Rachel Mica Weiss, Twelve Planes (Locked and Crossed), 2014, Nassau Community College, Image courtesy of the artist
Sarah Walko: How do you usually start your day? do you like routine or not?
Rachel Mica Weiss:
With a huge cup of coffee. I’m definitely a creature of routine, a trait which is visible in my systematic and repetitive ways of working, too.
SW: What have you been listening to this past week? reading?
RMW: Perhaps surprisingly, I don’t listen to much music while I work in the studio so that I can process what’s happening within my work. I’m just coming out of a big David Foster Wallace phase; I love how his characters and scenarios weave in and out of each other and admire his incredible facility with language.
SW: Who were a few very strong individuals that have influenced you?
RMW: Louise Bourgeois has been an important influence. I remember walking into the attic space at DIA: Beacon early in college and being astounded by that collection of her work. Richard Sera’s torqued ellipses at DIA also made quite the impression on me and are probably the reason I became interested in how we negotiate space.
SW: Is there any geographical place that you had an experience that served as a threshold or break through moment in the evolution of your practice?
RMW: Spending four months in Senegal in 2006 (and one of those months in an artist’s colony, Village des Arts, was an important turning point for me: it helped me realize that I could and would pursue art no matter the conditions in which I found myself. That experience also taught me to be resourceful and creative with the materials around me.
Rachel Mica Weiss, An Unnecessary Gesture, 2014, Fridman Gallery, Image courtesy of the gallery
SW: Are any of your pieces self portraits?
RMW: Oh, I think they all are to a certain degree. While my “Portraits” series is a direct reference, I think all of my works deal with the issues that are most salient in my life: mental barriers, physical limitations, control.
SW: What is one current project you are working on we can look for coming up?
RMW: Well I have two projects opening in September. The first is a group show at Nassau Community College for which I’ll be installing an outdoor installation over 100 feet long, among other things. I’ll also be showing both sculpture and installation as part of a year-long show at The Norwood Club in Chelsea, curated by Tze Chun of Uprise Art.
SW: Do you spend a lot of time in the studio alone or need a lot of think space alone time? What is your balance of the need to retreat into a reclusive state to continually reconnect with your individual voice and then also be out in the world working with others, exhibiting, performing, lecturing etc.?
RMW: While making big projects, I definitely need studio time to listen to the work, but between projects, I need to feed my work with as many images and as much visual stimulation as possible. So the balance between the two moves in waves.
Rachel Mica Weiss, Six-Planed Scaffolding, 2014, Storefront Ten Eyck, Image courtesy of the artist
SW: Are you sea or land? day or night?
RMW: Definitely land. As a hiker and rock-climber, I feel more at home in the mountains. Even though many have said that my earlier work is very nautical, open water scares me. Maybe that’s why it comes out in my work.
SW: What kind of bird are you?
RMW: I was having a pretty mystical experience with friends out near Lake Tahoe, CA a couple of years ago when they told me that the red-tailed hawk was my spirit animal.