[-empyre-] Nāntli Cemanāhuatl means Mother Universe in Nahuatl

Stephanie Gonzalez sgonza61 at asu.edu
Mon Nov 18 14:06:01 AEDT 2019

Hello everyone,

What great conversations. I have been working through the forum, and I am
really drawn to the concept of “two-eyed vision” and its relation to
storytelling and narratives. I’m happy to say that this past week, I have
been installing my thesis exhibition and passed my oral defense on
Thursday. I would like to share my artist statement for the work as it
relates to cosmology theories in physics and cosmology narratives found in
Mexica (Aztec) culture.  I was inspired by my time spent in the Atacama
Desert in Northern Chile this past summer.

While there, I experienced slow time. I participated in an artist
residency, that had a big impact on me. I connected with the land, was
invited to participate in ceremonies that gave thanks to Pacha Mama, and
had conversations about the urgency that Pacha Mama herself was
communicating through the very distinct presence of colonization and
attempts to further extract resources from sacred lands. I began to
question my understanding of western science and the indigenous narratives
that were shared with me.

Halfway through my residency, I wrote a breakup letter to colonization and
began my storyboard and narrative for my experimental/animation/performance
video. In the video, I take a journey to the center of the galaxy
and sacrifice my body to a black hole to then be reborn into the cosmos
with new sacred cosmic knowledge and the understanding that to in order to
connect to the galaxy and universe, I had to consciously and physically
surrender myself. This video also became an act of resistance, and a way to
decolonize my body.  The following is taken from a portion of my statement.

Nāntli Cemanāhuatl is driven by a culmination of the psychological effects
caused by world politics, immigration policies, and news and events
surrounding climate change, and my personal experience of connecting to the
planet as a whole. I am one of many who is concerned for the present state
and future of humanity and the planet.  My personal experiences become
collections in an archive that reflect the human condition.

 I am a Mexican-American Woman living on planet earth. I am an immigrant
living in a border state.  I am a colonized body, I consume technology. I
understand that my actions have repercussions. We have failed our
responsibility to take care of our planet. I understand that we are
consumers in a world that has detached itself from nature and our planet,
the thing that provides us with resources to live out our lives. I
understand that I myself am a walking contradiction. I understand that my
light skin allows me to walk through the world with more ease. I understand
Spanish. I understand English. I speak Spanglish. I understand that stars
are masses made of hydrogen that create their own energy to sustain
themselves, and so do plants. I understand that the ‘star stuff’ we are all
made of resides not only within every single human, but it dances
throughout distant galaxies. I understand that when I sit on the earth and
give thanks to all she provides, I am connecting to Madre Tierra in the
humblest way that I know how. I understand that I am not the only one who
has a narrative to share.

It is my hope that this narrative inspires others to think of their own
origin story. It is my hope that these narratives can be shared with one
another as ways to relate, care, and show compassion. This work is
dedicated to migrants all around the world who make dangerous journeys in
search of more prosperous futures and to those who have had their own
personal journey in life, whatever that may be. We are all a part of this
world, each, with a story to tell. Each narrative holds a place in this
cosmos, a star of sorts, each one lit with a bright light, shining brightly
in our night sky.

Below are some stills from the video.
[image: NC3.JPG]
[image: NC2.JPG]
[image: NC1.JPG]
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