Artist: Madeleine Aleman
Artist: Madeleine Aleman
1. Where do you live in 2020? Please describe the place and the surrounding environment.
I’m from Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, but moved recently. Now I live in Malmö, in the south of Sweden. It’s the third biggest city in my country, with only 344 000 inhabitants. People from all over the world lives here, which I really like. My apartment is in a house from 1921, and it’s situated by a large square in the Old Town. Around the Old Town is a channel. The city is small enough to walk or bike everywhere. I can walk down to the ocean in 20 minutes. Standing on the shore I can see the bridge that leads to Denmark. It’s almost that I live in two countries and very close to many other European countries.
2. How does the COVID-19 pandemic affect you personally in your country and its countermeasures?
It’s so surrealistic. In Sweden our countermeasures are kind of vague. The authorities call it recommendations. It took a long time until some people are using a mask sometimes, for example. My son lives in Spain, and they have a totally different attitude and rules that everyone has to wear a mask when outside home. Anyway, the lifestyle in Sweden has been different because of fear. I hesitate to go by train 5 hours to visit my mom in Stockholm. I’m happy that my sister lives next door to her. Also, some places in my city are closed, for example my part-time job at the Museum of Modern Art (Moderna Museet Malmö). We work online with seminars, visions and continuing education. I miss my job at the museum! I only meet a few friends, one and one and mainly outside, in spite of the cold winter.
3. Where is one of the places you enjoy most this year? How do you spend your time there? Can you describe what it looks like?
The Museum of Modern Art was open from 16 June to 28 November 2020. I must say I really loved to be there as a host. The exhibition with art by Hilma af Klint, works from around 100 years ago that feels so ”now”! She wrote that the spirits painted through her, a mediumistic method. Hilma af Klint was so before her time! They found out that she painted abstract even before Kandinsky. I appreciate to talk with the visitors about Hilmas work because the mysticism and symbolism, the shapes and colors touches all kind of people! Another place that really has been important is my daughters families house. My two grandchildren are a big reason for me that I moved 60 miles south. To play with them is a healing activity!
4. Where is the farthest place you have been this year?
I actually spent Christmas vacation in Spain. I have a second home there and needed to look after it. Also, my son and his wife moved from Mexico to my studio in Spain and I didn’t meet them for so long. Imagine coming from Mexico and start a new life in Europe and Covid19 comes before you have time to fix a job…at least they have shelter!
5. Who do you live with in 2020?
When I moved to Malmö I got the offer to get a beautiful, large apartment. It has gorgeous windows in Jugend style and the ceiling 3.50 m in height. It’s a rental apartment and I needed to find out a way to pay the rent. I felt that I just had to live with those windows – at least for a while! So, I decided on having my studio in one room and rent out one of the bedrooms. This weekend a young woman from Buenos Aires, Argentina moves in. It’s fun to have a Roomie, especially in Corona-times!
6. How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the way you work?
When it comes to my work as an artist I don’t go to the common workshop for printmaking. My studio is in my home, so I follow the rules of the authorities on this point:” Work from home, if you can.” 2020 became a year of even more networking than usual for me. I now have four projects parallelly and three of them in Stockholm, which is possible since we meet digitally anyway. I also participated in an International game: The Telephone game, which started in the USA and now is all over the world. This is how the game works: I got two artworks, digitally and without knowing the senders. I should react on these two pieces with an artwork. One year and 17 days after we started this project, the full exhibition of approximately 950 original, directly interconnected works by artists from 70 countries will be published on April 10th, 2021. https://phonebook.gallery/
7. Has your work been promoted in some way?
Luckily I have a gallerist in Stockholm that shows and sells my prints She already worked a lot online before the pandemic. I also got an upcoming online exhibition with an English gallery.
8. Are you more anxious this year than in previous years? If so, how do you relieve your anxiety?
Yes, but not so much for myself as for my 89-year-old mother in Stockholm. I also worry about my sister in laws mother in Mexico. She has COVID-19 and there aren’t any places left in the hospitals. Of course, I get affected by the News every day and worried about how the society will be able to repair itself afterwards. My medicine: To make art, to walk, to talk with good friends and see kind people, to laugh, to help someone, to play with my grandchildren, to take care of my plants, to meditate and read good books, to cook a nice dish that takes time, to make my home even cozier, to plan future projects and trips…there is plenty of ways to release the anxiety!
9. Recommend some movies or books you have seen this year (or a poem), you can briefly explain why.
I must say all literature I read about the artist Hilma af Klint and about her time, around the last turn of the century.
10. Have you ever imagined what human life would be like after the end of COVID-19 pandemic?
I hope and think that people will be more loving and caring – both to themselves, to others, to animals and to the nature on this planet. I hope that we all get more creative and less materialistic. That we can be grateful and feel the presence of the spiritual world. That we start cooperating instead of competing. That our positive mindset will blueprint our future, in microcosm and macrocosm.
About the artist:
Madeleine Aleman is a Swedish artist that mainly works with printmaking, drawing and performance. Madeleines aim is to integrate her spirituality with her artmaking. To trick the intellect and be more authentic she turns to hypnagogic states of mind. Her methods are different kinds of meditations and divinations, for example I Ching. Madeleine has explored many countries, sometimes as an Artist-in-residence, for example in Kunming, China. The artists’ website is: http://aleman.se