rubén garcía marrufo: Being Here

by Alejandro Espinoza Galindo

The works of rubén garcía marrufo are an audiovisual fabulation of the awe-inducing instant, gathering phantasmagorical narratives, silences, and rituals which expand the ways we embrace the concept of border, going beyond its social, historical, and political meaning, to manifest border as the site for a vital existence. With video, film, and sound experimentation as their principal mediums, they project their pieces onto public spaces or edit them into fragmented montages that alter our perception of the moving image in an exercise that fuses poetic fiction with documentary chronicles. garcía marrufo invites us to transcend the veil of lost moments that occur when we sense the pulse of our surroundings through sequences and scenarios that present human life as a fluid passage from one place to the next, a translation of languages and symbols, oral testimonies that tell stories of loss and communion. This work is a place where we launch into a sensorial adventure of discovery, that intimate encounter with the pondering image and its ability to connect with us, residual moments where we witness something both fulminating and captivating, summoning us to reunite with the primal wonder of being-in-the-world.


This essay appeared in CONDITIONS, a publication of The Ford Family Foundation. The annual arts journal (shifting title as it progresses) is part of the program element CRITICAL CONVERSATIONS, led by the University of Oregon with partners Portland State University, The Cooley Gallery, Reed College; and PNCA at Willamette University.

The title and concept for CONDITIONS came into focus as the editorial team launched its first issue, FIGURING. Here, we shift from FIGURING’s multiple perspectives on the body and the psyche to examine the cultural and biological mysteries and actualities of life at this tenuous environmental and socio-political moment. As our need for breath and sustenance are foregrounded across an accounting of our shared lives, we hope that CONDITIONS offers a space to meditate on the ways in which works of art (including writing) support us in making meaning from our state of, and provisions for, being. 

Featured Contributors: Amelia Rina, Laura Butler Hughes, Luiza Lukova, Sara Krajewski, Malia Jensen, Lumi Tan, Steph Littlebird, Ido Radon, Alejandro Espinoza Galindo, Stephanie Gervais, Stephanie Snyder, K. Silem Mohammad, Prudence Roberts, Sara Jaffe.