Words by Marvin Maddix
On a trip to Berlin we stopped in and had a sit down with Fette Sans, an artist-in-residency at Hotel Zoo Berlin. Sans who is currently performing a five-month long artist piece from the comforts of her hotel room at Kurfürstendamm 25, 10719 Berlin talks to us about her inspirations, the whys and of course her art.
This performance marks a new development in Fette Sans’s modes of operation. She has complicated feelings about visibility. As a woman who began her photographic interest by aiming her camera at representations of masculinity, she has been struggling with wanting to disappear behind these images while also seeking to be seen and listened to.
FGUK :Tell us a bit more about what Fette Sans the “Artist”?
Fette Sans: I was born in the south of France, but I just didn’t feel at home there, it felt controlled and rigid. I grew up in a small town and I just think early on I realised I wanted more. I don’t think I’ll come up and say being an Artist is what I wanted to do but more something that I fell into.
I studied Architecture and the last year of school is really where I think I came alive. I went to LA and started interning and photographing and I just knew then Art was my path. My parents weren’t too happy so I kind of went into Architecture for them and later came to Berlin and decided I wanted to pursue Art.
FGUK:Why did you come to Berlin?
FS: I think it was energy and the need for change. LA is great but it is also like living in a bubble, but I guess deep down I really missed walking.(laughing)
FGUK: Tell us more about this room you’re in for 5 months?
FS: It’s room (516), but it changes often as it’s just a safety measure I have with the hotel. The room becomes my stage.
FGUK: This is of course the second time you’ve performed this way, why again?
FS: yes, 3 years ago I performed in a hotel room but this was only 3 hours and I had a partner in the room with me. It was written as a play about actors rehearsing a play. All the impromptu, stage hands, breaks were read out loud. I wanted to create a sense of surrealism, the idea of not knowing are they reading or rehearsing. I feel what I’m doing now is an extension and follow on from that.
I want to talk about woman hood. A single woman working in a room and what the connections are with the labour of women when we think “woman working in a hotel room”.
FGUK: You’re a poet and photographer too, why did you choose this medium?
FS: I think it was another form of expression, I found myself with a camera and most often pointing my lens at men. I am a feminine woman and wanted to connect with people. When I started shooting people, I found I was told stories that helped viewers understand my images and I just combined them both.
I use poetry because it’s not marketed, its free and subversive and allows me to still be conceptual but also felt like a natural flow forward.
FGUK: what do you want to take away from your residency?
FS: I don’t want to define what my ending should be, this isn’t a mission but a natural way of discovery, whether I come out and learn more about me or this works out a means to an end. Me doing more, meeting more people and just trusting the flow.
FGUK: What’s next for Fette Sans?
FS: I’d like to go on meeting people and maybe a public performance and even maybe a book, but again I don’t want to define my path. My art is a natural domino effect, the next thing is defined by what came before.
Fette Sans will be remaining at Zoo Hotel until August 1st and is accepting deliveries from anyone who wishes to send in. Sans loves receiving the weird and wonderful and wants to build stories behind her own viewers to feed the rooms installation and story.
Follow Sans residency as she shares on her Instagram.
Follow us on: