Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jesse Albrecht part 2

Here's part 2 of the interview -

Bret- I feel fortunate to be able to showcase your work. Yours is
a voice/perspective that we don't hear much in the contemporary art world.
Have you run across other artists who are vets of the current war in Iraq?
Jesse - Thank you for the oppourtunity to be included in the show, I would have loved to take a look but my budget is broke, so hopefully next time. Bill Donovan is a vet of the Afganistan Campaign who was in the show, but I don't know anyone else from the Iraq side. Last spring Jamie and CeCe had Bill and I to Richmond as visiting artists and that was the first time Bill and I had a chance to talk about our expierence. We did so over a late night kitchen table drawfest and it was good.

B - What is the most recent change you have seen in your work?
How have they changed from the time when you first got back from Iraq?
J - Showing my work has gone in the direction of instillation with artifacts and pictures from Iraq informing where I am coming from. With Great Uncles gassed in France in WWI and his brothers at Pearl Harbor and Tarawa, my Grandfather 3 1/2 years in New Guinea and Uncles in Vietnam I am examining my family history and how that informed me and my expierence. Initially I couldn't build the pieces fast enough to pour out what I saw, did and felt. My work continues to become more refined in the emotion and expierence are represented. Performance is working its way into the mix as well.

B - Are you still making similar forms with text carved into and/or
painted onto them?
J - My last series of ceramic work was without text but relief of rattlesnakes and straight razors being some of the reoccuring subjects. The cone is the form I am still working with, abstracted to or from the human form. I crowbared the word "love" into some pots I made last summer which all ended up wedding gifts for my closest army buddies. Love N' War has been the series I have been working on for the past three years, and much text has appeared as recognition of friends back in Iraq, wishing their safe return.

B -Did you ever question your thought to write on/into
your pieces?
J - The first year back I didn't question anything I wrote on my work or why I was doing it. Now it is obvious the gap between who I was before I left and who I returned as was put into my work. I didn't want to pull anything back but the most taboo thoughts and feelings.
B - What does the Arabic script say on the untitled piece?
I enjoy seeing what foreign languages do to audiences.
What was you intent in using it in this piece?
J - Allah Akbar, God is Great(er) is the Arabic text I think you are referring to, which is off the Iraqi flag post 1991. It was used to reference some horrors Saddam perpatrated during his rule. With that piece I was screaming back about what I did in Iraq, what it was about for me. I was remembering Iraqis I met who bear Saddam's brutality missing fingers and toes. I was remembering the experience of purchasing medicine, supplies, and delivering it to a childrens hospital in Mosul. I was remembering the medical treatement I provided Iraqi children, civilians, and soldiers--remembering some of the good I did while in Iraq.

1 comment:

Martha "mang" said...

large up to oprah for going the distance.
one of the real humans on earth at the moment.