iii artist in residence Mario de Vega was interviewed by Frits Dijcks on Jegens & Tevens about his early influences, how different cultural contexts change his work, and the work he’s developing for No Patent Pending #38 on October 12.
Frits: “And after a while your interest in music turned into an interest in art?
Mario: I need to tell you a story. After having some beers, guys invited me to join them to visit a friend. I was already very late at night. We drove with a car more than an hour to the south, outside of the city. We arrived at a house, knocked on the door. Somebody opened and the first thing I saw was two dead horses at the entrance of the house. And a person with a camera filming. And when he saw me, he said: what is that kid doing here? He cannot be here! So I got very scared. I thought they were doing something quit bad. There was a discussion about me being there and at a certain point they agreed that I could stay. They were listening to very heavy music, far beyond what I was used to at that time. I was very quiet, I had no idea what these people were doing. We were standing in a corridor where you could park five cars and there were these tow dead horses at the entrance and a car with a chain. A studio was in the back. They had to move the horses. They had made a system that worked, so the first one went fine. But then it started raining and the car had no grip, so we had to push the second horse. And there was this mud and blood and the smell of beer. And I was not able to understand what was going on, so I asked: what are you doing? They said: we are making an installation. An installation of what? I never heard this word before. They said they had an exhibition in a museum and they invited me to come to the opening. They gave me the address of the museum. I put it in my pocket and was still very confused. I could not understand what these people were doing. They dropped my at the house of my grandma around nine in the morning. I was completely drunk. My mother opened the door and saw me completely drunk, so she asked me what the hell happened and I said I helped with making an installation. What??? I was trying to explain, but I couldn’t.
But later I came to the opening. I went to the museum by myself. And the guys were surprised that I really came. They hugged me and showed me the exhibition. And it completely shocked me. That was when I realized I wanted to do these kind of things.”
“How important are initiatives like iii for you?
I think we need communities like these to progress. I think the time for solo artists is over. We need communities. We don’t always have to agree, we also need the conflict. We promote new practices. It is a way to attack the existing systems. And to use the system. I think that is really important.”
Read the full article here.