Do you feel comfortable with the idea of ‘being an artist’ framed in terms of identity? Are you on the side of a post-secular approach? ―and with that I mean something like the movement towards the plurality of definitions, the demystification of the artist and the empowerment of the public.
I do feel comfortable considering myself an artist, since it is my current occupation and what I have studied for. However, I do confess I don’t feel that comfortable when I have to explain to someone else what I do, because I can anticipate their estrangement. There are still all these mystical and ridiculous associations with art, which I find very outdated. Being artist should be like being teacher, mechanic or greengrocer: an occupation, and nothing else. An artist is not someone gifted; it is someone who has been trained for that. Of course, some people do show more facilities, or develop certain sensibility, but even those skills can be learned. But the same can be said about any other job, though.
“IN MY OPINION, ART IS MADE FROM PLEASURE – OR THE ART I AM INTERESTED IN, AT LEAST – AND FINDING PLEASURE (NOT ONLY IN ART, BUT IN LIFE IN GENERAL) IS SOMETHING WE SHOULDN’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT.”
How important is pleasure in the process of making? How does your final outcome contain or express this pleasure to the viewer?
At home, I have always been encouraged to pursue what I found pleasure in. My mother is a teacher at an elementary school, and since I was a kid, I have seen how she works. If I would have to choose an instant as representation of pleasure, I would definitely pick up one of the many images I keep of my mum at her school.
I am lucky enough to find that same pleasure when I spend time in a project I am very excited about, and I usually consider as my best works those I enjoyed a lot with while I was doing them, because, at the end, pleasure means motivation. When a work doesn’t provide me with this rapture, I lose the interest. I am aware of how whimsical it can sound, but if I would not find pleasure in my work, then I would try to do something less complicated to make a living from.
Stuck on your studio’s door, you have a quote that says: “So can we end with that― the politics of pleasure?” Is it possible to conceive a theory of art based on pleasure and playfulness and still be ethical?
Maybe, by decreasing that severe gaze put on artworks; that same gaze that believes art is some kind of social savior or vehicle for great truths. In my opinion, art is made from pleasure – or the art I am interested in, at least – and finding pleasure (not only in art, but in life in general) is something we shouldn’t feel guilty about.