Artslant Desks / by Antonio Jose Guzman

It’s so complicated to describe my desk, or desks, that I don’t know were to start or which desk to show. The above photos are of my favorite desk located in the Veluwe. My real desk is actually more less my iPhone and a little Moleskine book I bring everywhere. That is where the ideas always originate, especially when I’m sitting on a train, boat, car, or an airplane.

Atelier GF Workstation is divided across four desks: my main desk is in the Veluwe, one of the most beautiful natural forests in the Netherlands. This is were I keep all my work, but I only work there in the weekends and from spring to fall, because it is too cold in the winter; the use of the heating system for such a large space is too expensive. The other desks are in Amsterdam, Dakar, and Panama. The last two are where I spend one or two months a year photographing and sketching the material that I will be developing the rest of the year in the Netherlands. This process is similar to the nomadic cycle of my projects, researching my DNA ancestry.

I know that this all seems very attractive, but in reality I spend most of the time in Amsterdam. Since my son was born two years ago, there is not so much time to move from one place to the other, and I want to be closer to him. So all my projects are thought up, as I said before, on my iPhone and Moleskine notebook.

All of my desks are a portrait an Afro-futuristic universe. That is because I work using Pan-African principles, DNA, cultural appropriation, and architecture. I believe that everyone should create his or her own universe to go thorough life. The projects I do in tropical climates are what keep me warm the rest of the year in the west. The ideas and the cultures from Dakar and Panama are of great influence in my work, and it is because of this way of working that my projects develop in such a transcultural way.

Right now during the winter, I’m doing less physical work than the work that I do in the Veluwe studio from spring to fall, using wood, paint, and iron nails. These days I spend mostly in Amsterdam editing videos, looking for grants, cataloguing my portfolio, contacting possible places to display my work, designing installations, Photoshopping, reading books, writing ideas, and parenting our beautiful son.

Antonio Jose Guzman is presented by Framer Framed, Amsterdam, in Intersections, a sector for international project spaces and artists’ initiatives at Art Rotterdam.