Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tila Rodriguez-Past

In my artistic practice I am constantly in pursuit of the aesthetic strangeness found lurking on the boundary between culture and nature. I create forms and images which do not fit comfortably into either category, and so reveal something about humankind’s struggle with nature as it attempts to assert the dominance of science. Mindful of Kant’s assertion that “art can only be termed beautiful” when it has “the appearance of nature”, I produce work that may not look like, or even represent natural forms, but rather deceives us into thinking that it is a self-subsisting essence, that it has arisen out of some natural power rather than having been constructed. Reflecting on the conquest of the ‘naked’ eye by advertising, my short films look to challenge habituated forms of viewing, celebrating the strange properties of movement which the camera reveals in slow motion. Interested in the unquantifiable properties of growth, I manipulate in my moving images both color and contrast in a manner which suggests a partiality of vision, and hints at the presence of a mysterious, perhaps sinister, essence driving the movements that are shown. With direct experience of nature at a premium my engagement with the digital manipulation of film is also in some way an ironical reflection upon the way culture inscribes its nostalgic view of what is beyond it in the digital age. Our fantasies of escape from mundane urban reality into the natural world have ironically produced an industry which superimposes the values of its digitally manipulative advertising over ordinary people’s aesthetic experience of nature. As much as I am interested in this process, my work also pursues the boundary between culture and nature mindful of the animistic world view that we see in antique cultures, when people held fast to their belief the the spirits of trees and cats would enact vengeance upon those who disrespected the laws of the natural world. While my work explores the new realms of meaning opened up by the world of digital media, it is also coloured with a nostalgia for the ancient reverences which still leave their traces in the present day.
--Artist Statement by Tila Rodriguez-Past
from her website

[CREDIT: Photo of Ambar Past, Tila Rodriguez-Past and Maruch Mendez is by artist Gloria Clark]
Lee and I are always interested in the next generation of the writers and artists we work with. It's always very interesting to see how what the next generation has learned through osmosis in a family of language and/or images morphs into who they become. Thus, we were delighted to learn more about sculptor and videographer Tila Rodguez-Past, the daughter of Ambar Past. Tila, visiting her mother in San Crisobal, Chiapas, collaborated with her and Maruch Mendez to create the video posted earlier on this blog. I then asked Tila for more information and besides the short bio that's pasted below I found her impressive website, especially the photographs of the impressive Mostricciatoli installation that appeared at the Diego Rivera Gallery at the San Francisco Art Institute several years back. Even from photographs on a computer screen, Mostricciatoli gives the magically real feeling of wandering around the jungles of Chiapas among all the night noises of insects and animals and human beings whatever other ghostly beasts are talking to you in those dark nights.

Please, when you go to her website, watch the videos. They are wise and witty.

Here's Tila's short bio:

Tila Rodríguez-Past is a Mexican-American-English multidisciplinary artist. In 2006, having completed her BFA at San Francisco Art Institute, California, Rodríguez-Past was awarded her Masters degree with Distinction by Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London. She currently lives in Brighton where she works as an Exhibition Space Manager and Volunteer and Education Coordinator at Fabrica. Rodríguez-Past has exhibited her work in Chiapas, San Francisco, Tuscany, Oxford, London and in Brighton. She is currently co project managing a group exhibition funded by the Arts Council England in which seven artist and three writers are exploring the way culture absorbs and remakes the past. For more information about the her upcoming exhibition please visit: http://resampling.wordpress.com or visit Rodriguez-Past website:www. tilarodriguezpast.com Thank you!

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