Purple Magazine
— S/S 2015 issue 23

Andra Ursuta

_E9A2771_Final potrait by Jeremy Liebman

MAURIZIO CATTELAN’s women artists interview series
in collaboration with MARTA PAPINI


All artworks courtesy of Massimo de Carlo and Ramiken Crucible


MAURIZIO CATTELAN — When did you start thinking of yourself as an artist? Is it something you can desire when you’re a child, such as being an astronaut or a dancer?
ANDRA URSUTA — I didn’t know you could be an artist when I was a child. It was not a concept that existed in my environment. I still don’t feel comfortable calling myself one to my face.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — How would you describe your practice?
ANDRA URSUTA — Hatred followed by self-loathing. Also, a shame spiral.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — How do you start a work? Opening a new tab, opening a new book, opening a new Skype conversation, or…?
ANDRA URSUTA — I have lots of ideas, and every once in a while one comes along that makes me uncomfortable, one I’d rather not think about. Ideas like that turn into works. I start by doing a Google search of a simple description of my idea, like “flattened body cast covered in cum,” or “tongue floor cleaner,” and take it from there.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — How do you decide a work is finished?
ANDRA URSUTA — I try to stop when the work is one step away from becoming cheesy or pleasing.
II.9 Broken Obelisk, 2013, aqua, resin and chair
MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Is there a piece you regret having created? What is the biggest mistake you could make in your work?
ANDRA URSUTA — I’ve regretted making almost every piece at one point or another, but the artworks I enjoy the most are mistakes, or seem like a bad idea.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Do you worry about audience reaction while thinking through a new work?
ANDRA URSUTA — No, it’s very hard for me to imagine other people looking at something I’ve made. That seems completely unreal to me.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — What do you get from art? What would you like others to get?
ANDRA URSUTA — Something about imagining that you are someone else and making things up as if you were that other person.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Is fear involved in your work?
ANDRA URSUTA — Yes. You could say that the fear of death is my life force.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Is there any space left for humor?
ANDRA URSUTA — As long as it’s followed by discomfort. Also, humor is impotence repackaged as entertainment and therefore very important.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — What is your view of contemporary art today? Is contemporary art a panacea for all that ails the world?
ANDRA URSUTA — I don’t have a view of it. I think this is why I try to make it. It’s an anomaly that I don’t understand. Is it a magic wand against the evils in the world? It’s definitely not a magic wand against them.
URSUTA_NATURALBORNARTIST_2012 NATURAL BORN ARTIST, 2012, concrete , steel and urethane
MAURIZIO CATTELAN — What do you think is lacking at the art world’s table? And what is in surplus?
ANDRA URSUTA — The head of Marina Abramovic. For the second question, white people.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Do you think the art world is still a masculine world? If yes, what do you think is the right antidote?
ANDRA URSUTA — I believe the art world is still very macho. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a good way of dealing with it other than trying to be even more macho, which is a losing battle.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Would you define your work as gender-related?
ANDRA URSUTA — I find that it’s somewhat gender-capped.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Does art need any explanation? Isn’t it all about the attention people bring to it?
ANDRA URSUTA — Attention is not the same as meaning. I enjoy explanations, as contemporary art can sometimes make me feel stupid.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Is making art an urgent matter for you?
ANDRA URSUTA — I am a compulsive manual worker, and I make artworks with the same urgency that I used to apply to all the day jobs I’ve held in the past.
nosejob_timothyschenck_d Nose Job, 2013, marble and wheel barrow
MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Is there a work by another artist that you wish you had made?
ANDRA URSUTA — I really wish I were the maker of the Shroud of Turin.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Are you interested in fashion? Is being an artist in the ’10s like being a top model in the ’90s?
ANDRA URSUTA — In an ideal world, we’d all be wearing uniforms. I don’t know enough about the ’90s to answer the rest, because I spent them in Romania.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — How would you define yourself today?
ANDRA URSUTA — At the moment, I am looking for a socially acceptable way to wear a rubber hijab whenever I leave the house.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
ANDRA URSUTA — I come from a line of women that die early — so hopefully alive.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Have you ever considered quitting?
ANDRA URSUTA — ’90s top models never quit.

[Table of contents]

S/S 2015 issue 23

Table of contents

purple EDITO

purple NEWS






purple BEAUTY

purple LOVE

purple TRAVEL

purple SEX


purple TRAVEL

purple NIGHT

purple STORY


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