrication of the tunnel. I explore always all, I’m obsessed with every detail and I think that only if you have very well constructed details, you can have a great and more complete, bigger picture. The “machine” consists in exploration as well, in curiosity and attempts. I am interested in any subject, from radiators to Orgone.
Are you aiming to go in a certain direction? To discover new sides of art? If your creation was a journey with a certain destination, what would the destination be?
My direction is abstract. If you would have asked me 8 years ago if I will do anything else but paint, I would have given you a cold glare and say no. Now I write poems, I am a photographer, I make movies, I still paint and I make installations and performance. I don’t know if I am aiming for new sides of art, maybe not – but I am discovering me and I am trying to help others discover themselves. Maybe in a more violent way sometimes, but life is full of violence, or something perceived as violence. In the magic act, it might rather be shock, where shock is a concept with limited time which has an immediate revelation. But that’s how it is everywhere, not just in the magic act (sarcastic joke).
The destination would be somewhere at the bottom of the ocean (or any other water really), to look at a different type of starts, maybe made from fishes, but the sky would be nice as well.
I remember when I was at your opening at Carol 53, you told me that probably half of the people there won’t understand what they came for. Why do you think people don’t understand what you do? Do you wish that one day they will understand or you don’t care?
I changed my point of view since then, because I realized that everyone understands something. Even if they understand separately and different, it’s very good for the moment, it is a seed that will grow. If it produces a question about life, social problems, or other abstract psychologies it is sublime. I don’t know how important it is for people to understand my point of view (from creation), especially because the message is cryptic. What’s important is what my creation awakens in them, if it does really awaken something and that something could be completely different from my message.
Reaction is very important, feedback too, but still, I think that more than half of the language stays dormant somewhere until the next situation, in which something snaps in the people who in the beginning had a mere reaction.
Your style can be recognized from one thousand, how did you form it? Is it finished or still evolving?
It changes day by day, continuously, abruptly and thundering. My style changes bit by bit each time I learn something new, but I don’t really believe in a certain style. Actually I still don’t think I do have a style, I think that style is somewhat a limit, but maybe I am wrong. I would like to get rid of any edges in my evolution and this, of course asks for the disposal of style.
Tell me about an experience which changed you as a creator (it can be positive or negative).
There are two experiences which changed me firstly as a human being and secondly as a creator. The first one was going to University. When I begun searching for Universities, I wanted to do something in advertising, but after I talked with my mother we realized together that probably at some point I would have either killed my colleagues or started talking with some type of flowers. Therefore I chose Media Production and this choice placed me within a new world and it’s backstage.
The second experience was the death of my stepfather, it changed me as a person and obviously as a creator too. It was a tragedy which crumbled schools of beliefs for me. It crushed almost everything I believed until then. Maybe if that wouldn’t have happened the way it happened, my process of evolution would have been longer and more boring.
Some heavy questions I had back then disappeared. Actually, I even forgot the question. It’s true that I did start to search for some answers before my stepfather’s death, for some questions I didn’t thought I had (the ones which disappeared). My change was radical from many points of view which are irrelevant to discuss here.
If you would make a self-portrait which would contain you from a physically, psychologically and spiritually point of view how would it be? What would it be? What colors would you use? Describe it in detail.
I would be a creature of the ocean, bioluminescent and transparent; with the ability to see in the dark. My food would only be aquatic glow-worms, which actually are roots of sea grass (fuel for bioluminescence), I wouldn’t eat meat. I would think in more dimensions at the same time, to move through time as I move through space. I could see impossible colors like the mantis shrimp, as for my own colors, I am anyway some sort of neon.
It would be a documentary, not a self-portrait, a moving portrait – but I still can’t see myself, not fully, so everything is possible. I cannot describe myself socially, sorry.
What is art from your point of view? Where does it begin, where does it end?
Art can have many definitions, I don’t know if I found a new one, or even a personalized one. Although, a simple explanation would be that art is a conversation, if not a full one, then at least the beginning of one. A dialog starts, in an unique vocabulary, more and more different from one case to another. Sure, there are many types of formal art (the form of a concept), which we find in exhibitions, museums, galleries. But there is also the informal art, the art of dreaming.
In this case formal and informal art are still a form of conversation, of communication, one communicates internally, one externally, though this affirmation is not rigid.
What is the difference between a genius and a mediocre creator? Especially today when it’s really hard to come up with something entirely new.
A mediocre creator can be genius and vice versa. There are many shades here. You can be a great creator of concepts and produce something extraordinary. Here you are either forgiven and adored for the concept or the dialogue you started, or you’re not taken into consideration because even if you have a good idea, if you cannot materialize it into something, you have it in vain.
But, then again this affirmation is not a law, because until here, everything is about seduction and what art does besides existing. What is behind it… well from here on it doesn’t even matter in what environment you express yourself, if it’s the same or if it changes day by day. It is very important what you want to express why and how. A seductive genius from this point of view, a genius which I don’t know if I like yet or not is Gerhard Richter.
The message makes you a genius, when you have something to say. The problem of the execution and all problems after all, disappear.
Regarding the message, there is another side of understanding. I think the artist identifies himself more with a master than with a teacher. The instinct of an artist, the way of a master is not to teach, but to show. This is why masters and artists can be hermetics. Normally, it is a lot easier to understand something, that’s what you do with the teacher, this is what you are used to, with an explication. The instinct of the student is to understand. But to understand something from a master/artist you don’t need explanations. Many people try to decompose the cryptic messages of artists, when actually when you are in front of an artwork of any kind, you have to relate to it or not.
Leaving art aside, what are the most important things for you as a human being?
Silence and the peace of mind and soul. Creation made when you are calm is wonderful and that’s when you can be creative even if you have to clean the dust around the house. The stars and the bottom of the ocean are just as important, too.
I noticed that lately you keep traveling. Of course, every country and culture is different, but I am curious with what Romanians are different as people firstly and as creators secondly, from the rest?
Without any hidden message, I think there is generally a huge difference between people who travel a lot and those who don’t. A huge difference between people who travel until a certain place and remain there and those who travel and come back home. This is how I classify people when it comes to traveling. Other than that, I’ve seen typical and atypical Romanians everywhere I’ve been. There are good and bad people everywhere.