By Matías Helbig | August 22, 2019

Earlier this year, through a YouTube channel, a figure that never appears on camera began uploading content daily. In those videos appear the actors - gallery owners, artists, collectors, curators and managers - of the Argentine scene. Months after the initiative, Diego Trulls, cameraman and creator of CRUDO interviews, makes more than fifteen reports per week to all those who constitute the local art scenario. Thus, CRUDO is building up one of the most valuable audiovisual records of Argentine contemporary art.

Still frame de entrevista CRUDO con Juan Becú.

Artists and figures from all sectors coexist in Diego Trulls channel. To vaguely illustrate it, in CRUDO there are reports to colletor Gustavo Castagnino, Florencia Giordana Braun, founder and director of the ROLF Art gallery, artist Daniel Santoro and Jorge Torres, director of the Emilio Caraffa Museum in the province of Córdoba. In the same way, the approach is not only focused on what happens in Buenos Aires. As part of the seventh edition of the Contemporary Art Market (MAC), Trulls traveled to Córdoba where he made thirty reports in just six days, including Celina Hafford, curator of the fair.

Now, for those who do not know what is CRUDO, here is a sketch: with a tiny camera, Trulls, whose face is seen in two or three reflections of a window or a mirror, talks with these characters in his studios, galleries or departments, and as a voyeur (the camera) gets into the artworks of the artists, the curator’s libraries and in the warehouses of the gallery owners. Outside of academicism and under an informal aesthetic the interviews do not have editing cuts and show in a genuine and novel way those who constitute the art scene. In this regard, Rodrigo Alonso, critic and curator specialized in video art, says in his interview with CRUDO the value of the work Trulls is doing. “I remember that in the 90s (Gustavo) Bruzzone filmed everything and it was a kind of panorama of what the era was. In the same way I think that this (CRUDO) is a contribution of this era, ”Alonso explains in the interview, and adds:“ Nowadays many people study art from books and I think that much is lost when there is no possibility of the first person encounter ”. CRUDO is that possibility.  

In that sense, the content is the equivalent of a video library that will probably be essential for those who want, within ten, twenty and thirty years, to be instructed in a specific period of Argentine Art. Aware of the value of his reports, Trulls explains that after his trip to Córdoba and Rosario his next goal is –through the financial collaboration of patrons who want to boost the project- to cover the main contemporary art producers in Santiago de Chile, Montevideo , San Pablo, Rio de Janeiro, Bogotá, Mexico City, Miami and Madrid. "Reaching these regions would allow in the future to perform CRUDO in diverse languages ​​and, thus, expand its record to the Latin American and world scene," says Trulls.



What’s the meaning of the informal aesthetics both visually and through content?

The fact that I have never seen before in my life most of the people I interview is important, a bit of that translates the aesthetics of the interviews. It is a discovery for both me and the one watching the video. None of the people I interviewed are my friends and it is almost always a first visit.

On the other hand, is a way to go against the flow of what is being produced on YouTube and social networks, all that excessively neat aesthetic which. Instead, the #crudo are produce in one sequence frame, none image edition and with natural sound and light.

What led you to produce these interviews?

For ten years I have been dedicated, among other things, to selling art and what I began to see with CRUDO is, precisely, that there are more interesting places within the scene to sell. Obviously I started out of curiosity, but almost without realizing it I had over a hundred interviews, and the contribution I can make from this approach is much more significant than what I can do by selling.

Is there, behind CRUDO, an intention to make a record of a specific moment of the local scene?

There are two issues regarding what CRUDO is producing.

On the one hand, as Rodrigo Alonso said, and that for me it is a discovery, these interviews lend themselves to study and research from a first person voice much more authentic than the one found in books or specialized magazines. From this point of view, it is relevant content for those who are part of the art world.

On the other hand, it is content that works for people who are not in the art environment but who are nonetheless interested. With CRUDO I try to access from another side, generate a climate of intimacy with the artist, gallery owner or whoever the person with whom I meet to talk is. It seems to me that it is a nonvisible face in the traditional forms of coverage or cultural journalism.

CRUDO's proposal, as well as innovative, is equitable. Of course, some of the central figures of the scene - such as gallery owner Orlí Benzacar or visual artist Juan Travnik - were interviewed, but the focus of Trulls also aims to leave the common places and make visible the range that, from all sectors and ranks of the Argentine artistic production, constitute the scene. “The idea is to be broad,” explains Trulls, “I don't want to interview anything other than the five figures that appear in the documentaries. It is necessary to reveal a larger spectrum that really reflects the scenario.”

Despite the long duration of CRUDO interviews, in the midst of the maelstrom of fleeting content that characterize networks, the channel directed by Trulls grows every day and thus its audience. The new approach that these reports have proposes to access art from a more organic and democratic perspective, both for artists and managers, and for the general public. Said by its creator, CRUDO is a work in progress looking foward to the foundation of a club with exclusive content and benefits within the contemporary art scene.