Six Questions with graphic novelist/ trans-media artist JULIACKS

The following mini-interview, conducted by Washington Square staff Jenny Xie and Amanda Calderon, took place over email on September 19, 2012. JULIACKS’s artwork appears on the cover of the Summer/Fall 2012 issue of The Washington Square Review.


ONSQ: There’s a great deal of movement in your work, but it’s a movement that seems interested in telling a big story in a small space. In this way, it reminded me of the way many graphic novels are drawn and arranged these days. Would you say you think in terms of story when you work? And do you read many graphic novels?

J: The story and its movement takes the fore in composing a book. Trying to see the account in terms of a whole and a series of moments helps me unfold the narrative with words and pictures. I read graphic novels occasionally, it is just one of many sources of expressions/artistic output that I draw upon from the plethora of information we have amassed over the past 10,000 years and more.

ONSQ: Several of your artworks deal with what seems to be responsibility, and being held accountable to a larger group. Can you talk a little about this?

J: This is an interesting observation, as I haven’t so explicitly delineated this. Responsibility, duty, obligation, these are words that have a different meaning in different societies/groups/places. There is a definite dis/comfort within this relationship of the person belonging to a group or team and the behaviors, morality and logic determined as necessary to enact by the group that I find fascinating and full of multiple meanings.

ONSQ: How would you define the relation between the illustrations and the text in your work?

J: They aren’t separate.

ONSQ: Do you read much poetry and fiction? How has literature influenced your work?

J: My preference is to read English literature, especially because I am living in France. As I am learning a new language and living and speaking with persons who speak English as a second language, I’ve noticed my English language becomes simpler, my expressions in a similar rhythm to those around me. I go to literature not only for those other worlds and societies, but also for the versatile English language itself.

ONSQ: Who is Lucy?

J: Lucy is Emmeline’s sister in the graphic novel, “Swell.” Lucy, the elder of the two is mysterious, distant, cold and powerful. She dies young, leaving Emmeline with a black hole, an incomprehensible sadness and many questions whose answers must take time to find themselves.

ONSQ:What projects are you currently working on?

J: Architecture of An Atom is the current project I’ve begun. It is designed after the form of an atom.

The nucleus is the main story line which will be a feature length film, and also a graphic art novel/derivé- about a group of ‘adult children’ who move into an abandoned pool in the Ardeche mountains of France, discovering “the Infinite whistle” an anthropomorphic stone whose sound takes them into death worlds.

The electrons are the Infinite Whistle series of short films shot in different places in the world that are also a series of performances about the construction of conflict. So far I have begun the series in Rome, Gotland (Sweden), Vantaa (Finland), New York, Lyon (France), Amager (Denmark) and soon Winnipeg (Canada.) I have completed two of them-Rome and Gotland. Gotland and the Infinite Whistle is being shown at the Zinebi Film Festival in Bilbao this coming November.

The vacuum between the electrons and the nucleus will take the form of a negative space called The Night Swimming Pool.

This performance project is seeking co-producers in different forms for any of the elements.

Please email if you would like to help make this project happen-be it as performer, institution, activist, publisher, cinematographer, or film producer.

JULIACKS is an acclaimed creator of experimental narratives about transformation through loss. Since 2006 she has been making comics and performance installations that have been published, exhibited and performed internationally in film, art, comics and theater contexts.
Washington Square