MRS & MR Garcia: Resurrecting Tillebierg Factory with Brilliant Portraits

Ahead of the installation of dynamic portraits of two Differdange citizens on the walls of the former factory of Tillebierg – one of the five projects that will be realized in Differdange this summer in the framework of Esch22, Iñigo of Mrs & Mr Garcia artistic duo shared with us bits about themselves and what motivates them to create.

How your background affects the art that you are creating?

Iñigo: It isn’t me – it’s us – Mrs & Mr Garcias, we are a duo, we’re also a married couple. We come from different backgrounds – she comes from design and architecture, I come from book publishing. She is very good in visuals, I am very good in words, she is good in installations, and I am good in concepts. We collaborated together on different projects, but for DiffMix we decided to do everything together. I find very easy to work with her because both of us are quite intuitive, and we rarely argue.

Our project is called Bright People Art, we defend there is still a room to make portraits of people. We usually choose people who are still alive and still in our lives whether they are normal physical people we share something with or we see them on TV and have something to add to our lives. It took us a lot of trial and error to devise what we are creating now. Our material works really well in analogical world, but it has been relegated to digital world. The same material was used in the Marquis Theatre, it works well both indoors and outdoors. It reacts to the wind, to the lights which is great for creating faces as human faces always move something you could have noticed when taking photos.

What being artist means to you?

Iñigo: Artist is not only about expression. Art has to do with pinpointing who we’re, what we are doing and where we are in this world. We want to celebrate people, that the people are in the centre of everything that we do. Even when choosing faces for portraits we are following the long tradition that comes from early Roman coins when you can see the face of the Caeser to zoom meetings nowadays where you got to see the face of your colleague. We celebrate humanity. Before the photography existed, people would get portraits for other people to see them, kings even used to ask portraits of their daughters that their future husbands could look at and say “hey, she is a good-looking girl” – the face has always been a tool for the representation of a human being. Even though we are using a different medium, we share the exact same tradition.

What motivated you to participate in DiffMix? 

Iñigo: We fully support DiffMix and its concept to change the urban space with participation of locals. The portraits we will install in the factory doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to people. The day we will put the portrait on the building, it’s still ours, the next day it becomes property of locals.

Where did you find inspiration for your DiffMix suggestion? 

Iñigo: Words explain, images show. We wanted to tell a story. We didn’t think that we are going to win, but when we sent our proposal we were satisfied with what we suggested. The factory looked beautiful, that old building which used to have so much life in, we want to resurrect with portraits and a kissing bench. We are good at giving places another life.

Describe how art is important in shaping the urban space?

Iñigo: City is a living organism. Places should be there for people to enjoy themselves. The stories are essential for cities. In art we are good at it. Let’s celebrate Differdange through art!

What you were busy with when you learned you’re one of the winners of DiffMix? 

Iñigo: We have a sever-year-old son who was extremely thrilled about Santa bringing presents. It was a Christmas Eve, and we have prepared everything for Santa’s arrival and we were supposed to leave a glass with some milk and some cookies. But he decided that we should be more generous than that, claiming that Santa is eating biscuits in millions of houses and convinced us to leave meatballs instead. The day after, he received a very nice present he was waiting for a long time and said “you see, this is because of meatballs we left!”. That same afternoon, my wife checked the website, and we were surprised to learn that our idea has won. I couldn’t believe as we were not expecting to win and then my kid came and said “maybe it’s because of meatballs”. We were extremely happy and honoured and it was the nicest Christmas present.

What’s your first step to materialize your idea? 

Iñigo: Finding The Face(s) among Differdange residents who have a story to tell.