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Interview with MQ Artist-in-Residence Ursula Neugebauer

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Interview with MQ Artist-in-Residence Ursula Neugebauer

In August Ursula Neugebauer is Artist-in-Residence at MQ, invited in cooperation with TONSPUR Kunstverein. In conversation with Alexander García Düttmann she talks about what moves and drives her and gives insights into her exciting work.

What moves you so much that you become active as an artist? What challenges you so much that you become active as an artist? Is it a touch or is it a challenge? Can the two be distinguished at all?

My longing to be in the world, to be touched by it, challenges me to transcend inner and outer prohibitions.

What is the biggest temptation you have to resist to be an artist?

Entering Paradise.

schwarzer Schnee, 2019 © Ursula Neugebauer

Salzblumen, 2001 © Ursula Neugebauer

tour en l´air, 1998 © Ursula Neugebauer

How would you describe the coherence that you, as an artist, are aiming for in each of your works, and which must be established if a feeling of failure is not to set in?

The unpredictable, the unravelable, and the uncanny must occur. I fail when I work in variants, illustrate and take no risks.

Are you a contemporary artist? If so, in what sense?

Materials are subject to temporal technology, the design always includes the reflection of the medium, insofar political-social circumstances are inscribed in them.
The basic premise remains: We have a body with which we live on this earth, and we know that we have to die.

What language do you use when you talk about your art, in self-talk or in conversation with others? Is it different from the language you use when you talk about the art of others, in self-talk or in conversation with them?

That depends on my counterpart: I poeticize, blaspheme, analyze, as the case may be; wonderful when art leaves me speechless.
I was speechless when I discovered the Artothek des Bundes in the ballrooms of the Palais Liechtensteins in Vienna over 20 years ago. The photographic work "Artothek Wien", which I am exhibiting as part of my residency at the MQ in the TONSPUR_display (MQ Schauräume), the showroom of TONSPUR Kunstverein in a joint exhibition with Timm Ulrichs, documents iridescent depot and landfill.

The magnificent, gold stucco-decorated walls show the ballroom, where every night the works of art indulge in a dance, can hardly be found the next morning and have to be rediscovered again and again. Today the Artothek is digitized, cataloged and searchable via a database. The ballroom can be rented for cocktail receptions, weddings and gala dinners through Liechtenstein Gruppe AG, Immobilien Wien.
My inner language is a psychotic state, to be compared with the dream, which consists of images, not language. To retell a dream is therefore difficult, because behind the images are sensations that cannot be described with distancing language. Language is an approximation, as if one were diving, deeper and deeper, never reaching the bottom, either catching one's breath or suffocating.

Artothek, 2001 © Ursula Neugebauer

Does the interaction with art students enter into your artistic activity or are teaching and your own artistic activity separate matters for you?

I do not separate my lives into different areas and hope in everything to become and remain capable of love.

Are you a jealous artist? As an artist, how do you experience the relationship between imposture and art?

I am an impostor, exaggerate excessively and am always jealous!

The questions were asked by Alexander García Düttmann. Ursula Neugebauer and Alexander García Düttmann both teach at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Berlin University of the Arts.

© Katja Sievert

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