Aïda Gómez – The streets as a playground
I love the unexpected and especially when it is something outside on the streets. Something that makes you look twice and gives you a feeling of curiosity. That is precisely what Berlin based Aïda Gómez does. Last year she sent a message to Street Art Europe about a new intervention named Leave Me Alone, in which she created the text with leaves. Brilliant! It made me very curious about her and her art.
Aïda Gómez is originally from Madrid, but has been living in Berlin for several years. When she first moved to Berlin it was because of a scholarship. After her study she decided to return back because of love. In Madrid she was part of a collective called La Pluma Eléctri*k. Gómez: “I developed projects of street art and at the same time I participated in many art festivals. I had the chance to collaborate with other artists, travel, meet a lot of interesting people and learn.”
The collective split up when she moved to Berlin in 2011. When still being active in Madrid they developed a lot of outdoor and indoor projects. One of the outdoor projects was Spider Tag. “We were very inspired by the way spiders work and we tried to imagine the way a spider would make art.” With a long piece of string, abstract artworks were created on walls, in front of windows and inside tunnels, just like a spider would do. An example of an indoor project is Unexpected Gallery. “It is a gallery that only opened their doors when our flat mate was out of town. We would empty his room and organise pop-up shows. Before his return back home, we carefully placed everything back to the same place, as if nothing happened. He never noticed it.”
The streets are definitely Aïda’s playground. She finds it very stimulating and thinks that everyone can see the things she sees. You just simply have to stare at things, instead of just watching. “If you pay attention, a lot of incredible things are happening every second around us. It is a matter of training your eyes. Pay attention to things happening around you and out of focus.” For example, her latest project Mind The Gap made her create a Tetris game inside a Berlin underground station. What everyone sees is this gap where tiles are missing. What she sees is the opportunity of filling this gap with new colored tiles and make it look like Tetris. Now that is brilliant, isn’t it?
Aïda has a fascination for words. For her it is a vehicle for communication. That is a great power, so she thinks. “I love double sense expressions. They make you think about the different shades of things.” One of her recent projects that involved words is this search game poster. She placed these posters in between other posters that say what you should buy. Her poster is a game. “I want to invite the passersby to think about concepts like love, truth, finding yourself or searching your own way.”
At the beginning of this year Aïda was invited to exhibit at the Berlin based Open Walls Gallery. The title of the exhibition was Joy Is Here and took place in one of the darkest months of the year, January. Seeing that her exhibition was also after the Christmas holidays and Blue Monday coincided with the dates of her exhibition, she had to bring joy to Berlin. “I wanted to make an installation that could change the mood of the people who came to view it. One of the things that make people happier is to play. During the exhibition you are in the middle of a game and you forget about your problems” A massive word search game (just like the poster) was installed inside the gallery and words were hidden inside the game. “These words were things that had something to do with happiness. Things that make us happy (house, love, money, smart phone), as well as thoughts about it such as sadness and low expectations.“
Aïda Gómez is an artist who makes people think. I really like it when an artist hides installations at an unusual or perhaps sometimes even a usual location. For Aïda it is all worth it when she has shaked the conventions of just one single person. Surprise the viewer and awake them in new insights. So far she has invaded the cities of Madrid, Cuenca and Berlin (where she currently lives). She would love to explore new cities very soon. “I like to observe the environment. I have made art in the streets of every city where I have been living for a while. Yes, my work ‘Home is where your heart is’ is about that.” Currently Aïda is working on a video project with musician and writer Fernando Epelde. In the mean time she keeps on doing things outside on the streets. Looking forward to her upcoming interventions.
Article by Nicole Blommers.