Enero Y Abril
Enero y Abril was born in Xalapa. A rainy city without sea and located in the middle of the state of Veracruz, Mexico.
She studied in an School of Arts, Bachelor of Arts Photography, at the University of Veracruz. Soon she became disappointed because of the closed-minded system, she then looked into other options. She got a scholarship and went to live to Oaxaca city and surprise: was also disappointed at the university but fortunately she found, besides the time to experiment, two amazing libraries, an art center and a plenty number of colleagues trying to make their art a way of life. That was when she found a different and promising educational model, then focused her interest in/on applying to SFC, seminary of contemporary photography at the Center for the Arts in San Agustín (CASA) in Oaxaca.
At the seminary she had the opportunity to take classes for eight months with a lot of artists, curators and researchers. Although she learned a lot during all the seminary in a freely way, was still something annoying her.
Even in the open art programs, she found empowered topics with specific guidelines, that make a lot of influence in the production of emerging artist. Maybe the system does not impose you something but it suggest what to produce if you want to look after yourself in the trade. Being successful, exhibit in galleries, festivals, being financed by institutions. Which is not bad at all, but we need to be more creative, we need to be able to create a work system inside and out the trade. As Felipe Ehrenberg would say "Do it yourself and reunite with other to do it yourself." She would like to think that construct our own sailing is as important as make art a way of living. For the next year (2015) she had decided to take some time to herself and think: What, Where she wanted to go but the most important thing was knowing how. And this is my conclusion of all of this process, and it has become my work system:
She wants to create a free way, not only focusing me using the photography, because she is trying to make conversations with ideas, with things, with my context. She thinks that she is too young to live accepting all the conventional ideologies of institutes or any kind of empowered system. She does not believe that the artist must be define only in one technique or topic, She also believes (that) we must board our own concerns and our ideas will finally take shape in our own universe. (If we have been working hard enough, and if we have luck) It will make sense, and we will be able to construct a work system that has all of it. (our reflections, questionings and searches, etc.)
At what age did you decide you wanted to keep art a daily part of your life and eventually make a career for yourself? Well, even though i decided to go to art school when i was 18, it was during the process when i realized i wanted to to this my way of life. I could tell you a number, but this path is unstable, so every day i keep working on this i keep taking that decision.
What brought you back to Xalapa? I came back to Xalapa to work with a grant i won, and this being a cheap city i could work on my own projects with that money, and at the same time i came back in contact with my colleagues and found a really interesting collective to work with.
What made you choose photography, and why? I chose photography because i really like collecting images and the direct way to connect with the world. I used to draw and write, but photography was the thing i did the most and i needed a portfolio to apply to art school. I still think that it's a noble way to get deeper into the art world.
Can you talk more about this “free way” you wish to create? It means to work without anticipating a concrete way to show the work. If i'm interested in a subject or an idea, then i would start to explore it, investigate and have different ideas about to catch the best one. Before this i would have thought that in order to work on a project i should have known from the beginning if the project was going to be a series of photographs or a video, now i think that the outcome must be explored depending on the idea. Liberty is something that noone will give you, you have to find it on the details, the gestures.
What are you currently working on now? Under this idea of experimentation and exploration I have done two projects: Prácticas de casa (House practice) It is a serie of conversations between the house and time, It has a kind of archive. And La Enciclopedia de la Superstición (The encyclopedia of superstition). A serie of photography interventions of The Universal History (Post-war period) I selected all the pictures with people on it. and I crossed out and torn people's face, as an exercise seeking to dispel the official history. The end result was a black and white book printed by ourselves at Roto Ediciones.
I think that beside I am still experimenting and looking for provocations through the art language, but also I am vey interested in working with other artist to create a dialog nourish from several points of view. At the moment I am working in four collective projects: Venta de pieles de lobos marinos de un sólo pelo. A blog about a Chinese whispers with Lara Ovidio, she is a Brazilian artist. Roto Ediciones, We are experimenting with books using risograph in a printing home. Ediciones Estridentes. Our aim is to create networks to promote, share, and motive self-publication. And The garden review A digital magazine that seeks to explore the web as an space to create and collaborate.
What do you think makes sense to you about the process of creating? I see reality as a really strange thing, it seems to me more like an elephant than any other thing, and you know what the say about this: "there is only a way to eat an elephant, one piece at a time". I believe the process of creating helps me eat reality one piece at a time so i can digest it properly. On the other hand i think this process does not make sense for the actual ruling system, therefore dedicating myself to it as a way of life becomes some kind of small resistance.
What is the overall message in your work that you wish for your viewers to see, and or take away from? This is a funny question for me right now, because up to this point it has been a small group of friends, colleagues, and people close to me, with whom i have shared my work. I wish people could find in my work talking thoughts and hopefully a little poetry too. Some days ago i went to an exhibition, and on one of the drawings i read the phrase "serve as much as you want, but eat everything you ask for", and i think that could also be an answer to this question.
If you could change one thing is todays creative sphere, what would it be? I would change the way the creative production circulates. Nowadays exposure is about people in change and their interest, and not so much about developing a form of communication and ideas.
You can check out more of Enero Y Abril's work by clicking here!