December 13th, 2011
A basement in Brighton will this week be transformed into a colourific, multidisciplinary arts space. GLOSS exhibits the work of four individuals – Daniella Valz Gen, Jo Harrison, Kate Mahony and Luis Ignacio Rodriguez – in a two day pop-up event that aims to explore the the conceptual possibilities of material, film and light. Valz Gen talks to Wonderland about her brand of luminous, performance-led work.
Tell me about GLOSS. What will you be displaying for it?
The artists involved all share an interest in performance; we’re keen on exploring different notions of live-ness and real-time experiences. My installation for GLOSS combines different materials: at the moment I’m still working on the pieces, so things may change slightly from now. I’ll be using bright colours in combination with raw materials.
You’re keen on sculpture, performance and pop art. Name some heroes of yours; your key points of reference…
More than being interested in pop art, which I am, I’m fascinated with pop culture. Funnily enough, my biggest points of reference is the work of two anthropologists; Michael Taussig and Daniel Miller. Taussig explores how we assimilate culture and Miller the way we relate to objects. I look at music, design and fashion as much as I do art. Influences come from various places, from the work of women artists in the 60s and 70s, such as Martha Rosler, Yvonne Rainer and Carolee Schneemann, to people like Marcus Coates and Spartacus Chetwynd. David Bowie, David Byrne, and artists like Björk and Fever Ray are heroes of mine, too.
Tell us a little about your professional background.
I’m an Italian-Peruvian living in London. I studied fine art at Goldsmiths since I wanted to focus solely on making art rather than writing about it. I met the other three GLOSS artists there. Jo and I had always shared ideas regarding performance and a joy for making and using textiles, so I guess she thought about me when she began curating the event.
How will you use the Grey Area space?
I see it as a space that doesn’t carry the baggage of a typical white cube gallery, even though it boasts typical white walls and a gray floor. It’s a slightly paradoxical space, perhaps a little uncomfortable with low ceilings, too. I’ve been thinking about it and the way in which I install the work will certainly look to exploit its nuances.
Name if you can your top three exhibitions of 2011.
There have been a lot of inspiring exhibitions this year, so I wouldn’t do a ranking. Because of my own interests, I loved Phyllida Barlow’s recent show at Hauser & Wirth, London – the way she used the space and completely filled it with sculptures created this strong sense of physicality and produced such a rich experience on the viewer. I’m also really happy that the Serpentine Gallery is showing Lygia Pape’s work, I just wish the show was bigger and you could see more. I must also say I thought Haroon Mirza’s installation at the Illuminations Exhibition at the Venice Biennale this year was excellent, too.
GLOSS takes place from 16th – 18th December at Grey Area.
Words: Jack mills