“The game defines me at a certain point in space and time: in short, I exist”
AT: Where are you from and how/why did you start engaging with art?
HB: I was born in Bergamo. I cannot identify a precise moment or an exclusive reason that prompted me to devote myself to artistic research. I think it was a deep and slow becoming. “Art” is just a word that attempts to describe something that is much bigger.
AT: When did it become serious?
HB: When I had the courage of my perspective.
AT: Are there any person who has been significant in your breakthrough as an artist?
HB: Michela, my partner. She was the first person to unconditionally believe in me, as a man and as an artist. It rebuilt my identity at a defining moment in my life.
AT: What is your first approach to the work? How would you describe your practice?
HB: The game. For me it is essential to continue playing. The game is the basis of living thought: questioning anything, contradicting oneself and always finding oneself in a different perspective. There is no planning in my work, it is a constant discovery, pure empiricism: the realization path has become the object of my research. The game defines me at a certain point in space and time: in short, I exist.
Verde e blu nel blu blu (2021), Canvas sewn and dyed with natural and chemical elements, 200×200 cm | Installation view of “Electro Glide in Blue” solo show at A+B gallery, Brescia.
AT: What do you aim to reach with your work?
HB: The creative process is for me the starting point and also the return point. There is no purpose, it is a generative act, a circular movement.
AT: What are your favourite tools and materials for working?
HB: I work with the canvas, not on the canvas. In my work the canvas is not a support, it is matter: it is a hand to hand, a continuous discovery.
Cutting, tearing, sewing, dipping, compressing, discolouring, is a macabre and ritual dance, the canvas is the starting point and also the return point, it is the process that materializes.
AT: What do you feel while you work? Do you usually think about the final outcome beforehand?
HB: In my work the repetition of a gesture is a physiological consequence. At a certain point the gesture leads my body: the body performs mechanically and my mind is free to go wherever it wants. It is not that different from meditation.
AT: How do you understand that a work is finished?
HB: The work is done when it’s done.
Blu blu (2021), Canvas sewn and dyed with natural and chemical elements, 180×120 cm | Installation view of “Electro Glide in Blue” solo show at A+B gallery, Brescia.
Verde nel verde verde (2021), Canvas sewn and dyed with natural and chemical elements, 180×120 cm | Installation view of “Electro Glide in Blue” solo show at A+B gallery, Brescia.
AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from?
HB: In my case, inspiration has nothing to do with it. Yes, there are moments when I am more “productive”, but creative work remains a prerequisite to feed my need for physical and mental movement. In all this the works are pure punctuation, they bring order and make the process legible. In short, the works allow me to orient myself in research. Works are not the point.
AT: Are there any artists who influenced your works? Why?
HB: Rothko and Pollock: the first for his unrivaled ability to bring color to life, the second for his powerful gestural action. But also writers like Tommaso Landolfi, Joseph Conrad, Charles Bukowski, Fëdor Dostoevskij (and others), and filmmaker like John Carpenter, David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock.
AT: How important is the role of social media for you?
HB: Of one thing I am sure: social media creates powerful prejudices, positive or negative, it does not matter, because prejudices corrupt the confrontation.
Vivace andante (2020), Canvas sewn and dyed with natural and chemical elements, vise, 35x15x15 cm | Installation view of “Electro Glide in Blue” solo show at A+B gallery, Brescia.
Rapido rapida (2021), Canvas sewn and dyed with natural and chemical elements, vise, 35x15x15 cm | Installation view of “Electro Glide in Blue” solo show at A+B gallery, Brescia.
AT: As an artist, what is your point of view about the contemporary art system?
HB: I think that the mechanisms of the Western art system are no different from any other Western system: they are permeated by a powerful individual voracity.
AT: What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art? What is the most rewarding part of working as an artist?
HB: As I said, the question concerns an unparalleled opportunity for growth and emancipation. In the era of Technique, artistic research is one of the highest forms of physical and mental resistance.
AT: What do you do besides art?
HB: I have several interests, one of all is cooking.
AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?
HB: I don’t care about the future, i live in the present.
Electro Glide in Blue (2021) curated by Irene Sofia Comi | Installation view A+B gallery, Brescia.
"Pass for cryptic emotions, Bergamelli's works are windows overlooking the world and open to all possible domains. In a continuous wandering, they guide us in search of a suspended horizon that never comes. Just like life that approaches and does not reveal itself, a tough mystery" (Irene Sofia Comi, 2021). Hermann Bergamelli (b. 1990) is an Italian visual artist currently living and working in Bergamo, Italy.