Featured Artist : Anna Hellsgård

20 Questions to Anna Hellsgård

(www.gfellerhellsgard.com or http://www.resurgo-berlin.com)

1: Who are you?

I’m Anna Hellsgård living and working in Berlin together with my husband Christian Gfeller and our dog Skye.

2: What is your background?

I’m from Stockholm, Sweden. I was always interested in B&W photography and its processing. I builded a dark room at home when I was 14 and played around in there for hours and hours and created tons of B&W abstract photos. Later on I studied the the Natural Science Programme and after that I went a “pre-art school” Konstskolan i Stockholm for 1 year I think. Became a photo assistant for a commercial photographer and was deeply into early 70’s and 80’s rare punk and hardcore music. I moved to Berlin when I was 20 (2001) met Christian (my husband) on september 11th 2001 at a punk concert. He introduced me to screen printing. I started to help out at the Bongoût printing studio (founded 1995) which was based back then in Strasbourg, France or actually in a industry area in Kehl (on the German border to France). Traveled around a bit in Europe and then we moved to Bordeaux. There we shared our printing studio with a beer brewer. In Bordeaux I together with Christian started to make gig posters and continued Bongoût’s artists book publishing. I did my first silkscreen zine 2003. Moved back to Berlin 2004 and did a lot of commissioned work for different brands, festivals, venues and bands. Opened up the Bongoût Gallery and art publishing company in 2007, curated tons of exhibitions and published several books from different artists. Bongoût transformed into Re:Surgo! 2011 and I together with Christian changed the gallery into an art book store where we would show publications from artists and smaller publishers and also our own productions. And here I am now, mainly doing my own stuff.

3: Where were you born?
Stockholm, Sweden

4: Explain your work in up to 40 words.
Since we are an artist duo I will respond for us both 😊
We constantly try to test and push the boundaries of screen printing, we want to deconstruct its conventions, techniques and formal structures. Our unique prints illustrates this intention to question the familiarity of the screen printing-process. It’s about un-learning.

5: How has your practice changed over time?
Starting with B/W photography to graphic imageries and subversive drawings. I found that my work know still has all of it but just in different shapes and colours.

6: Do you have a favourite medium to work in?
No not really but screen printing takes over for now.

7: Do you pursue any themes? If so what?
No I don’t have any made up themes but I guess there is a theme in what I do and it reflects more in what state i am at that exact moment and so on.

8: What other jobs have you done/do you do other than being an artist?
My only “real job” i had was being a photo assistant when I was 18 and then I used to DJ a little bit now and then, but that was mostly payed just in alcohol. When I was 23 I started to sell the gig posters and zines we where printing and publishing. Since then I never “needed” an extra job. But I’m really good to live on nothing, so maybe thats why.

9: What research do you do for your art?
My research now days is not so much from the art scene, I guess my research is more my state of mind, it’s not anything you can directly search for or hunt for, it’s what I’m doing at the moment. I’m spending a lot of time thinking and analysing.

10: What makes you angry?
Many things

11: What is your favourite colour?
I don’t know if I have any favourite colour, but I like when colours overlaps and creates a depth out of the flatness. That’s the greatness with screen printing.

12: What is your favourite piece that you have produced?
It’s an hard question but I think every new piece is my favourite at that moment.

13: What music/album are you currently listening to?
Latest Swans album

14: What makes you happy?
Good wine, good food, good music, nice people, good concert, good movie, horse riding, swimming outdoor, walking with the dog… I would like to mention making art, but that’s an addiction and about satisfaction.

15: What are your favourite films?
I’m watching tons of blockbusters all the time to disconnect since I don’t have any TV. My favourite movies are Stroszek, Step Across the Border, Stalker, Flandre…

16: Favourite place?
Somewhere next to the ocean or somewhere in the mountains.

17: One or more artists you like?
Sterling Ruby, Katharina Grosse, Mike Kelly, Paul McCarthy, Christopher Wool, Blalla Hallmann, Jonathan Meese, Tauba Auerbach and many many more.

18: What is your favourite word?
Genau. The english translation is exactly. 

19: Professionally what is your goal?
Is to develop my/our work, to try new things and to explore the consciousness.

20: What would your dream commission be?
To build a whole town. When I was a kid I used to draw up how my dream country or my dream town would look like.

Image copyright of Anna Hellsgård


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