Creative processes
Video performance “Drop” [detail], 2016

September 2016

Fermín CeballosCreative processes

Fermín Ceballos (b. 1978, Dominican Republic) is a multidisciplinary artist who works primarily in painting, performance, and sculpture. He studied at the National School of Fine Art in Santo Domingo, where he did his post-graduate studies in drawing, and later studied ceramics in Talleres Igneri. 

His first solo exhibition, Presence, was in 2002 at the Arwak Gallery in Santo Domingo. In 2003, he was selected for the Absolut Public Art Project Santo Domingo. He worked with Sayuri Guzmán on the curatorial project Arte Abierto in 2005. He presented the exhibition Perturbación at the Centro Cultural de España Santo Domingo in 2012. 

In 2014, Ceballos was an artist in residence at Altos de Chavón School of Design in the Dominican Republic. He will attend the Berlin residency from April – June, 2016.

Creative processes

My residency was from April 1st through June 22th of 2016.
I came with curiosity, open to discover what Bethanien and Berlin had to offer and what I could give back.

Located in the heart of Kreuzberg, Berlin, Bethanien is an art residency where many international contemporary artist of any discipline converge, the space inspires and fosters a multitude of approaches. It gives you facilities to work with any medium: you can have access to several kinds of workshops, devices and tools, and also a library with special focus in contemporary art. The residency is a very social environment: artists at the residency have meetings regularly and share a lot with each other, several curators visited my studio to talk about my work, and Davidoff Art Initiative also organized social activities, as an open studio… So I had a lot of social interaction.

Since I work with different mediums and disciplines, I decided to do a couple of painting and a video performance.  The works that I did were based on ideas that I already had before coming to the residency,  but the shape that these ideas took was affected by the context in which I was working. I did three paintings of the series “Despojos” (Remains): this series is a metaphorical representation of a decadent or destroyed state of human condition. The other work that I did is the video-performance “Drop” where I continue exploring the tedious, patience, concentration, and physical resistant by a simple and repetitive action sustained for a long period of time. In this work I spend over nine hours filling a glass with a dropper and drawing a little line on a paper for every drop that put in the glass.

I think that the most important aspect of an experience like this is not what I did during my stay, but what I keep from it and how I incorporate it into my life and professional practice. New ideas and thoughts about my art emerged as a consequence of my experience as an artist in residency at Bethanien, and it will deeply affect my future work.  It was an amazing experience to discover the city of Berlin: its fascinating history, museums, places, people… it offers a great diversity of artistic and cultural activities. I loved cycling the city and sundays at the mauerpark. The contextual shift made me see things in a different way, rethink my creative process, and as a consequence, get a new perspective on my work and my live.

I left Berlin on June 26th with the certainty that I will come back soon.
Now, back in the Dominican Republic, I am processing this experience and realizing that I grew as an artist and as a person.

 

 

Creative processes
Fermín working on a “Despojos” (Remains) painting in residency.
Creative processes
Video view of video-performance “Drop”. 2016
Creative processes
“Despojos” (Remains) I, 2016.
Creative processes
Still from video performance “Drop”, 2016
Creative processes
The beginning of the process. Working in residency, 2016
Creative processes
View of “Drop” performance with “Despojos” (Remains) I in the background, 2016.