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Wonderful Chaotic Shapes of Collaboration: Alexandra Grant and Chiara Giovando


Drawing at "Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest." | Courtesy of Alexandra Grant.
Drawing at “Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest.” | Courtesy of Alexandra Grant.


Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest is a multi-faceted project by Los Angeles-based artist Alexandra Grant encompassing a series of public drawing sessions, reading groups, artist collaborations and an installation at 18th Street Arts Center.

Chiara Giovando is an artist and the co-director of Human Resources, a Los Angeles arts non-profit that champions the work of performance artists and ephemeral or time-based art practices. Chiara was a participant in the Interior Forest, a project at 18th Street Arts Center that we organized around the work of the French philosopher Hélène Cixous. This interview stems from their shared concerns about collaboration, temporary works, and the economics and ethics of participatory art projects.
– Alexandra Grant

Chiara Giovando: For some time now you have been interested in collaboration. This shows up in your painting practice, where you develop a specific visual language in response to the work of different writers — for example, your long-time collaboration withMichael Joyce. Could you speak about what these partnerships have revealed to you? How they affect your process?

Alexandra Grant: My work investigates where text becomes image and vice versa. I start with specific texts for these explorations in painting, drawing, and other media, and as a result have collaborated with many diverse kinds of writing and writers, both dead and living. My preference is to work with literary texts, both poetry and prose, that are full of imagery and signifiers and lend themselves to a mapping or parsing process.

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