INTERVIEW: Serra Tansel, ParaSite Artist in Residence 2015, Royal Academy

Image: Serra Tensel and Duval Timothy, 'Running Water'.
Image: Serra Tensel and Duval Timothy, ‘Running Water’.

We all see things that we believe do not agree with us. Some voice opinions, fewer make an effort to change it. In their own ways Felipe Castelblanco and Serra Tansel use their social roles as artists to influence the wider cultural milieu, this is, after all, where they, and many of us, function.

Turkish-born Tansel, who divides her time between London and Istanbul, found the time (at 10,000 feet, mid-flight) to discuss a few aspects of her current practice ahead of her exhibition in association with ParaSite School and the Royal Academy’s Burlington Gardens Festival later this month.

The Metropolist: Can you lend us a few words on your residency at ParaSite School? How did you become involved with Felipe [Castelblanco]’s participatory practice?

Serra Tansel: The Royal Academy offers a year-long fellowship to one American citizen each year and Felipe Castelblanco was the fellow artist of 2014-15. Felipe is interested in forming new social structures, finding loop holes within systems he doesn’t agree with. The ParaSite School is a part of Felipe’s practice. Since the Royal Academy is a private institution and cannot provide student visas to international students, Felipe decided to run The ParaSite School inside his studio during his fellowship, inviting 3 non-EU citizens who wouldn’t be able to study there otherwise to share his space for a month each.

Tina Spear who runs noshowspace in Bethnal Green put me and Felipe in touch when Felipe told her about The ParaSite School as she knows about my visa struggles to stay in the UK. Then I filled in an online form, met Felipe to discuss further and he offered me the residency for May 2015.  

This interview originally appeared on TheMetropolist.com. Click here for the full interview.

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