I am taking a hiatus from blogging. The posts I now add will be unedited and unpolished, please forgive me. I am using this platform as a storage place for interesting things. I am currently focusing on editing wikipedia articles on contemporary art instead. I encourage you to do the same and to follow still very active blogs like hyperallergic, c-monster, bldgblog, and more. thanks you.

Interview with Alejandro Almanza Pereda

"a doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines” 2010.

After following Pereda's work for some time now, I was extremely excited to see his show at Magnan Metz, which ended this October. What impressed me about his installations was how they demanded and held my attention so thoroughly; they are so vulnerable and self-contained that they allow no extraneous thoughts. Unlike many contemporary artists who rely on and reference outside knowledge to be understood, Pereda's work has a physically direct presence anyone can appreciate.

Here is a short conversation we had:

Where do you live?
I have been living between Mexico City and NY city, and I think I will continue doing that.

What made you want to become an artist?
After one semester of communication studies and my failing intents to study film, I went back to study graphic design, then I realized that I wanted complete creative freedom (whatever that means). So I changed my major to sculpture and sent graphic design to a minor.
Where do you find inspiration today?
Inspiration, mmmhh well I find it in the streets, films, people, art, etc...
My first approach to art, and it was the most important, was an Alexander Calder exhibition in Mexico City. I remember my mom bought me a poster of a piece of him and immediately when we returned home I started to make sculptures with soda cans.
What is your studio practice like?
My studio practice (if I happen to have a studio), is to store things, smoke cigars, drink some whiskey, read, look at white walls, and browse the internet. I think I pass more time outside gathering materials, looking at the city, etc... than making things.

"156.4 net hours." 2007

I would have to say that “A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines” on display and an earlier installation, “156.4 net hours” are my favorite installations of yours. The structure and contents of the installations are perfectly and precariously self contained. Can you talk about each of these installations?
It’s all about contention, container, content. 156.4 net hours is a old style fruit crate made of fluorescent light bulbs. I was interested on creating a container that its content will contain it or at least make its function.
Is that the amount of coal needed to light itself for 156.4 hours? Yes if you take the amount of coal in the piece to a thermoelectric generator it will give the amount of kilowatts to feed the light bulbs 156.4 hours. The plant piece is about that but in another way. I like to think it what architecture could be. A structure (container) that totally serves (contain) (or feeds) the content. So here the plants are the inhabitants of the structure, a structure that contains and nurtures the contents (the plants) on other cases some buildings the Dweller are totally depressed by the structure.

"A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines," is a structure precariously made of fluorescent light tubes which are growing vines. Eventually the vines will literally overgrow that which nourishes and holds them, representing an incredible concept of a structure turning content into a new structure. Pereda said, "I imagine a structure that is contained by its contents: a museum contained by the artworks, a library contained by its books, an aquarium contained by water.” (here) I can't wait to see those buildings become a reality.

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