A conversation with Ida Idaida

Artist Ida Idaida (II) in conversation with curator Annie Jensen (AJ)

AJ: Tell me about your artistic process, what influences you and your work?

II: It started with myself and mental problems; I have various types of memories, images, thoughts and ideas, which were a lot to handle and it limited me. To utilise this and apply it, work, research and production became a way for me to deal with my contorted thoughts and physical symptoms. I had a power and energy that I had to direct outwards, so not to obliterate myself. Since then, I have worked with handicrafts, images, sculpture, electronics, drawings, sound, spatiality: wrought through everything I could get my hands on, in order to establish inner processes beyond myself.

AJ: You have been awarded the grant, in part, for your installations, a sort of advanced machinery that you create yourself and which seem to exist in some kind of interpersonal state. What is your view about these creations? Are they alive or simply inanimate material?

II: I probably consider them affected material, a link in the chain of cause and effect. The structure is intimately allied with the material; the material bears the structure. For example, a structure that handles flies, living and dead, that structure is nothing without its flies and inside that structure the flies are no longer just flies. In the case where flies carry contagion, I am interested in the contagion, the spread of that contagion (the interpersonal) and the behaviours that are part of transmission (how we affect each other). The material is the means and not an end in itself. And all creatures consist of various components and are driven by their own logic and their world is based upon their abilities. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

AJ: When I saw your work, I was struck at first by its harsh and serious nature and expression. It feels like you approach theworks at your own risk. But alongside the macabre, brutal and uncomfortable, there is also something playful. What can you say about this oscillation between the horrid and the playful in your art?

II: “Nothing is comic, everything is tragic; nothing is tragic, everything is comic.” I read that in a book when I was 15. As a quote it has also become a sort of key to a pathetic freedom: an indifference to events. Everybody alive must live; we go on living regardless of the circumstances. In a way, we have to rearrange reality, however horrible, into something bearable and this is done through mental processes. Inventiveness and fantasies: objectively it is comical how we mitigate circumstances and tell ourselves lies. When I have to choose between two awful alternatives, comedy becomes a third hidden path that creates a parallel universe. A little opening, to gasp for air, or rather to create a small dose of self-determination and autonomy. Humour is a way of creating something endurable, something within oneself that cannot be owned by others.