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Refik Anadol

Refik Anadol: “I’m imagining a different world”

May 15, 2024

Mr. Anadol, do you believe that art should be for everyone?

Absolutely, and the funny thing is that when I say that art should be for anyone, everyone, at any age, in any culture, I find it fascinating that that is a very different approach than many artists. But I’ve always been a bit of an outlier, because when I started making art, I didn't have a classical training, I wasn’t trying to make a gallery show or any of those predictable pipelines of art. What I was most inspired by is making public art, meaning art outside of places designed for art, so no museums or galleries. I found much more excitement, motivation, and connection with people when presenting public art — that can be transforming a building into a canvas: a school, an airport, you know, places that are not necessarily designed for art, but places where art appears unexpectedly.

It’s even more special to find your art in unusual spaces, like when you mapped your work, Living Architecture, onto the Gaudi Museum in Barcelona. Art becomes much more accessible in that way, and the whole city came out to see it.

Right, because if I’m going to see art in a museum or gallery, that’s an intention, and for me, that’s not enough. Or at least, that’s just one way of doing it. There should be more ways of doing art.

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Last week’s Interview
Song Yi JeonEmerging Masters

Song Yi Jeon: “That’s what I have to do”

May 8, 2024

Song Yi, how would you describe your uniquely mesmerizing style of jazz singing?

I consider my instrument to be my voice. The biggest benefit of being a vocalist is that we are instruments that can speak with words, and when I perform, whether that’s with an orchestra, a band, or solo, I am the melody instrument. Although other musicians also have their parts to lead, my part is the melody.

It sounds a bit like vocal jazz; involving sounds and syllables instead of words and phrases.

I wouldn’t exactly call it vocal jazz or scat singing, but you’re right that the language I use, the notes and syllables and sounds, is similar to traditional vocal jazz singers, but I have a more contemporary style. Depending on the music, I choose different syllables to sing. I can be very free, I do a lot of improvisation, I can just sing whatever comes out of my mouth. I can just be a part of the band. I always found it a bit sad that in traditional jazz performances, the vocalist would come out, sing a specific song, and then leave the stage. But then that’s when the party would start, that’s when the other musicians would start improvising and having fun. Jazz musicians put so much value in improvisation, and I wanted to be part of that too, I want to be out there celebrating with them and improvising, feeling free and accepted as a musician.