I’m doing this project and people might
understand it or not understand it but the fact that I’m here today, a female,
Latin American artist, doing this, it’s more important than anything, really. I think
that is what keeps me moving. I’m Sol Calero. I was born in Venezuela.
I’m an artist. I moved to Europe when I was 17 years old.
When I started working I think I was more, in a way, angry. The idea of exoticisation.
This colourful aspect of the perception of Latin America by the Western eye. I try to
work with this and make it even obvious in the installation as a way of presenting what
you will think a Latin American artist would do. I play with that. We are at Tate Liverpool and we are at the install of my next project called ‘El Autobús.’
And at the moment we’re trying to build a bus inside of the space.
The concept behind this installation is to talk about the perception that a traveller
has before going to a place, versus their reality once you arrive at this place.
I decided that if I wanted to be talking about Latin America in my work I had to be travelling
more to Latin America. And it was quite a shock to be honest. I found
myself also going with a different perception of what the place was.
So also myself, I had these preconceived ideas about Latin America too.
The way I start is I have some ‘orientative’ sketches which are not very clear. But that’s
because I like to work in the space. For me, it’s very important to compose when I’m
in the space. To really shake the space so people forget
where they are. And to erase the aspect of either the institution
or the gallery. I don’t really like this idea of the artist
as the genius. It’s important to remember that behind every project and behind every
artist there’s a group of people helping. Especially in projects like this where we
are producing all the work in the space. When you come to a place or when you come
to an exhibition and you have a preconceived idea of what you’re going to see, it determines
the way you think. So we’re going to fill the space with as
many decorative elements that we can, to shake whatever information you’re going to come
with. I like to create spaces where people feel
comfortable. This is quite simple. You have a chair where people sit down. It’s important
to have time to process what you’re seeing. In the audio we will have a description done
by a tour guide of the places that we’re going to visit on this trip.
There are no references to real places. It’s all made-up. It’s putting yourself in this
imaginary landscape that you’ll never get to. “You will notice that we are now turning off the main road and approaching the entrance
of the necropolis. If you’re wondering what the white things are everywhere in the sand,
well, those are not rocks, like some of you suggested. No, it’s not minerals, it’s
not landscape formations. Those are human bones." I’m using this reference that comes from a much more surreal place.
The way I remember growing up in Venezuela, for instance, it has nothing to do with the
reality that is the country right now. I think I’m from a place but that place doesn’t
exist anymore. When you have to integrate to a new place
you are forced to mix so much information that it becomes so unclear who you are.
You create a new scenario for yourself. I like to think that it’s some sort of utopia
and see how I can transmit this dreamy, foggy place. Not everyone is given the opportunity which is quite unfair. Because if we were all making
more art, if we were all thinking more creatively, I like to think it’s maybe a better world.
Or at least we would be more open to think about things in a different way.