Interview: Tiziana Pers

Students: Tiziana Pers is a visual artist and an activist for animal and human rights.Her works are full of metaphorical meanings on awareness of the respect for animal life and can touchingly strike the viewer. One of the aspects of her work that most fascinated me is her collaboration in many works with children. The skype phone call was a very touching example of an educative meeting between children and an animal destined to slaughterhouse. The children moving reaction was to write poetry and compose songs to try to save the poor donkey. Another very interesting thing is the bond that is created between the two sides of the screen despite the technological device. The donkey looks really sensitive to this experience. I asked her how this collaboration with children may influence or stimulate her own artistic experience.

 Tiziana Pers: Children possess the gift to be free from all prejudice, ‘feel’ and ‘see’ also what we adults sometimes can’t. And you can’t expect some children’s reactions that are truly surprisingly upsetting. Children live physically in the same world as our but at the same time it is as if they perceive it differently. And these different ways of approaching situations add curiosity and originality to the work of art. We remain on the difficult task of guiding them towards their future, and the biggest risk we face is to corrupt the purity they possess, teaching them the ‘normality’ of evil, trivializing what is not lawful to accept as ‘practice’.

S: In one of her artistic performances Tiziana remains ten minutes naked in an enclosure with a horse, chasing him with a rope, as to subdue him. There is a great tension during all the video because of the fear we share that the horse can turn against the artist who was completely helpless. A second question to Tiziana was about the kind of emotions she felt while shooting.

TP: Throughout the course of filming I seemed to be in a movie because I felt the horse acting as I was. It was as if we were interpreters of the same script and it gave me a strong sense of complicity. More of that, the fact I was naked was, towards the animal, a great mutual confidence.

S: For the planning of the city of the future, should we mostly pay attention to technology or to the people’s behaviour and mentality? In other words, the ecological crisis facing our planet today is more a technological or spiritual crisis?

TP: The ecological crisis derives from the negative use of technology and industrialization, and this fact is quite objective. But, in my opinion, every social alteration and tendency derives from inner pushes. So this is a good question, and I think that when we will be able to help solving this contemporary spiritual crisis, probably we’ll solve also the rest.
The two are connected, and offering different perspective and possibilities, putting human animals (without distinction of gender, class, race) and not human animals in the chance to interact (without dominant and dominated), could be a wonderful starting point.