This week, we go behind the mask with Januario Jano, a multidisciplinary visual artist and the founder of Pes Descalços.
At Loeries Creative Week on Friday, 20 November, Jano will be sharing his professional and personal life through an object that holds the key to the creative process and the construction of personal identity. The topic of his talk is called ‘My life in a bag’.
So tell us, what’s really behind your mask (literally and/or figuratively speaking).
Behind the mask, first and foremost is a human who's interested in exploring the complexity of our existence, the relationship dynamics with other living organisms that co-habit this universe through historical narratives.
Where are you locked down?
The first lockdown I was in London, the second or better put it, the upcoming lockdown in Lisbon.
How are you finding working from home or physical distancing at the office / how has your way of working changed?
Honestly, my work already permitted me to be social distancing, the big challenge was the travel, which I do quite a lot. But as we already know, we have been facing so many challenges of which we overcame or adapted. The only way my work changed was the restrictions to access certain places, material and movement. But I am not fully prepared yet to migrate to a virtual world.
Describe a typical workday, if such a thing exists.
Well said! It does not exist, at least in my case. A typical living day makes more sense for me, the work for me is intertwined with my life. All depends on the day, which starts by waking up.
How do you maintain a good rapport with your teammates/clients?
I am very much engaged with all, so communication is the key to keep things going.
How do you socialise these days?
I am not a very social being (I was born on 24 May). Not much physical contact.
What do you do to keep fit/healthy and/or sane (physically/mentally)?
Eating, walking long distances, sleep, work and keeping away from toxicity stuff.
What new apps would we find if we scrolled through your phone?
Unfold and GP Trace and Track App.
What is the first thing you plan to do when the lockdown lifts?
Read the new books that have been sitting there for a while and revisit my photography archives.
Describe your career and if/how the pandemic/lockdown has affected its course.
I am an artist, I deal with material, I love to stroll the city and go places collecting things. Now it's a little difficult to do that.
What are you working on right now?
I am curating a group exhibition due to open soon in Lisbon, editing a new body of work for an upcoming solo exhibition, and other things in between.
What does the ‘new normal’ look like to you?
Confused. I am still learning how to transition.
What are some of the buzzwords floating around at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself?
Trace and track. It's a little crazy in the UK, whereever you go, it's mandatory to scan the QR code.
What advice would you give to other industry folk during this time?
Breathe! This is not the end. Most of all, keep pushing the frontiers of innovation.
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