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curated by Anuradha Vikram

January 22 – March 29, 2019

18th Street Arts Center - Santa Monica, CA

Clarissa Tossin presents a body of work centered on her ongoing research into US collections of pre-Columbian artifacts, and their relationship to appropriated pre-Columbian artifacts and motifs recreated for Mayan revival buildings in Los Angeles. Tossin is conducting research into the forms and sounds of pre-Columbian instruments that will inform a new film concept based on the textile block houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the LA metro area. Tossin will bring a selection of 3D-printed replica instruments from public collections into the gallery at 18th Street Arts Center with the intent to sonically animate the appropriated pre-Columbian stylistic and material influences that make Wright’s houses so distinctive. Tossin will invite amateur and professional musicians from Central America and Mexico to experiment with these traditional Mayan wind instruments in the gallery. Clarissa Tossin gratefully acknowledges anthropologist/ archaeologist Jared Katz, the Mayer Post-doctoral Curatorial Fellow for Pre-columbian Art at the Denver Museum, without whom this project would not have been possible. For the past five years, he has documented ancient Maya musical instruments housed in the labs of archeological projects and museums around Mesoamerica and the U.S. Katz has developed a methodology to 3D scan and 3D print playable replicas of the instruments that sound nearly identical to the original objects. All replicas in the exhibition were sourced from his digital archives.

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