Seeta Muller: collectivity is a fundamental feature of a story

It's impressive how a single story can inspire such diversity through different mediums! Visual artists from around the world are taking part in WHISTLE project, in an attempt to present a multi-sensory experience never attempted before in the Greek visual art scene. And that's because we do not think of visual art as an experience that when viewed fades away, but as an excuse, a triggering event, a reason to produce an artistic conversation and a literal dialogue with everyone interested. This is the way we feel visual art should work.

In this article we meet video artist, Seeta Muller, from New Zealand.

Why did you decide to participate in Whistle Project?
I was intrigued by the open call, I liked the fact that it was a collective project, a project I would love to be involved in, and one where I would be able to make a really positive contribution, also the feel of the project resonated with my own work, and previous projects that I have been involved in, the idea of participation felt natural.

What intrigued you? 
I was intrigued by the idea of the project, and what the project meant within the context of superstition, this was a new concept, an idea that I hadn't come across, and it made me want to further explore the idea, and reconsider the theme, it's place, and meaning. I immediately thought of sound carring in the night, the idea of the superstitious naturally triggered me to consider the world after dark, and how strange thing happens at night, noises, sounds, echoes, the sort of thing that take on a different meaning in daylight. This gave me the idea of inverting the notion, bathing in light, maintaining a lingering presence of a whistle, but illuminating (in silence) what is concealed in darkness, the whistle is the echo, the haunting, mysterious, superstitious sound, that distorts the narrative, and presence of the silent images, and by doing this demonstrated the power of a singular sound, a whistle!

What was your workflow? 
I decided to film in my village in France as I am new to this country, and this landscape. Here there are an array of new sounds, and surroundings, the strangeness of a new environment is accentuated by the limitation of communication, my poor grasp of the language! In this way silence takes on an entirely different meaning, where I look, I don't speak, I communicate as much in silence, as in words, the message being markedly different, not unlike art, this accentuated my desire to film something in light, with the haunting echo of a whistle, running through the footage. Stillness, movement, silence, light, an intrusive sound, the whistle.

What was your artistic style, any influences?
A number of artists have made a significant impression on me, and this has contributed to the development of my craft and this piece. Recently I have been exploring Chezch New Wave, and I have also been reading some short stories by Italo Calvino.

Do you believe in superstitions?
That's hard, yes and no, rationally no but instinctively and practically yes. For example, if I see a black cat I think don’t cross my path. I also accept that behind many superstitions there is some practical basis, and equally at times pure nonsense.

What do you want people to see in your works?
I like people to see my work as an abstract of the artists mind, of my mind, there is a nostalgic narrative to the piece in part shaped by fading light and colour, this is an emerging feature in my craft, I have trained as a painter, and at heart I am a painter, the viewer will see a collection of silence images with the interjection of a haunting whistle, a whistle that may be the wind, that might be an owl, that might be a child crying, that might be someone screaming. The only sound is the whistle, otherwise, it is isolation, silence, longing, ordinary life, a whistle at times that is not unlike a chime, a measure, an interlude, and interjection.

Can you make a comment on the idea of collective storytelling?
Collectivity is a fundamental feature of a story, the storyteller, the audience, the characters, the setting, the frame, and the foundation, at its heart the story itself relies on collectivity. This collectivity is then greatly embellished and developed through the collectivity of artist, each from their own place, and each with their own stories, collectivity demonstrates layer upon layer, and difference coming together, and most importantly commonality, shared experience, shared understanding, how our life resonate and echoes, and how as people, diverse as we are, the fundamentals remain largely the same, in this regard collaborative between artists is a very important .

Why should people support this project?
This project has at it heart collaboration, right now that is a powerful message, people pulling together, crossing boundaries, sharing stories, and experience.

Tell us a few words about the work you submitted to Whistle. How it is related to the story?
It's an abstract film, silent in parts. It's unfocused, upside down at times, it's filming maybe seen as strange, which achieve with purpose. All of this was made with footage around my town, and on a very basic camera, but in the process of making this I was rethinking the ideas of film and how we make films and what it can do within the frame. The story the fear of our minds, the recollections of things we see and process, our dreams. The unconscious thoughts of unknown fear that isn’t real, fears that come suddenly and sharply like a whistle.

All the works created for WHISTLE project by Seeta, will be available to the public during the transmedia exhibition.

Seeta Muller is from Auckland New Zealand, she graduated in Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts University of Auckland. Seeta's art practise is concerned with the aberration in the physical environment that we find in our physical space. This is developed into artworks, from drawing to painting, and later printmaking where the acid formed the imperfection, and non-spaces. Her practice has seen further development through coursework at the Melbourne University, in cinema theory. Seeta's works embrace film essay techniques, and this has lead to the production of a series of short films that have featured in a number of festivals. Seeta has spent the past decade in London, where she undertook an MA at Camberwell College. This coincided with an internship at the non-profit London based art organisation, focusing on Super 8 film, and processing the use of Rostrum Camera in animation, and the production of her own short film 'Red Shoes’. After completing her MA Seeta curated artist film nights in Notting Hill London, and at the APT Gallery Deptford, this occurred over a 5 year period and developed into a co-curating role with artists in Brussels and Leipzig. In 2017 Seeta relocated to France, where she is developing a film and drawing Lab, a space that will be a platform for artists to exhibit their work, with a collaborative alliance of artists and filmmakers from Europe and Oceania. In 2018 Seeta is co-curating a film project for Teststrip - collaborating with an artist and curators based in Berlin, and films nights planned for Sofia and Paris. Seeta has made numerous short films that have been exhibited in festivals Clermont-Ferrand short festival, Bideodromo festival, Spain, Portobello Film festival, London Exploding cinema London, APTgallery London, Deptford cinema London, Bees on the Run Productions Bussey arts Building, London Zsenne /Art Laboratory Brussels and Museum Leipzig. As well as exhibiting prints and drawings in United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, Hungary, Cyprus, South Korea, Canada and the United States. With private and archive collections in Australia and New Zealand.

Find Seeta Muller at TUMBLRFACEBOOK