Interview: Natalia Forcada

Interview: Natalia ForcadaImage courtesy of Natalia Forcada

Interview: Natalia Forcada

Luca Curci talks with the artist Natalia Forcada during CONSCIOUSNESS of ANIMA MUNDI festival 2017 in VENICE.

Natalia Forcada is a multidisciplinary artist. Born February 8, 1981 in La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Presently resides and works in Buenos Aires. Degree in Film Direction and Teaching degree, specialization in Film Direction from the Universidad del Cine.
She won national and international awards and recognitions in France, Spain, Italy, Ecuador, Uruguay. She exhibited individually and collectively her work in several Argentine cities and in Italy (Venice), Ecuador (Quito and Guayaquil), Uruguay (Montevideo), Spain (Valencia, Murcia and Canary Islands). She made international residencies and lectures. She was sworn in various national and international events. For 7 years, she worked as a teacher and as production coordinator an teacher at the Universidad del Cine. Worked as producer and assistant director on full-length films that won national and international awards. Currently, serve as creative consultant on artistic audiovisual projects.

 

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Luca Curci – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of CONSCIOUSNESS – ANIMA MUNDI FESTIVAL?

Natalia Forcada – In my video BUSCANDO LA GRAN PEZ (SEARCHING FOR THE BIG FISH) I was interested in going deeper in my work in connection to the body, taking as a departure point the analysis on cruelty and the spectacularization of privacy by french critic Jean Louis Comolli. In that direction, I used the Reality Show format as a line of work. During the development of this project in the TEC EN ARTE scholarships at Fundación Telefónica in Buenos Aires (curated by Patricia Hakim), and the No Lugar residencies in Quito, Ecuador, I focused my research in the different formats and explicit or implicit narrations of this type of shows. As a Film Director, educated at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires, Argentina, it was essential for me to carefully analyze their mise-en-scène (sound, camera, editing, etc.). I saw the need to make a video that was distant from a replica and that, through parody, could create an abstract image that could poetically emulate what happens in the life of an argentine fish, former participant of the beauty-contest-reality-show “Gran Acuario” (Big Aquarium). Contrasting with the perfect form of TV standards, I was interested in the decomposition of the image and audio, that became the rests of that hyperrealism proposed by the game in the show.

 

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When I heard the concept of the Festival I immediately thought about submitting this video, since I thought it was interesting to pose the idea of consciousness in the context of contemporary problems where the intromission in the private world is a fact, increasingly permeating television and daily life. In the words of Paula Sibilia in “Intimacy as a show” (A intimidade como espetaculo), today, here and now, “the tyrannies of visibility emerge”. The spectacularization of privacy is forced daily, with security cameras in streets, buildings, companies, schools, night clubs. With the immediacy of real time, real facts are narrated by a real me, through torrents of words that can instantly appear on the screens in every corner of the Earth. And also, too frequently, the irrelevance of that real life is shown in a close up. Realities looking for talents (most of them singing famous songs), changing looks (where other people advise and dress participants), enclosing people (where participants are locked in with strangers), refurbishing houses (where others modify their homes) and even aesthetic surgery (where participants alter their bodies), they are all looking for a change, for speed, for imitation, to access another status, to become someone else, to alter your environment and your body. The participant becomes another piece in the game, where he or she will be evaluated by the audience or by a jury which will vote for the best participant and will decide who stays and who leaves the show. My intention is to take a closer look at the daily life that, for being so mundane, becomes invisible, and formats us as the social beings we are today, where the reification of people is common currency and where the fictionalization of our own life becomes “the real”.

 

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L.C. – What do you think about the concept of this event? In which way did it inspire you?

N.F. – Taking into account the fact that CONSCIOUSNESS is the knowledge that a being has of itself and its environment, I believe it is a versatile and important concept to create, think and question through contemporary art. The term inspires me to reflect, deconstructing individuals in the contemporary world. Creating from the question, from uncertainty and discomfort, with the departure point of a context where human beings are immerse in a reified, mediated and de-personalized world.

 

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L.C. – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?

N.F. – Even if the body is the trigger and center of my work, the topics I search to connect it with are those internal and/or external factors that confront it, investigate it, form it, frame it, define it. I aim at falling into the tension between the individual and the universal, the private and the public, the earthly and the mythical. Re-focusing the individual and myself from different disciplines and subjects in order to question it/me from a critical vision, sometimes ironic and other times more grim and melancholic. I search to create layers of information where the topics are intertwined, as, for instance, “women”, “mass media”, and “power” in my new work “La Fábrica de la Mujer Milgram” (The Milgram Woman Factory). Some of my obsessions in terms of themes to which I constantly go back, uniting them with other artists are: power, pyscho-magic, intimacy, spectacle, woman, medicine, mass media, childhood.

 

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L.C. – Did you style change over the years? How?

N.F. – I’m attracted to change, to the new, to transformation, and I find my freedom in this multiplicity. My works range from photography, film and objects to textile, olfactory, technological, edible and performatic works. I am interested in experiencing new formats of work and editing, working usually with interdisciplinary and transmedia works. In recent years, mostly interactive or participatory ones. In the exhibitions I have organized tours in the exhibition space through “Sensorial Devices”, workshops with the series “Barbaras” (Barbies), interactive in some of the exhibitions of “Buscando la gran pez” (Serching for a Big Fish) and “Rabioso” (Rabid), participatory performances with “Noelias”. Each work is for me a new challenge. I learn and/or seek to associate with other professionals to develop the technique I need.

 

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L.C. – Which are your artistic projects for the future? Is there any possibilities for a new participation in some Italian exhibitions?

N.F. – At the moment I am developing two new works: “La Fábrica de la Mujer Milgram” (The Milgram Woman Factory) and “Prótesis para músicos” (Prosthetics for musicians).
“La fábrica de la Mujer Milgram” emerged from the video “Buscando a la Gran Pez”. I have obtained a Grant by the National Arts Fund of Argentina (Becas del Fondo Nacional de las Artes) and we are finishing our fundraising, since the project is rather ambitious both technically and aesthetically. It is an artistic binomial composed of a web series of 9 short episodes and a namesake theatre play with 8 shows. In this case, the beauty-contest/reality show involves 7 women and is based on the social psychology experiments undertaken in the 70s in Milgram and the Stanford prison. The focus of these is placed on the obedience according to Hannah Arendt’s concept of “Banality of Evil” where a superior’s orders are obeyed even if they harm someone else. In the web series we can see they lockup days, and in the theatre play we emulate a TV set where one can attend a Gala with audience. The seven women desperately compete to become the Milgram Woman regardless the tests and banal, degrading conditions to which they are subject.  “Prótesis para músicos” is a performative sculpture piece, composed by musical-sculptural objects that are added to the body as prosthetics. Up to now, two pieces have been made: “Violín para brazo izquierdo” (Violin for left arm) and “Percusión para pierna izquierda” (Percussion for left leg). At the moment, thanks to the production award granted by the Bahia Blanca Biennial in Argentina, 2 more pieces are being constructed: “Violín para cuello’’ (Violin for neck) and “Violonchelo para tórax” (Cello for thorax), which will be exhibited at the Contrmporary Arts Museum of Bahia Blanca and will compete for the acquisition awards of the Biennial. The proposal is to orthopedically try to incorporate the instruments as parts of the body itself. A sort of re-appropriation to the origins of music when the body was the instrument. From my trip to Venice for the Festival’s event, I have established connections with local galleries and galleries in other major Italian cities with whom we will try to organize exhibitions of my works in the future.

 

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L.C. – Would you suggest cooperating with us? What do you think about LIQUID Group and our services?

N.F. – I am really interested in continuing to work with you as an artist, curator, counselor and cultural manager. I think it’s a space and group which offers great possibilities to emerging artists from different parts of the world. I have been co-director of the Festival de Bolsillo (Pocket festival) in the city of La Plata, Argentina, because I believe these spaces are more than necessary for artists and visitors. They create identity, connections and networks that help us develop and grow professionally. I feel great affinity for the group and its services due to its interdisciplinary and international vision in terms of dissemination, exhibiting and cultural exchanges.

 

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L.C. – Do you think that this experience could be useful for artists and can contribute to increase personal background?

N.F. – I am interested in extending the visibility of my work to other countries, as it was the case with my solo and collective exhibitions in Spain (Valencia and Murcia), Uruguay (Montevideo) and Ecuador (Quito and Guayaquil). I had the chance of being present in all of them, and especially during the Anima Mundi festival in Venice, my experience was highly favorable, being able to see the works of colleagues from different parts of the world, discovering new visions of my own works as I exchanged opinions with them, with visitors (curators, artists, gallery managers, general audience) and the organizers.

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