ELENA AZZEDIN: "AT THE PRESENT TIME IT'S NECESSARY TO THINK FROM THE LOCAL TO THE GLOBAL"
Within the framework of what it was Madrid Gallery Weekend 2018, Elena Azzedin – AADK Spain curator and Residency Program Director- and gallerist Blanca Soto presented Spy holl exhibition by the Spanish artist Sergio Sotomayor. Showing that contemporary art creation centers are no longer limited to large cities, the residential program of AADK Spain has been developed for four years in the rural area of Blanca, Murcia (Spain). "At the present time it is necessary to think from the local to the global", explains Azzedin.
AADK Spain is a community made up of artists in the Ricote Valley (Murcia, Spain) conceived from a philosophy where artists do not have the need to wait to be selected by curators, but the simple mobilization between them advances their own projects. Idea inherited from its founder Abraham Hurtado, explains Elena. In order to make this residence known, Arte Al Día International interviewed its Residency Program Director, the artist and curator Elena Azzedin.
In what part of the artistic process does the residence focus?
On the one hand, our aim is to emphasize research and contemporary creation by addressing the notions of body, territory and spatiality. On the other hand, we consider it very important to promote experimentation, make visible the processes and the expansion, both of concepts and disciplines.
When an artist dares to enter the unknown, he finds openness and freedom. For this, from AADK Spain we believe that collaborative work and experimentation with other artists is fundamental in this process.
The forms of expression and the different resources, explains Azzedin, are the starting points to move the limits according to the themes that the artists wish to work with. She explains that the technique, although it has a value in terms of dedication, it isn’t what produces art. "In the same way, something can be very expressive and interesting without having a domain of the medium, as art history has often demonstrated," she adds.
What led to the election of Sergio Sotomayor for this new edition of the residence?
I came across the work of Sergio Sotomayor at the Manifesta8 Bienal in 2010. I was there together with Sara Serrano in the Parallel Events section. Sotomayor’s work -as can also be seen in Patxi Araujo’s, for example- led me to know the depth of the discourses that can be generated through tools associated with design or video games, and how little prepared audiences and critics are regarding these new media sources.
The curator of AADK Spain defines the Spanish artist as a "contemporary sculptor, who creates virtual environments that lead to reflection" on specific issues of our reality.
In addition, it seemed to us that Sergio's work expanded the margins of what we understand by "territory" and confronts us with the dematerialization of bodies through our virtual experience, in which we already develop a large part of our lives.
What advantages does a residence offer with respect to the studio work? What value does it have for artists?
The residence is a space-time centered on creation. It is to remove the artist from his nearest context and integrate it into an eclectic and temporary community. This means, on the one hand, getting rid of the obligations and distractions of their daily life and, on the other, having a constant exchange of perspectives and knowledge about their work.
In this way, the residence becomes a point of inflection in the career of artists. Arranged as a space for reflection and self-questioning, the primary objective is for residents to "take risks, experiment and try new lines of research," says Elena. In short, flee to conformism and production formulas that work in the market.
Regarding the exhibition in Madrid, what’s the thematic line?
In Sotomayor’s exhibition the artist imaginary and technology are joined together to generate new environments in which science and poetry, biology and technology, and theories of the evolution of consciousness and cognitive processes dialogue. Likewise, advances in the exploration of the subatomic world, artificial intelligence and expansion into new dimensions such as cyberspace or virtual reality are issues that the artist addresses.
Sergio generates worlds that, when transiting them, respond in a unique way to each one. Simulations in real time, algorithmic processes and cognitive games immerse us in a psychonautical journey through dioramas, secret gardens and immersive architectures. It is a dreamlike and sincere way of reflecting an existence converted, in its majority, into a simulacrum.
Regarding the curatorial process and the construction of the exhibition, Azzedin selected a photograph series of some of the creatures that inhabit the worlds created by Sotomayor; of the folds that separate one dimension from another; and of elements that cross these dimensions.
The prints are exhibited as prints of the 21st century, in black and white, like almost all their imaginary. The result: very delicate pieces, which in addition to their conceptual depth have great beauty.
It is from the recognition of the value of this exchange of ideas that we work: first the artist produces freely and from the places where his work takes us, we look for what relationship he can have with other proposals. For my part, I consider curatorship an exciting job where one seeks to discover the layers of meaning that each work unfolds and accentuates from its internal and external dialectic.
Curatorship and creation are enriched when one is not subordinated to the other.