The cold is welcome: you get the permission to the state of grace
Sebastian F. Amza: I’m curious. It’s cold inside you, where you are lounging in visions?
Laura Covaci: Not at all, it is rather about recycling images, emotions, ideas which, in a happy moment, can propose something. To get them outside of yourself, in this case on a canvas and to bind them there, miraculously, in a vision – this is the beginning of a fragile and painful road. With this point of the trajectory, however, the cold is welcome, because only dosing the ingredients with lucidity you can get the permission to enter the state of grace.
SFA: You’re an artist with three legs: one in America, the second in Paris and the third on Theodor Aman street in Bucharest. It must be a little uncomfortable. How are your ideas born? … Normaly?
LC: One leg is about to atrophy … But I hope to soon reactivate it with an exhibition in New York. Regarding convenience and normality, these are two words that are outside the boundary of any real artistic gestation.
SFA: You have an obsession with dolls … You know that anthropologically speaking the doll is a substitute. It’s a fetish for an amissed act of motherhood. Why so many dolls? Based on what I know you did not have an unhappy childhood.
LC: Here’s a question with a high percentage of normality! … No, I did not have an unhappy childhood and also it is not a case of a missed maternity experience. It’s like saying that Nabokov wrote Lolita because, probably somewhere inside his soul, there where hidden pedophilic feelings. The artist is by definition a receiver and at the same time a transmitter of an amalgam of terrestrial and celestial data. It is not essentially required that the data be linked to a personal biography. The subject of dolls is a mirror refering to orphanages in Romania or any part of the world, to a mutilation that can be subjected at an extremely young and innocent age. For now, I will not give more details because it’s a budding project.
SFA: I noticed your passion for flea market and the peasants market. What do they offer you that causes you such a “Marche aux Puces”, outside of the mercy for kitsch?
LC: I love this area of kitsch, of the fair, that challenges you to remove things judged as disgusting from their usual context and to find them another place where they get other connotations, and are transfigured. It is as if you’ve absolved them.
SFA: Nichita Stanescu … “The shadow of an words oak”. Tell me about it!
LC: I love the poetry of Nichita, just as a lot of us do. Unlike others, I had the chance to grow in light not the shade of that brilliant character. I owe him, although not only him, but also to some other extraordinary artists who stepped into my parents’ house, the fabulous power of believing in things, quoting poet, “impalpable by hand.”
SFA: What defect of the eye do you have, in order to paint huge and perfect oil paintings? Why don’t you sit quietly on a stool in nature and depict small wooded landscapes, backwaters, hills, willows, lands and canals of Venice?
LC: It’s not a defect, you are joking, right? … Rather a lot of exercise accumulated over time. Chairs are made, in my opinion, to stay in line for meat or other food products that can provide an imbicile life, therefore, „so to speak” happy. I once fell off a chair at a fancy dinner party in southern France. I remember that three of the guests, including a famous banker, came to pick me up. I replied promptly, from that position, with my feet up and my graze projected oddly elsewhere, to leave me just where I landed, because their dinner party only then started to whisper something to me.
SFA: Your artistic biotope contains androids, translucent human species, insects and a little more decent embryos. Where do you draw this from: “malformation” or “bienformation”?
LC: I think it comes from both, so let’s say rather: “malformation” plus „bienformation” equals personal deformation of reality. The obsession came naturally, gradually evolving towards the subjects I address today. It comes from the communist experimental space, from biotechnology.
SFA: The passion of your characters, even when they make love in the bathroom, for instance, gives the impression that it’s terribly cold. What is it all about, exorcism or obfuscation? Good and temperate electroplating or stormy glaciation?
LC: It is a passion dictated by someone else; someone else presses the button. It’s probably a process that will be increasingly used in this eon where the majority prefer to be herded from behind towards a „safe” and unemotional virtual space.
SFA: Your characters are not created without a reason, not even a little. They are people or revelation?
LC: These entities of mine or of all of those who want to meet them are in transition. They are disoriented and frightened. They inhabit my visions with an overwhelming nonchalance.
SFA: Under which master’s mantle would you “nicely stay” and see your visions?
LC: Under the mantle of a cosmic game. About the idea of “beeing nice” this is another idiom that I am rolling away to the periphery of my universe.
Sebastian F. Amza, The Sunday Newspaper, 2008