BRIC is pleased to have Sara Jimenez, a Filipina-Canadian artist who is apart of our BRICworkspace Artist-in-Residence program. Sara Jimenez illustrates her work by using performance, sculpture, drawing and installation, to explore relationships between material impermanence and trans-cultural memory. Concentrating on the idea of home, absence and origins; she uses the concept of finding one's identity through historical texts from cultural experiences.
You are Filipina-Canadian – how has that background influenced your work?
Growing up culturally and racially mixed is an embodied experience that has been one of the touchstones in my practice. I have been interested in the concept of being in between multiple categories, as well as what is means to come from many places. A lot of my work is based on researching invisible histories that complicate and inform the nuances of ones' identity. Growing up, I always had to navigate the conflicts between how others perceived or assumed who I was and where I came from versus my own experience.
You describe yourself as "a collector" - of such things as objects, stories, and histories. Can you explain how that impacts your work?
When I collect, I get to process many of the ideas that have been incubating in my mind. It allows for a structured wandering where my subconscious can piece together conceptual relationships that I have been thinking about. The accumulation of material, whether physical or ephemeral, is a way for me to assess and sort through ideas.
How do the carefully selected materials you use in your work add to or strengthen its meaning? What about color?
Every project and piece is different. For each project I choose material and colors specific to that idea. For example, in "Silent Malady" I wanted to create an organic form that appears to be some kind of hybrid, mythological foliage. I envision this work as a fragment of the "poisoned tropics", a fictional landscape that is visually saturated from the trauma of the past. Thus, the material itself is made up of colonial images from historical texts about the Philippines, and the color red is meant to evoke a toxicity and danger.
How do you use performance to add another dimension of your work?
I usually perform collaboratively with other artists. My two long term collaborations, Tatlo and Redell & Jimenez, are both performance based and both unpack and complicate notions of identity and history. When I perform directly related to my own practice, it is usually because there is a gesture, action or emotion that feels urgent to express and that can only be manifested through the body. There are limits to how sculpture can address some of the topics I contend with.
What does it mean to be an artist based in Brooklyn?
I love working and living in Brooklyn. Brooklyn is enormous and really is made up of many small boroughs - it's an incredibly diverse area.
Compiled by: Nicole Halley