“Through installations or objects, I set up perceptive experiences, which formulate different ways to grasp reality”
AT: Where are you from and how/why did you start engaging with art?
IF: I am from Pego, a small town in Spain, where I grew up. I am currently living in València, the city where I studied Fine Arts. My interest on art was nurtured by a teacher I had in school, who show me different ways to express within the creative realm.
AT: When did it become serious?
IF: Halfway through my degree I began to demand from myself to be more concrete about my interests and to focus on my art output. I was around 20 years old, and I felt that I need it in order to complete my personality. A later experience that was a key watermark took place when I finished my degree and I had my first solo show. I felt at ease during the entire process, and I could feel how that first experience meant a starting point. From that moment on, it was clear that art was always going to be part of my life.
AT: Are there any person who has been significant in your breakthrough as an artist?
IF: Of course, every step along the way I have had a person of reference to me, who, at the same time, have been who have supported me and believed in me. To have the support of people close to you, who you trust entirely, and who you admire is necessary to believe in oneself and to know that you are doing things well.
AT: What is your first approach to the work? How would you describe your practice?
IF: The ways our perception is conditioned by reality, especially how technology influences us is one of the questions that are at the root of my work. This motivates me to focus on research that tackle the relationship between what is material and what is intangible, what is physical and what is virtual. Through installations or objects, I set up perceptive experiences, which formulate different ways to grasp reality.
Photo taken from the exhibition “Infraleve” | Bombas Gens Centre d’Art | Valencia, Spain.
AT: What do you aim to reach with your work?
IF: Honesty with myself and in the development of my studio work. I am a firm believer in honesty and the way it generates connections with the audience and with the professionals I work with. I am sure that if the work is developed within these conditions, it will connect with people in a natural way, lending itself to reflection, interpretation and aesthetic enjoyment.
AT: What are your favourite tools and materials for working?
IF: It is the intrinsic properties of the materials I work with (shine, transparency, ductility) and their relationship with light (both as a technological manifestation through screens, and as a natural luminous phenomenon). This has me manipulating materials in order to bring them to the threshold in which their properties fuse with digital intervention. In general, the selection of materials I work with come from the industrial realm. Visiting factories is a very frequent step in my work process, as it is there where I first see the possibilities that each material may reach.
AT: What do you feel while you work? Do you usually think about the final outcome beforehand?
IF: During my work process, I go through different phases, that repeat themselves for every project. In the initial phase I need to do some field work, and also retrospective processes, looking for answers to questions that are related to the ways I want to direct my work. The next phase consists in production. This is the moment in which process leads me and it usually surprises me with unexpected results. During this phase, often ideas were a starting point are transformed, generating new work avenues from pure random, the unexpected and especially, from the sensations that I feel when I am manipulating the materials. I enjoy allowing all those new factors to be part of the final result of each work.
AT: How do you understand that a work is finished?
IF: My work has an important project component, in which methodology is very present, thus defining very clearly the phases of each piece. My objectives are always very present, and those objectives would indicate when I piece is finished.
Black Mirror, 2014-20 | Infraleve in Bombas Gens Centre d’Art, Valencia, SP. 13 March 2020 – 13 January 2021.
AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from?
IF: So many sources come to me at once. However, daily life is the main thread; moments that I find magical and that I would like to highlight. The titles of my latest individual exhibitions explicitly point at this source of inspiration. Especifically, my last exhibition in Bombas Gens Centre d’Art in València has the title Infrathin, which is a term coined by Marcel Duchamp. It means elevating the insignificant extracted from daily life. I watch and research in situations such as on the way from home to the studio, visiting the different industrial workshops I work with, the contact with nature and space… In sum, I gather impressions from daily life to materialize them later in the studio, through a number of processes.
AT: Are there any artists who influenced your works? Why?
IF: Absolutely monochrome painting, minimalism, and the supports-surfaces movement has been an influence ever since I started. Architecture and science are also great references for me, as it is the work by Neri Oxman or the discourse of historian Yuval Noah Harari, whose work I am currently reading in depth.
AT: How important is the role of social media for you?
IF: Our generation is clearly generating a common imaginarium through social media, which I find very interesting. I am not very active in social media, but of course I make the most of their potential, particularly platforms like Instagram, a place where you can see and consume images at a frenetic pace, and which is now becoming common place for a huge number of artists and creators. I am interested in seeing how we communicate and how we are socialised through this type of networks.
Transversal, 2020 | Infraleve in Bombas Gens Centre d’Art, Valencia, SP. 13 March 2020 – 13 January 2021.
AT: As an artist, what is your point of view about the contemporary art system?
IF: I prefer to keep some distance from the systems that govern contemporary art, as they consume a lot of energy and I find they distract me from my daily work. However, I prefer to trust the professionals that are part of this system, particularly the galleries and museums I am lucky enough to work with.
AT: What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art? What is the most rewarding part of working as an artist?
IF: Those moments of research or processes that necessarily involve great loneliness I find challenging. It is hard to make decisions then. After those moments, it is gratifying to solve the puzzle of each piece, going from conceptualisation to execution and the final result appears. Such is, for me, the reward that makes sense of the initial challenges.
AT: What do you do besides art?
IF: When I am not working at the studio I try to research through media that may interest me, reading, cinema or visiting exhibitions. Of course I also need to spend time with my friends and family.
AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?
IF: To continue having the possibility of researching non-stop, to continue letting my future projects lead me on, projects that I can give all my time and attention.
View of Version, 2018, UV inks on PVC and metal, 82×58 cm each.
Inma Femenía (b. 1985) is a Spanish visual artist currently living and working in Valencia, Spain. She holds a BA in Fine Arts and an MA in Arts Production from the Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain. Considering that our perception of the world is determined by digital media as a language that modifies the appearance of forms, she places her artistic practice within this conception, penetrating into the digital field, venturing deeply between its pixels and luminous vibrations.