Interview with Vilde Løwenborg Blom
Oslo, August 2018
Q: Why / when / how did you start to work with performance, what is your background, how did you arrive at doing performance?
I would say I’m rather new to performance. For years I thought I would never dare to do one. I had an idea for a performance that I would like to do, but I didn’t know how to start it. After some years, I finally did it. It felt terrible, like I was going to be sick, but getting into the performing mode, where everything is kind of blocked out and you’re just focused on exactly what you are going to do- I think I felt fearless. It was such a rush.
Q: What role does performance art have in your life / artistic praxis? Do you also work within other fields, like installation, sculpture, drawing, and other expressions? How do they influence / inform each other?
My first thought is: I don’t know yet. But actually I might. When I work sculpturally, I tend to work abstract and clean and maybe a bit static. But with a closer look, you will see that some of my sculptures move slowly with gravity over time. In the performances I have done, I can see the same slow movements and time aspect. In the duration of the performance, there is often not so much happening, it might not be a rising action or climax, but rather slow and repetitive movements filling the performance.
Q: With what kind of form / material do you express yourself and use in your work and how did you arrive at using this material?
I quite often use different sweets as material in my work. It can be hard candy, marzipan, other small pieces of candy or cakes. I think I started working with these types of materials because they have played a central role in my childhood. As they are so closely connected with the playful and childlike, but also lust and sometimes even something sickly and the abject. I’m interested in the close relationship food and sweets have to everyday life and the body.
Q: Can you tell about your latest project?
In one of my latest projects I made sculptures in large masses of hard candy. To make hard candy I boil sugar, glucose, water and food colouring, until it reaches a temperature of 150 ºC. Later I add an artificial oil with the strong, sweet smell of strawberries. The work is inspired by handmade hard candy production in which candy hooks and pulled sugar are used. They often pull the mass of sugar onto a hook in order to evenly cool it down, make it opaque and porous. From this work I became interested in looking at the process as performative. Whilst the mass of hard candy is still warm and malleable, I pull in onto a steel structure and repeat this action until it has completely cooled down and it is able to hang above the ground on it’s own. I experience the movement of picking up the sugary mass again and again as affectionate. I have started to consider the mass of sugar as a body and I am interested in the dialogue between me and the other.