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Mariana Castillo Deball participates in Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago in Chicago with her exhibition Petlacoatl

Mariana Castillo Deball explores representations of cultures through material artifacts. Its practice, based on extensive research, is supported by various disciplines including Anthropology, Archaelogy and Ethnograpgy. By considering how cultural objects are organized, mediated, and valorized in the present, Deball creates a reflective dialogue between our contemporary moment and ancient history.

Deball gives the title Petlacoatl to his first individual exhibition in Chicago, the title comes from taking up the Nahua word that means "mat woven with snakes that point in all directions". The symbol of Petlacoatl was often included in ancient Mesoamerican divination calendars and served as a harbinger of impending deaths or ascendancy of acclaimed rulers.

The works on display include a series of watercolor drawings, extruded metal sculptures, modular concrete tiles and plaster sculptures that respond to the tonalpohualli, a 260-day calendar system. Marking time through twenty different periods lasting thirteen days each, the calendar was a tool for divination, as well as a visual representation of spatial coordinates and ritual practices. For the artist, tools such as tonalpohualli and petlacoatl represent the material and immaterial connections in indigenous knowledge systems, both human and non-human and of the world.

Deball´s installation extrapolates from these systems to explore sculptural practice expanded through space and time.