41 Questions for Alejandra Alarcón

August 9, 2017

 

 

 

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

Identity, Change, the wild domestic relationship, human relationships, the feminine, the animalistic, possession, the grotesque. The capacity for resilience. Pain and life.

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.

Thematically, my work has expanded and at the same time reconnected, as if each time I push forward, the new and the old come together. At a conceptual level -but also at a plastic and aesthetic level-  my work has become more complex in terms of formats, I now paint in large formats: 120x180cm watercolors. I also did some animations too. 
My color range has broadened too. Also, I used to paint girls, now I paint women.

 



3.  Have you traveled or been in residencies lately?


I just traveled to Venice, I was commissioned by Shaped In México to make a collective piece that was presented as an alternate event to the Venice Biennale. Last year I exhibited in the Odeon fair in Bogotá, Colombia.

4.  Describe one of your best experiences.

 

In relation to what?

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


Caperucita la más roja, because it marked the beginning of a line of work and research that continues to be updated in each new production.

6.  Which is the least successful?


There isn’t any, all projects that were less successful at the time are part of the successes. I don’t know if I can explain myself. Every search and its mistakes lead to finding the successes/ right answers.

 

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


So many! I have a personal collection now.

8.  Who are your most important artistic references?


Kiki Smith, Henry Darger, James Jean, Cristina Coral, Lisa Kokin, Goya, Fukuyo Matsui, Alexander Tinei, Guo Fengyi, Osamu Yokonami, Chiaru Shiota, Lisa Kokin, Lubos Plny,  Louise Bourgeois and whoever I can’t remember right now.

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


Recently, definitely maternity.

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


It could be man or woman, an artist, a psychologist, a philosopher. The best texts on my work have been written by close friends, such as artists, and/ the texts written by a psychoanalyst writer. They’re much more attuned to my thinking than the text of a critic or curator.

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


When I work, I play music on Spotify every time I paint or draw, and I look at Pinterest.
Around six hours.


12. What good artist have you discovered recently?


Now that I’ve gone to see the Venice Biennale, I was fascinated by Jesse Jones. I saw her video installation 'Tremate tremate'. It's a powerful piece, it touches on topics that interest me deeply and that I didn’t see in the rest of the pavilions. Its discourse and the way the piece is resolved is impeccable: it’s a huge video installation, in which this witch-uterine-giant (vagina dental mouth),  makes you feel small and at the same time embraced in a big hug by transparent hands while she speaks looking into your eyes. I was attracted to it because it’s a discourse that goes beyond the particulars of nations, races, et cetera. It appeals to something infinitely universal, powerful, to which we should return, or remember. Remembering it with a body that has not yet been completely domesticated, or capitalized. ​

 

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


Bosco’s Garden of Earthly Delights.

 14. What is your favorite museum or cultural space?


I was very impressed with the Venice Biennale’s spaces.

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


The size, you can see large format video installations. The space envelops you, there’s pieces that could only exist there as if the space was functioning in service to the pieces, and not the other way around. And of course, the experience of walking all day and to just keep seeing more and more art.

16. Where would you like to exhibit?


I’d love to exhibit in Mexico City.

17. What exhibition do you recommend?


Theo Jansen’s exhibit in Laboratorio de Arte Alameda in Mexico City.

 

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


The best: I do what I love, every day.
The worst: to not be paid as much as other professions, even if that entails a lot of work. In many cases, being unable to have a normal life (having a family and children).

 

 



19. What do you criticize the most in art?


Power groups, rivalries between artists and unnecessary jealousies. Fixed idea on what is or should be art, when it’s something that’s always evolving.


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


Ideas about artists like: they’re bohemians, undisciplined, disordered, addicts.
When in reality to be an artist, you need all the opposite qualities: discipline, order, constancy, structure, and a lot of work.


21. What do you prefer? Book or film?


Oh, what a difficult question. I don’t think they can compare, they’re very different. I love both, but I couldn’t live without either one but If I had to choose, though, I’d keep the books.

22. Celebration or rest?


Rest
 

 



23. City or countryside?


Countryside.


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


Day, I can’t function at night.

25.  Music or silence?


Music all day. At every hour.

26. Order or disarray?


Order.

27. Lone or teamwork?


Teamwork.

28. Deadline or no deadline?


Both, you get two different kinds of results, but I recognize deadlines have helped me be more productive.

29. Which providers do you prefer?


Casa Serra, Lumen, for paintings and brushes, and for Arches paper generally Commission by amazon (via the United States)

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


Intuition: 90
Investigation: 80
Experimentation: 70
Planning: 70


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


Rationalization, Procrastination (which I think is necessary for creation).

 

 

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

That it’s beautiful.

33.  What or who do you consider overrated?

 

Talent.

34.  What do you consider underrated?


Willpower, discipline, the body’s strengths in art.

35.  Finish the sentence:
To be a good artist, one must first be:

 

__a good person.

36.  Before selling an artwork one must first:

 

 __make sure it’s well taken care of and conserved.

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

 

___it’s a professional and serious space.

38.  I don’t start working until 

 

___ I have my black tea, my work table organized, my soul organized and good music.

39.  A self-respecting artist must have (be)

 

___impeccable in his or her life.

40.  What we need to is 

 

___create is to make mistakes.

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


In Santa Cruz Bolivia in the Centro Simón I. Patiño next to the Galería Kiosko which celebrates its tenth anniversary and in September at LAXART,  Los Angeles California at the exhibition Video Art in Latin America, curated by de Glenn Phillips y Elena Shtromberg. 

 

 

 

 

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