Reflections: Resonance of Desire
Galería 527, Seminario de Cultura Mexicana, CDMX

Reflections: Resonance of Desire. Cecilia Vázquez

…and so, while Alice was sitting curled up in a corner of the great armchair, half talking to herself and half asleep, the kitten had been having a grand game of romps with the ball of worsted Alice had been trying to wind up, and had been rolling it up and down till it had all come undone again; and there it was, spread under the hearth-rug, all knots and tangles, with the kitten running after its own tail in the middle.

Lewis Carroll. Through the Looking Glass

Between wakefulness and sleep, Alicia makes mental operations between the subconscious and the subjective; introspection as a moment of assimilation of the world where she throws questions about her place in it. In “Through the Looking Glass”, Lewis Carroll proposes two dimensions: on one hand the idea of the representation of the world as something that contains us and, on the other, the way in which Alicia, the main character, speculates and relates in, with, and through it in order to re-produce it by means of a new interpretation with the chess game that takes place in the story.

Additionally, Carroll offers us a notion of desire represented by the kitten Kitty, who expresses the pulsion for exploring that particular weave of the world, making tangles and knots with the wool where she finally ends trapped in. We are talking about mental operations that travel through conscious and unconscious states mediated by “being body”, and what the action of perceiving, observing for processing and acting upon that which contains us one way or another, and makes attach to the world through what we interpret and reproduce of it.

Like Alicia, Cecilia Vázquez offers mental operations that relate to the phenomenon of perception, that simultaneously circulate between the real, invention –inherent to being—and the representation of and in the space that, far from containing, in this particular case expand her painting grammar conformed by a series of shapes that progressively mute from drawing to painting, from figuration to abstraction, and vice versa, transforming the condition of its signifying referents in function of Vázquez’s formal, spatial and time associated inquiries.

Scenes between wakefulness and sleep, figure and ground, that travel between the internal space of the gallery and the exterior garden, like a whole that is articulated and that the artist puts forward beyond the canvas, where walls are an extension indicating depth to establish a formal multiplicity interplay with nature´s and architecture´s reflections, marking a network of signs that, on the supports of the paintings, suggest a series of layers that integrate the dimension of the place, provoking the viewer’s spatial and temporal experience.

Reflections: Resonance of Desire is integrated by a selection of 29 of Cecilia Vázquez’s (Mexico City, 1967) pieces that explore, from different temporalities –2008, 2011, 2012, 2018 and 2019– her proposal for “painting from desire” that, according to the phenomenology of perception established by Merleau-Ponty “painting extends that strange possession to all aspects of Being” through vision. Hence Vázquez’s pulsion is translated into form and materiality to extend the possibilities of the medium to the space itself, appealing to the perceptual operations of the body, where invention and representation unfold within the gallery to own the space and offer a poetics from that weave of the world, through a series of formal strategies that operate like open systems that evoque mental landscapes and still lifes associated to memory.

Following Carroll’s story in the chapter “It is my Own Invention”: Of all the strange things that Alice saw in her journey Through The Looking Glass, this was the one that she always remembered most clearly […] all this she took in like a picture, as, with one hand shading her eyes, she leant against a tree, watching the strange pair, and listening, in a half-dream, to the melancholy music of the song. Like Alicia, Vázquez not only offers us her gaze, but reproduces it through certain abstract elements that operate like primeval forms and abbreviations of thought that assume control of the narrative in order to question other possible forms of interpretation of the painting language.

Thus, the exhibition is thought like an installation that takes up the space of the Semianrio de Cultura Mexicana as one more element of composition, putting at stake the conditions of dimension of the pictorial and drawing mediums, while simultaneously appealing to the capacity of perception of the viewer’s body to put forth a metaphor for reflection and desire, offering a new place for delight and pleasure that grazes reality and representation.

Cecilia Delgado Masse