Live Action Role Painting

Sofia Leiby & Jaakko Pallasvuo | Fri Mar 27th, 09:00 a.m.

There is no such thing as good painting about nothing.

— Mark Rothko

Jaakko Pallasvuo

i rented this painting studio now and i go there to listen to fleetwood mac and paint abstract paintings

and it definitely feels like a situation that i've staged but it's like an 'authentic' desire to stage stuff like that? like i wanna LARP being a painter cos i really wanna LARP.

Sofia Leiby

Do you frame ur abstract paint making / fleet wood Mac etc as part of ur art practice?

February 7, 2015 2:36 pm

why wouldn't i?

i also dont think that staging the situation or talking about the role is in itself interesting like i dont think self-reflective / meta practices are inherently interesting or uninteresting.

like paul McCarthy's Painter is really fresh

but it's because it goes so much beyond the premise

February 7, 2015 2:36 pm

How does it come in– Larping?

February 7, 2015 2:37 pm

well i was a painter for a long time

most of my studies i was painting seriously

i don't think of the LARP thing necessarily as an unserious

or like distanced thing

altho i guess it is like, idk, trying on an identity

but i feel like i'm LARPing when i make videos too

Literally yeah

Bc you hire actors to play you

like when i paint i'm larping picasso, when i make videos i'm larping chris marker or ingmar bergman or something

But aren’t LARPers bullied and seen as uncool?

nordic larp has a different social status tho

i know people who were popular in high school who larped

also here larping has been merging w theater and art and new media stuff for a long time

i dont know so much about the US larp scene tbh

people who get together and act out fictional characters…

Do you consider LARPing a form of appropriation? To me it feels like it is

February 7, 2015 2:42 pm

i'm not appropriating larp culture tho, its swords and shields and meadow gatherings

like i’m not super interested in playing with some stereotypical image of the LARPer nerd (boffers, elf ears, renaissance fair stuff, acne)

i'm just using the method

i mean i can see how you could be against someone taking the imagery, maybe

i feel like people are always accusing me of somehow not being interested or invested in the things that i claim to be invested in

February 7, 2015 2:45 pm

I'm not accusing you of that

I think roleplaying art has different stakes than role play in "the real world"

the way I relate to it was I was a huge LOTR nerd. I didn’t LARP LOTR, I think because I was afraid of being harrassed or shamed, but I wanted to be in that world.

i own a sterling silver replica of the One Ring

i don't think I've gotten close to that kind of authentic feeling as an artist, i can be obsessive but i don’t have this Utopian character in mind

tho I experience a similar kind of yearning tho when I am "role playing" as these other artists by copying their gestures…

like in the past two or so years I gave up my entirely self-referential painting practice and have been integrating my little brother’s tags, doodles by my grandfather, drawings an artist I traded with that I met via Instagram, and notes left on pen-tester pads at Blick into my paintings

I don’t consider this a form of appropriation I suppose actually more of a yearning/practice

but I can’t relate this yearning with my experience and obsession with LOTR, maybe because of LOTRs personal, utopian qualities for me

like I personally can’t relate to roleplay art or artists because I don’t have a Utopian ideal for art

February 7, 2015 3:13 pm

Maybe I want painting to play a role for me

it feels really odd to be having this medium specific convo in 2015

i think the failure of new media actually really reinforced sculpture and painting as things also the failure of installation art as a 'medium'

instead of introducing this earth shattering paradigm shift deconstruction the new medias seem to have been a kind of fad, the snap back to like marble and oil paint happened quickly, and post-internet is maybe a kind of admitted defeat, that 'net art' only works in art spaces when it parasitically attaches itself to more established form

Bjarne Melgaard has an interview where he says he likes to wear a suit when painting bc he likes to "watch himself paint."

While Guston is like, lose yourself in painting.

I guess when I confront these distinctions, more and more I just find them tiresome.

post Krebber, Carpenter, Josh Smith and Joe Bradley, it's weird that the primary discussion re: painting is STILL about validating painting

this good article recently Why can't painting just be painting

why LARP the "capital P" painter?

February 7, 2015 3:00 pm

you're bringing them up a lot too, the distinctions.

like who is real / fake

i think that division is so exhausting tho

like how do u have time to police people, or like assess how 'real' their experience is?

I think it's bc of other people tho

How they read the work

February 7, 2015 3:01 pm

how do they read it then?

February 7, 2015 3:01 pm

Like if I'm compared to josh smith

I get annoyed cause I feel like he's a "fraud" painter

Whose thing is to paint a zillion things that are shitty

And I don't see my art making that way

February 7, 2015 3:02 pm

but arent you the one making the fraud / honest distinction then?

like it still seems like something you are using to categorize the world

i guess i just wonder what it means if josh smith is deemed a fraud?

does it make him less interesting

or like idk, what does it change

i also remember being a 'suspect' in a way

this is actually why i stopped painting – i was accused of simply 'coloring' instead of actually 'painting' on canvas.

like a real authentic experience non larpy painter i had as a teacher [who] said that what i'm doing was coloring, like a coloring book.

like i was suspected of not being a real painter

and the suspicion maybe became a prediction

and then i wasnt a painter


it was a relief to stop, i don't think other mediums are as plagued by this problem somehow, video at least isn't

because there is no like model for being a video artist, at least not a strong one

could you ever be that? The teacher, maybe Utopian "character" painter, like a character that one would LARP. Maybe this person is also seen as the " authentic " or " real" painter.

February 7, 2015 2:56 pm

i don't think i can

February 7, 2015 3:07 pm

So that is why you larp now

well i think i've always larped

i think art is a role-playing game

This chat took place on Facebook between Jaakko Pallasvuo and Sofia Leiby on February 7th, 2015. It appears here in edited form. The layout is based on a custom design by Dragan Espenschied.