Javier Téllez, still from Oedipus Marshal, 2006. Courtesy of the artist.

Javier Téllez



RESIDENCY: APRIL 24 – MAY 21, 2006


Art Matters!
Conversation between artist Javier Téllez and
AAM Director and Chief Curator Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson


Art Matters!
Behind the scenes conversation about the making of the
Javier Téllez film between Aaron Sheley and Karl Wolfgang with
AAM Director and Chief Curator Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson


Venezuelan-born, New York-based Javier Téllez's videos, sculptures, and performances reflect on the social conditions of psychiatry and institutional dynamics. The son of psychiatrists, Téllez collaborates with patients in mental facilities, responding both to the specificity of the institutional site as well as greater questions of marginalization and agency. Often highlighting the relationship between the serene, white-walled spaces of the mental institution and the art museum, Téllez's work confuses the demarcation of the normal and the pathological. According to the artist, by working with those pushed to society's periphery, he is able "represent something that has been condemned to invisibility... always preserving human dignity within representation."

As the first Distinguished Artist in Residence, Téllez collaborated with members of the Oasis Club House, a psychiatric facility in Grand Junction, to create a western film based on Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. The film will be screened in the museum's Upper Gallery, which Téllez used as a film production studio during the course of his residency.


Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson essay


Organized by the Aspen Art Museum. Funded in part by the AAM National Council with additional funding by Toni and Daniel Holtz. Publications underwritten by the AAM Publications Fund. Téllez's Distinguished Artist in Residency was underwritten by Francis Dittmer and Pamela and Arthur Sanders.