I had the privilege to be featured in an insta-interviews series with Ira Rover, the curator of the Gallery Rostov in Russia. Ira is a cultural powerhouse in my hometown. She has been nominated for the local Person of the Year Award not enough times. As an artist, I owe A LOT to this visionary pioneer… I’m #ferklempt 🙂 Below is the English version:
Timbul: I don’t think of myself as an artist in a “classic” sense. I have degrees in theater and journalism. I work in fashion media… the space where art, psychology, people and animalistism (?) comes together. I teach at International Fashion Academy in Paris and Academy of Art U in San Francisco and at The Hopenclass online. My personal art projects are rooted in the space between performance and installation. “That Alexey, he is a … special boy” is what I remember hearing about myself as a kid 🙂
Rover: What is your typical day like?
Timbul: The pandemic aside, this depends on whether I am “home” or wandering around for “work”: fashion weeks, biennales, my lectures, etc. Nevertheless, wherever I am, every morning I must make my “own” bed and give my body an hour of yoga. I cannot always control my workday, but these two actions set any day as “mine”.
Rover: Do you have any rituals which are important for your work?
Timbul: I need to know the date/time of the next trip or a cultural outing “of the day”. That’s my way to optimize myself. I must complete the do-to list before leaving my house. I gotta wrap up a project before the next flight. The open-end-ness of this pandemic is a personal struggle against the gravity of the emergency breaks. Why do anything now when I can do it tomorrow, next week, next month, next year?
Rover: How do you monetize your art?
Timbul: My art projects were either crowdfunded or made as part of grants or a hobby. As a journalist I keep sending out my resume to editors. Being a freelance writer is being a blooming dandelion: spread, spread, spread.
Rover: What would you not paint for any money?
Timbul: In my case, the question is about writing… If the story is somehow racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, etc … – I’d rather hit-the-road-jack myself. I have been very lucky to endure “an interesting poverty”. At 40, it might be too late to sell out 🙂
Rover: Please, recommend some books to read.
Timbul: Incredible adventures of Bobka who invented a flying chair is a Soviet magic novel decades before Harry Potter. I’ve read it first in the fifth grade and a few times since… Also, Hidden Lives of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. It should be taught in schools! In Russian, I try to catch up with what Art Caravan Saray and Marina Kolosova are reading.
Rover: What is the secret of Success?
Timbul: We’re all fucked up. There are no unfucked The sooner you seek out therapy, the higher your chances of success; whatever that might mean for you.
Rover: What do you dream of?
Timbul: I’d love to run a marathon, circumvent the world, and get a dog. Perhaps, I could combine the three somehow?!
Rover: What’s in your playlist?
Timbul: To be honest, in secret, I am a connoisseur of Tatiana Ovsienko’s 90’s oeuvre. For a lyrical mood, I’m a fan of the Polish singer Kortez and for dance energy I’m into Matrang. ALSO. I love pianists… especially those who are composers: Sofiane Pamart, Misha Mishenko, Kirill Richter, Faraj Suleiman.
Rover: Can you recommend a film or a series?
Timbul: The Turikish Netflix is producing amazing supernatural series. The Protector or Atiye: the Gift. I love the idea that there are meta- processes that require our immediate attention. Plus, Istanbul is an incredible city in an era… Also, the Georgian-Swedish Oscar nominee And Then We Danced won me over with its raw honesty.
Rover: Humanity needs your counsel. What would you adise?
Timbul: Keep calm … Drop the presumption of expertise. Empower curiosity.
Rover: Which of your art projects is the most meaningful for you?
Timbul: As an arts journalist, it has to be the story about Kathmandu Triennale for Forbes in 2017. I got a call on a Tuesday that I must in Nepal on Thursday. Oh, Ok))) As an artist, I have to go with the LIEBEration project. It dealt with the queer Holocaust trauma at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. It was a powerful collective effort.