Imogen-Blue Hinojosa: about Art, Trans Rights and Sex Work

American artist Imogen-Blue Hinojosa talks about art, sex work, trans rights and new exhibition “I Am Not For Loving Anymore” at Hosek Contemporary in Berlin.

Still from “Liturgia” 2020. © Imogen-Blue Hinojosa

Hello Imogen, tell us a little about yourself, what should we know about you and your art practice?

Hello! My name is Imogen-Blue Hinojosa and I’m an artist working in lens-based media, textile, and performance. My practice is interested in the autoethnographic and uses personal experience and storytelling to create dialogues around performativity, trans rights and protections, and sex work.

Where do you find inspiration?

I think my main inspiration comes from my experiences, aside from that, cinema has always played a large role in the way I begin making. I love going to the theatre, and I see it as both work and play. The silver screen is the best place to find inspiration✨

What motivates you to create?

That’s a great question, honestly, it’s more like I can’t create, it’s an inherent need to create which is why I became an artist. When I’m not making, I become pretty depressed.

Who are your biggest artistic influences?

I would probably say the choreographer Pina Bausch and the director Wong Kar-Wai and maybe writers like Carmen Maria Machado or Maggie Nelson. My work usually starts with text, and then builds from there, so I have a great love and respect for storytellers and people who are in tune with their vulnerability. Some artists I appreciate at the moment are Tiona Nekkia Mclodden, Herve Guibert, and Kayode Ojo.

(Self Portrait) Ya Basta Hijos De Puta 2018. © Imogen-Blue Hinojosa

Describe how art is important to society.

I think art gives power to those who have very little. It’s also a global language that anyone can come to and understand and play with. I feel like art is a powerful tool as well to grapple with social politics and create space for people.

What are your ultimate career goals?

My biggest aspiration is to make people feel something with the work I create. I would love a major institutional show at some point in my career, I think most of us aspire to have that kind of presence in space.

Documentation of Live Performance “Besame”. © Imogen-Blue Hinojosa

Describe the best piece of art you’ve seen.

I’d say one of the most captivating works I’ve seen was a Tim Hetherington exhibition which was mounted at the Corcoran years ago after he had passed. The piece was a short film that shows a soldier returning from the battlefield after his best friend had just been killed in a hysterical fit. I’ll never forget that exhibition because of how tender the work was. I think it’s quite rare to be moved by art. This was a part of his series entitled “Sleeping Soldiers”.

Soon you will have an exhibition In Berlin at Hosek Contemporary. What can you tell us about this event?

The show is entitled “I Am Not For Loving Anymore” and is a response to ongoing violence towards trans women and sex workers globally. The series reimagines traditional textile techniques and focuses on a long history of the relationship of cloth makers to sex work.

The show consists of a few new textile works and live performances all focused on these topics. I don’t want to spoil too much, but I hope to see you all there!

What are other plans you have?

At the moment I have a show in Porto coming up at Mala Voadora in November, and four more shows in the new year. I’m turning 30 next month, and I’m hoping to have a little downtime to breathe and recalibrate for my next series. There’s so much I wanna do!

Imogen-Blue Hinojosa (1992, USA) is a contemporary American artist known for her performance, video, and photography work who lives and works between the US and the UK. Hinojosa’s practice places us in an alternate world where we slip between autobiography and fiction. Working across the still and moving image, her work explores intimacy, trauma, and “the stage” as a site of the suspension of disbelief. Imogen-Blue holds a BFA in photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA from the University of Goldsmiths London. Selected exhibitions include Liturgia, A4 Sounds Gallery, Dublin, IE 2020, PELIGROSA,(Glitter Hole) Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, IE 2020,  Pearl (You Amuse Me / I Frighten You) curated by Camille Brechignac, b. Dewitt Gallery, The Workshop London, London, UK 2019, Penny Dreadful, Seventeen Gallery, London, UK 2019. 

You can find more on their website and details about the upcoming exhibition here

interview by Liviu Bulea

Liviu Bulea is a visual artist, curator and cultural manager. His practice is closely linked to LGBTQ+ rights, pollution and migration issues. Liviu is currently a PhD student at the University of Arts and Design in Cluj, RO.

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