Barry Ebner & Hanoi Pérez Cordero: Printmakers, from Cuba to Berkeley


[Music] my name is Barry Abner printmaker lived in Berkeley for 19 17 years specializing in monotypes and I went to Cuba as part of a group to do this collaborative project that we all didn’t quite know what we were doing which was marvelous about it we knew we were collaborating but we didn’t know the parameters of it and what came about is there was an agreement that all the print work would have at least two or three people in it you know that it wouldn’t just be one person’s work but all of us working together to create the images you could grab someone’s print and add to it you could you know work in the beginning of what you wanted image wise and you know we were dealing with Swiss artists American and Cuban so there was some language things happening a lot of cultural things in terms of the different ways people choose to work some cultures are more controlling others are a little bit freer in their approach and that was manifested by the way the artists work and of two weeks we got generous donations of supplies from Sal welfare it was interesting because what was at the studio was not quite what I expected at least some things were better in terms of size space the light and other things like some of the presses or didn’t even match up to what I have so it was a very much a make-do situation work with what you have and work with the people but that was a in some ways a very positive thing because if you know it have been exactly like being there so a lot of the points were all of us adapting to different ways of working communicating and yeah so there was that aspect of it and just also exchange of ideas handle I ended up doing a big book project for me it was my first residency ever so just even working with different people it was an experience something new project this means for example that one of the things interesting thing this [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] what’s funny is so on the weekend when was shut lien and I and Karianna Megan would go wandering we would go do stuff we went by the where the Swiss were staying the first Sunday and they were all busy working we’ve been out all day looking at stuff wandering around it they were busy working they were doing their homework yeah I don’t do homework I feel familiar all the time in that project because I was working in my getting is not my studio but I belong about to that place and I’m a member of that Tiger experimental de erotica awawa [Music] [Applause] [Music] the confrontation about the for example the Swiss diver as an artist I saw one something coming between them do that the cold thing you know that before they respect to the white oh yeah they and for me I like colors very like 3d and that was very freeing see yeah there was there’s definitely different ways of making work culturally yeah the Cubans tend to be tend to be from what I saw more figurative symbolic the Americans we had with us I was the only one who gets really lose the other three are very tight but then they were the ones who had done residences in Switzerland before does that attracts them to their way of working that was really the oddball so I guess the question is to you is well if we’re working here impact you’re working back at home now [Music] I’m open to collaboration I don’t care if it’s my idea or someone else’s about you I’ve never been in that kind of collaboration I mean that the the kind of preparation that okay I’ll bring this it’s not mine so I come and do whatever you want and I try tool to assist it’s difficult to explain because you try to to keep your yourself as an artist but you know that the rules say that no you can’t you have to and it’s like a how to be flexible in the process of the house away anything no and it’s interesting and what’s funny is you say you know you have to keep yourself as I got yelled at by lean because I had too much myself was always there it was like Barry you gotta you know not have your ego in your work so obviously you do you think I’ll exercise yeah we do I mean to use an arc pattern we’ve developed a dialogue but in this way as a genuine dialogue Matta you know what started as maybe a constructive space for you know some of the artists in each other before but for several of us it’s now this is gonna be ongoing that’s only the first thing you know what shapes and who who works with what but there was there’s none of that before for any of us so that was cool it doesn’t change my thinking towards making Northam it doesn’t change my work necessarily good but it changes my thinking open my eyes to different ways of thinking about that doing the work and working with people or reinforce things that I kind of knew but may air now feel much more important like one of the things that came out in the show is none of the work is signed it’s all we know who did what but the when the exhibit that’s a 688 Sutter people going don’t know who did what pieces there’s no authorship it’s just all the names are listed and any name control could have been someone in any of the pieces and in a sense of collaboration you know to giving up the ownership of who did what whose mark is what is huge for artists I mean we always want to say I did this I didn’t you did like you did that line they did this line it’s not my war it’s ours [Music] Oh actually from the Cuba thing really came to value more working with people I don’t know and working in situations where I don’t have you know I have to give up a certain amount of authority or control and react and let go of expectations because I like to work and react to react to what happens allow a certain freedom to come into developing the work and it’s too often as you get more into doing your work you want to control more do more certain things and make it fit certain parameters where is a certain point that just turns into production and not artistic investigation so I find that going into places like that working with other people and even if their own working methods don’t change how it work the conversations the talk about other work looking at other work looking at each other’s work changes or thinking in a much more important level so yeah I mean we hope to work again in the next couple of years other opportunities that I think in the past that would have shown so yeah doing residency’s going in there and just playing is good and it is play [Music] [Laughter] [Music]

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