Art & Design

Clo’e Floirat: “I have always had the feeling Greeks are born with an intrinsic cultural background.”

1 Occupy Atopos #CloeFloirat high res

Clo’e Floirat is not only an artist. She is an art critic, as well. And she is not just making her critics in the traditional way -meaning writing-, but she combines it with drawing, doing what she finally calls Drawing Crit Writing, which is nothing more than critics to contemporary art and its current situation, in order to move the rest.

Having studies in New York, London and Eindhoven, Netherlands, and having worked in the widest art fields, Floirat returns to Atopos -she has already participated in ARRRGH!, Slaves to Atopos and Mon Petit Chou- to participate in the Occupy Atopos project, with original artwork on its new theme-research Unlocked, a research towards the body, by artists of the generation of Tumblr and the social media.

Clo’e Floirat has worked with Robert Wilson, Rufus Wainwright, is a regular in important artistic editions, such as Intramuros and L’Officiel Art, while for the time being, she is working for Colette in Paris, fashion house Hermès and  Illycaffè.

#1. “Designer, ex-, Illustrator, no-, Artist, perhaps-, Critic, certainly-“. Is there a single word to describe those or do you find that trying to describe them in one word, things would be less interesting?

Yes, I guess it can be really limiting to always try to categorize people and their supposedly single and only practice. I often say that I am an artist-critic which actually does not have much sense, but I guess this is what I am: an artist as well as an art critic. In fact I feel that I am probably just a critic, I have my own vision and it does not matter what shape it takes that it is a piece of writing or a drawing.

#2. You are into what you call “Drawing Crit’ Writing”. How would you describe it in a few words?

It is simply the combination of both of my main practices. I write and draw about art at large with a critical orientation.
It is a single tool, a pen, that produces two lines in the exact same time. One line creates an image and the other a combination of words. And both are intertwined and cannot live without one another!

#3. Critics means sarcasm. Or maybe not? What does it mean to you?

No. Critic does not necessarily means sarcasm at all. Only, I use it a lot for my drawings more especially, but that is just one of the many ways to do it. I feel that many things can be said through humor and sarcasm but it should not always be this way. I am also very keen on writing more standard and let’s say serious essays. Not everything can be said and should be said through irony even if I love it!

#4. Having worked in multiple fields, how has each one contributed to your current interests and way of expression?

I have indeed worked in multiple fields but they all belong to the same bigger field if I should say: the vast field of the arts obviously. So it is rather evident for me that one can make those many links between each sub-field! One feeds the other and helps you understand them all from a wider point of view. And I do not believe that one only gets the surface of it, in this way. I feel confident and I feel I do engage will all. I am interested in what lays in the edges of things, at the boarders of fields. I am a big adept of overflowing, running over, going over the edges. Where you feel in danger because you are in balance between two matters. The uncomfortable and undefined place are for me more propelling.

#5. Do you think that each city you have lived at has affected your work and in what ways? How would you describe your relationship with these cities?

Each city has definitely affected, if not my work directly, my way of seeing and thinking. Living in different cities means that each time you have to understand the way it works and to do so correctly, you have to embrace its culture, hopefully its language. And you literally have to adjust your own pace to the one you are meant to integrate. I think it is a great way to open yourself and learn how to comprehend others. I guess the most obvious way it has influenced my work is by using the language of the country I was living in for my drawings but also the cities becoming the subject of its own as I mainly draw and write about current events in the places I am at the time. I have probably developed a very specific relationship with each city. Some I was to study, some to work, some for love affairs… I have loved them all for different reasons and it is hard to say which one I like the best.

#6. You have teamed up with Atopos multiple times in the past. How does it feel for an artist to know there is someone who appreciates and trust their work?

It is very important indeed. Atopos has supported my work since day one. We met in New York at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center. We literally fell in love. We were so different and yet so similar, I think they push me to do things I would never do, and vice versa. And this is how I believe great things can be achieved and moved towards unexpected works. It has been great and an ever growing dialogue between us.

It feels like I have a playground where I can go and try new things under the very fine and sharp eyes of Atopos.
#7. How would you describe the Athenian art crowd, compared to those of New York, Paris, etc?

I am not sure I know enough yet about the Athenian art scene to be able to answer this question. But as far as I experienced it I am not sure how it is different. Obviously the context is extremely different from any other places, also right now because of this economic crisis and so on. The context has an influence on people behavior that is for sure. I might be wrong but I have the feeling that here the art scene and so its crowd are a bit more grounded, as less superficial I mean, in terms of the “general” art scene behavior that can very often be extremely unpleasing, fake and useless. I have said before that I have always had the feeling Greeks are born with an intrinsic cultural background and a certain depth in what ever they process. I enjoy that very much.

#8. What are your future plans?

I am currently working on an video-opera together with Rufus Wainwright, Francesco Vezzoli and Marina Abramovic, hopefully it will come to Athens next year! Cross fingers.

I am also working on several edition projects both in writing and in drawing, as well as a new collaboration with Hermès. Recently and accidentally I have also started to write songs, I might try to push this a bit!