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Claudia Fernández

interview transcript

Date of Interview: Nov 01, 2004
Location: Mexico
Topic: Interview with Claudia Fernández
Interviewer: Luz Sepulveda

LatinArt:  I have been seeing your video works lately. Does that mean that you have abandoned the other media you previously worked with? What facility does video as a medium give you which you do not find in painting, sculpture or installation?

Claudia Fernández:  No, the truth is I never wanted to abandon anything. As you said, they are mediums and one can take advantage of any means of communication. Some mediums are useful for a certain type of things and others for others. What I do find in video is that I can speak of the things which live between the lines, I speak above all of symbolic and emotional aspects which I can only express in this way. With my photographic work I have spoken of the cultural aspects of the environment in which I live, which is Mexico – specifically Mexico City – through aesthetic research which is also cultural research, and looking at things from a personal viewpoint.

LatinArt:  Does a direct relationship exist between your previous work and your present video work?

Claudia Fernández:  I believe that I now allow myself more freedom. It has to flow harmoniously, and be something very honest.

LatinArt:  I find a more aesthetic or formal qualities in some of the videos you showed earlier at the Alameda Laboratory than those you do later that seem more conceptually oriented. Can you talk about the shifts in your work?

Claudia Fernández:  Look, the fact is that if you go over my work formally, there are many jumps from one to the next, but to my way of thinking everything I have done is connected seamlessly, in the same way life, the fate of things, are joined together...thus I see my work as the natural process of experiences which carry you to other, perhaps more aesthetic, more cultural or emotional absurdities. Some time ago a curator told me that my work seemed to have been made by several different people and I said yes, there are several people at the same time, joined by very subtle but strong connective threads. I think that happens to all of us, the important thing is that they are all coherent and connected, and the truth is that I am very interested in several aspects of life; for me, as a person or as an artist, it’s a mistake to restrict oneself too much in that respect.

LatinArt:  Do you consider yourself a feminist video artist? How do you respond when they want to classify you as a woman artist and, moreover, exhibit you next to other women? Do you believe there are eminently feminist aesthetics?

Claudia Fernández:  No, I am not a feminist, but I am a woman artist and the truth is I am not going to deny a "feminine" trait in my work because I am enchanted with many things which we, as women, experience. But the truth is that I’m less enamored with other experiences. Frankly, I never judge a work by its gender.

LatinArt:  Can you speak specifically of video as a strategy in the visual arts and the differences it specifically serves you as an artist?

Claudia Fernández:  Truly, it’s a medium like any other, with its specific characteristics, with its difficulties and its challenges. I personally like it a lot, but as with everything it takes me a while to get started, then it flows and it fascinates me. I also like editing although it is very tiring; you also have to struggle with many technical aspects of the assembly. Afterwards you see the work and you are happy and you leave it... it no longer belongs to you go on to something else.

LatinArt:  What are your plans for the near future?

Claudia Fernández:  I am working on a project involving various disciplines dealing with trade workshops for young people and street children. I am also acting as curator for an exhibition in New Delhi, and have a glass piece at the Reina Sofia Museum and a Project Room at Arco 2005, in Madrid – it’s exciting.

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