La Memoria del Agua, the artist's third solo exhibition at Mariane Ibrahim and his first in Mexico, presents a new body of work, inspired by the transformative nature of water. The work envelopes complex emotional energy, oscillating between contemplation and impulse. The outcome is a collection of work that defines new conduits of his practice; his signature, collage, is present alongside a deeper exploration into ceramics.
The new large scale ceramics stand over two feet tall, and introduce exterior and interior layers of material that give Jiménez’s work a new power. The delicate body of the vases suggest they are containers to hold, display, or conceal something living. Most frequently vases are employed as containers for water, but they are also created and shaped, in part, by the liquid medium. Embellished with engraving of drawings, the pieces become a catalyst for the artist's expression.
Jiménez forms the ceramics as a way to delve into a profound sensorial transcendence activated through the use and memory of water. In his collages bathers dive into and emerge from greenish waters, clouds blend in and out of focus, and elements are abstracted between the waves. The artist calls forth scenes and memories from a recent trip to the coasts of Quintana Roo, in the Yucatán peninsula.
“Water occupies a separate space from the monotonous and wearisome life on land. When you swim and you submerge yourself under a body of water, time changes, your heart rate adjusts, light and sound waves travel differently, a kind of escape to submerge oneself, creating a momentary distance from whatever is occurring on land,” shared Jiménez.
The closeness of figures in this new body of work represent a way to break free of isolation, shaping a new liberation. Preceding the height of the pandemic, an element of surprise lingers when seeing a small proximity between people. Having made a home in downtown Mexico City shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic started, the artist is no stranger to this disconnection between collective and individual space, between the tumult of outside and the silence of domestic privacy, a tension brought to extremes during alternating confinement regulations.
For Jiménez, water is more than just a metaphor for the portal through which a different state of consciousness can be reached: it is the vehicle of a journey towards liberation. While it can begin as an act of leisure, the aquatic experience becomes a powerful matrix for introspection and truth.