Delaine Le Bas would like to finally be able to travel again, be in contact with other artists from all corners of the world.
Kurds, Catalans and others are aiming at the creation of a state for their people. Are you?
I’m not interested in it. Other people are. It’s no different for the Kurds and the Catalans. Some people from our community speak of a Romani state. It is a hotly debated topic. Personally, I do not think the establishment of a Romani state is very important. But I am English as well, and my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were also English. Those who live in areas where they are persecuted and oppressed, they think about a Romani state that they hope would liberate them. I think more about how difficult it would be to prevent us from simply becoming yet another state with all the problems of a state: defining a citizenry, demarcating and securing borders. For some, that is a utopia. For me, it is a nightmare. We need to conduct an exhaustive search for alternatives.
You are also a traveller.
Here in England the Sinti and Roma were called »travellers.« After I participated in the Venice Biennale in 2007 at the latest, I travelled all over the world, meeting artists and producers, making my installations, my pictures and sculptures. For me, the connections to the places that they were conceived for is always part of them. That is over. At first, I was only worried about Brexit. Now there’s Covid-19 as well. It is a catastrophe.
You use a wide variety of materials in your work.
I also work in very different media. I like fabrics, textiles, but also videos. In everything I try to overcome stereotypes. Those of big and small, of male and female, of high and popular art. I like to use everyday materials in such a way that they seem valuable, but it remains recognizable that they have been second-hand.
Do you already know what you’ll make for the Roma Biennale planned for the Gorki next year?
How should I? We don’t even know if the biennale will happen, much less when and under what conditions. But of course, I am thinking about it.
Interview: Arno Widmann