Claudia Rojas is a true craftsperson. Growing up in Argentina and Uruguay, Claudia studied various creative mediums including voice. Choosing to pursue her education at the University of San Andrés in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she continued to use music and performance as Refection and Response. She played briefly in a group with Peter called Harold and the Gauchos, see The City and Solitude. Claudia has recently graduated and now works for the historic Teatro Colon and assists with Classical performances. Peep the interview to see a unique youthful perspective on the realities of Classical performance in the contemporary world!
(Reflection and Response) is a very creative process that involves seeking messages in things that might not necessarily speak to us.
Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?
CR: I am from Buenos Aires and I still live in Buenos Aires.
What does Reflection and Response mean to you?
CR: Reflection and Response could mean many things, however, should I try to reduce the meaning it to its bear essentials, I would place such a meaningful thing in the productive interaction between a human mind and anything else. It is a very creative process that involves seeking messages in things that might not necessarily speak to us.
It seems we cannot bear to live in a meaningless world, and so, we engage in conversation with anything in the same way a little girl does so with her seated bears at her tea party: pouring out the faint infusion and happy with the endearing delusion that things are put out there for a reason.
Now I could go on about the incredibly creative process that is the engagement between two or more minds in naturally dysfunctional conversation, but a lot has been said about the destiny of anyone to be misunderstood. What interests me, rather, is what happens when someone reflects and responds to something someone made a long time ago, especially when that something is artistic. I believe it is then that we become those furry things that, in stillness, we feel the warmth of the calling from a vessel that remains true, and all that we’ve been handed at one glance, or hearing, is a cup.
How does your work at ISA Teatro Colón fit in with that definition?
CR: The greatest challenge of any opera theatre is to keep opera, ballet and symphonic music alive and current. You must encourage, in the words of this interview, reflection and response between artists and the general public.
What makes this challenge difficult? There has been a great divide between art and the public. Centuries ago, art and public sensibility were much more connected through the understanding of the sacred. There’s a ritualistic side to art that was understandable sometime ago thanks to religion and the aperture to a more symbolic life. Contemporary life has diluted such sensibility; indeed, there’s been a lot of talk about art’s death through its loss of aural qualities. Art has become so conceptual in some ways that it runs the risk of thinking itself purely divine instead of a humble representation of something much greater.
This doesn’t mean I’m saying that art has lost its power at all, but I can think of examples in which artists have become irresponsible. Art in general has become so plural and so hard to keep track of that one needs institutions to show us different narrative paths to art, just like one needs writers/journalists/historians to understand what has happened so far in any national or international setting.
Places like Museums or Theatres have the great challenge of coordinating sensibilities pertaining to different intellects, imaginations and times. They remind us that there is an emotional parity between different people that express such sensibility in different artistic currency. But people are not wrong in feeling intimidated; we do tend to appreciate some more than others.
Who or what inspires you?
CR: The idea that there is so much work to be done!
Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?
CR: Yes. I am no one to tell you what art is or is supposed to be. My impressions of the art world are quite personal.
Shout out to/ Thanks to…?
CR: I would like to thank Peter for inviting me to participate in this amazing blog. He has been the only person that has persuaded me to publish anything this year. I’m sure there’s quite a bit of talent in achieving that.
Reflection and Response.