International Videoart Festival Madrid Festival Internacional de Videoarte de Madrid New Media Festival La Neomudéjar
Synopsis: My Superstar is a single channel video misrepresenting a found image of the artist’s Mexican grandfather. In the original photograph, an attractive mature male is seen holding a bottle of tequila ‘Herradura’ while engaging with the camera lens in an intense drunken gaze. The image is notable due to its emphasis on the alcoholic drink, which conjures the seductive atmosphere of an advertisement, and the subject’s eccentric appearance – best described as lying somewhere in between David Lynch’s Eraserhead and a Latin Lover. In this video, Ramirez stretches the link between consumer culture and memory already present in the original Polaroid by producing a work reminiscent of Japanese advertisements. The photograph is iconized to convey an aura of idolatry that corresponds to the usual familial devotion dedicated to the myth of the Grandfather. This sense of worship escalates until it reaches a garish homoerotic tone represented by kitschy motifs borrowed from Japanese pop culture. Although seemingly displaced, this cultural reference obeys a personal connotation that associates the artist’s grandfather with Japan, given that the latter is said to have visited Tokyo in his youth.
Bio: Diego Ramirez (b.1989, Mexico) is an emerging multidisciplinary artist and writer currently based in Melbourne, Australia. He works primarily with video and other forms of digital media in the pursuit of developing installation projects for gallery contexts. In 2015, he was the recipient of a City of Melbourne Arts grant ($10,000AU) and participated as a finalist in the Whyalla Art Prize, Paramor Prize:art+innovation and the Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award. Previously he exhibited as a finalist in The Incinerator Art Award, the Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize and twice in The Substation Contemporary Art Prize. His recent solo exhibitions have taken place at commercial galleries, University galleries and artist run spaces such as [MARS] Gallery, Seventh Gallery, BLINDSIDE ARI, The Substation, Kings ARI, First Site Gallery, RMIT School of Art Gallery and FELTspace.