An Interview with Julia Dogra-Brazell

Extracts from an interview with Velimir Pavle llic for ATOMICWISE, July 2001:

On background:

In the early 80s, I studied literature at London and Cambridge Universities. In 1995, after inexplicable disenchantment with the written word and a short succession of odd jobs, I started a photography and multimedia degree at a university (Westminster) associated with semiotic/Marxist theoretics. It was a strange choice for someone as unwilling to read images as to read text, but it forced me to approach and question image-making in a more unsettling and unsettled way than I might have done otherwise.

… even as a child, I was more fascinated by Bluebeard’s castle than Peter Pan.

On use of language:

The trouble is, I’m not too sure just how I do use words. Obviously my titles are quite important in that they are a kind of clue as to where you can go and sometimes an ironic aside. Sometimes they direct the piece as I’m working. But this is only the most palpable usage. Initially, my methodology was more structural – in 1998 I was quite literally playing with signifiers and the context in which they were placed. There is a looser, less forced connection between visual and written language now, and the process of juxtaposing is more instinctive. Wouldn’t it be curious, I hear myself asking, to leave behind a body of work that is viewed as a place where, like the unconscious, nothing ends, nothing happens and nothing is forgotten?

On artistic practice:

Perhaps it is not so much – in art at least – about saying something distinctively, rather a question of developing one’s work logically and with integrity. When there is this type of consistency, even in a broad-based practice, the work tends to stand out and open new forms of experience, and this in itself becomes a signature. One becomes caught up in the particular concerns of an artist. Alain once said the human paradox is that everything has been said but nothing has been understood. Even working today, I feel there is plenty of scope within repetition.