Juan-Pablo Villegas sees filmmaking as a way to bring together his interest in images & sound. It takes as a starting point the body’s perception of external stimuli & how that influences our personal & collective experience. The tolos he uses derives from audiovisual principles that allow reflection by changing the way they are conventionally used. In recent years, he has researched issues related to translation & the expansion of the sensory spectrum, the animist condition of objects, & the formation of the psychosomatic. He runs a Project space in downtown Mexico City calle “eseeme”.
During Rupert residency Juan has acquired an archive of 8 mm films and 35 mm slides (about 30 kg of this material), consisting of images of archaeological prehispanic ruins and colonial buildings from various places in Mexico that had previously been used to illustrate various classes at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He has worked to extract the silver contained in the film in the form of silver nitrate, using different chemical processes. As the original images disappeared, he documented the residue. Using the extracted silver, artist did a mirror. This gesture echoes the deep ties between the extraction of precious metals and the historical and economic structure of the Americas. It involves the physical transformation of images with the intention of generating a material reflection of our environment as determined by value and exchange. Mirror as an image.