Artists With Impact: Danish Visual Artist Jules Fischer

Jules — Photo: Nikolaj Rohde Simonsen

We know that words like “choreographer” and “artist” often contain multitudes — and that much of what you do takes place out of the spotlight. Can you help us introduce you?

I’m a visual artist and I create large scale performance works. I like to emerge the viewer in a 4-d collage of feelings, sound, music, movements and words. My works are always performed by a group of performers because the relational aspect of being in the world is a central point in my practice. I like to work with multiple perspectives, meaning the viewer has to choose what to see and what to miss. The beauty of this is the agency to experience the piece on your own terms and also generate a necessity to talk with other people after the show. Maybe someone experienced something you missed. The many focal points also give me space to play with juxtaposing different images, tempos and feelings, and I like to surprise people with small details of unexpected performance.

DRYPPENDE STOF, 2021 - Jules Fischer and Matilde Böcher
Photo: Michella Bredahl
Still from Untitled (stilleben) based on the performance VANITAS, 2021, Jules Fischer
Photo: Loui Ladegaard

You spent a lot of time in this latest project focusing on the “in-between”. What is it about that place, or that idea, that resonates so deeply with you?

I’ve always been interested in the voids or the undefined cracks of language, symbols and understanding. I find an enormous potential, joy and openness in that which has no name. In VANITAS I want to shift the focus from ”in-between” to ”always moving”. Enlightened by decolonial writers and thinkers I realized that the “in-between” itself is at risk of being stagnant — much like the concept ”queer”.

Still from Untitled (stilleben) based on the performance VANITAS, 2021, Jules Fischer
Photo: Loui Ladegaard

Even from the outside, we can see there’s a persistent lack of representation within the arts. We’re curious to hear more about your perspective on that from inside the creative world…

What I find most concerning within the arts is that very few gatekeepers, grants, museums, galleries and so on seem to be aware of the aesthetic and artistic homogeneity they promote or what the lack of diversity does to the artistic and cultural development in general.

Jules — Photo: Nikolaj Rohde Simonsen

Your latest project ends on an incredibly hopeful note, with the dancers creating their own rhythm together. Does this speak to your vision for the future, and if so, in what ways?

I don’t know if I can say that it is my vision or expectation for the future, but it is hope. And maybe inspiration to find your way home. Healing for me is to make it home, but it can be a long journey. And sometimes home can be hard to recognize when you have never felt it before.

Much of your earlier work focused on sadness and hopelessness. Was this representative of a season in your life outside of dance — and, if so, would you be willing to share a bit about that with us?

My work always reflects my own feelings or reactions to the world. Looking back at some of my earlier works fx ZOMBIEHÅND and ROMANCE I see a lot of distance, anxiety and alienation. They were also made in a period of my life where a lot of break ups had to happen. It was a tough, but very necessary and beautiful time even though everything was falling apart. VANITAS departs where these two works left off, but I was determined to not just critique and reproduce the structures and situations I found destructive — but also suggest something beautiful.

ZOMBIEHÅND, 2018, Jules Fischer and Anna Moderato
Photo: David Stjernholm

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