Artist Llanes Hugo

5000 €

I don’t have to speak to make myself understood – (El Panadero) The baker

From all the kinds of food, bread is among those which have a major significance, and symbolic meaning in every culture and civilization. I am interested in continuing to explore my practice within the field of food and its potential meanings in artistic discourses. Growing up in Mexico - where bread has extensive roots and links to ancient rituals, colonization, and modernity -has led me to develop an interest in exploring Pan de Muerto (“bread of the dead”), as a central focus of my project. One popular theory of the origin of Pan de Muerto links it to the religious practice of sacrifice in Mesoamerican cultures. According to this theory, the Aztecs selected a young woman as a sacrifice to thank the gods for a good harvest. They would take her heart out when she was still alive and cover it in amaranth seeds for the priest to eat. The Spanish friars used some symbols from the pre-Hispanic religion to induce the conversion of the indigenous to Christianity by exchanging the whole sacrifice ritual for bread with similar shape and color to represent the idea of the Eucharist. This is how they make the first bread of the dead with wheat, and decorated with red-pigmented sugar in allusion to the blood offered in rituals. Bread is not associated only with spirituality and the afterlife, however. Even in antiquity, the production of bread was associated with procreation. The process of loading, baking, and unloading the oven parallels copulation, pregnancy, and childbirth. Reflecting on the diaspora of food and how it could travel around the globe loaded in meaning made me think of mixing these two interesting aspects: the creation of life and then death, by giving birth to a series of figurative/erotic/ancient-prehispanic style bread sculptures. Using methods of baking I will be sculpting-baking at the residency as well as sketching, documenting the different processes to finally offer and share the edible sculptures to the residents as an artistic gesture.