Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We Chat to Carly Fischer...

Carly Fisher 2
One of the works by Carly Fisher on show in Pre-Fab

Tell us about yourself! Where are you from?
I’m originally from Melbourne and completed my BFA at RMIT in 2000. After a few years working in the Melbourne art scene, I decided to go and live in Tokyo for 1 ½ years, to be surrounded by the pristine fabrication and presentation that was emerging in my work. After returning to Melbourne for a year, I left again for Berlin, where I have largely been until now. So I would say I’m actually from a few places and so is my work!

How would you describe your work? What materials do you work in?
My practice explores the increasing fabrication of our contemporary reality, where its very substance is being homogenised, gentrified, globalised, reproduced, mass-produced and sold back to us as commodity and cliché. I’m interested in the effect this has on our relationship between place and placeless ness, as the local and personal specificities of our environment are becoming more and more generic.

Through my work, I comment on these tendencies through mimicry, creating homogenous paper replicas of the mundane detritus that litters our everyday. These models are installed in different, often large-scale arrangements that replicate the street scenes they are based on. Aside from the installations, the models are made into smaller sculptures that resemble sets and collectables.

Tell us why/how your work fits in to the Pre-Fab idea?!
Instead of referencing industrial fabrication and mass-production through obvious forms, I’m interested in interrupting our expectation of objects through ambiguity. My sculptures could pass for factory-made replicas, but they are not. Although mimicking such manufacturing through labourious repetition and generic replication, the paper models are entirely hand-made and essentially fragile and intimate. Their source, industrial refuse dumped on the street, references the vulnerable side of mass-production; hard rubbish piles of out-dated products, abandoned construction site debris, warehouse squat spaces in transition and scrunched up packaging blowing around in the gutters. Spending time remaking the throwaway initially seems redundant, but intends to question the very limitations of fabrication itself.

What achievement are you most proud of to date?
Living in different countries and sticking it out for a decent enough time to move past being a tourist and understand the culture. I’m particularly interested in this balance, between a localised knowledge of place, and the more globalised and pre-conceived tourist perspective. Furthermore, I think living in non-English speaking countries has been a huge achievement; feeling helpless, like an outsider and being in the position of an (voluntary) immigrant. It has been important for understanding people as much as heightening my awareness of my surroundings spatially.

What's your work practice like? Do you work in a studio/home? What gets you in the mood to create?
My process involves a lot of studio-based time in production. To balance this, I take a lot of walks around the streets in between. I actually gather most of my ideas while walking the streets, as my subject is often the refuse that collects there. Some of this trash is photographed or taken back to the studio as source material for my paper models. Although the form and process of my work is quite consistent, it has had to adapt to living in different cities and the availability of working spaces as a result. These limitations have often produced new work; in Berlin I had a tiny basement space for a couple of months that resulted in working in miniature.

Is there a soundtrack to your creativity? Do you have music or silence?
Music is a huge part of my working process. The lyrics that I listen to in the studio or while walking the streets influence the form and also the title I give to my sculptures and installations. Sometimes a work is made in response to a lyric, or a lyric is searched for that fits a finished work. Similar to reproducing the trash through fabricated models, the titles of my work appropriate the personal sentiments of lyrics.

What do you think people will take away with them from seeing your work?
I hope that my sculptures and installations act as triggers for people to re-notice the increasing fabrication of their everyday reality. As the objects I replicate are both local and global, it’s interesting to explore their relevance when re-contextualised to different places. The sculptures in Pre-Fab were made in Berlin and reference Berlin trash; although many of the brands are global, their specificities are local (McDonald’s packets look slightly different in Australia!). I’m interested in spending time looking at and fabricating the mundane stuff we step on everyday, so that people might step differently when they walk out into the street. In Berlin, after seeing my installations, people have commented on how they “see my work everywhere on the street.” It’s funny.

Where do you want to be in 10 years time? What's your dream?!
I would love to be able to work between places. As my practice is largely concerned with the relationship between the local and global, working directly with and about different international spaces is important to its development and relevance. I’m interested in creating site-specific installations that ‘travel,’ re-contextualised to other cities and back to Australia. It would be great to be based in Australia, but I’m happy to follow any good opportunities to live and work with different communities, cultures and spaces.

You can find out more about Carly's amazing works via her website http://www.carlyfischer.com/ definitely check it out, her larger scale installations are beautiful!

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