Angelika Markul / The End of Nature: Interview with Angelika Markul / ARTMargins / Mylène Ferrand

‘MF: Myths and mythologies are common in your work, typically set in an old, archaic time when the human species is a victim, surrendered to the sublime fear of a world over which it no longer has any control. Leviathan, Godzilla or Cthulhu could emerge at any time from the opaque waves of Yonaguni. Your work light-heartedly clings to magical folklore, as when the rocks independently move and supernaturally rise. In a sense, you seem to give back life and agency to the nonhuman, or even to the more-than-human, usually desanimated in Western cultures.

AM: I am inspired by abysses, by the life that somehow clings to stones; by colors; and by the incongruity of some of the luminescent inhabitants of such abysses. I am also inspired by legends, like those about giants or animated stones that move by themselves. The light that moves around for a while in the video is one of my inventions. This shining oscillation provides the appearance of continually moving water, and deforms the structure. Unlike a documentary filmmaker, my role as an artist is to transport and to transform facts into a work of art. The film, therefore, describes my own theory. The work, while scientifically based, always ends with a fiction; it is, in essence, science fiction. The forms and facts that interest me are those that are difficult for humans to access. I am looking for answers to mysteries. It implies a real physical risk to make this kind of work, not only in terms of time, but also to verify if something is a hoax or tangible reality. I trained for six months in order to be able to dive twenty meters deep in these rough waters. In the end, I was only able to go there twice, due to relatively bad weather conditions. But my experience of this monument is unique and unforgettable. I was bowled over by the fantasy of the situation. I heard noises; my ears were buzzing. The lights around me were like elves or mermaids. It was a bit like a mystical experience, at the boundaries of my perception. It is clear that my relationship with the sacred is moving towards animism, a pagan representation that does not oppose nature and culture.’

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