It is a study of life, death and the universal mysteries that connect us all. The Otomi people have born witness to millennia of conquest, enslavement and hardship, but persevere to this day, upholding their way of life, spiritual values and culture.
More than two years in the making, Museo de las Americas, in collaboration with the Mexican Cultural Center, is pleased to announce a powerful, deeply moving and timely exhibit opening October 29, 2020
Testigos / Witnesses is a portrait-based exhibition born out of a friendship that developed between the artist Gaal D. Cohen and artisan Genaro Fuentes Trejo of the indigenous Otomi community of San Pablito Pahuatlán, Mexico.
A key part of this perseverance includes making traditional Amate paper, the original paper of Latin America that predates European contact. Once banned by the Spanish for its close association with indigenous sovereignty and ritual, today Otomi artisans have reclaimed the power of the paper.
In Testigos / Witnesses, Gaal worked with Otomi artisans to print massive, detailed portraits of the Otomi themselves on the Amate paper made by their hands. “2021 will mark 500 years of Colonial Conquest; this exhibit is my own way of honoring the native peoples of the Americas, who are the witnesses of this history.
I feel privileged to exhibit in Colorado, such an important region for Native communities” says Gaal. Museo de las Americas Executive Director Claudia Moran adds, “This show will introduce our community to a millennia of indigenous tradition, and captures the craftsmanship of the Amate paper while allowing us to witness the lives of the contemporary Otomi.
Gaal grew up in a camera shop in 1950s Brussels, and has lived in Mexico for over two decades. He is a photographer, an artist and also a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, specializing in Thanatology- the practice of helping people prepare for death. Death is very much the stuff of life, and Gaal’s curiosity and compassion guide his work both as an artist and a thanatologist;
Testigos / Witnesses is a meeting of these two passions. The artist himself is flying in from Guadalajara, Mexico to present a series of programs for this exhibition and will be joined virtually by curator Joao Rodriguez. See the attached Events Calendar for full details. Museo warmly invites the community to join us for a deep dive into life, death, indigenous sovereignty and art with this famed visual storyteller.
See the attached Events Calendar for full details. Museo warmly invites the community to join us for a deep dive into life, death, indigenous sovereignty and art with this famed visual storyteller.
For media inquiries, including interviews with Gaal, please contact Simone Groene-Nieto, Communications & Media Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.571.4401 ex.25.
About Museo de las Americas
Museo de las Americas is the premier Latin American Art Museum of the Rocky Mountain region. Located in the heart of the Art District on Santa Fe, Museo is dedicated to educate our community through collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting the diverse arts and culture of the Americas, from ancient to contemporary, through innovative exhibitions and programming.
Please visit Museo.org or call 303.571.4401 to purchase a timed ticket, ensuring a safe socially distant visit for you and other guests.
Tuesday – Friday: 12 PM – 6 PM
Saturday: 12PM – 5PM
Sunday – Monday: Closed
$8.00 General Public
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861 Santa Fe Drive Denver, CO 80204