Did time create mankind or did mankind create time? says Henri Bergsen… What do we think about ‘time’? What does it look like, what does it sound like? Questions we might not answer… Pablo Dávila gives the inspiration of many of these questions. The artis is here to create moods and to show how to feel harmony, exploration, sense, and emotion through an experience. In his first exhibition in Istanbul, ‘Under one lamp by day, and billions by night’ he shows the intention of creating a mood by combining visual elements and sound together… Sound creates a very particular presence in his exhibition and the entire show runs by it. That particular sound when you enter the show is all you think about, he explains the experience, ‘In my mind, that particular sound is the sound of time’. We meet with Pablo Dávila through his work at The Pill Gallery and had a chance to talk about his work through sound. Now, it is your turn!
Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as an artist ?
Pablo Dávila: Not really, it was more like a couple of years in which I started to shift into a mindset that allowed me to produce the work that I was interested in creating. Of course, I’m still shaping that mindset, the more you get into your own practice the flow of creativity becomes smoother, more interesting and fun, and I don’t think that process will ever be over, probably just less bumpy…
How would you define your work to someone who’s never seen them?
Pablo Dávila: I don’t know, I don’t even know if it is important to define your work. I can tell you that I prefer to talk about my work with people that have seen it; having said that , the constant realisation that everything has recently changed yet my instinctive flow to counter that reality is the main tension in my practice. I’m interested in this gap between what we live, what we perceive and what we remember.
Your work explores sentience and subjectivity through investigations in perception, space and time consciousness… How would you define the ideal subject? How do you manage to find the concept around which you built your exhibitions?
Pablo Dávila: My works are built around certain ideas and questions that interest me and that building process is done in my studio and in my everyday life. When putting a show together I try to portray those concepts as simple as possible; since I am dealing with questions about time and presence, which are very complex ideas, the result always ends up being more complex than what I intended.
You are using feelings such as harmony, exploration, sense, and emotion. what is the reason of choosing to subject these feelings in your work ?
Pablo Dávila: I am very interested in creating a mood. Mood is also an idea upon which you can build something else. In this show I did intend to create a particular mood by combining strong visual elements with sound, a sound that creates a very particular presence and permeates the entire show. When you think about the show that sound will be playing in your mind and will be part of the other works as well. In my mind , that particular sound is the sound of time.
Your relational aesthetic goes beyond conceptual identity… Within the exhibition a visual cosmogony of space, as a function of sound in tune with its infinite variability. What was the process of preparing the exhibition like ?
Pablo Dávila: The process was very organic, Suela (The Curator of the exhibition) was very receptive and proactive with my approach , everything flowed nicely. My approach towards art is very open to collaborations, I’m used to working that way, so when the communication is good then everything tends to work out.
It is your first ever exhibition in Istanbul. Can you tell us about how you found a space here as an artist?
Pablo Dávila: Well, I met Suela in Mexico City and she got interested in my practice after that I received an invitation to do the show, and so we started this collaboration. The most important aspect for a healthy artistic practice in my opinion is to work with people that you respect and learn from, in this case my experience in turkey couldn’t be better…
The shadows in your work have an infinite effect that dare to be timeless and spaceless in the pursuit of freedom… How would you define the harmony within your work?
Pablo Dávila: Shadows are an important element in this show, the only light sources are sunlight and a spinning lightbulb in the middle of the room, so these shadows (to me) convey a sense of disorientation, they are always present and always changing , making our own physical presence visible to ourselves and therefore a part of the show. We are always with ourselves, this is something so normal that we don’t think about it, in other types of art such as literature or film it is easier to forget yourself and get immersed in that other reality. In my practice I like to get the viewer involved in the work rather than lost inside it. So this harmony that you mention I believe depends on the harmony that the viewer is willing to grasp out of the exhibition.
If you could work within a past art movement, which would it be?
Pablo Dávila: I would have loved to meet Stan Brakhage. He is a entire movement by himself.
What’s next for you?
Pablo Dávila: I have a tennis tournament next week… I hope I can reach the final this year.