David Altmejd Interview: The Heart is a Werewolf
“When I make a sculpture, I don’t want to control it intellectually. I want it to create its own intelligence.” Meet the artist behind a huge enigmatic and almost sci-fi like sculpture where a crystalizing werewolf functions like ‘a heart’.
”I like the idea that one would feel like they can see everything from one point. Then actually, as they start getting closer they realise that they can only see a small portion of it.” Altmejd – whose large, transparent structure consists of an accumulation of details – uses different strategies to create a sense of infinity, such as an overwhelming amount of details and mirrors that face each other. There is always the suggestion that things are hiding and constantly transforming, which means that the viewer can constantly go back to the piece and discover something new: “As a sculptor I want to be able to make the whole structure grow and evolve. I want to not know how the piece is going to transform.” As a consequence, everything that Altmejd has included is a potential source, which circulates energy inside the piece.
“I want it to be like a person, like an individual, I want it to be able to generate meaning – not have a meaning.” The body holds a great interest to Altmejd, who sees it as a goal to make a sculpture exist in space the same way as a body does. In particular the brain fascinates him: “I am really interested in the architecture of the mind. You can make a model of the mind with a series of different spaces – some of them are locked and inaccessible, some of them are deeper, and some of them are more superficial.”
David Altmejd (b. 1974) is a Canadian sculptor from Montreal. He creates large attention-grabbing sculptures with diverse ornament – such as crystals, taxidermy birds, glitter, minerals and mirrors – that blur distinctions between interior and exterior, surface and structure. Altmejd has exhibited widely at venues such as Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, MoMA PS1 in New York and Saatchi Gallery in London. He lives and works in New York. For more about him see: http://www.davidaltmejd.com/
David Altmejd was interviewed by Christian Lund at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark in November 2015 in connection to the exhibition of his 328 x 640 x 714 centimetres sculpture ‘The Flux and the Puddle’ (2014). Among the many materials used for the sculpture are wax, mirrors, plaster, latex, feathers, ink, wood, steel wire and quartz mounted in a multitude of Plexiglas cases.
Camera: Simon Weyhe
Edited by: Klaus Elmer
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015