The Heroine’s Journey of Maria Clark

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

What I like the most in my art is the spirit of research, the feeling of freedom and a certain quality of concentration which lets me go into a different space-time than the everydaylife one. Also I like beeing surprised by the « unconscious » process of choosing the medium that will suit my project the most : writing, drawing, filming, performing, photographing or whatever. The idea often appears to me as a visionbut this idea also needs attentiveness, density and reflexion. Then it comes into being something, it takes shapeits magic!

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

To manage my own time, to feel free and be led by my dreams and aspirations, depending on the moment and the people I am with. Exchanging ideas and feelings in harmony with my entourage (people and space). And above all being creative together! Cooking, making love, travelling,whatever the domain!

What is my greatest fear?

My greatest fear is to disappear, even though I reassure myself thinking Im a part of a whole, of a process, and that I will just transform. But Im afraid of losing my clear conscience. Its a fear that Ive had since my early childhood.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

Maybe Im too demanding, and I expect everyone to be soThat implies some disappointments. But to be honest, I think its also a quality even though I sometimes suffer from it. Otherwise, I think I dont laugh enough. I used to laugh a lot, but lately its rarer. Yes, Id like to laugh more. for sure!

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?

I very much like Fred Deux, his drawing skills and his discretion. The practice of the painter Fabienne Verdier, the videast Bill Viola, the scultor Berlinde de Bruyckere, the artist Chiharu Shiota but also Sophie Calle and many more!

What is my greatest extravagance?

What is extravagance in fact? Some people could call my ways of living and thinking as being extravagant just because it is a bit different from a « normative » criteriaMaybe my greatest extravagance is just to feel free.

On what occasion would I lie?

I hate lies.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

I dont like being confronted to superficial people, those who adopt a stance linked to their job for instance, or a role that they hold. I dont separate work from life. Even though were all multifacetedAnd thats a great thing! We can play with it in a wayThat doesnt mean you have to lose your authenticity.
What I hate the most is power abuse in general, and narrow points of views.

I also dislike this discomfort I can feel when Im commissioned to create an artwork, specially a performance artwork. It happens that I just go round in circles for months and create just near by the limit date. I often work with an urgency and these months before can turn into an emotional hell. Even if I know this process, I still fall into the trap.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

Im happy especially when I write or read in Parisian cafes. It is a moment of great inspiration and serenity for me. Being surrounded by the world whereas Im in a personal bubble. 

Also when Im concentrated on a drawing my studio, or when I meet some other artists in an artist residency or for events and exhibitions – when we have things to share of course.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

Maybe to be able to travel through time. Im fascinated by everything associated with time.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

I think my work as a process, so the question of achievement cannot be thought.

Where would I most like to live?

Paris. What a bit gift! It is the city Ive chosen and the one I live in.

What is my most treasured possession?

My conscience and unconscious; my creativity and energy. My daughter, even if she isnt my possession at all – she has been raised with the idea of autonomy – but she is definitly my treasure.

What is my most marked characteristic?

To be natural and sincere, adaptable and firm at the same time. To look at things all-roundly, with distance and lucidity.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

I have two of them. The first one is around the metro Jourdain. I consider that place as my village. Ive been going there for more than 25 years. The second one is around the Latin district, where Ive lived when I arrived in Paris in the 1990s to study arts, and where I go back often.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

I like to eat at « Le Bariolé » rue de Belleville, or at « Tien Hiang », a Chinese vegan restaurant, rue Bichat. At lunch time, I can go to the market « Le Marché des Enfants rouges » near place de la République, or, in the evening, rue sainte Anne, in a nice typical japanese restaurant.
To drink, my favorite place is still Belleville and around the Buttes-Chaumont park.

What books influenced my life and how?

Oh So many books !
William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness helped me revive after a burn-out.
Simone de Beauvoir, All Men Are Mortal reassured me a few times about death.
3 books that conforted me in my ideas about society and work: Étienne de La Boétie, Discourse on Voluntary Servitude/ Bertrand Russel, In Praise of Idleness / The Invisible Committee,The Coming Insurrection,
Georges Perec Species of Spaces, supported me in my creativity feelings as well as A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes did or Rilkes Letters to a Young Poet.

Étienne Klein Conversations avec le sphinx helped me to approach science differently, with more poetry and creativity.

Stefan Sweig Letter from an Unknown Woman made me cry a lot and it was a good moment.

Andrei Tarkovski Sculpting Time opened a new temporality perspective whan I was in my 20s. I was really passionated about cinema.
The Wordl Atlas still make me travel as Le petit Larousse illustré used to when I was a kid.

Who are my favorite writers?

I dont have favourite authors. I like all the authors that have style, with interesting ideas. I read a lot of essays and philosophy. Some literature also.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

Music that refers to the people Ive loved in my life maybe.


Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) in The Avengers!

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

Louise Brooks was important for a number of years when I was a young adult. I loved her freedom and recklessness. But I was also interested in Bronislava Nijinska, Alexandra David-Néel or Lou Andreas-Salomé. Now I would say philosophers : Deleuze, Bergson, Nietzsche, etc.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?

I was fan of Peter Greanaways « Drowning by numbers » when the film was released. Ive seen it a few times by then, but I never watched it again since. I dont know if its still goodOtherwise I would say Pierre Carles « Attention Danger Travail ». Too many people are alienated by their work and it makes me sad. I would like the society to conceive a different way of organization. Or also Stalker directed by Tarkovski.

What role plays art in my life and work?

Art is the center of my life. My life is a creation, I consider it as a piece of art.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

With no hésitation, my friend the art theorist Norbert Hillaire​​. We developed a very nice complicity in our way of looking at life and he helps me feel « appropriate ».

Whom would I like to work with in 2018?

An agent which would be in charge of showing and selling my work as I could be really focuse on my art. Im already concentrated on it but it would allows me to set up a better living maybe. Id like also to find a gallery or a place which would organize a solo exhibition about all my work since 2001.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018?

People who develop a quality work.

What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on?

Some writing projects, but also a show Im thinking of, and some exhibitions with the collective I ‘m part of « Action Hybride ».

Where can you see me or my work in 2018?

We have some projects in London, Italy, Berlin for 2019. In 2018 Im going to show again the art documentary Ive directed recently about the profession of Art Model. I like very much the debate I organise usually after the projection. I enjoy discussing about art.

https://www.amazon.fr/Bras-Corps-Maria-Clark/dp/2951985339

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

I was born passionate, I love intensity and enthusiasm. Passion is my lifes fuel.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Déborah Wydrzynski, art model, jewelery creator and baker. A very enthusiastic person.
The artist Pascaline Rey, who is also working on the thematic of the body. She is very sensitive and commited.
The artist and curator Jeanne Laurent, very socially engaged. She organises a lot of quality events and likes to establish contacts between persons. She is very caring.

How can you contact me?

mcmariaclark@gmail.com
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