Miguel Caba in front of Window Box Gallery at Gallery 1313
Phil Anderson (PA) interviewing Miguel Caba (MC)
PA: The installation you have on display in the Window Box at Gallery 1313 is very conceptual and contemporary, perhaps not something the public would assume came from a young person in Grade 10. What inspired this work, Text Repetition 3740?
MC: I’m very interested in the possibilities of infinity and I wanted to be able to make a non-conventional type of infinity. There is a visual type of infinity, but I also wanted to create a mental infinity that reflect humans. I understand the limitation of people, a universal one, how we (usually) have 2 arms with a dominant one that enacts more complex movements. Although we have these complex muscles, we mainly use a small amount of motions and I simplified that even more to get a slight movement of the wrist and arm. I took inspiration from the way many contemporary artists made art pieces built upon movement and repetition. Repetition isn’t necessarily the central part of my piece, I would rather say I am very meticulous in my work. I care a lot about the aesthetics, how my idea materialised, how it looks as a finished product.
PA: Do you have art courses at your school?
MC: Yes, I attend the Etobicoke School of the Arts, studying Contemporary Art. The program is heavily focused on conceptual contemporary art and we learn about successful contemporary artists and what makes them successful. It’s a different type of program as we’re taught how to become successful artists instead of how to solely make art. All the pieces we make expresses us and our creative ideas.
PA: Do you visit the art galleries of the city?
MC: I try to visit a Toronto art gallery at least once a month. They give me much stronger understanding of art as I get to see amazing pieces. Vivian Suter who recently showed hanging stained fabrics from the ceiling at the Power Plant that looked beautiful and inspired me in making Text Repetition.
PA: How did you get introduced to the Carpos Collective?
MC: I was looking at exhibition opportunities that my teachers posted in an Art Facebook. There was a call for artists by Carpos Collective for the Art In A Box exhibit. I entered my piece with a sketch showing how it will fit perfectly into the box with the mirrors and light, among information about the piece and myself.
Installation view of Miguel Caba, Text Repetition 3740, fabric, Window Box at Gallery 1313
PA: Do you use fabric in your other work and what its appeal to you?
MC: I’ve only used fabric in another piece as an experiment for this one. It’s obvious how the garment factory job is always looked down as mindless. I wanted to strip the preconceptions of that and simplify it to something universal without judgment. I also find that the way the fabric looks so delicate hanging on the dowel is very appealing. It’s an actual representation of how delicately we are expected to treat art. I will probably continue with similar pieces in larger size to make it feel more extended.
Photo: Phil Anderson
*Exhibition information: January 16 – February 10, 2019, Window Box Gallery, Gallery 1313, 1313 Queen Street West, Toronto. Gallery hours: Tue – Sun, 1 – 6 pm.