Cecilia Portal

Sueños y Mitos
Dreams and Myths

In the photographs from the Sueños y Mitos (Dreams and Myths) series I reveal images which first appeared in my dreams. In some of these dreams there was no dialogue or movement, but static visions that incessantly repeated themselves. Only then, when the dreams were rendered in the material world as photographs did they leave my dream world. This process began in 1989 with a recurring dream of a centaur. For over a year the centaur would visit me in my dreams and take me through long journeys atop his warm back, differing directions, from lush green meadows to obscure and dark places. I felt safe riding with him and strong in a peaceful way.

The presence of the centaur was so persistent, I decided to investigate its mythological meanings. In Greek mythology, the centaur was described as uncontrolled passion, violence, tyranny and wisdom. The centaur was also a teacher of the gods. Fallen heroes were left for the centaur to find and heal. It also represented the struggle between soul and intelligence, the union of the lower forces and the spirit, but neither good nor evil.

The "Dreams and Myths" series has been the product of my conscious and my unconscious worlds. The use of the Mexican masks represent aspects of the nagual and the tonal. The nagual is everything that is unknown, what is intuitive, primal and it is represented in nature as an animal spirit. On the other hand, the tonal is everything we can name, the known. In Mexican mythology the nagual and the tonal, like the centaur, represent the struggle of opposites, the manifestation of the conscious and unconscious.

These images do not fit into reality as we know it. They go beyond the limitations of time an space as we perceive in our ordinary reality. These figures are messengers from the nagual who breaks the spell of the tonal. They are interior figures, guardian spirits that take us into our own darkness.

The "Dreams and Myths" series is the first departure from my photographic roots as a journalist and documentalist. For the first time in my creative process did I pre-visualize images and then composed them to render them on film.