Transcription and Translation of Video Interview to English
Betty: I’m here with artists in residence Christopher Rivera and Radames “Juni” Figueroa. They are gearing up for their show War as Spectacle: The Last Paradise, which opens this Saturday, April 23rd, from 5-10pm here at Slanguage. We wanted to introduce you to the artists with this short interview.
Who is your favorite artist and why?
Chris: To be honest, I don’t have a favorite artist. There are many groups of artists and different artists that I like a lot. I could mention a few. Felipe Gonzales Torres, for many reasons. Like more than for his ability to create objects, for his ability to unify a work. Another artist that I have been reading a lot about is Dan Graham. His superspaces, and the connection he makes between the spectator and the space that he is occupying, whether it be a museum or gallery. Robert Smithson. I don’t know, I can’t exactly find one in particular.
Juni: In part, I feel the same way. I am heavily influenced by artwork that is produced in Puerto Rico and Latin America, obviously. And apart from that, groups like The Situationists, really movements that function outside of the artworld. I am also very influenced by the day to day, there are people who inspire me, but who are not necessarily from the artworld. Still, I am regularly referencing groups like the Situationists, muralists…
Chris: I also think that something that influences both a lot is music. Because really, music is another type of art.
Juni: It’s also like a breath of fresh air, because you see a world of possibilities there. It’s something that many artists have explored and in this case we are exploring it, and its really what’s bringing us together in this exhibition—that other world that continues to be art as well.
If you could have any superpower what would it be and how would you use it?
Juni: I would like two things. Well, one. The chiquitolina, the pill that the Chapulin took to become miniature because it is like being invisible.
Chris: That’s what I was going to say! To be invisible. Because sometimes you want to be somewhere, but without people knowing you are actually there.
In a wrestling match between Puerto Rican governor Luis Fortuño and President Obama who would win?
Chris: That’s a difficult question…
Juni: I would tie them both up and take their clothes.
Chris: Exactly. Obama started off really well, but now, I don’t know.
Juni: In this moment, I don’t feel sufficiently clear-headed to talk about politics. But in reality, neither of them really interest me.
Chris: Something that is totally crazy is that Fortuño is supposedly Republican and Obama is a Democrat, so it’s a strong contrast. But with Obama, everyone was really excited about him, and even I was excited about him. I think it had to do with the fact that he was the first Afro-American president, and everyone had that hope. But I don’t know about the way in which he has behaved in some cases, for example with respect to Libya, it has been a bit weird. Like an extension of Bush.
Juni: But in a manner that is much more camouflaged, so more discreet, but still the same thing.
Betty: You all took this question to a whole other level! Thanks guys!