We are diving deep into the imaginary world of Hannah Epstein to find out the songs she knows by heart and her ideal eating scenario, we gathered a selection of tv shows to watch this rainy fall season carefully recommended by Bieke Bunckinx and we found out what Fatima de Juan listens to when she is painting in her studio. This month we are back with a special edition of fresh and new recommendations by some of the participating artists of the exhibition “Food Obsession” curated by Urvanity Projects. Keep reading to discover their favorite music, movies, books and of course, in honor of the exhibition, food!
FÁTIMA DE JUAN
Fátima de Juan (1984) is a Spanish painter whose artistic roots stem from graffiti as a teenager, her work centers around women while using a naif style. Mixing fantasy with sensuality while also adding exotic elements is how Fatima’s paintings come together. Let’s find out what Fatima enjoys in her free time!
As for books “The Fantasy of Individuality” was given to me by a friend and has become one of my favorite books. It focuses on the construction of the identity of men and women throughout history and the dissociation “reason-emotion” is the key to the patriarchal order, based on the false conviction that the individual can be conceived outside the community. “Yo trabajo como un hortelano” (Joan Miró), simple and inspiring.
“I consider my workshop to be like a vegetable garden. Over there there are artichokes. Over here, potatoes. I work like a market gardener. things come slowly. they follow their natural course. They grow, they ripen. It is necessary to graft. That’s how they ripen in my spirit”. – The Gemini Method (Autsider Comics)
I like to listen to everything when I’m painting in the studio, from classic and old salsa, to afro-beat or dancehall (Burna boy, Fireboy), 90’s rap with a little bit of Andean electronica (Nicola Cruz). From the national scene I love Bejo, Dellafuente and Albany, lately I listen a lot to Jordi Ganchitos, it was love at first laugh 🙂 and it saves you from any slump.
I love watching a classic like Lost Highway by David Lynch, a timeless jewel. The last movie I saw that I liked a lot was I,Tonya about a self-made working class ice skater. Planet Sauvage is a French animation film from 1973, surreal and wonderful.
Bieke Buckinx (1988) is a full-time visual artist from Brussels whose contemporary and figurative paintings represent the beauty in ordinary everyday life objects but with a humorous twist. Her works aim to represent the brighter side of life from an ironic point of view. Let ‘s see what Bieke enjoys to nurture her humorous side!
The last exhibition I went to was in Antwerp at (s o o n) gallery with Sebal (Sebastien Alouf), a Brussels artist. The show is now over but I’ll sure keep an eye on his work. He creates multidisciplinary works such as the most playful drawings and paintings, videos and objects in wood or cardboard with a wink to Ai Weiwei but never obvious.
“The Bear” is a series about a young chef from the fine dining world that returns to Chicago to run his family’s sandwich shop. I loved to watch it as it is so vivacious. It’s also possible it has something to do with the fact it’s about food. The movie “Close” from the Belgian director Lukas Dhont I recently watched in a small theater in Brussels, really touched me. Without a lot of dialogue, the dreamy images in the scenery are enough to impress me big time.
In my atelier I love to listen to the “Butter” playlist on Spotify. Very chill vibes that always make me happy. I can also be under the spell of a series or a movie I just watched and listen to the playlist over and over again to bring me back to that moment. It’s a nice way to make me less sad about the fact I already saw it and can’t relive it from scratch 🙂 At this time I love the “High Fidelity official playlist“, “Malcolm & Marie” and “Bo Burnham, Inside“.
The small book I go back to on a regular basis is “Navigating the art world, professional practice for the early career artist” from Delphian Gallery. It is a very clear written guide to coach you into the art world. I love the Spanish magazine Apartamento which is full of great interviews and inspiring images in a beautiful design.
As for food… EVERYTHING! I think as long as you don’t exaggerate, you should just enjoy it. Try out local specialties wherever you are and holla when you are in Brussels; I have a long list of restaurants you should definitely visit.
HANNAH EPSTEIN (HANSKI)
Hannah Epstein (1985) is a canadian artist known for her neo-folk style through which she represents her personal imaginative world. By using textile and digital media art, Hannah is widely known for creating a contrast between her traditional skill of rug hooking and the analysis of daily mainstream media, whilst also finding resonance with mythological figures of the collective unconscious. Sounds interesting right? Here are Hannah’s reflections on her recommendations:
Since I am deeply formed by the media I consume, I try to be selective about what I watch. You have to understand, when I suggest what to watch, it is somewhat vulnerable because it is revealing some deep aspect of my psyche, as these are the films or television that are echoing through me. They push me and shape my life and worldview. Often these are ones that I watched when I was young, in high school or not long after. Like, Morvern Callar, the 2002 film by Lynne Ramsay. The story is of a young woman whose boyfriend has committed suicide. His suicide note contains a novel he’s written and instructions for her to send it to a British publisher. She ends up running away to Spain and steals the credit for having written the novel, receiving a huge advance from the publisher. It’s one of those radical stories about a young woman using whatever means necessary to escape the predictable, drab, life cycle that growing up in a small, northern town can offer. This resonated so much for me as a frustrated young woman, trapped in isolated parts of Canada, longing for sun and adventure. It showed me the necessity of stories to create alternative paths. Similar films for me would be Ghost World (2001), and the TV show Daria.
Formally, I am obsessed with the strange puppetry of The Brothers Quay and the dreamy muck of Jan Svankmejer’s Faust (1994). These dark, handmade magicians pull story life out of the organic world in ways that feel deeply primal yet playful.
Energetically, for a long time I drew on the power of the 1994 film Natural Born Killers and projected myself in the role of Mallory Knox, who kills her parents and runs away with her older, macho lover on a cross-country killing spree. Although I don’t desire any violence I did spend many years driven by a manic energy to travel incessantly, party aggressively and never spend more than 6 months in one place. Which I managed to do for nearly 15 years. So, like I said, when I find a piece of media I enjoy, it can propel me for a long time. It exists in me and through me is replayed in real life, as I try to channel as much of the essence I can. It’s probably why I’m a smoker.
I have a terrible memory for band names and songs, so it is my personal nightmare every time someone hands me the AUX cord, or bluetooth speaker and tells me to put something on. I rely so heavily on the algorithm of my music app to feed me what I should hear. It’s a funny conversation I feel that I am engaged in with that algorithm. It says, “here, maybe you would like this” and then I give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down and it learns my tastes and my moods and becomes a better DJ. If I must tell you to listen to something, I will tell you some songs I have given a “thumbs up” to:
Chamber of Reflection by Mac deMarco, I know his era is kind of over, but I still like his dry, cool kid, basement tunes, attitude. Lady by Chromatics, the lyric that is sung over and over, “If I could only call you my lady, Baby I could be your man”, I love to sing along and imagine myself as the man, seducing a woman I call “lady” And then I am probably blasting Dennis Cruz “Mad”, because of the sound clip rant that takes place halfway through, one I nearly have. memorized:
I don’t have to tell you things are bad
Everybody knows things are bad, it’s a depression
Everybody is out of work or scared of losing their jobs
The dollar buys a nickel’s worth
Banks are going bust
Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter
Punks are running wild in the street and nobody
anywhere seems to know what to do it, and there is no end to it
But we know: The air is unfit to breath, and our food is unfit to eat
So we sit watching our tvs while some local newscaster tells us: “Today we had fifteen homicides and 63 violent crimes”
As if that’s how it’s supposed to be
We know things are bad, worse than bad, they’re crazy
It’s like everyone is getting crazy, so we don’t go out anymore,
we sit in the houses and slowly the world we are
living in is getting smaller and all we say is:
“Please, leave us alone, let me have my toaster,
my tv and my steel belted radials and I
won’t say anything, just leave us alone!”
Well I’m not gonna leave you alone
I WANT YOU TO GET MAD!!!
I am trying so hard to make it through the Karl Ove Knausgard books because my very serious boyfriend loves them and I want to be able to discuss them over wine, but unless you share this desire to relate to a serious boyfriend, I’d say skip it. Instead, relax with some Johnny Ryan comic books, ones like, Wet Market, which is a collection of all the comics that got him kicked off of Instagram or The Comic Book Holocaust, which is a perverted, hostile take on all your overly sweet classic comic strips. Beyond that, I would suggest something by Canadian author, Sheila Heti, like maybe Motherhood, where she spends the novel having a conversation with a coin, flipping it for the answer to all her questions. For Heti, this is all leading up to the main question: Should I have children? (coin says….?) As a childless woman in her late thirties, I can relate to the oppressive nature of this question. I am constantly wondering if each month is my last opportunity to have a child. For a moment I will be stressed by this question and then I will remember the comforting conclusion of the philosopher Kierkegaard in his epic work, Either/Or, who essentially concludes that each decision we make is cause for regret. For my purposes I adapt this and think, “Have a child, you will regret it. Don’t have a child, you will regret it. Have a child, don’t have a child, you will regret it either way.” Heti is better than I, as she asks the question directly and submits a chance to make a decision for her. I have now stopped asking the question all together. Regret comes either way.
My favorite scenario to eat would be I am in a private dining room being served portions of flavored foam in crystal dishes. Each is paired perfectly with a new, ornate cocktail. This meal is taking place on a rooftop in LA. There is a pool nearby and we won’t be too full to swim.
I am stoned with best friends in a hotel in Russia and we have broken into the kitchen late at night and are eating caviar by the pound and chugging vodka from the bottle. We can’t stop laughing. All our teeth are black.
I am hungover at a brunch buffet in New York and when I ask for hot sauce they wheel me a cart full of twenty hot sauces I’ve never seen, each made with no preservatives, and I am dousing my scrambled eggs and drinking Mimosas. I’ve sold some work and suddenly there’s bacon. Extra crisp.