See you soon in Munich: Trisha Baga
Various Others as a collaborative endeavor thrives through the interaction with guests and partners from abroad. Before the grand kick-off during the second weekend of September we talk to gallerist, artists and others whom we are excited to welcome in Munich in the fall.
Trisha Baga combines different languages and materials in their works to address issues such as gender identity and the relationship between the real and digital worlds. Developing primarily video and performance works, their multidisciplinary practice engages the formal languages and content of sculpture, painting, film, music, photography, comedy, and narrative literature. The artist was born in 1985 in Venice, Florida and currently lives and works in New York. This autumn they will present their installation “There’s No “I” in Trisha (2005–07/2020)" at beacon. Filmed between 2005 and 2007, it is set in a domestic space and questions the gender stereotypes of its characters, all of which are played by the artist.
Various Others: The installation you are showing at beacon this fall is one of your earliest works. How has your relation to this piece changed over time?
Trisha Baga: I have always thought that all my work has in some way evolved from “There’s No “I” in Trisha”, which I consider the first artwork I ever made. You can literally watch me learning to make art. The homemade sitcom was a great premise in which to explore reenactment through basically every medium– drawing, photo, sculpture, sound, performance, and video editing. And it is the first of many interspecies romances that I have enacted, where entities made out of different “stuff” attract each other, where one entity (often myself) is made of more human stuff, and the other is made of more technology/or image based stuff. Later iterations of “the other”/Mary in my work include Madonna, Alexa, the Apple iOs platform, and America.
How come you chose it for this show in Munich?
Because I always saw this work as the seed from which all my artistic concerns sprouted, I have always wanted to show it. I think it ties a lot of the rest of my work together. And until 2020, I had not, outside of its original context, which was my senior show at Cooper Union. Unfortunately, when I finally did get to show it at the Hangar Bicocca, the show opened in late Feb 2020, and we all know what happened then.
The installation in the space is open to the viewer to enter. What relationship do you wish to establish between visitors and your works in the beacon space?
I’m working from the spacial premise of a classic multicamera sitcom set, but instead of sitting on the couch facing an audience, you are facing a television set playing a weird reflection of the sitcom, as filtered through my 20 year old brain. The audience itself becomes part of the fiction. There are two videos playing: one is the sitcom itself on the TV, and the other is a projected still image that acts as a set backdrop for the staged living room. By entering the space, you enter the loop of infinite representation.
In an interview you describe your artistic practice as ‘fundamentally optimistic’. Is there also an element of nostalgia?
The answer is definitely not! Optimism is about the future, and these days believing the future exists is optimistic in itself. My work is about constant change, and adaptation. Psychologically, that is very much the opposite of nostalgia. My use of the 80s/90s sitcom is more in the vein of a perspective device, or a sci fi/ time travel thing, than that of nostalgia.
You had a show at Kunstverein in Munich in 2012. How would you describe your relationship with the city?
To be honest, I did not get to spend very much time in Munich itself because I was so busy working on the installation. It was my first institutional solo show, and coming from New York, it was incredible to have so much space to play around in, and I used all my time doing that. I will say however, that I still consider the karaoke party I DJed at my opening, the best karaoke night of my life, to date. I think because karaoke was out of everyone’s comfort zone, but everyone decided to meet me there. I woke up the next day covered in song titles written all over my arms and legs. So that says something about my experience of the people of Munich.
Thank you very much!
Société, Berlin hosted by beacon
Trisha Baga. There’s No “I” in Trisha
In collaboration with Société, beacon is pleased to present There’s No “I” in Trisha by American artist Trisha Baga.