Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique  discovering  thesis and processes behind the work.








Blaze Gonzalez and Willie Avendano

Escapism, 2014

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


Ramos: understandable


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


Gonzalez: exactly


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


Gonzalez: ditto


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


Gonzalez: yum