In recent years, coming from a cultural theory background in academic anthropology and an ethnographic background in my research-based art practice, I began to create site-specific, inter-disciplinary and cross-genre interventions that build on my long-term exposure to borderlands and border zones. Having worked as an ethnographer for several years, in Italy, Brazil, Mexico and since 2002 at the Tijuana-San Diego border, I have designed a set of trans-media practices that reflect on the border as a mobile category of experience, of sensory and conceptual mediations, disciplinary negotiations, and geopolitical articulations. In my art practice, I deploy ethnography both as a collaborative method and a participatory sensibility. I have been primarily interested in ethnography as a polyvalent medium, and as an aesthetic and art attitude towards public culture. My art practice builds on and extends the pioneering contaminations between ethnography and surrealism around Georges Bataille's Document circle (Michel Leiris in particular), as well as on the passionate trans-cultural mediations of artist-researchers from Maya Deren to the contemporary interventions of Jimmie Durham, Alfredo Jaar, Renee Green, the Atlas Group, Isaac Julian, Yinka Shonibare, and others. I think of my work as an experimental mode of translating through art practice research conducted in carefully selected urban sites, public cultures, and conceptual horizons. My work incorporates the lessons learned from Conceptual Art, Arte Povera, Postminimalism, Site-specificity.
In creating a wide range of art practices, including installation, performance, cartography, digital photography, video and medical imaging technologies, I have tried to create conceptual and evocative interventions that are less about documenting, translating or representing the Other, and more about reflecting on the nature of desire in border zones, and how cross-cultural desire can be mediated through an art practice.
Writing on the Artist
2016 Tijuana Transa: Transa as Metaphor and Theory on the US–Mexico Border, by Jennifer Reimer in Journal of Transnational American Studies
2016 The Incurable-Image: Curating Post-Mexican Film and Media Arts, by T. Elhaik, Edinburgh Press
2015 "Fiamma Montezemolo, Traces," Mike Watson, Art Review, October 2015 [pdf]