Maj Britt Jensen

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The whore of our consciousness / Diana María González and Maj Britt Jensen, 2005 - 2007

The re-enactment of a dialogue between two artist-friends built upon the interchange of quotations by writers, philosophers, people who write about art, etc. The process behind the video: for 10 months we kept a dialogue that sprang from the interchange and analysis of quotations. Those quotations were triggered by personal situations, doubts and questions that we were reflecting upon at the moment when we found them in one of the books that fell on our hands. We memorized the quotations in order to reconstruct our dialogue. “Knowledge and art have become the sweetest mattress of our friendship”.

Camera: Andrés Villalobos / Audio: Jonathan Miralda and Lauro López Sánchez / Choreography advice: Magdalena Fernández Child

There are two members in this group: Diana María González Colmenero and Maj Britt Jensen.

They are artists and they started a dialogue as friends. The result of this process can be seen in Acts of Will at the Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros.

Their collective art group is called The Whore of Our Consciousness. It is a striking name, even explosive. It could not be otherwise, being a group whose raw material is the word, whose strategy is communication and whose structure is interaction.

Everything began as a game, which in art is the best way to tackle any serious subject. They were interested in theory and language, which is not strange these days when visual arts live enveloped, even sieged (according to some), by concepts. They read and enjoyed the ideas. This united them. Sometimes, the philosophers and poets expressed what they were thinking, but they also opened horizons for them.

One good day, they looked for a way to integrate their interest for words into their artistic production. It was a means to understand their own creative processes. They started by discussing the subjects that interested them the most, such as will, desire, fear and freedom.

From their readings, now more focused, there started an interchange that lasted eight months. Every week, one of them would contribute with the quotation that best represented what she was thinking and/or feeling. They discussed it. They tore it into bits. The following week, the other one contributed with a new quotation that worked as a response to the analyzed one, opening a new subject. Through their hands, Jodorovsky, Calvino, Deleuze, Paz, Levinas, Rilke, Camus and others passed.

The next step was to memorize these quotations and to weave them into a script. Then they recorded them. The result is Talking With You, a video in which both of them recite their quotations, one of them dressed with a red hooded jacket, the other with a blue one. There is color and countenance.

In spite of its simplicity, the video is amazing. First of all, it is unusual to listen to texts which were originally conceived to be read, especially the theoretical ones. It is not common either to see two young women expressing themselves with such dense words. Small hesitations at the moment of speaking reveal that this, rather than boasting, is a process of a shared learning.

During most of the video, the artists appear on their side, showing their profile, talking to each other. There is seriousness and sweetness. When one of them speaks, the other one is always attentive. The last phrases are addressed to the camera. They look at us directly, including us in their action. At a certain moment, I thought that their aim was the critique, even the mocking against the excess of theory, but in their faces there never appears any trace of irony.

The process did not finish there. There followed a series of interactions with other interlocutors, with other accomplices.

In the exhibition room there is a video of a previous presentation of Talking With You in Casa Vecina, and the intense dialogue initiated with the public. There are also the tapescripts of all the eight interviews of the artists with people they showed the video to, and were asked to comment upon, Itala Schmelz and José Luis Barrios, among them, with their corresponding photographs. From these interactions, another element of this work emerged: a video in which they abandoned words and dialogued using only body movements. The piece closes with the artists’ written insights. Their ideas.

The result of submitting theory to this creative process ended up as a unique, strange, organic artistic product, which only responds to itself.

And curiously enough, though theory can be a very dry subject, the bed of friendship and dialogue upon they laid it, gave as a result a work that, carefully observed, is very warm.

 

Mónica Mayer

Photographic documentation: Eduardo Olivares

Under the shade of a tree

Casa Wabi Foundation

contacto@majmajmaj.info