Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique discovering thesis and processes behind the work.
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Conversation between Willie Avendano and Olivia Ramos.
AVENDANO: hi ramos
RAMOS: hi Willie
theres something different about these new videos
well, a couple of things
What is different about them?
Overall you are being a more transparent or straightforward on the content of sex.
I think each video has a different narrative on the topic.
Honestly, while the sex is there, it isn't main driver.
I'm not saying,.. I did not say it was the main driver
I said it was more transparent
But i do agree it reveals itself more
It's refreshing - we can go into that bit later... the other thing i found different was the portrait.
I've never seen that in your videos, at least not as prominent.
The first and second video especially, are almost entirely portraiture.
I'm not sure who the characters are... lets start with the first.
First being [que] bella?
so it works like a triptych
the first half is a portrait, then she is looking at a computer, and then back as the portrait.
Not sure I'm reading it right by saying it is a portrait, what do you think?
Portrait is the way to frame this, and the triptych exists between the three pieces.
I've become enamored at how these forms tells narratives this way, and then contextualizing it as a "jazz suite" or a movement in these three parts, especially reveal the portrait at large.
Having to be constrained to the archetypal narrative of a rise-reflection-and fall without having to be.
So in [que] bella, it sets the stage of the focal point being this portraiture.
What do you think portraiture is?
It is one's memory of a person, and how we imagine to illustrate that person, and all emotion and memories associated to that person.
What did you feel, in watching this?
And within the medium of video, or in your case the moving image, how are you setting up rules to make that happen?
you are interviewing me - i like it
You know how i work Ramos, I make everything difficult for everyone, and as the old adage says, rules were meant to be broken.
ok ok I'll answer first if you'd like
Assuming that they are rules, assumes that there is an economy and system of control that one resides in, versus the moving image being a frozen recollection of that, a retelling of sorts.
So the rules are more in response to the emotions that are felt in these memories.
Alas making it more fitting, how did you feel, or what did you feel?
If i understood correctly, the rules are assembled based on your feelings at the time of making... so give me some insight into your feelings... for example do you know the lady in the video?
As most of my work is, it is a rash confluence set up in precise chaos.
The lady shown in the video predate me, the lady that triptych reflects, i do know
what's the difference?
The woman in the films could be anyone, so why they can not be anyone?
However, the confluence of sentiments and emotion and memory blend and bleed between the videos, talking about a certain being.
A portrait of someone you know with someone else's face.
I see you found my where's Waldo game.
Waldo always looks like Waldo, Willie
The best thing about Waldo is that he hides in plain sight. There is a great intrigue about doing so, obfuscating everything around an idea while being so overt towards that concept.
Allow me to answer your questions then... how i felt when i looked at the video
It felt a little wrong to be prying on this person i did not know i perhaps knew
felt like you were exposing someone.
i thought you knew her.. i mean you do
I am intrigued by covering up the outside of someone and exposing the insides
tell me this - if the 'real' person looks at this would she know?
yes she did
haha that's awesome
But then again, I am a quite obvious and trivial person
So what i do, what i choose, and how they manifest follow a pattern.
What i am interested in is finding out how easily to people catch onto that pattern. Thus, answering your question from above, about covering up the outsides and exposing the insides.
Do you know my friend the turtle?
the turtle... i don't think so
I have another friend who the turtle is friends with..
he is a snail
I don't think I've had the pleasure.
why do you ask?
The turtle and the snail understand each other, time is a mere dimension that doesn't matter.
The turtle and the snail get to where they each need to get to, at their own pace, but each want to do so, as friends.
Their shells, dare i say, impenetrable
That's a beautiful thing.
But inside, the turtle and the snail are soft and viscous and malleable,. With years of shell work, it is a understanding that while very different, at different paces, they recognize their natural rawness (for lack of a better term)
Let me shoot in the dark here... are your portraits an inverse of the person... as in are you displaying the rawness and throwing away the shell or image
Someone is getting warmer.
Still haven't found Waldo.
Nor what i spy with my little eye.
Lets talk about what you are exposing in the first place, the most obvious to me are some inner desired, perhaps sexual desires, some desires to interact remotely.... well ... if i think back to the turtle... the inner softness wants to have an 'exchange' without it being seen... not sure if I'm loosing myself here
I mean my snail is my courier, in my snail mail service
OK then it's a self portrait!!!
haha, I'm totally lost
but totally interested
give me a second chance here
Want to discuss the emotions of another film, or is the emotional response that you felt similar across the board?
Also, I never explicitly said that the portrait is of a singular person.
Well you said 'she knew it was her'
And yes i am in it
hmm... yes i can see how you are in it
but ok... lets talk about video 2
If i and her are in it, is it a portrait AND a self-portrait?
semantics these days
no .. it can still be a portrait
but you are in her DNA somehow
Lets talk video 2
Video 2 being "dntleev [rmx]"?
This one's narrative is ongoing in parallel with the juxtaposition of the portrait and the view of paradise and the spiral.
The woman on the phone... that is a clue that perhaps links to the previous video?
The sex in this is quite overt.
Its not only sex.
It is a very particular type of sex.
Sex with strangers
Sex with some technology in between or some distance in between.
But cant it yield some explosiveness, some eruptiveness?
Of course it can. But still it is specific.
Technology just being the medium, the phone line to one another, its only a stranger if you fully do not know the person on the other side.
But do we ever.
What is the main difference between what you are describing and the conventional in person 'exchange'?
In person isn't as feasible these days.
I feel so old being in a relationship.
What happened to those?
Relationships? I wouldn't know.
So how many relationship over this medium can you handle at once?
Or is there such a thing as monogamy?
But monogamy again implies as a system that two people ascribe to and maybe even that isn't as feasible as it could be.
Monogamy is still a function of time, space, place, and the 1,000 or so variables of emotions.
But it would be too easy to just throw a machine learning algorithm at this. And even the algorithm can't make a best estimation.
Yes, actually i can see that, and there are, I'm sure, experiments of the sort... look at ExMachina.
so are you building yourself more than a friend?
True, but ExMachina just talks about the variables of relating to a person, not the more complex variables at all.
I can't build one, even if i tried.
Its a state of being or not.