Helena Fernández-Cavada

Helena Fernández-Cavada

Artist selected by Estévez, Ruth at 2011
More artist content updated at 2016


Helena Fernández-Cavada
Madrid, 1979
Vive y trabaja en/Lives and works in: México D.F.

1. What made you choose art as a profession?
It’s not a question of choice – it’s always been an inseparable part of my life.


2. How would you define your work?
The last thing I did was a puzzle.


3. What subjects are you interested in?
I think I’ve stopped thinking in terms of subjects and pay more attention to the relationships established between them. There are concerns, fragments, remains, questions that forge ties between different areas. I’m interested in how you relate to those questions, how they are arranged, how you approach them, how you speak about their contradictions and how you use your time to face up to them.


4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
There’s no recipe – each piece is different.


5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
Which reality? My raw materials mutate and change with the changes in the contexts in which I live.


6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
I admire a small drawing by Robert Filliou of a group of cyclists that says “Art is what makes life more interesting than art.”


7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
I try not to expect anything in my life in general. I think a lot about the audience, how you relate to them; I need to do this to finish a work, although sometimes I’m the only spectator. I could say I’m aiming at “all audiences”, but the art public is very specific, so I try to create strategies that move or shift me to other places to get closer to different people.


8. What qualifications have you got? What do you value most from your time in education?
I value and get really excited by the relationships you strike up with other people during your learning processes and I’m very grateful for the chance they gave me to unlearn and carry on educating myself today.


9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
At the moment I’m in a permanently unstable situation. I do different activities that I enjoy and that help pay the bills with flexible working hours that give me enough freedom to be in the studio. In the future? Learn to do what I want.


10. Many artists say it’s difficult to make a living from their work; how do economic considerations affect you when it comes to work? Do you think this has a bearing on your work?
Yes, it has a bearing on my work when the economic situation doesn’t let me enjoy my time and actually do something. This question has often triggered my projects.


11. What do you look for or expect from your relationship with promoters and curators? What advantages and difficulties have you found with these relationships?
I look for the same things as in any relationship: a good conversation. But I’d also like to be paid the same as what they’re paid for their work.


12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
I’ve been out of Madrid for some years. One of the reasons I left was that I felt the scene was too closed, with very few channels for taking action and raising visibility or possibilities for creating an artistic network to make exhibiting more fluid; and yet there were also too many contests, especially for young artists. Whenever I come back I think Madrid is changing, there are more programmes to support processes, research and experimentation, but this optimism might just be part of the euphoria of being back home – there’s still much to be done. Nevertheless, I do appreciate the large number and wide variety of artists with admirable ideas.