Alexander Zissou is a balloon artist from Hamburg. He focuses on installations and sculptures. On Superlative Magazine he talks about his Superlative Piece of Art …
Interview Alexander Zissou
Moin, G’Day! My name’s Alexander Zissou, I have German parents, grew up in South East Asia and Australia only to return back to my roots: Hamburg! I just got back into this lovely neck-of-the woods a little while ago. And it’s proven to be very lovely indeed. One great thing is also getting involved in the wicked Hamburg art scene. Just recently I created an installation for the Knotenpunkt14 festival – cheers to the great guys at Affenfaust Gallerie for making this special event happen.
I’ve always sketched, painted even sewn, but things really took off when I discovered balloons as a medium for making installations.
I’m stoked to have found this medium as it is entirely bio-degradable latex. Sustainability (to throw that word out there) is very important to me and using a compostable medium in my work is pretty great.
I’ve been working together with artists from other disciplines and since collaborating with Harm Bremer from Aerosol Light, I’ve been hooked on the combination of balloons and light. Harm and I also came up with a new series called „Balloomination„.We’ve been hired for a few gigs by a range of venues, just got a request for a party with a „trippy psycodelic/LSD-like“ theme. So that should be fun! The great people you meet and the funny gigs you get asked to do makes me appreciate my work even more.
Why is this your favourite piece of art?
Its big! Really big and colourful. The balloon-work that is “the Rubber Chandelier” was created by myself, Sina Greinert and Elena Tzara. The three of us are part of the BALLOOMINATION Collective together with Harm. Sina and I are responsible for Balloons, Elena is our conceptual master mind and responsible for production and Harm creates our beautiful light textures. The chandellier (top of the page) was absolutely massive and I like the way people interacted with the piece. Partying around it and chilling out in its shade. One could say it “created a space”. People liked being around it… Good times at the Fusion 2013! This awesome installation was brought to life with the help of some very diligent, patient and talented co-workers.
Is there a story behind?
The story is about how 6 friends went on a journey to Lärz with a bag full of latex, air in their lungs and a tenancy towards megalomaniacy. It all ended happily ever after with highs of air blown, lows of bleeding and sore fingers and a 6m x 5m large latex installation. No seriously: we had itchy fingers and really wanted to make a big installation again. We got hooked up with some of the Rotzige Beats crew who organise the Tanzwiese/Tanzwüste. Their theme was „Wohnzimmer“ that year so in our delusions of grandeur, we thought of a chandelier.
What does art means to you?
To me, art is freedom. It allows a way of communication and interaction to take place, which supersedes the spoken or written word.
Balloons are transient and I value that quality of my work a lot. My installations are not forever and it changes as it goes through the different stages of its life.