/ Exhibition place
Maya Tz’utujil artist, Antonio Pichillá Quiacaín was born in San Pedro La Laguna, Sololá, Guatemala in 1982. He graduated from the National School of Plastic Arts in 2003. Between 2001 and 2014 he was a member of the group TEI-CA Workshop for Study and Research in Science and Art, working with interdisciplinary study and research methods around contemporary art. He did a residency at the New Roots Foundation in Antigua, Guatemala in 2016. He has produced several solo exhibitions such as at the Hessel Museum of Art in New York in 2020, the Elizabeth Xi Bauer Gallery in London in 2022 and the Denver Art Museum in 2022.
His work is included in the following collections: the Reina Sofía Museum in Spain, the State Museum in London, the Kadist Art Foundation in San Francisco, the Bank of Spain Collection and the Luiz Chrysostomo Collection in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Approach and works on display
Bailando con una piedra (2022)
Antonio Pichillá Quiacaín’s artistic production is linked to the history of Guatemala and the Mayan culture. From 1524 onwards, Spanish colonisation and the introduction of the Catholic religion transformed Guatemalan society and gave rise to a new, complex and sometimes conflicting cultural and religious heritage. Several phenomena resulted from the clashes between European culture and those of the indigenous peoples of America. However, do the concepts of miscegenation and religious syncretism really reflect the deep relationships and tensions that exist between different worldviews?
The work Bailando con una piedra (Danser avec une pierre) brings together two videos:
The first is part of the artist’s body of research related to Catholic brotherhoods, processions and religious syncretism, particularly in Santiago Atitlán, a Mayan Tz’utujil village located southwest of Lake Atitlán.
The second presents a performance by Antonio Pichillá Quiacaín who, as a Tz’utujil Mayan artist, dances with a stone on a mountain to the sound of the marimba to celebrate life. The artist is interested in Mayan stones and inscriptions as material traces of the energy of the ancients, symbols of wisdom, authority and resistance.