VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Mayorga, E.S.

E.S. Mayorga
Mexican videomaker


Interview: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background

My life? Well, It would be impossible to say that my life has been normal. Insane or unbelievable could make a better description of the kind of things I have been through. Having dinner with the guys from Iron Maiden, talking to Noam Chomsky, working with Damien Hirst or even fulfilling some extravagant sex fantasies, that’s normal, but I’m pretty far from that and it will take more than a few lines to talk about it.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

It was during the autumn of 1990 that I got my first video-camera, me and some supposed uncle – who turned out later to be a child molester – bought it in New York. So I started recording all sort of events; boring Christmas parties, friends doing drugs and presumed paranormal phenomena. Afterwards, while studying at the National Centre for Arts in Mexico City, I found in video or moving images a perfect medium to articulate ideas and experiences that otherwise would remain in silence.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

My work has a wide spectrum. It all began with my interest in Magick (with K) and it slowly moved towards the analysis of horror in fiction, its graphic characteristics and its hidden social and political implications.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

I work with video and fortunately there’s nothing to develop.
Styles? I’m not sure.
About the principles… I need to have fun during the whole process or at least to learn something new. Of course there are a lot of difficult moments but (laughing) it’s part of it.
You can learn to laugh at your pain and turn it into something beautiful.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.

I try to make the most of my humble camcorder and creativity. I’m not into big budget productions, not for the moment.

6. The field of “art and moving images” (one may call it videoart or also differently) is manifesting itself as an important position in contemporary art. Tell me more about your personal position and how you see the future of this field ( your personal future and the future of “art and moving images”)

That’s a big question!
Let’s just say that technology (or science) and art move together. No matter how far technology goes, art not only reveals its social consequences but also adapts and changes our relationship to media and the mediums themselves. Artists are like mad scientists.

I wasn’t there when video technology appeared but I’m looking forward to see the developments after HD, 3D systems and holographic imagery.

7. How do you finance your films?

I have done all kind of absurd jobs to keep my production going.
In Europe I’ve worked in renowned Museums and cheap Hotels, at BMW garages cutting away oil pipelines and earning almost nothing. In Mexico I worked as a cashier at the wholesale food market (La Central de Abastos) and even for a small Mafia in “Tepito” (Mexican black market).

Luckily my last installations were financed by two of the best Art Academies in Germany – the HBK in Braunschweig and the KHM in Cologne – but the future is still dark.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?
if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

I work with very close friends who help me with all that stuff I don’t know how to handle. Christian Espinosa and Javier Joaquín are in charge of the animated images, I also like to work with the electronic (madness) compositions of DJ Dubel and fortunately I got to know the German singer Gerhardt Bruns whose fascinating voice reminds me of “The number of the beast” introduction by Vincent Price. All of them participated in works like “…so Satan told me how to deal with small things” or ”The Apparition of our ill-fated Love”.

9-Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

I was fascinated by Kenneth Anger’s presumed satanic film since the very fist time I saw them. They are so pompous and exaggerated but poetic at the same time.
I like Pieter Bruegel’s and Goya’s fantastic scenes and curious characters as well.
From Clive Barker’s novels, I particularly liked “The great and secret Show” for the interesting interaction of space, time and will. Also, Andrzej Żuławski’s film “Possession” is one of those films that somehow keep me company.
Music is also one of my biggest inspirations, either Heavy Metal, contemporary music or trance, specially while sleeping. It always triggers so many of ideas.

10-What are your plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

Dreams? See the end of the oppressing fake-democracy we’re all living in. (laughing)

Once I had a dream of me and my ex-girlfriend as a couple of good-looking zombie hunters leading a small organised party, responsible of getting rid of a plague of voluptuous zombie girls in a small town in Mexico and I loved the idea! (of course I know this is not new!)
Doing a feature film is one of the things I always wanted, you know? Some low-budget bloody stuff.

Honestly I would like to work on more curatorial projects supporting other artists as well. Sometimes being part of an exhibition is not enough.