Artist in Residence Rodrigo Valenzuela | Clark College Vancouver WA


[SOUND] My name is Rodrigo Valenzuala, I’m a
visual artist. Original from Chile. I try to incorporate all the students in
the art-making process. Just walk around the object you know,
like, you guys have some sculptures around. So in this case I’m working as a possibly director, project director, than
as a, an artist. We could call it collaborative project but
also is labor intensive. Using the, the students for a means of
production. We’re using the ceramic classes and the,
and the sculpture classes, to produce all the objects that are going to
be part of the work. So, I have a slight idea of what I want the subjects are, but I don’t control what
they’re going to be. We are trying to, to build tools that will
allow us to make this art. And so the tools are intrinsically
useless. And also we are taking all the drawing
students and all the painting students, to make a big
mural, around the gallery. For this project, I’m using all the
people’s gestures, and all the students’ hands, to build this
slowly. And imitating this landscape, tracing it. So in some way to make it a very mundane
and repetitive act of tracing. My relationship with all this work and,
and, and labor is this come from very early
age. My grandfather is a carpenter and my
father in a mailman. So they both have this very strong
repetitive labor in their life. So them working on something means having
more work for next day. It never meant to like, oh, I can be gone
so I can do something else, like move on from
a project. A lot of my background have been day labor
too. I have done mostly meaningless work. The idea of having more work or producing
more work or having the choice to like get a job that produce,
that’s never going to end. It was, they would think, right now we
couldn’t in, in 2014 we can’t live with the idea of like doing the
same forever, you know? I’m very interested in subverting the
means of labor, and like how nothing can become something, and sometimes like
making a lot of things can be nothing. Like trying to value this this current
part of society, or like this, or add value to
object that they’re useless, or paying people to
do nothing, is something that motivated me in making
more work. I’m, pretty lucky to be at Clark College
where there is a. More diverse a student population. I’m interested in, in community coll, in
the, in the community college and the, the people
that attract. And these people [UNKNOWN] often they are
part of the work. They’re already part of the working force. So I wanted to, like, know more
information about between. How they approach to art, how, what they
can make when you just give them a very simple
guidance. But also their personal experiences about
being part of this like, jobs that are supposed to be kind of
transitional jobs, so jobs that they’re like, they deserve to be bad,
and the, the relationship with this job, they’re like, assume that
they’re never going to be good. But this job that society absolutely
needs. That nobody, nobody despite the color or
their race, or their, you know, their age it
absolutely nobody wants to do, but they you assume that there is like so many of these jobs that could be
enjoyable. I mean, you know, there is nothing wrong and nothing bad particularly about
making sandwiches. But it’s like this idea of like for anybody thinking about working of sub-
working at Subway. For eight hours a day it already sounds
hellish.>>You can’t have a personality. [CROSSTALK]>>They will do anything [LAUGH] to make
sure you don’t have that. [LAUGH] And that’s why I call this
soul-sucking. You do lose a part of yourself, if you’re
not good at grounding yourself at that moment with
this type of job.>>Make something hard. [CROSSTALK].>>It’s difficult, very difficult.>>In Chile, my job was basically to I
worked for a ski resort place.>>The relationship betweem enjoyment,and labor. Is so disparate, so I, I’m just trying to collect interviews to make a connection
between the-. The un-enjoyment of work and the, and the,
and this thing that is so meaningless. You know, making a drawing, making these
tools, this work, but it’s like so, imprecise about what is the
outcome of this work, how much is play or how much is
work, how much is worth the art and sell that is,
they are making. I guess I, I don’t have any answer, but
it’s like. again, for me making work is to build
questions too. It’s not about like, explaining people why
I make work, so.

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