Helen Escobedo, By the Night Tide, inSITE94.
"The first time I arrived as an individual artist, working alone. I chose Playas de Tijuana, where the fence, which seemed truly terrifying to me, entered the sea, and I wondered if it wouldn’t be easier to swim a little and end up on the other side, but obviously, that is not so simple. So, I built three boats, obviously useless, that sank from the moment they were thrown into the water, with three catapults, and the catapults were coconuts; to “throw coconuts” to the other side. I mean, it was a black humor, but directly involved with the fence.
I am an artist of my time. I read the newspapers, I watch television, and this influences the way I see what is happening in the world. So, approximately every 8 years, I radically change what I do. I started making installations in 1969, during the second Salon Independiente in Mexico; that is, I have spent many years invading spaces with diverse ideas, traveling a lot without luggage. I come and go. I define where I’m going to work depending on what materials I find; on the team of people that are going to help me. I make an intervention in those spaces that are related to the site, with the public, and with the exact moment where I am doing the work.
At a broad level, an installation is a bit like a scenario, where a space can be appropriated and all the objects that are placed there are interrelated because they all exist around an idea.
What happens with an installation is that when you enter it, you become a co-participant, you become an actor, you enter it with the need to use more senses, olfactory, tactile, mobile. As you go through the spaces, it is obviously visual. And this is very different from seeing a work frontally as a painting, or turning a sculpture around in a museum and then going on to see another sculpture by another artist. These are concepts that have changed, let's say, since many years ago, the way an idea is expressed." –Helen Escobedo.