A conversation with Aimée Joaristi about ESCINDIDA
1- Who is Aimée Joaristi and how do you link who you are with what represents you as an architect, designer and artist?
The link always is and has been art, in any of its manifestations. In the same way, I link with you in your role as critic and curator. I am an artist, although I hate the word (because it feels pretentious), from the day I opened my eyes and was able to measure the light. My life has always revolved around an act of creation, without the need to name or conceptualize it. I am an impulsive, passionate, visceral woman and those traits are expressed in my two facets (which are no longer two, there are many others, although people know more about these than you mention well). My work as an architect and designer is not incompatible with my painting, although I must confess that I am happier through painting. Both areas touch and dialogue constantly. Regarding this, I remember that when the curator and critic Andrés Isaac Santana visited my house in Costa Rica, he looked at me and said “I am beginning to understand your painting better”. That made me very funny because few realize that relationship and he, the first time, understood that link.
2- Spontaneity and the scream appear in your performances; as if butterflies were born from the belly and turned your gaze into abstract passion. Explore art or the art you explore?
Explorer is the one who lives, walks, breathes and feels consciously. I try to express myself in the simplest way that was given to me, others write or compose, I paint. I live through pictorial matter and I feel well-being in this exercise of doing that, many times, causes me uneasiness and a certain anguish. The canvas is a vertigo in itself, it is a complex psychological state that is sometimes difficult to overcome with good fortune. It is always a space that puts you to the test.
3- In one of your texts you write: “Taking up themes is a constant in the creative process of a visual artist.” How does Aimée dialogue with perseverance in her creative process?
The topics are directly related to personal experiences and usually one visits them more than once. Painting I relive all of the above, but on an even more existential level: painting –in its daily constancy- is for me a kind of therapy. At times I feel asphyxiated and it is because I discover I need to go to the studio and start working on my paintings. In fact, right now, I have changed my house and I discover, by surprise, that there is a direct relationship between the work and my living space. This gives me a state of complacency and well-being.
4- The last year you made several exhibitions (Oxygen, Fragmented Cities, Jorge Jurado Art Studio, Bogotá, Colombia, Cathedrals, Costa Rica), and you were invited to participate in fairs and biennials (V Biennial of Guayaquil, Ecuador). Do you promote your work through direct representation with galleries (which ones), curators (who), or do you directly choose the projects / agents with which you wish to collaborate and then establish the connections?
Above all, I am a restless and curious entity that moves looking for what I have considered my best options to reach a point that always escapes. That is what it is about, life is a constant search and learning exercise. Zero point does not exist, not for me. I need to move, reinvent myself, look for new looks and contrast my work according to media and with what professionals. After a few years working with a curator, I decided to change my course to focus on fewer, specific and projected options, such as the next personal exhibition in Havana and another in November in Berlin.
I work in Costa Rica with Klaus Steinmetz Contemporary and I receive the masterful support of the curator and art critic Andres Isaac Santana, with whom I started last year with the show Catedrales at the Klaus Steinmetz Gallery. I am open to choosing my future steps with close attention to detail and looking forward. I have a very timely dialogue with Andrés Isaac, he knows how to guide my work, choose spaces and above all think about projects that – really – position my work. It is certainly very severe – they had already told me (laughs) – but for that reason, precisely, there is no room for error with it. I feel fortunate in this dialogue because it represents growth for both of us. We mentioned these projects, but a surprise that he is coordinating is also in the pipeline and has to do with an ambitious editorial project. I can only tell you so far.
5- Soon, on May 26, you will have an exhibition in Havana, Cuba, curated by the Cuban curator and critic, resident in Madrid, Andrés Isaac Santana. I would like to go into detail about the exhibition: How is the exhibition titled? When and where did the idea for this project come from? Where will it take place and who are those involved in it? What concept, idea or theme will be exposed? Special guests?
As Cuban that I am by birth and by heart, I promised myself to return to my native country with an exhibition that would root me in what was my soil (still being). Somehow I needed to do a project on the island that would serve as a psalm for my soul, a kind of reconciliation. That is why this exhibition, for me, is a declared act of peace and forgiveness.
The idea arose, precisely, in Costa Rica, just after the inauguration of the Cathedrals exhibition. So Andrés and I would have a glass of wine on the terrace of the house, reviewing the work done. In that wandering through what had just been done, we looked at the horizon line and Andrés looks at me and says “to think that we are so close to Cuba and at the same time so far. She got excited, we looked at each other and we both finished with tears in our eyes. It was a very special moment. Then, passionate that we are both, we got down to work to make that moment of nostalgia and remoteness a real event.
The search for suitable sites began, calling people who could facilitate this idea and writing thousands of emails. This is how we got to know Gorría Gallery / Workshop, it seemed to us an excellent option due to the compatibility of ideas and in addition to its exhibitions with artists that I admire and respect very much. Everything began to take shape. We spoke with Daniel G. Alfonso, an excellent curator and a very serious and competent young critic. In fact, he felt a certain admiration for Andrés and for the career that he had managed to develop outside of Cuba overcoming a thousand adversities, and everything began to roll.
Then, in Madrid, we had the tremendous luck to meet Adán Perugorría, a truly charming and magnetic boy. Then we close the project. If you look at it, it has been a project that is -at the same time- a metaphor for our lives: the fact that it was born in Costa Rica, that I will telepathically pass through Havana and take shape in a restaurant in Madrid, warns of this nomadic character that draws the life of all Cubans. I feel very grateful for this, for how everything has happened, for the work of Adán and Daniel, for Andrés’ curatorship, who is – above all – a beast of interpretation and risk. The exhibition is titled ESCINDIDA, I think telling you this is already a statement in itself. It is not necessary, I am afraid, to aim more. The only thing left to do is visit the exhibition and enjoy it …
Costa Rica, May, 2017