HARAJUKU SKULL, 2016
Ceramics and Gold
23 in X 9 in X 9 in
This installation is a reinterpretation of Mesoamerican altars where a row of skulls was presented as an offering to the gods; a tzompantli celebrates life more than death and is part of the repertoire of images of contemporary Mexico in its pre-Hispanic roots. Each skull is hand painted with 22k gold.
HARAJUKU is a portrait of death and the way its understood in different latitudes. Solid, immobile and fired, the ceramic pieces made by Cartú allegorize the deepest of human emotions, alluding to their timeless character. Made of clay, wood and gold, the substance remains, the myths continue to be rewritten, the endings find new beginnings. The pendulum that navigates between the world of the living and the many representations of the dead, has never stopped swinging, from the first tzompantlli to the most recent unjust assassinations. Emerging from the author’s experiences in Harajuku, Tokyo’s most eccentric neighborhood, new characters are added to a long tradition of sculptures and ceramics on human substance.
“Is beauty enough to celebrate life and death equally? “
The series of sculptures presented in the framework of this exhibition and the symbolisms that surround them, invite us to meditate on the infinite nuances that these representations contain. Japan and Mexico find a shared territory in these ceramic pieces, that are complemented with complex jewelry designs, that seem to fall like tears from their eyes. The exhibition intertwines iconographies and representations of both countries, conceiving new idols and rituals, with which the viewer has the possibility of interacting.
HARAJUKU unbalances the balance of premeditated conceptions and inherited prejudices. Face to face sculptures and spectators are gathered to start a new dialogue. The theme is known; generation after generation, actors are born and die to repeat the same stories.
Nothing better than death to remind us that we are alive, and nothing as fleeting as life to counteract the immobile destiny that death contains.
Text: Pablo David Goldin Marcovich