Ceyó: Luis Rodríguez Rosario & Josué Esaú

Ceyó: Luis Rodríguez Rosario & Josué Esaú

Exhibition Dates: 01/20/2023 – 03/03/2023
Location: Chicago Artists Coalition, 2130 W Fulton St Unit B, Chicago, IL 60612

Like all stations, Ceyó is a symptom of relationships and cosmological order. Of course there is smoke nearby, and coffee. There is a log to learn to swim and three hearthstones to teach the house. A chronotope of ineffability and a smudged heterotopia; not quite a hack -but a lock. It is a place (a sight) of fantastical foreplay, mental structures, and energy work.

There is an excess of axes and access here and it is in constant transformation and slips. Messy and contradicting at times but the cuir demon fruits are there for medicine to those who take care of it and as well for those who promise possession. It knows reciprocity, atonement, and porosity, with and without you. It’s a site where you learned to fuck after all.

The Exiled Youth Task Force, a critter gang working with these archipelagos, celebrate and grieve in the nearby haunted hotel after festivals, after some sport, after some heartbreak. They assemble cute looks because empathy will not save them, enchantments and apocalypses will. They perform criticality and other activities to mark visible tourist traps not because they conform to inaccessible and exhausted knowledge production, but to X out the invasive parasites drawn to the water fields. Truth recognizes truth at the end of two moon cycles and in this gift economy, no one has time and space. 

Honestly, this projection can all be wrong and this place is probably just a failed romance interrupted by the illusion of distance, attachment styles, and abuse of language. . ꙰

Ceyó is a made up word combining Cemí and Yoro. A Cemí is a carved rock or wood that symbolizes god, spirit, or ancestor in the Taino culture. Yoro is a town in Honduras where there is a myth that fish fall from the sky, un aguacero de peces. Ceyó phonetically sounds like the spanish word for seal or lock, sello.

Using these references, the exhibition is about the relationships of time and space with energy work and memory. Playing with two time-space concepts proposed by the artists, chronotope and heterotopia, the curatorial text is a story describing the exhibition as a site where several activities are happening within a time-space field. The text references signifiers that are present in the artists’ work like, the three hearthstones, the hotel, the coffee, and the fruits. Using fantastical language and storytelling, the hope is that the exhibition points to these time-space concepts and feelings that are verbally ineffable but are felt through the positioning and visual knowledge of the artists’ works. Feelings like: energy exchanges with spiritual apparatuses or anti-nostalgic remembering of an environment.

A chronotope, literally translating to time-space, is a literary device used to create meaning to an image via the temporal and spatial positioning of subjects and symbols within the given story. Heterotopia, translating to another-space, is a concept like utopia and dystopia, but it means a different or other space that organizes relationships through juxtaposition, transformation, or mirroring.

Thinking through all these points of entry, Ceyó proposes to be a station of relationships within time-space but also, the title proposes the exhibition to be a sigil that locks these activities together.

Luis Rodríguez Rosario uses vernacular languages of sculpture, painting, and architecture, to visually represent heterotopian systems and mental structures. Using this framework, they work to interrupt and invert horizontal perspective by placing forms of fruits, stones, and materials onto shelf-like, window-like, and stool-like structures to suggest transformation of interior fields. Sourcing iconography from their homeland of Puerto Rico, Rodríguez considers the histories and legacies of Puerto Rican art, architecture, and design with their own relationship to the island. Through assembled still life and landscape, their work can suggest a restyling of these inherent aesthetics to create abstracted remembered environments.

Josué Esaú mediates Mesoamerican cosmology, culture, and ritual to anchor connections with ancestry, land, and energy. Following the tradition of Afro- and Indigenous Futurisms, they venture into energetic middle spaces, spiritual-temporal portals, and sites of future knowledge through the coined framework of Meso-Futurism. Aware of problematic pseudo-histories and western science-fiction ideas of progress and settler colonial time, they create garments, ceremonial devices, and collaborative performances as a mode of care work, play, and energy exchange. This is to stage conscious fabulated Maya chronotopes. Esaú’s work proposes plural ways to mark and enjoy time-space that entwine with the inherent earth rhythms, the cosmos, and our co-inhabitants.

Curated by John H. Guevara as part of Chicago Artist Coalition’s 22-23 HATCH Residency Program. 

Luis Rodríguez Rosario is a Puerto Rican artist residing in Chicago with a BFA in Image and Design from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de Puerto Rico and an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He develops works focused on craft attached to his development as a fabricator which feeds into his conceptual ideas of vernacular practices and heterotopia. He has participated in several exhibitions within Puerto Rico and the United States of America, such as the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, the Museo Antiguo Arsenal de la Marina Española, The Driehaus Museum, and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.

Josué Esaú was born in Mesoamerica, raised in San Antonio, and currently lives in Chicago. He works through weaving, wood, metal, paper, archiving, mythology, ritual, magic — cultivating fertile soil on which to ground home and legacy, connecting to ancestral culture and materializing future. Josué holds a BFA from the Southwest School of Art, and an MFA from Columbia College Chicago.


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