Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Photographer Daniela Rossell lives in Mexico City. Her series Untitled (Ricas y Famosas) is on view in the Photography in Mexico exhibition through July 8. You can watch Daniela and others speak live on the web this Friday as part of Rooftop TV.
Do you collect anything?
I collected erasers as a child. Erasers as replicas of all sorts of things — sushi, ice cream, animals, etc. It has been the collection I have taken the most seriously in terms of dusting it off and having it on proud display in my own private bedroom. I feel attracted to art for similar reasons. It frequently looks like it is just making a replica of an original, or something or someone trying very hard to be an original, yet it has the potential to erase, to create space and an awareness of space — like the feared blank page, if you will — so that one can rewrite one’s own “original” story. And, it certainly collects dust.
Who was the last person who left you a voicemail?
In my cell phone I have a message that says, “Please don’t leave a voicemail.” A real-estate agent was the last person.
Have you ever run out of money?
No … No.
What is your favorite tool?
My favorite tool is a Japanese brush that has its own water supply. This means you can use it anywhere, and it always delivers the right amount of water depending on the pressure you put on it. I am fond of its apparent independence. I also like doors and walls.
What should I have asked you?
I believe that is your dilemma.
How about what do you listen to while you work?
I have been painting lately. I enjoy, or study (you can’t actually call what goes on enjoyment many times), interviews on YouTube. This can go on for hours, starting with one person and seeing where it leads me. I am fascinated by creations or revelations of the self expressed and made possible through this genre. I have an ear out for the confusions between soul, ego, aura, self, inner self, depth, the “I,” and so forth. I particularly find beauty in slips of the tongue. They seem to be like relics of truth.