Rebeca Olguin: NAIVE ARTIFACTS OF COMPULSION + ALMOST TRYING TO FORGET

20091218

December 18, 2009 – January 04, 2010

Interior gallery 12-6 pm daily/Street level installation

Regarding themes: I’m easily fascinated by the physical world, by things and their representation. Consequently, I represent things in a rather primitive state of contemplation in which making follows seeing. Perhaps representation works as an enchantment that liberates me from their spell, and allows me to experience a brief control over their chaos and multiplicity, to posses them, in a way, or, better, to participate in the configuration of their meanings. Creating becomes the act of naming the specific within a gigantic, monstrous world.
However, there are objects, ideas and symbols in this world that reveal themselves as denser, or as more monstrous than others. Within culture, one of the densest symbols I have found is encompassed by male and female sexual organs (which could be collapsed in the concept of sex). I explore those symbols in my work because they posses multiple meanings and forces. They are powerful, magical objects, objects of desire and taboo, symbols that unleash power calculations, mechanisms of control, but also of liberation; they are bearers of identity, meaning and the sense of belonging, as well as the sense of absence, loss and dissolution. They are arcana of life and death. They are symbols I like to dismantle and dissect in my work. I like to put them in relation with other objects, to arm and disarm them in order to extract, through an alchemic process that also involves the reactions others have when they see my work, some sort of meaning.

Regarding my creative process: My process is always in motion. I can only see this retroactively, and I really don’t know what to expect from it in the future. It is eminently intuitive. It usually manifests itself as the tension between my search for meaning and the opaque forces of the world, which oppose it (time, matter, chance, love and death, my own ignorance and finitude). In practical terms, my creative process generates out of an inquietude that is hard to explain, but which I experience when I see some objects or concepts that suddenly shine more than others. I believe those objects are related with each other, but I can’t tell how, I don’t know their specific syntax. This moves me to try to give them a meaning; since I’m an artist, I do so by creating things. To create is, for me, to manipulate the material world through a sort of ritual (my artistic process) in which I must communicate with the spirituality as well as the materiality of the media I use, of culture, and of other forces I cannot name. Usually, when an object or series of objects appear to me as possible objects of representation, I seek and contemplate other existing representations of those same objects in culture before I start my own task. A piece, for me, is finished when I experience a sort of consolation by contemplating it, when I forget my personal, human experience by seeing it. It is, indeed, some kind of transcendence.

Regarding media: I’m interested in exploring the expressive capacity of different media. However, I find some materials especially appealing, for different reasons. I particularly like oil painting, because it has a direct connection with earthly elements. Besides, its process is slow, so it gives room for a constant rethinking of the meanings and paths the piece will take; this also allows me to create effects such as transparencies and sfumatto.
Pencil drawing interests me because it allows a sensual communication between the artist and graphite and, through it, between artist and paper. Thus, I conceive drawing as a tactile exchange of forces that must find a balance through an intuitive equation between the artist’s idea and the resistances of the media, which are, in the end, the resistances the world (space and time) poses against being modified through my creative action. Regarding this, ink is similar to pencil, the difference being that, instead of graphite, water serves as a mean of communication and, therefore, the whole equation loses balance, because water is a primordial, physical and spiritual force of the universe.

I’m interested in digital collage because it’s evident that new media have generated physical realities, concepts and particular ways of interaction which can only be explored through their specific, hyper-codified languages. I enjoy the possibility to approach these new media through collage, i.e. through the manipulation of representations already generated by these media in order to put them in communication with each other, and to do all this from an external, human perspective. Digital collage allows me to have an intuitive, basic and innocent dialogue with machines. Play with their combinations.
Creation of artifacts (tridimensional objects) is also an expressive medium that has grasped my attention, and I’m beginning to explore.

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