Not Random Art - Page 35

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15

In order to explain you what is the role of my consciousness and memory in my artistic practice, I must firstly explain how that “sensual message” works as an equation from my perspective. I have this sort of formula for when I want to start a piece but don’t know where I should begin – the product (the artwork) is the result of the relationship between me as an individual and the social and physical environment in which I am present. Using this formula to create a piece most certainly involves some exploration and reflection upon my own (sub)consciousness, in the sense that it requires some rationalization about the feeling/s related to it, but doesn’t always imply a relation with the memory. The memory does not have a specific role in the way I process my work. Sometimes it is there and it is a crucial part of the artwork itself [take for example my piece The Feeling Of Being Lost But Not Feeling Lost, which is basically a physical representation of a memory], but most of the time it is not a starting point but something I stumble upon and end up giving more or less attention to.

What is the role of technique in your practice? In particular are there any constraints or rules that you follow when creating?

Although I try not to place any constraints on my artistic practices, I do have some basic guidelines that I often follow. My “rules” have mostly been put in place to assure that the finished piece looks as flawless as possible. I put a lot of effort to make sure every piece fits into my particular aesthetics, therefore I take some extra care in the way in which I employ colour and the kind of materials I choose to use .

How do you see the relationship between emotional and intellectual perception of your work? In particular, how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience?

I believe that every time I am working on a new piece, the most important of the many questions I ask myself is “how can I immerse the viewer with this?”

I try to rationalize this question as much as I can, because I believe immersion isn’t always related to its visual aspect; sometimes you should search beyond the visual aspect of a piece, its immersive nature may come from the emotional and intellectual connection established with the viewer.

I expect my work to achieve that sort of connection with the viewer, both on an intellectual and emotional level. The ideas behind my artworks have the two sides of the same coin: a rationalized conceptual groundwork in which the visual object will fall into place, and an “emotional aura” as reported by many viewers when looking at them. I have a very close relationship with my work, as if every visual object I create is a part of me, both psychological and as a physical extension; maybe that is where the “emotional aura” comes from.

Before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

Yes, I do in fact. It is no secret that my work is conceptual, although not totally, so most of the process of making a piece or even organizing my ideas revolves around that issue. I always attempt to make my work objective enough so that people can understand it, in order to achieve a connection between the artwork and the audience, but not too objective that get it right away. I want the spectator to spend time thinking about my pieces, and above all to spend time looking at them.

Personally, that is what I like the most about my work; that it is not hard to comprehend after you spend some time dwelling beneath its surface. I spend a lot of time and put a lot of effort into it, to make it both visually and conceptually appealing without the first one spoiling the second right away.

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Rodrigo. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Before answering the question, I must be the one to thank you for this opportunity, and I am so grateful and proud of this, I honestly do not have words to describe it. Currently I am working on a series for a potential solo exhibition, it is still very premature but it will be massive when finished, it is the biggest series I have done. I am also thinking about some new pieces revolving about the concept of knowledge, more precisely, about what knowledge is as an abstract concept and the way you can employ it into an artwork as an energy.

About the way I see my work evolving? I don’t know, it’s as much of a mystery to me as it is to anyone else. All I know is that I won’t stop working, not only because I can’t but also because I have a voracious desire to produce artistic work, and as long as I keep working, my work will keep evolving.

olted by the Thought of Known Places… Sweeney Astray” by Joan Jonas was one of the first performance installations that really made a huge impact on me. I was living in Paris during this time, in the early 90s, with a lot of influences from different cultures. It became the starting point of my own work. Joan Jonas practice has explored ways of seeing, the rhythms of ritual, and the authority of objects and gestures. Jonas continues to find new layers of meanings in themes and questions of gender and identity that have fueled her art for over thirty years. She is a great inspiration still today.

It is impossible to avoid the topic of body consciousness, embodied emotions and the image of body and personal identity that we see in your practice. What is the function of the identity appearing in your artworks – is it a canvas used to present your ideas or rather the subject of the art? What inspired you to use this as a theme in your practice?

I have been developing my visual imagery since I began studying art and film - from conceptual thinking, composition, using light and colour in different ways, through all the different techniques I've utilised over the years in my work and in my collaborations with stage artists such as dancers, musicians and actors. My approach is always developing through exploring these things. Visual imagery in essence is your way of experiencing what you see and transforming it. This is my world that I want to share and express through my art. The body consciousness, embodied emotions and the image of body and personal identity is part of this visual imagery, the emotional essence in my practice. Always present and always developing in different themes and projects.

Marina Abramovic stated: You see, what is my purpose of performance artist is to stage certain difficulties and stage the fear the primordial fear of pain, of dying, all of

which we have in our lives, and then stage them in front of audience and go through them and tell the audience, 'I'm your mirror; if I can do this in my life, you can do it in yours.'Can you relate anyhow to these words?

de-identify myself, by losing my roots, my culture, I would be very happy. Unfortunately the human being does'nt choose the place where he is born. He grows up in a society that automatically identifies, through education, culture, family... More than ever I think it's more important to go on a way of self-knowledge with the aim to meet “the other”.. This other without which we can not exist. It's the same for the artist. It is more important for me to be focused on my practice than to try to define it according to esthetic criteria of identification. It's probably the reason i like to remember the painter Matisse who said or wrote that an artist must never be prisoner of himself, prisoner of a style, prisoner of a reputation.

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Could you talk a little about experiences that has influence the way you currently relate yourself to your artworks?

All my way is influenced by encounterings.

It began by the meeting with my professor of literature at school. More than giving French or Literature classes, she brought us to discover texts, movies, plays, visual artworks and to think about on what we saw or read.. Thanks to her that I met Pierre Vincke, a theatredirector who was worjink in the tradition of Grotowski ... Both of them have led me to go to theater school. In this school I had meetings. Meetings with artists but also and especially human beings that made me discover. I always need o discover rather than to master a practice. It's probably the reason my encounter with Monica Klingler and Boris Nieslony was decisive for me and led me on the path of Performance Art which is a form still difficult to define. Each performance artist has a different definition of what it is...

Could you identify a specific artwork that has influenced your artistic practice or has impacted the way you think about race and ethnic identity in visual culture?

No I don't have a specific artwork that has influenced my artistic practise but many.

I'm influenced by some philsophers as well as poets or musicians or dancers or visual artists but also by some places or landscapes or atmospheres ... For some years, I was used for example to go to India where I was used to follow some traditionnal muscians or to learn bharatanatyam and practice vipassana meditation... Of course this experience has impacted my art work.... This brought me to think and work differently... My experience in India brought me to discover traditionnal strong art and paradoxally to the way of Performance Art. But there I see one common point: to make no separation between art and life and to be here and now, without projection on the future.

It's difficult for me to speak about race and ethnic identity. But I can say that today we miss more and more this notion of “to be here and now” which is more present in some cultures ... By practising Performance Art, it's my way to be connected to this way of thinking. And even in this field actually it's more and more difficult. The society and the art world brings us more and more to plan in advance, to define our work, more than to do. Just to do. To do what we deeply need.

And of course, my encountering with Black Market International and later the notion of Open Source or Open session via PAErsche have also a big impact on my work. When we go on that, each of us perform by sharing time and space but without trying to convince each other on some common way. This is for me a wonderfull way how we can meet each other, regardless of our origin, our race or our “identity”...

Many of your works carry an autobiographical message. Since you transform your experiences into your artwork, we are curious, what is the role of memory in your artistic productions? We are particularly interested if you try to achieve a faithful translation of your previous experiences or if you rather use memory as starting point to create.

My memory is clearly a starting point to create. I don't have any autobiographical message. I use my personnal experience ( what I feel , what I see, what I learn, what I ear...) to work. It's a motor or a material. I'm not able to paint, so I can't do something with red or white or yellow or black colors. All I have is life, a body alive. And I need to do something with that...

My sensation about life sometimes is too intense then I need to transform this intensity in some action. Some artistic action... If people can take something from this action this is great... but I don't want to give them “a specific message” or to control the translation of my experience.