I am a Peruvian artist living and working in Lima. Currently interested in Latin-American gender roles and ideas of modernity, specifically through the imported and reinterpreted aesthetic manifestations of pop culture. In the recent years, my worked has evolved towards mixed media and interactive installations that mainly explore Latin-American popular culture: It’s aesthetic patterns and contents as the integrative elements of an entire continent.
My work spaces have changed a lot over the last four years or so. Actually, it is difficult for me to afford a permanent studio so I try to rent one for a while every time I have to make work for an exhibition. I also have another job that does not allow me to spend that much time in the studio, although it does allow me to pay my bills and to finance the production of my pieces.
The first studio I rented was a super small place in the house of a very conservative and Christian lady who failed to greet me when one day she came in to clean the space and found a pop-up edition of the Kamasutra I bought in an antique shop (I’m a big collector of useless things). After a while, along with my cousin, who is a photographer, I rented the bottom of a house in Chorrillos. We were evicted quickly because the owner decided to sell it. We felt sad because it was a very nice and quiet place to work and especially to get together, drink beer, and talk about our work (and problems). I still have not paid the phone bill for that place. The best studio I’ve ever had was one that I subleted from a friend to make work for a solo show last year. A nice, big house, located in one of the most beautiful areas of Lima, a place that sometime ago hosted La Culpable, an artists collective that is very important for the local art scene of Lima. After that I traveled to New York for three months to do a residency at Flux Factory, where I had a studio which was also my room. I had a tiny space between the bed and the wall to walk and a desk in which I drew a lot. The prettiest light ever came through that window.
So I have not been in permanent studio for more than a year, but I have been constantly changing my work space according to my needs and possibilities and many times I had to limit myself to work in my room or in my office desk (making a mess in the process). Less than a month ago I moved my studio to the house of a great friend I’ve had since I was a teenager. She bought this house in Barranco and lives there with another great friend. I’ve been very lucky, not only because the space is quite big and comfortable and because I rent it at a much lower price than it is worth; I can also spend time with my friends and laugh a lot. The house is located near the sea.
Now I’m working on a new project which will be presented during Glasgow International this April in the Project Room of Many Studios. It’s been a big challenge because it is the first time I work on a video but very exciting at the same time. The video shows part of the Peruvian Amazon Uiniversity, a modernist structure built in the Amazon rainforest that embodies a number of contradictions. It was supposed to be created as a response to the demand for a higher education institution in the area, as voiced for decades by the local communities. But this building is just evidence on how the government spends a huge amount of money building structures that show its power instead of investing on a decent educational system. Although I find the architecture fascinating, the building imposes itself over nature, interfering with its order, and doesn’t respond to the community’s necessities.
The video progressively shows all spaces of the university revealing what the important structure contains: a precarious space in which learning is not fostered and where the lack of it is concealed. I talk about a particular contrast between modernism and lack of progress one constantly finds in Latin American societies. To shoot the video, I spent several days in the jungle. It was a hard work, especially because of the weather in Iquitos, but luckily I had the best team working with me.
‘Where I Make’ invites readers behind the scenes of artists from many disciplines to share photographs and a little insight about where they create their masterpieces. See more from the series here.