Pérez

Artist selected by Democracia at 2010


CONTRABANDO [‘Contraband’] was sparked by a personal situation when a friend was arrested and imprisoned in a Spanish jail. It examines the needs that arise in a prison context and the growth of resistance to isolation and imposed control, using communication between the inside and outside to create a space for dialogue and expression for people in isolated places.

 

This project gives life to this experience in a hostile context, a paradigmatic place of an archaic disciplinary system, and questions commitment to the reality around us. Its main goal is to find different forms to convert a critical situation into a possibility and subvert, as far as possible, the constant subjugation, imposition and control in prison. It gives rise to sensitivity, and lets desires create spaces for the truly meaningful and make them producers of experience.

Questions

1. What made you choose art as a profession?
You usually find that those of us who explore artistic realms tend to have underdeveloped practical senses. When people ask me “And what do you do?”, I don’t know where to start, whether to give a one-word answer or take a deep breath, whether to see it as a trivial or meaningful question. I get the same feeling now.
I see artistic activity as a way of being in the world, an attitude, so I can’t classify the (measurable?) time I spend doing art. It’s got very little to do with what people commonly understand as a profession, although it’s a constant in my life.

 

2. How would you define your work?
It’s connected to the communication possibilities of two isolated people in the specific context of a prison and how, through practice, everything that affects us is redefined.

 

3. What subjects are you interested in?
For four years I’ve been working on a project that simultaneously combines several different interests. Although the context is prison, the subject is not a documentary on this space, although it certainly includes this, in the same way that it includes communication, conflict, poetry, politics, games, etc. Since the materials overlap and contaminate each other, the notion of a subject becomes less meaningful.

 

4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
I use whatever tool or process I see as best, and if I don’t know I ask for help.

 

5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
Is reality the same as what’s real? Dictionaries tend to define reality more by what it isn’t than by what it is: reality is what is effective or practical, as opposed to illusionary or fantastical.
Previously, though, other people created, thought up, imagined common reality, currently established as normal, but it was illusionary, and at the end of the day they created it.
I therefore understand that what’s real (or official) comes from the imagination, but it doesn’t contemplate being created, whereas (living) reality is a subjective commitment susceptible to constant mutation.

 

I refuse to let my reality be limited to what’s real, normal, what’s already created. So I act on some sphere of what’s real by expanding my reality. And I do so with any material, tool or process.

 

6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
I understand art as an exercise in working, not as a piece of work, just as I said before that art wasn’t a profession, but rather came from the practice of doing. For me it’s an attitude, a human strength that opens up the possibility to other transformations.

 

The problem of defining what makes something artistic arises because it’s a very complex area at the moment and people confuse economics with value, or as someone else says in this archive, they confuse aesthetics with cosmetics.

 

Art is based on interests and conflicts that affect us; it tries to scratch the established order and communicate this. I suppose it prowls around this uncertainty, weaving other dimensions. And doing so from the metaphorical opening of the poetical is what art can contribute to other practices.

 

7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
I’m less and less interested in spaces where art is exhibited, and one of the reasons is related to the problems concerning the public, issues that lead to specific specialist or tourist publics or no public at all, just empty rooms.

 

The project I’m presenting is carried out with another person who wasn’t an artist and didn’t intend to create an art project from our experience. I ask myself what figure they represent, whether they can be considered as the public and what characteristics their task would have. I’m interested in joint processes, difficulties in definitions, ambiguousness. As far as what’s commonly referred to as the public is concerned, I’m interested in the reaction my work will provoke.

 

8. What qualifications have you got?  What do you value most from your time in education?
I don’t know how to distinguish where education starts and ends – everything can be formative or deformative. If universities don’t generally produce thought and teaching commitment leaves much to be desired, it’s because there has to be a constant effort. I like to see genuinely committed people making an effort in a human rather than institutional way.

 

Reading.

 

9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
I face the inherent logical instability and try to avoid the current processes of acceleration as far as possible. It’s more of a question of health in general than a profession. In the future I hope to get more involved in self-management and cooperation with other people.

 

10. Many artists say it’s difficult to make a living from their work; how do economic considerations affect you when it comes to work? Do you think this has a bearing on your work?
Money is what drives the society I live in; it affects me in general but the fact that it has a bearing doesn’t mean it makes work impossible. I act within the bounds of what I can do.

 

11. What do you look for or expect from your relationship with promoters and curators? What advantages and difficulties have you found with these relationships?
To be honest, anyone who works for an institution, subsidising body, company or the like puts me on a state of alert. On the few occasions I’ve worked with curators I’ve managed to find out a bit about how this area works and the need to constantly position myself and decide how far I want to go and how I want to take part.

 

12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
Nothing specific; it’s similar to other cities. I prefer spaces on the edges of those set up specifically for art. I’d like to see different kinds of other options, other ways of working with other goals…

Curriculum vitae

Pérez
Barcelona, 1980
Vive y trabaja entre/Lives and Works between: Barcelona; Madrid.


Formación Académica/Education
2008

Licenciada en Bellas Artes, Universidad de Barcelona.
Séneca, Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universidad Complutense, Madrid.


2006

Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM, México D.F.


2001

1er ciclo del módulo de Escultura, Escola Massana, Centre d’Art i Disseny, Barcelona.


1999
Título de Bachillerato Artístico, Institut Carles Riba, Barcelona.


Exposiciones Colectivas/Group Exhibitions
2008

No Tocar, Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universidad Complutense, Madrid.


2007

La política de tener corazón, junto al artista FRAGIL, Galería ART-FOLL El Local, Barcelona.


2005-2004

Deriva, Galería ART-FOLL El Local, Barcelona.



Proyectos/Projects
2009

Presentación del proyecto CONTRABANDO, en la planta baja de mi casa, Barcelona; Emergencias, La Casa Encendida, Madrid.


2007

Colaboración en el taller BORDER GAMES del colectivo La Fiambrera Obrera, LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijón.

Colaboración fotográfica en la revista IDEA, Como acabar con la especulación inmobiliaria pasándoselo pipa, colectivo La Fiambrera Obrera.


2003

Creación de la Asociación Cultural ART-FOLL, Barcelona (Labor de comisariado y gestión del espacio).


Contacto/Contact
perezconacento@hotmail.com
perezconacento@blogspot.com