Mojo’q che b’ixan ri ixkanulab’ / Antes de que los Volcanes Canten / Before the Volcanoes Sing
Clarissa Tossin is working in EMPAC’s Concert Hall and Theater with cinematographer Jeremy Glaholt and flautist Alethia Lozano Birrueta for the principal photography of Mojo’q che b’ixan ri ixkanulab’. The footage will subsequently be edited together with video from recent productions at Sowden House and the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles that features Ixil Maya artist Tohil Fidel Brito and a forthcoming shoot in Guatemala with K’iche ’Kaqchiquel Maya poet and artist Rosa Chávez. The moving image work will be premiered at EMPAC in April 2022.
Los Angeles-based artist Clarissa Tossin’s Mojo’q che b’ixan ri ixkanulab’ / Antes de que los Volcanes Canten / Before the Volcanoes Sing is scored by Brazilian composer Michelle Ágnes Magalhães and performed by Mexican flautist Alethia Lozano Birrueta and Guatemalan Maya poet Rosa Chávez. The film takes a sonic approach to the articulation of architectural borrowings by Western architects of indigenous cultural motifs, utilizing 3D printed replicas of Maya wind instruments from Pre-Columbian collections held in US and Guatemalan museums.
In this video Tossin and her collaborators, including the director of photography Jeremy Glaholt, discuss the production of the flutes, the composition of the score, and approaches to the film’s cinematography. These 3D scanned and playable replica instruments were created by anthropologist/archaeologist Jared Katz, the Mayer Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow for Pre-Columbian Art at the Denver Art Museum.
Mojo’q che b’ixan ri ixkanulab’ / Antes de que los Volcanes Canten / Before the Volcanoes Sing is commissioned by EMPAC and supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Graham Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
EMPAC Fall 2020 presentations, residencies, and commissions are made possible by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts; and Vlaamse Gemeenschap, department of Culture, Youth, and Media. Additional project support by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; New Music USA; CCS Bard; Creative Capital; the Graham Foundation; and the National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan.