Can you tell me a little bit about you?
My Name is Magdalena, and I studied Printmaking and Fine Arts foremost in Vienna, and at the moment I am based in Vienna also. I am interested in form and color, my practice is genuinely very much based on material – as I am currently engaged in ideas and notions such as power, propaganda and equality, I find repetition and transformation as methods interesting.
Within all that I struggle a lot when it comes to making sense within art production – so my practice is also related to literature, theory and social issues. I am always trying to find new ways in print and I enjoy working in collaboration.
When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?
I painted a lot as a child and later in school. A few days ago I saw a screen background of a friends phone. It was a picture of “Venus of Willendorf”, which is a rather small figurine estimated to have been made more than 30,000 years ago. I think that figurine was one of the few „sculptures” my father knew, he talked about it a lot though. Always I have been stunned by handicraft, and excited by building things – not relevant if art or not. Another huge part was I think, that at some point I really wanted to be my own boss.
What do you like most about working where you do?
I work in a studio in the west of Vienna, our direct neighbor is a construction material store, which is great of course. The area is unpretentious, I think that is great. I share the studio with several sculptors and designers, we do organize ourselves collectively. So I am lucky to work in a nicely equipped workshop (wood, metal, screen print, …), in a nice working atmosphere.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
I am a printmaker, in fact – so, making prints is sort of what I do. Currently my practice is very much characterized by the intent to develop ways of contemporary printmaking. The very controlled working process plus the given of coincidence, probably as immanent as control in making prints – for me constitutes printmaking as a medium, that has to be dealt with a certain awareness. How information is inscribed onto whatever material it in the end can be, influences the form, the content and the perception. I am deeply interested in possible ways of sensitive automatization and how that could be integrated in the process of printmaking.
What is your process like?
Process is crucially important in my work, but it also really differs. Usually I start sketching either analog or digital. Next is to edit and plan the work digitally, before I do all the preparations to print or to realize the sketch I made in the first place. Finishing one work can also take several months, since I need to do some research, read and then work in the studio crosswise.
What is your favorite material to work with, and why?
Paper wood metal because it feels so good to work with.
What is the last thing you read?
Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s Mushroom at the End of the World
A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes.
What are you passionate about?
Uf, so many things. Today I rediscovered having a solid walk on a sunny day due to the limited mobility at the moment, plus recently I have an increasing interested for playing cards.
Is there any subject or theme you’ve been particularly interested in lately?
Achieving new depths within making prints either socially, technically or textually.
Propaganda as a form, especially in combination with publishing and printmaking. I am very much inspired by Jonas Staal, a dutch artist who argues that the „possibility of an emancipatory propaganda art“ is to be sounded out.
Subsequently I am interested in the idea of sensitive picture making – using whilst analyzing images and symbols in their transition, in order to collectively construct new realities. And the complex of contemporary fascism.
How has your work evolved over the last few years?
The main shift was to „come back“ to printmaking very intensively. It is important for me to be always very aware to try out new things – new material basically. The process is probably also very driven by material – or, maybe also then again the ideas I am developing. It’s a shimmering relationship I guess.
Do you have a day job or other work that you split your time between?
I have always been working, had several day jobs – currently I am working in a very nice café around the corner of my studio. So far, I am a confessed enthusiast about none art related side jobs. Of course I’d like it better to not have more than one job after all, but I am clearly very thankful to also have made those experiences.
What do you do when you’re find yourself in a creative rut, or feeling unsure about what direction to go?
I try not to panic and write lists. And I go outside a lot.
What does it mean to you to have a “community?”
As I work in a shared studio I am always also connected to my colleges also artistically. It absolutely influences me, my work and how I think about art in general. Not only I find it necessary, I think I can be very lucky and I know that working together is very beneficial.
What is your studio like?
We share a space with a size around 200 square meters. As already mentioned, it is located very charmingly in a sweet neighborhood in Vienna, we managed to equip our workshop very nicely, so I think it is actually a lovely studio place.
Do you have any routines or rituals in the studio that get you into the mode or mindset to make your work?
I am an early bird. Go there in the mornings, have coffee, change into working clothes and work. Not every day but most of the days minus the days I don’t spend with office work or wage labour.
How significant has attending art school been on your practice?
I did study Printmaking and Fine Arts. Studying art is weird in a way – but actually as I see it, an artistic education can be a very luckily organized symbioses of practice and theory.
What do you find most daunting, challenging, or frustrating about pursuing art?
The current situation shows very clearly how precarious living as an artist may be. Institutions, museums, galleries everything is closed. I am not sure if my work as an artist is urgent enough to leave the house. In general the art market is most certainly as unequally distributed as the capitalist patriarchal system we are moving through. Only a few benefit. That is what makes us nervous and helpless.
Organize collectively. Stay calm and think very clearly.
How would you define “success” in art?
Staying healthy within the struggle <3
What is the most exciting thing you’ve done or accomplished so far, related to your work?
At the moment I am very fortunate to receive a state scholarship to intensify my practice over some time. Solely because I can concentrate more on projects 🙂
Are you involved in any collaborative or self-organized projects?
I did some collaborations – at the moment there are some which are not official yet. My last collective project was an exhibition with my dear friend and artist Marie Reichel (pictured in the first three images in the above carousel, photos courtesy of Marie Reichel). We were invited me to do this beautiful show „Passing Through Sweet Dark Places“ in Vienna last summer together.
What are you working on right now?
I am in quarantine because of Covid 19. At the moment I do office work that spared up for days like these.
Apart from that I am working on a Print Series called “Pointing Pairs” that tries to analyze power relations. From another perspective I am recently planning a riso-printed book, working on some metal sculptures, .. There is a lot to come!