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Monday, May 14, 2007

Conversation with Tina Cassati


TINA CASSATI
FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY
FILM & COSTUME ART
030. 936 22 100
0176. 260 200 94
WWW.TINACASSATI.DE
WWW.MYSPACE.COM/CASSATI
EMAIL:
INFO@TINACASSATI.DE

I would like to see all faces of this planet. I am never content, and if a face places me contently, I would like to compare it still with other faces, with all faces, which there can be at all. It is absolutely neurotica.
Federico Fellini

Tina Cassati lives in Berlin Germany
Since I was a child I loved to spend my time on creative things. As an adolescent, I started to focus on drawing and creating costumes for my dolls. I began playing at the theatre and was more and more getting more and more into painting.

I also worked as a model for several painters and photographers who shared my joy in artistic work. My curiosity and fun in experimenting paved my way to other branches of art, expressing myself in all kind of combinations of painting, photography, costumes and later video art. Creating virtual spaces for art and having an environment to develop my ideas is my conception of well-being.

In recent years, photography has developed to a more dominating part in my work, following a phase focusing on painting. My shootings not only consist of taking photos but combining the whole framework to one piece of art. Selecting and preparing the right location, creating the make-up and hairstyle of my models, the whole preparation of costumes, from hat to shoes.

Since 2000, I have mainly refined my costumes and design creations. Taking part at the Berliner Carneval of Cultures, the Recycling Art Festival and similar events I had plenty opportunities to present my artistic ambitions in shows and performances.

Mainly, my costumes are put together out of recycling materials such as paper, old fabrics, film, and wrapping material – classical recycling art in a fashion setting.

From 2001 on my interest in motion pictures grew and I started to produce and ut my own material. First, I shooted my dolls, my costumes, fashion events and music festivals, later I cooperated with several bands projects and created music videos.

Other activities are dance performances and action art, construction of object art ort he organisation of art saloons and exhibitions.

As a support of my ideas behind my artwork I write small stories and poetry for them.

It has always been very important for me to touch people with my work of art, helping them to escape out of their daily life for a moment, diving into a fantasy world with them.

All these areas of costumes / hat design, photography, video and dance are getting combined to one comprehensive piece of art in my work – impossible to separate them once again. All together offer a wonderful platform for expressing my ideas and thoughts.

Ech year, I get new experiences, but I have not reached my aim yet, there is so much more to do: experimenting, working passionately, learning, practicing and letting grow my love for art.

For my further development and necessary for professional work, it is extremely important for me, to collect more and more experiences and keeping up my high level of artistic activity. For that, it is most important to keeping my artistic freedom. Only with freedom in that manner, creativity can flow and produce those versatile results.

The connection of art and fashion is very important for me. There are so many ways to express your ideas. My love to fashion has always been a significant impulse. I like to wear fashion and I transport these metamorphoses – quite similar to those in stage art – in my photo- and video world.

This metamorphosis, slipping into another character, is a very enlightened moment for me. My models sometimes completely change their behaviour, how the move, their gestures when they wear my creations. Together with the location, the lighting, all this together, forms the atmosphere I try to catch with my artwork. Creating that moment when everything fits together needs a very sensitive and exact way of observing the setting. Often, I feel a bit like a director such as I shoot a movie, creating a complete other world. Art and fashion, they both belong together in such moments, it is impossible for me to separate them. They seem to meet each other in that place where I see my art and go into fruitful combination.

In my artwork fashion, art and eroticism always amalgamate. Nudity itself is just boring in my opinion. Only what is uncommon opens up the mind.

Fashion is a fantastic helping tool for discover your own sexuality, for self determination and to design a more playful image of oneself. One, which speaks to onself as well to the world.


And, most important, we wear fashion directly on our skin! By using uncommon materials, the strong impact of this interplay with our largest sensual organ can even be increased. Erotic is always a game with accessories, may it be a hat, a piece of cloth or anything else. You don’t need much to present erotic more impressively, but for my settings I prefer erotic with a more elegant style. Aesthetic plays in an important role for me. But that’s just my personal taste.

First, I write down all my ideas and concepts for a year and refine them to an overall setting. In the meantime, I have to be flexible enough for interesting and remittance work which can be quite a challenge. Clearly, I cannot take any offered opportunity due to time constraints and my own projects always go first. Especially in 2007 I am also planning an exhibition which will absorb even more time I could offer for other projects. Unfortunately, that will mainly affect no-budget jobs since it is once again time to improve my equipment at least a bit. Working for others too soon burns your own energy and in the end your own artistic work suffers the most and remains unfinished. Many forget that identify as an artist not as a service provider who has to obey her clients. That is one of the topics I clearly have to point out at the moment.

Coming back to the conception of my shootings, I think I always start with choosing the right model to the theme I have in mind. Then I explore several locations in my surrounding. I much more prefer working open air, since I really love natural light belonging to the year’s season which often plays a crucial role. Then I select suitable requisites, sew the costumes or redesign already existing costumes out of my closet.
Many factors play a role, inspiration by the models, costumes, photo places, ideas, music and tendencies, the seasons, which books and films interest me straight.
The MUSE me kisses.

There are many different factors I take into consideration for that, my inspiration grows and develops while I select models, costumes, while I listen to music, read literature and watch movies – enjoying the change of nature over seasons and explore unknown places in and around the city.

Quite often I do the make up for the models on my own – ranging from body painting, hair styling to small accessories. Together with my assistant we often need more than an hour to prepare the location. For 2007, I plan a collaboration with a hair and make up stylist. That doesn’t mean that I will only do the shooting in the future. All this preparation work is a lot of fun for me and I see any kind of fusion with other artists as an opportunity to exchange ideas and widen each others’ horizon. Most costumes and hats are my own creations and I will definitely go on in designing.

For me it is very important that I work with models who like themselves the way they are. In my opinion, each human being is unique, no matter if skinny or fat. I absolutely refuse this slimming craze which is sadly so popular today.

Particularly men and women in front of a camera should have enough self confidence to accept their body; nobody I work with should suffer on a strict diet. To get good pictures it is so important to have models with self esteem and a strong personality.

My project „Divas“ is about that topic: a woman shall have the right to be woman, with a female body shape, just as nature has given it to us. A strong feminine natural body, without any artificial deformation such as breast implantations – isn’t that what we all love?

It is really important for me to work with models who love to experiment with me, who have enough courage to discover both beauty and ugliness and find new ways of crossing borders together with me. The old question about what is beauty is something I could discuss for hours. Behind our so often superficial understanding of beauty is such a huge surreal realm of netherworlds which don’t care about beauty standards.
I always aspire to work in long terms together with some models. I love the idea of a muse and her artist. For me, that’s the highest level of artistic collaboration. If a model has charisma, everything else is unimportant. Exactly those models with charisma enlighten me and lead to an inspiring work.
.
Moreover, it is vital for me to have models which are credible and in time, have some sense of humor, enjoy the shooting even it is hard work some time and who have the same joy in the results that I have. I would like to say: those who enjoy going out for walk with me in the garden of art.


"a photography never shows the truth" Richard Avedon

In 2006 I did a break in video art to gain back my creativity after a year full of video art with artists such as the Italian industrial project Bahntier, which was at the beginning a present for my friend Stefano (Bahntier), but then developed to an official project. I still love this kind of work combined with the music I really enjoy and I created several other music videos for other bands after that.

After that I had the impression that I really needed a break and putting more energy in my main fields photography and costume design.

Specifically, I was looking to new ways of expressing myself in video art. My former work didn’t satisfy me anymore. I think, many artists know that feeling when you have the impression that you need a breakthrough out of old schemes.

In 2007 I will come back to video art. I already have some new concepts in mind which will much more focus on my costume art, other cutting methods and content.

The topic plays a very specific role. Particularly, my project “paradise birds” plays with it. For me, the idea of defining gender is unimportant, the opposite is often the case, I love to cross traditional gender borders.

What is pretended to be male can be transferred to a female attitude and vice versa. Exactly that moment is so fascinating: what impact does our education have on our understanding of what is male or female. Do men wear trousers or women, it’s all about societal norms and rules somebody once has created.

I like it, if a man shows his feminine aspects, wears women clothes or a woman showing male associated behavior.

When we go on a virtual time travel of fashion we see so many interesting variants, men with high heels and long hair, women long before Marlene Dietrich with trousers.

In fact, this has been a topic for me for years, as well as the topic hermaphrodite is in my mind for years already. Call it transgender, transvestite or whatever, everything beside the standard norms rouses my interest. It’s so courageous and nevertheless is confronted by such a strong wall of intolerance and disgust. I can’t understand that and for that reason I feel the urge of compensate my discontent by handling the topic in my work – to show that there is so much more between black and white.

That’s true. There are so many thing I love, among them those time travels. Time periods such as Baroque, Rococo, but also the Antique, the 20s, 30s, 40s up to the 60s, not to forget the 19th century, truly boost my inspiration. I am also really impressed by fairy tales, specifically old Russian fairy tales. Nevertheless I feel affiliated with surreal art – Dali is very often in my mind. I admire him such as many artists of that time. They were just brilliant, so strong and powerful – I could dedicate an homage to them every day.




I am addicted to the fascination of black / white photography since I am a child. It’s so wonderful to discover again and again impressive photographers, pioneers photo art of the old days.

But also the play with colours in photography is so often seducing me. Maybe, this is still an impact of times when I was mainly painting, an I often think that I will one day turn back to painting.

My love to literature and movies, to theatre and ballet is somthing I realize o these time travels, as well as my love to old architecture. I am very curious and open for many new things, I don’t like to be determined, just absorbing everything new and then let it flow freely again as creativity.

I especially like biographies of other artists or just hedonist. For poetry I enjoy reading Russian poets. There are so many photo books I love to have a look at. But still, I am open for anything new, just everything what can catch my attention at that moment, for example right now I am reading a book by Garcia Lorca called “Life behind the masks”.

It would extend this interview to mention everything I like in literature, so this is just a small fragment I can mention.

I don’t have the time for the cinema anymore, There aren’t that many movies I really like, most of the film industry is completely industrialized and small non budget projects have a difficult standing. For most commercial productions it seems that it wouldn’t have been a huge loss to humanity if these movies hadn’t been shot and instead the money had been donated to poor countries or elsewhere. So many of these mainstream movies aim for nothing.

For that reason, I am always looking for interesting productions, beside mainstream. Fortunately, they still exist and it is such a pleasure to discover them. That really makes me happy.

At the moment I enjoy Fellini’s film „Casanova“. Among my favorites you can also find Directors such as Peter Greenaway and movies such as The Cremaster by Matthew Barney. Anyway, I am also fond of movies from the 40s.

As with everything else, I am always looking for new experiences, something what inspires me, what affects me. If anything touches me, it is this driving force, may it be cinema, music or theatre.

Music is something wonderful for me, without music my life would be empty. My taste has already changed that often. At the moment I discover the 80s, trash, punk, glam etc again. Trance, Industrial / Noise and classic are continuously by my side.

Right now, I can’t say anything concrete, all projects are still under development. One sure thing is a project with a band from Italy and one from the Netherlands. On my costume / video section I also consider a project; same goes for my fashion in which I will have a cooperation with an interesting designer.



Many requests come from artists in and around Berlin, but also from the US and France. But in fact, I don’t like to talk about future projects, being a bit cautious that many things you are talking to much about in advance won’t be realized in the end. I prefer letting the brainstorm flow and see what happens. If there is anything happening all information will be immediately on my homepage.

Many new models and muses have asked for upcoming projects and collaborations, but for most of them, I won’t have the time to realize the ideas.

Two themes are quite sure for 2007. One is a costume show with video art and dancing.
I will produce a new video and the music will be by an Italian music project again.

The other topic is creating a photo book. So many people in my surrounding asked for a photo book that I think that 2007 the time has come to look for a publisher.

Still, I will continue with my long term photo projects: In the garden of La P., L’Hommage Elsa Schiaparelli, the Paradise birds and the sailors and the drunken girls.

For me, art is more than a dream. I love art, art is just a part of my life, like the air I breath, the bread I eat or the water I drink. Without art I would be just unhappy. I can’t imagine living without art, without expressing myself with my work. Art is my source of power, my energy, the special sense in life which justifies my existence.

Art is my most long lasting love, my never ending passion. (Something any man should consider who tries to conquer my heart)

Glory and fame are not interesting for me at all. That has nothing to do with my driving force. People who honestly enjoy and admire my art as well as those who don’t do so, I can clearly accept that, are important for me.

It is much more important for me to collaborate with interesting people. I love my muses and my models. They make me happy, enriching my life by my art. That’s the sort of happiness you can’t buy by money.

Living in the realm of fantasy is so wonderful itself, being able to share this feelings is so much more desirable than anything else. Nobody knows where the journey will lead us, where our ideas and inspiration will end up, having that deep feeling of freedom and creativity always by your side.

I am even more looking forward to my future travels, I am so curious what will happen – keeping up the excitement of the surprise which waits for me tomorrow.

Tina Cassati, Berlin January 2007

The foto-video-costume-artist Tina Cassati deals with the conversion of the music-video-fashion-costume-dance-vocal-performance (digital foto-video-art) and loves to work with musicians and bands. A multi-media based platform for new art. She is inspired by the surrealists and dadaists of the old days as well as by todays modern world.

WITH TINA CASSATI IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE FUSION OF FASHION, ART AND EROTICA

FASHION HELPS PEOPLE TO DETERMINE THEMSELVES, TO DEFINE AND FIND OUT ABOUT THEIR OWN SEXUALITY, TO DRAW A PLAYFUL PICTURE OF THE SELF THAT SPEAKS TO ITSELF AS WELL AS TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD.
WE WEAR FASHION DIRECTLY ON OUR BODIES
THE ARTFUL USE OF „UNUSUAL FABRICS“ IN THIS CASE USED MATERIALS LIKE FOILS FROM THE COSTUME SERIES PRINCESSA 2303 (RECYCLING ART) MADE AND IMPLEMENTED PHOTOGRAPHICALLY AND EROTICALLY BY TINA CASSATI.
A CURRENT PROJECT IS THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REALIZATION OF SELF WRITTEN FAIRY TALES AND MYTH-LIKE TEXTS WHICH SPRING FROM HER SELF-CREATED COSTUME WORLD
FASHION AS ART FORM
WE CAN BE EXCITED

2 Comments:

Anonymous Sue said...

I like your blog, it’s always fun to come back and check what you have to tell us today.

8:45 AM  
Blogger vaporcloud said...

Tina is certainly a great surrealist artist, whose work i have followed for a few years.... Veristes

1:55 AM  

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