Thursday, 22 November 2007

Interview with Cecilia Bonilla

q)Something on you ….

a)‘I’m originally from Uruguay, but grew up in Sweden as my parents were forced to flee the country when I was a newborn. When I was 12 we moved back to Uruguay and later I lived in Miami for a couple of years before moving to London where I have lived and worked for the past eight years.

q) When did you start to make art?

a)When I was around 24 and moved from Uruguay to Miami. In Uruguay I trained as a graphic designer and I was suppose to continue these studies, however the college I went to (New World School of the Arts) required me taking a general foundation course in Art, and that is how I started making art- by accident…
q)Explain your inspiration?

a)I produce work usually through an “intuitive” approach; by "intuitive" I mean that I allow the feeling of just wanting to make something, enough reason to do it. This approach is very important to me since it is always a starting point for a new project. I believe that working intuitively has the potential to uncover a "truth", a response to the present, the time we are living in here and now.

q) In what way does your inspiration transform into ideas?

a)I think the idea comes first, and then I think about what might have caused it.

q) Could your ideas be portrayed in any other medium? If so which?

a)I use a variety of mediums, I think the medium only matters when it directly relates to what you are making. When I use cutouts from magazines I am mostly interested in its essential contemporary quality, something about the here and now.

q) What does being an artists mean to you?

a)An attempt to “record time” .

q) When does your art become successful?

a)Although intuition is my initial approach to making, there's a very tight criteria that I apply to the process of deciding if the work is successful. The key moment when I feel a piece of work "works", is when it becomes seductive: when the work (usually an image, but also a whole installation) hovers between hiding and revealing. , Giving away enough information to create attraction but hiding any explicit meaning. Finding this emotional state is essential for my work to succeed.

q) Who prices your work? And how is the price decided upon?

a)Difficult question, as I have gotten funding to do some projects but have not sold much work yet

q) What is your next; move,project,show etc?

a)I am working on a few projects at the same time, one of them; Eastenders (los del este) is part of a new series of works referring to cultural identity. London based Latin Americans are invited to translate the script of a chosen character from Eastenders (and English soap opera) and use their voice to dub it into Spanish. The participants are credited with their name, country of origin and how long they have lived in London. Next year I am also going to curate a show with British based artists at The National Museum of Visual Arts in Montevideo, Uruguay.

q) What are the pros and cons of the art market?

a)I suppose the cons of the art market are when wealthy collectors have the power to dictate trends in art. If an important collector (i.e., Saatchi) is buying paintings, a lot of artists paint…and I find that sad. The pros, could be that if you manage to have a good gallery or dealer, it could raise your profile which allows artists to perhaps get funding to do more interesting non – profit related projects.

q) Which pieces would you like to be remembered for?

a)My last project, Reader’s Wives bed sheets, from which I later made a book and an untitled video I made in 2004 (dribble).

q) Who has been the biggest influence on you?

a)When I first started making art it was Rauschenberg, Joseph Cornell, Christian Boltanski, Louise Bourgeois Cindy Sherman’s early works, later Felix Gonsalez Torres, Martin Creed, Danielle Buetti and artists that have been my tutors such as Brian Dawn Chalkley.

q)Other visual artists that you like…

a)Frances Alys ,Naomi Uman, Sophie Calle…

q) How much do you think hype affects the public perception of what good art is?

a)It is a bit sad that at the moment art seems a bit like pop music, the younger cooler, trendier etc. the more attention, however is pretty short lived, which is scary if you intend to make art for the rest of your life. Experience and wisdom don’t seem to be much appreciated in today’s art world. I hope this changes.

q) Last CD you downloaded ?

a)Hm…i don’t really download music, as I’m impatient! But yesterday I copied PULP-the hits and ABBA’s gold album!

q) What makes you happy?

a)Road Tripp Holidays!

q) What makes you sad?

a)Not understanding people

q) Last book you read?

a)News of a Kidnapping by Garcia Marquez

q) What else do like other than art?

a)Travelling, exploring and re-exploring places, drinking coffee, doing nothing, sleeping…

q)Your contacts…



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