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Inspiration

ELIANE
GERVASONI

TIME IS GOLD

Eliane Gervasoni, PR manager and artist in Lausanne, Switzerland


 

You‘re a busy PR manager for the arts and culture fields, a successful artist in your own right, and the mother of two grown-up kids. You live and work in Lausanne with a view of Lake Geneva. How did you decide on your career – or more accurately, careers?   

 

I was born in Basel and after studying in Cambridge, I moved on to Lausanne where I did PR for film festivals and movies, for example by David Lynch, Bruce Weber, Claude Miller, Rob Reiner, Gus Van Sant, Kurosawa, J. J. Beineix and Alain Cavalier. After this exciting but also hectic period I decided to take a time-out to find artistic inspiration and focus on myself. I quit my job and lived in London and the Seychelles for three years during which I experienced a different rhythm, new impressions and a new way of life. That was really good for my personal development and helped me find inner peace.

 

After my two kids were born I studied art printing and participated in workshops in England and Switzerland. Art also helped me discover a new side of myself, a new passion. I opened my own studio and showed my work at galleries in Switzerland and other countries. I also started doing PR again – for art, theatre, architecture and design.

 

You’re both a freelancer and a freelance artist; your kids are at university. What are your biggest challenges?

 

To fit everything into my busy schedule, to really be able to spend the time I want to on different facets of my life, especially my art projects. Time is worth its weight in gold to me.

 

As an artist you devote time to graphics, drawing and photography; you participate in exhibitions in Europe and the USA. What artistic subjects are particularly moving to you?

 

I’m especially interested in minimalism, abstraction and experimental composition as well as architecture and design. In music I focus on sound and silence, in architecture on silence and light. I was particularly intrigued by John Cage’s writings in Silence, lectures and writings. Working from a basis of anarchist and Zen/Buddhist thinking, Cage often broke the rules and boundaries of traditional forms of expression.

 

After finishing my series of art prints called Singular forms, nearly always repeated I have been experimenting with multiplicity – sequences that are repeated and their rhythm. My drawings in white ink on black paper deal with the serial declination of geometric forms and their evolution. By repeating a series of cadences of white lines as well as through their variation, vibrations and optical effects are created that bring a work of art to life.

 

Silence and infinity, space and freedom, presence and absence are the subjects of my photographs and of my artist book Being slowly nowhere, a poetic ballad. I took inspiration from the architect Louis I. Kahn for my exhibition Serial Compositions. His philosophical reflections, spiritual search and desire for a materialized sensuality and symbolic presence of buildings were especially touching to me.

In 1916 Dadaism came to life in Zürich. Nowadays we primarily associate banking and precise clocks with Switzerland. What’s “Dada” in contemporary Switzerland?

 

Dadaism gave expression to the radical skepticism towards everything that could be said to give a meaning to existence – a rejection of pre-made life plans. Dada hence stands for the nature of art. In today’s Switzerland, everything that expands one’s view of the world is Dada: freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, the questioning of values as well as a strong and diverse arts and culture scene with internationally renowned artists, architects, designers and inventors – which led, among others, to the development of the World Wide Web at the European Organization for Nuclear Research’s site near Geneva.

 

What are your next plans?

 

I’m planning a new art project, new pieces and an exhibition that will be shown in Italy and Switzerland. I look forward to continue doing PR for theatre, film, design and art. Next up for me is the studio festival Aperti, ouverture des ateliers d’artistes à Lausanne during which I will also open my studio to visitors.

 

Link to Eliane’s website.


Interview conducted early in 2016