MiniView with artist Virginia Colwell

We love visiting Virginia any day, whether we are on our own or accompanied by a group of new friends. Virginia explores histories and stories through archives and re-examines how the stories are told by questioning the power of the protagonist and the documenter. She questions everything, and in this questioning, makes history so much more complicated than how we originally saw or read it.

Every time we walk into her studio we are prepared for our minds to be blown, and Virginia never disappoints.

AArte: What brought you to Mexico?
VC: I came to Mexico to do a solo show with Marso Galley and I stayed on afterwards to do a large research project. One thing led to another and now I've been here 7 years!

AArte: What other artists/happenings/movements are you interested in right now?

VC: I feel that I'm curious in general right now. In the last two years there seems to have been an urgency in the cultural conversation surrounding postcolonial thought, feminism, and representation and I'm curious how these conversations are playing out quite differently in the West and in Latin America.

AArte: What are you reading?

VC: Objects of Desire: The Modern Still Life by Margot Rowell, a Mennonite NGO's archives from the 1960s -1990s concerning Mennonite migration and settlements in Bolivia, Spirituality in Contemporary Art: The Idea of the Numinous by Jungu Yoon, and Time Maps: Collective Memory and the Social Shape of the Past by Eviatar Zerubavel.

AArte: Who or what is your favorite thing about the city right now?

VC: The Anthropology Museum and the Templo Mayor Museum have been, and probably always will be places I love in the city even though I don't visit them as often as I would like. The ceramics sculptures in their collections fascinate me. However, on a day to day basis I adore the abundance of fresh food and eating with friends.

AArte: What do you have forthcoming that you’re really excited about?  

VC: At the end of this year at the Centro Cultural Tlatelolco I'll inaugurate a new work, The Eurydice Experiment, that combines sculpture, drawing, and fiction. The work is that is quite different aesthetically from most of my work and it's been both fun and a challenge to expand my studio practice with this work.

AArte: How has Atravesarte contributed to your work or connectivity?
VC: Atravesarte invites really engaging and culturally curious people to my studio and so it's a real pleasure to have a conversation with them. They work with such a diverse and international crowd of art lovers, students, curators, collectors, and academics that I feel that every time they invite people to my studio to learn from me, I end up learning a lot from them and the worlds they come from.

Tanya Diaz