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 Emmanuel Monzon.
What are you trying to communicate with your work?
There is no judgment in my work, no denunciation. My field of play is a country where the landscape is shaped by and for people on the move. Without a second thought, this world is going through a perpetual mutation, which sees a new city rising, another one dying, leaving them laid out indistinctly one next to the other. This visual chaos is my source of inspiration.
What I want to share and convey is a kind of bliss, calm, stillness. It is also the acceptance of these places despite their appearance of devastation. I create a narrative in my pictures so the viewer can continue each photograph’s story.
What is an artist’s responsibility?
Your question raises other questions:
• What is the place of an artist in our society?
• Can an artist be engaged in politics?
• Can an artist be totally free or are we controlled by some form of authority (galleries, museums, art critics)?
• Is the artist responsible for his acts or can he be irresponsible?
• Does the artist have a social or political responsibility?
For me, if one can find something interesting in the work of an artist (be it the artist’s vision or an evaluation of the world), then the artist has probably understood something about the world. This understanding can be called responsibility.
I see my responsibility as being more humble. I try to create pictures where narration, detachment, and mystery coexist. As a result, my photos don’t reveal all their secrets.
Show us the greatest thing you ever made (art or not).
I chose two pictures which mark the start of a new body of work and which would take me through a long journey:
Tell us about a work you want to make but never will:
It is not necessarily a new work but rather a new place I want to go: Baltimore... the place to be for photographers!
Who are three artists we should know but probably don’t?
It is difficult to make a choice, but here are three of my favorites artists:
—The ArtSlant Team
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