Enrique Ruiz Acosta, Mexico

Residency Period: 1 November 2014 - 31 October 2015


Bio

Mexican artist Enrique Ruiz Acosta studied at the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Facultad de Artes Visuales from 1979 to 1985 in Monterrey Mexico after which he spent time in Germany and Europe for two years, where he was exposed to various mainstream cultural movements. He then returned to Mexico and began his career as an artist while teaching at his University. He was part of a generation of artists who enjoyed a local prestige in Monterrey. In 2008 he began his PHD which has gradually brought him to this hiatus.

URL: enriqueruix.tumblr.com


On-hiatus Proposal Summary

Having worked and well-recognized as an artist in his community, in 2012, various factors in his personal and professional existence led to a re-evaluation of the way he had been conducting his life and career as an artist to this point. He gave up his teaching position at the university and began new pursuits such as meditation, random conversations, poetry workshops etc., as ways to assess where and who he is and where he would like to be. Enrique has reached a hyper-awareness of middle age and the corresponding time remaining for productivity and how exactly he should use it -- a mixture of thoughts and concerns about what to do just before he becomes too old or even perhaps senile. He plans to use his hiatus residency at RFAOH to make the best decisions for his remaining life.


Final Report

And now for something completely different
- Monty Python Flying Circus

No hay mucho que agregar a lo que ya he escrito durante un año. La residencia ha sido una estimulante oportunidad para resolver algunos aspectos de mi crisis, mientras que otros aspectos han permanecido aún a la deriva o irresueltos. Pero sobre todo encontré esta afortunada coincidencia (si es que existen las coincidencias) con un plan al que ahora me estoy impulsando para realizar a partir del 2016, algo que ya he comentado en estos últimos dos meses de residencia. Ha pasado un año y mi percepeción es que casi todo el tiempo de la residencia me sentí motivado a participar. Me hice preguntas necesarias y traté de responderlas. Escribí en español y traduje al inglés. A este complicado ejercicio se agregó el diálogo con los colegas (algunos de ellos, no todos) lo cual fue esencial para clarificar y para ubicar / desubicar las diferentes posiciones que tenemos frente al mundo del arte. Ha sido difícil al mismo tiempo que un poco extraño y otro poco cómico. Creo que las diferencias interculturales a veces dejaron huecos en las conversaciones imposibles de resolver.

There isn't much to add to what I already have written in one year. The residence has been an exciting opportunity to solve some aspects of my crisis, while other aspects have still remained unresolved or still drifting. But above all I found this lucky coincidence (if coincidences exist) with a plan that I'm pushing for, and that will start in 2016, something I have mentioned in the last two months of the residence. A year is gone, and my perception is that almost every moment I felt motivated to participate in this peculiar residence. I asked necessary questions and tried to answer them. I wrote in Spanish and translated it into English. In this complicated exercise, the dialogue with colleagues (some of them, not all of them) was essential to clarify and to locate/dislocate some of the different positions we have concerning the world of art. It was difficult but at the same time a little odd, and a little funny sometimes. I think cultural differences sometimes leave gaps behind impossible to solve.


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recent comments

On Nov 1 2015, Matt commented on 16: Thank you Enrique; It was lovely having you.[...]

On Nov 1 2015, enrique commented on 15: thanks milena, I'll look for it !![...]

On Oct 13 2015, milena kosec commented on 15: It seems the XXI century circumstances are the same all aroun the world. I just saw very sad documen[...]

On Oct 9 2015, shinobu commented on 15: OK, so you are still with us, phew! But can you believe it is the LAST month anyway?!?[...]

On Oct 4 2015, enrique commented on 14: yesss! that's it! good ol' prehispanic cuisine !! [...]


3

 

 

 

en el futuro, una de las posibles salidas a mi no-actividad (mi hiatus) podría ser la escritura

he tratado de escribir poesía o narrativa pero estoy mas cerca de la prosa poética, que es una escritura que mezcla ideas, ficción, estados del ser y figuras poéticas; este ejercicio de arriba sirve como ejemplo, fue mi entrega final en un taller de poesía que tomé con katia ibarra que finalizó en octubre de 2014

además de la prosa poética, me interesa hacer una fusión entre palabras e imágenes

esto se debe a mis vínculos con las artes visuales pero también a que me siento desbordado por el frenesí de las imágenes que circulan en los massmedia y el internet; es algo que no me intimida, ni me atropella, sólo me sobrepasa; la información me parece inagotable, sorprendente, pero también distractiva

tengo guardados cientos de fragmentos de textos que he escrito y miles de imágenes que he bajado de internet, pero que aún no les he dado forma ni orden; es como una memoria incansable, inequívoca, de lo que me atrae y me interesa, son bocetos de ideas que quiero desarrollar; estos archivos de textos e imágenes en mi computadora están a la espera de encontrar su camino… quizá aquel ejercicio final del taller de poesía me permitió imaginar una posible salida

aqui pueden bajar mi ejercicio final si lo desean; está en formato pdf; se imprime por ambas caras en una hoja tamaño carta, y se dobla a la mitad, como un zine (en español solamente, lo siento):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/omj4v3c0oonwsvo/3.%20num2.pdf?dl=0

 

• • • • •

 

in the future, one of the possible solutions to my non-activity (my hiatus) could be writing

I tried to write poetry or fiction but I’m closer to the poetic prose, which is a type of writing that mixes ideas, fiction, states of the being and poetic figures; this exercise above serves as an example, it was my final delivery at a poetry workshop that I took with katia ibarra, that ended in october 2014

in addition to poetic prose, i’m interested in a link-up between words and images

this is due to my training in the visual arts but also because I feel overwhelmed by the raving of the images that circulate in the mass media and the internet; it’s something that doesn’t intimidate me, but i feel they go beyond me; information seems inexhaustible, surprising but also distracting for everyone

I have saved hundreds of fragments of texts I have written, and thousands of images I have downloaded from the internet, but I haven’t yet given them form or order; it is like a tireless unequivocal memory of what attracts me and interests me; they are like sketches of ideas that I want to develop; these texts and images files on my computer are waiting to find their way … maybe that final exercise of poetry workshop allowed me to imagine a way out

here you can download that final delivery if you wish; is a pdf format; you may print it on both sides on a letter size paper, and fold it in half, like a zine (in spanish only, sorry):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/omj4v3c0oonwsvo/3.%20num2.pdf?dl=0

Leave a Comment (8)

shinobu wrote on Jan 10:

Rhetoric rules. In human society. (not in the bunny world)

enrique wrote on Jan 9:

I can see that, the moving borders are in a different place in a new space-time geography, (and I feel myself misplaced, no problem…) this article that kelly shares with us approaches some ideas about it... although my words may sound as an "art world" defense, they are not; what I'm trying to point out is that all of it is just a tangible statement, fragile as all the statements may be, but still effective when you want to be in some places, like a biennial, some galleries or certain art magazines… the things I do now aren't meant to fit in the art world, and that's like a prerogative... but I agree, maybe we ought speak less from "art", or further more, vanish this word from our vocabulary (yei!), and talk more of other activities: creative or "entrepreneurial" post-industrial activities, as the article claims... but I feel that we still remain in some statement debate, (what should we call it now? are we ready to drop that concept?)... all my "artist" life was a continuous question about it, and many of my activities in the past were meant to disagree or dislocate these conditions, while some other activities were useful to procure economic resources ("practical survival" as you may say)... what I found throughout that is that the subjectivity is the most important thing a subject may own; therein you may find creativity, obedience - disobedience, changing identities, affections, emotions, expressions, (un)discipline, and so on... subjectivity is an important ingredient on the web, if not the main, for example… so i guess my question could be: what is important to take care within oneself? my opinion is that a hiatus may be always useful to provide an answer... saludos afectuosos desde algún lugar en méxico!

shinobu wrote on Jan 8:

What I mean is nowadays, at least where I am doing it, "things" (try to or need to or just do) exist in more varied and complex places than they did in the past. (this applies to those "people" making/doing it, too) I think it'll be also interesting to have Heather, another resident starting next month, who is a "self-taught conceptual artist" who'll explore the exact thing we are talking about in her own way. And, this is why we love having international participants here, to give a wider perspective to the "criteria" or "identity" that we, in this industry seem to follow or believe in, while I am clearly aware that that is a matter of practical survival. Muchas gracias por su contribución, Enrique!

Enrique wrote on Jan 7:

i guess so, shinobu... hehe, i'm not sure that i'm translating the words accurate to the ideas, sorry about that; but what do you mean that "we surely need lots of space"?...
what i mean is that there may be a specific situation in making art: the artist being, and first of all, he/she chooses if a work is something to be called art, or not... i mean that this statement is like a point of breakdown for the "things" called art... after that, the institution may confirm (or denied) if that artist's pretentiousness may have a place in the art world... of course there are a few exceptions to this, when some pieces are rescued from the trash can (Kafka's Metamorphosis for example) or from other contexts, but my point of view is that without people who call themselves "artists" (or writers, or musicians), there would not be art-things, nor art-institutions... the issue with the empowerment (and power abuses) between these parts is unequally given, but fortunately it changes all the time... i don't know how this goes in your country (and perhaps you may like to share your experience) but in méxico, art is made by artists, and everything else is not art, very tautological indeed, hehe... i also mean that the artist being (and his conscience) is aware of this potency in the first place, although he is also aware that his art conscience comes from the art-institutions that surrounds and shapes him/her as a contemporary being... very complex...
i guess you must, as owners of this eccentric residence (meaning that is out of the center), take for granted that the hiatus is not art, but also that it's in the nearby, or something like that

que el 2015 sea un buen año para todos !!

shinobu wrote on Jan 5:

Enrique - so you are saying that this "where the thing ends (up at)", physically or conceptually, may determine what the "thing" may be -- we surely need lots of space (:

Mary Kroetsch wrote on Jan 1:

When a writer experiences "Writer's Block" do they not review their notes and previous writings to get re-inspired and find a way back to putting the right words together to begin creating again?
I kind of feel this Hiatus we are all on as time to overcome "Artist's Block". While I don't intend on make any new art, I won't be able to stop myself from reviewing my past works or getting creative nudges through the diaries. I also intend to do a major studio clean out come spring and revisiting the past mistakes stored in oh so many boxes. Who knows; maybe something I deemed not so successful will prompt me to consider making it a success when I finish my Hiatus.

Enrique wrote on Dec 24:

hello shinobu!
thanks for your comment, I think it is not difficult to put a separation line... mmh, this is just an exercise, a result of a poetry workshop (and i'm not a poet), is only a "homework", hehe, and from this point i realized that there might be a way out of my hiatus, something i had not explored before, and also i realize that all the material that could be part of a permanent, customary activity is waiting on my computer.
although I've been saving them, i'm not using those texts and images now, so these material is also on hiatus, as i'm, and i just ponder about it; but either way, it is true, as the figure of King Midas, that everything an artist touches could be used in the art world as representative of something artistic; but it is also clear that the artist is, firstly, who determines where do his (or her) things end… I think that more than a rhetorical or ambiguous question, is a statement, and a positioning, first from the artist, and later from other circumstances.
felices fiestas invernales !!

shinobu wrote on Dec 23:

Hi Enrique, I find it perplexing that you separate this from your "art" activity -- where do you draw the line, that this is not your art project but something else, like, writing with a bunch of found images, or like a hiatus activity -- of course, once again, we are trapped in this rhetorical game, like "why is Milena's gardening not art?" or "why is Ryan's bartending not art?" -- but very curious about your definitions of art and not art or work and hiatus here and I'm sure I'm not the only one!

 


2

 

Hace unas semanas participé en un evento académico.

Fue un seminario poco usual en su estructura que tenía la intención de abrir un diálogo entre sociólogos y artistas con un tema en común: conversar acerca de nuestras investigaciones académicas, y/o prácticas artísticas en las calles de Monterrey, entendido esto como espacios de apropiación y manifestación de los sujetos – habitantes de la ciudad.

El diálogo incluyó aproximadamente a 15 expositores distribuídos en 8 fines de semana, así que cada fin de semana hubo un ejercicio doble: el diálogo entre las disciplinas (arte y ciencias sociales) y las discusiones con los participantes inscritos en el evento.

Este ejercicio nos permitió explorar y observar críticamente los diferentes procesos, algunos  divergentes y otros convergentes, que utilizamos a la hora de producir conocimiento (arte y ciencias sociales). Durante los encuentros se bosquejaron asuntos acerca de las metodologías, las formas de llevar a cabo descripciones, los tipos de objetos y algunas conclusiones sin llegar a una confrontación o una discusión radical.

Desde un punto de vista personal, pienso que esto es benefico para el mundo del arte, porque la condición contemporánea es hoy multidisciplinaria, y es un error del mundo del arte permanecer encerrado en una burbuja que solo atiende a sus propias necesidades. Eso le resta sentido a su vocación social y lo aleja de la comprensión y el interés de la mayoría de los individuos. Desde estos encuentros multidisciplinarios, o mejor dicho, extra-disciplinarios como dice Brian Holmes, es interesante observar que hay grupos de artistas que buscan reactivar sus funciones culturales, políticas y económicas y estéticas, desde plataformas que se alejan de la burbuja. De esto hablé un poco en mi participación.

Hubo otra idea que me atrajo, planteada por un grupo de asistentes al evento, quienes proponían un ejercicio a partir del concepto “la deriva” tal y como lo propone Walter Benjamin (flaneur) en los textos sobre París. Es decir, como una actividad de exploración a partir de caminar por la ciudad sin rumbo fijo, o más bien, con el rumbo de la mirada, observando con curiosidad lo que siempre ha estado frente a nosotros, pero que no vemos por su familiaridad o su obviedad.

Esta forma de vagar por la ciudad es similar al estado hiatus. Se camina sin rumbo aparentemente, pero en realidad se producen reconocimientos del sí mismo y del entorno que mantienen el espíritu del sujeto a la expectativa, abierto al devenir, a la sorpresa, Es un estado del cuerpo y la mente que suspende los presupuestos (hasta donde es posible), y articula relaciones con lo que normalmente permanece atenuado. Es un estado de subjetividad y extrañamiento.

El asunto de la deriva no es negativo, sino productivo, al igual que el hiatus. Ambos son especies de reflexiones que solamente es posible llevarlas a cabo desde el lugar de las circunstancias que vive el sujeto, en la presencia y conciencia del sí mismo en un lugar determinado.

 

• • • • •

 

A few weeks ago I took part in an academic event.

It was an unusual structure seminar that intended to open a dialogue between sociologists and artists with a common theme: to talk about our academic research, and / or artistic practices in the streets of Monterrey, this understood as spaces of appropriation and demonstration of subjects – city inhabitants.

The dialogue included approximately 15 people in 8 weekends, so every weekend there was a double exercise: a dialogue between arts and social sciences, and the discussions with the participants registered for the event.

This exercise allowed us to explore and critically observe the different processes, some divergent and other convergent, that we use when we develop knowledge in arts and social sciences. During the meetings one artist and one academic resercher talked about methodologies, ways of conducting descriptions, types of objects and at the end, some conclusions were made without reaching a confrontation or a radical discussion.

From a personal standpoint, I think that this kind of meetings are beneficial for the world of art, because the contemporary condition today is multidisciplinary, and it is wrong in the art world to remain locked in a bubble that only serves to its own needs. This situation (the bubble) goes against the art’s social vocation and keeps most of the people away from art. Those multidisciplinary works, or rather said, extra-disciplinary works as Brian Holmes explains, can be seen in certain groups of artists who are looking to revive their cultural, political, economic and aesthetic functions, and also in platforms that move away from the bubble. I talked about this in my participation.

There was another idea that appealed to me, developed by a group of attendees, who proposed an exercise based on the concept “drift” that Walter Benjamin explained (flaneur) in his texts on Paris. It’s an urban exploration activity in which one is expected to walk around town aimlessly, or rather, with the direction of one’s gaze, watching with curiosity the things and people that has always been in front of us, although we normally ignored them because of his familiarity or his obviousness.

This form of roaming around the city is similar to the hiatus state. We wander, apparently, but in reality many acknowledgments are made, of oneself and of the environment, that maintain the spirit of the subject in expectation, open to surprises. It’s a state of body and mind where we suspend presuppositions (as far as that possible can be), and articulate relations with what normally is dimmed. It is a state of subjectivity and estrangement.

The drift is not negative, but productive, like the hiatus. Both are meditations that only can be carried out from within the subjetc circumstances, in the presence and awareness of oneself living in a particular place.

Leave a Comment (2)

Mary Kroetsch wrote on Jan 1:

Back in November I attended a weekend symposium in Windsor Ontario entitled "Neighborhood Spaces". It was kind of the wrap up report of a two year project sponsored by the City of Windsor's Arts and Culture organizations where artists were engaged in spending time in a community space that desperately needed some form of revitalization and encourage its use through creative acts.
It was an interesting 3 days with the artists presenting their projects. But my one observation was that all the projects were temporary installations and/or activities and that once the project was completed the art disappeared. There was no real long term goals met in my opinion, for the revitalization objective.
One debate resonated with me the most between the chair of 1 Neighborhood Association that had been sponsoring a beautiful mural project on the commercial buildings and warehouses mostly abandoned by the Auto Industry for a number of years. His point was that the artists and the city need to work with the neighborhood members to create art that makes a positive and long lasting change to
the area and engages a sense of pride to the people who live and work there to want to maintain the work on a more permanent basis. He believed as I do that creativity is a catalyst for change. But one artist in this debate made herself painfully clear. "I make art."

Matt wrote on Dec 12:

Very thought provoking. I forget who said it but there was a quote: "you have to work within the culture to really be a part of it." which I tend to endorse as well.