JULIETA NEGRA, 2012 photo documentation of live performance. Photo by Carolina Pimenta
CORPO REAL Performance, 2012. Photo by Carolina Pimienta.
Interview By Francesca Beltran
School: Parsons The New School For Design.
Major: Communication Design with focus on Video Arts.
What She Does: Visual Artist and Experimental Videos.
How long have you been doing art?
Ever since I was little, I used to draw all the time; my parents got me in classes since a very young age. I remember I made this little cartoon book, called “Cakella”, she was like Cinderella and her head was a cake but instead of evil sisters see had fox friends. I did all the illustrations for the comic when I was 7.
When did you start doing videos?
I started during my junior year of college (2010) I was doing magazines and realized that I wanted more freedom and spontaneity in my work (print was very limiting). So I started taking new classes including a video art class in Parsons that completely blew my mind. I started using the camera as a tool to make art… it was totally freeing. It fit my personality immediately.
What kind of videos do you do?
Video art for me is a moving collage. I splice a lot of images together to create something new. I take the reality around me and make my own version.
You appear in a lot of your videos, why?
I use myself as a subject in many of my videos, mostly because it’s more convenient but also because that way I can combine my other passions (like dancing) into my work. That is how my live performances started.
What kind of live performances do you do?
They are an extension of my video work. I like to create a new environment. My attempt is to combine beauty with a sense of anxiety and darkness.
Since when have you been doing live performances?
This is very new, about a year. I’ve done a few both in Mexico and New York, the most recent was at the Nicola Formichetti studios in Soho as part of a group show called “I’ll tell you what you tell me when.” My performance was called Julieta Negra and it involved flowers spray painted black, nudity, a cross and fake blood.
What was the message?
An idea comes to me and then it’s all about making that idea come true and bringing it to the people. A lot of my work comes from love and loss and fear and hope so I just do my pieces and then realize what they are and then I give it a name. Julieta Negra was virginity, love and death… giving yourself to something. It’s light and dark.
I imagine something in my head and then I plan a little to make it happen but my moves are 100% improvised. I have a goal and an idea for what’s going to happen but nothing is really set in stone… I like the idea that anything could happen.
What role does music play in your videos and performances?
They go hand in hand; it’s an audio-visual experience. Most of the time in my videos I make my own sound, usually I distort my voice to make noise-driven sounds. I imagine an Ethereal Alien Creature.
What other art mediums do you use?
I do a lot of drawings and collages. I do art because it’s much easier for me to express myself through visuals than words.
Do you feel Mexico has had an influence in your art?
Yes, definitely. Mexico shaped me into who I am. Seeing the contrast from people born in New York I appreciate the kind of upbringing I had back in Mexico. When it comes to my art for example, I was raised catholic and there’s a lot of catholic imagery in my work.
HEART JUNKIE, 2011 video excerpt from short film ALBA.
RITUAL, 2012 collage part of WANTED WOMAN series.