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The sacred face

​​Faces are sacred, they define our identity, they give meaning to our name. Faces give us identity, present us to the world, mark us or bless us. To create monsters, the first step is to transform the faces that characterize us, exaggerate them and transgress them in order to transcend them. My favorite creatures are the ones that don't exist, the monsters that don't answer to any name; they are the changing beings that inhabit the minds of curious people, inhuman in their forced humanity. Precisely the nature of life is that of change and the constant struggle against the irrevocable inertia of the universe, and monsters are the avatar of metamorphosis.


A common element of the mythological aesthetics of a large part of human cultures is the exaggeration of facial features, it is the way in which we engender divinity. The divinity from the primordial human understanding cannot be beautiful as we understand it in contemporaneity, because it is an amplification of the human, the divinity is terrible, mutant and deformed. The divinity are giant noses, bulging eyes, plump lips, and lush tongues. The gods are monsters, inside or out.

These faces remind me of both the Nahua gods of the pre-Columbian past and the Greek theater masks. The Greek masks were terrible, they were powerful and they were as magical as reality can be; but they allowed, at least on stage, an impossible mutability. The masks, and through them the theater itself, allow instant transformation into someone or something different. The Theater follows the mythological tradition of the gods, whether they are Greek, Mayan or Japanese, as changing, capable of transforming themselves into animals, chimeras or monsters. Theater like Art itself has a ritual origin.


Art was first used to mobilize a supernatural desire in our earliest history, cave paintings can be understood as both pictorial descriptions and enchantments, palpable desires to dominate our environment. And Art evolved to continue describing the indescribable, to make a record of the divine, starting from our superlative imagination, from the mixture and transformation of the concepts that we already know, but as elevated and transcendent as we can imagine them.

The Theater is the application of that conceptual evolution back to humanity, it is the fire that Prometheus brought, and the bones that Quetzalcóatl stole, the apotheosis of sensitive men. For that reason and for many things I love objects that invoke this divinity, like this work, which remind me of the monsters that inhabit my curious mind. These objects are the unspeakable names of the mutant gods that were left in the simple past of humanity, they are a cautious glimpse of the holy faces.


Artist: Collective la garrapata de la oveja

ig: @lagarrapatadelaoveja

Collective La Garrapata de la Oveja  By: Ernesto Ocaña
Translation by Pao Berdeja

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