Ritual of Myth Making: Reclaim

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RITUAL OF MYTH MAKING: RECLAIM

Ritual of Myth Making: Reclaim

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RITUAL OF MYTH MAKING: RECLAIM

EXHIBITION DATES

February 10–March 20, 2023

2 Aq’ab’al–1 Imox

EXHIBITING ARTISTS

Polaris Castillo

Sonia Conguache Rancho

Sean Guerra

Tz’utu Kan

Rusby Marisol Tum Xinico

Hoi-Fei Mok

Roberto Fatal, Daniel Arizmendi, Xav S-F

Xicha Sagrada

Shreya 360

Alvaro Tzaj Yotz

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25
30
Huipil of I’x (Huipil de I’x), 2022 Textile
x
in.

CURATORIAL ESSAY

Inhale, exhale—this is our offering to you, relative Ritual of Myth Making: Reclaim is a culmination of joyful and melancholic stories, rituals, and ceremonies of being an indigenous person (detribalized and reconnecting) in a society that either tries to pretend we do not exist or outright seeks to destroy us. From this perspective, to be alive is radical actualization and to reclaim our joy is to shape and manifest our liberation. This is a celebration of our living stories—it is a ceremony that weaves together the individual liberatory imagination into the collective physical world. To enter this ceremony is to embody the liberatory imagination where we reclaim our experiences to rematriate

our bodies, our body which is the land. The land is our ancestors. We are inseparable, we are our ancestors. We are here as we always have been. Our collective body carries infinite stories, and as curators of this ceremony, we have chosen to model this particular ceremony through the themes of the Popol Wuj—themes that can be found in indigenous cosmologies around the world. The Popol Wuj we know today contains stories from the pre-colonial period. It is a text that was copied in approximately 1714 from phonetic K’iche, written in Latin letters from an oral account by anonymous K’iche storytellers in the early 1500s, on the land now known by its colonial name, Guatemala. The text is significant

because it is one of four pre-colonial surviving texts of the Maya and it holds many interwoven stories and themes: it is a creation story, a metaphor for the life/death/rebirth cycle of corn and humans, a retelling of the K’iche lineage and history, and overall a story of interdependence and reciprocity between humans and the elements of the earthly, supernatural, and cosmic realms. This surviving text of the Popol Wuj, like us, is an ancient story (re) told under colonialism. It embodies indigenous futurism, regeneration, and reclamation that is in antithesis to the current death culture, as it catapults us into a culture of life affirming ways. Ritual of Myth Making: Reclaim intends to do the same through the power of the collective

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ENSAYO CURATORIAL

Inhala, exhala— esta es nuestre ofrenda para ti, pariente

Ritual de Creación de Mitos: Reclamación es una culminación de historias melancólicas, rituales, y ceremonias de lo que significa ser una persona indígena (detribalizado y reconectado) en una sociedad que intenta pretender que no existimos, o que plenamente busca destruirnos. Empleando esta perspectiva, estar vivo es una actualización radical y reclamar la alegría es moldear y manifestar nuestra liberación individual, que nos lleva desde la imaginación al mundo físico. Entrar a esta ceremonia, es encarnar la imaginación liberatoria donde reclamamos experiencias para la rematrizsación de nuestros cuerpos,

nuestro cuerpo el cual es la tierra. La tierra que es nuestros ancestros. Somos inseparables, nosotres somos la tierra y somos nuestros ancestros. Estamos aquí como siempre lo hemos estado.

El cuerpo colectivo carga historias infinitas, y como curadores de esta ceremonia, hemos escogido modelar en particular a través de los temas del Popol Wuj— temas que se encuentran en cosmologías indígenas alrededor del mundo. El Popol Wuj que conocemos hoy en día abarca historias del periodo pre-colonial. Es un texto que fue copiado aproximadamente en 1714 de la fonética K’iche, escrito en letras Latinas de relatos orales anónimos por narradores K’iche a

principios de 1500, en la tierra que ahora es conocida por su nombre colonial, Guatemala. Este texto es significativo porque es uno de cuatro textos pre-coloniales sobrevivientes de los Maya y contiene muchas historias y temas entrelazados; es un cuento de creación, una metáfora del ciclo de vida/muerte/resurrección del maíz y los seres humanos, una narración del linaje K’iche y su historia, y sobre todo una historia de interdependencia y reciprocidad entre seres humanos y los elementos de la tierra, lo supernatural y los Cosmos. El texto sobreviviente del Popol Wuj, como nosotres, es una historia antigua (re)contada bajo el colonialismo. Encarna el futurismo indígena, la restauración, y la reclamación que es la antítesis de

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by inviting the participant to move through the space in a nonlinear and infinite ceremony.

In this ceremony, the offerings begin with the past/future space in the front room located in the north part of the gallery. As participants, we are first greeted by the Huipil of I’x, Belt of Nawales, and Reboso of Tz’i woven and embroidered by hand (Rubsy Marisol Tum). Surrounded by poetry of abundance and seeds in the works Q’anil (Tz’utu Kan), the colorful handmade earrings in regional attire (Sonia Conguache Rancho), the words of Flor De Palabra (Sean Guerra), and held by the wisdom keeper in the painting of Ixkan (Alvaro Tzaj Yotz), we are told ancient future stories. In the center of this temporal present, the ceremony participants are invited to sit with the abundance of indigeneity that is both past and future in the center altar— upon the rebozos of the Nawales (Guardians) of the earth, I’x and Kiej,

and Pachamama nestled amongst The Living Maya Destiny Cards

(produced by CIELO, a 501c3 nonprofit organization) of the 20 Nawales of the Chol’qij. As we make our way south, we traverse through the portal Chaac and Yum (Roberto Fatal, Daniel Arizmendi, Xav S-F). This short film grounds us in our truth as ancient future beings. We join the narrative of the film by defying linear temporality and space, entering into a multidimensional dance of myth, queer intimacy, pleasure, and joy; a place where we can and will return to time after time.

Upon exiting the portal we are reborn into the temporal present, ready to arm ourselves for the struggle for liberation with Sean Guerra’s prints. The center respite altar with the rebozos of Tz’i and Tijax, and Xicha Sagrada’s ceramic offerings remind us how rituals and ceremonies guide us through our struggles. It is here

in the furthest south of the present that we confront death with the Lovers of Mictlan (Polaris Castillo) and Oxi’ Keme (Tz’utu Kan). To die is to live, and to live we transmute our struggle into ancestral exploration and reconnection with Shreya 360’s ancestral offerings, and As Our Ancestors Light Lanterns To Return To Us (Hoi-Fei Mok). As we circle back into the portal, we are once again invited to love and kiss our kin. We reenter the past/future space to begin the cycle again, finding ourselves in the infinite movement between the past/present/future and life/death/rebirth.

Inhale, exhale—we are here always, relative While Ritual of Myth Making: Reclaim is an indigenous ceremony experienced in an unconventional space it does not mean the space has been transformed into a liberatory space. We do not need to be

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la cultura de muerte (la supremacía blanca y el capitalismo) que existe actualmente, y que en cambio nos invita a una cultura que afirma la vida. Ritual de Creación de Mitos: Reclamación tiene como intención hacer lo mismo a través del poder colectivo al invitar al participante a moverse por el espacio en una ceremonia no lineal e infinita.

En esta ceremonia, las ofrendas empiezan en el espacio del pasado/ futuro, localizado en el cuatro en la parte norte de la galería. Como participantes, somos recibidos primero por el Huipil de I’x, la Faja de Nawales, y Reboso de Tz’i tejido y bordado a mano (Rubsy Marisol Tum). Rodeado por la poesía de semillas de abundancia en las obras Q’anil (Tz’utu Kan), los aretes coloridos hechos a mano en indumentaria regional (Sonia Conguache Rancho), las palabras de Flor De la Palabra (Sean Guerrera), y sostenides por el Guardián de la sabiduría en la

pintura de IxKan (Alvaro Tzaj Yotz), estas obras nos cuentan historias antigua/futura. En el centro de este presente temporal, los participantes de la ceremonia son invitados sentir abundancia indigena que es ambos, pasado y futuro, en el altar del centro — donde nos acobijan los rebozos de los Nawales (Guardianes) de la tierra, I’x and Kiej, y la Pachamama están acurrucados entre La Herencia Maya Cartas del destino (producido por CIELO, una organización sin fines de lucro 501c3) sobre el tema de los 20 Nawales del Chol’qij.

Mientras caminamos en el sur nuestre camino al sur, visitamos el portal Chaac and Yum (Roberto Fatal, Daniel Arizmendi, Xav S-F). Este cortometraje nos cimienta con la verdad como seres de antiguo/ futuro. Nos unimos a la narrativa del cortometraje por desafiar la temporalidad lineal y el espacio, entrando a un baile multidimensional de mitos, intimidad queer, placer, y

alegría; un lugar donde podemos y vamos a regresar una y otra vez.

Al salir del portal, somos renacides en el presente temporal, listos para armarnos para la lucha por la liberación con los grabados de Sean Guerra. En el centro el altar del respiro con los rebozos de Tz’i and Tijax, y las ofrendas de Xicha Sagrada nos recuerdan que los rituales y ceremonias nos guía a superar nuestras dificultades. Es aquí al extremo sur del presente donde confrontamos a la muerte con los Lovers of Mictlan (Polaris Castillo) y Oxi’ Keme (Tz’utu Kan). Morir es vivir, y para vivir transmitimos nuestra lucha en exploración ancestral y reconexión con las ofrendas de Shreya 360 y en As Our Ancestors Light Lanterns To Return To Us (Hoi-Fei Mok).

Mientras volvemos al portal, somos una vez más invitados a amar y besar a nuestros parientes. Regresamos al espacio del pasado/futuro para empezar el ciclo una vez más,

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empowered or validated by colonial institutions with their scarcity mentality and practices in order to belong or to reclaim the resources that are kept from us. We also do not intend to decolonize this space because that is not possible without the rematriation of the land this gallery sits upon back to their land stewards. Instead this ceremony is building ancient future frameworks to hold us, even when this ceremony ends in its physical form. We—the curators, artists, and culture bearers of the ceremony—offer it to our kin to reclaim our sense of self and to disrupt the death culture’s narrative of extraction and what it says about itself. Our ceremony is living and ongoing. We are abundant and this ceremony is the testimony.

This is our love letter to our kin. We love you, deeply—and we offer this expansiveness. We offer you narratives and spaces where ceremonies take place. We invite you to reclaim your self-determination because we are

here and we belong everywhere we are. We are life-affirming cultures/ people/land and without us there cannot be thriving. We are thriving, we are the ancient future stories and rituals—we have been here and will always be, for our ancestors, our present, and our descendants, human and non-human alike.

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Inhale, exhale—relative we offer you release…

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encontrándonos en el movimiento infinito entre el pasado/presente/ futuro y la vida/muerte/reencarnación. Inhala, exhala— estamos aquí siempre, pariente

Mientras que el Ritual de Creación de Mitos: Reclamación es una ceremonia indígena que se vive en un espacio no convencional, eso no significa que el espacio se ha transformado en un espacio de liberación. Nosotres no necesitamos estar apoderado o validado por instituciones coloniales con su mentalidad y prácticas de escasez para pertenecer o para reclamar los recursos que han retenido de nosotres. También no tenemos intención de descolonizar este espacio porque no es posible sin la rematriación de la tierra en donde la galería se sienta regresándola a los cuidadores originarios. En cambio, esta ceremonia está construyendo marcos antiguos y futuros para sostenernos, incluso cuando esta

ceremonia termina de forma física. Nosotres— curadores, artistas, y portadores de la cultura—le ofrecemos a ustedes nuestros seres queridos para reclamar nuestra autonomía y soberanía para quebrantar la narrativa de extracción de la cultura de la muerte y lo que dice sobre sí misma. Nuestra ceremonia vive y continúa. Somos pueblos de abundancia y esta ceremonia es el testimonio.

Esta es nuestre letra de amor para ustedes nuestres seres queridos.

Les amamos profundamente—y les ofrecemos esta expansividad. Les ofrecemos narrativas y espacio donde ocurren las ceremonias. Les invitamos a reclamar sus autodeterminación porque estamos aquí, y pertenecemos donde quiera que estemos. Somos culturas/gente/tierra que afirman la vida y sin nosotres, no se puede prosperar. Somos los rituales e historias del futuro antiguo— hemos estado aquí y siempre estaremos, por

nuestros ancestros, nuestro presente y por nuestros descendientes, humanos, plantas, animales y todos los seres de esta tierra por igual.

Inhala, exhala— parientes, te ofrecemos liberación…

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Installation view

POLARIS CASTILLO

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15 Eternal Love in Mictlan, 2022 Mixed media 14 x 11 in.
Regional Earrings Guatemala (Installation View), 2022, Clay, 1 x 0.5 in. each

Earrings of San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Sacatepequez, 2022

Clay

1 x 0.5 in.

SONIA CONGUACHE RANCHO

Regional Earrings Guatemala (Installation View), 2022

Clay

1 x 0.5 in. each

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Installation view (left to right):

ARM-ARTE, 2022

Screen print

23 x 17 in.

Amor Rebelde, 2022

Digital print 23 x 17 in.

EXISTIMOS x RESISTIMOS, 2022

Screen print 23 x 17 in.

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Digital print

23 x 17 in.

SEAN GUERRA

Digital print

23 x 17 in.

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Flor De Palabra (detail), 2022 Flor De Palabra, 2022

Q’anil, 2022

Acrylic on canvas

36 x 22 in.

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TZ’UTU KAN

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Oxi Keme, 2022 Acrylic on canvas 36 x 22 in.

RUSBY MARISOL TUM XINICO

Reboso of I'x (Reboso de I'x), 2022

Textile

39 x 18 in.

Huipil of I'x (Huipil de I'x), 2022

Textile

25 x 30 in. Belt of Nawales (Faja de Nawales), 2022

Textile

3.5 x 67 in.

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From left to right:

HOI-FEI MOK

As Our Ancestors Light Lanterns To Return To Us (detail), 2022

Crystal chandelier lighting drops and balls, gold hanging plant hangers, gold chain and hoops, black velvet fabric, clips, cube wire organizers

69 x 28 x 28 in.

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As Our Ancestors Light Lanterns To Return To Us (detail), 2022

Crystal chandelier lighting drops and balls, gold hanging plant hangers, gold chain and hoops, black velvet fabric, clips, cube

wire organizers

69 x 28 x 28 in.

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ROBERTO FATAL, DANIEL ARIZMENDI, XAV S-F

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Chaac and Yum (film still), 2022 Short film 11:32 min.
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From left to right:

Ojos En La Tierra 1, 2022

Ceramic,

x

Hongos Y Fuego, 2022

Ceramic, hawaiian red, B-mix clay, and B-12

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Ojos En La Tierra 2, 2022

Ceramic, B-mix with red velvet clay slip

5 x 8 x 8

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B-mix with red velvet clay slip 5 8 x 8 in. x 4 x 4 in. in.

Ojos En La Tierra 1 (detail), 2022

XICHA SAGRADA

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Ceramic, B-mix with red velvet clay slip 5 x 8 x 8 in.
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Mobile_01, 2023

Wood, Acrylic, Mirror, Beads, Thread

7 x 12 x 12 in.

Prototype_01, 2023

Wood, Acrylic, Dimensional Paint

12 x 14 x 13 in.

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SHREYA 360

ALVARO TZAJ YOTZ

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Ixkan (Mujer de Serpiente/Woman of Snake), 2019 Oil on canvas 27 x 39 in.
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