I would say that I work in (expanded) photography, video and performance art.
Who are the people, artists or not, who have inspired you in 2019? How about your close collaborators?
I have two interlocutors - Clifford Owens and Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky. Owens is an incredible artist who is also my partner. And Salomé is a scholar who writes about film and video and is also my sister. Her first book, The ProcessGenre, will be published in March 2020 by Duke University Press. It’s going to be ground breaking.
Where do you turn to when looking for peace and quiet or motivation?
I have been running/jogging for over 20 years. I run about 4 miles two times a week and it helps calm me down. It’s a form of meditation for me.
You are represented by Ponce + Robles Gallery in Madrid. At the same time, your works are exhibited around the world and you have won numerous awards and recognition in the US. What enables or facilitates all this chain of collaborations and recognition in various countries and continents?
Great question. It always happens through relationships. I have developed professional relationships with many people who support my work. Each opportunity leads to another…
What inspired your recent series of works titled Sacred Geometry/Geometria Sagrada (2019)?
I am very excited about this project; it has been quite generative. In Sacred Geometry/Geometria Sagrada I appropriate photographs from the internet and make my own photos of Ingapirca, an archeological site built by the Incas and Cañaris in Ecuador. The Incas used volcanic rock and cut it so precisely that they didn’t need mortar to build their structures.
The photographs of rocks I have been making for the last few years are folded and collaged and recontextualized with other photographs. The inspiration is pretty simple: “If Trump is going to build a border wall why not use Inca technology to do it”.
What was the intended reaction to your project titled The Perilous Journey of Maria Rosa Palacios?
In this 30-minute hybrid film I reenact my Great-grandmother’s journey from the Andes (a continuation of the American Rockies) to the coast to work as a domestic in Ecuador. She made this journey before the railroad had been completed. I want audience members to think about their own migration stories, how difficult transportation was before the industrial revolution, and learn about Ecuadorian culture and history.
Can you tell us about projects you are currently working on?
I am currently working on “How to build a wall and other ruins”. It is a multi-channel video installation that complements Sacred Geometry. I have been interviewing people (some experts and others who consider themselves experts) about how they think the Incans built their walls. These interviews are being edited into How-to YouTube videos that will be juxtaposed with a video of the actual building of a wall near Ingapirca using local indigenous knowledge.
What are your definitions of exploration, outrage, and memory?
Exploration: make art – do whatever you want. Outrage: make art that engages responds to the world today. Memory: memory is fluid and is always in the present (unless you have amnesia and then it’s all you have.)
What is your favorite word in English? How about Spanish?
There are so many great words. It’s hard to choose.
It would be awesome to share your thoughts about one or both of our ongoing campaigns included below: #BeatTheBlues features works and confessions of artists and non-artists about their experiences and ways to beat the blues and rise from the depths of darkness?
Stay in the present. However bad life seems… it usually gets better. Put love first.
#WhatMatters A paragraph about what matters to you most at this point in time and how does your work and life reflect that. My family matters most to me. And I have a broad definition of family. It means my immediate family but it also includes my community. It’s really hard to balance everything- work and family- but I try.