David Ortiz Juan lives and works between México and Spain. He studied his masters at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam and was Professor at Lebanese American University in Beirut.
He works from the creation of narratives focused on roaming, disappearance and displacement themes, often related to the landscape, exploring the links between the psychoesthetic experience and the combination of hybrid knowledge.
FIELDWORK Q&A – October 2019
How is fieldwork part of your practice?
I have never thought about it. I mean, I have never pursued a fieldwork practice per se, but I guess I could say fieldwork is a relevant part of my practice. Many of my projects come from an exploration of a certain landscape or location, in its physical, historical and/or psychological realms.
How would you describe your fieldwork activity?
My fieldwork activity has been mostly related to exploring ‘field’ locations through filming, writing, and lately, through sculptural representations and paintings. Probably, the first time I was more conscious about any kind of fieldwork activity in my practice, was when I worked on a film project related to disappeared people in Spain, who are buried and scattered around the landscape in mass graves since the period of the Civil War and the dictatorship. At that time, I was interested in the ’fukeiron’ concept (or Theory of the landscape) developed by filmmaker and activist Masao Adachi who understood the landscape as an entity capable to reveal invisible systems of power. I realised that what I was doing at that time was very much related to that.
How are you currently sharing your fieldwork?
Sharing my fieldwork is less involved with one particular format since my practice is more inclined towards finding ways to best talk about a topic. I use diverse shapes and mediums to share my fieldwork, that can be: film, photography, writing, sculptures or painting. Currently, I’m working on a project located at a Mexican rainforest – known as ‘foggy forest’ [bosque de niebla] – where I am interested in ideas related to (bio)diversity, language and disappearance, and which will have the shape of different mediums.