Interview: Alec Coiro
Photo: Lyz Olko
Carly Mark has always made cinematic work. As an artists, her work has had the flair and spectacle of the kind of movies you remember getting excited about back when you were a precocious little kid. So it’s only natural that she has now come out with her horror-fantasy short. When I think horror-fantasy Guillermo Del Toro springs to mind, but he has yet to include a haunted bubble jacket in his work.
Mark’s fantasy roots come from her Finnish grandmother (and there’s a suggestion that there might be some subtle influence from the great Philip Pullman as well). On the horror side, she stayed up late watching horror movies, much like you probably did.
Our Interview does not reveal a lot about the movie itself, except that it’s a play of predator vs prey, but it is a great chance to get to know more about Mark.
What is the film Know Nothing about?
Animal instinct and parasitic behaviors
There’s a long,interesting and diverse history of artists making films; Andy Warhol, Julian Schnabel, and Matthew Barney all spring to mind. Is this something you considered when making Know Nothing? Where do you situate yourself in this history?
I remember seeing Matthew Barney’s work for the first time when I was in High School and it really scared me.
I tend to gravitate towards things that scare me. I’m not surprised that i’ve moved in his direction in my work, but it’s interesting to reflect on.
I think i’m kind of a filmophile. I’d be lying if I said I had a real plan in terms of intersecting fine art and film, I don’t. I just keep pushing forward, I move towards things that I love, as well as things that give me nightmares.
Do you think there’s been a cinematic aspect to your art all along?
I move towards things that I love, as well as things that give me nightmares.
What drew you to the horror and fantasy genres?
My mom’s mom was Finnish and loved to smoke weed. She used to come over when I was young and tell me stories of trolls, elves, fairies— magic things, but in this Scandinavian way. Horror I got into when I was older, once I started to be attracted to things that kept me up at night.
The costumes for this movie are quite amazing, and manage to stand alone as art objects in their own right (the spooky bubble jacket most of all — I think)? Who’s responsible for realizing them? Is it you alone? Can you take us through the process of creating them, and maybe give some hints as to how the costumes relate to the narrative?
I can see everything before it’s made. I have an infinite amount of creatures and worlds in my head at all times. I’m impatient, I want to make a movie now so I can be there. It’s like looking through a rip in a dimension into the next one but someone is keeping you from passing the threshold. Did you ever read The Subtle Knife? I feel stuck here sometimes. Luckily, I have extra hands to help me bring creatures into this world. I have two assistants— Leah James and Ayla Argentina. I won’t give too much away, but one of the costumes is a predator and one is prey.