Activate: Market Street Featured Artist Fausto Sevila

Activate: Market Street 7

Fausto Sevila
September 5th – October 3rd
@ 75 and 77 Market Street

Fausto will be performing August 22nd & 26th, September 2nd, 4th, 12th, 16th, and 19th.

Fausto Sevila is interested in setting up conversations between physical activities and images that unfold from memory and are tickled out of him into new interpretations based on contemporary experiences. Sevila wants to give physical shape to these conversations and find the limits or expand possibilities of each media (writing, digital manipulation, drawing, painting and performance) so they indirectly influence each other. Sevila works with the limits of memory, and how it is constantly recreating itself depending on physical context. Walking, sanding, rewriting a text over and over again, scrubbing, pulling tricycles, setting up a tent, reading a poem, painting and drawing are different ways of slowing down time so that he can reshape each memory based on each physical act. The friction (both emotional and actual) plays an important role in the process of each work.

In our culture we worship efficiency and speed. Hit a light switch and we expect the lights to turn on. Teach to the test and expect the students to pass it. The problem is not that one is good and the other is bad but that we don’t pay attention to how both of these are perceived as good, because it serves a preconceived efficient outcome. There is no problem solving in the equation because failure is not a part of the expected outcome. While Fausto loves the benefits of all technology he is fearful of making a fetish out of being too efficient for the sake of comfort and productivity. Sevila wants the material to slow down and ground the viewer and the artist. He wants our will to be frustrated so that it reconsiders its perceived power. This slowdown and increase in friction is an antidote to market structures, because whether comfortably or uncomfortably, you are forced to pay attention.

The text, even though some are personal stories from Cuba, is a direct critique of our educational system’s avoidance of failure and friction. Fausto’s intention is to use the most abstract form of image making, language, to create solid objects. Fausto has always found interpretation to be an approximation and he is fascinated by how “te quiero” resonates differently in his body than “I love you”. Sevila is interested in how he might close the gap through images and performance, without creating literal illustrations of the poem and getting to the feeling of “te quiero”.

Fausto Sevila was born in Santiago, Cuba in 1960. He came to the US in 1970 and has lived in Elizabeth, NJ ever since. Sevila studied at Rutgers University where he received his MFA in 1994. Sevila has taught in the Newark Public School system for 31 years and is presently at Arts High. Sevila’s work has been exhibited at the Drawing center in Wooster St. NYC, the NJ State museum, the Hunterdon Museum, Aljira A Center for Contemporary Art, Simon Liou Gallery in Brooklyn, The Jersey City Museum, and Kenkeleba Gallery in Manhatan. Fausto has also performed with Geoffrey Hendrix at the Film Anthology and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. The Brooklyn Rail, NY times and the star Ledger have reviewed his work. Fausto has received grants from the NJ State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R dodge Foundation, Union County Freeholders, The Wheeler Foundation and The Newark Arts Council. Sevila’s poems were published in a collection of poems and essays published by ASCD. Fausto has also discussed his works in forums at the Hunterdon Museum and the NJ State Museum.