Sergio Ojeda

Artist selected by Democracia at 2010

I see artistic practices as organic processes undergoing change and subject to a mutation of language or subject area so that the work gradually takes shape over time.


Conceptually, my art projects focus on analysing the relationships between power and the subject in different areas. I place myself in the prior state of vulnerability where power shapes and inaugurates the identity of the subject (Judith Butler), creating a certain “mutual relationship of psychic symbiosis” whose danger resides in the psychological state of fragility where dependence towards power by the subject becomes an absolute and indispensible condition for its existence, and its survival is exploited by this power (concept of manipulation v education). My work explores, analyses and reflects the state of ambivalence and contradiction and subsequent extreme consequences – which in general become radical, violent and
(self-)destructive forms of behaviour – that are the result of the abuse and exploitation that make up this link/process in an act of frustrated rebellion by the subject towards this power and itself, since this power has entered the subject’s psyche to tragically become its own “conscience”.


1. What made you choose art as a profession?
It wasn’t a deliberate conscious choice; it happened naturally. I can’t remember a specific moment when I sat down and thought about it. I suppose that my social relationship with the environment is where I’m most comfortable and it’s what I do best. I don’t actually see art as a profession, but more of a reaction to a position or attitude with respect to the environment.


2. How would you define your work?
Regardless of how it’s perceived, I personally see my work as hermetic, nonlinear, ironic, grotesque and even dramatic… All my projects (almost always multidisciplinary in nature) involve direct interaction with the public and keep up a constant, unnerving and inevitable interest in “what’s underneath” (in relation to a romantic idea of something “sinister”), `perhaps in the belief that this is my place or contribution within “art”, which I’ve turned into a “statement”, “business card” or “declaration of intent” for each project I present, trying to be as honest as possible with my work and intensions.


3. What subjects are you interested in?
There’s a very basic intention to question everything that might appear unquestionable, to turn it on its head and confront aspects that seem unshakable. I’m interested in power relations, perceptive pitfalls and illusions, forms of representation and perception, how we perceive and reinterpret information, the untouchable, ways of interacting individually and collectively, hidden readings, different versions, contrasts, contradictions… “what lies underneath”.


4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
Like the vast majority of artists, I adapt resources to my specific needs depending on the nature of the project in question. Let’s say I’m comfortable with video work, action, performance, and although I’ve always worked with my own body, recently I’ve been interested in working with professional actors. I really like the idea of works in progress.


5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
Despite facts that might be seen as “objective”, I don’t believe in the existence of a “literal” reality, but rather in a highly prismatic, fragmented, ever-changing reality that is filtered by perception and other determining factors in people. It could well be in those cracks where I carry out my artistic research. I think the root of most of our problems lies precisely in the interpretation of “reality”. The raw material for my work is based on my own experience and my relationship with the environment, always keeping up a certain critical attitude.


6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
From my point of view, art is a very powerful tool and the safest, most effective and most suitable method for playing certain games or laying certain perceptive “traps” to “measure” the opinion or position these games provoke in us, although not everyone has the ability to make this distinction between “real” and “representation”. I think this is the most suitable framework for letting us be “politically incorrect”.


7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
Bearing in mind that my work requires personal development and specific research and experimentation, I definitely want to achieve a certain degree of empathy with spectators. My work doesn’t aim to impose a closed linear discourse; it tries to place spectators at the necessary level of tension so they are forced to position themselves and create their own discourse through the information obtained. And although my latest projects have centred on more specific aspects of the world of art, I think all of them contain very basic concerns that are not aimed at a very specific or specialised public. Nor do I believe in coincidences, and I think everyone gets the “information” they need to get at that “moment in time”. I don’t like anecdotal works or pieces that lose interest after the first glance; I try to get as far away from that as possible and set up a framework for reflection.


8. What qualifications have you got? What do you value most from your time in education?
I graduated in fine art. The final two years were key for developing my subsequent creative activity. There was a good feeling with teachers and fellow students, which let me expand and create solid, critical foundations for work.


9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
Many artists say it’s difficult to make a living from their work.


10. How do economic considerations affect you when it comes to work? Do you think this has a bearing on your work?
I don’t have any galleries that represent me and apart from sporadic economic input from competitions, contests and the like, I have to finance projects myself. Not being in the “market” obviously has its inconveniences, but there are advantages too, especially when it comes to creative freedom. I have a parallel job as a graphic designer, which gives me an income to live off, and a few years ago I set up a company that also helps me make money to finance projects. As I said, this gives me a certain degree of creative freedom, but it does mean that I can’t spend all the time I’d like on my art work. In the future I’d love to be able to make a living from art.


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?
I look for sincere, professional, enthusiastic people who understand their role or position and aren’t frustrated artists. Apart from a very few unfortunate encounters, my relationships with curators and managers so far have been fine and fluid and it’s interesting when they have understood and got involved in the project.


12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
I think there are lots of artists working on very interesting projects and there seem to be more and more spaces of all kinds, which enriches Madrid, although I don’t think there’s exactly a clearly distinguishable “arts scene” or “movement”. I think it’s positive that institutions are getting more and more involved and there are more alternative private spaces and more initiatives at all levels. On the down side, all the above remains insufficient, the criteria followed aren’t always the most suitable or are driven by political or economic interests, initiatives can often be dull, tedious and opportunistic, and many people I consider to be interesting artists don’t get the visibility they deserve because there are other interests at play.


Curriculum vitae

Sergio Ojeda

Formación Académica/Education
Licenciado en Bellas Artes, Universidad Complutense, Madrid.

Exposiciones Individuales/Solo Exhibitions
We are Going to Make a Killing, Espacio Menosuno, Madrid.

Mecanismos de domesticación, VI Muestra de Arte Contemporáneo Proyecto D-Mencia), Casa de la Cultura Juan Valera de Doña Mencía, Córdoba.
Valentine´s Day > Fraude (o metáfora del amor sometido a un proceso de estetización), Espacio F, Mercado de Fuencarral, Madrid.

Ecce Homo [03], Centro Cultural Provincial de Málaga.

Ecce Homo [02], Sala de Exposiciones del Centro de Arte Joven, Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid.

Exposiciones Colectivas/Group Exhibitions
Imágenes multimedia de un mundo complejo, Sala de Exposiciones del Convento de Santa Inés, Sevilla; Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires; Centro Nacional de las Artes, México D.F.; Alliance Française, La Habana; Fundación Ludwig, La Habana; Hospital Real, Granada.

Políticamente (in)correctos, Off Limits, Madrid.
Rock my Illusion, Sala de Exposiciones Puerta Nueva, Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de Córdoba.

Arenas Movedizas, Centro de cultura antiguo Instituto, Gijón.

Mecanismos de domesticación, VI Muestra de Arte Contemporáneo Proyecto D-Mencia, Sala de Exposiciones Puerta Nueva, Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de Córdoba.
Generación 2004, La Casa Encendida, Madrid; Barcelona; Santander; Zaragoza; Salamanca; Sevilla.

XV Circuitos de Artes Plásticas y Fotografía, Sala de Exposiciones del Centro de Arte Joven, Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid.

Premio Miquel Casablancas 2003; Centre Cívic Sant Andreu, Barcelona.
XL Certamen Internacional d’Arts Plàstiques, Museu de Pollença, Mallorca.
Generación 2003, La Casa Encendida, Madrid; Barcelona; Santander; Portugal; Santiago de Compostela; Sevilla.

We are going to make a killing.
Behind the scenes: Desillusions, La noche en Blanco, Espacio Menosuno, Madrid.

Valentine´s day>sesión01, Casas y calles, Madrid, 28/I/2004.

Programas de Vídeo/Film Festivals and Screenings
Miradores, Matadero Madrid, Madrid.
DVD Project, LOOP 07, Video Art, Barcelona; Espacio Menosuno, Madrid.

Sensorama, Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, CASM, Barcelona.
I Ciclo Internacional de Videoarte Albiac, Almería.

Make us Proud. El Paroxismo del Triunfo versión 1, intervención/videoinstalación, Matador, Palacio de los Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid.

Propaganda>Acción03, acción, Rua do Carmo, Lisboa, 15/VIII/2003.
Propaganda>Acción02, acción, Carrer de Pelai, Barcelona, 13/III/2003.

Propaganda>Acción01, acción, C/ La Palma y C/ Gravina, Madrid, 23/II/2002.

Becas y Premios/Awards and Grants
Festival Edición Madrid, Fundación Temas de Arte, Madrid. (Adquisición/Acquisition)

Muestra de Arte Contemporáneo Proyecto D-Mencia, Ayuntamiento de Doña Mencía, Córdoba. (Adquisición/Acquisition)
Generación 2004, Obra Social Caja Madrid, Madrid. (Mención de Honor/Honourable Mention)

Generación 2003, Obra Social Caja Madrid, Madrid.(Selección/Selected)
Premio Miquel Casablancas 2003, Centre Cívic Sant Andreu, Barcelona. (Selección/Selected).
XV Circuitos de Artes Plásticas y Fotografía, Comunidad de Madrid. (Selección/Selected)

Obra en Museos y Colecciones/Works in Museums and Collections
Colección de Arte Contemporáneo, Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid.
Obra Social Caja Madrid, Madrid. Ayuntamiento de Doña Mencía, Córdoba.

Espinosa, Guillermo, "Una noche para una obra/La noche en blanco", Madrid, Ayuntamiento de Madrid, 2007, Cat. Exp.
Caruana, Pablo, "Entre ceja y ceja", Calle20, n. 22, Madrid, XI/07.
Alcaide, Jesús, "Rock my Illusion", Diputación de Córdoba, Fundación Provincial de Artes Plásticas Rafael Botí, 2004, Cat. Exp.
Hubert, Michel, "Proyecto D-Mencia", Diputación de Córdoba, Fundación Provincial de Artes Plásticas Rafael Botí, 2004, Cat. Exp.
Murría, Alicia, "Circuitos XV Edición", Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid, 2003, Cat. Exp.
De la Villa, Rocío, "Ecce Homo 03", Diputación de Málaga, 2003, Cat. Exp.
Raquejo, Tonia, "Una reflexión sobre Arte y Resistencia hoy", ACTO, n. 1, Canarias, Aula Cultural de Pensamiento Artístico Contemporáneo de la Universidad de La Laguna, 2002.
Peinado, Pablo, "Todo para el baño", ZERO, n. 43, Madrid, 2002.

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