m a í z
biographical textiles through the lens of corn
for New York Textile Month 2022
in collaboration with Elisa Lutteral, Rubén Gómez, and León Duval
Have you ever thought about corn as a connecting thread of an entire land´s network? Or, to our relationship with the land we inhabit?
M A I Z; biographical textiles through the lens of corn is a sensory experience that explores how our bodies account for notions of land, belonging and domesticity. Through interaction with corn, we explore its diversity of settings that has been utilized as a medium of identity in Latinx communities.
Rather than a dietary good, M A I Z understands corn as part of our everyday life stories, becoming a primary actor within the network that makes possible our shared existence. Therefore, through the handy transformation of individuals, such as artisans, primarily women, the Latin-American grounded species has historically been an act of resistance, a tool of recognition, and a medium of knowledge. In this way, this experience and corn itself become a translator's medium for the different Latinx communities residing in the US.
By bringing corn to our quotidian table, we want to question and convey physical barriers of identity and belonging as an act of immaterial resilience. Therefore, we propose a provocative dinner table using discarded corn husks that explores diverse artisanal practices such as crochet, basketry, and sewing, interconnected with the performance of making and eating.
In this way, M A I Z looks to enable and trigger conversations around the corn to foster discussions, negotiations, and sharing of personal stories that account for cultural, environmental, and communal entanglements.
Therefore, made by an accumulation of individual stories, M A I Z aims to mobilize shared memories and knowledge to transform this entangled tissue of corn into something else- something more than itself. As a result of this experience, corn will cease to mean only food, and rather, it will become a centerpiece in cultivating the Latinx identity and a device of resistance.