Born in Mexico in 1989, Diego Ramirez currently practises as an artist and art writer in Melbourne. His mixed media work suggests that consumers and audiences actively appropriate popular and consumer culture to construct their identities, remixing mass media with the everyday or the personal to articulate their aspirations and socio-cultural realities. More importantly, Ramirez aligns this strategy with postcolonial politics, arguing that in colonial environments, the colonised appropriates the vocabulary of the coloniser to disguise the practice of unofficial cultures.
Recent group exhibitions include Forever Now (MONAFOMA Festival, Tasmania and Trilogies at The Substation), and the Paramor Prize (Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, NSW). Ramirez’s video work is regularly screened internationally: most recently, in the United States, Colombia and France.
In casual conversation Ramirez describes his work as somewhere in between a monster movie, shopping mall aesthetics and a Mexican ‘thing’. His favourite hashtags are #pop, #trash and #freak.
2015. HD video, looped, edition of 5 and 1AP, 2:00 minutes.
Sound: Emah Fox.
My Superstar is a single-channel video misrepresenting a found image of the artist’s Mexican grandfather. In the original photograph, an attractive mature male is seen holding a bottle of Herradura tequila while engaging with the camera lens in an intense drunken gaze. The image is notable due to its emphasis on the alcoholic drink, which conjures the seductive atmosphere of an advertisement, and the subject’s eccentric appearance – best described as lying somewhere in between David Lynch’s Eraserhead and a ‘Latin lover’. In this video, Ramirez stretches the link between consumer culture and memory already present in the original Polaroid by producing a work reminiscent of Japanese advertisements. Thus, the photograph is made iconic to convey an aura of idolatry that corresponds to the usual familial devotion dedicated to the myth of the grandfather.