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Lorena Wolffer

For over twenty years, the work produced by Lorena Wolffer (Mexico City,1971) has been an ongoing site for resistance and enunciation at the intersection between art and activism. While her own artwork addresses issues related to the cultural fabrication of gender and tenaciously advocates women’s rights, agency and voices, she has    also produced, facilitated, and curated dozens of projects with numerous artists in platforms such as museums, public spaces, and television.

From the creation of radical cultural interventions with various communities of women to pioneering pedagogical models for the collective development of situated knowledge, these projects are produced within an inventive arena that underlines the pertinence of experimental languages and displaces the border between so‐called high and low culture. Wolffer is an artist of unfailing commitment and her work —a  stage for the  voices, representations, and narratives of others, usually invisible in the Mexican scenario— brings to light the possibility of social realms that are grounded in respect and equality.


Video interview (English subs will be soon available)

Mexico City 14.04.2015

Bernard Vienat (BV).- Do you think that the presence of social processes in art responds to the current social situation in Mexico? 

Lorena Wolffer (LW).- Well, yes and no. I think there is a very strange phenomenon going on and indeed there is a lot of people who has been working in this interstitial, intermediate and marginal space, as is art and activism, but is also  But they each do it through alternative forms of generating and sharing knowledge. I believe this has something to do with Mexico’s current reality, off course it in a concrete answer to the things we live today, but it is also true that a sort of global phenomenon is also going on. For example, in the United Stated, they have this thing they call Social Practice which sadly has turned into some sort of trend, now everyone wants to work with marginal communities, everyone wants to create their own small revolutions, and implement their own little forms of resistance, which in principle can be fabulous, but only it if is real.

If its aim is more important than just winning acceptance in the art scene then I think it’s fantastic we have to explore the possibilities, and that is fabulous, but we have to acknowledge that there is a sort of trend, of fashion, that distort and stripes all these initiatives from their initial power and their real strength. I find that troubling and in that sense I don’t think that phenomenon is exclusive of Mexico. I think it is a phenomenon present in the art world in general, because art systems are very effective when it comes to grabbing and swallowing up everything and then spit it or through it up turning it into something else.

BV.-Do you establish a frontier between your artistic practice and your activism? 

LW.- I don’t point them and I don’t set them apart. They are both part of the same process to me. I never say “This one is an actual artwork”, which is actually a word I struggle a lot with, and I use it because we have internalized it in common use and it is hard to leave that behind; but each time I say “artwork” something rebels inside me. I do not establish a difference between an intervention understood as the work I am going to display somewhere and the conversation I might have with a friend lawyer about the situation of women who have suffered miscarriages or about anything. I don’t think of them of different things, I see them as one and the same. And often this spaces, the spaces just outside the realm of art turn out to be more revealing than those that are “purely artistic”.

Es En