Saturday, June 27, 2009

Following is a Five Part question and answer session with Mexican artist Laura Conde.

Laura Conde engages in the precepts of Art, Sex and Philosophy. Much of this is understood in a rather mathematical and psychoanalytical manner. None of her paintings promote pornography but it’s from that realm of modern torture, penetration and the vulva rendered metaphorically as damaged does she gain her interpretations and formularizations of what is now a crisis.

Kofi Forson: On the subject of Gender how do you think male and female sexual diversity has helped to create an open view of sexuality in society and art? Does this hurt or help preservation of innocence or does innocence and experience build a stronger sexual psyche?

Laura Conde: I believe that without the work of theoreticians, the minority artists and groups who began to raise the voice in Art and Literature we could not perhaps speak today of diversity and opening. It has been an arduous and complex work without a doubt, and without the studies of feminist groups on psychoanalysis and gender politics of sort I do not conceive that I myself can approach a topic like the one of femininity, that is one of the concepts that began to resonate more in my head when I started to study art.

At the time I was influenced by the work of theoreticians like Julia Kristeva, Foucault, Deleuze, and the production of artists like Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman and Nan Goldin. Also I was obsessed with psychology and psychoanalysis. A friend and I began to study the work of Freud and Lacan. Her mother was a psychoanalyst, for that reason since he was a boy he had grown strongly influenced by her way of thinking. My mother also spoke to me about Freud when I was young. She in detail explained to me the Oedipus complex and the main contributions of Freud to sexuality.

Soon my friend and I read the antiOedipus of Deleuze and Guattari, we discussed it so much because it was a direct critic to psychoanalysis, that one we were so familiarized by.

The thinking about desire and Capitalism in that book in truth is something that I must mention because it influenced so much my formation at that time. It would not have begun to interest me in art if I had not had always this sensation of been strange among people of my same genre and community. I had the security from very young that I was different from other children and I was not able to understand it until I was older and I had the possibility of watching the work of other artists who in spite of being thousands of kilometers away and having another nationality, had restlessness verysimilar to mine.

What is it to be woman or to be man? Is it that you can only be a thing in spite of feeling often like both or like none? Are the particular characteristics of each genre imposed on men and women when they were born? Where are these characteristics written? What happens if I do not fit in any of both genres totally? There is somebody that does?

I believe that both men and women have had to defy many conventionalisms and concepts given by fact at social level to be able to find some answers with respect to what motivates them and are passionate about, what ever makes them feel alive. Long time perhaps we were confused by others. We catalogued and domesticated our desire for their convenience. The way to find their own freedom is a way that each human must cross alone through the discovery of themselves and of its vital potential.

If desire has been manipulated and domesticated so many years it has been because it represents energy and motivation. Not always is it easy for many human beings to leave the establishment or to accept the fact that others decide to do it can be frightening. After all there are centuries of agreement and repression. I think freedom is obtained through innocence and innocence not in terms of purity, but of a constant questioning of life and existence, once that eternal question is asked innocence finishes. The fault happens then.

But the fault is not either something that can or must be avoided. Both innocence and fault are part of the process of growth of the human being and while we do not take nothing for granted we continued being alive and while questionings continue, to continue living will worth the pain , so for me there are no established sorts, I only conceive desire, and desire does not have object.

We are like in Deleuze and Guattari, wanting singularities, not even individuals, there is multiplicity of people in each individual. Each of us concentrates a multiplicity of“ways of being” in relation to desire. We are attracted to the hair of a person, the neck of another one, the rumps of a baby, the morbidity of an object, the sweet or rancid scent of a skin. We constitute our desire with fragments of stimuli that we oriented towards which we think is the object of our desire.

This object is not but the representation of which by itself it is irreprehensible.

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