Week Fifty Two


Posted in 2008 Archives, Uncategorized by sarahbakerhansen on 8 October 2008

Last night my significant and I went to a lecture sponsored by the University of Nebraska. Enrique Martinez Celaya, an NU visiting presidential professor, gave his first lecture in Omaha. NU President JB Milliken appointed Celaya to the position in 2007, and the three-year term began last year in Lincoln, where he gave three public lectures, had a show at the Sheldon Art Gallery, visited with classes and gave a UNL student an internship at his Los Angeles studio.

I don’t go to as many lectures as I used to, but I have to say, this one was really worth the time. Celaya’s talk was engaging, honest and thought-provoking. I especially loved his comments on the recent Damien Hirst auction that took place on the same day as a huge stock market dive. You can read about his thoughts at his blog.

I took a few notes at the lecture, and asked a question at the end. My question was “You seem to think art is ultimately not understandable. Where does that leave the viewer, the writer, the critic?” Celaya gave an answer that was better than I could have expected, delving into the differences between “good” and “bad” art and why he chooses not to waste his time on art that doesn’t challenge, doesn’t live up to his standards and isn’t difficult.

Read about his philosophies on art, his recent work and his publishing house at his Web site.

He’ll be back in Omaha this spring, and will give another lecture. I highly recommend attending. It’ll make you think.


3 Responses

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  1. Meredith K. said, on 9 October 2008 at 3:36 pm

    I completely agree. I recently discovered Enrique Martinez Celaya, and actually found out about the event on his facebook page. Martinez Celaya’s work is compelling, and his philosphy is not only thought-provoking, but inspiring. His presentation was precisely choreographed; a beautiful narrative of images, paired flawlessly with an excellent soundtrack. If given the opportunity do not miss experiencing this true Renaissance man in person.

  2. Anonymous said, on 14 October 2008 at 8:58 pm

    So what’s the answer he gave to the question?!

  3. Anonymous said, on 15 October 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Many of us at UNO were left wondering why he doesn’t lecture for philosophy students about art instead of art students about philosophy?

    He’s a remarkable man with a unique story, but I’m not sure “artist” should be his first or only title.

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