La vida terrenal reconquista al soñador [Earthly Life Reconquers the Dreamer], 2022. Site-sensitive installation: chalk on canvas, hand-dyed fabric, embroidery, burlap, carpets, soft sculptures and polychrome plaster sculptures, dimensions variable. View of the exhibition I don’t know you like that: The Bodywork of Hospitality at UB Anderson Gallery, Buffalo, NY, 2022 —2023. Courtesy of the UB Art Galleries, Buffalo. Photo: Biff Henrich/IMG-INK.

Celina Eceiza’s practice daringly centers drawing in installations that take visitors on journeys of embodied pleasure and narrative wonder. Developed over many months for I don’t know you like that: The Bodywork of Hospitality, Celina Eceiza’s site-sensitive installation immerses visitors in a world where the body is host to a constellation of powers, practices, desires, threats, and attractions.
A passageway lures visitors into a labyrinthine space lined with pulsating bleached drawings on red fabric, which opens onto a central area where colorful monumental figures and floor sculptures portray fluid life-affirming rituals and rites of community. Were it possible to see the gallery from above, visitors would realize that they are traveling through a space shaped after the kidney—one of the organs through which the body metabolizes the world, fabricating sustaining energy and discarding what threatens its life. Eceiza’s installation also references temporary architectures—improvised shelter, space of childhood imagination and play, and ephemeral site of communal ritual practice—reassigning the positions of host and guest to welcome an array of possible hospitable/hostile relationships.

Sylvie Fortin