Is it a provocation or is it Mario?

Interview with the Austrian visual artist Mario Grubisic. When not doing video and light installations, he cries at bad French movies and drops Balkan turbo folk tunes in his DJ sets

Mario Grubisic is an Austrian artist known for his eccentric approach to visual arts. Graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, he has taken part in a number of artistic projects, exhibitions and collaborations. Mario is an all-uptown persona on the current Viennese scene, and also a DJ. In other words – he’s in the spotlights!

Mario, you are the absolute picture of provocation to me! What do you think, why people need so little to become boring?

People are boring because they don’t know how to make fun of themselves and, above all, they all think they are very, very important. But, that’s not what our present time is about.

When you said “I Fuck Haters” at the Vienna Biennial in 2010, what did you mean exactly?

I had in mind some colleagues from the art scene hating all the time and thinking they are too smart.

What are you preparing for this year’s Biennial?

Working on a lot of projects in print art, among others, with VICE magazine.

How is that collaboration going? Are they listening? Haha!

Yes, they are very good, indeed!

Can you tell me, what’s the price of one of your prints? Who’s buying them?

The price is between 200 – 300 euros and most of the buyers are young, “urban” people.

Last month, on May 10, you had an visual installation on the Saint Charle’s Church (Karlskirche) at Vienna’s Karlsplatz. What are your impressions?

I started a long time ago with installations and visual and light interventions, combining them with different sounds and music. I think I managed to create an original expression and I plan to intervene in that area further and further.

I think you’re the only person capable of playing [the Serbian turbo folk star] Ceca in the middle of his DJ set in downtown Vienna, with everyone going crazy. What is your satisfaction in those moments?

I remember once, my friends and I were getting out of the cab and something around us was insane. At first, we haven’t realized what and then… we heard Expedit Kiosk, one of the city spots, literally shaking with sounds of Ceca on repeat! I insist that we should all have fun and not think of some bad moments from the past! I played Halid Beslic the last time, it was also insane!

What makes you cry?

Sentimental love, bad French movies!

Tell me more about the phase you are in now, prints with symbols from flags? They look very powerful.

Well, those symbols can easily play with your mind and I became very fascinated by them!

Have you been exhibiting in the Balkans recently?

Well, of course, I have exhibited in Novi Sad, Serbia, three times. The last show was in 2007, in the city gallery, near some catholic church – I can not exactly remember the name. Also, in Maribor, Slovenia, in 2009. (Kunstraum Mek_Berk Video), in Tirana, Albania (National Museum, installation “Zimmer 26”), Bucharest, Romania (Landesmuseum). And for Belgrade, Ich komme, why not?!

Brooklyn vs Upper East Side?

I’m for Queens!


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