Marcel Dzama: A Conversation on MOCAtv + Upcoming David Zwirner London ExhibitionJuxtapoz // Friday, 01 Mar 2013
We were able to speak with Marcel Dzama about his episode of Artist Talk with Alia Shawkat and Lance Bangs, a new six-part MOCAtv series hosted by American actor, producer, and artist Alia Shawkat and directed by American filmmaker Lance Bangs. Marcel's upcoming exhibition Puppets, Pawns, and Prophets opens April 6 at David Zwrner Gallery in London.
Marcel Dzama Puppets, Pawns, and Prophets opens April 6 at David Zwrner Gallery in London. Dzama‘s work is characterized by an immediately recognizable visual language that draws from a diverse range of references and artistic influences, including Dada and Marcel Duchamp. While he has become known for his prolific drawings with their distinctive palette of muted colors, in recent years, the artist has expanded his practice to encompass sculpture, painting, film, and dioramas. On view in London will be a range of recent works, including films, sculptures, and drawings.
Marcel Dzama: I like watching old movies before I am about to start working on a film just to get inspired by stories and narrative. I don't work with narrative in my drawings but prefer it in film as otherwise my films could end up becoming too surreal. I like them to have that element but with a working story. Even if the story only makes sense to me. I'm drawn to certain characters, usually small time villains from seedy underworld's, lately women with babies, impressarios, enigmatic gypsies, thugs and people wearing costumes to conceal their identities. I feel like I grew up with a lot of these characters in Winnipeg and they tend to pop up in old film noir too, so I'm right at home there. I'll be interested in certain characters for awhile and they'll show up in whatever medium I'm working in, either drawings, film or sculpture.
Thank you very much! He's just the best and I'm glad to see him in playing keyboards in the video. He's influenced my work so much. Even before he was born I found myself drawing a lot of pregnant women and fetuses. Now there are nursing babies, usually boys wearing striped shirts which is his style. He just loves music so we're all really getting into Ella Jenkins around here and she's an amazing person. I think of new children's books everyday. I will make something for him very soon, yes.
Yes, definitely. I've always collected other people's garbage when walking around whatever neighborhood I'm living in. My Dad did it growing up so maybe that's where it comes from. It's amazing what you can find from mannequins to discarded paper to great chairs. I've had to cut down since filling up my home too much. I'm getting into hoarder territory.
Thank you. I actually don't look back at my older work too much. I'm always trying to look forward. I feel like that can be a rabbit hole to get lost in when you do it. With ideas pursued and abandoned I guess what gets worked on is the one I'm most connected to at the time. Though maybe collage is an exception to that. I feel like images I've connected to in magazines always sit in my head for a while waiting to meet up with another image so I keep them around forever always revisiting. Maybe I can sit on film ideas a bit longer too only because they are so hard to get made. But at least I can consistently think about a few main idea's for the year in planning to make it. But like anything, it can be hard to look at older stuff. Maybe it can also be instructive but for me I'm always working, always trying to get it done before it is old to me.
Puppets, Pawns, and Prophets
April 6—May 11, 2013
David Zwirner, London