Casa Magica: Interview

Where does the name “Casa Magica” come from? Is it inspired from a specific concept?
The name „CASA MAGICA“ came up in our early projects of large format projections mapped on buildings in the 1990s.
It was inspired by „Laterna Magika“, the legendary pioneer multimedia theatre in Praha. Changing to „Casa“ indicated the special interest to transfer indoor staging to outdoor architectural environments.

How did you get the idea of working with light?
As long as he can think back, Friedrich was experimenting with light related media: microscopy, photography and slides, since the 1970s also with laser.Sabine had happy experiences in a stained glass art studio in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Besides these observations: It is never easy to say, why you do what you do.

What’s the best feedback you ever got?
A Swabian visitor saying „That’s not bad!“

Why did you agree to come to tiny Hildesheim?
There is nothing wrong about tiny places.
By the way: Hildesheim is not at all „tiny“ if taking into consideration e.g. its dense architectural and cultural heritage. And EVI LICHTUNGEN itself proves a persistent interest and activity in contemporarity.

What do you understand from „public“? What does it mean to you working in „public“?
First to say: The core motivation and pleasure of artists is the creative process itself. Nevertheless there are probably few artists who do not want their work being paid attention to by an audience, means „the public“.
We appreciate, that Evi Lichtungen keeps the perimeters between indoor (museal, cultural, religious) spaces and outdoor spaces open and permeable.Thus the audience’s approach to the works is probably more less equally tuned. In other cases of outdoor works the demands upon the artists are harsher, as the work is also exposed to involuntary audience and e.g. people who ask, whether this is only art or already advertisement.
What we think helps and what matches our personal delight in art: A high intensity and presence of esthetic features, which may well also include austere qualities.
In any case – and like in any other sphere of life – it requests carefullness – which should not be mistaken for creating the egg-laying, milk-bearing woolly pig, satisfying everybody in every thinkable state of mood. Seems, that public art briefs, even briefs of some light festivals, increasingly surround the artists with such requests. We are convinced, that – after an initial consideration of the project’s preconditions and producer’s expectations – you have to dive into your creative flow and just do, what you yourself consider the best and most convincing artistic solution.

How did you deal with light/seeing/… as an experience?
In this project for EVI LICHTUNGEN we do not specially focus on phenomena of visual perception in the immediate relation between our work and its viewers. However it has a related core topic: Good parts of the visual events as well as the soundtrack are developed from data information about a year’s average solar gain on earth (in moderate northern hemisphere climate regions). Thus it features light in the primary, physical sense of solar energy. Present-day people are familiar with this way of looking on the very base of life. At the same time we find the first testimony of it in ancient Egyptian culture, in the astonishingly consistent monistic and montheist concept of Aton propagandized by Echnaton.

Describe your perfect working atmosphere
Having the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the working process for a project with time and muse, smoothly integrating what needs to be done for dayly life – at best as phases of recreation.

Maybe not serious enough but: if you had to compare yourself / your work as an artist with an animal which one would be the most similar in its character? Or better: which light source would it be?
Further up we used an animal comparison for negation. Regarding this question it is less easy to be on the same page. Friedrich suggests the goat. Sabine hesitates. However she agrees with Friedrich’s explanation: The goat is curiously observing its surrounding and seems to have great joy in making creative use of its findings.

Interviewed by Nour Jihène Maziti