On 5th May Vilnius Academy of Arts (VAA) Department of Ceramics welcomed Brian Benfer. The meeting was held on May 5th at VAA Exebition Halls "Titanikas".

Read an exclusive short interview for Vilnius Academy of Arts

You often change your art form and technique because you just get bored too quickly. However, maybe the subject persist? How do you describe the theme of your art?

Human consciousness captures only significant events. We remember when something extremely joyful or tragic happens but there is a great deal of time between these event. I am interested in this time and its meaning because it is here that what later turns into significant events in our lives is born. Look at the garbage trucks. Their work is so monotonous - to drive from one container to another, to pour garbage into the car. But it is such a meaningful meditation. There are many things you can think of in this activity.

When I look at the monotony of factory workers it seems to me as if they perform wonderful movements. As if nothing is happening but the world is changing in people’s minds at that time. I often travel by car for work for 5 hours myself. You know that feeling when you travel from point A to point B and seem to reach your destination without remembering at all how you overcame the road? That is what interests me.

You mentioned that you left San Diego because it was a conservative settlement where the majority of the population would still support former US President Donald Trump. What do you think is the role of the artist in politicse? Can artists stop the radical right and bring or infuse the progressive ideas to the public discourse?

I am of course interested in the future of politics. But I don’t know what the role of the artist might be. Free speech is enough. We artists have always had this freedom, which I dare to call a privilege, to speak what we want. Despite nothing. I would like to wish myself and others this - never stop talking, living and creating freely.

You are visiting Vilnius Academy of Arts. You are well versed in the art context of the Baltic States. How do you feel about being away from home and what would you wish for in our academy community?

I am very happy to share my ideas with Vilnius students. And, you know, it doesn’t matter at all whether they’ll take something out of it or not. Will remember me or not. Sometimes you just, when creating it yourself, remember something you’ve heard, something comes up in your mind, and inspiration comes. Maybe a miracle will happen and someone will remember my lecture, my works, my thoughts while creating it. I wish that and thank you again for the opportunity to make it happen.

Thank you for the interview.

More information about the artist and his work can be found on his personal website: http://brianbenfer.com/

Cover photo from brianbenfer.com