The Pearl, Enrique Martinez Celaya

 “a pearl grows from an irritation, a desire to seal the disturbance, and this a fitting way to look at much of what we do with our life, or to what our life has done with and to us.” Martinez Celaya

It's hard to convey the richness of Enrique Martinez Celaya's immersive installation at Site Sante Fe. The Pearl spans the entire museum, beginning in a darkened corridor with a video projection of a dog eating and weaving through six or seven rooms. The installation includes paintings, sculptures, audio and a pond. On text panel at the entrance Martinez Celaya refer's to the work as one that was like a 'dull ache...called me like a mermaid song' and I have to admit the notion of mermaids, their elusive nature, stayed with me. The audio of the project was haunting, its volume present and then absent. In one room filled with bird portraits it was quiet, but the echo of birds from another room permeated the space. Questions about what's real, what's memory and what's a dream runs through the exhibition. By the last room the dream started to wear a little thin, I'm still puzzling over the lungs in the pond. The hose (you can see it draped from the ceiling in the image below) was both a magical and functional component of the exhibition, looping through each room, past the projections of the ocean, it delivered water to the weeping boy (also below) which then fed the pond. The loop never ends but we not quite aware of it either.


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