Welcome to Tlacuilo Amoxcalli, my MFA Thesis exhibition at the University of Wisconsin in

Welcome to My MFA Thesis exhibition, Tlacuilo Amoxcalli, Spring 2022

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Photographer Eric David Skadson

The Womb of the Amoxcalli/Library photo by Eric David Skadson

Photographer Eric David Skadson

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Photographer Eric David Skadson

A glance into my MFA exhibition, with the Pyramid of Knowledge, the Tlacuilo Desk installa

A glance into my MFA exhibition, with the Pyramid of Knowledge, the Tlacuilo Desk installation, large wood cut and the walls are covered in the Tlacuilo Almanac (2022) Photographer Allison Lynn Calteux

Is showing the Tlacuilo Desk installation and Mother is Our Book (2022) India ink on Fabri

Tlacuilo Desk installation and Mother is Our Book (2022)

India ink on Fabriano, 299 x 59 inches, Photographer Eric David Skadson

Tlacuilo Desk Installation (2021 - 2022) Walnut wood, corn, paper clay, relief print matri

Tlacuilo Desk Installation (2021 - 2022)

Photographer Frank Juarez

Born, Die, Rebirth (2021) Papel amate, ink, prints 109.5 x 15.5 inches Photographer Eric D

Photographer Eric David Skadson

Another angle of the Tlacuilo Desk with myself, Celeste, wearing the Tlacuilo Mask (2022)

Another angle of the Tlacuilo Desk with myself, Celeste, wearing the Tlacuilo Mask (2022)

Photographer Allison Lynn Calteux

Pyramid of Knowledge (2021) MDF, India ink, gesso 57.5 x 48 x 48 inches Photographer Eric

Pyramid of Knowledge (2021) MDF, India ink, gesso 57.5 x 48 x 48 inches Photographer Eric David Skadson

Artist Statement

Book is the intersection between the living and the dead; it’s where I meet with my ancestors.  When I wear the mask of the Tlacuilo and I put on the apron handed down from my elders, I perform the ceremony of the bookmakers.  I am a palimpsest of a Tlacuilo. 

 

The work I am presenting to you was made in a time not so different than the Tlacuilo (bookmakers, scribes, painters) of the sixteenth century, Central México.  Similar, surviving pandemics, still creating work and when we were in lockdown our supplies were limited.  This forced me to look at my own sources of materiality and content and I spent the summer of 2021 growing purple corn.  Corn was my clock, corn guided me through the making of this work by providing a timeline, a source of material and another line of connection directly to my ancestors.

 

From seed to paper, to books, to wood, I am outlining the untold stories of who the Tlacuilo were.  There is a gap in our knowledge of who the Tlacuilo were because of the sixteen century book burnings, I am attempting to fill that space and birth it to life in this exhibition.  As you enter the space, the story unfolds from seed, to stalks, to paper and ink to then life size installations that continue the link from the past to the present; that’s what books and codices do for us.  I am using the codices of the past to see what has been erased; that was my research.  Although there are many surviving codices, not one reads about the Tlacuilo/bookmakers themselves.  As a contemporary Tlacuilo, this is a self portrait of who I am as a bookmaker, this is the transformation into becoming a Tlacuilo; this is a story of that metamorphosis.

 

From alphabets to ink, I have created my own library of what I think a Tlacuilo would have needed, used and I imagined the Ceremony of the Bookmakers.  Tlacuilo Amoxcalli, translates as Tlacuilo Library in Nahuatl and I welcome you into the womb of the library.

Tlacuilo Desk, made of Walnut wood from Minnesota, I stripped it clean, revealing a warm p

Tlacuilo Desk, made of Walnut wood from Minnesota, I stripped it clean, revealing a warm purple tone, similar to the Purple Corn ink I made (2022) Photographer Frank Juarez

Photographer Eric David Skadson

Photographer Eric David Skadson 

Photographer Allison Lynn Calteux

Photographer Allison Lynn Calteux

Photographer Allison Lynn Calteux

Photographer Allison Lynn Calteux

Photographer Allison Lynn Calteux

Photographer Allison Lynn Calteux

Photographer Allison Lynn Calteux

Photographer Allison Lynn Calteux

Photographer Allison Lynn Calteux

Photographer Allison Lynn Calteux

Photographer Allison Lynn Calteux

Photographer Allison Lynn Calteux

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Mother is Our Book (2022), India ink on Fabriano, 299 x 59 inches, Photographer Eric David Skadson