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Edgar Calel

EQAL EQAL / POCO A POCO

EQAL EQAL
EQAL EQAL NI CHUPUTEJ RI QA K´ASLEMAL
EQAL EQAL YOJ CHUPUTEJ QA JUNAN
EQAL EQAL YOJ TZOLIN
EQAL EQAL YOJ k´IS EL CHIRI´
EQAL EQAL YO JOQ EL QAQ´EQ
EQAL EQAL

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POCO A POCO

POCO A POCO SE APAGA LA VIDA
POCO A POCO NOS APAGAMOS JUNTOS
POCO A POCO RETORNAREMOS
POCO A POCO DESAPARECEREMOS
POCO A POCO NOS TRANSFORMAREMOS EN VIENTO
POCO A POCO

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LITTLE BY LITTLE

LITTLE BY LITTLE LIFE FADES AWAY
LITTLE BY LITTLE WE FADE AWAY TOGETHER
LITTLE BY LITTLE WE WILL RETURN
LITTLE BY LITTLE WE WILL DISAPPEAR
LITTLE BY LITTLE WE WILL TURN INTO WIND
LITTLE BY LITTLE

With this image I want to share how my environment is gradually deflating, between 2019 – 2020 I was out of Guatemala. I will no longer see many of my friends, neighbors and relatives in this dimension.

Con esta imagen quiero compartir cómo mi entorno se va desinflando. Entre 2019 – 2020, estuve fuera de Guatemala. Muchos amigxs, vecinxs y familiares no voy a volver a verlos mas en esta Dimensión.
yen ch´ej ri ab´ej richin ye tzolinchp je ri achik´

I wash the stones to bring back my dreams

lavo las piedras para que retornen mis sueños
yen ch´ej el ri tzieq antentes de que ne qi chapa samaj

I wash and dry the clothes before sending them to work…

Lavo y seco las ropas antes de enviarlas a trabajar…
Nin pescolij ri un tziaq richin nin k´ut lo que ri nu ch´acul nu na´a

I turn my clothes inside out to share what my body is feeling

Volteo la ropa para compartir lo que mi cuerpo siente
Ruachuel ri jay kit kit kit k´o pa nu q´a

The portrait of the kit kit house is in my hands

El retrato de la casa kit kit está en mis manos
Oj b’eneq kela tzolojya’a
On our way to the Atitlan lake
Vamos camino al lago de Atitlan

Photography colour
2021

*A weekend on the shores of Lake Atitlan, exchanging stories of experiences between the Tzutujil and Kaqchikel languages. EC
Jun kai paj ch’ab’el

Family enjoying the view of the lake

Familia disfrutando la vista del lago

*A weekend on the shores of Lake Atitlan, exchanging stories of experiences between the Tzutujil and Kaqchikel languages. EC

Jun kai oxi naoj
pa tzutujil tzij
pa kaqchikel tzij
chuchi ri choy

A couple of words
One, two, three ideas and thoughts in the Tzutujil language, in the Kaqchikel language, on the shores of Lake Atitlan.

Unas dos palabras
Una, dos, tres ideas y pensamientos en el idioma tzutujil, en el idioma kaqchikel, a las orillas del lago de Atitlan

*A weekend on the shores of Lake Atitlan, exchanging stories of experiences between the Tzutujil and Kaqchikel languages. EC

Babe nin baxaj bi ni ropop ru xik ri qi k´ux ri winaqi xke tzolin kamin

Here I am listening to the fluttering of the spirit of the people who will return today

Acá estoy escuchado el aleteo del espíritu de las personas que retornaran hoy

Pa q´equm ya tuxlan bi y ri a b´ix jumul tz´iron

In the darkness you are resting and your singing is an absolute silence

En la oscuridad te encuentras descansando y tu canto es un absoluto silencio
Ni ch´ompe la q´aq´ taj mi qa ya runojel qa k´ux chuech ri ru q´aq´al

El fuego nos habla cuando colocamos ante su calor todo lo que somos

Fire speaks to us when we place before its warmth all that we are
Ri bey yojuk’un y yoj k’amunpe chuchi ri palob’ yaa Atitlan

Caminos nos llevan y nos traen al lago de Atitlán
Iximché, 2021
Edgar Calel

*Iximché is a late Post Classic (1250-1525) capital of the Kaqchikel Maya. Its name means “Place of the Maize/Ramon tree”.

Iximché, 2021
Edgar Calel

*Iximché is a late Post Classic (1250-1525) capital of the Kaqchikel Maya. Its name means “Place of the Maize/Ramon tree”.
Iximché, 2021
Edgar Calel

*Iximché is a late Post Classic (1250-1525) capital of the Kaqchikel Maya. Its name means “Place of the Maize/Ramon tree”.

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EDGAR CALEL, Lives and works in San Juan Comalapa, Guatemala

Performances, installations, paintings, drawings by Calel evoke memories of his family and pay homage to the indigenous communities of the midwestern highlands of Guatemala. His works can be understood as visual chants, embodied poems or as Naoj, closest concept related to art in the Mayan language spoken in the artist’s hometown San Juan Comalapa, encompassing the broader scope of «knowledge-wisdom-understanding». Calel’s works not only reflect Mayan cosmovision, habits and beliefs, but also question contemporary representations of indigeneity permeated by fetishization and preconceived expectations inherently discriminatory and violent.

One of the strategies of the artist in this sense is precisely to foreground the invisible, the untranslatable, the ungraspable: all of which resist prejudice and Western epistemologies centered in rationality and materiality. These are central questions to Calel in the context of his online residency at tropical papers, started in December 2020. What are the potentialities of language, memory and presence in times of self-isolation, social distancing and physical absence? How can relationality and synchronicity be conceived and reconsidered in a digital and physical realm in a (post-) pandemic world? Edgar Calel’s « knowledge-wisdom-understanding » appears as an invitation to approach fluid conceptions of body, territory, ancestrality and community as thresholds in constant movement and transformation. @oliviardui