LL: Your motives of interest and work have changed throughout your career, from the commercial and artistic object, to institutional criticism or the mechanisms of the art market. What do you consider to be the most interesting part of this process? What are you currently working on?
CG: My work has developed in quite an organic way, as if it was the one same idea in which I have deepened over time. For me, the most interesting thing of this process is that, somehow, the work has gradually revolved around my relationship with my surroundings, and addresses problems that I have observed around me. As I have been getting further in the world of art, I have been focusing my work towards elements and agents that form this world from my position as an artist. Currently, I’m questioning the rules that appear nowadays to be essential when building a work of art; how they have settled in the art system, where they come from and what interests they serve.
LL: I understand that this can relate to your last work Clocking In and Out. I would like you to comment on which are the possible formalizations you are working with in relation to these approaches.
CG: Clocking In and Out answered my preoccupation to monitor and understand what is my work about, gradually more intangible, and communicate it to an audience which does not necessarily have to do with the art sphere through social network. Any person who found my selfies in their timelines also recognized themselves in that system of permanent connectivity, and some of them even started to learn my routines, waiting for the picture to be uploaded in order to comment. The questioning that these new works are generating, also include questions such as how do I conceive the work, which elements have I taken into account when determining my own idea of what can define a work of mine, and what ideology do they belong to. Among them, my professional training, divided between the Faculty of Arts in Madrid and an Anglo-Saxon training, my own condition as a Spanish artist within the art sphere just as it is now, etc. In this case, they are developing as written dialogues with other artists, and as an increasing interest in the curatorial practice.
LL: In some of your latest works, you started to incorporate and use the Internet in a more direct way, while you used to use it mainly as a research tool in the past. How do you understand this change? Can you advance how is it going to be the presence the Internet in your next works? How do you think this will affect the development of your own work?
CG: I think this has to do with what I mentioned before. The use of the Internet in my work has been incorporated in my work as it has been incorporated into my daily life. Before having a Smartphone, I used to pay more attention to my surroundings, and these woke up ideas in me. The Internet is where I spend most of my time, a fact that has motivated my incorporation of this tool into my works. In this sense, the process is just the same; I do not establish any distinction between both ways of working with art. Not long ago, I made a residence in La Habana, Artista X Artista. There, the access to the Internet is very limited and expensive, so I spent a month off-line and got in touch with a context in which the Internet is basically, irrelevant. My use of this tool is now less abusive and I think that this short experience will be somehow portrayed in my future projects. As for the way in which the Internet is perceived as a research tool and also as mean of circulation of artistic projects, I consider that it contributes a certain dematerialization of the work; I don’t know if this is good or bad. It is indisputable that the Internet is a mean that nowadays provide a lot of possibilities to spread our work as artists, but I consider that sometimes when it hides a certain precariousness that contributes to the time we dedicate to a work result really brief. I think that, for example, in this new fashion of Instagram takeovers. However, I think this is a tool that allows a really interesting immediacy. I consider that, nowadays, the artist depends on many intermediaries when doing something so simple and natural as showing your work to other people. I think that the Internet gives the chance to exhibit their work without a gallery to invite him to a physical space. I think that, today, the artist depends on too much intermediaries when it comes to something as simple and natural as showing their work to the people.
LL: In your work, the inclusion and participation of others is rather important, I would like to link this to the previous question.
CG: In my mind, I do not make a distinction between my physical and virtual, they nourish from each other. It is true though, that the Internet allows you to get in touch with people who are not in your immediate surroundings.
LL: For your next show, After/Depois/Según, you will work again with Bruno Moreschi. How did this project come about? How are you going to develop this collaboration?
CG: We invited curator Marta Ramos-Yzquierdo; although, exposure shall be signed by all three, without making a distinction between the roles of artist and curator. I met Bruno Moreschi last year, from which we would contact the Brazilian commissioner Joshua Mattos and invited us to do a project together for the Triennial Frestas in SESC Sorocaba. Together, they had come to do a work with many similarities, without knowing the other’s existence. There, we did a performance in which Marta, who knew us both, also participated. From this meeting, Marta suggested we should make this exhibition, which can be seen in the independent living space during the days of the Arco fair. Our starting point is to question what differences are there currently between the work of an artist and a curator in dealing with the creation and / or production in the art world through strategies of appropriation, present both in the work of Bruno, mine and in the same curatorial task. Thinking of the limits, if any, of each scope and boundaries of the work itself and which could determine their relationship with the public and the mechanisms of valuation exercise in art system and the society. The result will be an exhibition of artworks, which appears to be relevant in those crazy days of the fair.
LL: I guess you will not advance what will be the final format of the show, but I would like to know by which works, exhibitions, situations, works by artists or curators, you began to develop this project, which you are going to refer or what you consider to be interesting to note, in relation to this show and beyond.
CG: The workflow in After / Depois / Según, consisted of an exchange of both text, images, and objects that we have been sending all three equally, emphasizing the importance of the movement of thought as the key to any we want to adopt roles within the art system. Some of our references are the approaches of artists, curators and theorists like Mel Ramsden, Hito Steyerl, Boris Groys, Andrea Fraser, Dorothea von Hantelmann or Pablo Helguera and others.
LL: In April, you will begin a stay in Maauad House. What do you have prepared for these months?
CG: The stay in Maauad House, ends with a solo exhibition. I will work on the theme of the art exhibition and the agents that determine what is presented as art viewers in an exhibition, through collaboration with various stakeholders the context of Mexico City. For now, I cannot say more!
LL: Since I cannot ask much more about your stay, what do you consider more interesting within the context of Mexico City? Could you relate it to London or Madrid?
CG: I’ll go for the first time to Mexico for my stay, so I do not have a thorough understanding of the context, except through certain artists and curators who live and work there whose work interests me a lot. I think it’s an environment that encourages critical thinking and where it is generating a relevant through artistic practice debate curricula and museums themselves parallel to the structure proposed by the market. At the moment I cannot relate because, as I say, I still have no experience, but maybe I hope to meet a critical and risky context.
After/ Depois/ Según (alongside Bruno Moreschi). Curated by Marta Ramos-Yzquierdo
Salón, Madrid, Spain
25 – 27 February 2016
Casa Maauad (Artist residency)
Mexico City, Mexico
April – July 2016
Translation from Spanish:
Isabel C. Gimenez