Visual artist Andrea Coyotzi Borja: “What happens when nothing happens”

Visual artist Andrea Coyotzi Borja: “What happens when nothing happens”

Andrea Coyotzi Borja is a visual artist who mainly works with video installations. She is also doing her doctoral studies at Aalto University in Finland. She is currently in a residency programme in Cove Park, Scotland. She tells us what she is working on.

What are you doing in Scotland?

“I’ve been working with different things here, not a specific project. It has been more of a time to think about the projects that I’ve been doing and to organise my ideas and thoughts.”

What are the main things that you are working on in Cove Park?

“There are three main projects: two group shows and the dissertation document for my thesis. The first exhibition will take place at Huuto Gallery in Helsinki in the autumn. The piece that I’m working on for this exhibition is related to the topic of my research which is the infra-ordinary. The title and concept of the work are based on the premise: What happens when nothing happens. This idea comes from writers Georges Perec and Paul Virilio. My intention is to use the given space and time for the exhibition to set a desk and a chair and sit there, every day dwelling within the idea as it attempts to find a medium, a mode, or an opportunity to become visible.

The second exhibition will be at Exhibition Laboratory in Helsinki and is part of the Research Days of the Academy of Fine Arts (KuvA). The exhibition’s 17 participants include postdoc researchers, doctoral students and staff members. The piece for this exhibition is still in progress but it will be related to the concept of experience and experimentality within experience.”

Has the time in Scotland been successful?

“Definitely yes. The rhythm here is very slow and you don’t have the usual distractions that you have in your daily life. It has been very productive.”

What’s coming next after the project?

“The two exhibitions will happen in the autumn. The exhibition in the Huuto Gallery is in October and the one in the Exhibition Laboratory is in November. After that I’ll hopefully finish my dissertation.

I love the residency. This is a collaboration between Finland and the UK and next year someone from Scotland will go to Helsinki. This is a very good initiative. It has been truly amazing meeting other artists and writers from different nationalities who work in different mediums at Cove Park. We have all been sharing our work and talking about the experience and process of doing, exhibitions, venues, and about the joys and struggles that come with the practice. We all usually spend most of our time at our individual locations or studios during the day but end up meeting, mainly in the afternoons, in the main building to have dinner or use the internet, or just have some social time.”

Text: Kaisa Paavola Photo: Sinem Kayacan

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