Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Juxtapoz Journal – Mermaid Mayhem: Cissi Efraimsson Explains It All


Name her a mermaid lord, puppet wizard, or punk princess—Cissi Efraimsson is many magical beings in a single. Oscillating between artwork, movie and music, she’s the primary animator to anthropomorphize salmon sushi. Drawn to sea dwellers, her new movie imagines salty mermaids in captivity, every of them hand-crafted and scripted by the artist. Cissi can be a lead member of the loveable Swedish punk band, Vulkano, and her ceramic sculptures really feel like movie stills—the life she breathes into her work is fantastically relatable and actually supernatural.

Kristin Farr: Inform me about Sea Angels.
Cissi Efraimsson: It’s a brief movie in cease movement, a mockumentary following three mermaids from totally different generations. It takes place sooner or later, the place mermaids abruptly begin to seem alongside the coast, and the people are, like, “Oh my god, they’re actual!” The mermaids have been hiding all these years, however due to air pollution, they will’t keep within the ocean anymore. They arrive as much as the shore, and it’s whole chaos. Some individuals love them, and a few wish to eat them; it turns into a factor with mermaid meat and mermaid eggs. And there are nature activists and protestors who wish to save the mermaids! In order that they lastly get shelter and meals in a pool in LA the place they dwell from then on. 

My story takes place 20 years after that’s all occurred. They’ve been there a very long time, and there are youthful mermaids who’ve by no means seen the ocean, and who’re completely humanized. The pool has grow to be like a Sea World the place people will pay to celebration with the mermaids or see them do tips. Among the older mermaids are, like, “Fuck you, man,” and a variety of them are alcoholics. It’s an entire world.

What’s a mermaid’s drink of selection?
One of many predominant mermaids solely drinks beer. It’s simply beer and cigarettes. 

Do you write all of your movies’ scripts? And the place do you discover the voice actors?
I write the whole lot. I’m from Sweden the place there’s a really stunning, outdated swim home with stunning work on the wall, and I assumed mermaids may dwell there. That’s how I began fantasizing about this world, after which I got here to LA, wrote all of it down, and began sculpting and creating. 

Some actors are my pals and a few I discovered on-line. It’s enjoyable as a result of they’re performing and singing, and I got here up with a mermaid language. I needed them to have one other mom time reference, in order that they’re performing conventional mermaid songs that I wrote. 

Inform me about your band, Vulkano. How do you describe your music, and do you make all of the movies and visuals?
We name it princess punk. Recorded, it has extra of a poppy vibe, however in case you see us play dwell, it’s extra uncooked and punky, playful with an ’80s vibe. I make many of the movies, however for the album we launched a number of months in the past, we needed to make a video for each tune. I’ve pals who’re animators, so I requested six pals to make movies, and I made 5, and we launched them on VHS!

Everybody has to discover a VCR. 
I do know. Together with me! The extra I make artwork and music, I grow to be allergic to computer systems. I simply take the whole lot as analog as I can. 

There may be a lot hand-sculpting in your movies. Do you retain the puppets?
I’ll maintain the most recent ones as a result of they’re made with an excellent materials that received’t be disgusting. Once I’ve labored in clay, the figures look so cute and I wish to maintain them, however they’re too gross. After animating, the puppets often look kind of shitty. In Sea Angels, I used silicone, in order that they’ll be preserved a bit higher. 

Inform me extra about casting the mermaids with silicone. 
Silicone simply appears to be like so good for the mermaids. It appears to be like like pores and skin. It’s so candy to animate with as a result of you may construct a wire armature inside, and while you make the mould, you may’t even inform there’s one thing inside. It additionally made sense due to how shimmery it’s, if you need the fishy look. Completely different supplies make sense for every challenge, relying on the character and thought. 

What do you like about being a puppet wizard?
I really made extra live-action quick movies a few years in the past, and it was at all times such a problem. I at all times have a particular thought of how I would like issues to look, and in case you don’t have an enormous funds, it’s exhausting to try this in dwell motion as a result of the whole lot is bigger! However with cease movement, you are able to do the whole lot by yourself, and it’s a lot smaller, so it doesn’t price as a lot. The one factor it prices is time. It’s incredible to have the ability to create these worlds.

I see a variety of fountains and boats in your work. 
I wasn’t conscious of it at first, however I began to see a sample and thought, wait a minute—the whole lot I make is simply water! I don’t have any water indicators in my horoscope, however virtually everybody round me is a water signal. And I at all times have to swim lots. I’m going to the Korean spa alone as a result of I’m so earthy and fiery and ethereal, so I simply want that component of water. I feel it’s additionally soothing for me to work with water. 

Sounds such as you may really be a mermaid. Can we discuss your movie, Rawmance, with the sushi? Was that actual salmon?
I really like sushi, and I used to be pondering, what if the rice and the salmon had been in a relationship? What would they discuss? What would that relationship appear to be? Is it actually truthful that the salmon is on the highest on a regular basis? One in all my favourite issues to do is to jot down dialogue, and it’s virtually like I grow to be an actor once I’m writing. I actually go into the character and borrow conversations from my very own relationships and life, however I’m twisting them. I’m by no means making practical tales, it’s at all times supernatural indirectly. 

Sure, it was actual salmon. I purchased a bundle of sushi and thought, okay, I’ve to animate this quick! It was all accomplished in a single take, however I really did change out the salmon as soon as, in the course of filming, when it was hiding behind the rice as a result of it grew to become actually disgusting. In the event you contact a uncooked piece of fish for lengthy sufficient, it’s going to begin dissolving and grow to be scaly. So bizarre. 

Cissi KelseyHart 62

That’s dedication. I cherished your Dinner Occasion sculpture within the latest group present the place we met at Chandran Gallery. Was that from a movie? One determine has an oyster face. 
That was only a sculpture, however a few of the characters come and go. I needed to create this dinner scene I’d been drawing. It unfolded whereas I used to be making it, however I needed this absurd, magical celebration. We now have dinner daily often, it’s one thing mundane, however I needed to place these fascinating characters collectively and take into consideration their dialogue and the way they play collectively. 

Do you have got a dream challenge or has it already occurred?
It might be actually enjoyable to make a sculpture backyard.

What’s a mermaid’s favourite sweet?
It might be some seaweed-flavored, candy exhausting sweet. 

Search for Sea Angels at worldwide movie festivals later this 12 months. This interview was initially revealed in our Summer season 2023 Quarterly. 


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