Sunday, October 18, 2015

Poet Interview: ABYSS FORGOTTENTOMB

Interview with ABYSS FORGOTTENTOMB

Since the time I interviewed you for Autoeroticasphyxium you have contributed several of your poems and several pieces of your artwork to AEA and Cerebral Agony zines. You likewise have some new drawings and paintings posted on Facebook. In what ways has your creativity expanded since our previous interview?
I had some new drawings and paintings posted on Facebook a few days ago. They are a bit different compared to the ones I did a few years ago. Let me explain how it started. When I lived in my native region, I played music and sang in a music school; those were my only courses. It was the way I learned to express myself. Music helped me a lot. I drew like a novice. During the singing courses I learned to express my hidden feelings which was difficult because I wanted to hide them (I am kind of a secret person). My former singing teacher Thierry Crusem (who paints; please visit the site legrandtrois.com) was good at expressing himself through music because he was used to it. So, he has always influenced me through art. Before I knew it, I went to music school from 2003/2004 to 2006 then I left my native region Moselle (I explained it during the previous interview in AEA in 2013).Two years later, I met an artist (I won't mention his name/artwork, because he's just an ex), and for the first time I have learned to mix acrylics and oils together. I am nowadays able to explain some of my creations. Emotions and feelings are just conductive threads, and several people recognized themselves through some of my canvases without my explanation. From 2010 to 2012, everything ran fast: a wedding and a divorce in France, which remained the same through some of the artwork I did during that time. All of my artwork remains the same because life is a never-ending moving circle, always changing and evolving from everything called dejà-vu. Nothing is new, but everything is the same, changing. In 2012 I came across Waking Chaos’ Facebook band page. I have supported them and I received band stickers I still have at home. This is how I met new artists (Jerry Langdon, Alexander Kautz, Frank Garcia, Lioness DeWinter, Rich Orth and others) and have collaborated for AEA. Jerry Langdon asked me for a drawing called The Sandman. Langdon, Jean-Pierre Alaux, Peter Gric, Thierry Crusem and Sakharov (you can watch some of his work on Youtube) are inspiring to me. Those who can create with such emotions are clearly sensitive persons. I feel more comfortable expressing myself through artwork. Day and night I'm exploring new horizons, new textures, and new subjects.

How would you describe the new drawings and paintings you mentioned and say they differ from your previous works?
If I had to use simple words to describe the new artwork, I would say they’re different, clearer, constantly evolving (most of them are; they are not static so to speak). Long ago some of my artwork was just like the tip of the iceberg, but it never seemed to evolve like I wanted it to. I think as an artist we all have a static moment, but inside art (the soul if I may say), everything is changing but the origins are the same. My artwork is all based upon my life experiences, except the pieces people wanted me to do (maritime art for example). The way I started to paint was like the way I started to write poems. It's all about the way I am inside (introverted), but constantly changing from the hidden place (dark colors/words) to the enlightened point (clear colors or clear subjects). I would explain that my art was static, and nowadays a kind of acceptation of itself. It's everything; to be conscious you are waking up from a long sleep. My pieces were just words I couldn't pronounce, but nowadays it shows a better technique. I will always keep a part of secret or mystery inside of my creations.

Why do you consider Jerry Langdon, Jean-Pierre Alaux, Peter Gric, Thierry Crusem and Sakharov inspirational to your work? What sort of feelings do their poems evoke?

Their techniques are completely different but they're all what I love in art. Jerry's art is really dark and full of emotions. He can't create without his full heart, just like Thierry who is very sensitive through his pictorial and visual expressions. That means a lot to me; art can't be done without full emotions. Jean-Pierre Alaux's canvases are like none other: it's the end of art in a figurative way, I mean art dies all the time because it belongs to yesterday, but tomorrow it will have a new face with a new expression. He's very old but his technique is really perfect. His art is like the quintessence of perfection (even if I know none can reach it). Jerry's poems are the perfect hidden emotions; he knows how to put it into words after seeing a painting. That's not so common because people never talk with their feelings. Thierry's songs are also full of emotions; you can feel them through his voice. Peter Gric is a kind of second Giger, technically. His artwork is intemporal, a sort of deja-vu sometimes but closer to perfection: all symbolic. Sakharov's paintings, like those I saw at Youtube, are how I have discovered another way to paint waves and oceans. But the first time was difficult. It has been very interesting; he was like one with his canvas. One single entity. I don't know so much about him but I like his videos about painting. Those artists are sensitive in a different way; they are all my conductive threads (conductive thread means fil conductor in French, in memory of my former singing teacher's song called Constellation Monocéros from the album Les Couloirs de l'Amer Etonnant).

What do you mean when applying the term intemporal to Peter Gric’s work?
I meant that his artworks are out of time, like an instantané (in photography), like none else, you can't label his mark so to speak. His masterpieces resemble Giger for example if you take a look at the kind of threads and tubes he have painted. It's very similar to science-fiction you can see in Giger's artwork. But very "modern" and technique, intemporal is to me when you paint something out of time this way with a "Gigertesque" expression. I think I could use the words "Gigertesque expressionism”. I can take an example: Gric's feminine figures look like statues but seem to be so real, just like a cliché in photography, alive during a short second, with the mark of the Master. Take a look at the ones called "Android IV" and "Artefact XII" for example: it sure that Giger has inspired him in a way or another, because it reminds a little through the perspective and the tubes, electric cables and threads. There's something quite like a déjà-vu. I am pretty sure. Even the first page of his homepage is very interesting: Giger's site is also animated, and I like both. Their works are similar in the perspective, the aliens are of course different but there are always the female figures in a different way. Gric's architectures are just fabulous, coming from other planets, quite mathematical and perfect. I think he knows a lot about the golden number in art but I don’t. You can find updates on his Facebook page and also on his official website: http://www.gric.at. You can find the latest books also here on his website: http://www.gric.at/shop/books.htm

Would you like to see Gric and artists like him receive more mainstream recognition?
I think that artists should get more mainstream recognition, because artists are the people's voice. Expressing oneself through art is the best; we must let our voice out; it’s better than bombs so to speak. I would like to see artists like them and many others known for their art because art is the best philosophy ever. I want independent artists to be known because they are truly talented and work with their hidden emotions. They are clearly inspiring people; they really help me to express myself through art better than before, even if I already have my own talent.

Have you read the contributions to AEA and Cerebral Agony from Jerry Langdon, Alexander Kautz, Frank Garcia, Lioness DeWinter and Rich Orth? In what ways do you see their poems and fictional pieces fit together in those zines?
Yes of course, I am always tagged so I can't miss it. I just read that Alexander Kautz will post new stuff as soon as possible (things can happen sometimes). Those artists have a great dark side in their art, they know what to do and how to use darkness in their poetry and fictional pieces. Kautz is, to me, the one who reminds me of Vincent Price most. I don't know why or how, but it feels like this inside of me. Once he just scared me with a spider he drew for AEA, it was really scary because I just hate spiders. Its expressions in looking at readers and standing is really memorable haha, and once I told him about that in my old Facebook, and he said “it was made this way to scare you," something like that. He knows a lot about Price. Jerry is a kind of chameleon in his art too, because he knows how to illustrate any poem with all his emotions: it's how art communicates. People who can't understand Art are not receptive or not sensitive, maybe are not able to listen to themselves at first, that's for sure. Frank's artworks are totally sick, and they are always inspiring too, very technique as always. Musically he's been inspired a lot, and his artworks are a mix between death metal and astronomy. You think that astronomy and the universe are full of joyful colors? Well, the universe is very chaotic, because everything explodes, burns, collapses, it makes planets and galaxies in noise and chaos if I may say so. It creates from chaos. He's got a sensitive side, a rare moment in his artwork if you listen to "Liquid Sky" (my favorite), and if you listen to "Waking Chaos" it's different, it's growling. Christine is a gothic fiction author, I haven't read her books but I hope her books will arrive in Europe so that I will get one or two. You can follow her on Deviantart, http://lionessdewinter777.deviantart.com.
I wanted to write a book based upon my personal life but I don't feel ready to. I wanted to write books for children, I think it could be a good start. Anyway. Rich Orth is certainly a modern Poe, or Poe back to life. The darkest ever. I have read some of his poems. He's full of melancholy and knows how to use it in his work. The dark side fits perfectly in these zines, the Gothic Expression is made for those zines actually. It's sometimes difficult to express oneself, the modern people generally says “how dark you are, do you feel all right? Are you sad or depressed”? The most depressing thing ever is when people think you feel bad because your art is dark. But they forgot that from darkness was born the light, and that without the darkness the light is awful and makes you blind, vice-versa. I think it's good that artists can express themselves in those magazines, so that our art will never die. Those artists are full of emotions, full of darkness but are also enlightened inside their souls: they all have been inspired by the gothic era which is still living and haunting.

I noticed news clippings featuring you on your Facebook profile. Tell the readers when you were the subject of those pieces and why you were chosen to be spotlighted?
The first time was in 2012 when I supported Waking Chaos. I don't remember how I came across their Facebook fan page. It was during my last courses in a French university. They posted an article about supporting the band and getting stickers and I wanted to talk about their music. I gave them my former address and had my first "autograph" by Frank Garcia. It was also the first time I gotten in touch with AEA Zine, I was continuing my artwork that time and shared them, then AEA did too. I left France for Sweden with my cat Fenrir and my canvases, but then I left Sweden to go home to France in April 2013. It was at this moment two weeks ago before going back to France I drew "The Sandman" (for Jerry Langdon) and "The Bad Seed" (related to my ex-husband who betrayed me with a young one who got preg; nowadays they’re splitted). Then I arrived in France and had my first interview in AEA in May 2013; that was my first interview. I am still sharing new artwork on my Facebook page (I had to create a new one but I won't change it again). In the first interview I was a bit shy, but I was comfortable anyhow. It was in issue #22. I still draw and paint, and still share my new creations. I want to be more than an artist, I want to do some collaborations with artists who are interested. I want to create and to learn from other artists. I know that I can. Get ready to see more crazy stuff.

Much of your recent work has been of Norse themes. When did you become interested in incorporating these themes?
It started at the end of 2013, after a sojourn to Sweden in Umeå. I wanted to show Scandinavia what I have learned. I missed Scandinavia so to speak, and I thought to myself it would be great to do something to remember it in art. So I contacted some virtual Swedish friends, and also my Swedish ex-boyfriend who knows much about it. I did some personal research on the web and in books. All the things I learned in Sweden just inspired me to draw and write more about a missing land: I wanted to be there again and I wanted to present the Norse Gods in my artwork. It's interesting if you are not used to it, and full of mysteries. The way I wrote about Scandinavia, the Birches is related to what I saw when I lived in Sweden. I wanted to show my own visions on the subject, and I created a pictorial album called "Visions From Scandinavia.” It was also a little chaotic at the same time when I did them, because of a stalker who was jealous because I was with this person I met. I wanted to talk about a land through paintings and poetry. I think that it’s a good influence; it opens new horizons before your eyes. It's also clearly related to the black metal movement. Those who are not from there, or who have never lived there, can't understand the meaning of "Winter”, "Darkness" and "Solitude”, and I found out the meaning. All of this universe is still inspiring to me. All of the Norse Symbolism has always contributed to my own evolution, but Sweden did the most actually because I lived there for months. I can't regret this; the nostalgia is always around.

Having lived in Scandinavia for some time, how much of an understanding have you gained about the seasons there?
First, the seasons are totally different compared to France. It's dark longer than where I live, and not so much people go out, except those who practice winter sports like skiing. When I was told that people feel alone, and that Scandinavian poetry is strongly related to Nature, its respect and so, I figured it out and understood it quickly. Nowadays I understand the underground black metal scene better. Artistically, I think that Loneliness is a kind of poetry itself. If you see Scandinavia during a dark season like autumn (darker and darker) and winter (colder even colder, -40°C, and also even darker, the darkest point is in January), I think that you can see Scandinavia as if you were the observant in the painting named "Wanderer Above The Sea Of Fog" by Friedrich. It's a romantic painting, and if you see Scandinavia like I saw it you realize the meaning of Beauty. Loneliness is not about being alone but like in this painting, it's about "I, before the Giant Mother Nature, I feel miserable and so ridiculous, I must ask myself the real question" and so on. I can recommend you a good writer named August Strindberg. I haven't read all of his words actually, just some theatric books at least. I could talk more about the subject. Keep in mind that Scandinavia is not only cold in winter seasons. It's also warm during summer, and the days are totally opposite to winter; the days are longer and brighter and it's the morning at 03:30am. It is all about Nature, the Human Being before the Seasons’ Heights. It has helped me a lot to write poems nowadays, because I understand things better (myself maybe, and surely what Loneliness and Darkness are all about).

Bearing the seasons in mind, how would you say you relate to Scandinavian black metal? Which bands are your favorites?
Well, in the beginning of my first Nordic winter in Umeå, my former boyfriend from Sweden told me about loneliness, that most of people there feel alone, and that's also why people can sometimes come to your table at a café just to say "hi, can I join" or just come to you to talk about everything like job or studies. Most of them are that cold, just like winter is: the bureaucracy at least, but it's just a facade, there's always a kind of light hidden their cold surface. I never said the Nordic people are cold; they are just like people in my native region (Mosel), when we don't know who you are and what your purpose is in life we can seem cold to you. The Germanic/Nordic way is the same: cold like winter, but under the iceberg there's always a kind of midsummer. Cold people outside, warm people inside. The winter is impressive if you are not used to it: dark and cold, a pure loneliness when you are facing it in the huge forests. Forests are like empty houses, the beginning of everything, which call you to reflection of yourself. The kind of primitive source, where everything lives in silence and dies in solitude, but you can hear the birds everywhere in the forests. The primitive source is also a way to communicate with yourself poetically also. We can't be without Mother Nature. Our Ancient Tribes knew it, their ancestors too. It's a part of the universe, it's a part of our lungs. The forests breathe in the seasons rhythms, just like you without you notice it. My favorite bands are of course Burzum and Dimmu Borgir (especially "Inn I Evighetens Morke/Part 1" which means "into the eternal darkness" because long winters seem to be like eternal and so are their nights, their coldness: it's a kind of life battle). I have many other favorite bands like Sombre Chemins (“Dark Paths”) from France. Most people associate black metal to "murder" or "extremist ideas" but it's just the media who associates it most of the time or "religions" which is not my cup of tea. The title of Dimmu "Alt Lys Er Svunnet Hen" means "all the light has faded away" (like the light is just disappearing, showing the growing night, the quintessence of the cold darkness). Black metal is just about "darkness", "forests", "seasons", "life and death": the wheel of Life, the Universe inside and outside here and everywhere. I think that underground black metal bands are like new poets. Most of them adore classical music just like I do. They play with all their feelings when they write music; it shows they are sensitive people, they know how to listen to someone since they are full of emotions inside their art.

For as long as I’ve listened to Scandinavian black metal I’ve received similar impressions from the music and lyrics. Other bands that come to mind include Emperor, Ancient and Satyricon. From how you describe it I have a little more of an understanding. In how many different ways would you liken black metal to poetry?
Well, like I said earlier, if you take some underground bands like Immortal, or other black metal bands talking about the battles or winter and forests, it's always in a poetic way. Have you heard about the "Poetic Edda”? It's all about it in a way. Imagine yourself in a snowy forest, alone, in the coldness, the white empire surrounding you, it’s a kind of romantic painting: yourself alone before the nature's heights. The solitude in the darkness of winter: that could be a phrase in a poem. Poetry is an elegant way to describe what surrounds you at the moment with those feelings that will fade away after the darkness. Emperor and Satyricon are very dark. Most of the metal bands are about Vikings (then you can read the poetic Edda if you can find it I recommend it: you have the old Edda and the Poetic Edda, like those who wanted to create an "old and new testaments") and battles (life is a battle, you can understand it in the Poetic Edda), or "Satanism" (not about sects, which is definitively not my cup of tea) just to be against "Christianity" (well, actually, we all have the right to believe in what/who we want, and I trust my Norse Gods and you know I wrote poems because I have been inspired by the sagas and so). Black metal is simply as dark as winter, as cold as darkness/death but also melancholic even if some bands are totally dark masked by a kind of "sado-masochistic" influence (maybe influenced by the Marquis de Sade). I am sure that most of the black metal bands have been inspired by "gothic" poets (Baudelaire with Litany, Poe with his ravens: the ravens belong to Oden actually). I think that the black metal songs are just poems, you maybe don't know it but each poem you write can be a song. It’s what I learnt from my former singing teacher, because during that time, I wrote a lot of poems. It's what I learnt from him. If you want to understand the black metal scene poetically, I recommend you "the Old Edda" (Gamla Eddan in Swedish) and the "Poetic Edda" (Poetisk Eddan) and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Regius. You can write a song inspired by a poem upon a battle, the end of an empire, seasons, and all are songs before you know it.

Where do you most strongly see the connections between black metal lyrics and the Marquis de Sade? How about the connections with Poe and Baudelaire?
Some bands like Carpathian Forest and other bands always remind me of De Sade; their lyrics are very close to sado-masochism as they are visually (onstage). Wearing platform shoes with corsets and vinyl is also kind of a sado-masochistic influence. Some goths like it because it's the way they see life. I'm not into that but De Sade is as cruel as some of the lyrics. I like those bands. The only things I hate the most are hurting children and animals, even if it was a kind of figurative art. I've been told that De Sade was a rapist and murderer. Some black metal bands "worship" these ideas on stage because it's their artistic way of expressing themselves to shock people or maybe they just want to point a finger at what happens every day. I think De Sade is still inspiring some bands nowadays to talk about this. The connections with Poe (mourning, death and melancholy) and Baudelaire (Une Charogne for example) are both dark connections inspiring those who love the darkness. You love the darkness because you understand it. You understand it because you know what it's all about. Darkness is also about death, fading away, dusk; it's the idea of disappearing and solitude. It's totally a kind of dark romanticism. Baudelaire is more tormented than Poe. Poe was a sort of Gothic writer while Baudelaire was more a romantic writer. Both are dark with a heavy heart. Poe even inspired the world of cinema with the movie "Twixt" which inspired me too. Most of the black metal bands studied philosophy, literature, poetry and music.

What books and websites did you seek out while researching Scandinavia? Would you recommend them to the readers?
I have always looked on Wikipedia, using keywords, looking after universities and museums from Sweden to know more about Scandinavia. I would recommend the Vasa Museum (they have a website), based in Stockholm. But if you want to know more about Scandinavia, Strindberg (Sweden) is a good start, and also Selma Lagerlöf (she was a Swedish writer). Both are good. I adore Strindberg because he wrote a lot about the way the Swedish people lived during the 19th century. He was also a painter and "dramatist”. I have read a little of Henrik Ibsen's books. You can check them out on Wikipedia, some of their writings are mentioned. I have still some Swedish friends on Facebook, so it's also easy to have some information. But I also learnt in Sweden to not count on people: it's like surviving in a hostile nature so to speak, hahaha.

What books by Strindberg and Lagerlöf would you suggest? Who was Henrik Ibsen and how extensive is his published work?
I can recommend "Master Olof" and "The Father" by Strindberg. I haven't read all his books; there are so many theatrical masterpieces, all based upon Swedish life during the 19th century. A kind of Swedish Victor Hugo and Honoré De Balzac (both wrote during the 19th century). I heard a lot about Lagerlöf but did not read her books. I just watched "Nils Holgersson" on a French channel when I was little. She wrote that novel. You can find more about her life and books at Wikipedia.org. Henrik Ibsen was a Norwegian playwright, also from the 19th century. I would recommend "A Doll's House” and "Peer Gynt”. Did you know that his name has also inspired a place in a video game called "Ipsen's Castle”? The game is called "Final Fantasy 9.”

Is there anything you have read by Victor Hugo and Honoré De Balzac that has remained with you ever since?
I remember I read about "Germinal”, the "Miserables" by Hugo. It was all about the difficult times during the 19th century. I recommend those books, each details are described. It was how things happened in France during that time. His literary movement is called "romanticism”: it's all about “I against the difficulties of Life”, something like this. The 19th century is all about this movement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Hugo#Political_life_and_exile). What I read by De Balzac was "Le Père Goriot”, so long ago, when I was at school, I was 17. Did you know he influenced Poe? But anyway, I recommend both. You can also check more about him here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor%C3%A9_de_Balzac. I wrote the links which are in English too. Balzac's movement is called "literary realism”, with details. "La Comédie Hulaine" is a good reference but I don't remember if I have read it once, maybe short extracts at school. I will perhaps read it again, to remember.

How much research did you personally do on romanticism and how is this research reflected in your work?
I did it when I was studying literature at the opal coast's university. But when I do, it's when some of other artists’ artworks remind me of the romanticism era. Romanticism is not only in painting and literature: it's also in poetry, music and cinema. It has influenced the way I use some colors. I am a romantic person but I don't know how to let it out, so my artworks and my poems are talking for me. The question in mind is “who am I, poor creature, before the Nature Heights who helped me to come to this crazy world “. I always contemplate other artists’ artwork, ancient or modern, some of them are talking to my creativity. A Muse is always influencing my artworks actually, but I think this conductive thread is useful if I want to evolve.

I wasn’t aware De Balzac was an influence on Poe until you told me. Where did you discover this piece of trivia? Which aspects of his writing were most influential to Poe?
I just found that out on Wikipedia. But I also studied it during the literary courses but I forgot it. Sometimes it's good to remember. On Wikipedia is written "His writing influenced many subsequent novelists such as Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, Edgar Allan Poe, Eça de Queirós, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Oscar Wilde, Gustave Flaubert, Benito Pérez Galdós, Marie Corelli, Henry James, William Faulkner, Jack Kerouac, and Italo Calvino, and philosophers such as Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Many of Balzac's works have been made into or have inspired films, and they are a continuing source of inspiration for writers, filmmakers and critics.” Tape "Balzac on Wikipedia”, it's explained just in the beginning. He's been influenced by the French romanticism.

There is a painting you are currently developing, which you have announced once or twice on Facebook. Is there anything you would want to reveal about it here?

I am actually lost like a fish between two ocean currents: I'm exploring a new technique called "mixed media”, using acrylic and oil colors together. I have started a maritime subject based upon the legend of the "Flying Dutch”. I have also started the mermaid on wooden board. But at the same time am influenced by the modern art done by Thierry Crusem. I am actually lost in my art, heart and soul, due to secret emotions I already try to show in my last poem called "The Fish”. But no worries, I never get lost too long, I will publish it via Facebook. I have four canvases on the way.

Abyss Forgottentomb's Facebook profile

-Dave Wolff

1 comment:

  1. thanks Dave for the interview , I only use my gmail and twitter accounts , message me @Abyss1349 for more info

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