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KULT MAGAZINE INTERVIEW

KULT MAGAZINE INTERVIEW, November 2006 By Viviana Bucarelli FOR THE BIENNALE, NEW YORK ARTIST JUDI HARVEST PRESENTS A SUGGESTIVE INSTALLATION AT GAFFE FLORIAN

If email is the best invention since the wheel, then the opinion is largely diffused. The day when the computer is blocked. access to the Internet creates problems or you lose your cell phone, the world seems to be collapsing on top of you. But for Judi Harvest, New York painter, sculptor and photographer, selected for her installation in Caffe Florian for The Biennale of Architecture 2006, this is just a starting point for her piece, Venetian Satellite. This is her story from her studio in Chelsea

What incited you to realize an installation in the Gaffe where Goldoni, Lord Byron and Casanova spent entire afternoons? I have been in love with Venice since 1973, when I first studied in Italy and to realize a work in Caffe Florian is a huge honor for me. It is a place where intellectuals met for centuries, where the Siennale was born and where the first daily newspapers were circulated during that era. It has been my dream to create a dialogue between this ambiance and my work which incorporates the idea of contemporary communication while looking towards the future. This work represents homage to both. The forms of contemporary communication are indispensable, but cultivating social rapport and contact between people face to face is a richness I believe we should not lose.

Let's talk about this installation. What is the central theme? The central theme is a large chandelier which is inspired by Telstar, the first communication satellite, "responsible" for direct TV, cell phones, the Internet and a lot of the technology we find indispensable in our lives. It is also a symbol of the push of man towards knowledge and discovery of other worlds and investigation of the cosmos. Also around the Caffe are sculptures of Martians and collages on the walls and tables. The principle elements, the Satellite chandelier and sculptures are realized in Murano glass, an ancient technique that remains intact in our time.

How was this collaboration born with the Biennale? The other artists that proceeded you we recall Gaetano Pesce, Fabrizzio Plessi and Mimmo RoteIla... Every year the Gaffe, contemporaneously with the Biennale of Art and that of Architecture invites an artist to exhibit. Daniela Gaddo Vedaldi and the curator Stefano Stipitivich were familiar with my work, beginning with my sculpture of a Buddha which was exhibited in Venice in 2003 along with my solo shows in Venice. I submitted this idea two years earlier and was selected this year. How was the idea of your Buddha conceived? It was the result of the need to express the state of my soul after September 11. The day before, five years ago. I had just returned to New York from Venice. Days later, I found myself in my studio which was then on Lafayette Street, not far from the World Trade Center, I lived very close to the site and had to leave._ it was really traumatizing. The Buddha was a result of my search for inner peace. Initially I realized small models and in the end, I felt the need to create a sculpture of grand dimensions in glass, an exceptional material which is fragile by nature. What is the genesis of Full Moon, which is still on exhibit at San Marco? The Moon is a very important symbol for me, a friendly presence which you find in any part of the world. It is realized in Murano glass, This process of working involves water, fire and sand, the elements which are the foundation of nature.

Are you fascinated with alchemy? Yes, a lot. Artists, beginning with the origins of history, have always been alchemists in some way, the colors, the powders, the minerals, the magic of chemistry and the diverse states of materials. Murano for me is the most magical place that exists.


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© 2017 Judi Harvest