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March 27, 2012

Vochol — Huíchol Art on Wheels


Long story short from the Washington Post:


"A dramatic piece of art from the Huíchol, or Wixaritari, communities of Nayarit and Jalisco in Mexico rolled into the National Museum of the American Indian [last] week."


"Using millions of tiny glass beads and embroidery, craftsmen decorated the 1990 VW Beetle with symbols, milestones, and stories from their culture. It will be on view through May 6."


From Our Tiempo DC:




The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian celebrates one of Mexico's indigenous communities with the unveiling of "Vochol: Huíchol Art on Wheels," in the Museum's Potomac Atrium, opening to the public on March 21st.


This singular piece combines Huichol culture with a pop-cult icon, the Volkswagen Beetle.


Two families of Huíchol artisans devoted more than 9,000 hours to transforming the "canvas" — a 1990 Volkswagen Beetle — into a stunning juxtaposition of modern machinery decorated with bright, psychedelic patterns and colors.


More than 2 million glass seed beads and nearly 35 pounds of fabric, paint, yarn, and resin adorn the vehicle's chassis and interior, including the seats, steering wheel, and dashboard. It is the first Huíchol object of art on wheels.


Its name derives from "Vocho," a slang term for the VW Beetle in Mexico, and "Huíchol," the common name for Mexico’s indigenous Wixaritari ("the people"), a community of approximately 26,000 who live in the mountainous region of the western Sierra Madre.


The Vochol's beadwork and embroidery illustrate powerful symbols, milestones, and stories from the deeply spiritual culture, including images of deer — the most revered animal  — and a two-headed eagle marking the four cardinal directions, as well as the fire, drum, squash,  and corn used in a traditional maize-offering ceremony. For the Huichol, creating art — in the form of beadwork, textiles, stone sculptures, ceremonial objects and pipes — is not merely decorative. It is an expression of faith, evoking centuries-old shamanism and peyote rituals that are still practiced to this day.


The Vochol will be on view through May 10 before continuing its international tour at esteemed institutions including the Musée de Quai Branly in Paris. The tour will conclude with the international sale and/or auction of the Vochol, with all proceeds donated to the Association of Friends of the Museum of Popular Art to further its mission of safeguarding and promoting the work of Mexican artisans.




35 photos of the Vochol here,


selections from which appear above.

March 27, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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