PROFILE: KENZIE LARSON
You know how sometimes you meet those really rad people that just seem to have it going on, a certain spark that makes them just so utterly enticing to be around.
Well then, meet one of our favourite people… KENZIE.
A little about yourself and what you do:
I am a practicing artist and by that I mean I have fingers in the pies of drawing, painting, video, sculpture and installation, I also write theatre and comedy sometimes. (See Fig 1.1)
Do your pieces represent certain things/are there meanings behind them:
Sometimes… last year I was fascinated with social experiments and memory so I would create videos in which I would get people to act out tasks or tell me about there first memories of a movie or a song. This year a lot of my work has been inspired by authors, I really like the work of Donald Barthelme, Jorge Luis Borges, Kurt Vonnegut, Arthur C. Clarke, Stanislaw Lem and Tom Robbins. I am interested in different views of time and the unexplained mysteries of mind and space.
My sculptures are often the result of my fetish for craft materials and art supplies and my love of renovating something that was once functional into something that still looks functional but can no longer function in a practical way. Other times, for instance when I decide to make drawings I deliberately don’t start with a meaning or concept and just draw whatever I feel like. I find that this is an interesting way to practice because no one can escape meaning and people will always read into what you make weather you provide them with a direction or not.
Name a song that best describes your work:
B52’s “Rock Lobster” (See Fig. 1.2)
Certain people/places/artists/films etc that inspire both you personally and how you approach your work?:
Yes the people that inspire me are usually film makers/ writers like John Waters, Charlie Kaufman and Lars Von Trier and the authors mentioned in the last question. The artists that inspire me include Laurie Anderson, Phoebe Washburn, Louis Wain, Guy Ben Ner, Neal Medlyn and Tamy Ber- Tor. The work of these people inspires what I make and also me personally. If I had to choose I would say that the ideas of authors inspire me the most, that and colourful things that can be bought at a two dollar store.
Tell us about your recent clip for Richard In Your Mind:
This was based on a series of work that I had been doing whilst I was studying in The Netherlands (See Fig. 1.3), I was reading a lot of Jorge Luis Borges and Kurt Vonnegut and I was probably at the height of my fascination with time and space. I was obsessed by the idea the every moment could exist at the same time and It was just how we chose to see time, in a linear fashion, that stopped us from experiencing more than one moment at a time…. Sounds kind of acidy but that wasn’t what I was going for.
Anyway, I started making these videos where I would re project footage of myself onto myself and try to interact with myself. I would set myself tasks like trying to catch a orange that I was throwing at myself from another layer of video or trying to catch a small version of myself. As the layers of film built up the footage would become blurry and distorted but the connections that the different ‘me’s’ started to make become more and more interesting and eventually a bit of a mind twist.
I exhibited these videos a few times and they were always presented as silent movies which I think was effective. When I was asked to make the RIYM video I knew that this idea would be a great fit for their music and especially the song we ended up going with ‘Losing our minds’. We ended up shooting the whole video in a day and had lot of fun inventing new ways for the band to choreograph different ways for themselves to interact with previously filmed versions of themselves.
Describe your personal relationship with music and your fave bands/artists:
My personal relationship to music is an interesting question because I feel it is almost asking “what is your personal relationship to food?” The answer being that I eat everyday and could simply not live without a large variety of foods. I guess what I am saying is that my relationship to music is vital and a deeply ingrained part of my everyday existence. My favourite bands and artists are quite fluid depending on what I’m doing but some of my staples are April March, Beck, Blonde Redhead,The Breeders, Caribou, Cat Power, Don Lennon, Jeffery Lewis, Kate Bush, The Mint Chicks, Laurie Anderson, The Knife, Magnetic Fields, Richard in your mind, SPOD, The Monks, P.J Harvey, Neil Young, Eazy- E, Planning to Rock, Sonic Youth and Ween.
Fave fashion designers, both internationally and Australian:
My fashion usually comes straight from Vinnies or the piles of friends’ clothes that they are about to throw out.
Fave styles both past and present:
Body suits, leotards and body suits (See Fig1.4). I also really like high wedges, red lipstick, and the colour combinations of pink and purple or pink and red respectively. From the past I like perms
How do you think Music, Art and Fashion effect each other: (this is obviously very open winded question so whatever you wanna put)
These things are informed by each other on so many different levels. Fashion is a pattern and these patters ripple through culture, at any given time a certain look, sound or style will infect many different facets of creative output because it is something that a collective of people have decided is appealing, I guess you could say that it is all part of ‘the circle of life’, to demonstrate this more accurately I have prepared a diagram (See Fig. 1.5)
What does the future hold for you as an artist?
Fame, money and all the ladies I can handle… not really but hopefully the first two at least. In the immediate future I am working on a series of drawings inspired by the ideas of Stanislaw Lem for an exhibition next year. I am also re- writing a theatre show called “Some film museums I have known” with Eddie Sharp for a season in Sydney early next year and I have two residencies lined up one at Firstdraft in Sydney and one in Armenia at the Arts and Cultural studies Laboratory in Yerevan. As for the rest… TBA (See Fig1.6)