La Vie en Rose
By Cristina Nuñez
La Vie en Rose is an on-going net-art project on video, performance and web platform, which documents my personal life since 2013. The initial goal was to find a new partner, who would love me for who I am, but for several reasons – namely that it's taking a long time ;) - I have become very interested in people’s reactions to my videos and therefore the project’s sociological impact is now crucial. People’s feedback on the online platform is now part of the art project.
Focusing on my real and actual emotions and desires, and putting almost no distance between my life and my work, the project is often quite uncomfortable to look at, because it works as a mirror, forcing viewers to look at their own emotions and desires, and question themselves about them. This is something that most people don’t like to do, even less be forced to do so without prior notice, so there have been plenty of rejections expressed in many forms: one curator once said “I know it’s difficult, but you should solve your personal problems before showing them to the public”; people leaving the projection room during the emotional scenes; people giving me personal advice or showing compassion; people questioning whether this is art and expressing and explaining their rejection to the project.
As a Norwegian artist once said: "your work will never be accepted on the contemporary art world, because it is led by middle-aged wealthy white men, who do not stand a middle-aged white -and not wealthy- woman being emotional..." So the rejection of this project also points out interesting gender issues.
The project started with the video trilogy, produced in 2013-14 with a clear aesthetic form: filmed in HD in color, using a tripod, documenting scenes of my everyday life, putting a primary focus on my inner life and emotions, giving the utmost importance to the landscape as a context for my body and face and those of others represented and experimenting on the use of sound and music in a dialogue with my inner life.
In 2013 and 2014 the films were projected in several galleries in Europe and I held several performances during the openings. On the first one in Milan Effearte Gallery, I had my head shaven for the first time. During the summer 2013, at the Rencontres in Arles and at the Encontros da Imagem festival in Braga, new projections and performances were made. In 2014 the trilogy was part of a collaboration with a Norwegian artist who quit the project and asked not to be mentioned, as a rejection of La Vie en Rose. The project was exhibited at H2O in Barcelona, in Madrid and Oslo, with a video dialogue with that artist –shown blurred-, which is now part of the project in the platform.
In 2015 I decided to start an I-phone journal, filming myself in my morning walks with my dogs, in order to be closer to my immediate emotions and thoughts, and documenting the hardship about my teenage daughter’s rebellion, as a sort of inner preparation for love. The therapeutic effects of this dialogue were very powerful: I felt stronger and wiser, more calm and able to deal with the present adversity. I became able to lovingly put the necessary limits on my daughter, to love her despite her behavior. In November 2015 I published the project on the internet as a net-art project and started to ask people for written feedback. The effect of this publication was even more powerful: I had my first lover after three years of total celibacy and I made peace with my ex-husband after 17 years of conflict.
In 2016 I have been filming plenty of videos which are still not edited and published. I need the time to do this and an award would allow me to do so. These videos are similar to the trilogy in style, HD camera and tripod, and are mainly focused on relationships: on the one hand, encounters with men –of which there is an example on the platform, section 2016- and on the other, conversations with artists and art professionals (like artist Elina Brotherus and critic Christian Gattinoni) about the value of this work and the possible changes to make in order to make it fit better into the standards of contemporary art.
The project is currently been shown at the exhibition Post.com at the Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo in Montevideo, curated by Carolina Lio, and I was present on Skype on a computer placed in the same room as my work, as a sort of performance during my opening, so that people could come and talk to me.
Right now, I am re-styling and re-shaping the project with the help of net-art artist Tina Madsen. We want to give it a more powerful aesthetic shape and be tougher in the selection of videos.
My intentions for the future are, first of all, to edit and publish a selection of all the videos I’ve filmed this year. Secondly, to re-start the live performances while re-launching the project, looking for venues around Europe and beyond. Thirdly, to continue filming myself, my actual situation regarding the search for love and my actual emotions, which will continue through my aging process. Fourth, to continue gathering more feedback from the public, possibly with art institutions, curators and other artists, both written and on video. And fifth to pursue an academic research on the project, which might be part of a PhD in arts for health at the University of Derby, to which I am currently applying.