Beatriz Cortez and Rafa Esparza
Adobe bricks, steel, concrete, hammer, plastic, paper, soil, and plants: corn (maíz), black bean (frijol negro), prickly pear (nopal), sorghum (maicillo), amaranth (amaranto), quinoa, chayote squash (huisquil), chia (chía), chili pepper (chile), yerba buena, yerba santa, sage (salvia), and silk floss tree (ceiba)
104 x 84 c 96 inches
Nomad 13 takes the form of an unconventional space capsule. Built of adobe bricks and steel, it houses a garden of plants indigenous to the Americas, evoking a long history of migrating plants. Cultivated by the Inca, Maya, and Aztec civilizations, these ancient species are known for their wholesome nutritional qualities and profound spiritual meanings. In symbolically sending these plants into the cosmos, the artists evoke the real ongoing experiments of NASA aimed at growing fresh food for future space travelers.
Within Nomad 13, the crops are protected in their travels by Xolotl who takes the form of a dog. At once feared and loved, this Aztec deity guards the sun as it travels through the underworld every night, and protects travelers as they move through unknown territories, through space and time.
This presentation is part of Mundos Alternos, on view in its entirety throughout ARTSblock from September 16, 2017 through February 4, 2018. The above photographs are by Nikolay Maslov, courtesy of UCR ARTSblock.
Why Art Matters!
Torrance Art Museum
June 17-August 12, 2017