This is 5 Questions. Each week, we send five questions to an artist featured in Under the Radar, our weekly email highlighting the best art on the ArtSlant network. This week we seek answers from Lionel Cruet.
What are you trying to communicate with your work?
My artworks highlight narratives that relate to geopolitics, economics, and technology, using multiple mediums such as experimental digital prints, videos, audiovisual material, and large-scale installations to recreate spaces. I often recall memories and experiences using imagery derived from the natural world as metaphors to understand the complex and interconnected realities we all live in.
In my artworks you often seen images of obscure natural environments and elements that define our intimate relationship to spaces: storage containers, sounds, voices and songs of proclamations in the void. Those become the aesthetics of the work.
I’m always interested in participation and the audience’s active engagement with the artworks.
What is an artist’s responsibility?
An artist’s responsibility can vary depending on their intent: what is the significance of their work and process, maturity, and ultimately we need an awareness of the environments that surrounds them. Also who they are and who they hope to be.
As an artist I believe it is important to rethink the talents that go along with being an artist, to question what they mean for me as well for the rest of the society. My responsibilities go as far as I want to take them. I have a special interest in social justice and audience interaction. I want to encourage participation in my artwork that goes beyond just being a passive viewer to becoming an integral part of the work itself.
Show us the greatest thing you ever made (art or not)?
Many of my projects have an incredible amount of challenges and constraints: logistics, construction, particularities of sites, temporary installations, execution. Those are the greatest things I have ever made. Working with a team and communicating to produce projects is fascinating.
Also my practice as an art educator and working with communities of immigrant youth happens to be one of the greatest thing that I have done. It is a continuous project with long terms outcomes that I find deeply satisfying. I am particularly proud of my art education projects with immigrant youth at Ellis Preparatory Academy in New York City.
My installation Reverb Space is currently exhibited at Socrates Sculpture Park, curated by Jess Wilcox. The process and production of this project was challenging but exciting. It made me consider creative approaches for making artwork in the public space.
Installation view of Reverb Space at Socrates Sculpture Park, Socrates Annual 2018, Photo: Scott Lynch and Sara Morgan
Tell us about a work you want to make but never will:
I think there are no limitations. Especially when it’s about the imagination and creative process. On the other hand, the availability of resources can change the willingness of creativity and the ability for new projects to develop.
Who are three artists we should know but probably don’t?
There are so many wonderful colleagues I would like to mention, but the list would be very long. Instead of artists I will mention some emerging curators whose work should be supported. They are currently contributing to the conversation in contemporary arts, coming up with fresh points of view: Natalia Viera at Museo del Barrio, Iberia Perez at the Museum of Modern Art, and Marcela Guerrero at the Whitney Museum.
—The ArtSlant Team
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