Studio Banana TV interviews Swiss artist Not Vital.
Not Vital is a prominent Swiss artist born in 1948 in the Engadin Alpine region. He belongs to the Rumansch linguistic minority. Nomadism has been a constant in his life. Vital has lived in Switzerland but also Italy, United States and Niger. He is mostly known for his witty sculptures, full of humor and references to the different cultures in which he has lived.
His name not a pseudonymous name even though it could seem as an ironic deed. Vital is an old Swiss name, which has been in the family for several hundred years. Vital’s sculptures and installations are giddy, but always with a accentuation of something more than the external form and the humorous gesture. He uses familiar elements, which are taken out of their context and set up in new stories. Color is never added, but the variety of materials ranges from marble, silver, wood, plaster to coffee grounds. In fact, Vital also uses a variety of fabricators, notably African craftsmen from his part-time residence in Agadez, Niger.
He is the founder of the Fundaziun Not Vital. The foundation was set up in 2003 with the aim of preserving the cultural assets of the Engadin region and promoting exchange between different cultures. (the familiar – the unfamiliar). The declared aim of the foundation is the collection of all Ladin and Romansh printed material (old books).
He also founded the Fundaziun Not dal Mot, an estate in the middle of the Alps where Vital has created large installations that engage the visitor with nature. A classic park, with promenades, a belvedere, with benches, pavilion and pool. It was built during the first half of the 20th century by architect Nikolaus Hartmann, as the garden for a house that was never built. Vital bought the park in 1999, set up the Not dal mot foundation and began, together with his brother Duri Vital, the restoration works. They felled trees, restored the park’s structure, revived it, planted flowers and repaired the pool. And a new feature was added: sculptures in the place for the place.
Interview by Studio Banana TV. Translation by Noelia Correa.