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Agustina Woodgate

No Rain, No Rainbows,

Stuffed animal toy skins,

16 ft x 9.5 ft, 2011

 

RAMOS:  ‪hi Agustina

‬‬

thank you for joining me

 

WOODGATE:  ‪Hello Olivia, Happy Sunday  ☺‬‬

 

RAMOS:  ‪happy Sunday to you‬‬

 

Where are you?

 

WOODGATE:  ‪In Buenos Aires‬‬

 

and you?

 

RAMOS:  ‪oh wow‬‬

 

I am in Miami

 

What are you up to in BA?

 

WOODGATE:  ‪I am producing an exhibition that opens in march

‬‬

so I have 6 weeks left of intense work

 

RAMOS:  ‪what is the exhibition about?‬‬

 

WOODGATE:  ‪Aguas Argentinas‬‬

 

I am looking into the relationship between capital and water, in Spanish they both share the same word: Caudales. in English: Flow

 

RAMOS:  ‪is there a shortage of water there?‬‬

 

WOODGATE:  ‪There is a shortage of drinking water, but the land is suffering tremendous floods. Here is no difference than there‬‬

 

For this exhibition I am focusing on movement as I always tend to do...

 

Perpetual motion has been my inspiration and hypnosis has been a great tool

 

RAMOS:  ‪the movement of wanter through the city?‬‬

 

WOODGATE:  ‪yes. the water infrastructure or the city but also the movement of water through our bodies‬‬

 

RAMOS:  ‪i love that‬‬

 

i bet there are a lot of similarities

 

or at least there should be

 

does it rain a lot in Buenos Aires? or are the floods coming from below?

 

WOODGATE:  ‪from rain, but the floods are a consequence of the poor drainage system and the unmeasured growth of the city‬‬

 

Also, the gallery where I will be exhibiting is two blocks away from El Riachuelo, the 7th most contaminated river in the world

 

RAMOS:  ‪what is it contaminated with?‬‬

 

WOODGATE:  ‪polluted‬‬

 

The Matanza River or El Riachuelo receives large amounts of industrial waste from the numerous factories along the river, especially tanneries. Among the most dangerous contaminants are heavy metals and waste water from the basin's saturated layers.‬‬

 

they have also found taxi cars inside of it, sunken boats and even bodies

pretty nasty

 

RAMOS:  ‪it makes me sad how as a whole, we don't consider nature a living organism‬‬

 

and if we do, we don't respect it

 

‪there is an abundance of water and it has been ruined and consequently there is a shortage of water to drink‬‬

 

WOODGATE:  ‪exactly. So my intention for the exhibition is to revert this situation ‬‬

 

In the next few weeks I will be designing a water bar

 

RAMOS:  ‪a commercial space for people to go and drink wanter?‬‬

 

as a luxury good?

 

WOODGATE:  ‪yes‬‬

 

RAMOS:  ‪will the water be very expensive?‬‬

 

WOODGATE:  ‪it will be free‬‬

 

RAMOS:  ‪why?‬‬

 

i think if it was very expensive it would prove a point

 

so expensive that only the rich would be able to drink it

 

that's what's going to happen

 

WOODGATE:  ‪absolutely true!‬‬

 

I am still conceptualizing where will the water come from....

 

I think this is important too.

 

RAMOS:  ‪right ... it must be imported since the city ruined it's supply

 

and served in tiny glasses because it's so rare and exotic ...

 

i feel like the whole narrative must be as ridiculous as the situation

 

WOODGATE:  ‪totally!‬‬

 

Ridiculous is right

 

I am also thinking about drinking water fountains, as the ones found on trails and in parks

 

Designing water fountains could be very fun too.

 

RAMOS:  ‪as long as they are too expensive to use‬‬

 

so expensive you don't even have to connect them

 

WOODGATE:  ‪in 1887 the constructions of 4 mayor water tanks began, the building was called Aguas Argentinas and every single brick and screw was brought from England.‬‬

 

This was when Buenos Aires was being designed and a water system was necesary

 

RAMOS:  ‬‬look at this map

 

Argentina is in medium to high water stress

 

WOODGATE:  ‪The construction of the building lasted 7 years, but within 20 years these 4 massive tanks where not enough to provide water for the city.‬‬

 

RAMOS:  ‪how about today?‬‬

 

what percentage of the city can they support?

 

WOODGATE:  ‪today those tanks are abandoned and filled with archives!!!!‬‬

 

they are empty

 

RAMOS:  ‪that's crazy‬‬

 

‪well how about reusing them to store and process rainwater?‬‬

 

WOODGATE:  ‪the tanks are housed inside that incredible building. look at its design!‬‬

 

its nuts

 

RAMOS:  ‪it's like a water palace‬‬

 

WOODGATE:  ‪It is called El Palacio de las Corrientes‬‬

 

RAMOS:  ‪there you go‬‬

 

WOODGATE:  ‪they have built 4 other plants and major constructions are ongoing to continue expansion‬‬

 

Tomorrow I am going to the Library and archives of this palace to look at all the blue prints.

 

RAMOS:  ‪must be fascinating - an architecture for water‬‬

 

WOODGATE:  ‪I am trying to find the molds of those highly designed British bricks to incorporate on my design‬‬

 

RAMOS:  ‪that makes sense‬‬

 

so are you building the water bar?

 

WOODGATE:  ‪yes‬‬

 

RAMOS:  ‪within an existing space?‬‬

 

or ground up?

 

WOODGATE:  ‪i am thinking in the style of drinking water fountains‬‬

 

i am very much in process, so anything could change......

 

yes within an existing space

 

(inside the gallery)

 

RAMOS:  ‪got it...‬‬

 

let me change the subject for a minute

 

because i originally wanted to inquire about your new business venture - is that on hold?

 

 

Agustina Woodgate

Milky Ways,

Stuffed animal toy skins,

18 ft x 11 ft, 2013

 

 

WOODGATE:  ‪oh not at all.‬‬

 

Its as serious as it has never been before

 

RAMOS:  ‪tell me about it a bit‬‬

 

WOODGATE:  ‪In 2010 I began designing rugs out of discarded teddy bear pelts. ‬‬

 

What started with one "art work" quickly became a Rug Collection and this year I am taking into its next level. A rug Company

 

RAMOS:  ‪i love it - i love the rugs - i never thought of "rug innovation" nor that it was possible‬‬

 

but these are so beautiful and humorous and happy

 

WOODGATE:  ‪Thank you‬‬

 

RAMOS:  ‪thank you‬‬

 

WOODGATE:  ‪I like calling them animal skin rugs

 

‪Its from there that the innovation comes from‬‬

 

RAMOS:  ‪so is there a website or how does one go about interacting with this company?‬‬

 

WOODGATE:  ‪At the moment they can be found on my own website and I am using the art market to commercialize them.

 

A website for them is on the way and its commercialization is still being discuss with various business advisors

‬‬

although at such high luxury design art and rugs make no difference at all

 

RAMOS:  ‪what do you mean? what makes no difference?‬‬

 

WOODGATE:  ‪both luxury items and its presence in the market‬‬

 

RAMOS:  ‪i'm not sure i understand‬‬

 

luxury item = expensive

 

WOODGATE:  ‪life style‬‬

 

RAMOS:  ‪life style?‬‬

 

i'm not sure why i am so confused.... please explain

 

WOODGATE:  ‪you asked about the publics interaction with the company‬‬

and at this time it is through the art market

 

RAMOS:  ‪got it‬‬

 

so they are sold as art pieces

 

WOODGATE:  ‪mmm. not really.‬‬

 

they are still sold as rugs

 

and people are actually using them as such

 

RAMOS:  ‪right‬‬

 

so then the art market has expanded to household goods?

 

would that be entering the design market?

 

WOODGATE:  ‪totally‬‬

 

But now I am focusing on production. Organize the production in a way that can continue without me

 

and this is what I was insinuating before. No difference between art and rugs

the art market has expanded into household goods and vice versa too

 

RAMOS:  ‪yes that is true‬‬

 

so is the factory going to be in Miami or Buenos Aires?

 

WOODGATE:  ‪Miami‬‬

 

This is when it gets so interesting

 

My raw material are used stuffed animals toys and USA has so much so much of them

 

here (Buenos Aires), they are almost hard to find, there are not so many second hand stores or thrift-stores to begin with and definitely not selling used teddy bears‬‬

 

RAMOS:  ‪that's is an interesting cultural truth‬‬

 

and on the business side, since it is a luxury item, I imagine there is no need to do a cost analysis - the return on investment is pretty straight forward

 

WOODGATE:  ‪yep‬‬

 

RAMOS:  ‪nice‬‬

 

WOODGATE:  ‪shifting the open polar bear skin on that fancy living room by one of this rugs is the goal‬‬

 

this is why I call them animal skin rugs

 

RAMOS:  ‪well that's a bit of false advertising ---- is it...?‬‬

 

i don't know "stuffed" is a big descriptor

 

WOODGATE:  ‪these are also animal skin. I am not using them stuffed at all‬‬

 

I am only using their skins

 

RAMOS:  ‪lol‬‬

 

i know i get it

 

just saying

 

stuffed animal skin rugs

 

WOODGATE:  ‪I see no difference in the relationship I had with my teddy bear,

 

Pepe. He was as alive as a real one to me‬‬

 

RAMOS:  ‪yes i agree it is equally as cruel‬‬

 

much less bloody

 

which makes it acceptable to have a bunch of cut open animals spread out in the studio

 

but still - live spirits are being made into commodities

 

WOODGATE:  ‪there are so many people that see horror and cruelty in the process yet they are wearing incredible leather or reptile skin shoes ‬‬

 

Pelt coats have been on discussion too....

 

imagine!