By LOUISE LE MEUR RASMUSSEN
"I was once told, as a compliment, that my work in an exhibit looked "like a man did it"."
Tell me about yourself
Gisa Pantel (born 1988, Germany). I studied at Academy of Fine Arts in Münster and the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen where I graduated in 2014. I live and work in Copenhagen, where I am part of the artist-run gallery "SØ" (www.sososo.dk).
How did your interested in art come about?
My mother is a painter, so I grew up in an environment where art was very present.
What is inspiration for you, where do you find it the most?
I think everything has the potential of being interesting, and I am bored very rarely. It has never been important to me, whether something comes from high- or low-culture. I am equally interested in celebrities, mathematics and history. But for the most part, it's everyday situations that inspire me. A misunderstanding, an embarrassment, an architectural oddity or a weird looking pose in advertisement can trigger a deeper examination.
What is your creative process like?
I find something that catches my interest, research, research, research, go all the way in, forget about it, remember it a few months later while doodling on a napkin, call a friend, tell an anecdote, start working on something physical, take notes, print the notes to have produced something physical, self doubt, come up with a clear concept, work on it intensely while the outcome is completely different from what I thought, sometimes I accept it, sometimes I produce something that is fast and direct within 10 minutes instead, which often turns out to be the better solution. Repeat.
What is the relationship between your body and your mind when you are creating?
It is under no circumstance that I can look at my work and see it without knowing that a body, in this case my own, has produced it. I think it's just the way my brain works. If I listen to a violin for example, I imagine what it's like to play it. In a very physical way, to the point that the muscles I would use, get tense. When I look at artworks my reaction is never exclusively mental. There is such a big difference in seeing an exhibit, compared to a documentation of it online, where it's stripped of its presence in space.
Is there a difference between being a female artist in Denmark versus in Germany?
It is even more mansplaining in Germany.
What would you recommend to younger aspiring female artists?
I was once told, as a compliment, that my work in an exhibit looked "like a man did it".
Another time I was the only woman in a group show with 5 men, and also the only one not getting funding for work production. Maybe their applications were better, but, well, maybe not. These things are going to happen. Support each other, name-drop each other, invite each other to do shows, collaborate, have fun and try not to get bitter.
Also: ALWAYS make a back-up of your hard drive!
All of the documentation of the artist's work is her courtesy.