Serge Onnen


Lines Fiction: You have a very unusual way of creating an animation, that a conventional animator focussing on narration wouldn’t think of:
You are emphasizing the relevance of your drawing as the origin of the animation, and so you developed the animation DEPOSIT from one single drawing.

[the drawing Phenaticoscope that was presented in the exhibition Fruehsorge Contemporary Drawings Berlin 2011, see: Lines Fiction offline ]

You told me you photographed the drawing in 8 parts, and you mounted the photos in a frame-by-frame animation as a loop of 8 frames?

Serge Onnen: It’s not really 8 frames because each frame exists of many different windows. So when the animation is playing it will take you some time to put it together. It’s not just one rotation and then you get it. Making a phenaticoscope is still a lot of drawing. But the strength is that it all fits together in one image. I like Art to be a powerful image. DEPOSIT is about recycling empty bottles. Recycling & rotation are similar movements. The system of deposit for bottles is based on the idea that you take good care of the empty bottle because you just borrowed it from the store in exchange for some small change. A financial transaction where nothing is really bought. While with the system of recycling your are expected to do the total opposite: Destroy the bottle in public. The difference between these two systems is really drastic. At the Lidl in Berlin, close to the studio where I was working then, I saw a machine that combined these two acts; So that was confusing, funny and interesting. Perfect elements to make an art piece.

Lines Fiction: Is the medium animation and the medium drawing inseparably linked in your work?

Serge Onnen: Yes, I want the animation to have a similar quality as the drawings. But when the animation is projected, it becomes a stand alone, in the sense that it’s not a reproduction of the drawing. Size and color can be a little different from the original drawing. A lot of animations I see have a obsession with technics and perfection. I am not at all interested in that. In fact I am not that much interested in animation, I mainly watch very early animations. I like it a bit rougher.

Lines Fiction: The animation BREAK also is a loop, based on your drawing of hands acting destructive- do you present the drawings together with the animation in an exhibition?

Serge Onnen: No I don’t. It’s really about the animation. When a animation is sold, the buyer gets a selection of drawings. But I don’t want them to be presented as art pieces.They don’t reach the standard. It’s like a picking one single word out of a poem. That’s why I like working with the phenaticoscopes, here the drawing looks great and is totally linked to the animation. Like a music instrument: You can enjoy looking at it & bring it to life. In theory a viewer could take a picture of the drawing and animate it in a few easy steps at home on his computer. That would be great.