Carlos Rigau is a multi-media artist who completely won me over during a recent performance entitled Split, with two other local artists, Nick Klein and Andrea Ollarvide. Even more exciting was the sense of nostalgia that washed over me as I arrived at the General Practice space, recalling house parties of my youth. I entered through the kitchen, grabbing a beer out of the fridge on my way and realized that the kitchen had been transformed into a video installation by Moira Holohan; the room adjacent was filled with her sculptures, and each room beyond was something totally unexpected. Everything remotely domestic had been removed. The space had become some inspired combination of a dark homage to Kurt Schwitters and a punk stage set. Carlos agreed to speak with ArtSlant and let us in on exactly what he is up to.
FELECIA CHIZUKO CARLISLE: What is General Practice?
CARLOS RIGAU: General Practice is an artist-run space. (A HOUSE THAT WAS RETROFITTED TO BE A GALLERY AND NOW SERVES AS A SPACE INTENDED FOR INSTALLATIONS AND OTHER ACTIVITES). We intend to provide a space to fill a need in Miami’s growing cultural landscape. This to me means a place where artists can do work that is more experimental. There are plenty of spaces in Miami that are great to show work at. What makes this place different is that success and failure are measured differently than in most places.
FC: Let's discuss the term "experimental." I am interested in how this term is used within the context of the work you have shown and in the broader context of art.
CR: General Practice hosts work where the outcome of the work is not a fixed answer. This doesn’t mean all work at GP will follow this way of thinking, but something within the show should consider this variable. The new program is still in an experimental stage, meaning “of the nature of an experiment, tentative.” That’s one of the definitions that I’m interested in rolling with, basically less control of the outcome, even though the thing that’s happening has been rehearsed - art gesture or musical. These two worlds, music and art... it is a worthy exploration.
FC: So the work you have been showing so far has included visual, aural and environmental components. The house itself is a unique shell for these hybrid experiments. How might you say that the architecture has affected and/or limited the outcomes of some of the particular projects?
CR: The house itself fits and controls the context of General Practice. It has this haunted house omen witchcraft cult thing about it. This may be because the history of haunted films in America seem to be all shot in the Northeast in houses that look similar... Either way it fits and molds the identity and the work of General Practice.
FC: What is the best thing that could come out of a project like this?
CR: The first event/piece we had was the first performance for the noise group Ballscarf - visual artist Jay Hines and filmmaker Aidian Dillard. i just saw them play last night at Churchills and the show was great. Viking Funeral and myself organized the event and made up the rules that were involved in that first show at General Practice. I think the context of General Practice can help contextualize the work of something like Ballscarf, which is an experiment (between music and art) that leads to more experimentation by those two artists together as Ballscarf.
FC: So General Practice is a place by artists for artists. I agree. This project is definitely filling a void here in Miami. We need more good performance art, and places where artists can test things out with each other. I like your attitude towards it as a “working” space rather than a place to display pieces with pat resolutions. The work has a real “present” tense to it and I can’t wait to see more. Thanks, Carlos.
Images: Performance stills courtesy General Practice.