LILIBETH CUENCA RASMUSSEN

MOBILEMIRROR_installation1CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

LCR: My works are confrontational and participatory. I wish to engage the viewer, to make them reflect and mirror themselves in the art work. I have an idealistic belief, that art can make a difference and change people’s minds for the better. That is what art does for me, my goal is to do the same for my viewer. My function, as an artist, is to be a mouthpiece for people who don’t have the words.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

LCR: My inspiration is “real life”. The surroundings and world around me, I end up documenting. My work procedure can be compared to that of an anthropologist. I do fieldwork, I analyze and contextualize the theme of my projects and transform or translate my observations into a visual, lyrical subjective interpretation.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

LCR: Often during the production of a piece, I get an idea for a new piece. For me working produces new ideas. Seldom do I start off immediately working on the new idea, because of an urgent deadline. But if the new idea doesn’t leave me, it usually means I’ll have to pursue it.

In terms of the work process, the starting of a new project is my favorite part, when everything is still open and can go into many directions, take many shapes, when there is still no commitment.

I enjoy doing research very much and getting well informed on a specific subject. Optimally, if my research material can linger and develop unconsciously and slowly in my mind, I can work coherently on another production.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

LCR: I want them to identify themselves with the subject and make them reflect.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

LCR: I travel a lot mostly with my performance works. This year I have around 10 work related travels abroad, and I’ll be traveling domestic too. It is difficult to have a rhythm, therefore I try hard to have one when I am home, since I am a mother too, it comes naturally. People get used to thinking I am never home, so if I want to socialize I have to be the one initiating it. During my travels I am very social, besides having to work, I also want to learn from the place I am visiting. Hanging out with my hosts, seeing shows, sightseeing, experiencing the new place etc. It takes energy, but re-vitalizes me at the same time.

I do not have a fixed assistant, but hire external people depending on the project. I do collaborative work with composers, designers, filmmakers etc. so it is not a life in solitude.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

LCR: It works better for me to have a plan from the beginning. Once there is something there will be a lot of space to be intuitive and work with abstraction.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

LCR: I’am the ONLY one who knows the answer to make the final decision.

CH.89:Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?

LCR: Yes, it is essential.

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

LCR: The competition with myself, I am never satisfied. Each time I reach a goal, I just think about moving on and reaching a higher one, I am not good at lingering in the moment or success.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

LCR: To make works. I also appreciate the great and special people in the art world I know. I have great colleagues, we have a common language, it’s easy to pick up on a relation you have not had contact for years.

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

LCR: Many artists inspire me in different ways and in different phases of my work. Then, there are those artists that I never get tired of and admire constantly like: Isa Genzken, there is no compromise in her art and it shows. I like the punk energy in her works, she lets go. Another is Maurizio Cattelan, he is bold in another way, his works are conceptually clever and aesthetic at the same time. Ana Mendieta is the artist I identify the most with, she is my biggest inspiration. We have the same identity issue, but deal with it in very different ways.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

LCR: Technology makes the world more accessible for communication and information. I do not use it optimally, I would have to hire someone to update me on all the new ways. I use new technology for special purposes and my own needs.

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

LCR: In a way yes, that’s a big part of being an artist. I chose this way of living, I think and perceive my surroundings with an analytic, observing gaze.

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

LCR: Yes, I love travelling. I like cities with ethnic and architectural diversity and lots of good art places, cities that people are engaged in. New York and Sao Paulo are in this category, and among my favorite cities. Manila has a special place in my heart, I was born there, I love the chaos and diversity, but the traffic situation is too much for me. I love Cairo too, it has similarities with Manila, but the cultural codex is very different and exotic for me.

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

LCR: A classical Knut Hamsun, Sult (Hunger). This novel is existential, the story is about this poor paranoid artist/writer who thinks of himself as being a genius, but nothing works out for him. He is hallucinating because of hunger. It was many years ago that I read that book.

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

LCR: In October I am doing a retrospective, a 3 hr show with almost all my live works; performances based on music and text. I am very excited to perform them all together in a linear frame and with acoustic instruments, most of the music I have had produced is digital. The same week, a new performance piece Gaia will be inaugurated. This piece will be a step in another direction for me as a performer, since I will be forced to work more intuitively and letting go. I will not be using words, which is dominant in my previous works. It is also very exciting for me, kind of scary in a positive way. Wish me luck!

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

LCR: Being an artist is a full time job. You are observing and digesting impressions of the world non-stop. What I see and experience could be a potential subject for a new piece. So it means it is my life.

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

LCR: I enjoy working in the inter-disciplinary field of art, in the cross field between visual arts, music and choreography, using theatrical expression.

That is the place where I can experiment with form and the perception of the viewer/ audience. I like to think of art as an open language that invites and involves even the viewer who doesn’t have the art vocabulary, I don’t want my art to exclude or to be a closed language for anyone.

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