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Paola Estrella

My practice is about intimacy, desire, and becoming. Auto-fiction, magic realism, and story-telling are central to my work which involves self-reflection, collaboration with other creators, and worldbuilding. During my creative process, I combine mixed media, video, and performance, which often results in video installations. My projects have become portals that allow me to imagine and exteriorize different possibilities that relate to multiple ways of existence and of understanding reality, which arise from questioning social and political notions about gender, the body, and how we connect with one another. I am interested in how technologies such as VR and social platforms have impacted the way we understand intimacy with ourselves and how we perceive and think about the human experience.

Paola Estrella is a multimedia artist born in Mexico City and based in London. She has a BA in Graphic Design, studied art direction and mixed media at Central Saint Martins, and is currently pursuing a master's degree in contemporary art at the Royal College of Art, London, UK.

Estrella's work has been shown at White Cube Gallery as part of Tomorrow:London, at Matts Gallery as part of Mattflix and EverythingForever, in London, UK, at the Franz Mayer Museum in Mexico City, Mexico, at Out Sight Gallery in Seoul, Korea, at Zhou Brothers Art Gallery in Chicago, United States, at the Annual Festival of Post-pornography and Feminism, among others.

For RCA2021, Estrella is premiering Journey to the Underworld, a moving image piece about desire, vulnerability, and sexual repression as a consequence of imposed cultural narratives, followed by A Timeless Parallel, a video that was first exhibited in 2020 which shows a voyeuristic tour across a parallel reality that takes place in a residential complex in Mexico City. As part of this project, Estrella is displaying a series of paintings and photographs available at the RCA2021 online store that resulted from the creative process behind the production of the piece. Below these, a link to two collaborative projects can be found. The first one is Diasporas Now, which is a live-streaming platform for multidisciplinary artists from various non-Western backgrounds that use performance as radical acts of self-representation, and the second one is Matrilineal Mythologies which is an embodied conversation between four artists that explore rituals and entangled stories within intimate gestures.

Warning: This work contains mature or explicit content.

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Journey to The Underworld
Still of Journey to the Underworld
Still of Journey to the Underworld
Still of Journey to the Underworld
Still of Journey to the Underworld
Still of Journey to the Underworld

Journey to The Underworld draws from self-reflection and points towards sexuality being repressed throughout history. It was inspired by a need to continue to reinvent the role of women in the world. Speculative fiction, cyber-feminism, and the power of imagination were some tools that were used to share a story about desire and vulnerability.





Medium:

Video

Size:

10:38 min

Warning: This work contains mature or explicit content.

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A Timeless Parallel
Still of A Timeless Parallel
Digital Art for A Timeless Parallel
Still of A Timeless Parallel
Still of A Timeless Parallel
Painting for A Timeless Parallel

A Timeless Parallel presents a reality that exists in an alternative dimensional plane. Details of the private lives of ten fantastic characters are revealed through a voyeuristic tour around a residential complex in which they dwell. These hybrid creatures exist in a fold of reality where they try to escape social constructions by submerging into their unique worlds.

Medium:

Video

Size:

7:09
Diasporas Now
Diasporas Now
Symbiotic Mimesis — A performance about camouflage, invisibility, and becoming in relation to desire. It will be live-streamed on the 1st of July at 16:00 as part of Diasporas Now, for more information please visit www.diasporasnow.com The next iteration of Diasporas Now will be streamed from Cromwell Place during the Contemporary Art Practice degree show, from the 22nd to the 25th of July 2021.

Diasporas Now is a live-streaming platform for multidisciplinary artists from various non-Western backgrounds that use performance as radical acts of self-representation. The first iteration of Diasporas Now includes artists of Asian, Afro-Caribbean, and Latin American diasporas. The launch of the platform will take place on the 1st of July at 16:00 as part of RC2021.

This event expands the boundaries of performance as a medium by exhibiting a diverse range of forms such as dance, music, spoken word, and installation. The works will be live-streamed as both pre-recorded and real-time performances.  

Diasporas Now is a collective manifestation of personal and often political identities reflecting the multitude of minority voices under the hegemonic culture, featuring works by RCA students and guest artists Whiskey Chow and Chooc Ly Tan. 



Medium:

Digital Platform - launching July 1 at 16:00 (GMT+1)

Size:

Performance as radical acts of self-representation

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Matrilineal Mythologies is a collaboration between Jesse May Fisher (Contemporary Art Practice) Paola Estrella (Contemporary Art Practice) Katrina Wilde (Textiles) and Rita Silva (Photography). The launch of the collaboration will take place live on the 3rd of July, at 10:30 am BST.

Drawing from previous research anchored in tacit knowledge passed down through maternal lines, each artist brings an offering to the table. Through a cycle of repetition and closure, an embodied conversation is performed. Text, material, sound and the body become conduits for practical magic. 

Honouring entangled stories within intimate gestures, the everyday is elevated as current threads of our research are closed.





Medium:

Event and video-performance