Tequila, Billiards & Kitsch Interview

Taking beer in the billiard hall, the conversation goes around the artist’s identity and how related it is with his artwork. And of course about Kitsch art; yet glamorous and a sophisticated construction into the mainstream, or folk creations of naif persons who work utilitarian products. From Pierre et Gilles to Lila Downs and Mexican folk songs.

>> INGRID: Hi Welcome

I’m Ingrid and we are gonna show you an interview with Iris Atma and Antonio Sobarzo. Kisses!

A conversation about Kitsch, from Pierre et Gilles to Mexican folk songs.

[IDENTITY AND ART WORK]

IRIS: I believe that an actor when he interprets strong roles, he faces karmic laws.
ANTONIO: Yes, because, it’s to say, I believe that an artist has it difficult when it comes about dissociate identity and artwork. The identity of the person is also the work.
I: with the energy of his work.
A: An accountant, for example, imagine the poor man making accounting every day, that a day he arrives at his house counting, his wife, the children, what do I know!
I: And he counts how many times he kisses his wife and how many times he fucks her.
A: Yeah, for example, whatever.
I: The emotional maths of the accountant. It can be a short movie.
A: Right! Then, it would be sad, no? Because there would be a fusion of things. Let’s say that for that parody you imagine, cool!

[LILA DOWNS]

ANTONIO: There’s an album I like because it summarizes that atmosphere: Drama, I think Mexican music is very dramatic. Of course, you perform harakiri right there, it’s rough… It’s tragic but very cool…
IRIS: You need that catharsis, somehow, somewhere.
A: Sure! But I think that’s the way in Mexico; the tequila bottle, the cantina table, and the jukebox with Lila Downs or a mariachi.
I: And you heal it because you heal yourself, spit it out, bring it up.
A: It’s a catharsis, a catharsis.
I: Yes, Lila is useful, but sometimes your organism doesn’t get if you are really fuck off, I don’t think that’s the healthier way.
A: Yes, it’s tuff. Ah, no, hell not.
I: Like keeping on putting salt on the wound.
A: Not even salt; pure alcohol.
I: Vinegar.
A: One has to take it with calm.

[Laughter]

[UP WITH THE NORTH]

ANTONIO: That I love it, and has all that fashion from the north.
IRIS: Ah, yes?
A: This music that is like versions of Camelia la Texana, I love corridos, there was a time when I was listening to a UNAM radio show called “Arriba el Norte”.
I: And do you like narco corridos?
A: Yes. I see that almost like a folk business. All the drug-related stuff, I see it like folk.

[KITSCH; GLAM OR FOLK]

ANTONIO: There is a kind of hyper sophisticated kitsch. For example Pierre and Gilles pictures.
IRIS: And the bells ring.
A: Hahaha! For example; Pierre and Gilles pictures; are a construction, a projection, very sophisticated. I could not say that are kitsch folk.
I am gonna give you an example of folk throughout the father of a friend of mine, who studies with me.
I: Okey.
A: Here we go: They say he took a tire, cut it, tie it with wire, painted it yellow, and turn it into a flowerpot. With that, he won to Warhol, and several more, and yes, there you have a kitsch folk. A good part of NorthAmerican art, that is not from museums or galleries, I don’t know if you know that there’s a lot of people who never studied art, absolutely naif, and they make a wonderful kitsch folk art.
I: The border between a kitsch folk and glamorous kitsch could be the sophistication of the statement?
A: Of course, and the intentionality that you give to it.
I: More folk when more utilitarian, less folk when more sophisticated, and less utilitarian.
A: Sure.

[IRIS SUGAR KITSCH]

IRIS: I’m not really folk,
ANTONIO: Definitively.
I: I don’t use to be too utilitarian.
A: No, not at all, you are in the other border because if you would not be there, you maybe would not be worried for a call for a grant, or something like that.
I: Sure, because I could live from the utility of my productions.
A: In fact, you wouldn’t even be worried about that, because you would be living in some another completely different thing. Then I think that there’s where this thing is born from, the kitsch that becomes folk is the product of the people who don’t cross at art as an institution.
I: Kitsch as art usually is more glamorous and goes through international channels and with non-utilitarian products.
A: Therefore your image is more important than the product you create.
I: Of course!
A: Definitively.
I: Cheers. Of course, that’s why I choose carefully my rabbit or kitty ears.
A: Your wigs, clothes, everything.
I: Yes, it is a construction.
A: It is a construction.

[IRIS *Intuition]

ANTONIO: And that is why Iris can’t say, let’s see where is the card to mark the entrance, and put it on the machine. Oh, I’m out of work. Iris can’t do that, Iris needs…
IRIS: My clock gets crazy. I think that the fool and I are very good friends, the fool as the fool of Alice, the hatter, the fool as the Tarot card, a symbol of the neutral attempt; Sometimes I try things and I have not the minimal idea. I do the exercise of a rational critic that in some moments analyzes how so identified I am or not with the project, how complex, folk, urban it is, and all the analysis that you can think about artwork. But the truth, I don’t know how it is for you; when I choose this video for this reason and that action and clothes, it’s about intuition.
A: I don’t doubt it. At all. Exactly that thing you say that is very intuitive, how peculiar: Nowadays we demand to the artist to write, theorize, process a lot of information.
I: In several languages, and by several social networks.
A: Besides, not only on Facebook, and besides, do you know what I think? That most of the good artists many times are not always absolutely conscious of their process, nor about what they realize. Besides, as a confirmation to what you say. Also, when an artist is so conscious of what he does, I am almost sure that he would not do it. The thing about creating consists exactly about not knowing, because if you knew, what sense would have to do it?
I: I would like to understand it as art like a process of revelation, illumination, of learning, understanding, of expanding your self through the process, of discover, create, ask, and that you have, as an artist to do that and you are called to do that because that is a lesson for you, and you would not have to do it if you had already surpassed that learning.
A: Exactly. Cool, eh?

INGRID >>Thank you for watching and remember, this program is very good. And please remember to subscribe, comment, and rate.

Good Bye.*

México, 2010. 

Atma Unum; project by Ra’al Ki Victorieux.

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