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Issue No. 17 - Enigma

Emerging Artist Interview : Ellen Jantzen

Tell us about the work we featured within the ‘Temptation Issue’

The piece featured is titled "Proximity" and is from my Disturbing The Spirits series.

Disturbing the Spirits deals with both reality and time (past/present/future) and my growing attachment to the healing powers of the natural environment.

As human actions impact the natural environment, can artists heal nature? Does art bring “special powers” to the table? If so, what are they? What is ‘art’? What is ‘nature’? What needs healing? What arrogance!

Where do you see your work going, what is next in the development of your project?

Place of Departure (Disturbing the Spirits, part 2)

I was working on my series, "Disturbing The Spirits" when my father suddenly died*. Place of Departure is the work I have done since then.

I feel that my life has fundamentally changed; but sometimes all seems the same. Where did my father go? What does a life mean after it leaves it's body? Does the life-force rise and connect the terrestrial with the celestial or does it evaporate into thin air?

These are the questions I am grappling with as I begin my new series; hopefully I will find my way to an understanding.

6 months later my mother passed away also. The space between my father's death and my mother's was filled with this work.

What inspires you? Who, Where, Why?

As an artist who uses photography as an art form, I am interested in states of reality. How is reality experienced; how is it revealed?  As I become more aware of the many scientific theories about multi-universes, space/time conundrums and the like, I find reality difficult to define and a challenge to depict. I am drawn to this challenge by striving to make visual that which may not have a visual component. I am always interested in looking beyond the surface in the hopes of revealing something deeper and unexpected.

Our theme was ‘Temptation,’ how do you relate to this within your work and how would you define temptation.

I see temptation as the desire to do something wrong or unwise…. in the general sense, but as I apply the word to photography I strive to create imagery that is conceptually a temptation rather than an outright depiction of temptation. Photographs were once considered "truthful", but we now know there has been photo tampering going on since its inception. Because photos are "believed" there is a great deal of room to play within photography's reality to create a personal fiction, a temptation that is more open to interpretation.

Musee Magazine - Temptation

Ellen Jantzen

Rockaway! presented by MoMA PS1

Established Artist: Marilyn Minter: Glamourpuss