Andreas Liebmann – Phantoms of Stability (Denmark)

Concerned with the subjects of space, community and possibilities of meeting, interacting and existing in different environments, I meet Andreas Liebmann in Tårnby Park, location of his artistic practice and research, which involves performing workshops, an arts festival, artistic residencies, and his own artistic responses to the work he’s been developing in this area.

Andreas Liebmann speaks of Artistic Research as an approach to going in deeper into the environment which inspires a practice, and responding in various tempos to this collected knowledge. “It is not a theoretical research where at the end I have an internal box of new knowledge, it is something that is out there in the world.”

“I would say the product of artistic research is always there, and you have another temporality.” How what you’re working on, researching, investigating, needs not result in a piece of art, but in a combination of writings, methods, talks, conversation, so this allows for a more in-depth understanding of what one is attempting to investigate.

In Imaginations for a Place, Liebmann focused on finding out which type of artistic practices, and which imaginations fit best, for possibilities of meeting in and around an artistic environment for his own neighborhood, Tårnby.

The questions of aesthetic quality in a situation of a meeting with people and artistic practice were central in his second artistic research project, Imaging the Social, which later shifted into the actual how-to of creating a space, a place, what this means and what its consequences are.

In Liebmann’s current artistic research, Phantom of Stability, he questions what makes an experimental artistic institution dealing with social environments and concrete meetings of the “neighbors” of such space, what makes an institution stable or not, and the fact that phantom institutions can appear and disappear or mold themselves in responses to the environment around them.

Referring to the process of artistic research, Liebmann explains:

“When I am in a state of doing artistic research, I am in a state which is very close to my private body. I am stepping out into another field, and this brings my performance body to my private body and relaxes my artistic mind as well. The temporality, the time-span that one needs for artistic research relaxes my artistic mindset as well. When you do artistic research, you need the experience of art-making, but it also has a relaxing effect”.

“My artistic research is very much concerned to artistic relations and concrete places, where I would not be if I weren’t doing artistic research. So this takes my brain and body to another environment, allows me to get information from other people, and makes me connected to the world. This information nurtures me when I melt down experiences into an artistic process that then becomes an art piece. When I do perform, I then experience the audience closer, because of my artistic research. It is worlding me”.

One of my central questions regarding artistic research is how it relates to sustainable practices. On this subject, Liebmann shares from his own experience:

“It alters the economic speed. I spend much more time waiting. Relaying on things that are lying around, recycling what is already there: relations to people an environment, the empty spaces nobody else is using. This takes away the stress of production. I seriously think that in our hyper-capitalistic structured art-world we have too much art, too many art products, so many who need to prove their creativity and mediate their creativity, and artistic research is a very luxurious and healthy way to rethink what is important.

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