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 !! [...]


7

Tengo 6 meses de ser voluntario en Misión del Nayar. Ahí participo en reuniones con jóvenes que vienen de comunidades indígenas situadas en zonas rurales situadas entre los estados de Jalisco, Nayarit, Zacatecas y Durango en México. En esa zona habitan Wirrarikas, Coras, Tepehuanes, Mexicaneros. Vienen a Monterrey a estudiar preparatoria y facultad apoyados por la Misión del Nayar que les entrega becas de escuela, hospedaje y alimentos. Es un grupo pequeño de  jóvenes entusiastas que deben adaptarse a diferentes situaciones al llegar a una ciudad como Monterrey, como son las distancias urbanas, la lengua (de cora a español, a inglés), la discriminación, la diferencia en los niveles académicos, etc. Mi contribución es apoyarlos en algunas de sus tareas de la escuela cuando lo solicitan (desde mi campo: arte, historia, sociología, filosofía, herramientas de redacción). También he encontrado interesante acompañarlos en sus encuentros de futbol rápido. Acercarme a esta realidad me ha permitido enterarme de otras cosas, como que en México se hablan 68 lenguas. Para este año estoy a cargo de un proyecto de Cine Foro en el que podremos ver películas poco conocidas, y además, discutiremos acerca de la importancia del cine en la formación de los individuos contemporáneos. El primer ciclo está listo, hice un poster para dar a conocer la programación. Empezaremos el próximo viernes. Están todos invitados, habrá palomitas !

• • • • • 

I have been a volunteer at Misión del Nayar for six months now. I participate there in meetings with young students who come from native communities in rural areas between the states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Zacatecas and Durango in Mexico. In this areas live Wirrarikas, Coras, Tepehuanes, Mexicaneros. They travel to Monterrey to study high school and faculty, supported by the Mission Nayar, who offer them school scholarships, accommodation and meals. It’s a small group of enthusiastic young people who must adapt to different situations as they come to a city like Monterrey, i.e. urban distances, language (Cora to Spanish, and English), discrimination, different academic levels, etc. My contribution is to give them support in some of their homework, when requested (from my field: art, history, sociology, philosophy, writing tools). I also found interesting to cheer their soccer encounters. I guess that’s our national sport, indeed. For me, getting closer to this reality has allowed me to learn about other things, i.e. that 68 languages are spoken in México. This year I’m in charge of a Film Forum project, where we will watch not so commercial movies, and also discuss about the importance of film in the formation of contemporary individuals. The first cycle is ready. I made a poster for the program. We will start next Friday. You are all invited, popcorn for everyone!

Leave a Comment (6)

Matt wrote on Mar 16:

"trivial entertainment or transcendental art" ...

This reminds me of a quote by Chris Hedges:

"The role of knowledge and art, as the ancient Greeks understood, is to create ekstasis, which means standing outside oneself to give our individual life and struggle meaning and perspective. The role of art and scholarship is to transform us as individuals, not entertain us as a group. It is to nurture this capacity for understanding and empathy. Art and scholarship allow us to see the underlying structures and assumptions used to manipulate and control us. And this is why art, like intellectual endeavour, is feared by the corporate elite as subversive. This is why corporations have used their money to deform universities into vocational schools that spit out blinkered and illiterate systems managers. This is why the humanities are withering away.

The vast stage of entertainment that envelops our culture is intended to impart the opposite of ekstasis. Mass entertainment plays to the basest and crudest instincts of the crowd. It conditions us to have the same aspirations and desires. It forces us to speak in the same dead clichés and slogans. It homogenizes human experience. It wallows in a cloying nostalgia and sentimentalism that foster historical amnesia. It turns the Other into a cartoon or a stereotype. It prohibits empathy because it prohibits understanding. It denies human singularity and uniqueness."

(http://www.truth-out.org/chris-hedges-retribution-a-world-lost-screens63624)

enrique wrote on Mar 14:

Hi Milena! Mmh... Well, yes, i think that it is hard to offer them a different approach to the movies, but I try. Seems to me that the contemporary world lives in the hollywood forest, or in the satellite TV space. Like in the movie Leviathan, there is no way out the "system". It's a monster, write Hobbes, and if we dare to fight it, we are aware that it is also inside of the self. I do agree that art may help to change people, but what kind of art are we talking about? It doesn't occur every time, nor everywhere. It is not a panacea. I'm sure that it is helpful because it is a weapon for the artist. As an artist (although i'm on hiatus), I'm the first person that gets the benefits: I'm capable of transforming something inside of me. But what I argued before, in the Davos event, is that there are also art events not meant to transform people or situations. Music, visual arts, digital art, dance. First it is obligatory to analyze which event or what art action in particular is taking place, and second, open a discussion about what is called to change. It is never an "a priori". There are thousands of art forms. For instance, the movies: trivial entertainment or transcendental art? Saludos !!!

milena kosec wrote on Mar 5:

" importance of film in the formation of contemporary individuals" - about changing by art?
By the way, I agree with Matt about Leviathan film.

shinobu wrote on Feb 28:

Year totally, Zidane will cover it all -- art + foot ball!

enrique wrote on Feb 28:

thanks matt, hadn't heard of it until now, and just found it on youtube, i'm going to take a look !! by the way this week I enjoy "leviathan" (russia), pretty impressive, no doubt, in a wim wenders way. Saludos !!

Matt wrote on Feb 27:

Great programme Enrique.

I had this thought Douglas Gordon's Zidane movie would cover all your bases :)

 


6

Me gusta este ejercicio de reflexionar acerca de mis actividades cotidianas. Pienso en las tareas del pasado, y también en las que hago por estos días.

Como tal vez puede sucederle a todos, a pesar del recuento de eventos, hay algo que siempre está a la deriva. Hay algo indeterminado que me impide comprender bien a bien de donde sale y a donde se dirige esta energía, o cómo pude alcanzar este momento de mi vida. Y aún cuando me produce angustia en ocasiones, por lo general estoy tranquilo y atento a todo esto, tomo notas, apuntes, esquemas, le doy cabida a todo lo que parece importante.

A diferencia del tiempo objetivo, que es el tiempo lineal-progresivo de los relojes que usamos para medir nuestras jornadas de trabajo, los flujos urbanos y muchísimas otras actividades sociales, el tiempo subjetivo es disperso, nos pertenece de una forma inherente, sincopado, pues se constituye desde la consciencia de la vida propia y de la propia muerte. Este tiempo es un estado mental al que entramos en ciertos momentos, y nos deja la sensación de que no hay un retorno ni hay una verdadera unidad en todo lo que hacemos. Es una temporalidad con su propia continuidad aunque se interrumpe constantemente. Sabemos que la vida es limitada y que la vida es vivir. Es tiempo simultáneo-paralelo al tiempo objetivo, pero existe sin relojes, es individual como el cuerpo, y se expresa desde el cuerpo: latidos del corazón, pensamientos y memoria, ritmos respiratorios, la cadencia al caminar, las entonaciones y las pausas al hablar, la adapatción a las estaciones del año y más. Es el tiempo de la vida de un ser, que es diferente al tiempo de los acontecimentos sociales y culturales acumulados que se sitúan en un horizonte histórico.

Vivimos fragmentados aún cuando tenemos la ilusión de que hay algo que da unidad a todos esos pedazos de experiencias que somos.

El tiempo subjetivo es vasto. Me gusta esta agradable sensación de que me pertenece. Tuve sensaciones parecidas cuando era joven, cuando era estudiante. Y hace dos años, cuando dejé de trabajar como maestro de tiempo completo en la universidad, recuperé su amplitud e intensidad, pero no fue de manera instantánea. Inició titubeante hace ocho años, cuando me inscribí en el doctorado, en Cholula Puebla, en el centro de México. Allá empecé a recordar lo valioso que era escaparse de las rutinas del trabajo y de las complicaciones de una ciudad como Monterrey, urbe industrial de 5 millones de habitantes, frenética e intolerante.

Ahora reparto mi tiempo según tengo humor o necesidad:

– las cosas de la casa donde vivo (alimentos, aseo, jardín, pagos, ejercicio, mascota, etc. )

– el internet (encontrar y archivar textos e imágenes de arte, de las diversas culturas, y del acontecer de mi país; comunicarme por correo o por facebook; dar forma a mis páginas, etc.)

– eventos, conferencias, reuniones

– trabajar en mis archivos de 25 años de producción (organizarlos, digitalizarlos, etc.)  

– distracciones (ir al cine, beber cerveza, inscribirme en cursos de todo tipo, viajar, etc.)

Lo mejor de todo es evitar las rutinas, no sistematizar sino optar por una movilidad intuitiva. Bueno, en lo que se puede, no en todo es posible comportarse así.

La semana pasada fui al cine y pude ver dos películas que me conmovieron. Me gusta ir solo, y que los cines estén vacíos. Vi Birdman de Iñárritu, y The Grand Hotel Budapest de Wes Anderson. Ambas son hermosas obras, las recomiendo. Me cautivaron. Verlas el mismo día fue una buena experiencia. Especialmente Birdman, que explora el retruécano de la subjetividad como una voz interior.

Enmedio de mi tiempo subjetivo y mi dispersión, voy alimentando algunos anhelos para el futuro. Entre ellos por momentos sobresale un anhelo de escribir y publicar uno o dos libros, pero es algo que aún está opaco, que está hecho de bosquejos, apuntes. Otras veces pienso en retomar el dibujo, o trabajar en colectivos. Pero ese momento no ha llegado. Sigo en hiatus, en el reconocimiento de mi subjetividad. Soy un uróboro.

• • • • •

 

I like this exercise to think about my daily activities. I think of the things i did in the past, and also the ones I do these days.

Maybe, like it can happen to everyone, and despite counting the events, something is always missing. There is something unknown that keeps me away of understanding where do this energy come from, or where is it going, or how I could reach this point in my life. And even though sometimes I feel anxiety, usually I’m ok about it and ready to take notes, draw sketches or diagrams; I give room to everything that seems important.

Unlike the objetive time, which is the progressive-linear time we use in clocks to measure our workdays, the urban flows and many other social activities, the subjective time is scattered, it belongs to an inherent, syncopated form, as it belongs to the consciousness of one’s life and death itself. This time is a state of mind in which we enter at certain moments, and then we leave that place feeling that there is no return and no real unity in everything we do. It’s a temporality with its own continuity but also constantly interrupted. We know that life is limited and that life is mean to be lived. It is parallel and simultaneous to the objetive time, but there are no clocks. It is individual as the body can be, and it is expressed throughout the body itself: heartbeats, thoughts and memories, breathing rhythms, walking cadence, intonation and pauses to talk, adaptation to the seasons of the year, and more. It’s the particular life of one being, which is different from the time of the accumulated social and cultural events that usually are in a historical horizon.

We live fragmented even when we have the illusion that there is something that gives us unity to all those pieces of experiences we are.

Subjective time is vast. I like the feeling that it belongs to me. I had similar feelings when I was young, when I was a student. And two years ago when I stopped working as a full-time teacher, I regained its breadth and intensity, but not instantly. It began hesitantly eight years ago, when I enrolled in the PhD in Cholula Puebla, in central Mexico. There I began to remember how valuable it was to escape from work routines and complications like the ones I lived in a city like Monterrey, an industrial city of 5 million people, quite frantic and intolerant.

Now I use my time as I feel or need:

– Things in the house (food, cleaning, garden, payments, exercise, pet, etc.)

– The Internet (to find and archive texts and images of art, of different cultures, and of the political events of my country; to communicate by mail or facebook, uploading my pages, etc.)

– Go to events, conferences, meetings

– Work on my files, 25 years of production (organizing, scanning, etc.)

– Entertaining (movies, beer drinking, enrolling in courses of all kind, traveling, etc.)

Best of all is to avoid routines, to choose not to systematize but to allow a intuitive mobility. Well, when that possible is, because it is not always possible.

Last week I went to the movies and saw two films that moved me. I like to go to the movies alone, and when the cinemas are almost empty. I enjoyed Birdman, from Iñárritu, and The Grand Hotel Budapest, from Wes Anderson. Both are beautiful works. I simply recommend them. I saw them on the same day and that was a good experience. Especially Birdman, which explores the pun of subjectivity as an inner voice.

In between of my subjective time and my dispersion, I feed some yearnings for the future. Sometimes among them stands my wish to write and publish a book or two, but it’s something that is still opaque, made only of sketches and notes. And sometimes I think of going back to drawing, or doing collective art. But that time has not arrived. I’m still on hiatus, in recognition of my subjectivity. I am an Uroboro.

Leave a Comment (3)

enrique wrote on Mar 16:

Hi Kelly! Yes, as I feel it, all throughout the 20 century has been a struggle between the modern rational social criteria (order, linear time planning - as Matt says -, scientism, high tech development, productivity, and more), and the criticism to these ideas and their government forms. We "must" relearn simple things, like what you say, that the subjectivity and the intuition are natural and important to the human life. For the modernity it does not mean that is forbidden to use our intuition everyday, but it means that we don't trust it as we trust rational thoughts. That's its discreet charm. But in the extensive, contradictory and complex art world we already know that, don't you think? Let's kill some time today, yeah !! Un abrazo !!

Kelly wrote on Mar 13:

Your post reminded me of a workshop I did a few years ago in the Netherlands - NOW:BREATH to get into the intuitive side of making, rather than the intellectual side. Away from "productivity" and into "experience."

Matt wrote on Feb 8:

Objective time to me seems pretty linear. Subjective time on the other hand, can make us feel like we are running in circles; folding back on itself, tumbling or even jumping forward … a kind of ellipsis; always to be reconciled with a perpetual and relentless present. There is syncopation that happens between the two which I always find interesting and reminiscent of linear vs non linear thought or the potential inherent in the space between the two. Some kind of open-endedness which I think is a valuable characteristic or objective of art. These are ideas I’ve always been fond of. That and the idea of “killing time” or which type of time does our human condition belong to?