About public intentions

Space, video and Photography:

Nowadays the object of art has transcended. The “thing”, as a living romantic organism that should provoke the spectator, is substituted by the completely abstract idea of personal interpretation. The artwork is related, then, to the set of reflections that arise in the comparison or interaction of two or more objects, in the place and moment in which they are related. As many artworks exist as interpretations manifest. We find ourselves, then, in an absolute plural environment.

This character of multiple meanings that adhere to the understanding of the artwork requires a site-specific analysis. It is linked to the concept of artwork, where the artist liberates a product that is not the work itself, but an operatic detonator of itself. The object is an excuse. The real artistic process locates itself in an invisible place, in a kind of meta-discourse. The artwork is the object; its environment, its placement, the site where it is shown and a series of other factors that added to the perception establish a polisemic discourse. A constellation structure that depends fundamentally in the individual to penetrate the artwork. In the case of public detonating objects a degree of freedom is added to the problem, justified in the appearance of social perception and the implied scales characteristic of the space.

“Spacialization” is, then, a real relationship between the body and the space that surrounds the detonating object. Between spectators and their physical way to enter into the site, in the relation between the observer and the object. "The space of the art was no longer perceived as a blank slate, a tabula rasa, but a real space. The art object or event in this context was to be singularly experienced in the here and now through the bodily presence of each viewing subject, in a sensorial immediacy of spatial extension and temporal duration, rather than instantaneously perceived in a visual epiphany by a disembodied eye" . To get to know the context of the detonating object is perhaps the crudest approximation of the public in space, in the sense of inside-outside. The movements of the possible spectator and his link with the “object excuse” allow the understanding of the here and now of the concept of place. A site abstractly generated in the interrelation itself, in the affective spacialization carried out between the spectator and the object. To understand the detonating object as a spatial event is, to my judgment, the principal range of Art. In the public case this environment is very complex and it is related fundamentally with what is conceived of as context and with the impressions of site that the object generates in the plurality that perceives it. Public space is, perhaps, the study situation most interesting in the context of what is understood as space. It is related to and justifies problems of magnitudes, subtle ways in which, the public and the private, distance from each other. Is the interaction with this place (the public sphere,) the major concern of most of my recent investigations.

The medium, without any doubt, plays a fundamental role in the effectiveness of the concept of artwork. In my particular case, the video has served as a modulator of sense in the experimental processes I have lived and photography as mediator of many of my proposals. Comprehending video art as a co inhabitant of the country of gesture, its use is understood in the complex system of the contemporary senses, moreover, in the spatial determinations generated. Understanding Video as a provocateur of events and at the same time gesture, and Photography as extended and immediate action. Here, the analysis of the spectator within the artwork is linked to the situations where intervention and gesture are the same locus, the same niche. The implications of the use of these mediums in public space and their activation as gestural readings are the principal objects of my public research.

I have carried out along with some cultural institutions what has become to be known as “ A crusade for the Video-Art in Venezuela”, a project that consists in teaching introductory audiovisual workshops along the national geography of Venezuela. This initiative is accompanied by a series of screenings of videos, which travel with me, in big scale and in public spaces. Also photography workshops are included in the program. After the realization of the project I realized a couple of art interventions related with the experience and with my reflections around travel, identity and geography. Product of the dissimilar places I got to know, appeared a body of work called “The Postcards”, a series of quotations of reality, snapshots of life in my country and of the social interaction I had in every place I visited, a sort of documentations of explored places and the discourses of the people. In this project I worked not only with the idea of Travel diary but also with the small line where photography transform in video. To the eyes of the spectators small light boxes appear in the space, after some minutes in the installation, becomes clear that they, the photos, are nothing but moving images of different landscapes.This work won in 2005 the First Prize of the Juror in the "Jóvenes con FIA" contest.

Public Space and Interventions:

There are various places where the public becomes art. For instance, the literal place, there, in the direct screened projections over public surfaces,
in that immediate place that is related with the exterior where the detonating object is located. In the case of the public intervention MORPHEUS, two great projections located in the ceilings of one of the main theaters of Caracas, Teatro Teresa Carreño, the impact over the public space was immediate.

The common passerby experimented a feeling of strangeness over the place naturally walked around. The space was, thus, transformed by the intervention, especially because of the disproportionate magnitude of the images observed (30x40mts). In the case of photography the intervention can be of more impact but also extremely subtle, in the case of “Reverberations” a wall of transparent bricks in the National Center of Photography of Venezuela is used as surface for the light installation of my memories, not only as new location in the abstract space, but as a physical presence in the structure of the building. A wall, in wich, the action of memory is constructing the physical space.

In second place public space as a producer of sense or its interaction with the artist as the detonator of an event “art piece”. I have a particular case here. In the year 2002 I studied photography at the Sommer Akademie of Salzburg, the year after
that I returned with a scholarship and a particular event originated the piece: “In Salzburg time expands so much that it stops”. The art piece consisted in a poster relating a singular event, a photograph of the found object and a kit to move it. This piece that may sound confusing clears itself out with the story:

Last year heavy rains fell over Salzburg. During one of the more violent days, a day in which the storm went out of control, I got completely wet while walking down the street. My Nike green pants (RF # 335 68 45 NTS # 556 78-MN-86B) got totally soaked. After changing clothes, I took them to the hallway of my hostel and extended them over the heater to dry. When I got my things together for my trip back home, I forgot to pick up the pants.

Two days ago I arrived in Salzburg in the middle of one of the hottest days of the year (39° Celsius). I went back into the same hostel assigned to me last year. Next morning I was surprised to find the green pants in the same place I left them to dry. This is a memorable occasion. I have never before experience a feeling of time being as immobile as this. I have a conclusion from this event: In Salzburg time expands so much that it stops.

The kit consisted in a pair of pants placed inside a plastic box to be left behind for two consecutive years in some space around the city, waiting its permanence in the site. In this particular case, the artist, I, is influenced by the context. The social context confronts her by producing an object that at the same time reinserts itself in public space. This creates a kind of a feedback process between an event, an object and a person, where the analysis of a situation of values and social ethics translate into an artwork.
Another possibility exists in collective elaborations, where the perception of a big group of people unites to generate a proposal of public scale that shows a coherent vision over a determined object. In some cases my role has been that of a coordinator of events to conceive a unique idea, which because of its coherence in public space, generates one single discourse. Such is the case of the II Slide Festival realized in the open spaces of the National Gallery of Art of Venezuela. This was an invitation to show the memory of a medium out of use, using a similar previous call realized in the 70’s by one of the most important Venezuelan conceptual artists.
The reformulation of a country’s imaginary was the fundamental essence of the proposal realized by Claudio Perna in the year 1977 at the Sala Mendoza Gallery in Caracas, Venezuela, where a wide invitation united numerous photographs that reflect, in a descriptive manner, a national Venezuelan cartography, associating in what was termed the I Slide National Festival.

This retake of themes adjusts to a necessity, almost nostalgic, of apprehending the format. Generally speaking, the invitation is the same, although, the validity of the medium as a translation tool of the environment, is seen altered. The slides sing over a different geography. A distant territory, submerged at times by history, subjected to a multi-temporal action almost postmodern. There the past and the present coexist in a parallel reality. The called to submission was extremely satisfactory, more than 3.000 slides where received in the National Gallery due to the Second Festival of Slides and projected in the open spaces of the building in the presence of all the artists, opening the media of slides, not only to the general public, but to those for whom the media was in former times, a real media of communication.
Restructuring the original idea, a project for a third invitation could be consolidated allowing for the new digital media to play a central role. This would take us to another territory where the perceptions of space can be expanded and the national cartography could transform in virtual action, very near to the construction of a mental map of affects.

Public space and its bonds to the artwork have, according to my perception, multiple variants. This understanding is a mayor theme for my personal research; be it around the event as a piece of artwork, the space that it in itself generates, the physical place where the object is located, the phenomena of scale and time or to the site of social interpretation that is implied. All aspects related to the artwork as a social and contemporary event.