The Art Newspaper: If you could live with just one work of art, what would it be?
Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel: Probably a painting by Hilma af Klint or Leonora Carrington, because you are never done with discovering the worlds that lie within.
Which cultural experience changed the way you see the world?
The research I did for a show called Le Bord des Mondes at the Palais de Tokyo, which took me around the planet to meet with creators who didn’t call themselves artists but who were producing what I believe to be works of art. I met Bridget Polk, who after experiencing depression dedicated herself to balancing rocks on the shore of the Hudson River, building these seemingly impossible yet magical sculptures as a way to master chaos. I also encountered the research of Carlos Espinosa, who invented mist catchers, amazing and beautiful structures that would capture invisible water and give it back in the most arid regions. In these research trips I escaped an armed attack, broke a tooth, experienced an earthquake and much more, but I would do it all again because it changed the way I see art.
Which writer or poet do you return to the most?
Etel Adnan [the Lebanese-American poet and artist], for her long-lasting trust and love for the world. Also Ocean Vuong [the Vietnamese-American poet], who writes like one would dance. I’ve been really impressed and inspired by his novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous—a beautiful invitation to acceptance and resilience.
What music or other audio do you listen to as you work?
I have been listening to the artists who played at the Closer Music festival at Lafayette Anticipations [in January], especially Voice Actor and Caterina Barbieri. Voice Actor released an album made of 110 tracks, Sent from My Telephone, which is a journey into one’s mind, its perspectives and dead ends. Caterina Barbieri’s music is also a journey, within worlds of contemplation where she is seeking states of ecstasy.
What are you watching, listening to or following that you would recommend?
I recommend meditation, for how it helps watching and listening to ourselves. And the podcast Death of an Artist, on [artist] Ana Mendieta’s death and the silence that followed.
What is art for?
• Au-delà: Rituals for a New World, Lafayette Anticipations, Paris, 15 February-7 May