texts

“Konstens frågeformulär #119: Madeleine Hatz”
Magnus Bons, redaktör/editor, Konstens frågeformulär #1-132/
Questionnaire from Konsten Magazine #1-132 (Konsten förlag, 2020)

# 119: Madeleine Hatz

Beskriv din konst med tre ord: Måla, tänka, agera.  

Hur ser din arbetsprocess ut? Mitt arbete som konstnär inbegriper både måleri och aktivism, text och performance. Alltså både solitärt ateljéarbete och utåtriktat socialt arbete, framträdanden, samtal, spontana gatuaktioner. De olika aktiviteterna korsbefruktar varann. Känslor alstrar energi, blir bränsle.

Måleriet tar mycket tid. Det är det huvudsakliga, både grund och slutgiltigt verk. Jag kan inte alltid måla. Det kräver vissa omständigheter.

För att måla måste jag först komma till en nollpunkt. Ta bort allt ovidkommande. Distraktioner. Sedan måste allt vara på plats. Det är typ 90 procent förberedelse och 10 procent handling. Rummet där det skall ske är viktigt. Det måste ha minst ett tydligt hörn som är helt tomt. Jag måste först vara därinne, med stängd dörr och i tystnad. Det kan ta några dagar. Sedan kommer färgen. Det börjar alltid med färgen. Jag ser den. Den kan ha uppenbarat sig i mat, material eller ett föremål dessförinnan, något alldagligt som plötsligt får en märklig lyster. Exempel: En dollarsedel man drar fram ur plånboken. Ledde till målningar under flera år.

Djup melankoli, avgrunder av fruktansvärd förtvivlan, mörker, paralyserande smärta och depression är stundom ett förstadium till mitt måleri. Speciellt innan ett riktigt stort verk, någonting helt nytt. Både i livet och måleriet faktiskt.

När jag målar hittar jag inte på något. Jag följer så noggrant som möjligt den dynamik som finns i målningen.

Vad inspireras du av? Ensamhet och Samhörighet: Upplevelsen av att vara riktigt vaken i dessa båda omständigheter. I ensamheten riktigt förankrad i min kropp, så att perspektivet kommer djupt inifrån och riktar sig utåt i en tydlig mätbar orientering utåt i rymden. Upplevelsen av rymd/rum i arkitektur är mycket inspirerande, t ex mörkret och de böljande mosaikgolven i Markuskyrkan i Venedig. Samhörighet: Den euforiska upplevelsen av ”incandescent intimacy” som kanadensiske filosofen Erik Bordeleau skriver om. Han beskriver den intensiva mystiska känslan av samhörighet med främlingar när man gemensamt intar gaturummet i politiska aktioner.

Samhörigheten kan också vara kontakt med tidigare historiska skeden och personer, skapande själar som den helige Franciskus, Hildegaard von Bingen, Gurdieff, anonyma medeltida mästare. Kontakt uppstår genom att man sätter sig in i deras verk och liv.

Läsning är inspirerande: Clarice Lispector (hon påverkar alltid mina drömmar), Bachelard ( om rumslighet), Henri Corbin (sufistisk mystik), Maurice Blanchot (”en konstnär får ordning i sitt eget kaos genom att kliva in i det”), kinesisk daoistisk poesi, The Mustardseed Garden Manual of Painting (om hur man målar en sten t ex), Jurgis Balthrusaitis texter om ”det fantastiska”, George Monbiot !( journalist och aktivist, The Guardian).

Vilka bilder har du omkring dig där du jobbar? Inga. Viktigt att ha stora vita väggytor.

Vilken annan konstnär har varit viktig för dig? Många. Min far Felix. Såg på konst  från 3 års ålder. I New York, många samtida omkring en, t ex Saint Clair Cemin som jag delade atelje med och otaliga andra vars suveränitet man inspireras av t ex Sue Williams, Louise Bourgeois, Carl Ostendarp. Och konsthistorien:  Dosso Dossi, Joakim Patinier, Ribera! Klein, Burri, kinesiskt landskapsmåleri, medeltida altarskåp. Långa värdefulla dagar på Metropolitan Museum i New York.

Vilket konstverk önskar du att du gjort själv? En Paul Klee kanske. Ser ut som barnlek men är extremt bemästrat.Teckning av samtida Billy Lynch. Performance av Francis Alys eller Marina Abramovic.

Vad är konst till för? Det omöjliga. Att få kontakt med anden.Att inspirera. Gatuaktioner vill inspirera andra. Marin Marais i filmen ”Tous les matins du monde”, svarade på frågan om vad musik är till för: få kontakt med den älskade avlidna.  Och Philip Guston sa: ”I just want to be in that state.”

Vad är konst inte till för? Marknaden.

 Vilken åtgärd skulle främja konsten? Totalt paradigmskifte från mördande konsumism till uppvaknande, liv och djupt samspel med jorden.

https://www.madeleinehatz.com/Madeleine Hatz’ senaste utställning var ”Sånger från underjorden 2” på Vida konsthall på Öland, april -juni 2019. ”Sånger från Underjorden” visades i Salarna på Konstakademien och på Galleri Olsson oktober-november 2017.

“The Work Process as Spatial Situation: A Sketch”
International Forum of Psychoanalysis 9, 2000, p. 93-96

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“Necessary Recklessness”
Divan: Journal for Psychoanalysis and Culture 3-4, 2008

I may well look like a well behaved girl, thrifty and orderly….but once I step into the studio there is unbridled spilling, boundless trashing, and wasting of gallons of materials. Fine clothing gets ruined, expensive ingredients disappear into unidentifiable mixtures. Often when I leave the studio after concentrated work, I discover inexplicable bruises on my body.

In art there is no room for consideration for one’s comfort, no consideration…

for the place
for the time
for the surroundings and its dwellers
for decency
for security

The “space” of concentration, which the studio constitutes in a mental sense (Blanchot would call it “l’espace litteraire”) is actually more a moment than a place. Certain acts need to be executed terribly fast, at the breaking point, in the tension between frustration, reticence and… act. This type of event can only take place in the right instance, after deliberate and careful preparations, and yet in a sort of extreme clumsiness, recklessness.

The notions of care and consideration mark the feminine, the daily “work of woman”. It is my nature, it resides in my spine and reaches out into my fingertips. It is my femininity, my sensuality and ultimately my energy. Paradoxically the combination of these two extremes is what I need:

Excessive care and its opposite, brutal recklessness.

Edward Munch talked about being disturbed by surrounding family and people who demanded “so much consideration”, which was devastating for his painting practice. He treated his own canvases with total brutality, exposing them to the elements and to trampling feet.  He claimed that the paintings thus acquired “character”. But does this really show in the paintings, or is this something that is necessary for the relationship between the artist and his work? What is it that unconditionally demands recklessness? The demand comes from the poetic work itself. Kafka states that writing comes as a reward, as payment for having served diabolical forces. Blanchot talks about Kafka’s faithfulness to what he terms “the demands of the work”.[i] The work that Blanchot describes in “L’Espace litteraire” is the poetic work, and thus it is art as well as literature.

What is it then that happens in the mental and physical space of mine, where acts often are executed in a flash and without consideration of decency. The answer lies in the connection between the space and the act. It is as though the space became an act, and transversely as though the act was a space. In other words, it is a situation.[ii] In a general sense, a situation is the placing of a subject, an acting individual in a place under certain premises. For me these premises are all the preparations, gathering of materials and information, and arranging them in the studio space. The recklessness consists in the total concentration on that exact moment, in time and space that this situation constitutes. From this point I have a perspective, an angle of vision and a possibility of action. A perspective is precisely this: an axis along which the field of vision can be organized. To paint for me is to succeed in localizing myself in such a manner that I become a point of absolute stillness, so that everything else is put in motion in relation to this point. It is as though the perspective is reversed and I am placed myself at the vanishing point. In this way the visible can pass through me and movement can occur. A natural gravitation field is thereby provided for thoughts, feelings, and perception of the time we live in. How can this situation be achieved?

I have learned what influences me: discipline, geometry/architecture, ritual. Ritual and discipline are connected to controlled violence and controlled tempo (violent speed, extreme stillness). Geometry/ architecture are a structuring that relate to the physical space. The necessary recklessness can also be termed a necessary boundlessness: the point is to achieve a situation of boundlessness. From this place a genuine relation to the time we live in can be reached. If art is to be a mirror of contemporaneity (and/or a game played with it), then consideration of esthetics, taste and decency constitute a hindrance for truth. If at the end of the day in the studio, one looks back and confronts the view of something amazingly “beautiful”, it is clear that this has happened in spite of all and by paradox. It is most mandatory to give up all consideration of end result when working, only thus can results be achieved. Instead one is focused on the moment in the space when time disappears and the act executes itself.

In legal contexts, the term “recklessness” describes the mental state an individual is in when committing criminal acts: there is no reckoning of the consequences. To have the courage at all to be an artist, it might help not to “reckon”. The alternative spelling “wrecklessness” alludes to direct destruction (as in ship wreck).

Acts of great courage, protest actions carried out in climate of repression, for example home-made fake crude oil spilled out on a sidewalk, fountains turning blood red….such things require recklessness in relation to one’s safety and comfort. In the end everything in art, as in life is paradoxical. Things, works of art are created through destruction. The explosive simultaneously contains stillness. The most grandiose and magnificent chaos is preceded by careful calculations and planning. The thoughts of the absent-minded professor are not scattered but on the contrary the professor is absorbed by a focused train of thought. The inconsiderate artist is considering only one thing which for the moment absorbs all consideration. The reckless woman spilling out a whole barrel of paint on the white floor is taking care of ONE, one exact moment, one precise act, will, vision.

Madeleine Hatz
New York, October 2008


[i] Maurice Blanchot, The Space of Literature (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982) p. 52, p. 73f.

[ii] Madeleine Hatz, “The Work Process as Spatial Situation: A Sketch,” International Forum of Psychoanalysis 9 (Oslo: Scandinavian University Press, 2000), p. 93-96.

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“Den nödvändiga hänsynlösheten”
Divan: Tidskrift för kultur och psykoanalys 3-4, 2008, p. 122-125

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“Clouds”
Text accompanying paintings “Vanilla Cloud” and “Grey Gold Ceiling” at exhibition “Clouds,” Museum of Sketches, Lund, 2012. Curator: Elisabeth Haglund

Today I think about clouds.

My mother told me that as a baby I would be laying in a pram outdoors. I would spend hours looking straight up at the passing clouds and laugh. That perspective has followed me throughout life: looking straight up at a perpendicular angle laying upon the ground, or looking straight down at the crust of the earth from a horizontal hovering position. These are positions without gravity and without scale. Clouds are always changing; they grow and they shrink. At the same time there is no reference to indicate a measure of large or small.

According to ancient Chinese thinking, “the small has no inside” and “the large has no outside.” Consequently it becomes meaningless to scientifically explore every smaller unities, atoms, neutrinos etc. There is always an even smaller unit, as “the small” has no inside. Small and large are movements, expansions. Seen from space clouds are a art of the crust of the earth, a part of the water of the seas becoming steam that swirls over the surface of the earth. It is in these regions that Painting operates. In between the material and the immaterial. The needs of my body and soul become ever simpler. Painting links together earth, body, food, and paint. All is dust and pigment, and it is the story of the direct relationship to the earth.

Moln.

Idag tänker jag på moln.

Min mamma har berättat att jag som spädbarn brukade ligga i en vagn utomhus. Jag låg i timmar och tittade rakt upp i himlen på moln som drog förbi och skrattade ett kluckande skratt.

Det perspektivet, att se rakt upp i rät vinkel, liggade raklång på marken eller att se i horisontell ställning, svävande, rakt ner på jordskorpan, har sedan följt mig genom livet. Det är en position utan tyngdlag och utan skala. Moln är i ständig förändring, de växer, de krymper. Samtidigt finns här inget mått som kan ange stort eller litet. I kinesiskt tänkande heter det Det lilla har ingen insida , det stora har ingen utsida. Enligt det tankesättet blur det meningslöst att vetenskapligt söka utforska mindre och mindre enheter, såsom atomer, neutriner etc. Det finns alltid någonting mindre för det lilla har ingen insida. Litet och stort är rörelser, expansion.

Sett utrifrån rymden är molnen en del av jordskorpan, en del av havets vatten som blir ånga och virvlar runt over jordens yta.

I dessa trakter rör sig måleriet. Mitt imellan det materiella och det imateriellla. Min kropp och själs behov blir allt enklare. Måleriet länkar samman jord , kropp, mat och färg. Allt är stoff och pigment, och handlar om en direkt relation till jorden.

Madeleine Hatz
Beijing, March 2012

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“June Unnatural”
catalog text for exhibition “Unnatural Selection: The Transformation of Nature in Abstraction”, Raritan Valley Community College, Raritan New Jersey. Curator: Tom McGlynn

At my landing door: a monstrous plant with gigantic green leaves is slowly spreading, taking up all the space, threatening to close off window and door. Inside the studio, on the floor: green foam particles spilled out from plastic bags, This fluffy stuff is manufactured in different grades, so as to imitate early spring growth or distant forest. In the living area: many green plants give comfort. Around the cooking island, laid out as precious objects: tomatoes, fruits, foods. On the sideboard where the food “should” be: my manufactured pigmented fragments with drippings. Next to them in color coordination: an “abstract” painting on the wall. And, nearby, the computer’s screen saver: Mandelbrot’s (abstract?) fractals are growing like green ferns, flowing in the room, echoing the flamboyant Rocaille/Chi cloud motifs in the painting. And to sum up my living situation among objects: the TV set died last week, now it just gives off a green glow.

The fine line between one green and the other, the “green” and its other… is like the hair’s breadth barely separating celestial from profane, transcended from regurgitated.

Because, it may well be that the diametrical opposition as such is an illusion, and the real situation then being rather a perpendicular relativity, an orthogonal weaving.

I don’t know what time is, but I know, or rather: I experience, situations which are not linear or diametrical. Smells for instance, sudden memory flashes of smells (good or bad) often do not coincide with the appropriate associated thought, color, utterance, or emotion. When in a state of intense concentration (like when painting), they can be isolated breaks, taken out of context, abstracted yet so totally vivid and real. Here something seems extracted from linear time, and placed at a different angle to it. There is a discrepancy, a lag in the codes, so that the sensory fragment is in misalignment with the “order” of things, desired, abject, natural, unnatural, supernatural.

Madeleine Hatz
New York, June 1998