Can you tell me a little bit about you?
I am working in Geneva, where I studied at Head, the school of art and design. I was recently awarded a studio at L’Usine by the Fond Municipal d’Art Contemporain, so I work there. There’s a nice view. I liked studying at Head because we were very free and had lots of discussions with the teachers.
When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?
I don’t remember a particular AAAAH moment. I just always had to somehow express what I felt. Now I draw and paint and do sculptures and all that, but maybe that the Lord of the Rings fan art, or the little rap songs I used to write and show to nobody, were just as valid, for me.
What do you like most about working where you do?
The view, the people, it’s a safe space, I spend more time there than in the little room I rent.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
I’ve always been interested in how your social environment and the institutions you go through shape you, your way of thinking and how they basically fuck you up. I am very interested in work, art as being work and how we create an emotional and maybe social value that is, in order to be a “successful” artist, transformed into economic value.
What is your process like?
I read read read and search search search and do things in a lot of mediums, which I then confront to a second step and a third step, and the survivors of that process are my work.
I am currently working on a rap song about how I got fired from a private school. Its text went through that exact process.
What is your favorite material to work with, and why?
It depends. I love to draw and write, because its very close to the process of thinking, very direct, it does not forgive easily. But I recently made a papier-mâché chair painted as a trompe l’oeil and added a portrait of the French president made out of bubble-gum… that was fun to do.
How significant has attending art school been on your practice?
Maybe it wasn’t necessary.
What is the last thing you read?
“Maintenant” by the comité invisible, a bunch of french anti-capitalist activists.
What are you passionate about?
I want to create relations and increase the intensity of living and try to fight this very depressing way of withering away that our society tries to force us into. It’s not easy, and we all have our paradoxes, but I want my work and my life to strive towards that.
Is there any subject or theme you’ve been particularly interested in lately?
Yew, the work of reverend Ethan Acres, of Nathan Serrano and how to make performances that express what I mentioned before.
What is the most surprising response you’ve received about your work from someone?
“It seems to have been made by a woman.”
How do you spend your time when you’re not making work?
Reading, fucking, drinking, alimentary job, trying to make real friends.
How has your work evolved over the last few years?
I started out with drawing, then painting, then I stopped and made performances, masks and sculpture, and now I do it all, depending on how relevant it is at the moment.
Do you have a day job or other work that you split your time between?
Yes, I teach visual arts to adolescents once a week. But school is a terrible place.
Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?
Mike Kelley, Paul Thek, P-orridge and my friends.
Is there any piece of advice you would offer to others?
Don’t let your desires be the desires of others.
What do you do when you’re find yourself in a creative rut, or feeling unsure about what direction to go?
What does it mean to you to have a “community?”
Be with several people who love you enough to accept your mistakes, and respect each other.
Find more at paulhutzli.com and on Instagram @paulhutzli!
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