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  • Writer's pictureRaúl Villaseñor Gómez


Updated: Jan 2, 2023

In 2018 I applied for the visual arts production diploma at the San Agustín Etla Arts Center, Oaxaca. I was not at that time. By that time I had been out of art school for four years and I felt that I needed to reconnect, broaden personal concepts of my professional practice and open my process towards other aspects.

This year I submitted a proposal again and luckily I was selected. I must say that something that helped me a lot was sharing my proposal with Victor Mortales from Casa Garita, who had already completed the diploma course and whose observations, I think, were crucial in improving my portfolio.

The first module was taught from July 18 to 22 by the artist Richard Moszka. One of the things that makes these educational programs valuable is the crossings and relationships that you can make with the work of someone else, participant or not. See other speeches, themes, concepts and confront them with what we do. I left school in 2014 and, in my case, I stopped permeating myself with many types of art to focus on what I did, my work, concepts and practice. It is normal.

Among the questions that arose in that first session were the following:

Can art get rid of its political positioning?

Is the artist's intention equal to his position (of whatever kind)?

To what extent are the relationships generated between the work and the viewer bounded by the work itself?

Can the work generate infinite relationships in the public?

I am not going to answer these questions because at this moment I do not have an answer and it seems to me that it is not the end in itself -for now-, but to start a dialogue based on them to generate a kind of relationship with the projects that we are going to produce. The same is a pending that I want to do as soon as my project begins to advance, in that sense it seems to me a necessary task.

From the second class we begin to present what we are going to do in the diploma course and a little of what we have done over time. Along with this, in each class, Richard presented us with some publications: artist's books, art magazines, in addition to various readings, as well as some catalogs, more or less, that the participants of the previous diploma courses have produced and that we have to do on this too. In my experience, in the art world, something that is very difficult, but very valuable, is forming groups that work together for a long time. The diploma course requires that we organize ourselves to create something together, in that sense it has a point in its favor since the art system is a system of relationships. Nobody can alone.

On Wednesday we went for a walk of several hours along a path that is next to an aqueduct. The objective was to reach a very, very old hydroelectric plant – well, its ruins – and return. I should have brought the camera, the images were very worthwhile. I have to say that this route was made thanks to a previous permit that the CaSa requested from the authorities, it is not something that one can do just for the sake of it, in case someone who reads this is curious. This is how it happened in our case.

The rest of the week we continue to see the projects of our colleagues. There is everything: a documentary, a project on the fantastic, another on the anthropomorphization of concepts related to life in society and its visibility; There is also about identity and territory, about the fictionalization of a historical event, about the didactic and interactive component of art, about rituality as a personal process that has become something.


Anyway, we'll see how it progresses in the following months. My project is about photographing some damage that exists on public roads, such as potholes, uncovered sewers, signage in poor condition, etc. traces of some kind of carelessness and/or abandonment. That's the initial idea, I'll tell you how it develops.

Image credit: Emanuel Torres

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