Michaela Strumberger

MFA in Set Design, Yale University, USA & MFA in Set & Costume Design, University of Music and Dramatic Arts, Graz, Austria

Studies at the Art Students League of New York & the New York Academy of Art

You have spent much time studying in New York living and working in different European cities. How has your experience form the international scene affected your works?

Wrong or right became irrational terms. It made me look beyond everything culturally ingrained, and gave me the possibility to create something of my own.

Now you live and work in Berlin, Mecca of contemporary art. How do you see the art scene there and can you live off art? You have also exhibited in this region, in Skopje and Novigrad; do you have significantly different experiences form there?

The art world lives off me, as it does so off many artists, which nonetheless makes for a thriving art scene. When you get to the bottom of it, in all the different regions I have shown my work and lived in, I just see cultural differences, which after a while one can read like a language. But ambitions in the Balkans seem somehow more intense. Berlin is more relaxed, capitalism is still on healthy turf, cultures merge easily, and that creates a very nourishing environment for the arts.

Your topics concern the human being, the possibilities of achievements of personal liberty and social integration regardless of the colour of skin, shape of the body, and geopolitical limits. What inspires you to these contents that you show in a wide spectrum of media, from classical to multimedia forms and public interventions — perhaps also because of the intention to communicate with broad public?

My inspiration derives mostly from observation within myself. The public is an opponent bringing it all closer to life as opposed to form. And my work is foremost about life and humanity. Besides that, to go out of the inner circle of the art world to approach a broader audience might be the most powerful, and in a sense most dangerous thing about art.

What do you value most in the contemporary art? What gets on your nerves most?

That everything is possible. That nothing is relevant.

Interview by Ksenija Orelj, curator of MMCA Rijeka, 2010


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Quotes about the work

Questions? Looking forward to hearing from you