Freitag, 3. Mai 2013

Autisticulture hat ein Interview mit mir veröffentlicht

Interview between Autisticulture reviewer, Selene Depackh and Autisticulture artist, Gerhard Beck
Autisticulture: First, we would like to thank you for agreeing to be the inaugural contributor interview for Autisticulture. We welcome the opportunity to have this conversation about your insights into autism and the creative process. Your work seems to depict deep inner emotional states—do you work from a purely intuitive process, or is there a planned, methodical element to your creative regimen? 
Gerhard Beck: I have no plan at all when I start drawing. I draw what comes spontaneously to my mind. Please find here a translation of a German text that I and a gallery-owner have written some time ago about my work. (What follows is excerpted from the statement that accompanied Beck’s exhibit "Don't come that close, don't stay away from me !")“…The exhibition title… illustrates the ambivalence between the desire for intimacy and the fear of it. How close may someone approach us? What scares us? Are we not good  for what we  desire ? A universal theme that not only relates to autistic people, but which Gerhard Beck brings us  to mind, as he digs deep into himself… His works are created spontaneously, ad hoc, during the process of drawing. First of all, there is chaos, disorientedness, amorphousness, impalpableness, uncertainty. Anything is possible. For the time being there is nothing that gives hold; no one who makes a decision. Gerhard Beck creates consciously from the unconscious. The absolute spontaneity is the sole creative principle… The experience obtained in the process of drawing is of central importance. The accomplished drawing is a result of an absorption, of an open process. Obstructions and mental controls are surmounted  and solved. There is direct access to feelings and to the irrational without the intervening of the mind.. The aim is to reach the sources of one’s own creativity and intuition which organicly form an image of inner consistence. His works are absorptions and  processes of convergency that are intented to read in his subconsciousness and to report of which there are no words for.”
Autisticulture: Do you find autism informs your work directly, or is it more an aspect of yourself that is passively present in your creative process?
G. B: I think my work is partly influenced by my autism. I think there is always a core I start drawing from or towards. And the format I draw is rather small and the drawing seems always somehow encapsulated. Also, when drawing I always have the feeling everything is being shrinked and contracted, orienting to the center.

Autisticulture: Is there anything you would like Autisticulture readers to know about the particular pieces you chose for the magazine, and/or why you selected those particular images for us?
G.B: I think the yellow drawing with the huddled up figure is refering to an autistoid person. I have a special relationship to this drawing. Interestingly enough, it was bought by Viktoria Lyons, an Asperger researcher.
The red-blue drawing with three seperated figures is also one of my favorites. I have selected this drawing for the Autisticulture readers as the lost and isolated figures might also show an autistoid dash.

Autisticulture: Your personal gallery shows you standing with a poster for a Joseph Beuys retrospective. Given that Beuys has powerfully influenced modern art with an outsider’s critique of western culture, how do you feel yourself to have been touched by his ideas?
G.B: I’m a great fan of Joseph Beuys’ work.
(Beck quotes here from, I like America and America likes Me)
” For three days in May of 1974, Joseph Beuys lived and communicated with a coyote in a small room… Though actually witnessed by only a handful of people, this action, I Like America and America Likes Me, awakened the interest and curiosity of many who heard about it, far and wide… [I]mages of the Coyote action are among the most resilient and generative images to come out of Beuys’s performance work.”
I like very much his drawings (“The Secret Block For a Secret Person in Ireland.”) and I like his concept of ‘Social Sculpture’ as far as I understand it. (““Only on condition of a radical widening of definitions will it be possible for art and activities related to art [to] provide evidence that art is now the only evolutionary-revolutionary power. Only art is capable of dismantling the repressive effects of a senile social system that continues to totter along the deathline: to dismantle in order to build ‘A SOCIAL ORGANISM AS A WORK OF ART’… EVERY HUMAN BEING IS AN ARTIST who – from his state of freedom – the position of freedom that he experiences at first-hand – learns to determine the other positions of the TOTAL ART WORK OF THE FUTURE SOCIAL ORDER.”)

Autisticulture: Do you think Beuys has a particular relevance to those of us on the Autistic Spectrum?
G.B: Interestingly enough, Joseph Beuys as a public figure, repetitively dressed in the same felt hat, the same fishing jacket and the same jeans, had an air of autism. Concededly, this is of minor interest as for a particular relevance to those of us on the Autistic Spectrum. Nevertheless it is a conspicuous feature. Beuys’ believe that his art was a homeopathic remedy that could heal the world, however, might be an intriguing and hopeful aspect for persons on the Autistic spectrum. As well as Beuys’ statement that everything begins with art, and that art is finally synonymous with life, with survival. (”Art alone makes life possible” ; ”Without art man is inconceivable in physiological terms.”)

Autisticulture: Could you describe your work methods—not necessarily the wonderful alchemy of your luminous techniques (unless you’re willing to do so), but how and when you create—the hours of the day you’re most productive, how long you work at a sitting, etc.
G.B: I work fast and spontaneously. I’m under great pressure when I draw. First, I choose the colors coincidentally. I have no plan. I drift. Everything is random, arises maybe from subconsciousness. During the drawing process I let surprise me and react gradually. It happens often that I abolish my product and start again. I draw layers. I scratch and rub them, in the whole or partly. A sitting can last 15 minutes up to 1 hour. I have no special hours of the day when I work.

Autisticulture: You shared an intriguing article about Hans Asperger from a German website that appears to serve the German-speaking Autistic culture. The article was fascinating from a historical perspective, as well as offering some insights into how Autism has been viewed in Germany in modern times. Can you share with us a little of the experience of being on the Spectrum within that culture? How might it seem different from that of an American on the Spectrum?
G.B: I think in Germany the neurotypical person is not that communicative as an American one. As an Asperger person who is shy and self-effacing and poor in words I might be not that conspicuous as an American Asperger person would be. I noticed after my diagnosis when I had told most of my surrounding that I have a specific communication and contact problem which is called Asperger syndrome that there was not that much interest shown. I was disappointed by that deficit of care and understanding. I suppose in the US my social environment would not frustrate me that much.

Autisticulture: You also shared a mesmerizing video of your work in preparation for this interview. Do you see yourself expanding this time-element aspect of your oeuvre? The added effect of your images melding into one another offers a rich emotional dimension we’d love to see more of.
G.B: Recently, I found out that there is a possibility to produce a so-called ‘slide show’ for YouTube with an online tool. I never had worked with video. I do not have a camera. I like photographing and a long time ago I was keen with photographing. But I’m a keen “movie-goer”. I watch many films with my DVD-player at home. ‘Film’ was also one of my special interests. — As for a ‘time element’, before I received my Asperger diagnosis I always told my surrounding that I have a ‘time disturbance’. Everybody laughed. Now, I know why I have this ‘time disorder’. Here’s a text I found in autism literature. (Beck quotes Christian Klicpera & Paul Innerhofer: The world of early childhood autism, Munich, 2002, page 171 f)
“At this point, the question intrudes what is the subjective biographical world view of the autistic person. Does he/she sense his life in chronological order at all ? How far are events anticipated in terms of time ? To what extent are they retrospectively reflected ? We know that it is difficult for autistic persons to organize events in the time schedule. Therefore we suppose that their experience is rather timeless, and that there is but a rudimentary understanding of their own past and that future perspectives are wanting… Time as scheme of order is a requirement for the understanding of biographies and for the formation of an awareness of history of one's own .… The awareness of autistic children – so we have to assume – is almost timeless. We get an idea of the far-reaching impact on their view of the world when we listen to their stories. These stories that autistic children occasionally construct consist mostly of enumerating things and events and not of the description of a process. Most striking is the lack of time dimension… We must assume that autistic children are also lacking the time dimension in experience, so that past events are experienced as present ones. We must also assume that this also applies to the experience of dramatic events. Dramatic experiences can not be dealt with in the sense that they turn into the past for the person and a new beginning is possible.. Processing in the strict sense does not exist …Certainly, experiences can easily be forgotten, but autistic children can not process them in a way that while they are still conscious they belong yet to the past.”

Autisticulture: How much to you consider your audience as you create? Are you completely within yourself as you make your images, or do you imagine your work as a dialog with your viewer as you work?
G.B: I do not think of audience when drawing. I am completely within myself. I’m in a kind of flow. Nothing else but the drawing process interests me.

Autisticulture: We deeply appreciate you participating so early in the development of Autisticulture. We’d love to know what drew you to offer us your work, and where you’d like to see this publication go in the next few years.
G. B: I’m very interested in every aspect of autism and Asperger syndrome ( Asperger syndrome used to be and partly still is my ‘special interest’.) So the link between autism and creativity finds also my great interest. I am a keen reader of the publications of Michael Fitzgerald and Viktoria Lyons who combed through cultural history to find persons on the Autistic spectrum who contributed extraordinary works and ideas to culture. As an autistic artist and a beginning student of ‘Cultural Studies’, I like every reliable and creative effort that is done to describe and reflect on autism and autistic persons and their manifold and not seldom connived contributions to all facets of culture. I hope your publication will succeed with its admirable effort.

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen