Roles in Archive: Artist
b. 1979 Caracas, Venezuela
Patricia Esquivias’ work takes the form of casual, off-the-cuff lectures that intermingle marginal narratives with “official” history in a manner that reveals the potential for our imagination of the past to be both mutable and democratically constructed. Sometimes, it appears that her lectures are constructed entirely through stream-of-consciousness, which leads to series of strange associations and seemingly illogical jumps. If you listen long enough, however, her associations that initially seem bizarre become increasingly germane. For example, for her work Folklore II (2007), Esquivias posits a similarity between the lives of King Phillip II of Spain (1527-1598) and singer Julio Iglesias"”an absurd pairing, but one that reveals the evolution of what it means to have a global empire, with all the attendant seismic shifts in the character of culture that this implies. In “The future was when?” (2009), she pairs herself with Susan S. Brown, an artist who restored mosaics for the New York City subway, drawing parallels between their creative practices and juxtaposing their visions of the city, one based off of life experience, the other developed through watching movies. Esquivias’ concern with the unheard voices and unorthodox linkages that form a layered, complex picture of history is one that is shared by many of her contemporaries, who have grown up gathering information through an endless array of hyperlinked Internet backchannels, which have undermined traditional hierarchies of knowledge transmission.