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Cone 10 ceramic and Projection

Installation still of projected images inside a wheel-thrown and hand-built molcajete. In the projected images of Molcajete y Tejolote 1, I take on three various roles wearing my Italian grandmother’s dress, my father’s guayabera, and my mother’s blouse. In Molcajete y Tejolote 2, the projected image shows me doing the 90’s jump-through-leg dance move. In Molcajete y Tejolote 3, the image shows me spiraling around in the motion of traditional ingredients being mixed. 

Italian frescoes of the 15th Century show Mortars and Pestles in use by Apothecaries. The Molcajete, the Mexican version of the mortar and pestle, appears in Mexican pre-history in the Tehuacán Valley as early as the discovery of our hybridized present-day corn, 6,000 years ago.

Anthropologically, I imagine that most of the movements we do now are very different from the way our ancestors moved. We walk differently because of shoes and roads; we sit differently because of ergonomic designs; we eat differently because of utensils. However, the way our hands touch clay has not changed, clay has not changed, and clay tools are still quite primitive. We hold our hands in the way our ancestors held theirs. I look down at my hands and realize that I move them the same way my ancestors moved their hands, their fingers, their muscles. That is a beautiful and exciting thing. 

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