Q & A with Artist Anne Haaning — On deep work and creative processes
What is your aspiration and mission as an artist?
In an ideal world, my work would inspire social justice and change.
Where do your source inspiration for your work?
I’ve been working on a research project for the past 3 years during which I’ve accumulated an enormous database of material and ideas. It feels like I’ve got “provisions” for a life time! I got really into archival research. I love looking through old documents and working out the links to other events and histories in there.
What is your creative process like?
I guess, it’s about identifying things that can trigger an obsession and indulging it. My practice is centered around video editing, 3d animation and generally investigating technology. Those obsessions usually happen at some stage either editing or animating.
Like for instance when I got the idea to merge different perspectives on an abandoned mine in Ivittuut in Greenland in a 3D-reconstruction, which is featured in the video installation Half Hidden. By cross breeding some of the many layers of information I had about the place, I made a sort of hybrid fantasy version of Ivittuut that is baked into the interior of (the now closed) Danish National Archives. I made a model placing a selection stereographs of the mine from 1867 so that they lined spatially with the views they’re depicting, essentially making a 3d diagram of the mine, which sort of doubles as a fantastically animated folder of old documents inside a dilapidated version of the Danish National Archives. Ivittuut in Greenlandic means “the grass rich place”, which prompted an epic mission to make the stereographs behave like grass that the camera could move through, like a lush field of resource extraction.
What do you gain from positioning yourself in the remote places you often visit? How does it affect your creative process and the work you do there?Being away from “the centre” has been rewarding as well as challenging. In the periphery there’s less pressure and more time, which has made it possible for me to make work that would have been impossible to make anywhere else, but on the other hand I’ve really missed the pace of the big city. The mountains of Tromsø and the fiords of South West Greenland have changed my life forever, but they don’t insist on the urgency of art.