Interview: Lexygius Sanchez Calip
Luca Curci talks with Lexygius during CONSCIOUSNESS and VISIONS, second and third appointments of ANIMA MUNDI 2022, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello and at Palazzo Bembo.
Lexygius Sanchez Calip (b. 1974, Manila, Philippines) is a Filipino-American art practitioner and scholar. He is a recipient of the Anne Bremer Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts, and the Excellence in Scholarship Master of Arts Thesis Award at the San Francisco Art Institute. “My works, I regard as gifts; presents that underscore a reality-uncertainty, impermanence, and constant change. They hold a fragility that is mine, a fragility that makes me feel worthy and unworthy at the same time.”
Luca Curci – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
Lexygius Sanchez Calip – My current art practice are mono-gestural expressions that convey the often minuscule events and transversal occurrences that we commonly overlook within the context of conceptual art. I began as a practitioner with an object-based art discipline focused on tangible forms of expressions such as painting, sculpture, and so forth. As I got older, so did my art practice. Now my work and methodologies reflect the most common yet profound human experiences—absences and presences – that mirror the subversive aspect of uncertainty, loss, and impermanence that we constantly endure.
LC – What are your thoughts, habits, or rituals while you work?
LSC – The habit and ritual associated with my approach are that I prefer to have an open, calm, and empty mind when I work. My approach is reactionary and I initially immerse myself within the time, space, and place that is presented, until a scintilla of dialogue or a conversation between myself and what is around me naturally occurs. These variable conversations manifest as temporal gestures and fragile expressions that mirror the liminal passings of life such as the air that momentarily fill our lungs, the ideas that appear and dissipate in our thoughts, or our memories that briefly come and go-our everyday experience.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in society? And contemporary art?
LSC – I believe that the role of the artist depends on whatever role the artist chooses to play. Artists address the issues and concerns that reflect the climate of their time, and such determines how an artist is defined as. Contemporary art has always been a mirror that reflects the ever-changing effigy of the human condition.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
LSC – My life and experiences have always been an inspiration for me. So as everything that is around me. They all present themselves at the time and the moment they are meant to.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
LSC – My work often fails when I overthink things. Overthinking is the one challenge that I constantly try to overcome and endure. My mind is constantly noisy, so I try to quiet it to make space.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
LSC – My work in the exhibition conveys the natural essence of human thought and expression. It is simple yet complex. It holds a paradox that represents the basic yet profound structures of our cultures, beliefs, relationships, and connections with each other, with our environment, with this world that we can see and the ones we don’t.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
LSC – I am fortunate to take part in two exhibitions, thus presenting two works. One for the ANIMA MUNDI CONSCIOUSNESS and another for ANIMA MUNDI VISIONS. For the ANIMA MUNDI CONSCIOUSNESS Exhibition, I presented a piece entitled, Minding The Gap, single-channel video documentation of a proto performance piece I did in 2021. It is a time durational site-specific interaction with the elements present in the space. In this piece, I traversed an edge of a shadow that splits the open space in the quad. It is a long shadow that has a gap on one side. The performance showed me walking on the edge of the shadow coming from one side and jumping the gap to the other edge of it and continuing walking until I reach the other end. This gesture conveys the profound nature of uncertainty, the transversal aspect of balancing between the dichotomies of life, between light and dark, life and death-between being and becoming. For ANIMA MUNDI VISIONS Exhibition, I presented a piece entitled, Wish You Could Stay A Bit Longer, single-channel video documentation of a performance piece I did in 2020. It is a time durational proto performance I did during the height of the pandemic. In this piece, I briefly placed my warm hand on top of a dark table which left a moist palm print, a fragile memory, that gradually dissipated until it is gone. Same as with most of my works, this gesture conveys the subversive aspect of impermanence, of how everything and everyone is, is, and were temporary. The piece expresses the notion of constant transference, transformation, and change that everything and everyone undergo.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
LSC – ITSLIQUID provides artists from all over the world the platform to showcase and present their work. It represents the diversity of cultures, backgrounds, genres, and disciplines that constantly redefines contemporary art and its practices. It embodies the fluidity of creative thought and human expression that demarcates how art is staged for the world to see and appreciate.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
LSC – The events are organized in such a way that the exhibitions are treated like artwork in itself. It emanates as a series, or a modular expansion of a theme or an idea which opens not just one, but multiple floodgates for knowledge, creative expression, and fresh ideas to pass through. This approach provides a broader platform for artists to engage with, thus providing more opportunities to for artists to expand, connect, and grow.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
LSC – ITSLIQUID is an organization that offers artists exhibitions and public programs that celebrate the importance of contemporary global art and culture. It inflates the contributive aspect of art and the artists that make them within the context of diversity and inclusion. Thus, acclaims the relevant and fruitful impact of broad and progressive representations of local and international contemporary art and artists to the world.