In the last days of his solo show in Turin Jason Dodge replies to our Proustian questionnaire

The inevitable absence of the artist have been rarely so present in the artwork like in the pieces that Jason Dodge is presenting at Franco Noero Gallery in Turin under the title: “These, ours.” – that is open until next Saturday. When you look at one of the shopping bags on display, filled following the same grocery list, but in different cities, you feel you miss whoever has been to the supermarket, and inexplicably is not here anymore. This same feeling stays with you also while looking at the golden ring with a screw laying on a grand piano cover, or when smelling that particular scent that characterizes the room in each of the artist’s show. That’s why, in occasion of the finissage of Dodge’s successful solo exhibition, we have the desire to know him a little more.


Which is your favourite subject?


The life cycle of the seed.


Do you believe in abstraction?


Yes, I do. But I also think that the word abstraction is to describe things that you don’t want to break down any further. It’s a convenience of language, the formal idea of abstraction is of another time.


Which is the most inspiring place for you?




Which is the quality that you prefer in an art dealer?




Which one in a collector?


Idealism as well.


Who is your favourite artist?


There are many artists that I love for different particular reasons, but one of them I lately keep coming to over and over again is Veit Stoss, a 16th century Bavarian woodcarver. Even though there is something I don’t completely understand about his work, I do feel a kind of symbiosis with him. There’s a particular group of works in St. Lorenz in Nürnberg that I go to see at least a couple of times each year.


Is there any colour or shape you really hate?


No, not at all.


What makes an idea become an artwork?


Will. I think also that will is what makes meaning in an artwork.


Which novel is better comparable to your idea of art?


I don’t read novels. There’s a poem by Noelle Kocot called “Under Gemini”. This could be comparable or what I wish was. There is a way in which this poem wanders from one subject to another while maintaining a kind of clear and strange emotional resonance that connects each moment in the poem. Under Gemini has the feeling of an epic voyage into herself.


What would you have done if you were not an artist?


I don’t feel like I chose to be an artist, I just can’t imagine something else. But if I couldn’t support myself by being an artist I would be interested in something practical, like being a plumber or an electrician. Recently I’ve also met somebody who works with families of people joining the ISIS and trying to prevent young people to go to Syria. It’s a de-radicalization program and I find it very exciting as well. Maybe I would ask them for a job.



July 21, 2015