jose felix perez

jessica laino clippings

limchoy lee clippings

sleeper clippings


HOTBED Miami 2010
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( One week after the HOTBED Miami exhibition had wrapped, Jose Felix Perez came to our studio to share thoughts on distinct aspects of his experience in the project. Included here are a compendium of quotes. )

[ Question: did you accomplish what you wanted? ]

The piece actually turned out exactly how I envisioned it. I was excited to see it come to life. I wanted the whole thing to be really bare bones, something that would kind of spark your imagination and memories about relationships you had with a similar structure, tree houses and little cliques with neighborhood friends. Something that would trigger those emotions and have you excited to get on it and kind of relive it in a way.

[ Question: in the development of the piece, it was suggested you add more personalizing elements; did you consider that? ]

There were times I was considering giving it a pack of cigarettes, porn magazines, board games, sketchy things going in in there, but all of that just got way too specific.

[ Question: we noticed you preserved some of the piece's structure as it was loaded out; do you have plans for it? ]

I'm trying to find a good place for it in my neighborhood, there's a lot of grassy fields and areas where I remember building my first tree houses. I want to find a good spot for it to go. It's going to kind of have a different life now, once it is what it's supposed to be, you know?

[ Question: where did the project leave you? ]

The experience was great. It's definitely something I would try and do again.


( In the Miami neighborhood of Hialeah, Perez gathered discarded wood with his friend much as they'd have done in childhood-- except for the U-Haul-- to construct an ad hoc clubhouse or treehouse. His piece will utilize only found objects such as the remnants you see here. )

ELABORATION: quotes from studio interview

Depending on what time of the day you get there, you're basically going to be seeing either me constructing it, or see a fully built fort, made out of locally found wood. It'll just be me building it, but if people want to help, they can. You could either explore it, take it as a sculpture, a piece of art that you can't touch-- hopefully you won't-- but you're free to roam through it. A fort. A multilevel fort/treehouse scenario.

[ about images inside ] I thought about it, I'm not entirely sure what that would be if there is any. There is a sense of personalizing it once you make it, you know, a clubhouse scenario. Maybe when you're younger and exploring sexual identity you got some porno magazines and whatever, some video games in there, I'm not really sure. There's a lot of things you could pick, so, we'll see. There will be some sort of setting for people to take a seat in there, talk in there, hopefully people will take advantage of that.

I want there to be a spot where you can peer over the wall and you can see the rest of the fair from above, like in a treehouse seeing enemies and things coming your way.

This comes from the same place that you would build a treehouse as a child, which for me is making something that is your own, apart from all these things that you're told to do, the rules that your parents have for you at the time. Making a place that's your own is to me in a funny way reflecting my position as an artist right now. Kind of just, building something for myself that ultimately other people can enjoy.

[ OCTOBER 26 ]

Proposal for Fountain:
Jose Felix Perez

As a child, we look to create a place that is completely our own, a getaway. For this Project I will build a fort in the space, as I did as a child, as a way of making my own niche in this other place. The fort will be an approximately 15 ft tall, multi level structure, which will be built out of discarded wood found locally. The fort will have a watch tower, from which you can peer over the walls of the space in order to see potential threats approaching from all sides. The project will be completed by the middle of the day allowing viewers to explore it for the remainder of the day.