Secret Thirteen Interview - Rrose


Reflecting Duchamp with the sounds of techno - an interview with Rrose


Rrose revived the famous Marcel Duchamp persona/alter ego and transferred it to the context of the 21st century. Rrose’s language is the dark, intense and monolith techno full of unexpected excursions into industrial areas. His sound mixes dark and raw atmospherics with concrete and hypnotic rhythmic patterns thus providing a coherent journey into surreal depths.

Rrose does not talk much and his interviews are very rare. However the person under the guise shared some thoughts and insights with Secret Thirteen before the show in Russian Outline Festival.

Rrose will be performing at Outline Festival 2014. Considering Putin’s position on sexual minorities, do you feel any discomfort about that as your stage character is transgender? How could you explain the Putin’s ignorance? Why do such things still exist in the 21st century?

When I was first invited to Russia, I was concerned that I might be hassled, but friends who live there informed me that the "official" rules are basically ignored by the general population with no ill effects. This doesn't change the fact that the laws themselves are idiotic and deserve to be protested. We can only hope that Putin's ignorance will cause the opposite effect of raising awareness and acceptance of LGBT people in the world.

3 years have passed since the start of Rrose project. Could you tell us about your experiences during that period? What significant things have you learned or perceived? Could you say, that Rrose project is successful? How do you see Rrose, for example, in 5 years?

I'm very happy with how things are going. I feel like I've found a narrow, focused area of exploration that continues to inspire me and has plenty of potential for further development and refinement.

There is no secret that one of the main influences for Rrose’s name was Marcel Duchamp’s character ­ Rrose Sélavy. However, could you tell us more about Rrose’s artistic ideology and where all these brilliant ideas merge into one? Maybe you had any unexpected discoveries in your lifetime that fundamentally shaped your vision to what is artistic expression at all? It would be very interesting to hear your thoughts and to learn about Rrose’s artistic background a bit more.

I'm really just a techno artist who happens to be into lots of weird art and music. Some of my knowledge is self-taught, some comes from formal training/schooling. I respect both approaches, and I don't consider them mutually exclusive.

Could you consider yourself as a follower and an upholder of the Dadaist movement? How Dada ideas/concepts directly or indirectly influence Rrose’s pieces? Could you declare that we are living in a nonsensical word?

Anyone who claims to be a follower or an upholder of Dada is fooling you. Myself included!

After reading your previous interviews we have noticed that your music is based on the digital producing. Do you use hardware in your production at all and how do you see this ‘hardware revival’ these days? Does it mean that the audience became more attentive and demanding? Or maybe this is only a ‘blast’ of trend just to show how many ‘shiny’ devices an artist have?

I take no political stance when it comes to hardware versus software. Every situation is different. What works for some may not work for others, and everyone has their reasons. I like hardware synths and use them sometimes, but I'm generally happier with the final result when I can control everything in the computer.

Could you share one of you artistic experiences, which may remind you of gathering the fruits of Eden? Are you (or should we ask “is Rrose”) a religious person and does religion or its absence somehow influence Rrose’s musical path?

Rrose takes more inspiration from engaging with the physical world than from religion or any other abstract ideas. Eden is all around us!

French novelist Honoré de Balzac stated, that eroticism depends not just upon individual's sexual morality, but also the culture and time in which an individual resides. How often does Rrose get attention from sexual minorities? Maybe there were some surreal misunderstandings or even incidents regarding Rrose's feminine side?

Quite a few people have approached me with positive words about my persona. I can't say how many of them are sexual minorities, though it seems fairly mixed. I'm a bit of an outsider in that I don't directly identify with any "sexual minority" group, but I hope that I am at least raising some important questions and giving more freaks a license to come out.

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