Larisa David (1988, Romania)

Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Art Project Depot - 5 questions - Larisa David
What are the most essential components of your artistic practice?

In my artistic practice I am particularly interested in how power structures shape the everyday, as well as investigating alternatives. I often find myself guided by intuition, trying to understand, or at least explore things that are hard for me to grasp. This opens a space of interesting ambiguity, as there is something there, that attracts attention, that could potentially be understood, while at the same time knowing that I can never catch hold of. I usually go through a process of unlearning, trying to understand how things came to be. This challenges my world views and opens new perspectives, as many of the things that seem as they should, are actually the result of complex histories. Currently I am interested in investigating how uncertainty exists in complicated relations between the state, the market and how people live. I am wondering how this state permeates the affective atmosphere and the nervous system, affecting how we assemble our lives at the present moment. As we constantly seem to adapt to new conditions, we are also put in the position of accepting the uncertainty that change brings, the anxiety over a future that seems chilling, while forced to live day by day. As such, I am wondering how uncertainty is put at work in Western societies but also how individuals maintain their footing and bearing and hold themselves together amid unravelling institutions and social relations.

How do you interact with space when creating a project?

I make projects that are in general immaterial, so I always try to imagine how the audience will move in the space.

What is the role of text in your work?

Text is very important in my practice. In the last years I started working with spoken performances. Before this moment my practice had performative elements, but since moving to Rotterdam, I embraced writing as the basis of my works. One of the main reasons I discovered I enjoy working with performance is that it allows me to generate writing in a more fragmentary way while being grounded in the body. In my writing, I combine seemingly disparate elements from my surroundings from political statements, gestures, emotions, intimacy and social relations to create new worlds.

What reaction do you attempt to provoke in your audience through your work?

Generally I want to invite new perspectives or highlight different relations of things through my works. But it depends from project to project. In working with performance I have been exploring the relation between the performer and the audience. I find that performance is a powerful mode to question who or what is seen, by whom, and from where. Come Closer (2019) proposes in five scenarios possible interactions between the audience and invisible or aliens others. The work explores different constellations between presence and absence, collectivity and individuality. Acts of appearing, recognition, denouncing, obscuring, and blending are explored in the performance by making the audience occupy different roles by successively being game or hunters, unwanted guests or unreliable visitors, sighters or seekers. The performance plays with fiction and the imagination of the audience while always asking them to be aware of different roles they can occupy. Lately, my works have allowed a slower temporality by taking the form of sound installations or videos, which I believe allows for more space for the audience to reflect.

What is the role of the research approach in contemporary art?

I feel that for me at least, research offers me ample space and time to reflect on the questions I am trying to explore. Each of my projects is based on research, although my methodology can be very different depending on the project. Sometimes, I collect interviews from people, while other times read or search online for articles and videos.

Selected works