Danish conceptual artist Jacob Borges came to Finland for a workshop and research trip in 2007. Back in Denmark, he applied for the HIAP residency programme. Helsinki Times visited Borges in his studio at HIAP to discover more about this witty artist and his work.
During his two-month stay in Helsinki, Jacob Borges curated Urban Pedestals together with curator Lotte Petersen and prepared his first solo exhibition in Finland.
Throughout his photo, sculpture and text related artwork, Borges reveals himself as a witty artist with the capacity for detailed observation and deep thinking. His profound interest in research has taken him to the path of conceptual art as a means of communication. By expressing himself he wishes to touch the intellect of the viewers and provoke a chain of thought that may translate into a kind of snowball communication.
“Making art and looking at art keeps my brain running. and hopefully also somebody else’s interested in my art,” he says.
What it is to be an artist
Defining himself as an artist who regards what he does as art, he likes the thought of the artwork as a means of communication among people.
“An artist is a person who creates art. Some artists don’t regard themselves as artists. To me, what I do is not special in any way, I am not especially talented or intelligent, what I do anybody can do. It’s not like painting that requires some techniques. I could write down what I do and send the instructions to someone else and he can do just the same, that is the concept of being a conceptual artist,” Borges says and adds:
“Art has to be regarded as art by the artist. It’s a naming game. In that sense as soon as you can regard something as art it is art. Things become art when they start to communicate, when they become a picture of something else, even provoke a discussion about something or a feeling. It can be in a musical sense, a good book, or a film that makes you think, making you wonder about things, making you think new things that others didn’t think before you.”
Borges speaks passionately about what art is for him, about the way he is open to all kinds of ideas that might be the scattered seeds for his art if they develop adjusting his focus to much more than a simple object. He keeps his eyes and mind open without putting boundaries to himself, without putting himself in a box.
“What I work with is just a bunch of ideas but it has to be an idea that keeps me thinking, that keeps me investigating and looking at pages on the Internet until the point I can show it to somebody else and provoke their interest, maybe I make them do their own investigation,” says Borges.
The exhibition If Artists Didn’t Do Art Somebody Else Would is on display at Galleria Kaapeli at the Cable Factory in Ruoholahti, Helsinki until 31 August.
Susan Fourtane – Helsinki Times
Jacob Borges – Image