Ana Montiel
INITIATION

An evolutionary project in 3 stages

First Stage: Departure
April 28 – May 21, 2022

Second Stage: Limbo
May 26 – June 18, 2022

Third Stage: Transfiguration
Opening: June 30, 2022



An extensive overlaying of pigments covers the gallery’s exhibition space like an expansive wave that irradiates from the artworks of this project. This clear imprint of the work that Ana Montiel (Spain, 1981) has been realizing over the past few weeks, beyond accentuating the immersive character of her painting style, turns the viewer into a witness of her exhaustive production process. With this gesture, the artist’s habitual hermeticism she tends to work with from her studio is vulnerated, raising a series of underlying topics in her work that have not yet been posted in such an open manner. The project is divided into 3 stages, each lasting one month:
Departure, Limbo, and Transfiguration.

The three distinct phases allude to Joseph Campbell’s hero myth: The hero departs toward a new adventure, its initiation, and finally, the hero’s return to their village as a transformed being and the conflict this entails. This archetypical structure is shared in multiple cultures’ narratives and seized by Montiel to explore her own journey. An initiatory journey tangled with deep thresholds and existential questions. The search for the sublime merges with a partial understanding of psychedelics, botanical studies, sexuality, the cosmos, science, shamanism, paganism, love, or nostalgia for a nomadic past. The artist works on the idea of myth under a Jungian tradition: as a psychic phenomenon that reveals the soul’s nature.

INITIATION reminds us that we are in continuous transformation, praising and magnifying it through the use of symbols and perceptual stimuli. It helps us question what we know and to stop denying other kinds of wisdom. To open ourselves up to other possibilities of being without acting condescendingly toward what we do not understand, what we do not want to see or are terrified to accept. In a perpetual search, Ana Montiel will continue working in OMR’s exhibition space throughout the 3 stages, fading all traces of their beginning or end. In constant recalibration, mimicking the Earth’s magnetic poles. The artist visualizes her journey through a misty walk as a circular river, which its grooves generously widen at each turn.

Text by Enrique Giner de los Ríos



INTENTION FOR INITIATION

Beneath this threshold I wait for the things I thought I was and the things I thought I needed to dissolve. My ideas, dogmas and beliefs crumble and give way to something different. Here I await what I can become. I advance through the opaque mist of this forest of fictions, with perseverance and compassion.

This transition is a state without a fixed form; like the magnetic pole of the Earth, in constant self-questioning, in constant recalibration. This is a journey in the shape of a circular river, which makes the groove deeper with each pass.

I build a bridge to the interior. I silence my reflection in the other as I take distance. I try to avoid mirrors or social conditionings. Crossing the bridge, it only remains to continue going forward through the undergrowth, until reaching the lighthouse inside.


ABOUT THIS FIRST STAGE

The pictorial work of this first stage of Initiation has a personal dimension of mirroring and reflection with a past self. More specifically, myself from spring of 2018, when during an artistic residency in New York, I began producing work with this granular technique (entoptic), as an analogy of the uncertain mist of human perception.

My intention in this first stage of Initiation at OMR was to produce a series of diptychs that unsuccessfully sought symmetry, to demonstrate the impossibility of a mirror without distortion, be it the mirror of one with oneself, of one with another being, of one with its environment, etc.

The phenomenology of human experience is a subjective game disguised as impartiality. Our programming is a distorted mirror that keeps enveloping us. I feel that trying to reconnect with myself from spring of 2018, completes a lap around the circular river that I mentioned before, to then continue moving forward, with the intention of inaugurating another cycle.

In the works you see here I have prioritized trying to capture the strength of their production process instead of trying to achieve certain perfection in the final result. These paintings may not be as meticulous as some past ones, but they are definitely freer.

Ana Montiel

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