Gabriel Molina's studio, image courtesy of the artist
What does it mean to you to be an artist working in Edmonton?
To me, working as an artist in Edmonton means a great deal. I left Edmonton for a few years to pursue my masters degree and see what sort of opportunities I could take advantage of elsewhere, but once I returned I found an even better community than the one I had left and It's been wonderful to be a part of the arts scene and be recognized as making something worthwhile. Even though there is a significant DIY aspect to being an artist in Edmonton, that is common wherever you go, and there are resources for artists here that you can't find in many other places. The major global art hubs like New York and London don't provide some of the opportunities that we have, and our institutions are fully committed to uplifting its residents. Edmonton boasts a great deal of financial support for its artists as well through the Edmonton Arts council and Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and it makes a great home base for me as I pursue exhibitions here and throughout the province, country and beyond. The people who make art here are very passionate about this being here because they could have gone elsewhere in the hopes of finding success as many artists are often lured by the larger cities. To stay here and try to build a life here as an artist, or arts administrator, gallerist and curator, means that you really care about this city.
Be sure to catch Gabriel Molina in The Scene at your AGA in 2021 (stay tuned for our re-opening announcement).
Gabriel Esteban Molina is concerned with the mediation of experience through technology. Made in Ísafjörður, Iceland during Molina’s recent ArtsIceland residency, Realm of Occlusion was filmed using popular social media apps including Instagram and Twitch, and features heavy distortion and pixelation caused by those technologies’ compression algorithms. The result draws our attention to the imperfect nature of smartphones as a means of consuming and transmitting our experiences. It also refers to the use of technology and social media as a tool of the tourism industry, such as Icelandair’s very popular #mystopover hashtag, and its ability to alter our perceptions and actions.