Artist: Fernando Palma Rodriguez
Exhibition title: Tlatla’zo’huenmanaz / Gift of Love
Venue: Parallel Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Date: July 21 – September 21, 2016
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Parallel Oaxaca
Tlatla’zo’huenmanaz / Gift of Love by Fernando Palma Rodriguez is a constellation of artworks/case studies of how the affective construction of natural and geographical environments refer to an identity and a methodology for reinvesting indigenous values and traditions to contemporary concepts of ecological management. In a narrative challenge to find ways to reconstruct historical processes irrevocably disturbed by western technology and its exploitation of the earth’s resources, Tlatla’zo’huenmanaz arguments against the perspectives of land exploitation and mismanagement to consider natural spaces as communal forms of organization, where fates of environmental participation create agencies which may present models of cultural signification.
Fernando Palma Rodríguez uses contemplation of ecosystems and ideologies from the perspectives of indigenous communal belonging. Palma, a Nauhua speaker himself, stresses that understanding of the world is more comprehensible to us if we accept that the indigenous concept of ‘persona’ is not confined to human beings alone, but is actually conferred on nature, animal and human being.
Engaged with communal projects of environmental sustainability, in Tlatla’zo’huenmanaz / Gift of Love Fernando Palma’s evokes his homeland Milpa Alta, a region in the mountains to the south-west of Mexico City, known as the ‘lungs of Mexico City’. In the installation four flags are oriented to the cardinal points of the gallery and in the middle of them, made of scavenged and recycled materials, lies a mechatronic sculpture in the ethical spirit of indigenous Coyote, a boundary violator and orchestrator of cultural renewal. Each flag presented in a different colour refers to a geographical space within Malacachtepec Momoxco, an independent state during colonial times now know as Milpa Alta, a borough in Mexico City. The flags Illustrate with contemporary Nahuatl hieroglyphics and pictograms, social religious and linguistic Nahua concepts of land as a source of sustenance and farming as an act of worship.
The flags read:
Black Flag: The divine heart of the hill gives birth to our land at the edge of the oak trees.
Blue Flag: Ceremonial Knife Lord gives light to our land where the shields and flags are kept.
Green Flag: Our Father Tlaloc created the Earth by the corn maize fields.
Red Flag: Our Father the Sun creates our Earth at the edge of Nopal (cactus)
White Flag: The Lady of the rain creates the divine water, rain and grown our Lord Atocpan
Fernando Palma Rodríguez (1959, San Pedro Atocpan) studied Industrial design, Art History and Electonics. In 1992 he received the Rijksakademie grant for based sculpture. Selected group exhibitions include: Museo Universitario el Chopo, House Of Gaga, Zona Maco Sur, in Mexico City, High Hoch Times Zeiten, Wiener Secession, Vienna Austria, 5th inIVA aniversary Royal Collage of Art, London UK, Vilma Gold Gallery, London UK, Moving Parts Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria and Tinguely Museu. Basel, Switzerland and Heide Museum of Modern Art Melbourne, Australia.