29 Oct ARTEUPARTE INTERVIEWS XELON
ArteUparte interviews Xelon on the occasion of his next solo exhibition on November 1.
In a society steeped in technology on all sides, it is difficult to find an artist whose work relects better the domestic relationship between robots and humans. Why are you so interested by the android world?
I have always liked to imagine the future and think about the possible inventions that might some day exist. My home has always been a place of freedom of thought and a well tuned engine fueled by imagination, shared by the five siblings and encouraged by our parents. We all get on really well with each other, and have grown up feeling that everything is possible if you are serious and stick to it.
I love science fiction and everything around it. Nothing is more fun than to dream up future robots. They are a blank page. You can imagine them any way you like; add them tubes and parts at will. As you sketch them, play being a robot builder, an engineer, a programmer, a theoretical physicist, a mad doctor. You can think about these robots and their surroundings, their relationships among themselves and with us humans. Think of them, their future and ours.
While humankind, despite living in the “era of communications” seems to be ever closer to an existentialist automatism, your robots mimic human beings. But they are always alone. Are they a reflection of the current situation and of man’s growing isolation?
I think one day robots will be more human than ourselves. Humankind is getting more insensitive and less empathetic. Ethics, education and integrity are vanishing values, and it is getting worse. One day the robots may be more sensitive than us.
I use this technological means to express my ideas, show my felings and interests. Usually I refer to things that happen to me in my world. Sometimes I just imagine how the future would be. I like to think my work can produce feelings or thoughts in the spectator
To draw well is not difficult. What is really difficult is to tell something, and convey a message that is appreciated by the spectator. It is a challenge, and therefore its achievement is rewarding. I try to do both: draw well and tell stories.
It is true, usually I show lone robots, although this has not been always so. They are in a sort of Limbo, with no background or context. I like this because it gives the spectator more space to complete the scene himself.
Our life is very social, we are over-exposed. We have, and relate to, hundreds of acquaintances. We speak about “followers”, “likes”, “stories”… At the same time we can count with one fingers of one hand our true friends, with whom, paradoxically, we spend less time. That shows a growing loneliness and isolation in which we are currently living, a future mirror of which my robots are a reflection.
It seems as if in Valencia there is a promising future looming in the realm of artistic creativity. What are your views on the local panorama of the sector in your end of the woods?
In a nutshell: we have been governed many years by the same parties, and this is never a good thing. Now this has changed, and there is also a change in people’s attitude.. In general, there is more openness, more spaces keen on creation and artistic exhibition, but this is not panacea. Oportunities are still scarce. and there are hardly any galleries or museums keen on interesting things, at least things interesting for me. Brand sponsorship is practically null and therefore it is really difficult to carry out any sort of artistic project.
Therea are loads of talented people, young and not so young artists, illustrators. People that are starting to work, striving to be known, that sometimes work for free and are part of some short-lived festivals, some now extinct , that feed on artists without giving much back to them.
On the other hand, you can find fresh, new energy in galleries like Sabotage Gallery and Plastic Murs, that have their own path and are interested in urban art, illustration and risk working with artists like me.
Valencia is a land of creative people; plenty and of great quality in every discipline you can think of, lots of really good artists. It is also true that sometimes these professionals are forced to migrate physically or work outside Valencia or Spain to be able to grow and progress.
I am sure that the promising future you speak of is there, but, until it gets here, the only thing that is going to save you is to work hard and be serious about your work, to make something compelling and personal, to trust yourself and to try to enjoy each day doing what you love to do, which is the what you know and can do best.
And on a national level?
I think the case of Valencia is extensive to the national level.
Speaking of Robot Souls, Xelon’s one-man exhibition inaugurating in Arteuparte this Friday Noveber 1st,
I have experimented for some time, learning techniques, looking for new graphic solutions to express my ideas, preparing for the moment which I found an exhibition in which I could show all this, find a place to display my work and show my heart.This will happen in ArteUparte.
I am very inquisitive and love to learn, to push my limits continually. This means I change a lot in style and technique. Robot Souls harbours all those changes, discoveries and yearnings; those accidents and long hours of investigation in which technique does not matter, only a means to effectively communicate what I have in mind. What is important is the idea, and specially conveying it successfully, in this case, through my robots.
Robot Souls are fragments of the lives of these robots, moments full of vitality, sparks, connections and disconections, errors and accidents that occur in all types of situations.
We humans are lost, but we will have our sensitive robots to remind us of how we were.
Robots that will have a soul, that soul we did not know how to keep.
The fact that the closing of Donosti’s Festival de Terror & Ciencia Ficción (Terror and Science Fiction Festival) gives place to the opening of ours in Arteuparte is a nice coincidence. What can you say to those fans who want to continue enjoying it during november with your exhibition? Thank you.
There is nothing greater than a bunch of robots together and nothing more terrorific than to see them doing and feeling, being more human than ourselves.