THE RETURN OF THE GHOST
THE DESIRE TO ASSOCIATE WITH THE GHOST
I had a certain certainty that in some way ghosts are always there and perhaps they make themselves perceptible when you speak a foreign language. They’re what is not visible, but is present, they’re the questions, the ambiguous in our reality.
In a reality marked by a binary vision between the visible and the invisible, faith in a phantasm offers a distinct response over the literality of reality.
Despite the persistent incredulity of some over the existence of the ghost, I set out to make its tracks visible to reach them in a more acute observation.
An artistic action is always linked and attuned with reality, as it has been a sign of reality and reveals the tracks of that reality. In this way, the Fantasma project is an artistic action that aims to make visible the traces of those ghosts.
For the development of the artistic action, artists from three different nations were summoned: Justin Earl Grant, Micaela Piñero and Dani Ev Riquelme. From the United States, Argentina and Chile, respectively.
The unifying concept of the Fantasma project is to reveal the artistic creative process through the integration of poetic expression, sound and painting. In an experimental format, the result is a site-specific installation that invites visitors to reconstruct the moment of creative introspection based on pictorial traces and auditory poetic interventions.
SUDDENLY THE PANDEMIC APPEARED
The Fantasma project was developed at the end of 2019 until October of 2021, corresponding to the date on which it is made present to the public in the city of Houston.
At first, the project was configured with a strategy prior to the outbreak of the pandemic that is still sweeping the planet. In this way, the artistic act, in tune with the change of scenario of reality, demanded a transformation of the process of creative work and implied the tacit incorporation of the world’s new context. Therefore, the configuration of the project was adjusted to a changing reality, which accentuated the possibility of a greater number of ghostly encounters and reappearances.
During the transit through our confinement we have experienced countless events / expressions that have especially pointed out these reappearances. The ambiguous and the transitory, the uncertainty in our social life, in social networks, faced with our fears, in global disputes—these are scenarios where the ghost seems to reappear with vigor.
Something that reappears again is something that is demanding a change..
IN THE LABYRINTH
The interdisciplinary artistic work is condensed in the production of a site-specific immersive installation—suggestive of a trajectory and labyrinth-like journey—as a proposal towards a spectator who linearly traverses through the suggested narrative.
The installation recreates a ghostly scene, composed of poetry, sound and painting, traces exposed in accordance with a constant fluidity that proposes we play by getting lost. Perhaps, in dialogue with the daily magic of «going for a walk», of «wandering» representing an idea of furtive or fleeting beauty, whose montage suggests an invitation to participate in the creation of your own narrative.
Along the way we ask ourselves, where are we? The majority of us are on a confusing path. Complexity is the sign of what is actual and current.
In the labyrinth, an illusion is built in which the visitor resurrects the creative action of the artist and together they transcend creation. Both are creators, both are part—and they do not know—there is a ghost, an element without definition that contributes to the meeting in connection as an overcoming of the quotidian emergency.
Some of the issues that are important in the life of every human being are love, religiosity, sexuality and the quotidian. In poetics they express themselves in intimate compositions.
“I can’t sleep, / I can’t even try, / so I don’t and that’s that.”… Although it is imperative to remember what we dream and recognize what our dreams are, we are exposed to the symptoms of a spectrum, living in a constant state of vigilance.
«I want to know everything about myself / and start again / a new beginning for me / to do the things / that make me feel good, / and just feel good.» … In the maelstrom we consider taking a break, an option that appears prudent and yet for others there is no other alternative.
The poetic proposal in Fantasma impregnates us with a feeling of strangeness, but without understanding we move on and ask ourselves what guides us? We reflect on new and altered dynamics of survival, seeing adverse apparitions in our daily existence.
It is an opportunity that makes visible the precarious experience of the artist, his reality, his vital articulations and the dynamics of his creation.
Echoes of unequal planetary realities seem to accentuate the presence as if it were spectra of a broken life, of a boiling city, of activation in popular revolutions, with a whole expressed in ambivalent sounds.
The visual proposal formally unifies the action by immersing itself in a narrative journey. The trace left by the creative activity expressed in a metonymic context reminds us of those effects of the cinematographer, an expression of the phantasmagoric interloping us.
Perhaps it is necessary to think and let go in response to the emergency.
A GHOST HAUNTS THE PLANET: THE 👻
The Fantasma expresses itself as a forthcoming time, testimony of a past living being or a future living being, and for this reason it is in misalignment with the contemporary.
Currently everything looks abnormal, we are in a non-place, as if we were in transit. We hear about the new normal, the presence of the ghost is felt, as it testifies to something that reappears, appears again, and what we are trying to repress emerges, is strengthened.
Crossing the darkness, getting to know each other a little more is not enough, the suggested paths are traces of the unconscious, which must be inhabited, there is something that we ignore and that we find in repetition.
Ecological catastrophes, pandemics, poverty, force us to glimpse that there will be other possible paths, perhaps more extensive and distinct …
Perhaps, in principle without being able to change it, it is possible to find alternatives and it is the path of artistic exercise – I hope you can discover it.
Let’s go back to having experiences.
Nowadays, virtual hugs do not reach their destination, they are consumed along the way by ghosts while we play to lose ourselves in the dark.
Mariela G. Domínguez, August 2021 Translation by Martin De Leon