How does living on the border affect you as an artist?
“The border has been a tool for me. I have lived for extended periods on both sides of the border. Inmersed in the different cultures permits me to see the other more clearly, to see oneself in another culture. To see from both sides, to see from the outside and inside. it has permitted diverse perceptual perspectives and the ideas that follow in generating the possibiility of others and thus fostering an expanded perception.”
Roberto Romero Molina is a visual and sound artist working on both sides of the US-Mexico border. He produces projects and works which aim at exploring the relationships between experience and representation, the visible and the invisible, occurrence and memory, between the phenomenal and the noumenal. Investigating the notion that our perception and thus any analysis of reality are merely shards of the totality of the encompassing non-verbal experience (non-knowledge, “consciousness”). Romero-Molina aims at creating visual aphorisms, poetical materializations and perceptive games as interventions in the everyday life that may lead us to reflect, question and reevaluate our present and everything which is contained in it. His multidisciplinary practice includes photography, painting, video, assemblage, installation, sound art, intervention and interdisciplinary collaboration. www.romero-molina.com
“Words are made for a certain exactness of thought, as tears are for a certain degree of pain. What is least distinct cannot be named; what is clearest is unutterable” -Rene Daumal
An object, any object, informs the senses and thus the mind of characteristics that are its own, in physical image (form) and essence (content), and that which we subjectively convey upon it (interpretation). In my work, I strive for the development of my understanding from which I can postulate a new question. For this purpose I intentionally seek the aporetic, that which moves on the border between phenomena and noumena.
As a dual citizen trans-border artist I have delved deeply into both cultures and have used this possibility to see myself from the other side. It’s an element that informs my work and serves as a metaphor for deeper self-observation. Seeking that which emerges on the borders of the tangible and serves as a gateway to seeing ourselves from a new perspective, one which is in constant flux and requires an intentional effort on our behalf in the midst of an age of an almost extinct attention span. In an era of selfies, mass media, ubiquitous social media and so much visual contamination and distractions, how can one speak through all the distractions? Is it possible to propose something new? How can I obtain a few minutes of the observer’s attention? These are questions amongst others that remain open, in constant research and in development.
I understand that we operate in a system, and in it there are qualities of artist, who in his or her way of articulating their reflection, experience and/or poetics in the midst of context, are more or less effective through the work, and then there are qualities of observers (interactive participants), which vary in context, location, circumstances, education and exposure to Art etc. and are also more inclined or susceptible to certain languages or poetics. Given these circumstances of the medium I keep an open mind for new ways of developing not only the object or installation itself, but also the space and atmosphere in which the perceptual postures through which it may be perceived are provided.
My strategies in the field take shape on the pillars of poststructuralist, post- colonialism and post-border theories materializing in many manifestations and mediums, taking materials, objects and juxtaposing ideas from the arena of everyday life. In the same manner in which I find we have just about all the images we need, I also find that the restructuring and hence the re-signification
of these brings new insight that constantly leads us into new perspectives of ourselves.
Many of my works include everyday materials and objects used in a way that aims at connecting their material qualities, origin and or intended use with new repurposed and poetic incarnations that intend to lead the observer to questioning, reflection, deep observation, pondering, exploring and the formulating of new questions regarding the subject matter or the direction the given work intends to point at. All this hopefully in a work that has a depth so as to not reveal itself in one encounter, but rather to be revisited and rediscovered depending on our perceptual posture. I aim at creating poetic materializations, perceptual paradoxes, neo-mythologies, ephemeral haikus and physical koans.
In the context of present art, my work points at the possibility of an internal change, a transformation in my perceptual posture and hopefully others. External forms, differ little in a general perspective, but I strive to make new connections, new associations, and exploring the borders as other ways of reading the present.
Roberto Romero Molina / November 2015
All photos 2016 © Stefan Falke www.stefanfalke.com