Old Vampires, Duratran print on lightbox, 594 x 420mm, 2019. Photography by Aaron CV Rees.

New Vampires, Duratran print on lightbox, 594 x 420mm, 2019. Photography by Aaron CV Rees.

Statement - Art English

Diego Ramírez is an artist, writer and arts worker. His practice employs a variety of mediums —ranging from video, to performance and signage — to unpack representations of otherness.

Ramírez belongs to a generation of young artists, writers and curators that came to the fore by questioning the language of diaspora and identity art, concurrent with the art world’s increased and often performative awareness of ‘representation’. He contributes to this trite dialogue with a historical interest on the gaze, stereotypes and monsters within an ethnic discourse.

He sets himself apart from his peers by engaging with supernatural semantics, such as vampirism, magical colonialism, post-Catholicism, and eschatology. While he works with different mediums, his exhibitions tend to combine found material with new content to re-evaluate popular media. His writing expands his research with reviews, catalogue essays and articles.

Statement - Plain English

I make art in different mediums, write about culture, and labour in the arts. My work is about images and I enjoy looking at stereotypes, monsters and religious icons. People say I make art about identity but I disagree. I make work about media but images are obsessed with my identity—understanding why takes a lot of my time. I like finding strange associations in culture and my work is where I connect, and make sense of these links.

My work looks dark but is also very fun. This is a reaction to the art world’s posturing and its tendency to fixate on big problems, like identity politics. I exist alongside this important conversation. But my position is that everyday culture is also very busy, shaping our social and political reality—every single day—alongside grand themes. This is why I work with overlooked media: it shapes how we relate to each other, with great complexity.

I value the influence of ‘history’ and my first instinct is always to find where things come from. Colonialism shapes the structures of the world we know today. This is why I like making sense of how media keeps some ideals of colonialism alive. Sometimes this is the only reason images exist and it is helpful to know that.

Ramirez acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Land where he lives and works, the Wurundjeri people. He pays his respects to Elders past, present and emerging of the Kulin Nation.