The Berdache festival in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Catalonia), born in 2020 as a result of the illusion of generating a proposal that reflects on gender identity using the visual and performing arts as a vehicle, is about to celebrate its fourth edition and offers the public a very interesting programme, carried out by some of the most representative artists of the corresponding genre.

One of the participants and the main protagonists of the upcoming edition of the festival is Óldo Erréve, multidisciplinary artist and member of the MUXX collective, who will be in the city to display all his art and who wanted to sit down with us to chat for a while about him, about what he does and what he has in store.

Hi Óldo, some people may not know you yet. Could you introduce yourself to the F.Y! readers?

Sure! I’m Óldo Erréve. Digital performer, self-taught multimedia artist, and photographer by profession, originally from and based in Mexico City. I explore virtual bodily expression and its behavior in expanded reality, producing a representation of the human element and its process toward trans-human mutation. My work generates contemplative visual responses to the technology of nature, around a post-organic utopia, and is juxtaposed in analogy with the multidisciplinary.

I reflect on how synergy exists between organic media and new technological tools to project physical and virtual bodily artistic expression. I use various tools for 3D design and AI image processing giving value to technological acceleration with the infinite possibilities to develop projects with transdisciplinary auras.

I like to think of my work as a digital performance because I use my means of creativity also as a form of expression on the three-dimensional plane playing the role of a constantly evolving being.

Which of the disciplines you specialise in do you feel most identified with?

I have had different creative stages throughout my professional development; they are eras and cycles that I go through to gain new knowledge, keep myself updated as a virtual being, and evolve as a spiritual being. I take care to respond to the needs I have in these creative periods by adapting my skills to express what I feel. I have identified with every discipline I have worked in, each project brings something new and different. I am always in a continuous search for creative means.

Every beginning in anything always involves taking risks and some uncertainty. Were your beginnings difficult? Is your field as competitive as fashion?

The beginnings in the industry for any unprivileged person are difficult, but you always have to know what you want, be confident, and stand by what you want to express. I have learned that if you respect your own path and set your own rhythms, the rest will align and come without a doubt. I have always stayed true to my concepts and my style and this has taken me to many places to get to where I am today. There is a lot of competition between the different guilds. In my case, I am grateful to have the ability to cope fluently with any challenge I have set myself.

In 2021 you received the Art + Technology Lab grant commissioned by LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), something that very few get and considered by many as a success… Tell us about this and tell us what you did with this grant.

Yes, that’s right! In 2021 we formed a working unit thanks to this grant, we are collectively known as MUXX Project and we generate atmospheres for multimedia performance. We are 4 people working as a team, each one from their own area of work. Lukas Avendaño is an anthropologist, dancer, and muxe performance artist, the third genre of the Zapotecs, who sublimates the stage through choreography. EYIBRA and NNUX are also part of the group, which generates an auditory ambiance with experimental music that works as a complement for an audiovisual and immersive experience with the holographic scenography that I develop with live mapping during the staging. Together we have a multimedia performance piece that takes place on a 360º stage. We named this piece “BIGUIDIRIBELA”, referring to the Zapotec god of bats, translating from Zapotec as “butterfly of flesh”.

An invaluable jewel of this project is the synergy that exists between the 4 parts that make up the team, although we create introspectively when we put our heads together to conceptualize and sculpt projects, the result is extremely powerful work. This work cell has opened many doors for me and has given me the opportunity to grow professionally. We are currently active on the international performance scene.

You will soon be taking part in the Berdache festival. How do you feel, and what feelings do you usually have the days before?

I feel very lucky, grateful, and excited to be able to present my work in other countries. It’s a great opportunity that will bring a lot of professional value to my work. I feel very happy to realize that I am working on what I really like, what I do in my profession is very satisfying in the most important ways.

How do you prepare for an event like this? Mentally and physically speaking…

Before any performance I prepare myself mentally for many things, mainly I focus my mind on the activities I have to do, on enjoying the trip I’m making, on taking advantage to meet people, to get to know how the creative scene is in other places and to develop connections in other parts of the world. Physically I feel in the best moment of my youth, few people have the self-generated privilege of doing what they want to do, at the moment they manifestly want to do it.

What are we going to see in your upcoming performance?

During the week of 25-28 July, in the framework of Festival Berdache, we will be developing several activities. On Tuesday 25th July, we will have a round table discussion on the development of transdisciplinary projects based on queer and post-colonial discourse at the LGBTIQ Centre in Barcelona. On Thursday 26th July we will have a night of electronic music at El Pumarejo with EYIBRA, NNUX, and Manel de Aguas in which I will be doing the live mapping. And on Friday 28th July we will present “BIGUIDIRIBELA”, our multimedia performance piece at Centre d’Art Tecla Sala.

The idea of queer transhumanism in the post-biological system and the non-tangible elements from a vision of organic-synthetic coexistence is something you deal with in your work. Can you tell us more about it?

I think about my work as a kind of organic-synthetic amalgam, as I said before, I relate it in an analogical way to my transdisciplinary creative system when combining various ways of working, be it analog/digital and realist/abstract concepts.

A similar connection occurs in my work, I reflect on a utopian future in which energy flows in a balanced way between one and the other; as a complement between one element and the other, the good and the bad, the abstract and the real, the organic and the synthetic, the analog and the digital.

What does the word Queer mean to you?

I think of a queer concept projecting modern reality – the concept of the third gender comes to mind as the muxes, the two spirits, beings who are considered sacred because they possess two souls. Queer, from my perspective, functions as a contemporary reinterpretation of ancient concepts.

Nowadays this is the time to celebrate Pride. At the moment, there are people in the collective who think that everything is already done and that it is not necessary to celebrate it. What do you think about this?

There will always be a need to celebrate Pride for oneself regardless of sexual preference, gender identity, spiritual identity, and so on. But it is also not about celebrating as if it were a birthday or just having a massive party that supports consumerism and capitalism; it is an anti-hegemonic, anti-system, and anti-patriarchal struggle, not to make us fit into society, but to stand out and represent our value as human beings, as a balanced, equitable and egalitarian biological species unit.

Going back to the festival, what does this one have that others don’t?

Berdache is committed to including new proposals that have the virtue of making the spectator reflect on the controversy that brings with it the diversity of gender, sexuality, and interpersonal relationships in art formats. It seeks to remain engraved in the minds in order to unblock layers that cloud the reality of things in the contemporary world.

Define this event in three words…

Sexuality, gender, and ethnicity.

Three syllables make up the word NFT, something you are particularly familiar with, given that you are currently exploring their resources and the breadth that Web3 offers to generate a cryptographic neo-platform for the investment of virtual economic value in a metaverse-ready artistic community. How important do you think this is right now? And what role do you think it will play in the future?

I think of NFTs as a neo-platform to give an outlet and communication to personal, authorial projects without intermediaries, whether commercial or not. The art world and, in general, all industries also have to undergo mutations according to the speed of the digital era and the readaptations of capitalism. I mean that the expansion of contemporary universes provides artists with the opportunity to self-manage their means of output without having to go through rejections from sometimes elitist institutions.

This is important as it changes the landscape of how to sell art and broadens the range of how to get any project out there, while at the same time understanding in a different (more up-to-date) way how money (tangible and non-tangible) moves in the world and learning the economic value that each person gives to an intangible object.

It is difficult to predict how the cryptographic future will be with respect to art and economy, as everything is ambiguous and unstable in every sense and everything is built from decisions; it is like a butterfly effect that interrelates many factors, from the alteration of climatic changes in the environment due to global warming fed by industries to the choice of some random garment that can set a trend or that some action becomes viral or a trending topic on social networks.

Are you currently working on new projects?

Of course! I’m in the gestation and development stage of projects all the time, at every stage – from conceptualization to production and launch.

Currently, collectively, I continue with MUXX Project to develop new commissioned multimedia performance + installation pieces that are set to premiere between Los Angeles, Mexico City, and a few cities in Europe for the rest of this year and next.

In solo, this year I am working on a series of “digital performances”, I named this concept to this series of self-portraits intervened with 3D/IA in which I present myself as an avatar, or imaginary character of myself in whose discourse I am reflecting on my existence in a tangible plane that moves through universes and expanded spaces to coexist organically, but also virtually.

Once the festival is over, what will be your next stop? Will you have time to enjoy a few days of rest? And, how does an artist like you disconnect?

I want to take advantage of my visit to Europe to spend a short period in the south of France and take a break free of sensory pollution when all our activities in Barcelona are over. I like to disconnect from the virtual world by connecting to nature to recuperate and absorb energy. I also take advantage of these moments of introspection to write down ideas and think of new concepts for future projects.


Photo Credits:
Concept by Óldo Erréve, Sntg Vvs and Eduardo Lagunas @oldoerreve @sntgvvs @_vmp.vmp
Art Direction / Styling: Sntg Vvs @sntgvvs
Photographs: Eduardo Lagunas @_vmp.vmp
3D/AI post-production: Óldo Erréve @oldoerreve
Headpiece designed in collaboration with: Ukaanalil Studio @ukaanalil
Gloves: The Ela Brand @theelabrand