Tique | art paper asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Ángela Jiménez Durán.
Lives in Madrid, Spain and Paris, France
How do you describe your own art practice?
I try to think of my work as a sort of story, made of fragments and ellipsis. Sometimes the works write part of the story, but sometimes the story itself generates new works. Eventually, some pieces become some sort of clues. Many times, it’s about a gesture, or about making something happen. Strangeness and oddness are words I think about a lot when I’m working. When you look at something and have the feeling that it’s not exactly right, that something has happened or is about to happen. It’s not about being surprised, it’s more about being slightly suspicious.
Which question or theme is central in your work?
I don’t think there is one question or theme central to my work, but rather many different things that keep echoing in different ways. The world of dreams, science-fiction, expeditions into the unknown or ghosts always come back in some way. There is also an interest in materials and their characteristics: how you can reconstruct an object’s shape with plaster o silicone, or how wax melts when heated… I guess this comes from trying to understand how and with what our world is made.
What was your first experience with art?
I have been lucky enough to always be surrounded by books and works of art, thanks to my family. But I think one of the first things I remember was an installation by the Brazilian artist Tunga: It felt like being completely submerged in another planet, but a planet where the physical laws were different and nothing was exactly what it seemed.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
I don’t know if I have one big source of inspiration, it’s more sort of a constellation of things: travels, night walks, books… right now I’m reading a lot of South American literature. One of my favorite books is Pedro Páramo, by Juan Rulfo. It tells the story of a small village, where death isn’t really the end of existence: it’s like a long dialog between the ghosts of those who died and the people who remained.
What do you need in order to create your work?
I think this will change constantly through time but right now I need a mix of concentration, space and energy.
What work or artist has most recently surprised you?
I have recently watched and re-watched two of my favorite movies: Cemetery of Splendour and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, both by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. It’s very interesting to me how he handles images that are strange and even terrifying: it seems like he observes them from a distance and then invites them in, letting them exist as if they were something familiar, even comfortable. I find it very beautiful to be able to approach something that is different and scary with a welcoming gesture. How would you talk to a ghost? In the end, the question becomes how do you meet someone or something that is not like you?