Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique discovering thesis and processes behind the work.
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Blaze Gonzalez and Willie Avendano
Video, 15 min., 49 sec.
Ramos: The word Escapism has a lot of connotations
or rather it can be applied to situations, experiences, states of being
tell me about it
Avendano: I think it starts with the orientation of Andrew's space.
Gonzalez: Meta Gallery
Ramos: how do you mean?
Avendano: Blaze and I want to thank Andrew for the opportunity
but the name - i would guess it has more to do with the video than the space
Gonzalez: the video is more an abstraction of the concept of the space itself
Avendano: So Andrew's space, really malleable
Ramos: really? I could imagine this video being shown in any space
Gonzalez: Andrew’s space was designed to be deconstructed and reconstructed
Avendano: and that malleability came into play when trying to build some for the space
Gonzalez: it is the user interaction, it is the walls of the meta gallery etc
Ramos: I see - the video was produced for the space
a space that underwent many deconstructions - hence the deconstruction of the images
Avendano: The goal was to have Escapism entrap your curiosity
Gonzalez: a playful and accessible way to interact with the idea of escapism at large
Avendano: and the title also is a play on the mythology of Knossos
Ramos: why ancient Greece?
or what about it?
Gonzalez: well if one is going to speak on escapism, entrapment, ect. what better way then with the idea of a labyrinth
Ramos: do you see escapism and entrapment as synonymous?
or are you entrapped in the experience of escaping?
Avendano: i see the need to escape and the sense of entrapment as two sides of the same coin
Gonzalez: entrapment in the experience of escaping, nicely put
Ramos: I can identify with that
Avendano: And the labyrinth was an inimitable construction
Ramos: so the experience of the space and the video are working together
Ramos: i remember the space - it was labyrinth like
Gonzalez: we worked with Andrew to reconfigure the space several times, to attempt to create a sense of leading the viewer to "the center" the "control center" where the midi controller lived
Avendano: the space was even smaller than Andrew intended for other shows
Ramos: the sound controller - how did that play into the narrative?
Avendano: the controller helped people develop the narrative of the deconstructive nature of relations
the relations betweens each frame, with the music, and with the space
Ramos: but why sound?
Gonzalez: space is sound
sound is space
Ramos: is that a necessary truth?
Avendano: sound is a extra dimension of understanding truth
to approximate it
truth is never an exact science, just a highly approximated one
Ramos: why not have the viewer interact with the images?
I retract my question about truth
Avendano: i think we thought it was more fun to have people play with the narrative of the space than the space (ie the images)
Ramos: So then what is the role of the image?
if the experience is focused on the space and the sound and the interaction of the two
Gonzalez: the image along with the sound and space creates the narrative
Avendano: image is more intertwined with the space
Ramos: the video is a sort of ancient ruin for the exhibition, how is the viewer to experience the video today, without the exhibition?
Avendano: as an ancient ruin
a relic of the past, or mythology
Ramos: it's funny you say Ancient Greece and I see Egypt
Avendano: why Egypt?
Ramos: the pieces in the video are sharp, triangular, even the rhythm is sort of staccato
Gonzalez: does that represent Egypt to you?
Avendano: It reminded us of Pythagoras
Gonzalez: its more so mysticism as a whole, geometry, ritual etc
Ramos: the pyramids have something to do with it... but Ancient Greece is voluptuous and soft
Avendano: and the softness is more how the sharpness comes together
Gonzalez: but the labyrinth is angular
Ramos: is the labyrinth found only in Ancient Greece?
Gonzalez: no but it is a highly recognized trope
Avendano: yea, on the island of Knossos
i mean there are other mazes elsewhere
but this one was made to entrap the monster
Ramos: I don't know enough about the origin of the labyrinth
about the actual images
how important are they?
Avendano: the sharpness of the minotaur and the sharpness of the emotions in an attempt to free themselves
sentiments of our home, ever changing
the images connect to us in a visceral way
Gonzalez: they represent the playful, mythical and sometimes nonsensical need to escape
Avendano: from ourselves, for our pasts
Gonzalez: so, Willie and i are native Miamians
Avendano: it was like a flash in the pan, seeing our lives flash before us
Gonzalez: and this piece was really an ode to miami in a way
Avendano: the ode was a thankful piece, to how we both can move forward in this new Miami, we are both trying to re-acclimate to
Ramos: hmmm - is that contradicting? or overly complex? maybe not, but please explain how you combine the Greek labyrinth and an ode to Miami in one narrative
can you describe the narrative in one sentence?
Avendano: narrative: We are all entrapped and wanting to escape the monster within
Ramos: i love that - does it need Ancient Greece?
does it need Miami? or self referential context?
Avendano: Miami, is a mystifying place, a place we both never thought we'd be in, this weird stasis we called home
Ramos: "the monster within I mean"
is that not a universal or wordily concept?
Avendano: it needs both because it refers to that Greek story
Gonzalez: it can be, so can all art no?
this piece was a true collaboration
we both deeply connected to the mythical minotaur that Miami can be for us
Avendano: its universal, but this story and this place was a special breeding ground for this realization
the entrapment can be personal, temporal, or however
Gonzalez: Meta called for site specific
so we wanted to go all in
Ramos: I understand
"the mythical minotaur that Miami can be for us"
you say these very powerful statements
Avendano: i love that
Ramos: i love that too
but is it explicit in the work?
i want it to be
and maybe it is for you
Avendano: i wouldn’t say its explicit
Avendano: innate perhaps, but under a ton of eye candy
Ramos: why the eye candy?
why the fluff?
why not get to the core?
Gonzalez: Miami is the queen of fluff
Avendano: fluff is tasty, everyone loves fluff