The Bad Conscience aka TBC is an artist duo/collective by Veru Loremipsum & LS Grave, founded in 2012. TBC are creative allrounders, presently enrolled in MFA in Zurich. TBC work cross-disciplinary, in the audio-visual sphere, between graspable n ephemeral realms, when possible building full-room environments. TBC is bigger than just a name for a project created by the two entities conducting it, but rather a multidisciplinary celebration of existence, which you could be a part of too.
Find out more in the exclusive interview below.
VL: My name is Veru Loremipsum. I’m half Polish, half Ecuadorian, so a nice mix of Slavic humour and endurance with hot, tropical, Latin energy. I grew up in Warsaw, Poland followed by a move to Zürich as a teenager with my Mom. She raised me on her own with my grandparents, I don’t really know my dad. I never got a chance to understand my roots from his side yet. Since small I always engaged with arts, drawing, writing and sewing a lot. As a teen I started playing guitar. Since small I’ve been confronted with the way I stand out of the crowd, thanks to my liminal upcoming. It made me stronger and more confident in accepting my identity today and motivated me to show the youngsters that they can be whoever they want to be and no societal pressure’s should stop them.
LS: I’m LS Grave, a Swiss-Canadian artist based in Zürich, Switzerland. I’m born in Neuchâtel, the French part of Switzerland and grew up partially in Seoul, South Korea. Since childhood I’ve been playing the piano, and learning other, various instruments along the way, as well as produce my own soundscapes, as daily practice. I like capturing my surroundings by drawing vast amounts of humorous comics/sketches, some of which can be seen in our portrait above. I’m currently completing my Master of Fine Arts at the ZHdK alongside Veru.
VL: Yea, So that no one can identify us. Just kidding of course. No, but to be honest I wonder why not more artists use pseudonyms. Using your own name is just way to modernist. I reserve it for my family.
LS: We create a whole audio-visual identity around us, it would be a pity to use our private names for these projects, as we perform oversaturated versions of ourselves in our works.
VL: Veru is an abbreviation of my real name. Loremipsum is a placeholder text used by designers and layouters. It plays with the irony of replacing meaningful content with its visual alternative. Created from a scrambled version an ancient text by Cicero De finibus bonorum et malorum, written in nonsensical, improper Latin. The name speaks along the lines of my practice.
LS: LS Grave is, to most people’s surprise, closer to my real name than it seems at first. LS are the reversed initials derived from my first names and Grave comes from how I was called in school by my peers as a joke on my real last name. Grave meaning in French: serious, deep, low-pitched.
VL: We met through friends by the lake. LS was playing guitar and I noticed something special about him. The time was just right, we were young and had lots of time on our hands. We just clicked. The rest is history.
LS: Since we met, we’re very communicative with one another, discussing in complete detail and trying to make sense of what is happening around us. Through this open approach and a great amount of trust, we merged our practices to create something bigger together. A team. A collective.
VL: As we don’t like limiting our practice to a specific genre or form, which in some cases might be seen as problematic, especially marketing-wise (how do you sell/present something that constantly varies in form?), yet in our case it seems to be more of an approximation toward new definitions. An artist should not have to succumb to one medium anymore, we are living in dynamic times and so should art stay in between these dynamic motions.
LS: We are a band and it’s production clique, a performance-entourage getting ready for theatre, pseudo-realist painters, photo- & videographer’s, director and screenwriting duo, your entertainment team, text artists, poets & lyricists, critical thinkers, punk riot kids, wearable and furniture designers, comic artists, clowning and satire supporters, political party, community organisation, magicians, tricksters, dancers & choreographers.
VL: Put simply, the Bad Conscience do everything necessary to produce an elaborate and unique, wholesome vision, taking full control of every detail within their projects regardless of the required medium.
LS: We create in our private atelier/music home-studio, just enough but not too remote from the Zürich University of the Arts, where we study.
VL: We like to cultivate our art in peace, away from too much of external influences and distractions, like hermits, living in between, liminally, in transition, in secrecy, undisturbed.
VL: On a series of paintings, it evolves simultaneously with other projects. We’re working on some new songs with TBC, hopefully to release an EP before 2019 ends. This project will require videos so we’re discussing the contents and drawing mood boards, preparing costumes. Normal artists’ things. We’ve just dropped the “Temporary Con” project and our Couture Brut online Shop is finally up online, soon followed by official release on instagram. Since some time we’ve been interested in the role of art object as a commodity and intend to exploit this subject in the next show we are planning: Celebration of Decoration(TMC All Rights Reserved), where we will subtly try playing around with the white cube etiquette.
LS: We also just put a lot of effort into the curatorial happenings of the student-run program RETA, where we organised a happening for 25 performative artists, a completely chaotic night, it was fun. Now we finally get to spend more time in our ateliers again, continuing work which has been temporarily put on hold.
LS: As before and as far as we can hope, we continue working on similar subjects that we started out way back with our first Trash Art Punk Rock project back in 2012. The most important part of our pieces will be the constant rupture and contrast.
VL: Whether through humour or seriosity we deal with identity studies, marginality, discrimination, technology critique, intersectional feminism, new-spirituality, verbal & visual manipulation tactics, shamanism but also pop cultural and advertisement strategies. We constantly keep on asking ourselves what it means to be an artist these days.
VL: Well first of all, I don’t believe in ‘style’ but ‘life- style’. My looks are part of me. They represent my personality and state of mind. Style is something people wrongly believe you can buy, but you cannot buy lifestyle, you have to live it and style might just be a byproduct of this. And yes I do paint and sew parts of my own clothes on the side. Sometimes I also design costumes for performers. How much time I take to get ready depends. Some- where between 10min to 2h. *laughs*
LS: Yes, please check our Couture Brut online store full of hand-painted clothes! Most of the shirts have been done with airbrush, it works especially well on T-Shirts.
VL: Just so that’s explained: The name Couture Brut is an abbreviation of the term art brut, as in primitivist design. Result: Simple punk pop fashion.
LS: We talk about issues which can get rather uncomfortable and naggy. Maybe it’s a call to people to get involved within their neighbourhoods, instead of putting local issues aside, ignoring the problems in your close surroundings.