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 !! [...]


11

Ahora que realizo estos reportes sobre mi inactividad artística, observo con más interés las cosas que hago. Trato de comprender la manera en que estas actividades se conectan entre si, evidente a veces, otras veces con poca claridad. Me muestran un horizonte de energías personales que no se limitan al arte.

Pero también me doy cuenta que Monterrey ha cambiado. No me refiero solamente a que terminaron los años de violencia en las calles, de 2008 al 2011 aproximadamente, algo que cambió nuestros hábitos, que puso límites a los horarios casi como un estado de sitio, algo que nos mostró como se cerraban espacios comerciales y culturales y se colapsaba la vida social. Mas bien me refiero a que mi ciudad ya antes tenía fama de ser poco atractiva culturalmente hablando. En eso está cambiando.

Es solamente una percepción subjetiva, y sin embargo casi podría asegurara que la oferta de actividades ha crecido exponencialmente. Todas las semanas hay algo sucediendo en la forma de reuniones, presentaciones e iniciativas. Creo que esos años nos dieron una lección importante: nos hizo valorar el tejido social, nos hizo entender que las relaciones entre los sujetos son esenciales para el ejercicio de la vida colectiva.

Y lo mejor de todo es que sigue creciendo, no solamente desde las instituciones, sino también desde organizaciones y grupos autónomos. No solo se han multiplicado los eventos sino que han aparecido gran cantidad de pequeños espacios destinados a la creatividad de los individuos. Eso ya era necesario, y me entusiasma pensar en los cambios que vendrán.

Esta semana impartí un laboratorio de arte junto con Luis Frias. Él es un entusiasta productor que se mueve entre varias disciplinas y tareas con lucidez y arrojo. Creo que hicimos buena mancuerna de trabajo, o al menos eso pienso yo. Los asistentes quedaron contentos con el resultado, tengo esa impresión.

Menciono este evento porque tiene que ver con la hiancia, con el vacío. Durante los tres días (12 horas) que duró el laboratorio los participantes tenían como objetivo hablar de su producción y proponer un proyecto imaginario. En tan poco tiempo fueron presionados por nosotros para alcanzar el mejor de los resultados. La mayoría de ellas y ellos lo lograron, más algunos no pudieron concretar.

Pude ver en este resultado que quienes no concretaron no era por falta de recursos técnicos o creativos, sino porque el objeto de su atracción era elusivo, no estaba presente, no era claro. Por otro lado, quienes si pudieron esbozar su proyecto mostraban mejor cual era su relación con el objeto y su deseo por ese objeto (imaginario o real).

Así es esta actividad llamada arte (y creo que muchas otras cosas de la vida también son así): hay momentos en los que todo tiene sentido, es visible, es urgente, exige ser presentado y representado, y hay otros momentos en los que esa certidumbre está ausente, no hay claridad, hay un estado de confusión o de ceguera severa, o hay un dolor que no deja pensar con claridad.

Lo cierto es que no se puede ir contra esta arbitrariedad, no se puede “pensar” en un cambio, no se puede empujar al lado luminoso del camino. No hay forma de predecir cuando ocurrirá un estado de producción febril, y cuando se derrumbará todo en la obscuridad, ni tampoco se puede adivinar que nos sacará de ahí. Sólo queda aprender a disfrutar ambos momentos, el de la certidumbre igual que el de la incertidumbre.

 

• • • • •

 

Now that I write these reports about my artistic inactivity, I feel more interested in the many things I do everyday. I try to understand the way these activities are connected to each other; sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it has little clarity. It’s like a horizon of personal energies which are not limited to the art field.

But I also realize that Monterrey (my city) has changed. I don’t refer only to the end of the years of high violence in the streets, around 2008 to 2011, in which we changed our habits, put limits on schdules almost like a state of siege. In those years we watched how commercial and cultural spaces were closed and social life collapsed. But rather I refer to my city before that time, because Monterrey was known as a culturally unattractive place. That is changing.

It is only a subjective perception, and yet I could almost ensure that the range of activities has grown exponentially. Every week there is something going on: meetings, presentations, initiatives, events. I think those violent years gave us an important lesson: it made us understand that relationships between subjects are essential for a vigorous collective life.

And best of all, it continues to grow, not only from institutions but also from organizations and independent groups. Not only they have multiplied but also a lot of small spaces for creativity of individuals have appeared. I am excited to think about more changes to come.

This week I taught an Art Laboratory along with Luis Frias. He is an avid artist that moves between several disciplines and works with clarity and courage. I guess we did a good team work, or so I think. Also the attendees were pleased with the outcome, I have that impression.

I mention this event because it has to do with the hiatus. During the three days (12 hours) that lasted the laboratory, the participants were aimed to discuss their production and were asked to propose an imaginary project. In such a short time they were pressured by us to achieve the best results. Most of them succeeded, but some failed.

I could see in this outcome that the ones who couldn’t materialized a project, it was not for a lack of technical or creative resources, but because the object of their attraction was elusive, it wasn’t present, it wasn’t clear. On the other hand, those who were better, showed that their relation and desire to the object (imaginary or real) was more or less clear.

So is this activity called art (and I think many other things in life are also the same): there are times when it all makes sense, it’s visible, it’s urgent, it demands to be presented and represented, and then there are times when that certainty is absent, there is no clarity, there is a state of confusion or a severe blindness. Or there is a pain that doesn’t leaves us think clearly.

One can not go against this arbitrariness, one can not simply “think” about a change, one can not push things to the bright side of the road. There is no way to predict when a state of feverish production will occur, and when that collapses in the dark, nor can one guess what will get us out of there. We just have to learn to enjoy both moments, certainty and uncertainty.

Leave a Comment (3)

heather wrote on May 29:

i love the part about the object not being clear or present! it's so funny that when i'm not making art, millions of ideas for art projects are VERY CLEAR AND PRESENT in my mind, but the object of not making art is not. here's (imaginary glass being raised) to the sweet bitch of an object that refuses to be clear or present. i suspect it might be all of the best ones...

Matt wrote on May 23:

Self doubt is our biggest foe. As a younger artist I spent a lot of mental energy wondering what it all meant, or what i was trying to say before concluding none of this mattered, art could be anything and anyway (like M. Creed's "The whole world + the work = the whole world") -- it was never up to me to articulate what it was or meant, only to set up conditions that reveal the possibilities of what it could be.

A local theatre has a football film fest this week; thought of you and your students.
http://pitchfest.ca/en/

:)

shinobu wrote on May 23:

Me, too, Enrique! The worse is that I have always felt more interested in "the many things I do everyday" even while making art -- no wonder I became the co-director here, hahaha.