This is recording because you told me to start already.. What have you done with this video?
Very well, you are right. Well, I’ve done what I’ve been achieving little by little and that really motivates me, and is to find myself developing personal projects in the midst of commercial contracts. This starts from this thing I have with people telling me that I’m an artist, when I don’t feel like one while working on commercial projects, and suddenly I find myself expanding this concept throughout commercial campaigns for different clients. What was the concept? The concept I have unfolded in this video comes closer to what I wanted to dig into, which is what happens to me with objects. What does happen to me with objects? Well, it so happens that I live in a flat that looks as if I moved into it yesterday, although I have lived there for two years. The only things in that flat have been either created by me or have been given to me by someone. For example by my grandma, the important things here are hers.
You have an object at home which is a strange chimney with fire.
Oh yes, it is a very powerful object. (He laughs) It’s one of the latest best objects I’ve been presented with. To start off it’s a present from my family for the Three Kings, see how strong my family is that, aware as they are of my personal conflict with objects, they give it so much though that they end up picking some random, farfetched object . So in the end it’s a kind of designer’s object, neither furniture nor decorative, due to its high sentimental value. Bear in mind that my father, in order to give it to me, wrote a poem which was attached to the chimney. It’s a piece of glass with methacrylate that blows fire and warms the soul. And my guests.
And that object you have built from many other objects, what does it speak of?
Let me explain myself because it wasn’t possible to me earlier. What interested me the most with so many objects was to explain why I judge people by the objects that they accumulate, store, acquire. And why I personally am unable to accumulate objects that haven been given to me, or that I have created and why it is so hard for me to do so. And it is because I personally distrust the object directly, I don’t trust objects to have an independent emotional value. I, for example, see a beautiful vase from Murano, which I adore, but am incapable of purchasing it, because I don’t know how much of me likes it and how much AD. So actually allowing it into my house is very hard for me, I strive to believe in objects.
And what happens when you fall in love? How much of it is it you and how much is Disney, Warner and HBO’s responsibility?
Well, not initially. To be able to understand love I have to part with religion, and I am still in process, because I didn’t understand how God could love me but wouldn’t want me to be a homosexual. That was a disaster. And that went on with lots of other things, such as religion, lifelong marriage and also Walt Disney. Now I want to go and see the Beauty and the Beast because I actually enjoy it, as well as I went to see La La Land and it was good, although it speaks of romantic love. And with love, well.. I actually really fancy falling in love, but it is not a necessary thing to me as it would have been before. I find it something unnecessary. If I get to have a romance that happens to last for two months, well that’s great, and may it last longer if possible. But If I don’t find it I am happy nonetheless, actually the problem is that I am growing to like this, so finally I will end up alone and without any objects (he laughs). But with lots of friends.
And how would this movie be called?
This movie is called “Mira tú por dónde”. (He laughs) This interview is a total disaster, Dani. I hope you will be able to get something sensible out of it.
I don’t think that is likely to happen.. From which point of you have you unfolded this work?
Well, it has been a project that started with lots of illusion and hopes to dedicate a lot of time to it but my commercial work also takes a lot of my time, I tend to get carried away with all those projects and in the end it has been a pleasure more about resolving. A resolving between what I want and what the audience may want to see. So the result is something I want to tell about but quite pleasing to the eyes. The objects tend to also be quite pleasing a lot of times. But I go out on a limb, I really do.
And what does all that hanging there say?
The old banger
Well look, the contraption is actually a collage. The same way I take people’s face off the pictures and I replace them with paintings or cuttings in my collages… like I’ve been wanting to show what’s inside people’s heads, I imagined someone accumulating a lot of objects that meant something to her. So in the end it is no more than a portrait of someone with all of his or her meaningful objects. There’s a squeezer, a horse’s head, a book, a jacket, even a sofa… A melting pot, I know you like that word. It is the portrait of that person showing how fragile it clearly is because of everything being in equilibrium. In fact, the video shows the rocking of several objects moving and how they could fall. But it doesn’t matter.
Taking into account that your artistic side may be the most honest side of Ernesto, what ethics are behind that discourse?
I think I speak about esthetics and the part of it which is irreparable… I tend to fight with myself about my looks, I am highly conditioned by fashion and, even though I really like this world, I do not agree with a lot of the meaning it carries. The same way as I am interested in religion but I do not agree with the religious tone. I believe in using esthetics that are very powerful and making them mine to see what they really mean to me. For example, to make a religious image but for it to seem totally… gnostic?
basically what it is, is to try to become each time more honest with myself, to learn.. I don’t know if the moment will arrive when I have finally learnt and I can make works of art but, for the time being, to learn and to become less afraid of revealing myself even if that implies judging myself less.
What element do fashion and religion share?
Well, they create a character that doesn’t exist, an imaginary in which people believe but cannot see. People cannot actually see the brand Dolce&Gabbana but they believe in it. They want to follow it and be like it. Well, religion is the same, it is very evoking.. now this is a subject in which I am currently very focused, because my work is also very evocative. I will read a piece to you.
Please let it be brief.
Look, screw you.. I am going to read this text to you, which I still haven’t published but is nice and intense and I wanted it to appear with a voice in OFF in the video, but finally I decided I am more honest writing than with images, where I tend to be more spaced out. So the text has overgrown the video, it talks about what I told you before, about identity and my own self, and they things I am afraid of and can make me lose myself. Well, I’m going to tell you this now. It says, hello, almost all the text I write begin with hello, that I actually don’t know who I’m greeting, maybe myself.. or you in this case.
It would be worse if you started with goodbye.
Hello, I hope you get a slap, a painful one, no pain is evocation and that is far from truth. An object is the object of fiction without scene, the script of routines, gathering without beer, and ideas, objects that point at the edge of our finger towards the phone, fat from not moving, being useless not blind. An object is like an object dwelling in random rooms like a dog by a gas station, without focus nor story, they don’t smell nor remember. An object contains in it love, and rage, envy and pride. Pride as though the event required it. A Stand that goes against the emotion and deforms us accompanying another object that melts in deserts known to Dali, and our dumb faces is what we will see when we look back to the trail we didn’t walk. This is where the first part could end, but there’s a very short second part that says: Take your broken heart and transform it into art, like the lady who died recently said. Get drunk badly, make yourself a feminist top, get a tattoo with the name of a random guy, turn it off or take a thousand selfies. Eat well, sweat. Eat badly, dance. But fall in love with an object,man. If not, i hope you get a slap, and i hope it hurts because life with no pain is evocation and that is far from truth.
What three objects would you say define your father?
A collage that could be an object, my mother can also be an object an my father too, I guess. His glasses.
You have a rather wide conception of an object, including your mother as an object…
Of course, because the object as I’ve understood in this video and how I understand it in general, is all that can be matter of knowledge or sensitivity for the subject, even itself. That’s why people also appear in the video, Cristina Ramos and myself, and we are both going round and round, because that is what you do with ideas. To be able to understand them. That’s why the camera goes around the object, as the contemplation goes on.
What don’t you ever get tired of contemplating?
I believe (he laughs) I never get tired of contemplating myself. (he laughs) It is true, but not in a way of looking into the mirror or so, if people are not going to understand me I will stop talking! (he laughs)
Don’t blame the people who still haven’t even read anything.
It’s not that I look into the mirror a lot, there are times the I look more and time when I look less. I don’t stop contemplating how I learn, how I am doing…
And when you look, what do you see?
When I look, I like myself. Actually now I have been going to the gym.
A lot. It has been six months and I have a personal trainer. The more I look at myself lately when I am naked, the more I like myself. That’s why I am on that video without a top on, because I could appear like that perfectly.
And how did this male interviewer who we like so much, Jesus Quintero, ask Maribel Verdú if she touched herself?
I touch myself. Lately not much but I do, yes.
When did you finish doing the video?
And when did it need to be ready for?
For about a week ago. They are very flexible and they are very patient with Dream Magazine. I would spend at least another month more finishing it. But it’s great that they demand from me and they speak harshly to me if required because people would end up tired of me otherwise.
Do you think there is a lot of people waiting for Ernesto Artillo’s video to come out?
I think there might be some people because the other day I posted a picture of me without a top and the gym is actually starting to show.. Nah, no more kidding, I am very happy with my internet followers and I think they really like my work.
I was going to ask you that, you seem to have more and more activity in these social networks and something we have talked about before, that brings you back to yourself. And I see you more and more open to show yourself, to…
Well yes, to be touched.
To be touched? I wish, more. The fact is that afterwards I don’t let myself be touched much. Because in the end people are objects and I cannot put myself to trust them, to believe them. Objects of study. And for what I study I don’t achieve much.
Ok then, up to there. It has been very beautiful.
Yes, you do it very well. If you get this right you can make me look like a jerk, and if you do it very well you might make me look right. It is in your hands.
I think I am going to respect what happened here. It is the best we can give to whoever reads this. Readers find treasures along the way.
Great Dani, very well.
Interview by Daniel Fernández-Cañadas