TM Sisters' "Prismavolt" Solo Show: Muscle Testing, Prisms, and Letting Go
If you aren't familiar with the TM Sisters, you clearly haven't been paying attention. The dynamic duo is one of Miami's most talked about artistic teams, and they're about to open a long-awaited new solo show at David Castillo Gallery this week, dubbed "Prismavolt" -- an appropriately vibrant title for two sisters who are all about being colorful.
Ahead of the opening (and in-between their busy weekend of building an installation), we caught up with Monica and Tasha Lopez De Victoria to talk about their new exhibition in all its prismatic glory, what muscle testing is all about, and how they're learning to let go.
The new show is a mash-up of video installation, sculpture, collage, and performance - some of the artists' favorite mediums. It's about bending light and sound waves through different structures, all while integrating psychological metaphors and physical mediums. There's also a lot of art speak involved - you can read the full description here.
Cultist: What brought on the idea for this new show?
Courtesy of the TM Sisters
Monica: We'd been playing around with new stuff and we haven't had a solo show for a long time.
Tasha: I think we were playing with more light and playing with ways to break apart colors and we came across different ways to do that physically. Then we realized we could use the light projected through some sculpture elements we made and project color shifts that happened onto the works.
Monica: I think actually this specific idea came because Tasha had a prism necklace and one day she leaned over in front of the projector and then it broke apart all the images. We were both were like, woah, just a reaction. It was a surprise what happened with the light and the projector image so it was kind of a fun accident.
See also: TM Sisters: Profoundly Unpredictable
I saw in the description of the exhibit that you mention muscle testing. How does that work?
Monica: Our father pretty much has his doctorate in clinical psychology and he was going on the more homeopathic side when he was getting his degree, so he was experimenting in the '90s with new techniques, muscle testing and stuff like that. You basically use your body as an antenna. Homeopathic doctors and organizations use it to test for basic truths about your body - what kind of food you need, what's thrown off. People's bodies react so through the body you're able to sense what's true or false just from like the electrical side of it. In the presence of truth your body is strong, so your muscles are stronger and everything is more congruent.
Tasha: We used it in our work a lot, we just haven't told a lot of people. It's to figure out which artwork to use, what types of subjects to start playing with. It's a good data tester. You can find what it is you're missing in life - what it is that's stopping or blocking us. It's so simple - what does our body need healthwise? What do I need to let go of?
How does this play into the exhibition?
Monica: It's directly related to the period of life Tasha and I are going through. It's like a release, letting go of things, finding more peace, addressing more issues that we've had. So this exhibition is much more about the release and peace and getting more in touch with the water and islands. Even the metaphor of a prism - there's white light that goes through it and it's refracted and there's a color shift. It creates a spectrum and everybody sees a different side of that spectrum.
Tasha: A prism separates white light into all the colors and then you can see red, yellow, blue, orange all that stuff separated. So we like the analogy of a prism. We've been working with how light changes when you put something in the path of light and how you can separate it, analyze it, study it and really be aware of what it can do -- how simple it is and how amazing.
How is the performance element incorporated?
Monica: It's going to relate to the topics we just talked about and it's kind of like a release. A process -- a lot of our performances are what we're going through currently. Either it's a visual presentation of it or it's a metaphor.
As sisters and partners, you must be very close. Do you go through the same things at the same times?
Tasha:That's a good question! I think it's just staggered differently, since you're a little older than me, Monica. You've been through things a little bit sooner, then I just jump into it.
Monica: I think it's just more like stages of life for everybody, and fortunately we communicate with each other. Having psychologist parents, we discuss and analyze a lot of things.
Tasha: If I go through something, Monica will be there with me while I'm growing in that area. You can always grow yourself through an experience or get the wisdom of someone else, you don't always have to do it yourself.
We do go through a lot of things together.... We know each other so well, we do therapy on each other, even. We've gotta be there for each other as best friends. If one of us is going through a weird problem, our art work gets crappy, so we want the other person to feel better, to work it out and resolve stuff so we can be congruent and clear and able to make the best work instead of crappy work. If there's drama, it's hard to work.