Vitória Damiani

Zomerresident Vruchtbare Grond

Vitória studied Graphic Design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. She was born in Brazil. Vitória is a designer, artist, collagist & aspirant writer.

Memories, dreams, reflections.

Q: Where do you get your ideas?

A: I don’t. They get me!*

Vitória: The process of gestating an idea can be painfully beautiful, specially when it comes from a place of deep introspection and complex experimentation. But what if I let the ideas come to me, instead of birthing them out of reason? Dreams are a picture of ourselves in a specific moment, so I would like to use my innermost and private experiences as a source of input for my writing and image-making. I will depict my dreams in subtle imagery that express these messages given to me by the unconscious. The illustrations may become a collage of memories, subconscious thoughts and reflections upon these. The medium will be the linocut, for its almost meditative-like quality that shifts the attention from the mind to the body, while still demanding attention and time to become something.

Alle makers zitten in hetzelfde schuitje als het aankomt op nieuwe richtingen te onderzoeken en te verkennen, met de obstakels en overwinningen vandien. We vragen onze zomerresidenten naar hun visie op enkele quotes uit het werk 'Truisms' van kunstenares Jenny Holzer en 'Rules for Students and Teachers' van John Cage en Sister Corita Kent.


Symbols are more meaningful than things themselves

Vitória: "Symbols are a kind of lens through which we see things. This applies to the work I will be doing during this residence: I am exploring the imagery of dreams, which contain symbols and not things themselves. I interpret my dreams by breaking them apart and thinking about what the images (things) may symbolise at this moment in my life. There is no right answer, and one image might bear different contents. The thing itself always carries meanings dictated by the symbols attached to it. They relate to personal, cultural, historical and social conceptions."

True freedom is frightful

Vitória: "I had a thought about the subject of freedom on my walk to Het Bos one morning, even before I was asked to react to Jenny Holzer’s Truisms. I have come to the realisation that I am, in fact, a person who benefits from a kind of freedom that could be named “true freedom”. I noticed that it is an enormous privilege to choose and have the freedom to do so; as it is a privilege to be afraid of what these choices might result in. “True freedom” is utterly frightful, still the opportunity to be afraid is what might define what this sort of freedom truly means."

Words tend to be inadequate

Vitória: "A word is “a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with others (or sometimes alone) to form a sentence and typically shown with a space on either side when written or printed”. I agree they are often inadequate because they rely on personal interpretation. Not only that: there are gigantic gaps between what I think, what I want to say, what I say, what you want to hear, what you hear and what you think you heard. Therefore the understanding of words is barely controllable, aside from specific words, the so-called hapax legomena — words that were (probably) used only once ever in literature —, as explained by filmmaker and writer Hollis Frampton in an interview: “Even though we know precisely what it means, we will never use it again”. In that case they are strictly adequate. "


Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for a while.

Vitória: "I feel like it’s important to take decisions and stick to them for a while during the creative process. Because sometimes it can be overwhelming to gather ideas, references and intentions, it’s important to trust some of the choices that were made and rely on them at least temporarily to see where they lead."

The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It's the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.

Vitória: "Rule seven is something I often repeat to myself when working on a creative project. I’ve noticed my process is generally divided into a few phases, starting with this sort of reflective silence that transitions into a creative explosion after some time. I keep on working and enduring throughout these organic steps until the project clicks in as a whole."

Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They're different processes.

Vitória: "This rule could be a mantra for any type of work, especially when involving creativity. The process of creating deals not only with other competences than the process of analysing, but also relates to different goals, so to speak. Creating is guided by emotion, while analysing is by logic. This natural balance and equivalence are crucial, though often conflicting. Trying to separate these processes can lead to a smoother artistic practice. In my experience, it is a daily exercise to shuffle between creating and analysing without confusing them."

JENNY HOLZER ‘Truisms’ 1983
‘Truisms’ zijn een paar honderd uitspraken van politieke, sociale, filosofische of moralistische aard. Soms zijn het 'open deuren', soms geven zij stof tot nadenken. De uitspraken zijn niet de persoonlijke meningen van Holzer. Sommige uitspraken of opvattingen zijn tegenstrijdig, maar samen geven ze een afspiegeling van de werkelijkheid. Holzer zegt: "Ik dacht dat het geheel een redelijk betrouwbaar portret zou kunnen zijn van de manier waarop de dingen zijn in de wereld, omdat al deze tegenstrijdige meningen tegelijkertijd bestaan".

Componist John Cage gebruikte een lijst met tien regels voor studenten en leraars, die opgesteld waren door zeefdruk-kunstenars, docente en non Sister Corita Kent. Kent maakte de lijst als onderdeel van een project in een cursus die ze gaf in 1967-1968. Sommige van de regels van Kent’s lijst doen ook denken aan de ‘Oblique Strategies’ van muzikant Brian Eno en de schilder Peter Schmidt (die we onze zomerresidenten-muziek voorlegden). Neem nu regel nummer zes, "Nothing is a mistake," die doet denken aan Oblique Strategy "Honor thy error as a hidden intention."