The image is loosely based on a depiction of the Tamoanchan Tree taken from the Laud codex - an ancient Aztec manuscript depicting animals, gods and monsters alongside dates and astronomical markers.
Tamoanchan is a mythical location believed by the people of the Mesoamerican cultures of central Mexico to be the place of origin, where humans were made and time began. The tree holds many different symbols, commonly it is depicted severed, either lacerated or bifurcated. From the cut flows blood and jewels, symbolising the most prominent and overarching mythical theme across all Mesoamerican civilizations: The separation and balance of forces, such as life/death, hot/cold, dry/wet.
Here Castillo Deball uses the simple graphic method of mono lino printing and reinterprets the historical legacy of the Tamoanchan tree. The exhibition itself is preoccupied with trees as much as reflecting on the agency of objects and their shifting status across cultures, disciplines and time, focussing our attention on how our image of different cultures is determined by the filter of objects.
Mariana Castillo Deball (born 1975, Mexico City) lives and works in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include CCA, Glasgow (2013); Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach (2010); Kunsthalle St. Gallen (2009). Group exhibitions include dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel (2012); ILLUMInations, the 54th Venice Biennale (2011); Migros Museum, Zurich (2010); Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2010); The Athens Biennial (2009); Manifesta 7 (2008). Deball was awarded the Zurich Art Prize in 2012 and is nominated for the Berlin Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst 2013.
For more information about the exhibition and to see images click here.