Raul Dotto‘s works activate viewers in a space through reflecting common relationships between object and subject. His materials are minimal in design, yet are informative to the viewer of the space they are within. Dotto’s focus is on art as an experience, activating objects beyond their objectivity. Elements of dimensionality and technology reflect familiar relationships in every day life, energizing the public’s viewership.
How have you seen your artistic narrative develop over time?
My work has always been involved to space issues, how people interact, how they relate in an art environment and what issues come from this interaction in an artistic exhibition. I proposed at the beginning of my artistic career, participatory structures in which the public changed the space by moving the artwork and in this way generated dialogue about how the structure might be modified and how it could be reorganized in the work environment. My view about the aspects related to the public and space was developed with this precept of the ‘work on movement’ and its “re-creation” by the public that was becoming more active and therefore opened up the possibility of authorship with the work. I create installations in which the public do the first reading of the object and, next, they feel the objects and have complete freedom to change, manipulate and reorganize the structures. Thereby arise gatherings of people and dialogues on the exhibition environment, the work that expands beyond the isolated object and begins to be built as the experience in a space full of possibilities.
How has your education helped in your artistic development?
My education was in art with an emphasis on Multimedia and since the beginning our discussions in the art laboratory were around art as Experience and not in the isolated object. Our focus at the university was to discuss contemporary art. In this way we use technology and traditional ways of making art, in order not to set the materiality of the object by specifying language and expand the field of discussion beyond the superficiality format.
What is most important about your artistic narrative?
Well, right now my interest is to gather people around objects and make these connections an art installation.
How are you inspired by the objects you assemble, and what is their importance to the space they are assembled in?
The objects I create come from everyday ideas. They are built on relationships I observe from people with random things, common relationships we all have with an object at various times in which we are active in the day. I choose the materials for its tactile character and proximity to people because my work invites the public to touch the object and the materials need to let this natural relationship for it to occur. The artwork space is constructed in terms of trade and interpreted taking into account the context of the place which also involves the development of work and socialization.
What kind of relationship do you have with your works during your creative process, and how do you reflect that relationship in the display?
Well, my creative process is developed in two main stages. The first is that I notice the relationship of anonymous people in public places, I realize notes and videos to record these moments of dialogue with each other and with things / space. The second point that I realize within my creative process is the proposed installation by me in socializing. To me this last is important because it is from this direct observation and socializing in installation that realize the steps when I can update the work and continue at other installation. I reflect that recognition problems at work and try to unfold this encounter / relationship with the work naturally, so I try to make friendly installation using minimum resources expographic, as I seek to minimize the distinction between what may be the work and which may be the place or the public. I propose a moment of encounter and dialogue collectively defining the meanings of what can be work. I do not seek to define this work alone or closed way. People are associating and dissociating meanings to something that becomes flowing and which can be modified beyond the superficiality of material.
Many of your displays involve the use of image displaying technology such as televisions and cameras that explore the object’s importance. Can you discuss this importance of the images in your work?
I believe that technology is part of our life and we can not exclude it from an art that tends to be life. My work with technology is at the beginning, is the first way to translate questions of material only dialogue to something hybrid. The images displayed in the work are mostly the object itself, because to me each image is a translated action to another “temporality” and another way of relationship with the public. Technological language energizes the public and makes it more user-friendly experience and this is the point I seek to explore in my work. The path is not to discuss the technology, images or material but make possible collective constructions of reality ever richer.
So far from our conversation it has become very evident that space plays a very important role in the execution of your work. What sort of challenges have you been faced with in relying on a space for display?
I believe that the biggest problem they face in my work display is the hard concept that some exhibits are still struggling to keep governing what can be seen and where to be seen. A gallery or a show tend to set a path to the public, an order for him to visit the exhibition, I did not agree with this way of imposing the public a roadmap to art. We all have some kind of knowledge and this can manifest freely in the exhibition and not hierarchically. So believe in an exhibition of my work in the public commands the paths and starts to govern the exposure to and what it came to mean to work.
What kind of research do you perform before executing an idea into an artistic form?
I believe that research needs to be constant and not specific to an object. The work is constant, it is a process between practice and theory that does not end. All my works are one at different times, which makes them unique is the participation of the public and not just the materials. I propose each “work” as an experience, an event in which people construct meaning and share the moment, the dialogue and make the artwork come to life.
Do you draw inspiration from any other artists or movements when researching and creating?
Well, I do not like the idea of inspiration in one so specific as an artist or movement. I believe in opening questions of work and dissolutions of concepts stipulated by art history or philosophy of art. My main focus in this event pipeline in art begins with Constantin Brâncuşi and his polished works, these to me are striking because the public becomes reflected on the surface of the work and no longer just be out of work to be the work of subtle form it’s natural. Minimalism for me draws its lack of ready meanings and the link with the audience questioning what you see, bringing proposals to the way of experiencing art. The stance of Daniel Buren with his work is very familiar to me and ever present making reflect on what is art today. Currently I am really interested in Jacques Rancière‘s texts when the active public which means things and makes thinkable and doubtful object. I also like the defending Nicolas Bourriaud on the socialization of labor and the meeting of art with people in different dialogues, which bring possibilities for the space as a work. Between these two authors some areas of tension and that’s what I like.
What is the importance of dimensionality in your work, and how does that also involve the viewer’s importance in experiencing your work?
We are all three-dimensional, we have height, width and depth. So for me, to work space and make possible the movement of the public in this environment is paramount.
Your work is preserved through photographing it, whether in the studio or exhibition. Would you say your work is only alive when captured in photography, or when it is experienced by viewers in an exhibition, or both?
My work is alive when there is public, without it there is the imaging of a project.
Last modified: December 16, 2015