CALL Legacy Specialists Antonia Perez
Can you share what you and your CALL Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?
My CALL artist and I were able to accomplish quite a bit in the year we worked together through the CALL program. During our initial meetings and conversations we established some goals for working together, assessing her needs and the condition of her studio. We began with reconfiguring her physical studio space, which exists within the small apartment in which she lives. There were corners that were under-utilized, practical rearranging that needed to be made for her daily use of equipment and storage areas that needed to be organized. Her works on paper were not stored in an archival manner. What resulted was a great shifting of shelving, storage units, tables, and files as well as the addition of a large shelving unit and many archival boxes. The next step was assigning inventory numbers and the proper wrapping and archiving of the works on paper. At this point the CALL Database came into play and she began entering the works. This became a regular activity for her in between our work sessions. As we neared completion of the goals we had set out to accomplish in her home studio, we moved on to her outside storage space in which 100 large works on canvas and a number of sculptures are held. All of this work needed to be numbered, wrapped and labeled as well. Though we were able to complete a great deal, there still remains much more to be done that was not included in our original goals. This will be an on-going process.
Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist?
The CALL experience has influenced they way I think about myself and the way that I handle myself as an artist. Every aspect of organization that we entered into I realized I had to replicate with my own work and began to do that for myself. The attitude of perseverance and longevity that a lifelong practice requires of an artist impressed me. Being involved in this process with another artist made me think about my own legacy and what I will be leaving for my descendants.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
The most rewarding aspect of this work is getting to know another artist and experience her life’s work with her as it is slowly uncovered through the process of documenting and archiving. Hearing her stories and seeing her artistic process as evidenced in the work and its transformations over time was absorbing and inspiring. It is rare to get to know the in and outs of an artist’s work so intimately.
What has been most difficult?
The most challenging aspect of this process is the tedious nature of numbering, entering data and wrapping artworks. There was also a sense of urgency to complete as much as possible before the year was up.
What do you recommend to a anyone assisting an artist in the career documentation process?
For anyone embarking on assisting an artist in the career documentation process, I recommend going into it with a positive attitude and clear understanding of the priorities. Patience, attention to details, note taking and humor are all valuable tools in the process. It is important to consider the elder artist’s abilities and limitations as well as your own.
Perez performing, Cuchifritos Gallery
Dishcloth, crocheted plastic bags, 83" x 72", 2008
Antonia's Follym crocheted plastic bags, plastic hula hoop, 114" x 40" diameter, 2010
Black Lace, crocheted plastic bags, dimensions variable, L 204", 2011
Curtains, crocheted plastic bags, curtain rod, diptych, 77" x 40" each piece, 2011
Tissue Box Convertible Wall Installation II, empty tissue boxes, 78” x 96” x 5”, 2009
All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.