“The human being is linked to the world
through myth and mystery…”
through myth and mystery…”
Three years ago, I felt compelled to move to Mexico to write the script for the film "Two Fridas". It was an opportunity to work on the proposal and to nourish myself with mexican culture, everyday life and artistic expressions.
In 1993, I presented a paper I’d written about Frida Kahlo in Costa Rica. It was received by Martha Zamora, biographer to the Mexican painter and author of "The brush of trouble." She prompted me to investigate Costa Rican nurse, Judith Ferreto, who cared for Frida in the last years of her life.
Shortly after, I performed in the old building of the English hospital where Judith first saw Frida in 1949. It was an important event for me because from that day I began imagining Judith walking those halls, and she became part of my imaginary world.
Later, I met another friend, Li Saenz, and to my surprise, she told me that Judith Ferreto was her aunt and that she, in turn had cared for her in Costa Rica, in the last years of her life.
The mythical rationality
As part of the creative process of "Two Fridas" I tried to understand the worldview of the ancient peoples of Mexico and mythical thinking. They started from the observation of natural phenomena which they transformed into myth. It was a symbolic way to convey scientific knowledge, emerging from instinct and dream, a direct path linking the unconscious with logic and rational explanation.
Indigenous peoples were immersed in the atmosphere of myth as collective dream, which births the rites that give meaning to existence. Man served the deities and his task was to maintain the cosmic order, through which community exists and therein, he exists.
The cosmic unit determines artistic conception and manifests occult forces of myth and magic. The hidden forces are incorporeal, spaceless and timeless. The past, present and future merge into one unit. There’s no narrative in this formal fantasy, no decisive element, rhythm, no beginning, no end and no goal. Invocation, yearning, prayer.
An essential ingredient in the creation of this mythical rationality is dualism. This governs the conception of art, of the gods, of nature. It is both death and rebirth, attraction and repulsion. It is the unity of contradiction. The duality manifest in the work, are not unique, they can be one and many at the same time: black and white, positive and negative; It is always duality. Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl are two deities that make up a single deity. It is the strength of the masculine and the feminine. They embody the guiding dualism of the universe.
Edmundo O'Gorman says that there are no limitations. The mythical world has a merging fluidity that is essential and empowering.
And Paul Westheim says "I have a problem of artistic rationalism in which metaphysical concepts must be represented with realistic resources. Classical art holds that for the divine to become "credible" it must dispense with imaginative imagery. This criterion of truth is absurd and it is absurd when applied to pre-Hispanic art, it renders unrealistic visionary creation. ... "
I remember the writings of masters like Jerzy Grotowski or Antonin Artaud, who were inspired precisely by this perception of life as it was manifest across cultures, including the rituals of the Whirling Dervishes, the Katakali, Balinese theater, Voodoo and of course, the cosmogony of indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica.
And so, I bow in awe before the monolith of the goddess Coatlicue.
Mexico, June, 2015
Translation: Jaleh Ruhe