Not Random Art
The Contemporary Art Review
Entrevista | Interview
Hello Adriana and welcome to NotRandomArt. The current issue is revolving around the problem of communication and identity. Is there any particular way you would describe your identity as an artist but also as a human being in dynamically changing, unstable times? In particular, does your cultural substratum/identity form your aesthetics?
I do believe, in general, that the artist`s cultural substratum forms the aesthetics of his/her art works, in a way or in another. But I try to not be conscious about it while I am working. If the associations to my personal issues start during the progress of a work, I use it as an alarm: I add new elements or take some out to widen it`s possibilities of meaning.
The development and the result of it must be a mystery for me. I don't control it, nor predict how they should be. It's while I am handling the matter, stretching it, ripping and turning it over that I find out its best shape.
Often I need to approximate elements, mix, organize, and displace them, until they say something; until they surprise me.
Only after that I can think about its meanings. Not before. Not during.
So, answering your question, it does form my aesthetics, but not because I want them to. I understand that an artwork should be open to multiple interpretations and therefore it shouldn't translate an idea, but create new ones.
I don`t believe in stability. But I believe in resistance and in effort. My work somehow performs a resistance to the dynamic changes, as you called it. Since it highlights the root matter in a more and more virtual world, where everything is flat and nothing gets old.
Doing art by itself is already a way of resistance.
Would you like to tell us something about your artistic as well as life background? What inspired you to be in this artistic point in your life when you are now?
When I allowed myself to use my writings in my visual work, both of them started to be relevant.
At the beginning I was using elements that could be immediately recognizable (shoes, bags, brushes, toys, tools), along with writings that could be related to the objects. Both together could even stimulate some sort of narrative.
Little by little the meaning of the writings started to fade. They were not completely readable: Broken sentences, words with no logical order, letters… until remained only the rhythm of the writing, without its meanings. The same happened with the objects, which became less and less recognizable.
What matters, now, is the condition of the material I use.
Simultaneously the dialog with the space, where the artworks are settled, began to gain a stronger relevance. And as soon as I started doing residencies my artwork gained the ambient dimensions. My workspace expanded naturally... it is no longer just a room (or a house) called atelier, but the streets, a river, a whole village...
Could you identify a specific artwork that has influenced your artistic practice or has impacted the way you think about your identity as a participant of the visual culture?
I won`t be able to identify a single specific artwork. Many artworks, artists, writers and people in general, impacted my process, in multiple ways.
But I could name a few:
Nuno Ramos who says, "the matter never lies".
Anselm Kiefer so bold on the sizes, on the effort.
Clarice Lispector who seems to write as she was breathing. No rules. No expectations.
Arthur Bispo do Rosario with whom the "aura" of art, as W. Benjamin calls it, is extreme.
Gaston Bachelard and the significance he gives to spaces and objects.
Manoel de Barros who writes from the point of view of the object.
..It'd be an endless list…
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.
Trying to translate an idea to the paper or to the matter, never worked out for me. I highly avoid that.
I`ve realized that the stains or rips, gained naturally with time and use, cannot be made intentionally. It has a spontaneous gesture quality that we cannot achieve. Time can be seen on the surfaces, on us. And that`s what I look for: signs of time.
That`s the kind of memory that I work with. I don`t use real events as a reference to produce. But because of the choice of material and locations, which is one of the most important steps of my work, it ends up touching deep issue from the context/community where it is produced. Probably because I use fragments of their history.
That`s exactly why I cannot fake them. They must be real. And being real, they will be able to propose dialogs with the viewers.
My relationship with the matter and the locations where I place the artworks are quite relevant. I cannot talk about the artworks without mentioning where they were made. Or what was necessary to make them. It becomes all related. And it all depends on the kind of relationship I can establish or be bold enough to start. You have to be very bold sometimes. Or most of the times, I`d dare to say.
What is the role of technique in your practice? In particular are there any constraints or rules that you follow when creating?
Since the material must be emphasized, I must avoid specific and precise techniques. Frequently, during the process, I must repeat several times the same action. I would call that “technique”. And in fact, it gets better with time and with practice, like any other technique.
The only rule I can think of is: work with as fewer intentions as I can. And keep my eyes sharped to the matter, the space and to accidents. The accidents play an important role in my process. Often I use it as element of the work. I never hide what I have done to the matter. Everything is apparent.
I`ve been working with less and less material, symbols, colors.. And less elements you have, more precise must be the intervention. With the causality, the accuracy is on the choice: to use the accident or not.
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?
Each necessary action to produce my artworks has intrinsically emotional and intellectual issues and elements that can be connected. But the meanings each piece can achieve will depend on the relation they can create with the viewers. I believe artworks go much further than the artist's plans or wishes.
In a formal exhibition, behavioral rules are established and the distance between the viewers and the artworks are almost palpable. When the artworks are settled in a particular location, their relationship seems to be more intense.
But in both cases, the dialog between my pieces and the architecture, can proportionate a estrangement, that might stimulate a deeper immersion or experience with the artworks.
Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Adriana. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?
My last solo exhibition was called Before the Dust (Antes do pó), Since then I`ve been thinking about what`s after the dust.
I planned already an exhibition for that, I am just looking for a suitable location.
In the meanwhile, I am working, in the atelier, with objects that I collect in the dumpling ground and in an abandoned Hotel, with site-specific installations.
we will see where it leads me.
Thank you for the interest in my work and for the opportunity you offered me to think about its process.