MA: Could you say something about yourself? What do you do? Where are you from? What’s your major?
E: Hello! My name is Eline. I am from France. I study at the Ecole Européenne Supérieure d’Art de Brest (EESAB). I study two majors: Painting and Sculpture. I’m focused more on painting and installation to try to explore some new things and don’t want to be classical like just to put my painting on the wall and do nothing with it. I always try to remake.
MA: Are you also doing the same here?
E: I try. We have one project evolving around the notion of chaos. I’m trying to introduce painting into an installation of some bottles. Actually, I’m trying to paint inside the bottles and just don’t use canvas. I also want to deconstruct my paintings into pieces and explore what I get out of it.
MA: What is your general impression of ASP in Warsaw?
E: I think it’s a really good school. You have a lot of painting and drawing equipment. Everyone is very kind and very good with me. I really like being here.
MA: I know it’s a very short time that you’re here but I wanted to ask if you feel you’re settled or do you think you’re an outsider?
E: I have been here for a month. It’s been a little bit difficult because of the language barrier. I don’t speak Polish. But my classmates really like to make me feel comfortable. They speak English even if they don’t speak to me. Sometimes when a teacher speaks to me in Polish someone of the classmates translates. Even if they don’t speak fluent English, everyone tries. To answer your question, I don’t feel I’m settled, but I’m on a good way to be.
MA: Have you noticed anything about Poland that grabs your attention in particular?
E: I was like wow there are so many empty bottles everywhere. It seems you drink a lot. I took so many pictures of the bottles and then even started collecting them. I’m gonna take them back to France with me as a part of Poland in France. I’m gonna collect some plants as well because I want to put up a book. Save some good memories connecting them with specific plants. I’ve started it already but it’s kinda hard because all the plants are dead right now.
MA: So, what are the things that inspire you the most?
E: People fighting. People who defend their ideas. I’ve really liked the red bolts signs everywhere. I’ve started to take some pictures which made me feel like I want to know more about your political situation and to compare it to the French one. It isn’t exactly the same but the similarities are present. As a future artist, I think you have to defend the voice of people who defend their idea. I try to take the voice of people and channel it through my art. Feminism may represent that kind of fight. I always try to use inspiration from artists who fight the same problem. For example, Nan Goldin.
MA: What kind of things are you protesting against in France?
E: Not half, but a lot of people assume that children cannot have same-sex parents. There is a group of people who want to create a new law preventing LGBT+ community members from getting married and adopting children. I think we are observing similar problems, to a higher or lesser degree in different countries, but we are fighting the same thing.
MA: Thinking of people that are considering an Erasmus exchange, do you have any tips for them?
E: Be confident as much as you can. Some people around you might be more shy than you are. Be kind, try to speak to them even if you don’t have good English. When I came here, I was not sure my English would be enough, but I had to start using it as my main language, because no one understands me when I speak French. I know I make a lot of mistakes in English, but you need to try to be comfortable about it with people.
MA: What’s the one thing you recommend to everyone to try or to see ?
E: Vodka, soplica with nuts. Maybe the old town because I really love this place. The Palace of Culture and Science in the center. I recommend going to the roof and to see the panorama of the city. When you get there, you’ll see what I mean. I went there the first day I came to Warsaw and was like ‘ok, i’m here’.