By Rito Ramón Aroche
In my perennial search for meaning; motivated by the history of our infinite question about the why -of our existence- and starting from the conceptual principle that the true mystery is life itself (existence) and, after a personal accident that made me reconsider my role, my objectives and interests as an individual and redefine my expressive needs, I have assumed some years ago an expansion of the frontiers of art towards the fields of philosophy, anthropology and gnoseology in general sense in my work; praxis that becomes a practice of learning what Humberto Eco called “small fragments of truth about the earth, the cosmos, birth and death” in me.
The works (research), tropologically approached by way of the symbolic, the metaphorical, are conceptualized from a quasi chthonic spirituality, to which the processes, materials and resources are subordinated, all of which accentuate the privileged forces they carry.
How do you understand the process of creation?
For me the process of creation is closely linked to my concept of freedom, emanating from my spiritual self-realization in which the starting point is the free exercise of my inner experience – as a possible “methodological” basis – and the control, the limit of the “external sensory organs”, the defining procedure in the exercise of techniques for an interpretation of the laws of the Universe starting from myself as the bearer of its germs. An exercise of detoxification; a kind of exorcism without any liturgy other than the process of creation itself. I prioritize my intuition over my ears… and even over my eyes.
How does religion work in your work?
In particular, my work is imbued with the mystical thinking that governs my conception of the world; with my conscious deistic vocation and my pantheistic vision of the universe. It operates, indeed, with resources, instruments and procedures of religious traditions, but more than with any particular religion, in a non-militant way, I suppose I establish ethical commitments with the basis of Theosophy, that is, with that which has been called “religion of wisdom”, which does not require any grace or blind faith to believe because it is simply knowledge.
My work is not merely illustrations of mythical archetypes, although I appropriate some procedures of imitative magic and other resources that have more to do with alchemical principles, with Kabbalistic elements and the esoteric itself, in an interpretation of the identity of the world in me. Instrumentally I operate in the coordinates of the western symbolic heritage, but from a deep vocation of religare, yes.
In this sense, how does information operate in your artistic practice?
The data or information provided by the different sources that influence my research work in the process of creation only as nutrients in the formation of my vision -transcendent- in relation to the phenomenon in question. My work is autobiographical; the questions (and subsequent research) are born in, and are constantly filtered by, my personal experience in the experiential order. It is from the latter that my work is born and what it is summarized as a testimony. The works are perhaps the remains, the detritus of that exorcismus that is for me the artistic process.
What are the resources to prevent your works from breathing an air of alienation?
My work starts in principle from this “alienation”; but the subjectivity inherent in this type of proposal, this inner dialogue (in a way of transcendence), far from narrowing my world brings more and more world to my world, because all that energy and all the strength coming from this experience enriches my ethical and moral foundation and in turn affects my attitude in the political (social) field. It is therefore an “individualism” that requires me to transcend individuality; paradoxically, a transcendent “individualism” that, in the end, annuls the ego in pursuit of All. Martin Buber’s philosophy of dialogue; that Ich und Du vision passes, in the first place, by recognizing yourself in order to be able to open up and recognize the Other in his otherness and the Other. Yes, it is something that is at the antipodes of contemporary “techno-philosophy” that exalts the immanent God “I” (TechnoGod).
With respect to America, to its thought, to its consciousness?
With Krichnamurti I learned that fear is always linked to the sense of possession, to the attachment that entails habit as action guided by memory, by tradition and dominated by norms of thoughts and desires. In order to try to apprehend life -existence-, its complex contradictions and the unknown itself, which is none other than each one of us, it is necessary for there to be death and new birth at every instant. Hence, I do not identify myself with an Americanism that affirms itself in a self-imposed peripheral thinking, which conditions and obstructs the integral being of our whole nature. Rito… “There is no West in the spirit of man -Martí once wrote- but only the North crowned with light”.
I think that exacerbating its thematic presence falls antithetically in the same position as renouncing its active presence. In this sense, America does not constitute a reference model in the conception of my works, but rather, and exclusively, a living substratum. It is something like America is me… but I am also the rest of the universe. I am a metaphor of God and not the other way around.