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L’artista

with Sergio Pángaro

 

In an age in which “everything has already been said,” standing out as an artist, among thousands of artists, has becomes increasingly a difficult task, especially if you are failing in some features such as passion, amazement, ideals, burning desire, seductive pleasures, untold suffering… When asked how does he ranks himself in the context of the other contemporary artists, Jorge Ramirez just says: “which artists?”. That’s none other than a pure ignorance on his part towards the scene where he is infiltrated with cunning, but now that he’s considered a genius for all intents and purposes, his words provoke a general hilarity: an acceptable boast. However, unlike what it seems, it’s not always so easy blending into an environment such as art, it’s not enough to put on airs, attend courses and academies, have had some opportunity to express themselves. Jorge find it easy: he’s a simple man, honest, lonely, not distracted by the agony of pleasure and affirmation, his work doesn’t belong to him… The artist?

Your definition — or favorite quote — of Art:

“Art is not about itself or about the artist but in the eye of the spectators” — Marcel Duchamp.

Who is Sergio Pángaro — actor, musician…?

I started making music and then musical acts, at concerts, with small productions and impromptu performances. Pina Bausch’s experiences were very inspiring. After that, I was invited to participate in films as an actor, and composing soundtracks too.

L'Artista

Are you an “artist”?

I can have some artistic characteristics, especially in my work in art and in my will to destroy art.

How come today many people are much more reluctant to use this term to define their own vocation?

Maybe the purpose of art has changed from earlier times, and what remains of these old formats are some philosophical, political or mercantilist ideas. For example, the problem regarding the concept of beauty is no longer an art theme. So, if someone wants to work on beauty it’s because he probably has no interest in being called “an artist”.

In 2008, you are the protagonist in the film L’artista: does anyone have explained you why you have been chosen for the part of Jorge?

Before the shooting, I was invited to read the script so as to give an opinion about the consistencies of the argument. The friendship that I’ve been maintaining within the years with the director, Gaston Duprat, lead us to collaborate in each other’s projects in several ways. During these informal conversations came up the idea of representing a story about art with actors whom weren’t actors, but artists. So, the cast is integrated by big names of the sphere of art and culture such as Alberto Laiseca, Rodolfo Fogwill and León Ferrari. Even in my case, I was invited to participate because of my activity in the music field.

L'Artista 2

Do you think the film received the attention it deserved?

When we presented the movie at the Rome festival, we were surprised with the good reception of european public. The critic in Argentina was not negative but yet shy and unenthusiastic. Over time, and after the funny reaction of people from the cultural field, the film had a greater diffusion through Internet and noncommercial exhibitions.

When does an artwork can be described as “uncomfortable”?

In my opinion, artwork should always contain some sort of discomfort, so as to awake people about the situation of mankind. The discomfort can be started since the formal aspects or since the conceptual parts, and it can be moral or chromatic discomfort. In the balance between pleasure and discomfort lies the artist’s geniality.

“I didn’t compose Chan Chan, I dreamt it. I dream of music. I sometimes wake up with a melody in my head, I hear the instruments, all very clear” — quote Compay Segundo: Do you think music today is still able to seduce us?

Yes, of course. Music is the sensual component of a composition such as colour is the sensual component of a painting. It can be “intelligent” music but I prefer that music attracts me because of itself and not because of its references.

L'Artista 3

Is there a more or less ideal way to happiness?

Besides the fact that happiness is an invention of the human being, it represents us, such as all the complex and elaborated facts of our existence. Simple things no longer belong to human beings, that’s why a fruit becomes a pie, a setback becomes a tragedy and a tunic becomes a lace dress. That’s what represents us. And such as all the complex things that surround us, they have its balance in nature, like an aesthetic regulation system. Happiness is not an ideal thing, it exists and we invented it.

The memory of your childhood you’re most fond of:

I was educated in an ukrainian orphanage whose authorities were pretty severe ladies. One afternoon I was playing the mandolin in a tea gathering for these ladies and I discovered that the melodies I was playing — folkloric sounds from Eastern Europe that they would probably known — suddenly had the power to illuminate their faces and they looked younger. Maybe they looked like the young ladies they used to be when they left those lands many years ago. I never forgot that scene.

Thanks

Cover + Sergio

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