For the OSCAM x Patta exhibition that opened last Thursday, we've interviewed the collective of artists partaking in the event. Serana Angelista is a graphic, visual and strategic designer based in Rotterdam, challenging the social injustices focusing on the art industry and contemporary society.
Serana's work included in the show is Tracing Settlers, an ongoing visual research mapping Dutch architecture on Curaçao and in the Netherlands. By deconstructing the images and restructuring them, the re-contextualisation shows Dutch imperialism and the normalisation of colonial buildings which now function as a shelter, public spaces and homes. Tracing Settlers raises the question: how to live in spaces where past and present memories of coloniality abide?
Read on and get familiar with Serana.
Who are you and how would you describe your art?
My name is Serana Angelista (pronouns they/them) born in Amsterdam, based in Rotterdam. I'm a graphic, visual and strategy design artist who uses craft to confront hegemonic structures in contemporary society. Hence my art revolves around visualising and grasping the weight of oppression.
How did your relationship with art begin?
Before I went to art school, which taught me nothing other than Eurocentrism, my dad taught me how to draw. With my illustrations, I responded to social injustices and expressed my lived experience. Along the way, my medium changed into graphic design and visual research.
How would you place your art in our current social/ political landscape?
Coping with capitalism.
What do you feel an artist needs to add on a cultural level?
Recognising white cishet ableist supremacy and who gets to be seen. Without affirming this, art means nothing.
What messages are you trying to convey to your audience through your art?
If you do not understand it, it's not for you. (but it might teach you a thing or two)
Please explain your creative process.
It's a journey that always starts with restlessness around things I can’t change. Plotting and planning ideas and journaling my thoughts at every moment of the day. When the idea is clear I’ll find the right medium to visualise it.
What is the hardest part of being an artist?
Nowadays art is celebrated for the wrong reasons. After the 16th-century art was a tool for the oppressed to react to the oppressor.
Now, respectable art is caged in white cubes inside buildings which remind me of "the master's house".
What part is the most rewarding?
With my work, I want to affirm an audience who lives with denied realities. If this succeeds it's the most rewarding.
How did you get linked to Patta?
During the event ‘Books we share that make us care’ when they collaborated with The Black Archives <3
What advice would you give to young artists trying to find their voice?
Create for yourself and most importantly: don’t let people in power gaslight you. Nobody is allowed to gatekeep your reality.
WE WILL BE HERE FOREVER. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? runs until April 19th. OSCAM is open Monday - Saturday until 6PM.
1102 DB Amsterdam