Estefanía Camejo: “We consume and benefit from art even if we do not believe it”
The art world, since it exists, has been conglomerating a series of periods, periods and concepts that are difficult to agglutinate in a single conference. However, the fight of Estefanía Camejo (Art Historian, cultural manager and teacher of the UNED teaching the subject “History of Art through the cities and their museums”) is to bring the art closer to those who believe that the art has no impact on their daily life.
You have to start with the question that gives name to the conference. Why art?
It is a simple and complex conference in equal parts. What is special about this conference is that it is not addressed to experts or art lovers. It is aimed at people who are not very clear about what moves in the art world. It happens to me a lot that there are people who do not understand what my profession is or what the artists are dedicated to, they do not understand the exhibitions when they visit them, they do not know the exhibition spaces that exist on the island … There is a great ignorance of the world of art and the cultural sector in general by part of the population and this conference is addressed to them.
So, how would you define your profession?
It is to be the person in charge of all the management of an exhibition, from the theoretical and practical point of view. You have to choose the speech of the exhibition, select the artists and the works, you have to make the assembly and take care of the diffusion, as for example, with guided tours.
How do you try to approach to this sector of the population to which you are directing the conference?
I explain what art is for, why we need it in our society, why we need artists and how art helps this society to evolve and be as it is.
Art, although not necessary for life, is very important to improve one’s life. Sometimes it seems that there is a gap between the public that does not even have the opportunity to know art.
Many times we think of Art and what comes to mind is a single work of art: we think of a painting or a sculpture. If we think only of objects, our life can develop calmly without art. What I highlight in this conference is that art is present in many more areas of our lives than we think. We consume art even if we do not create it. And we also benefit from art even if we do not know it. There are many examples of the association between art with social movements, with education, in social networks. It is everywhere that we do not appreciate it as such.
Many of the artistic vanguards presented themselves to the public with a manifesto that went beyond the very expression of plastic, but spoke of how to attack society.
How to communicate with society. Art is a language that serves to communicate. It can not be outside of society. It is in us, we use it daily and we do not realize it. I want people who come to listen to the conference to realize that art is in many areas of life. It is in our daily life and it is important.
An example of art in day to day?
I’ll give you one that I do not give at the conference. To a residence of majors went of visit students of institute to do some performances before the users of the residence. Some sang, others danced and others did a play. The art was serving to communicate to two social groups that in principle it would not be easy for them to come in contact: a group of people of 15 years with another group of people over 70 years old. Through art they spent a wonderful afternoon and each one learned from the others and not even they were realizing what they were doing through art.
There are people who make art and profit from it and there are those who take advantage of art. There is a vision, sometimes widespread, that contemporary art is only for those who say they understand it and that many of the works laugh at the public.
Good art and bad art has always existed. There are works that do deserve that thought and then there are others that do not have as much quality or that do not manage to have a solid discourse. Many people like art because when they contemplate works they generate a certain state of mind; there are other people who want a work of art to remove them; other people are looking for me to teach them something. When there are different types of public, there are different works of art. There is an audience that thinks that those works of art that differ from what they are looking for are no longer good and this is the case within each of these groups. The belief that how I do not get what I’m looking for is bad. It really is not bad, it does not fit certain interests. Although I insist, there are better things and worse things. It should not be judged just for the sake of taste.
In contemporary art, the triumvirate between painting, sculpture and architecture has been overcome. Now art is much more multidisciplinary. Is this understood?
I think that we are increasingly familiar with this type of actions, such as performative performances or actions on a public space. It is something to take into account, the work of art is more multidisciplinary, that is why we often do not distinguish it as such. Art is in more places than we think. The great advance of the XXI Century has been that now there is no closed discourse to which the artists have to stick, the artist decides what he must create and what he does not. The result is now much richer works that can sometimes make the spectator out of play. Here arises the need to train because the context is indispensable. That is why I always try, as a curator, to generate guided visits in each exhibition because the key lies in the context.
Sometimes, the explanation of a work may even further distance the viewer from it. Is this bad?
The viewer is fully entitled to not like something. He does not have to like everything. Artists are people, like us, who make works of art that start from themselves. Just as we can not like everyone, we do not have to like all works of art.