Interview: Micaela Vivero
Luca Curci talks with Micaela Vivero during BODIES+CITIES SKIN, the first appointment of BORDERS ART FAIR 2021, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Micaela Vivero was born in Munich/Germany, grew up in Quito/Ecuador and currently lives in Ohio/USA. She has participated in over 10 artist residencies all over the world and has an extensive exhibition record. In her work, she explores the production of installations in soft materials that produce environments that invite audience interaction. In her work, she privileges lightness, movement, precariousness, fragility and instability. She’s engaged in producing artwork that has ambiguity, eloquence and challenges established formats. In her work she’s interested in responding to the associations as well as misunderstandings that unbalanced relationships between hegemonic and historically oppressed cultures generate. Her intention is to create strong statements with apparently delicate materials and in that way to destabilize power relations.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Micaela Vivero – I am very interested in the exploratory, non-prescribed nature of art. As a practicing artist, I find that art-making is limitless, and that constant potential to reset the rules is very appealing to me. Art production comes from a variety of procedures. One phase that I am very passionate about relates to, in short, tackling ideas and issues from the point of view of a very curious person, which can include observation and research. Another phase is the materiality or physicality of the work, which includes using materials and techniques in both traditional and non-traditional ways. The last phase is setting up the encounter of the art with its audience. I appreciate these different phases of art production and how the process of making art is very active and varied. Art for me is a way to engage and understand the world I live in and share those questions with my audience. As the world is such an amazingly interesting place, resources to make art are endless.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
MV – I studied Art at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador where I received my undergraduate degree. Later, I earned my Master in Fine Arts at Alfred University – located in Alfred, New York – where I focused specifically on sculpture. Following those two educational experiences, I have been able to pursue artist residencies around the world. Those experiences have informed and influenced my artistic production, as has my career as an art professor – in Ecuador and later on in the USA.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
MV – My artistic proposition is embedded in ruptures. The first, and maybe most obvious one, is the rupture with traditional materials and techniques to make sculpture. I feel that my proposition is 3-dimensional, but the materials I use are intentionally making references away from traditional sculpture materials. The materials I use, such as yarn and thread, are definitely tied to women’s labor, in addition to my use of crochet as a recurrent technique. I also explore scale and monumentality in non-traditional materials and techniques through repetition, allowing for the audience to encounter a physical experience through the use of the installation. A theme I am currently exploring is decoloniality. Having grown up in Latin America, I experienced a world in which a variety of colonial forces have employed their influence in different ways throughout different periods. I have and continue to explore this theme through the use of gold leaf in my work. Gold was extracted from the Latin American colonies, while natives were forced into enslavement for its extraction. Gold mining unleashed a cycle of greed that in many ways tainted the relationship between colonizer and colonized, developing into the serious issues of inequalities our world is facing today.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
MV – In my perspective it offers many career options and that is very positive.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
MV – Yes, they do. I do listen to the feedback from my audience.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
MV – It is part of preexisting work.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
MV – It is connected with the festival’s theme by its appearance. The appearance of the skin of the work as well as the reference to mapping in the background, made it fit perfectly with the theme of “Bodies+ Cities Skin.”
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
MV – Yes, it was a nice opportunity.