Studio visit to multidisciplinary artist Sara Ferrer

Cristina Benzi: How do you define yourself as an artist and how do you describe your work in general?

SF: I am a multidisciplinary artist. I like to observe everything and listening to the people. From there it is created a two-way relationship between society and my person that helps me to understand why we do what we do and the consequences of this. At that time, images are created in my head, as metaphors that are intended to describe, in a visual manner, what worries me or interests me.

I guess that my experience working in theatres, has greatly influenced my way of working, therefore, the materials and objects I use, attempt to maintain the memory of its main functionality, but I transform it and give them a new use according to what I want to say.

I always look for my work, to invite to dialogue and to seek for new ways of understanding ourselves.

CB: Which has been your training and your professional development so far?

SF: My career has been divided (or rather merged) during many years, between the performing arts and visual arts.

In 2003, I went to live in Newcastle, for three years, where I did studied Fine Arts and working as a performer and at the workshop of NWSI, a street theatre company.

In Newcastle, I founded the project Multiculturart, teaching of languages through art and theatre . Then I went back to Spain and at least for seven more years, I was working in theatres, primarily as a props-maker and stage manager, in the Teatro Real in Madrid, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia and other national and private theaters and companies. While, in parallel, I was studying theatre technology at the CTE in Madrid, and the speciality of sculpture at the School of Art and Design La Palma, where I finished my studies obtaining the prize Aurelio Blanco, for the best project.

After that, during nine months, I was living in Malta, where I worked for a couple of months, at Manoel Theater in Valletta. My time in Malta, was mainly meditative and to organise my ideas. But since several years before, I already had an interest in moving to Berlin, so that was my next destination and where I live right now.

Here I have worked with the artist Tomas Saraceno during three and a half years, while toward some personal projects with photography, until a few months ago, that I decided to focus solely on my artistic career.

CB: What inspires you about Berlin?

SF: Berlin is a chameleon city. The city adapts to the people and the people to the city. I love its cultural mix and everything that happens in its streets. Everything inspires me in Berlin.

The weather, which on the one hand I suffer a lot, on the other hand, helps me to mark stages in the production of my works. Until now, in winter I dedicate more time to research, outlining ideas and to write. In the summer I move more and I materialise those ideas.

CB: What if you had to describe Berlin with a word, which would it be?

SF: Laboratory. I regard it as a laboratory of ideas.

CB: At this stage of your career, you have several works related with the sea. Could you tell us about your work “The self and the fish”?

SF: I’m an ocean lover. Most of my life, I spent it near the sea or rivers. It’s something I need to have close.

The work is composed of a series of digital collage, made with portraits that I did to people that I really appreciate, merged with portraits of various fish species.

In this case, I wondered how we feel when someone you love disappears.

This work aims to sensitise the people about the origins of our existence, which is in the ocean, and to raise awareness of the importance of taking care of it.

In principle, the series is going to call “selfish”, with a touch of irony toward the word Selfie, used in the current society as a way of showing yourself in it and that has created a global phenomenon focused on an obsession for showing your image. However, I decided to call it The Self and the Fish because, in this case, the main intention is not to criticise, if not as I said before, raise awareness.


CB: Where does the idea of creating the installation “The shark is upside down” come?

SF: When you turn a shark upside down, enters on a tonic state, or tonic immobility during fifteen minutes. At that time the animal is totally in a coma and is not able to defend itself or react. It is vulnerable to any type of attack. I suppose it is a widespread sentiment in the society. My own theory is that the society lives in a state of constant tonic immobility, however, I think that society at the same time, it is as powerful as the shark in its habitat and that it will be only a matter of time to turnaround and react. I guess that I felt this way and I wanted to share it with the intention of creating reflection in a metaphorically and poetic way

The main idea is to fill a space with many of these floating traslucent sharks and play with the shadows that draw.


CB: Where would you like to show these artworks?

SF: The truth is that if I think in Berlin, the site where I always imagine my sharks would be König Galerie. I love this space. It is perfect to float dozens of sharks upside down (Hehehee ) , but really, in general, any wide space open to all kind of public, of course, not only in Berlin.

CB: What artist or artists inspire you?

SF: I am inspired by the people around me and their experiences. What I live and I experiment. The nature as the response to everything.

But of course, there are hundreds of artists with amazing artworks that I really like, not necessarily known internationally. However, if I have to appoint some known artists would be, for example, Chiharu Shiota, by the poetic beauty and theatricality of its art installations. Anthony Gormley, by its incredible work with the human body and space and of course, Tomas Saraceno and his utopia of “hacer asados” (barbecuing) in the clouds (hehehhe).

CB: How are you promoting your work in this city?

SF: Well, I guess that I should find a gallery interested in my work. Meanwhile, I am preparing several projects, among them, I am working on “Fishing the Soul”, a new installation with fishing rods and other elements with which I want to apply to an art residency.

Now just finish “Instintos Distintos”, a collective exhibition supported by Glogauair, the Cervantes Institute and La Red, where I show an installation with a cage and a composition of photographies, that speak about the breaking of frustrated desires. I am also working on a group project with other artists, here in Berlin. At the same time, I am in contact with biologists and psychologists with which I am preparing a project that would be the next phase of The shark is upside down.

CB: What are your professional and personal goals?

SF: My main goal is to continue producing, developing and sharing my ideas. Getting that, I get it all.

Photos courtesy of the artist Sara Ferrer


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