The Dualism book. Interview with author

Interviewed by Aleksandras Rimdžius

In this art­icle, Aleksandras Rimdžius is inter­view­ing the anonym­ous artist, who recently released his con­tro­ver­sial book The Dualism. The book is full of nud­ity, dark motives and inter­est­ing, some­times even sad and nos­tal­gic storytelling. We hope you are going to enjoy visu­als and the interview!

Aleksandras Rimdžius. In the Victorian era, there was a tra­di­tion to dis­play people with uncon­ven­tional appear­ance for profit. Now these folks often vol­un­tar­ily show off them­selves to pub­lic. Is it because of their need to be fully accep­ted like “all nor­mal people”?

Dualism Artist. I don’t know which nature are you talk­ing about? Do you mean the Looks? If so, let’s be more spe­cific here. In the Victorian era, ONLY class­less poor help­less [people were] dis­played for profit, not the ones from rich Aristocratic fam­il­ies. Nowadays I DON’T see people with uncon­ven­tional looks like before in the Victorian era due to our plastic sur­gery industry!!!!!

What is nor­mal and what is abnor­mal? How do these cat­egor­ies vary accord­ing to a social context ?

Good lord, there is a LONG answer for this, there­fore, I’ll make it as short as pos­sible, oth­er­wise, people will just not want to fin­ish this review. Besides, you are using the wrong terms, I think. You mean what is USUAL/​Customary/​General/​familiar and UnUSUAL/​UnCommon/​Unorthodox.

The Usual and Common is affected cul­ture, reli­gion, media and polit­ics. Everything else is the NORMAL things which is.. people who think for them­selves. Sadly, they are con­sidered weird for not being like sheep in a flock.

Tell us about philo­sophy of Your work. What advant­ages and dis­ad­vant­ages does it take being anonymous?

The Dualism, based on the view/​concept that the world con­sists of two fun­da­mental prin­ciples that co-​exist together, they com­pli­ment each other like the yin and yang in Eastern cul­ture, or they con­flict in the west­ern one, under this comes the dual­ity between mind and body, mind and mat­ter, moral dual­ity and the con­flict between good and evil. Furthermore, the defin­i­tion of Dualism in art, psy­cho­logy, philo­sophy, reli­gions and all other aspects of life takes dif­fer­ent forms.

Some” of the things that the art work reflects are our dilemma due our dual­it­ies, the dis­tance between how some people ima­gine life to be and how life it is, our des­per­ate human­ity and frailties due our self con­flict and ambivalence.

Anonymity Advantages: Invisibility is empower­ing, it gives more abil­ity to observe, blend in and shape your­self to any sort of per­son you want to be to be able to see what other people see and feel what they feel..

Also, Imagine that you go to an English social party and pre­tend that you don’t speak/​understand English and give that naive stu­pid look in your eyes, as a res­ult, people will feel free to say whatever they want about you or oth­ers LOUDLY because think think you don’t under­stand! That will allow you to know more than if they knew you under­stood what they are saying.

Another reason: I see on the news great artists, act­ors, musi­cians, politi­cians get humi­li­ated and harshly cri­ti­cised because of simple silly things that every one of us does every day. Only because they are known it is a big issue. For instance, there was here a big issue in all news­pa­pers when Britney Spears almost dropped her baby while get­ting into the car, the media accused her of being unfit mother, and the child will fare wanted to invest­ig­ate etc etc, but How many moth­ers in the world drop their babies every day?!

Bill Clinton gets a fel­la­tio and the whole world gets crazy about it. Do you remem­ber the humi­li­ation he has gone through, But the world for­got how many mar­ried men do that every day. They cri­ti­cised him but they did not cri­ti­cised Hillary for hav­ing a face that looks like the wrong end of a dog! No won­der why the man slipped.

I feel Terribly sad for those people, there­fore, being anonym­ous give the chance to have a FREE AVERAGE life. I can exper­i­ence mis­takes like every­one else and learn from them without affect­ing my art work, my art organ­isa­tion and the people who work with me.

Disadvantage: The usual mundane ped­es­trian men­tal­ity of ask­ing “who is the artist” when you present the art work to them, and they could ignore it just because of the word anonymous!

Being anonym­ous makes it dif­fi­cult for the art to spread, people pro­grammed to see a face and a name to asso­ci­ate everything thing with. But I make the most of what I have and look at the half full of the glass.

How did you start? Were You influ­enced by Bristol artist Banksy or guer­illa art?

I don’t know if you mean about the start of being anonym­ous or the dual­ism so I’ll tell you about both.

The Dualism: before it was the dual­ism it was called The Contradictions!! You see, Life is an end­less struggle, which makes it enjoy­able, peace is in the struggle to find peace and so on, the human self con­flict between heart and mind etc..

But even­tu­ally I have come to real­ise that The Contradictions does not fully describe how I think about things.. The word dual­ism does not neces­sar­ily means con­tra­dic­tion. It also means 2 of a thing.. 2 dif­fer­ent things, but not neces­sar­ily opposites.

Being anonym­ous: I was not anonym­ous at first, I even had my pic­ture on the web­site, but then, people’s demands, nag­ging, moan­ing, stu­pid­ity drove me up the wall!!! So I took myself away from all that. I had 2 people work­ing with me, so I assembled more people into the dual­ism team to be respons­ible of all non-​art related mat­ters on my behalf under my super­vi­sion. So that I can have peace of mind, focus on art and not get hassled by any­one else.

Remember, You are bound to make people angry, even if you are nice! Being nice makes some people angry! So when me and my team are invis­ible, no one can be angry at us directly!

At last BUT NOT LEAST: It is NOT about me! It is about the art itself. This is what will remain after I die. An idea/​thought/​concept is over reach­ing and lasting.

In regards the Banksy part of your ques­tion: I am very dis­ap­poin­ted that you asked that! Shame on you! I get people com­par­ing my work to Joel Peter Witkin (which is real com­ple­ment, this man is a genius), Diane Arbus, Caravaggio. But then I get the few numbered say Bansky!! You are so lucky this inter­view is by email oth­er­wise I would have given you my Scary Stare. :)

I am inspire by clas­sical art, Greek myth­o­logy, psy­cho­logy, reli­gions, psy­cho sexual and social mat­ters and stud­ies. And philo­sophy, lit­er­at­ure, music and poetry.

One of the first pho­tos by Dualism Artist

Don’t You think that while our life becomes com­fort and safe we tend to con­sume the dark side more eas­ily: ugli­ness, diabol­ical stuff, viol­ence and so on?

Not neces­sar­ily, because: being poor, treated unfairly, oppressed COULD breed the same res­ults exactly of being diabol­ical con­sumed with viol­ence and all that. A point in the middle is good, I said earlier, peace is in the struggle to find peace.

At last, in regards this ques­tion: Two things should NEVER be given/​taken to/​from a human being at once.. Time and Money!

Damn, I should con­grat­u­late You with great news that Dualism Photography Book is avail­able to pur­chase in Tate gal­lery. Do You feel that Your art is finally appre­ci­ated by professionals?

Thank You. the answer is NO!!! You see, I am grate­ful for that of course, but it is like a credit you put on your CV or a let­ter of recom­mend­a­tion. If my book did not go into the Tate, that does not mean my work is not appre­ci­ated. And trust me, those so-​called pro­fes­sion­als don’t know what they are talk­ing about.

Let me tell you a fun sorry, when the book was pub­lished, I sent my junior assist­ant with the book to the Tate. After 3 weeks, they said they don’t want it and they did not like it!! Which is fine by me.. after one year.. they con­tac­ted me!!! One of those pro­fes­sion­als at the Tate is FRENCH, and he has been a fan for long and he deman­ded that book to be dis­played at the Tate.

You see, one of the dif­fi­culties I faced with the book is that I found, that English are con­ser­vat­ive com­par­ing to other European coun­tries, such as Germany and France. The book was rejec­ted at first because, and I quote, It was One of the kind, it did not fall under any cat­egory! Which works for and against us.

Some would say that dual­ism is about sac­red and evil, beauty and ugli­ness. What would you answer to per­son, telling that he does not see any beauty aes­thet­ics in Your photos?

Tut tut tut.. You should have seen the whole book before you ask that ques­tion. The book has aes­thetic beau­ti­ful pho­tos with a twist of sin­is­ter hid­den agen­das. See pho­tos attached. And those beau­ti­ful shots con­trast with the other type of pho­tos. You see, not all the pho­tos of the book are heavy emo­tion­ally, intel­lec­tu­ally and visu­ally, oth­er­wise it would have been hard to go though the book and you’d vomit before the last page and/​or slit your wrist. The pho­tos var­ies and take you in circles up and down.

Besides, Aesthetic beauty is dif­fer­ent from cul­ture to cul­ture and per­sonal taste.

Tell us a bit about Your long cen­sor­ship struggle with Facebook?

Oh dear, don’t go there. To make this short I would say, some­how it is not all Facebook fault, polit­ics are involved. For instance, on Iphone dat­ing applic­a­tion you can­not post semi-​nude photo. It is an APPLE Policy.

But then.. when Beyonce or Lady Gaga real­ise very sexual sug­gest­ive video, it is okay… Politics = Hypocrisy.

Anyway, we will send them a KIND let­ter with a copy of the book to dis­cuss few issue with them and let’s see, at least, what their reply will be.

How did You meet poet Steven Pottle? How did You both come up with a bril­liant idea to agon­ize masturbation?

Me and my team came in con­tact with all the artists online. My team does the first com­mu­nic­a­tion to see if they are suit­able or not, then they send them over to me.

How did we reach the “Underneath it all” video? When I met Steven the first time to inter­view him, I asked him a lot of ques­tions about him­self to start to build an idea of how the shoot will be. The look was decided from the first day in my head, but to reach that shoot we did many other shoots until he became com­pletely free with me and the camera.

The shoot was the last shoot to do with him and as the make up artist put­ting the effects on him, the rest of the idea came to me and it was brilliant.

Art cre­ates itself, we artists are just a transmitters.

I am fas­cin­ated by your com­mu­nic­a­tion with fans. They can send You pic­tures, sug­gest names for pho­tos. Your mod­els can also choose how they want to be pho­to­graphed, is that right?

I owe it to the fans to have come this far. Me and the team enjoy inter­act­ing daily with the. it is really inspir­ing and get us out of the art bubble and we learn so much from them. The Dualism is noth­ing without the fans and we truly LOVE THEM.

The mod­els CANNOT choose how they want to be pho­to­graphed, oth­er­wise they can do it them­selves. We have mod­el­ling guidelines and terms, and if they agree with it then they are wel­come to take part in the shoots. If the mod­els are pho­to­graphed the way they want, then the art work does not carry my per­sonal touch and men­tal­ity at all.

I always invite every­one to model only if they agree with that guidelines which are: full nud­ity is included, no restric­tions, con­fid­ence, ready to push the lim­its and think out­side the box, co-​operating, dar­ing and pas­sion­ate about arts and not afraid to try new things.

Filipino Sunny together with his friends look through his copy of Dualism photography

Are there any lim­its, have You ever refused to take a shoot for someone? Have You ever thought — man, it is just sick?

No… Nothing is sick really any­more… Even the queen defec­ates twice a day and wipes her own bottom!

What if some­body of our read­ers would like to have a per­sonal shooting?

I used to do per­sonal shoot many years ago, but NOT any­more. I haven’t done per­sonal shoot for years. I hold the cam­era only when I am cre­at­ing my own world. I instruc­ted my team to never REJECT those inquir­ies, you know, people don’t like rejec­tion and [being] told NO, so, my team give them an out­rages humong­ous number/​fee so they take their request back, but then it fired back and few people agreed, but then I instruct my team to tell them that I had to travel abroad to give few lec­tures abroad which is some­thing I do a lot, teach­ing and giv­ing con­sulta­tions and lec­tures that is.

Finally, what is next? What is your future plans?

I am pre­par­ing for the dual­ism book Vol.II which will be much more pro­found than the first and really more com­plic­ated and the rest will cre­ate itself.

Thanks for your great answers!

Artistis webpage here.

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