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41 questions for Alejandra España

July 30, 2017

Secretos Ocultos (fragmento), 2016
mural, pintura vinílica con 12 cuadros super puestos. Detrás de cada obra hay un secreto pintado a muro 

2.15 x 14 mts

 

1. What would you say are the central themes of your work?

 

Nature, ontology, and the way we relate to the things that surround us; how we tell stories through myth, tales and metaphors that we formulate to make sense of the world.


2. To update a little bit, tell us how and what has changed in your work in the last few years, particularly after we published your work on LARMAGAZINE.

 

I’ve ventured in other materials using laser to cut through wood and I’ve worked with collages from another perspective with paper on wood as well as animation on multiple layers. Currently, I’m interested in exploring deeper installations where the spectator is completely immersed and can interact with the work. The last few years I’ve dedicated a great deal of my time on producing artist books of my own authorship, exploring installation through the mural and its translation on the book as an object.


3. Have you traveled or been in residencies lately?

 

I recently traveled to London where I saw the incredible local exhibitions and the great boom for independent publications, it was a pleasure to position one of my latest publications “Incomplete Stories” in a book shop. In Oaxaca I taught a workshop that was part of the Seminary “La Otra Gráfica”, in La Curtiduría, where we did various exercises, one of which was an artist book with a small print.

4. Describe one of your best experiences.

 

I have my best experiences when I’m immersed in in nature or when I have fantastic dreams. During my trip to Oaxaca I had the luck of visiting the CASA and seeing an impressive exhibition on graphics with more than 200 works, which was only part of the Toledo-IMBA collection. It was a delight for the senses. Exquisite works from authors one sees in the great museums all reunited in one very special place.


5. What project or piece have you produced up until this moment do you consider the most successful for your career?

 

It’s difficult to answer that question since projects and pieces are connected to one another, I’m still in a constant search. However, I think some of my first pieces in sculpture have some success. A crocodile watch that spins on a mural, the remains of which are limited to a bad register. A cut-out silhouette on a wood frame of a half-human, half-bear character. I like the “lugares intangibles” animation. Some projects still float in my mind and come back years later in more mature ways but perhaps more rigid forms. The first works’ spontaneity has an essential freshness. I like the results of “Autorretrato, Excedente”, a project that started in 2006, then returned to in 2015 and it’s something I’m still working on currently. Beyond having any certainty on that piece, I feel like the right thing to do is to keep investigating on that path.


6. Which is the least successful?


Important things come from the least successful, too, they’re pursuits that remain pending or without an immediate solution, they open doors to new ways of questioning. I suppose in my case that also has to do with the patience I do things and ideas with and sometimes they’re kept as potential projects. .


7.  Do you have a piece you don’t want to sell, not even to the best collection in the world?

 

Yes, drawings and ceramics that are significative to my process.

 

Relatos Incompletos, 2016
libro de artista desplegable

realizado con el apoyo del FONCA. Jóvenes creadores


8. Who are your most important artistic references?

 

Oh, there’s lots of them. They change with time, some are constant, others are returned to. It depends on what I’m investigating at the time. I like John Berger, William Kentridge, Piet Mondrian, Katsushika Hokusai, to name a few. Brancusi, DaDa, abstract expressionism, Sigmar Polke’s paintings, Neo Rauch, El Grupo Kobra, Agnés Varda, Raymond Pettibon, Jillian Tamaki, Gerald Durrell’s books. My teachers Carla Rippey and Perla Krauze have been great examples, too. There’s references to literature in my work, I suppose Tove Jansson’s work influenced me since my childhood.


9. What day-to-day or personal experience, unrelated to the art world, has influenced your work?

 

Well, my experience with the world influences my creative process. Walking in the street, talking to friends, a holiday, going to the theater and seeing a play about “Lagartijas tiradas al sol”, listening to birds

Birdy, 2016
pitura vinilica sobre MDF cortado a laser
90 x 124 cms x 1.3 cm



10. Who do you prefer to write you a text? A critic, friend, artist or curator?

I’d love to read a text of my work written by a writer, a critic, or curator.

 

11. How many hours a day are you on the internet?

 

No idea. Between 1 and 4? It depends on the day, sometimes none.

 

12. What good artist have you discovered recently?


Rebecca Belmore, I liked her work in Athens in the Documenta 14.


13. What is your favorite work or project in history?


That’s so hard to answer because there’s so many of them! Impossible to answer. Yves Klein, “Leap into the void” to name one.


14. ¿Cuál es tu museo o espacio cultural favorito? What is your favorite museum or cultural space?


That’s also hard to answer because there’s so many spaces and so many more to see. I like the sculptural space  of CCU, the MAM, the IAGO, The Museum of Natural History of Paris, the Tate Gallery, SF MoMA, Guggenheim, National Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery. When I was a girl I really liked the now extinct Museum of Contemporary Art, it was my favorite.


15. What does that place have that the rest don’t?


Each one has its particularity, its echo, its space, its light, its collection, its history.


16. Where would you like to exhibit?

 

In Japan.

17. What exhibition do you recommend?


Jean Arp at MAM. Sigmar Polke in MACO Oaxaca. A Handful of Dust, Photography after Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp and the Q&A: Artists in Conversation in the Whitechapel Gallery.

 


18. What has been the best and the worst of being an artist?

 

I’ve most enjoyed the freedom to produce projects and ideas, live the processes and finally see the finished pieces, I’ve also really enjoyed the people one meets along the way. The worst, I imagine is worrying about the economic instability that accompanies the artist’s lifestyle but I also think not having the resources shouldn’t stop creativity and production, there are ways to find the means.

 

Ubiverso de Sombra- Cumengeita, 2015
Porcelana, engobe y esmalte
16.5 x 13.5 x 5 cms


19. What do you criticize the most in art?

 

The obscene price an artwork can have.

20. What do you think is the art myth or person/character that does the most damage to this profession?

 

A lot of things can be damaging, but I think one has to consider what is important to one’s self, without caring what others might think (without hurting anyone, of course). I think social media is sometimes an incredible communication means, it’s useful for learning and sharing many things and art pieces and unimaginable images that happen as far and wide as the entire world. It’s true they also generate half-truths that lead to banal appreciations, since the consumption of images is instantaneous and superficial.

21. What do you prefer? Book or film?


Book, it’s doesn’t depend on electric light necessarily, but I do love films.


22. Celebration or rest?

 

Celebration then rest.

23. City or countryside?

 

A very green city near the countryside.

Paisaje Construido, 2014
mixta sobre tela
50 x 70



24. When do you work better? Day or night?

 

Day and night.


25. Music or silence?

 

I like listening to the radio.

26. Order or disarray?

 

Order, but I tend to go towards disarray.
 

27. Alone or team work?

 

Alone.

28. Deadline or no deadline?

 

Life is a deadline.

29. Which providers do you prefer?

 

Art materials are a delight, Casa Serra, Marco Polo, Marca de Agua… but I think lack of material shouldn’t stop an idea from being developed. You can also work with what’s at hand and produce, there’s Land Art for example, or one’s own body.

30. If you had to divide your work in percentages, what would be the percentages of intuition, investigation, experimentation, planning, and others?

 

Intuition: 50% Practice 90% Investigation 50%


31. What other criteria would you include in “Others”?

 

Observing 50%

32. What’s the worst definition of art you’ve ever heard?

 

I could tell you the best instead: trying to make the invisible visible by Paul Klee.

 


33. What or who do you consider overrated?

 

Ideas. When Conceptual art stops being solely retinal, it becomes thinking, poetic, ironic, critical, and creative, an art that demands from the spectator, but also runs the risk of being overrated.

34. What do you consider underrated?


Construction workers in Mexico.


35. FInish the phrase: To be a good artist, one must first be:

 

__stubborn


36. Before selling an artwork one must first

 

__register and record it

37. Before exhibiting an artwork, one must first make sure

 

__it’s in good shape

38. I don’t start working until:  

 

__I’d change the question. I start working without questioning much.

39. A self-respecting artist must have a(n)

 

_body of work that supports him or her


40. What we need is to

 

__ make changes for the community


41. Where and when will we be able to see your next work?

 

In the Libros de Artista exhibit in Rufino Tamayo the  23rd and 24th of September 2017. PaperWorks, Feria de Libro de Arte, CDMX.

 

Universo de sombra, 2015
instalación de 86 placas de porcelana

30 x 36 cms la más grande, 5 x 4 cms la más pequeña

 

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LARMAGAZINE is proudly a free and independent art publication that seeks to innovate how contemporary art content is presented, edited, transmitted and consumed. To help us continue this vision, please click here to donate. We appreciate every contributor, reader, and supporter that helps to make this magazine possible

LARMAGAZINE is proudly a free and independent art publication that seeks to innovate how contemporary art content is presented, edited, transmitted and consumed. To help us continue this vision, please click here to donate. We appreciate every contributor, reader, and supporter that helps to make this magazine possible

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