“No Vacancy” Featuring Nicola Kurperus and 19 Artists Closes February 20th

“No Vacancy” Featuring Nicola Kurperus and 19 Artists Closes February 20th

The “No Vacancy” exhibition closes Saturday February 20th at The Butchers Daughter . Don’t miss your last chance to see artists Michael Anderson, Michael Bevilacqua, Erik den Breejen, Brock Enright, Jack Featherly, Jonah Freeman, Kate Gilmore, Andrew Guenther, Kent Henricksen, Sissel Kardel, Nicola Kuperus, Justin Lowe, Shannon Lucy, Guy Overfelt, Zak Smith, Michael St. John, Valaire Van Slyck, Johannes Vanderbeek, Wendy White and Sherry Wong.

If you haven’t had the chance, catch up on The Prime Cuts blog, it features new interviews and with No Vacancy artists such as Michael Anderson, Guy Overfelt, Nicola Kurperus and more.

The following is an interview with Nicola Kurperus was conducted by The Butchers Daughter:

Artist. Photographer. Musician. Filmmaker. Collaborator.
Nicola Kurperus (b. 1975 Salem, MA) earned her BFA from Detroit’s College for Creative Studies in 1998. I got down to the brass tacks with her about making art, collaboration challenges and all those women.

alt textLuxury No. 1, 2009, Edition 1 of 5, Archival Print , Framed, 26×30”

TBD:
One constant in your work is highly stylized females. Describe how fashion affects your photography. Do these scenarios occur to you or does one inspire the other?

NK:
Fashion rarely affects or inspires me.  Ultimately, It’s the most
annoying and difficult aspect in my work.  I work very hard for the image to feel timeless and fashionless. Landscape greatly affects me. Luxury No.1 (above) is a great example. From the moment I walked in that boat storage house my mind was scheming on how I could get access to that space. It’s not always like that, many times the idea of the shot comes to me long before I find the landscape. I sketch it out and then search out the landscape. Women are always important.  I’m not interested in just shooting a landscape photo, and I’m not interested in using the male figure, at least not a male figure that looks like a stereotypical male figure.

TBD:
All those dead women: are you killing female archetypes?


NK:
I’m not killing anyone. I am a woman making art.  I don’t title myself a feminist.  What I create is a reflection of myself and how I feel towards what surrounds me.  My images are lonely. They are dark.  They are humorous, awkward and beautiful.  Sometimes I struggle with my brain, to figure out their true meaning or purpose.  Probably, just as much as I struggle with figuring out the whole point to all of this non-sense.

alt textDragging, 2008, The Decampment Trilogy,
includes limited 7″ record by ADULT. , Edition of 100, 16×20”

TBD:
You and your husband work tirelessly as collaborators in your band ADULT. Could you talk a bit about The Decampment Trilogy (above/below)?
NK:
Decampment is one of the accomplishments of Adult. that I am most proud of.  It’s a film we made and we score the soundtrack live to it when it’s played.  The only way to see the film is to attend the performance.  There is no DVD or YouTube of it.  There are also three 7″ records and three 16×20” color photographs, that when all put together tell the story of Decampment. This is available for purchase.

So far, we’ve shown Decampment in only 3 cities, Detroit (Detroit Institute of the Arts), New York (Film Anthology Archives), and LA (Silent Movie Theatre).  The biggest problem with this project is finding a venue that has both live PA facilities, along with seating and a movie screen.  We may be taking it this summer to the Hammer Museum in LA which is exciting.

TBD:
Working collaboratively can be really hard; what is the biggest creative challenge you’ve faced and how have you overcome it?

NK:
We just scored a soundtrack to a full-length independent film entitled Open in August, which was just selected as a film for this years 2010 Berlinale Film Festival. We came into the project with the understanding that the director was looking for the soundtrack to be light, yet engaging and primarily piano based.  The film is very somber at times.  It was mentally draining working in this sad tone tirelessly for a month solid.  We are more inclined to make aggressive or horror based music.  Neither one of us had any idea what a struggle
it would be to work in this somber palette and what strife it would cause between the two of us.  The music was making both of us incredibly depressed.  We over came it by finishing it.

After 13 years of making music together, we’ve “mostly” learned to keep conflict in the studio.  Once you leave the studio you switch gears. Sometimes easier said then done, many bands and marriages don’t always survive this long.

alt textBurning, 2008, The Decampment Trilogy
includes limited 7″ record by ADULT. Edition of 100, 16×20”

TBD:
If you could go back in time, in which decade would you like to live/work?

NK:
I like this question. I would go back to the mid 20s thru 30s…  to the surrealist time.  Last year, a friend sent me the biography on Lee Miller.  Wow. Great read. I know that everything in the past is always romanticized, but I feel like there was so much energy during this time and between such a large group of artists.  It was a time when people were united and working together against the rules of society.  I think unfortunately, the surrealist movement gets a bad rap because every high school art student only learns of Salvador Dali.

TBD:
Name a local establishment that provides an authentic Detroit experience.


NK:
I’m not quite sure what an authentic “Detroit” experience is … Value Village (World) on Woodward… My post office on Milwaukee?  I would have to say the one place I am the most proud of and thankful for would be Avalon.  These great ladies, Jackie and Ann, started their bakery when there wasn’t much of anything around including customers. And now it’s an example to so many other businesses that if you bring something great to Detroit it will survive, no matter what your statistic chart tells you – so suck it Trader Joe’s. But, once again  it’s so hard to pick…  We really do have some very special places.  I love Detroit.  I hate Detroit.  There is so much passion here in Detroit, it’s sick, and when the night is right in Detroit, that one night alone makes up for the whole damn year.