Brought together by shared artistic longings and swimming in the same web’s landscape decorated by low-fi, digital aesthetics, collage, popular culture, music and more. The Live Wild Collective unites fantasy with reality, digital with analogue, vintage with high tech into one single harmonious virtual space, effectively spreading their artwork across the web. We caught up with Camille Leveque, the founder of the collective, to learn more about what they do. 
Tell us about how the idea for the collective came up.
The collective was founded during the summer of 2014 after several discussions I’ve had with Lila Khosrovian and Anna Hahoutoff about art networks, visibility and the difficulty of working isolated. For some of us, just finishing school, it was the issue of ‘getting out there’ without a large resume, a large portfolio or strong connections. From solving practical details we grew into a strong, united and obvious team. Even when our works differ, the approach, the analysis and the taste are joint. We have big ambitions as a collective but hope to grow individually too, thanks to the group dynamic. We feel like sharing a platform allows us to show our work to a broader audience, maybe brought on the website by a colleagues’s work. The group dynamic also helps us stay motivated and pushes us to try new medias (video, gifs, collage…). We also have complementary strength and help each other whenever we have issues with a piece work (editing, photoshop, technical details, statement, translation, etc. ). We are spread out on six countries, some of us are old friends, others are relatives, or brand new friends and collaborators. It took us almost a year to come up with our website, core of our common work, a priceless digital window displaying our work to the world. This aspect of our work is very important and we tried to work on every detail of the website, trying to find a common ground for all our references. We are not really looking to exhibit our work in real life which makes our website a really important tool, we are all kids from the internet generation and we like the idea of focussing more on a digital platform with direct worldwide impact rather than an ephemeral ‘show’ at a unique location. We are working on a few projects involving us all, projects that would take the form of exquisite corpses, one artist answering to the other.
Creating a network of artists that floats above the physical obstacles from the real world sounds like an incredible idea nowadays. Did the collective affect your real life somehow?
No, not really. So far we’re only getting great things out of it. We’re all very fond of the internet and modern ways of communication so we really enjoy exploring ways to share and present our work. Most of our works are thought for an online presentation and we don’t really care about a presentation in real life, which we find way more limited. It’s like having a constant group exhibition and there is this great bridge between continents allowing us to stand alongside.
Being from six different countries how did you get to know each other?
Marguerite and Ina are my cousins, Anna my closest friend, and Charlotte, Lila and Lucie, good friends from years ago. We all have a lot in common whether it is in our aesthetic tastes or in our personal history. We all have multi cultural backgrounds and share the fact that our families had to migrate to other countries, so this aspect of our life and education is rather important in our works. Some of us see each other quite often and communicate on a daily basis. Ideally we’d like to have a work space to share, one in the U.S. and one in Europe, most likely in France.
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Ina Lounguine
Could you tell us about the collective being solely formed by girls? Do you somehow identify yourselves as feminist artists?
This happened quite randomly, we just happened to all be women and we wanted to work together. That’s about that. If my brother wanted to start collaborating and his work was coherent with our aesthetic he could absolutely join us. I don’t think any of us would say we identify ourselves as feminist artists. We have been in the past influenced by strong female artists that were feminists in both their life and their work (for example Niki De St Phalle) but this is not what identifies us, or our work. We are though often categorized as a feminist group which is sad and a bit insulting as most of our work does not speak of female issues or inequalities. It’s a label that sticks, it seems to just be the obvious tag for a female artist. It’s assumed that women HAVE to be doing feminist work, we’re experiencing a porous border between art and activism. But I believe some of the fault comes from women artists actually. I think there is an issue with the way female artists are received but there is also one in the way they are introducing themselves. Maybe it’s from being submerged for decades and decades by a collective unconscious hammering home that women are an object to be sold. In many female artists’s works I noticed a tendency to propose works that sells. Selfies, incredibly girly self portraits, pictures of bodies, body parts (even in the context of them trying to make a point about the beauty diktat we have to follow). I have seen more works about body empowerment, body hair, or girls being under the pressure of social medias than consistent body of work in which there is not even a need for a half-nude portrait. I see many works that are efficient visually and appealing (pretty much like a commercial which is ironic) but that are lacking depth, it’s like women are so much being told they have to be sold, that they end up selling themselves, their figure is the cornerstone of a project initially aimed at breaking down these kind of expectations. That being said, I absolutely do not condemn this type of works (about body empowerment for instance) and actually think they are quite valuable and should have more impact on the way women feel about themselves and people see women. We should finally move on with the beauty diktat and the pressure put on women’s shoulders but I don’t see how this can be done when medias narrow down these works to 'feminist work' and put it aside a commercial for lipstick or a fashion photoshoot. I believe Niki De St Phalle could be a great example of a female artist who – even though she was very strongly feminist in her life and through her life – managed to get respect from her peers and from the audience, and remains a strong figure for feminist art, but more specifically for female artists and for art in general. Even by incarnating the 'feminist art' she overtook it and became a powerful artist above being a powerful feminist. She spoke about major issues, such as rape and incest and introduced the figure of the ‘Nana' overweight colorful dancing women, attaching a positive image to a body shape usually shamed. I do hope our projects will offer some perspective on artworks produced by women.
Being physically away from each other, how does the process of working together actually happen?
As I mentioned earlier, turns out we spend quite a lot of time together. Lila and I live in the same city, Anna and Ina both visited us in LA several times for a few months, and I spent time in Tbilisi once a year which keeps me close from Lucie. Last year we worked together on her latest project for which she needed help on technical matters as it was her first photo-based project. We see Charlotte less often but we use Skype and else all the time, we keep in touch constantly and share a huge dropbox file in which we store and share all our works and materials (elements for collages for instance). We help each other on various aspects of our works which is neat because we don’t have the same strength individually.
It seems that you found a good way to bring enough strength together to make an impact out there. How do you feel about the outcome of this project?
We’re very happy actually. It’s starting to take shape and we’re all very excited. There is a red thread between our works. They might differ in the final results, the subjects are often quite close and we’re all very open to use different medias, so in the end I think a clear harmony can be found. We decided to kind of get off the grid and limit to the minimum our presence online as individuals. We closed our websites, Tumblr or else, in order to make it all exist at the very same place. And it works, we’re attracting a wider range of audience, that even if attracted by only one body of work, they end up finding all the other projects because we share on the same platform. Last summer we had a group show during the Fotopub Festival in Slovenia and it was really amazing to work with a curator that really got the harmony of the group and wanted to make an exhibition in which all the works could echo each other.
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Lucie Khahoutian
Tells us about your references, artists and art movements, such as Dada, Surrealism and Fluxus.
Whether it is in its multidisciplinary aspect or the fight the movement was struggling with, we all feel very close to their manifesto(s) and feel like it has not aged and is still very relevant. We know repressive politics in Ukraine, in Armenia, in Russia, and the United-States. We want to be a voice from the people, to the people, about the people. We want to produce work with layers and speak about social issues, use art(s) to trigger discussion. That being said, Dada, the Surrealism or Fluxus were known for their capacity to mock everything, themselves especially. We are very attached to this angle and want to keep a playful tone in our work. These movements made us realize how much sense it would make to gather forces and thoughts, and we created our platform as an exquisite corpse, which is the ultimate art form used by the surrealists. It was a really trendy form of collaborative work, for us it makes even more sense as we are not located in the same countries. We allow a lot of space for experimentation in our works and are not looking for perfect, academic works, we want to be found where we’re not expected, and this type of goals relates very much to the Dada movement, I think. But our references are rather varied and obviously come from very different backgrounds. Magritte, Sergueï Paradjanov, Andreï Tarkovski, Joseph Beuys, Henri Rousseau, Niko Pirosmani, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Toiletpaper, Tristan Tzara, Pierre et Gilles, Martin Parr, Yves Tanguy, Man Ray, Joseph Cornell, Takeshi Kitano, Sophie Calle, Ai Weiwei are (among others) solid influences, the kind that are shaping your work forever. These are the corner stones of our inspiration. But we’re very excited about a lot of young contemporary artists too and find the new scene very stimulating and inspiring.
The collective explores so well a congruence of different media, like collage, GIFs, videos and photography.
We’re all very curious of new things and are interested in challenging ourselves with new mediums of expression. We come from slightly different backgrounds and each have our predilection tools but we’re more and more open to new medias and trying to work on collaborative works. I doesn’t make much sense for us to narrow our practice to just one media, so we try things out, which doesn’t give perfect results as we’re novice. I think our website can be really enjoyable as it shows very diverse body of work and really works as an exquisite corpse in which we respond to each other.
Would you like to send a message to striving artists out there?
I think the main thing to say is to always work harder. I don’t believe we can just end a day saying “ok, this is the right amount of work, I’m happy with it”. Working, living as an artist is extremely unstable and competitive, there is no time off ever. It’s important to try new things, experiment without the fear of failing, and work really really hard.
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Marguerite Horay
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Charlotte Fos
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Anna Hahoutoff
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Lila Khosrovian
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Ina Lounguine
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Camille Leveque