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Pac Pobric on Enrique Martínez Celaya's "The Pearl" at Site Santa Fe, until 13 October

Enrique Martínez Celaya's immersive installation at Site Santa Fe

“Every once in a while, we get requests that only a space like ours can accommodate,” says Irene Hofmann, the curator at Site Santa Fe. Enrique Martínez Celaya’s new project at the museum, The Pearl, which opened on 13 July, is one such exhibition. Taking over the entirety of the gallery’s 12,000 sq. ft exhibition space (the site of a former beer warehouse), the artist has designed an immersive installation that explores our understanding of home and memory.

The show leads visitors through a series of rooms featuring painting, sculpture, film, photography and sound, weaving together a narrative that asks viewers to re-evaluate what they remember having seen in previous galleries. “It’s not dissimilar from reading a novel or listening to a piece of music, where you understand the first words, images or sounds better after you’ve seen it all,” Hofmann says. In the exhibition’s final room, which includes a 4ft-deep pond, it becomes clear that its water source has been following the visitor all along: a hose travels throughout each room in the show before reaching its final destination.

“From the very first gallery, it reads like a total work of art,” Hofmann says. And though the show grows in part from Martínez Celaya’s personal experiences—in his notes for the exhibition, he writes that “rooms where the boy I used to be still waits for my return, sitting on a pine-wood chair, his eyes wide open”—the scale itself is what pulls it away from being purely autobiographical. It’s an exhibition about childhood, home and memories of the past, which is something we’ve all taken time to reflect on.

Published Tue, 16 Jul 2013 12:06:00 GMT

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