Creativity Kiosk: Interview with Shaltmira

Photographer Marta Ivanova

Hey Egle! The first ques­tion would be about inter­net com­munit­ies that you belong to and the fact that they have cer­tain influ­ences on you. Could you tell us how did you find them and what was their hook for you?

“There is no hon­esty, no mat­ter what I may say, everything is a lie but, first of all, it won’t be me because I am here only as a vent­ri­lo­quist doll” (Samuel Becket).

Mostly I am happy because I found this blog. SOME WEIRD ART BY WEIRD ARTISTS. At the moment, there are 24 reg­u­lar par­ti­cipants in it. I am here since September of 2010 and the blog itself is alive since the November of 2006. The name of the blog has a con­nec­tion to Max and Moritz com­ics, in which the prot­ag­on­ists are eaten by ducks, cha cha cha. We could say that ammuni­tion of (non) nor­mal humor/​irony/​sarcasm is char­ac­ter­istic to the bunch that gath­ers here. We put our cre­ated art­work in here as well as com­ments and advice. We also share inter­est­ing find­ings and our own thoughts, dreams, links etc.

The main thing that unites the artists, who par­ti­cip­ate here, is the uncon­fined pos­i­tion towards cre­ation, which is close to the out­sider art or philo­sophy of stuck­ism. The means of expres­sion that is included in this site are tra­di­tional media with occa­sional inter­ven­tion of digit­al­ism. We can find com­ics’ artists, anim­at­ors, and illus­trat­ors among the par­ti­cipants. Usually one field of art is not a limit. There is no com­mer­cial art and the status of a pro­fes­sional artist is not what any of us seek. Teachers of ele­ment­ary schools, tire sails men, com­puter game cre­at­ors – it does not mat­ter what you do for a liv­ing because what’s import­ant is that, which you cre­ate. The main par­ti­cipants of the blog are from USA, France, South Korea, Scotland, Holland, Poland, Canada, Germany, and Belgium.

You often call your­self by the pseud­onym Shaltmira. What does it mean and what is its story?

It means the dif­fer­ence between what was given and what was chosen. Memoria prae­ter­itorum bonorum. The whole col­lec­tion of my art­work is liv­ing by this name.

How do you think the day-to–day life, art and per­spect­ives of a young artist such as your­self are dif­fer­ent from those, liv­ing in the West?

Everything entwines. I was always inter­ested in devi­ations, patho­lo­gies, crit­ical states and pos­i­tions. Weakness is the person’s strength. Unconsciousness, people and phe­nomenon. How far can a per­son go and what are his motives? Is he seek­ing pleas­ure? It’s a slip­pery line. What does a being, which was born with two heads, think? Museums of freaks. A love story of a serial killer – pros­ti­tute – les­bian can be so beau­ti­ful and pain­ful. I was very inter­ested in bio­graph­ies of serial killers. The ques­tions about iden­tity, the Queer the­ory and Women’s stud­ies. I am inter­ested in visual pleas­ure and L. Mulvey’s the­ory about the “non – exist­ence of an inno­cent look”. Killers and sui­cides, exe­cu­tion­ers and vic­tims, the Stockholm syn­drome, wars, dic­tat­ors and the wounded, trau­mat­ized, the vic­tims of gen­er­a­tions of freaks. There is no need for sci­ence fic­tion films. All we need to do is to look at things that are hap­pen­ing in the real­ity. <…>

I always liked to read. I think of Samuel Beckett’s writ­ing as my bible. Waiting for Godot is the most accur­ate meta­phor of life! Besides this I read books of such authors as Daniil Kharms, Witold Gombrowicz, Charles Bukowski, Marcel Schwob, José Donoso. In addi­tion, I value poetry of Algimantas Mackus, Antanas A. Jonynas, Algimantas Mikuta, Mantas Gimžauskas, Dainius Gintalas, Rimas Burokas and writ­ing of Antanas Škėma, Juozas Erlickas and Sigitas Parulskis. Music also plays a big role in my life. The feel­ing of dis­cov­ery is nice. I explored metal to gothic and indus­trial to noise music scenes. There was a period, dur­ing which I listened only to Suicidal Depressive Black Metal and I did not need any­thing more at that time. However, there is no attach­ment to one style any­more. The most import­ant thing is emo­tion and hon­esty. You can exper­i­ence that in an opera as well as at a shit­core con­cert. Films and video all-​around is another import­ant part of my life. I have a couple of favor­ite dir­ect­ors, among which are Harmony Korine, John Waters, Gaspar Noé, Todd Solondz, Spike Jonze, Gregg Araki, Peter Greenaway, Matthew Barney, Kenneth Ager… <…>

The Internet influ­ences cre­at­ive indus­tries and the way artists work. What is your opin­ion about it? Is the pos­sib­il­it­ies provided by WWW import­ant to you?

The vir­tual space is very import­ant to me. The main advant­age is the easy and fast way to find inform­a­tion and its dis­per­sion. It’s a con­veni­ent tool of com­mu­nic­a­tion. Internet gal­ler­ies and port­fo­lio surely change the mean­ing of an ori­ginal artistic piece. It’s easier to just scan/​photograph an art piece and pub­lish it on the Internet than organ­ize a real exhib­i­tion. And it’s pos­sible to reach a wider audi­ence on of course.

How do you ima­gine your­self after five years? What would be you ideal scenario?

I don’t mind going nowhere as long as it’s an inter­est­ing path.” I don’t have a spe­cific five year plan, but there is a dir­ec­tion. The most import­ant thing is to do some­thing that gives me pleas­ure and what I am inter­ested in the most. For me it’s art. „If you want some­thing you’ve never had before, you’ve got to do some­thing you’ve never done before.” That’s why there is a ever con­tinu­ous search.

Gintarė Žitkevičiūtė
About author:
Gintarė Žitkevičiūtė
Gintare Zitkeviciute is Art Pit’s thinker and doer. In her work practise, she values lean approach, creativity and quick decisions. She doesn't like working with random people and thinks that a team is a heart of successful project. For that reason, she carefully picks people she works with on everyday basis. She is mostly interested in innovatio... Read further >
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