Guided by an authentic work process, artist duo TILO&TONI provide a playful commentary on the nature of image-making, adopting numerous artistic disciplines throughout.
Unseen Platform: Could you tell us more about your new work, In the woods the waterfall is rushing?
TILO&TONI: We wanted to work classically, manually and to enjoy the physicality of materials. We didn’t want to be guided by a thematic superstructure but by the process – without pursuing a specific goal. This yearning for something original and authentic mirrors the search for meaning in a society alienated by digitisation, globalisation and economisation in all areas of life. Equally, this yearning and its aesthetics also relates to the epoch of romance, so our idea is a kind of re-enactment of romanticising images. We are interested in virulent images, historical or contemporary, that in some way radiate a romantic spirit.
You’re trained in various disciplines; stonemasonry, sculpture, painting and photography. How do these feed into your work?
These disciplines are simply part of the toolbox; we have a very enjoyable relationship with materials and the process of making and it's nice to do things ourselves. That being said, we consider any unexpected results of our work as both a critical part of our artistic practice and as opportunities. If we didn’t do it all ourselves, we would miss out on these opportunities.
Where did the desire to return to the darkroom come from and what role do traditional processes play in this new series?
It’s about the pleasure of working manually. Analogue photography also has certain aesthetic qualities which is part of our artistic spectrum. Not only this but analogue photography fits perfectly with this neo-romantic zeitgeist which we debate. In a sense, analogue photography is like slow food, or like shaving with an old razor.
Is it your intention that your work should question the medium you’re working with at a given moment?
On the one hand, the work is about the affirmation of artistic processes and materials. On the other – due to our post-modern training – we’re also incredibly sceptical of art, media and images in general. This scepticism is reflected in the deconstruction of the images, which often self-reflexively communicate their fabricated nature.
What influence does working in a duo have for you, do you think this way of working is reflected in your outcomes?
In principle, it's just nicer to share things. It's less exhausting, less lonely and just better. In addition, working in a duo makes you more precise, faster and smarter. To be honest, we don’t understand why everybody doesn’t do it this way.