Podcast | A brush with… Lina Iris Viktor

In the first episode of the new series of A brush with... Ben Luke talks to Lina Iris Viktor about her influences—including writers, film-makers, musicians, and, of course, other artists—and the cultural experiences that have shaped her life and work.

Installation view of Rite of Passage: Lina Iris Viktor with César, Louise Bourgeois, Louise Nevelson, and Yves Klein (LGDR, London, June 30 – September 17, 2022).

From left to right: Lina Iris Viktor, Ekstasis, 2021; Lina Iris Viktor, I bargained with my sins and shed my skins., 2022.

Courtesy of LGDR

Born in the UK in 1987, the Liberian-British artist works in painting, sculpture, photography, performance and installation. She creates works that reflect on her own identity amid broader themes—history and geopolitics, astrophysics and maths, ancient myths and belief systems—to explore universal implications of blackness.

Installation view of Lina Iris Viktor works, In the Black Fantastic at Hayward Gallery, 2022.

© Lina Iris Viktor. Courtesy of the Hayward Gallery. Photo: Zeinab Batchelor.

Among much else, she discusses her love of Rebecca Horn’s Concert for Anarchy (1990); the influence of Chris Ofili, Louise Nevelson and Seydou Keïta; her enduring engagement with the writing of Jun’ichiro Tanazaki and Sylvia Plath; and her response to the films of Ingmar Bergman and Carl Dreyer.

And, as usual, we find out about her life in the studio, and ask the ultimate question: what is art for?

• In the Black Fantastic, Hayward Gallery, London, until 18 September

• Rite of Passage: Lina Iris Viktor with César, Louise Bourgeois, Louise Nevelson and Yves Klein, LGDR, London, until 17 September

• Series 11 of A brush with… runs from 3-24 August, with episodes released on Wednesdays. You can download and subscribe to the podcast here. This podcast is sponsored by Bloomberg Connects.

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