By LOUISE LE MEUR RASMUSSEN
"I found that art was that extended language that my tangled tongue awaited for: an archaeological shovel to get my hands dirty."
Tell me about yourself.
Nanna, 21 winters, 20 summers old. From Copenhagen, Denmark. Writes, sculpts, installs, curates. A former student of LungA Art School and Gladiator Writers School, moving to Marrakesh, Morocco in July to do workshops and lectures in Occult Literature at an Art Residency, drink cold milk, and eat dates.
What is your relationship to art? What does it mean to you?
I didn’t grow up in a so-called creative or artistic family. As a child art was a blurry, at time intangible phenomenon. But, as I grew older, and began having a practice within art, and writing in particular, I found that art was that extended language that my tangled tongue awaited for: an archaeological shovel to get my hands dirty.
When I’m asked: what is art to you? I have such an ambivalent way to talk about art, as a defined concept that strives to become a product, like cooking! I don’t believe it is.
Art is not an office or an atelier: something you can leave in the afternoon, then go to the bistro for dinner, and return to in the morning. Within a conversation with a stranger, when I’m on the internet, looking at my mother or eating lemon slices with sugar. When I sit down, and write, it’s simply an extension -from mind to hands- of these experiences, and charged emotions.
What is your primary sources of inspiration?
Reading would be my answer. It’s one of the greatest inspirational, didactical and necessary aspects of my daily life. But my sources of inspiration spread from a lunch conversation to the composition of a sound. This morning a hunter was shooting down rooks from the trees above my window, and black birds fell from the sky. When I walked outside, there was dark purple blood on the cobblestones. That inspired me, for instance.
One of the greatest inspirations, I recall, was living in a small fjord in Iceland, and looking out the window on the fishermen working in the harbor: That necessity of every movement, every strapping robe, the throwing of an orange peel, every tightening of a net. This routine and harsh gesture is the same I want to occur in my writing, or in whatever I do.
What book(s) are you reading at this particular moment?
Oh! I’m reading the most beautiful, yet not so accessible book! Mountains of the Heart by Rainer Maria Rilke. At the same time, I’m reading Death in Venice by Thomas Mann. I have this odd longing for reading about elderly men and their gross desire towards the youth, such as Nabokov’s Lolita.
I think I’ll become christian or heart broken once I finish them. It happens quite often, books will wander within me like a flu for weeks, and I’ll feel like stuffing my mouth with ice cubes.
But truthfully, the best literature I’m reading at the moment, are long, sentimental messages send from my friend, Jeppe, on Whatsapp.
Why did you choose writing? Why is it a good way for you to express things?
Well, working with language as a material - without remembering when it began - has given me the greatest obstructions, frustrations and reliefs. That feeling of a cold tickle that runs to your scalp, when two words come together perfectly. I’m also fond of the idea, that writing occurs - not as a product, but as a process within reading and research. I write when I read. I read when I write.
My working desk at my loft in Copenhagen, where I wrote some of the worst stuff I've ever written.
Does being a women influence your work ?
I don’t like to imagine that being a woman is a strength, or a force compared to being a man - nor have I experienced the opposite. Perhaps there is what some would call female energies, if you believe in such, which are embodied in all gender/non gender. The intensity of the senses, the flaccidity, the intuitive perception. I feel that is the modus of my writing. But then again, I’m struggling: should that be defined as female force - or simply as force?
How does love and your romantic perception of life have an influence upon your work?
It’s obvious in my work, that there is a quite explicit and oftenly addressed “you”, referring to my - or the -lover. Simply because I found that the lover, as an object, as a real person, as a phenomenon, as the living cliché, as a magician, as a fool, as a warrior and as himself is definitely, my favorite object to work with.
The Norwegian writer Tomas Espedal once wrote: Jeg skriver romaner. Jeg er en romantiker.
Translated as I write novels, I am romantic. Look at the similarity between the two words in Norwegian. I don’t think is a coincidence. Novelist are the greatest romantics of our time. And of all times.
All of the photographs above and video work are the courtesy of Nanna Lund.
What does having a poetic vision of life mean to you?
When the regular, the customary or the familiar words we use in our everyday life come together and create a new composition. A box of milk, or a wooden bench in a park. When separated objects are set at the same literary scene, creating a new dimension, a pressure, an idea, a scent, a world.
Let me give you an example...
A shopping list:
- tender soft-shelled lemons for cocktails.
- cold pressed oil for my skin
- a chervil plant
- yellow palm tobacco
- blue ink (the one from India, in a glass container)
- Peeled plums in sugar stock
- Red cloves for my lover.
(Ah, there he is again, the lover. Can’t even make a shopping list without involving him)