Eva Lanska, artist from United Kingdom. Photo © Courtesy of the artist
1.Tell us what you do and your beginnings.
I took my first independent black and white photographs when I was eight years old. I was a real paparazzi at that time. Not one of my classmates could walk past my camera without being photographed.
I persuaded my parents to buy me a camera that took 72 frames out of 36 – a device that was full of surprises but saved a lot of film, which was a luxury at the time. Despite the fact that in my childhood I was actively fond of paints, mainly oils and watercolors, film remained my main tool, and still does, even today.
At the beginning of 2000, I studied in Paris and began to experiment in video art. I created short installations on social topics, but only in 2017 did my work begin to be noticed. One of my short films ended up at the Cannes Film Festival.
2.What does your work aim to say?
Every ballerina dreams of being a prima and playing the lead role. On her path to glory, she must overtake many rivals. But one of the main questions remains: ‘What is the price of success?’. During a visit to New York City, I was impressed by the high level of female solidarity within the society. This social movement, a sisterhood, opens up new opportunities and is an indispensable support for many women.
I myself know from my personal experience, how hard it is to be single mother and more so, being an immigrant living away from one’s family. How wonderful it is when women support women. It seems to me that the time has come to draw attention to this in Europe and take advantage of this positive experience. Women can achieve so much more by replacing competition with mutual assistance.
3.Where do you find inspiration for your art?
When I chose the color scheme for this video installation, I was inspired by the works of Leonardo da Vinci. I started each day by looking at his work. His creative genius was my driving force.
Another inspiration, of course, is ballet. Since childhood, ballet has been a special art form to me. Several of the projects I have created were influenced by the history and beauty of Diaghilev’s ballet, which back in 1908, achieved great success and cultural influence in France and the United Kingdom.
Another source of inspiration for me is old movies. I often revisit old films, such as those by Michelangelo Antonioni and Luchino Visconti.
4.Could you give us some insight into your creative process?
The most important thing in creating artwork for me is the attention to detail – by paying attention to not only what will end up on the video tape, but also to what was in the center during the creation of this video installation.
For example, when I filmed the video installation “Existential Choice”, filming took place at an old stable in the British countryside. I dressed myself in a riding suit worn by the women in England at the end of the 19th century. The suit was created before 1918 at a time when women did not yet have many social rights.
Also, during the shooting, we used classic British poetry dedicated to the search for freedom, which the actor read behind the scenes. There are many other details that of course, one will not see in the film, but all of them will be felt ‘between the lines’.
5.What are your future projects?
I’m delighted that my video installation will be presented in the NFT format. At the moment, we are planning our exhibition during the Venice Biennale 2022 which will be held at the Bragadin Palace where my work will be presented, along with the works of other women artists.
They are Marie Hugo, Maria Grazia Rosin, Luisa Maisel and Valerie Raymond Stampowska. I am happy that this year my works will be presented surrounded by female artists, since this once again underscores women’s solidarity and their loud voice.
Eva Lanska is an Israeli artist currently living in London who in 2001 moved to Paris where she studied and matured her artistic training influenced in particular by French literature and cinema. After graduating from the London Film Academy in 2017, she has dedicated herself to the production of documentaries and films for which she has received several awards in Europe and America, including the Hollywood just Shorts Film Fest 2018, Russian Pavilion at Cannes film festival 2017, The California Film Awards 2018, and with British production company North of Walford Films, Lanska has signed a contract to produce the film “I’m Not an Actress”, inspired by the biography of Brigitte Bardot.
Her first short film was “Okay, Mum” and the main theme was domestic violence, for which she won the award for best film at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was selected for the Short Film Corner at Cannes 2017. The production of the director tackles various current issues with the aim of analyzing the stereotypes of society, with short films and documentaries such as “Little French Fish” (2020), “The Abraham Accords Change History: Women in the Middle East” (2021). With “The Existential Choice” instead, which she will present at Palazzo Bragadin in Venice from 19 to 24 April on the occasion of the inauguration of the Biennale Arte 2022, it will also become a 3D video installation also available as an NFT. The video is a succession of poetic images, light and delicate even in the colors.
In the scene we can read a special balance that belies the gesture of competition between the two protagonists; the focus of the project is to highlight the difficulties and sacrifices that the dancers must overcome even among themselves, in order to achieve their goal. This is what also happens in other contexts of each person’s life. The photos that complete the artist’s installation, which help the visitor to understand well those gestures, those light and suspended steps that instead have a quick and decisive impact in the video. Immediate.