Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Dr. Lakra, artist

I interviewed the Mexican artist Dr. Lakra on the 11th of January, 2008, during a visit to the Yokohama Museum of Art. He was participating in a group exhibiton "Goth: Reality of the Departed World," which also included Ricky Swallow, Pyuupiru, Tabaimo, and some others. I had gone there to interview the curator, Eriko Kimura, but got to speak to Dr. Lakra as an added bonus. I didn’t record the interview which is given here from my shorthand notes.

CBL: How do you feel being in this group? Are there affinities, similarities?

Dr. L: With some more than others – Ricky [Swallow] in the image of the skeleton. The affinities are in using the language of the body as expression.

CBL: Terms like language and expression suggest that something needs to be said or expressed. What is it?

Dr. L: The usual things.

CBL: Do you mean fears, passions, desires, concerns…?

Dr. L: Erm...yes.

CBL: How about the pieces you created that use bits of insects to create faces, was that satirical?

Dr. L: It was a causality and a homage to Arcimboldo. Many of my works are related to other pieces of work – Goya, the surrealists, etc.

CBL: In your works you use skulls and stuff a lot. Why the focus on death, mortality?

Dr. L: For example, with tattoos, traditionally you would put a skeleton to lose your fear of dying.

CBL: But why do we need to face this? Isn't it equally valid to shun and ignore death?

Dr. L: In this modern society, people are focusing on the material, not the spiritual.

CBL: So, emphasizing human fraility, undermines the material, and. as a consequnce, elevates the spiritual?

Dr. L: It's more complex than that, but that's essentially it. It's always this part of the human condition that is explored in porn and body modification that society is always trying to hide by things like plastic surgery and artificiality. It's part of being human. But society's always trying to bury humanity.

CBL: So this art is reintroducing humanity into art, but not an idealized humanity?

The curator answered my question instead of Dr. Lakra.

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