One of the key themes at Unseen Amsterdam 2017 is the idea of collaboration and working together. As a new addition to our programme, Unseen CO-OP will showcase the work of 13 innovative artist collectives from around the globe. To introduce them to you, we have compiled CO-OP Insights, where we talk to each group to find out what motivates their collaborative working processes.
This week, we turn our attention to Live Wild, made up of seven young artists from six different countries, working with collage, gifs, video and photography. Brought together by their mutual artistic aims and similar aesthetic tastes, Live Wild produce work triggers debate about political and social issues. Using a visual language that tests the boundaries between reality and fantasy, they collectively explore topics of fate, femininity, religion, memory, cultural heritage and identity.
What is the main reason you formed the collective?
The collective was founded by Camille Lévêque in the summer of 2014 after long discussions with Lila Khosrovian and Anna Hahoutoff about art networks, visibility, and the difficulty of working alone. For some of us, who were just coming out of education, we were entering the working world without extensive experience, strong portfolios or good professional connections. By working through this together, we grew into a strong and united team. Even when our work differs, our approach, analysis and taste are usually in tune with one another. Sharing a platform allows us to show our work to a broader audience and the dynamic of the group also helps us to try out new mediums. We all have different strengths, so we are able to help each other with writing, editing, translation, Photoshop, and other technicalities. It was important for us to create a platform where artists from very different backgrounds can produce works that communicate smoothly and shed some light on countries that are under represented, such as Armenia, Russia and Ukraine. We have big ambitions as a collective, but hope to grow individually too, thanks to the group dynamic.
Photo: from the series The Price Of A Black Life In America’, 2015 © Ina Lounguine/LIVE WILD
What sets you apart from other collectives?
Most collectives seem to follow a clear or united visual identity. We share influences, topics and approaches, but all of our work differs. For instance, some of us work exclusively with collage, and others work with video or photography. We work separately and together; currently we are preparing a large group project that involves us all, but we are also working on our own individual projects. We share a database, as well as various other tools and gear which facilitate many aspects of our practices. Our website is definitely our most powerful tool to exhibit and introduce our work and we define its visual identity altogether – we want to stand out with our platform and offer something different from what is usually seen. Finally, most collectives usually gather artists from one region or city, so that they have a shared background, but we come from all over the place and represent very different cultures.
© Marguerite Horay
Could you give us an insight into what you have in store for Unseen CO-OP 2017?
For Unseen CO-OP 2017, we are putting together limited editions prints, books, posters and other goodies that we have produced recently. It is a very exciting step for us to produce nice editions of our work and to be able to share them with an audience. We will also create an immersive booth which will contain personal objects and books to emphasise the intimate nature of our works. This will be accompanied by a new series, as well as new video works and digital content displayed on screens in the booth.