By Enrique Martínez Celaya
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Extra resources for Enrique Martínez Celaya: Collected Writings and Interviews, 1990-2010
I try to collect all the different versions of stories and look for that one thing that can send you back to a different place and time. I’ve really fought hard not to be nostalgic or romantic about it. Though you certainly use the trappings of nostalgia and romance. When I’ve looked at who I thought were the best thinkers, and not only Latin Americans, regardless of whatever emotional or intellectual power they possessed, their models and ideas were usually constructed from very simple cliché experiences.
Does the head become the sign of this reconciliation of the paradox, meaning, a body part that could most likely bring people to the recognition of this realm you’re describing? emc: I think there is an immediate recognition of a head as a consciousness without raising the theatrical problems of the full figure. A figure seems to transform the painting into a sort of stage. The head is also the strongest association with the memory of someone, and sometimes with memory itself. I’m interested in the first read of these paintings, their evocative quality rather than their symbolism, like the head being understood as the bed of thought or any of these historical views of the head or the other parts of the body.
Mag: And in the midst of painting, can the painter? emc: Yes, the painter can exist in this realm. However, the act of painting is often delusional and the painter must edit within his or her rapture. The elation or euphoria that often happens while working does not guarantee a higher plane of experience. It will be nice if it did. mag: So do you see yourself commenting on the problem raised by other painters regarding what has been called “the mystical,” or do you see yourself embarking on another path of inquiry?