Browsing through the pages of an old magazine I found an article on J.Ensor. The title
was : Ensor the world in mask. The liveliness of his diabolical puppets has always thrilled me. Mad Ensor, the visionary Ensor, always in balance between madness and game, hysteria and magic.We should exhume him to talk to him, one hour in a coffee, you could come too! So what would you ask to him?
I would be embarrased to meet Ensor. I feel that he sees so clearly the worst human traits; our follies, the ways in which our jealous pursuits blind us to everything larger than our own ambition. I would be afraid to fall under his gaze- to have his mirror reflect back some monstrous image I’ve hidden from myself but that he can see clearly. Then again, I often agree with his outlook and share the same shame and critical stance against our own human species. But we are having coffee, ya? It would be rude to just sit with him and not say anything. Maybe I’d offer him a cigarette and ask him what he thought about the young couple in the corner. Then maybe we would all go around the room sharing our reads on the other patrons in the cafe. Hopefully he would have to leave before we turned on each other.
Good. That’s how we started. You, me and James Ensor. Great party!
Seventy-one years that he left us and so many things have changed. I think about game!The game is a dynamic that is often present in contemporary art, especially yours. Am I wrong?
Of course game! Game is present in absolutely every aspect of life, games of pretend especially so. I understand “game” as the established and agreed upon set of rules that govern any series of interactions and “players” to be those executing actions in dialogue with the ruleset. Many people believe that game rules are temporary and must include a board and funny shaped pieces, or a deck of cards or a pair of dice, but that is a limited understanding of how far “gaming” extends. Again, I look at every aspect of life as a game. There is “the game of entering the house”, when you use your key to unlock a door, take off your shoes and coat. There is “the game of society”, where we don’t all drive on whatever side of the road we please or stab anyone that looks at us askew, or cut in line at the shopping centre. And for those who choose not to play “the game of society” properly there is “the game of the law”, where players choose to be cops, criminals, judges or lawyers and justice is pursued.
The contemporary art world, like everything else is a game as well. And when choosing which game to play as a career, the artworld game looked like the most fun. And it is.
My childhood was all soccer balls, woods, snacks, plastic swords and pirates. Then at some point from some distant planet came a “black box”. I was very young, my friend and I spent a few afternoons in front of that Alien. Looking at Kubrick’s monolith after many years I gave it a name. It was just written “Sega Master system” on it. Can you give me an image of you childhood?
You have already written my childhood exactly, only I would have substituted “Sega Master” with “Nintendo 64”, “plastic swords” with “magic potions concocted out of bright blue cleaning solutions” and “pirates” with “Amazon warriors”.
I will add that my funny family dynamic gave all of those childhood interest a unique stage to play out on. My parents were separated, but were also had a sort of open arragement. They lived next door to eachother and shared a backyard. I mostly lived in my mother’s house with my older sister, grandmother and brother, but then I would also run around the corner and eat dinner with my father and one of his many girlfriends. My family base therefore felt out of step with the norm and I have always gravitated those things that fall on the fringes of prescribed behaviour.
If the dick don’t say hanski I don’t know it. The owner of the cave would have something to say! We crossed space from the Paleolithic until today. There are no longer bison portraits, (almost all of them are extinct) but we have men with tattooed penis!
They say those cave images were painted by firelight and linked to some ritualistic magic. Making my hung golem (he is circumcised!) has it’s own magical intent aswell.
Like a dragon unfurled its wings, 2019. I think of Giotto! Am I mad? Giotto painted a gigantic demon who eats men and rejects them. People were afraid of fire after death, hell. People were afraid of sin. Someone was trying to terrorize the population to keep it at bay, I always thought that! However, all these precepts have disappeared!
Where did this dragon come from?
Thank you for asking about this Dragon. All of my work contains an element of personal narrative and this dragon captures a moment of freedom and exaltation I achieved after escaping a six year relationship. You look at the dragon and you see she is a powerful female figure, flexing her biceps, showing off her entire body; her pussy, breasts and six pack. She is flying around the room in high heeled boots and breathing fire. She is in the height of her glory. She is an idealized version of myself and the sense of power I got to play with in my own life during a brief post-breakup affair I had. This man was turned on by watching me flex my muscles. I would pose for him and was worshipped like a desirable statue. This man wanted nothing more than to jerk off and admire me. It wasn’t “hot” for me, I was satisfying his kink rather than my own, but it did allow me to play with a dominant position I don’t often explore and this dragon, her wings unfurled, is testament to that.
No matter how technologically evolved we may be, life is always governed by two basic laws: we are born and die. The symbolic themes, universal, are always the same.
It’s Freakout girl!!! Some one is dead! I LOVE IT!
The pink haired girl "Freakout Girl", is the personification of the extreme anxiety that lives just beneath the surface of contemporary society. She is a reverse universe superhero, her power being that she always freaking. She is the balancing force in the universe that allows Superchill, another superhero, to always be chilling. She is the poster girl for our age of anxiety.
She shakes and shivers before even gestures of kindness! She knows doom follows close behind every toothy grinning smile.
So she is your creation right?
Yes, she is mine. But mostly, I am her. haha
Could you explain your art in one sentence or, even better, in one word?
Art help us to understand a little of our present and a little of the future. What’s the future Hannah?
Not even I know that ! : )
I imagined a wonderful set design for the next Flaming Lips video! Your works would be perfect! Anyway
If this interview had been a video clip, what music would you have used to accompany the end credits?
Is music important in your opinion?
Here is my music video for the end credits (let me know if it plays): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyZeJr5ppm8&ab_channel=4AD
And YES! Music is one of the MOST important things we’ve ever done as humans.
Thank you Hannah! I slipped like a mouse between your colored threads, it’s wonderful to see these colors so bright. Can I stay close and watch you work? On your Instagram stories I saw that you had a furry caterpillar on your shoulder and you didn’t mind! I thought it was so cool!
Follow me anywhere anytime J -goodgirlhanski (@gdgrlhanski)