In another manner, in the space of Camila Villa Zertuche, desire alludes to a physical feeling. The ways in which we manifest our desire lead us to tangible decisions and outcomes. She alludes to two distinct, yet in relation, translations of desires: her personal desires and other people’s desires or perceptions of her and her body. In Camila’s space, what is specific is the translations of her desires into physical objects to show the play between personal desires and desires acquired by social standards. For Querencia, the artist presents a body of work that ties her watercolor paintings, which depict womanhood through portraying women. In juxtaposition to the mellow touched watercolors, the artist's central piece, « Flor Seat » stands in and translates Camila Villa Zertuche’s desire to gather and invite people to get closer, to slow their pace and take a rest. This 3-dimensional installation expresses the idea of nature that has been domesticated through modern society for human commodities only. The gap between the two worlds is more marked this time than ever. This contemporary reality comes across with what Querencia, in the context of this exhibition, discusses. By questioning the viewer about what we desire and what we inherit, the reminiscence of the artist’s desire, « Floor Seat »materializes this ambivalent state of being. Yet the realization that society domesticated nature progressively revived the artist’s desire for a world where women and nature could act freely. Such a space is possible to exist within her art-making, as it facilitates the deconstruction of society injunctions.

About Camila

Camila Villa Zertuche is a multimedia artist working in painting, drawing, performance and three dimensional design. Camila was born in Mexico City in 1996. She received her BFA in Visual Art from The Cooper Union in 2020. Camila Villa Zertuche works from her studio in New-York City.


Could you introduce yourself?

Hola! I am Camila. I was born in Mexico City and then I lived in Miami before moving to New York. I have been living in New York City for 7 years now. I am a multimedia artist working in painting, drawing, sculpture and performance.

How would you describe your practice?

I am trying to explore the ways femmes, flora, and fauna have been domesticated throughout history. I use paint and form to muddy the hyper stylization and flattening that happens when women and nature are represented in art history and modern media. I mix my own drawing style from when I was a child with digital aesthetics to create an imagined world that seems familiar, yet appears distorted. I am trying to highlight the disconnect between our perceptions of these domesticated beings and their true experiences.

What does desire mean to you?

I think about desire in two ways. First, I have my personal desires which might be goals I want to accomplish or people I want to be around. And then as a woman and immigrant living in the US, I am hyper aware of other people’s desires or perceptions of me and my body.

How much does desire shape the way one behaves and navigates the world?

I believe the word desire alludes to a physical feeling and so the way we manifest our desires leads to tangible decisions and outcomes. It is the driving force for most actions.

Why did you choose to present this work in this exhibition ?

You know it’s funny because in 2019 I was thinking “Damn, I want to be like a mythical creature sitting on a flower. I should make a flower shaped chair.” At the time I did not really know how to physically create the work so I just left it as an idea. But in 2021, I was gifted these large blocks of foam and it all clicked in my head: “It was time to make the flower chair!” But it wouldn’t be a chair per se, more of a soft lounging seat close to the ground like where a flower or child would want to rest. I have no technical experience with making furniture or sewing, but I figured out how to make these Flor Seats simply because I wanted them to exist. So these works were literally born from my own personal desires, but their visual manifestations take notes from playfully commodified subjects like emojis and candy. I also think these works play with the notion of personal desire vs. desire acquired by social standards.

Does such a space exist for you?

Yes, in making art I am creating a space where my own desires are explored in relationship to the desires subjected upon women and nature.

Could you describe what it is?

It is a warm, tropical place filled with femme energy. It is much like the environment I grew up in with my 3 sisters living in Miami and Mexico. It is a space where women and nature can act freely, while remaining aware of society’s desire to domesticate them.

Do you want to ask me something?

Do you visualize a specific flower when someone says flower?

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