Barbara Imgrund: Mrs. Pandici, you won the third prize with two photographs in January 2014, in the very prestigious competition „La tua arte nel sociale“ (Your art in the social field), organized by the Roman Galery Il Collezionista. The competition was stiff, 1,050 artists had sent in their work. I congratulate you on this achievement.
Dana Pandici: Thank you very much, indeed.
B.I.: Your both photographs evolution – the madonna of the future and human trafficking from the series Being alive is a privilege – human dignity against cynicism are like a kick in the teeth .The same woman twice facing hieratically the camera from a black backcloth: once with a bleeding sheep’s head on her lap and the other time naked, tied with red ribbons. The second picture was actually on exhibition in the Biennale in Rome. Your art should hurt, shouldn’t it?
D.P.: This is what I expect from my art. (Laughs.) Seriously speaking: Yes, I want to put the finger on the wound. I do not want to reveal the beautiful appearance, but the ugly face of reality. In human trafficking, it is not only the prostitute meant with the red ribbons — plenty of other women must sell themselves. I know enough Thai women who were ordered on catalogue by their western husbands-to-
B.I.: And what upon should abut Madonna with the bleeding sheep’s head?
D.P.: The sheep’s head should remind us all of Dolly, the first cloned sheep in the world. Nowadays, with the pollution, the stress and the hectic rhythm of life, infertility is on permanent rise. What are we doing? We buy ourselves out of the childlessness, going for reproductive medicine. Although it is expensive and it is accessible only to the ones who bring the cash, it is an unfair and a dangerous situation. This means nothing else then „tinkering out“ our own children. I wonder if we have this DIY situation really under control. Where should this all end? I wish the beholder of my art would ask himself / herself the same questions.
B.I.: How did these pictures come about? Did you have a blueprint in your mind? Did you stick to the plan that had already been shaped beforehand in your mind or was it a birth all of a sudden?
D.P.: First of all: I also do l’art pour l’art, art out of an aesthetic choice. Nevertheless, trained in and graduating from an art high school I was inoculated with a concept of an art, which has always something to say. I still feel committed to it nowadays. In case of such talking artworks, there is always an idea in the beginning. For the Madonna I knew exactly what I wanted to communicate and then I searched for the strongest possible means to express the purpose. The observer should understand on the spot what I mean. As with the language, where the author searches for the best words to express his mind – but the words are not there on their own, they are the means for the purpose.
The real creation process occurs before the shooting. I draw a mind map, mainly half in Romanian, half in German, and this mind map is constantly branching itself off. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and fasten my sudden idea onto the map, which lies on my night table. Otherwise, it fades away.
On the mind map, I state different alternatives and I leave dough to sit. For the sculpture, which is now in progress, the whole draft process lasted for almost three quarters of a year. Only then, when the concept is coherent for me, do I bring up the question of the feasibility techniques. In this case, I have chosen wire. For me, the aesthetic conversion is always subordinated to the statement, to the message - my main preoccupation being not “HOW”, but “WHAT”.
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Interview done by Barbara Imgrund ( www.barbara-