Julieta Aranda Biography

My work is focused on the aesthetic potential of the role played by circulation. Not being media-specific, I manipulate existing circulation formats, in an effort to generate viable propositions for alternative transactions of cultural capital. These explorations have taken several forms, including printed media, installation, video and the creation of alternative spaces.

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Thinking about circulation:
Circulation tends to be understood as the implicit enabler in the production / consumption cycle. While this understanding maybe useful, it is nonetheless a simplification, which creates an artificial equivalence that excludes other functions and potentials that maybe embodied by the art object. Since circulation networks tend to follow the logic of desire, I think that by interfering in them it is possible to complicate the exchanges and interject a measure of productive confusion into the prevalent modes and models of operation. A way to introduce resistance and disruption as malfunctions, rather than crises.

I believe that for art, to be truly political, is not to support an ideology, but to present a possibility for autonomy within a given context. So, as artists, how can we generate disruptions within the structures, as they are now? Is it enough to take the parts of the system and reassemble them in a different way? Or do we want to propose a new system altogether? Do we care about the quality of the base materials? Maybe we don’t want to bring anything new to the table, but rather work on complicating existing relationships, in order to propose a model that can function in several levels: Producing subjectivity while avoiding the full disclosure of fixed narratives, and without trying to attain absolute specificity.

There is an implicit relationship of reciprocity between mainstream networks of cultural circulation and the new ones being proposed. What happens when new forms are absorbed? How can you resist a system that has factored in resistance as part of its circuit of expansion? What we are given as a model for resistance, also works as an assumption: It assigns references, perpetuates readings and presupposes the conditions both for resistance and for what is being resisted. It denies the unexpected, and this predictability makes the cycles of cultural production rather similar to the cliffhanger show, “The Perils of Pauline” (a 1917 silent serial shown in weekly installments featuring a perpetual damsel in distress. At the end of each installment she was placed in a situation that looked sure to result in her imminent death. The start of the next episode showed how she was rescued or otherwise escaped the danger, only to face fresh peril again.) Thinking of art/cultural production as a “damsel in distress,” why do we, in fact, want to rescue her? How do we escape the genre and revitalize things? Is it possible to propose a circulation model that will remain vital and current?

…we always think about revolutionary movements in terms of crisis: a force that surges above ground and ruptures the structure (REPLACES the structure). But one should question the usefulness of such an approach, since the force that comes above ground never becomes aware of its own weaknesses, and eventually it also has to be replaced. I believe on artists/cultural producers operating as moving targets, since this implies establishing a set of diagonal relations within the field; never fully within, never fully without. No ruptures but disruptions, no breaking the parts, but changing their function.

Julieta Aranda
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OMR contemporary art gallery in Mexico City, Mexico
OMR Mexico City
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