Monica is a British-Mexican multidisciplinary visual artist. Born in Mexico City and being a migrant, has deeply influenced her way of thinking and seeing. Sense of loss, insecurity, need for equality, internal chaos, transitioning between places, and the uneasiness that derives from it, play an important role in her work. Her projects are, at some level, acts of survival. A personal, private attempt that grows into a need of getting together with the public. Anchored to meticulous researches, Monica’s works question the very essence of what moves things, and serve as intervention into the carving of socio-political apathy, as well as a way to break the biases and the current status quo.
In our ever-shifting world, in the midst of an ecological disaster, a sense of being at a tipping point has created an acute awareness for many. Transition, participation and need for equality are the core motivations of Monica’s mostly long-term projects. Interaction and participation with the public are indispensable to force a reflection around processes of interpretation, and become an intrinsic ground of her thinking and research path.
Aware that in the current fluid world, the only constant element is change, one aspect remains still throughout: the personal as a driving force to activate the collective. What, intimately keeps her going is to find and create ways of making ourselves, as a community, an active force that works towards a better society.
Monica’s creative thinking confronts current issues using photography, science and cutting edge technology and projects them onto socio-political scenarios, focusing on the ethics of image making, and the tension between images, context and ideology.
The New Colonists and Ascension
On July 20, 1969, the greatest technological achievement in history was realised with an important step for mankind, when we first set foot on a celestial body. To mark Apollo’s 50th Anniversary, artist Monica Alcazar-Duarte presents her long-term project on current efforts towards space exploration. The resulting body of work is a space trilogy from which ‘The New Colonists’ and ‘Ascension’ are the first two chapters, they both include an Augmented Reality app that adds a narrative layer to the images.
‘The New Colonists’ begins by presenting the uncanny suburban town of Mars in Pennsylvania, USA. Steeped in midnight tones, her quotidian documentations of gas stations, football fields and fast food joints transport viewers to a time, place and feeling of all American life, but more importantly, human life. The work is injected with a sense of western normality, whilst hinting to an otherworldly undertone beyond these images.
‘Ascension’ presents images of space scientists and scientific facilities across Europe in an interactive form. It also refers to Ascension Island, the first terraformed environment in history.
The work delves into the beginning of an era of technological prodigy. It encourages us to look to the far future with eyes wide open, as there is an imperious need to resolve current legal loopholes regarding space exploration for it to proceed in a peaceful and balanced way. Moreover it reminds us of the uniqueness of our planet and that for all the science and wonders of the universe, we only have one home.