Katia Muñoz through Art-esencia Project
(Virtual Women’s Collective)
develop gender and multicultural project
develop gender and multicultural project
INTERNATIONAL MAIL ART PROJECT ABOUT WOMEN
WOMEN: SECRETS & CONFIDENCES
STRANGERS IN PARADISE
The following project proposes a new reading oriented to the reflection between art, gender and multiculturalism. We want to focus on the multiple ways of being, feeling and perceiving the woman at the present time, under the look and sensibility of artists and creatives from around the world with the respective connotations of their cultural and social differences.
Our calls are aimed at men and women, children and adults, artists or not, creatives that after all interact to build bridges of communication between art and society through mail art, with which we create an installation of contemporary female identity.
Being a woman, besides being a biological fact, is a cultural and historical fact. That’s why our final purpose is to show new perspectives through the possibilities offered by the artistic creations.
About the Female Virtual Collective Art-essence Project:
The Female Virtual Collective Art-essence Project is an artistic, social and protest project created by the artist Katia Muñoz. One of its main objectives is to contribute to the visibility of artists, especially women creators, create a network of information and encourage interaction between artists on the theme of Woman.
The International Mail Art Project on Women is a multidisciplinary project that begins with virtual calls, inviting creative men and women, to send their postcards tapped to be part of the overall installation that travels through different cities and being exposed in our on line galleries.
This project began in 2010, to date there have been several calls with the titles: “Women: Secrets and Confidences”, “Women’s Issues” and “Strangers in Paradise”, the latter is focused on Women and Migration.
The installation has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions in different cities from Spain, such as Barcelona, Madrid, Valdemoro, Castellón and Huesca in Arteria – Contemporary Art Fair.
Women’s Issues, third call launched from Colombia in South America, was exhibited at the Art Museum of the University of the Magdalena, in the city of Santa Marta, and the Municipal Institute of Culture and Tourism of Bucaramanga-Santander.
Strangers in Paradise, our fourth call, begins its tour at the Cultural Center of Spanish speakers of the city of Amsterdam, Holland.
So far we have received more than 2000 postcards with the participation of nearly 500 artists from all continents. A true interaction between artists, the entire installation is a female wall that tells us, sometimes loudly, sometimes muttering, a compendium of senses and contemporary feminine worldviews.
Interview to Katia Muñoz
by Cindy Marks
Do you feel that Mail Art has been a good way for you to connect with a wide audience of participants about Women’s Issues? Was there a reason you chose this particular kind of art? Had you considered other types of art or did you come from a Mail Art background yourself and then decide to apply it to this particular topic?
Yes, definitely! Mail art has allowed me to meet a variety of artists, learn more about the world of mail art and create a vital and social bonding on the subject of women, an issue that unfortunately still needs many changes and global reflections.
I am a visual artist and I dedicate myself to art for many years, I have participated in numerous exhibitions with my paintings and photographs, but I really wanted to have an art project that was not only personal but social rather, I think the Art has a transformative power and cohesive, need to contribute to the reflection and because the resolution of social problems that still plague humanity.
As an artist I had discovered mail art as a way of expressing myself, first with personal correspondence with other artists as the internet helped massively intensified this artistic activity knew more and create a large core of mail art artists with numerous announcements.
With all this background I found in the mail art one way to approach this ideal of transformation, to contribute in some way to a dialogue between art and society on the subject of women, so I decided to create a virtual female group, from which gender and work multiculturalita, opened worldwide calls on the subject of women and the response was amazing.
Besides that not only responded artists but people need to say about the theme too, without artistic connections but with a need to express, men and women, the elderly, students and children have responded my calls, and all together , artists and non-artists have created through their postal contemporary female identity that screams and whispers.
Do you feel that your exhibit viewers respond with as much seriousness to a Mail Art exhibit as they would to other kinds of art? Maybe the word is not “seriousness” but perhaps “intensity.” I’m sure the exhibit can be much larger, right? Does it perhaps touch a wider variety of people since it is more approachable? Do you curate the entries at all or accept everything?
Mail art is not a new artistic movement in the formal sense, is more of a cultural movement which does not correspond to any “ism” determined. The novelty lies in the proposition communication, person-person relationship through the mail that manifests as a revolutionary against the false communication or monologue of mass media: television, radio, cinema, etc.. If we add the character and commercial anti anti consumerist had from the beginning we see that we are facing an artistic phenomenon that is gaining more followers, even know a lot of artists that are dedicated only to this item.
With the experience of having exposed the installation of the postcards in many cities in Spain, and Colombia since 2009, I can say that viewers respond with interest increasingly growing. Even the somewhat more increasingly accepted in the galleries, which has always been limited to be considered marginal and not commercial.
I had the opportunity to exhibit in the gallery Madrid Blanca Berlin postal art installation “Women Talking Dirty” and the reception was fantastic, the opening day many people had with curiosity, impressed by the quality of many of the works and the impact of the message you give all the postcards together through montage I created you can find a visual narrative that touches various women’s issues.
Besides people have participated from all continents and all genres, which certainly gives a complete overview of what is essential to be and feel women today.
One of the mail art is the absence of hierarchies and rules of “official art” system and commercialism, mail art is not bought or sold. Anyone can participate, no selection, in techniques re governs the spirit of “anything goes” is so all orders are received and displayed.
Are the artists themselves mostly women? Are they using this to sort through their own issues?
As I mentioned earlier, mail art calls I will call the subject of women is open to all, not just women, but obviously are the most involved, my first call was called “secrets and confidences” the idea was to motivate the express what perhaps was kept for a long time, I think it is time to be silent, it is better to talk, talk and tell stories through the images we see and live. Inequality and violence against women is unfortunately everyday thing and society has to make visible the need for change, and fortunately art helps many artists that we suggest and initiate the dialogue, either through the mail art and or other activities.
In Colombia I went postal art free workshops to students and the general public, the interest of the people was incredible, sensitive people for art and the subject of women, including children, had much to say .. fronting the small format was motivating for them, created with absolute freedom.
Do you find most of your artists call themselves “official” Mail Artists and do this regularly or do you get a high percentage of people who believe in your topic and just create a piece for this?
As there are both, many artists brush and photography and other artistic items are dabbled in mail art, especially for the motivation of the numerous calls, adapt their techniques to those required to mail art and really are creating small works art. Many have aficionando internet and already there is an incredible and vast network of mail art artists.
Many others seek only to mail art, with a constant exchange and many, whether or not exposed.
How did you, yourself, discover and get involved more with Mail Art? What do you think are its pros and cons?
In positive level through the mail art I’ve met many artists working stupendously the subject of women, and I curated some international exhibitions in Barcelona, we also have a gallery on line with all the postcards received which promotes artists and generates these interact with each other dialogues engaging.
My intention is to create a mail art background on women which can then be donated a museum or cultural institution that preserves and continue spreading it, but while the goal is to continue exposing in different cities, to be picked up by galleries, cultural institutions, centers or associations, I I manage these invitations, but do not receive any financial support for transport costs, it becomes tricky as transporting 2000 cards have a cost. This has been one of the drawbacks to continue exposing the entire collection outside Spain for example, also had customs problems of Colombia to return them, it is sometimes difficult to deal with the usual systems have difficulty understanding that this is a ‘movement and social and even small art no business with them.
But we move forward, for now I’ll open the next call to the theme of Women and migration will be exhibited in Amsterdam, will be in November. Currently with the crisis that is hitting Europe, especially Spain, there emerged large-scale migrations and where women are also being an active and emerging with them many points and stories to tell.
Also, I’m seeing ways to manage and make viable roaming, I wish we could receive institutional support to continue full installation showing the world. I know that we can not do much! Take this opportunity to thank the generosity and talent of over 500 people who have sent their postal helping to continue to build bridges of communication between art and society.