Inma Femenía: «I firmly believe in honesty and the way this generates connections»

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Full name: Inma Femenía. Place and date of birth: Pego (Valencia), 1985. Current residence: Valencia.

Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts and Official Master’s Degree in Artistic Production from the Universitat Politècnica de València. Current occupation: Visual artist.

What interests you. My work starts from issues such as how our perception is conditioned by the reality that concerns us, especially in the face of the influence of technology. This leads me to focus on investigations that address the relationship between the material and the intangible or the physicality and the virtual, posing perceptual experiences through installations or sculptures that formulate different ways of apprehending reality.

I work from the intrinsic properties of the materials (brightness, transparency, ductility), and their relationship with light (both from their technological manifestation through screens and from the natural light phenomenon). This leads me to manipulate the materials until I take them to the threshold where their properties merge with the intervention of the digital.

“Spectrum Screensaver” (2014)

I. F.

Where it comes from. I have exhibited both in private spaces and in galleries and institutions. Internationally, my work has been seen in England, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, the United States and Colombia. The projects that I would highlight so far are those in which I have had the opportunity to get to know the space in advance and, therefore, work on it in a specific way.

I am interested in the expansive possibilities of my work, something that is increasingly present in the projects I develop. In addition, this way of proceeding means that before starting a project I have to study characteristics such as its location, the environment, the luminosity or the vibrations that the place transmits to me. This causes each one to be a new challenge that leads me to discover possibilities in my work. For example, in Free Fall, a work done in 2017 for the IVAM lobby, the characteristics of the space restricted the way I could work, but instead, I took advantage of the vertical dimension and managed to carry out a work with proportions with which I had never worked before, resulting in a piece 8 meters high.

Detail of «Free Fall», the intervention in the IVAM atrium

I. F.

He knew that he would dedicate himself to art … At the end of the degree I made my first exhibition, where I felt very comfortable and I could sense that this first experience meant a starting point. From that moment on, it was always clear to me that art was going to be part of my life.

I. F.

What is the strangest thing you have had to do in art to “survive”? Nothing that other artists probably haven’t done. For example, I have been teaching at the university to later go straight to work putting drinks in a pub, all this while carrying out my artistic work. After some years combining these three things (teaching, working in the studio and weekends in hospitality), now I really appreciate being able to dedicate myself to my artistic career full time.

“In Tension 39” (2018)

I. F.

His “virtual” self. I don’t consider myself very active on social media. I have been abandoning most of them to be alone with Instagram and, sometimes, I have to force myself to upload things to keep my profile active. Still, I’m interested in seeing how we socialize through them and how our language is translated into images to quickly reach the recipient. Regarding digital products, I consume a lot of music on platforms like Spotify, as well as movies and series on Filmin or HBO.

Anyway, I am increasingly replacing the time I spent on social networks with activities such as taking a walk in nature. It is more stimulating and helps me in the development of my work. Luckily, my studio is located in the north orchard of Valencia, which is a fantastic environment to disconnect during work hours.

Detail of I. F.

Where is he when he doesn’t make art?
 I need plenty of time to work in the studio. I need to reflect slowly on what I am doing and that is why right now I am expressly dedicated to him.

Wildness Detail »(2018)

I. F.

You will like it if you know … My references have changed over the years, although my main ones come from monochrome painting and minimalism, with artists like Yves Klein, Larry Bell or Eva Hesse’s postminimalism.

Right now on the walls of my studio there are images that show that I am interested in the connection that exists between various disciplines, for example, between architecture, physics and the plastic arts. Some of my key references are Olafur Eliasson or Hito Steyerl. I also enjoy letting myself be carried away by the sensitive part of Pipilotti Rist’s work.

As for the peers of my generation, of course the chats with my friends are always constructive. I am fortunate to surround myself and nourish myself with artists such as Alberto Beltrán, Anna Talens, Daniel Jordán, Guillermo Ros, Iñaki Domingo, Keke Vilabelda, Luciana Novo, María Tinaut, Sergio Membrillas, among others…

Detail of «Liminal» (2019)

I. F.

What are you up to now? I have had a very intense production phase with the preparation of my individual exhibition, Infraleve, at Bombas Gens Center d’Art, in Valencia, it shows that it has been waiting to open after the state of alarm in which we find ourselves today. from today.

Due to this situation, right now I have replaced my large study with the desk so that I can stay at home. This is why these weeks the work has become retrospective: I spend time reviewing and reorganizing my ideas through diagrams, writing or reading. I usually start most of my projects with this method. It is a very motivating part that, in my mode of production, is necessary to advance to new results.

Image of the artist in her studio

I. F.

Favorite project so far. Logically, it is difficult to highlight one, since I understand all the works as a consecutive set. I could highlight Spectrum Screensaver, a project carried out during my stay in Berlin in 2014, and which was one of my first works in which I started to give prominence to space through light, and vice versa. In addition, like many of my projects, it emerged from looking at phenomena present in my day-to-day experience: in Berlin I used to spend a lot of time working on the computer, and I was struck by the way the computer screen saver colored the walls of my room.

It is a project where I demonstrate the digital lighting phenomena with which we live daily and that we have already naturalized, such as the movement and the characteristic lights of the screens; images that appear and disappear, created to activate when we have not manipulated our keyboards for a while. Spectrum Screensaver was the predecessor of current projects such as Mehr Licht !, which was exhibited at the Max Estrella gallery (Madrid) and will also be on a larger scale in my solo exhibition at Bombas Gens.

Detail of «Stiffness-hyperspaces», in Bombs Gens

I. F.

Why do we have to trust her? For me, the question is not to get me to trust my work, but to be honest with myself and with the development of my work in the studio. I firmly believe in honesty and how this generates connections with both the public and the professionals I work with. I am sure that if the work meets these conditions, it will connect with people naturally, giving rise to reflection, interpretation and aesthetic enjoyment.

Detail of «Version 25» (2020)

I. F.

Where do you see it a year from now? I have more and more long-term projects, so at the moment I hope to be able to continue working to develop them and bring them to fruition. The scale that some are taking forces me to work in a different way, more leisurely and reflective, as well as technical and demanding. So in a year I hope to be able to continue in my study, letting myself be carried away by what is planned and what is to come.

To whom would the witness of this interview yield? To Luciana Novo, great friend and artist. I have always been fascinated by his creativity and the worlds he is capable of creating. She has been in Amsterdam for a few years without showing the work she was doing, but I am sure she will show it soon, surprising us as she has done so many other times.

Define yourself in a stroke. .

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