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Converse Emerging Artists Award: Levack Lewandowski

We interview the last of five shortlisted artists, currently exhibiting in our group show in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery

Dazed and Converse proudly announce the five shortlisted artists chosen for the second annual Converse/Dazed 2011 Emerging Artists Award. From an overwhelming number of entries vying for a first prize of £6,000 and the opportunity to be exhibited in the group show at an exclusive venue near the Whitechapel Gallery in October, Kirsty Ogg, curator of the Whitechapel Gallery, artist Eva Rothschild, gallerist Sadie Coles, gallery director Darren Flook, curator Paul Pieroni and Dazed & Confused’s visual arts editor, Francesca Gavin came to their decisions at a final judging session at the Whitechapel Gallery.

The five artists who all receive £1,000 and will feature in the upcoming group exhibition are: Gabriele Beveridge, Ellie Harrison, Bruce Ingram, Levack Lewandowski and Richard Parry. This week we’re talking with the polymath duo of Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowski. Levack Lewandowski are Londoners collaborating on experimental music, film, performance, photography and immersive installations, recently opening the French Riviera gallery in Bethnal Green.

Dazed Digital: Can you describe your evolution as artists over the last couple of years?
Levack Lewandowski:
It’s been somewhat surging, we’ve been working together for 12 years which is amazing. More recently we decided to make some tangible artworks, previously we had been more concerned with the essence and experience of art. But as soon as we made a couple smaller pieces we realised why we enjoyed the playfulness of an event or an occurrence. We're heading back to installation but not exclusively.

DD: What are your themes you are working with in your current work?
Levack Lewandowski:
Throughout this current project “In Babylon – End of Love”, we have been talking about rock and roll, about freedom and nightclubs, about dance and colour and exuberance of self. About music as performance and dance as a hedonistic moment of joy, a religious ritual.

DD: How does London affect your work?
Levack Lewandowski:
London oh London, it’s very much an inspiration but indirectly. The work is about the city but not explicitly. It’s infused with the frenetic energy; people pouring out on to the streets, the intensity, the dirt, chance and chaos. We want people to react, to be moved and to feel good. It’s about fun and the human need to step outside themselves and embrace collective madness.

DD: What draws you to working with installations?
Levack Lewandowski:
The possibility of the epic feels very exciting. The first works we made were on a fairly large scale. This created a driving force towards even larger immersive installations and we were enticed by the ambitious scale, we pulled back for a while, but we seem to be heading that way once again and it feels right.

DD: What would you do with the Art Award cash prize if you were to win?
Levack Lewandowski:
Make more art, pay the rent and bills of course, a nightclubbing excursion or two.

For more info on the Converse Emerging Artists Award exhibition, click HERE