Irvin Morazan “Xolo Yawning”

Y Gallery (319 Grand St.)

poster for Irvin Morazan “Xolo Yawning”
[Image: Irvin Morazan "Yawning Headdress" (2015)]

This event has ended.

Y GALLERY presents “Xolo Yawning”, the first solo exhibition of Irvin Morazan at Y Gallery. This exhibition features recent works that continues Morazan interest in his Mayan heritage and other ancestral cultures in dialogue with contemporaneity, nature, urban street aesthetics, recent political and social events. This time his focus is based mainly in the conflict of the US-Mexican border, path that he crossed as a child and has been taken up in his artistic practice since 2011 when he performed this transcendental ritual by inverting the original journey. The rituality and mysticism characteristic of his practice is also in the base of this new body of works.

The title refers to the The Xoloitzcuintli, or Xolo: the only indigenous dog of America. It is a hairless breed of dog original from Mexico, Central America, Peru and other parts of Latin America that was considered sacred by the ancient cultures; it was the guardian of man through his journey on the underworld into eternity. Depicted as a skeleton, a dog-headed man or a reversed feet monster it is still assume by some Latin-Americans as a healing deity. The act of “yawning” on the other hand is a metaphor to talk about the extinction of the natural world and of indigenous cultures/ ancient rituals. The disinterest of youth towards their indigenous roots, the deforestation and all the events affecting the cosmology of ancient cultures leads to a numbness of it.

Corruption, economic difficulties and violence have influenced the mass illegal immigration to the US. Border patrol arrested over 90,000 children trying to illegally cross the Mexican Border in 2014, more than three times the number of children apprehended in 2013.This physical line that separates the US and Mexico has become a place of distress and death. Xolo Yawning consist of 3 headdress sculptures that contain urns with the soil of the US Border, Arizona, New Mexico and Miami; ceramics, photograph, and a video of the same name featuring a performance that took place in Miami. In the artist words: Xolo Yawning intends to transcend through mysticism and absurdity by the over-indulgent beasts that wears the headdress that interweave analogue, digital, urban, ancient, fake and new cultural threads. The sculptures serve to commemorate those that have risked or lost their lives in the journey to cross the US border.

Irvin Morazan was born in El Salvador and works and lives in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from S.V.A. in 2003 with a B.F.A. and obtained a M.F.A. from Hunter College in 2013. Past exhibitions/ performances includes The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; XI Nicaragua Biennial, Managua, Nicaragua; Performa 13, Arrabaleques, NY; Performa 11, El Museo Del Barrio, NY, 2011; The Labyrinth, Exit Art; Sean Kelly Gallery, the annex, Jack the Pelican, the Jersey City Museum, the Saud Haus (Berlin Germany), the Caribbean Museum (Colombia South America), Marte Museum (El Salvador Central America), the Bronx River Arts Center, the Masur Museum. He attended many residencies such as R.A.T. Mexico City Residency, 2014; LMCC Workspace 2013; S.O.M.A. Residency, Mexico City, 2012; The Skowhegan residency, 2009. He has also received the following awards: VCU Fountainhead Fellowship 2014 (Sculpture); Dedalus Foundation Fellowship, 2013; Art Matters Grant 2012; Cisneros Foundation Grant, 2012; The Robert Mapplethorpe award for Photography, 2003.



from April 15, 2015 to May 26, 2015

Opening Reception on 2015-04-17 from 18:00 to 20:00


Irvin Morazan

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