Thinking Like The Rain: Z’otz* Collective Exhibition

Close-up of the picture titled Weightless Thoughts, described more fully in the exhibition area that follows. For blind and visually impaired

The 2023 Thinking Like The Rain is an exhibition by The Z’otz* Collective. It is an installation-based exhibition that includes drawings inspired by musical performances by Laurier's Faculty of Music.

Exhibition Statement

Statement to be written by Suzanne

Z’otz* Collective is comprised of Nahúm Flores (Honduras), Erik Jerezano (Mexico), and Ilyana Martínez (Mexico/Canada). Every Sunday, they meet to build a collective vision: to collaborate, to explore, to share. Over the years, they have increased the size and complexity of their drawing-based artworks. They have attended residencies in Croatia and Serbia, where they initiated work with ceramic sculpture. In Thinking Like the Rain, the Z’otz* Collective have invited members of Laurier’s Faculty of Music to join them as active participants in a drawing performance. The site-specific installation will reflect the inspiration and guidance instilled by the musical performances. Gallery patrons are encouraged to visit during the designated days to experience this special visual and musical journey.

- Suzanne Luke, Curator

Opening Reception

Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 7-9 pm

Drawing Performance in the Gallery

Monday, January 16, 2:30–1:30pm, Debussy Trio and Ethereal String Quartet 

Tuesday, January 17, 3:00–4:00pm, ANIMA (Mouth Minstrels & Soft Minstrels) 

Wednesday, January 18, 7:30–8:30pm, Lydia Lei and Michelle Yang, Guzheng 

Thursday, January 19, 12:30–1:30pm, Penderecki Quartet 

Artist Collective Statement

Z’otz* Collective was formed in Toronto in 2004, by three artists with Latin American heritage. They meet on a weekly basis to make work that incorporates drawing, ceramic sculptures, and site–specific installations. The direct approach of drawing, their primary means of expression, lets them create idiosyncratic, playful images that touch on the themes of migration, transformation and regeneration.

Z’otz* uses a system of rotation, where each person works on a different piece at the same time, and then they exchange them. Intuition and chance drive the process, as they respond to one another’s marks and forms when the works are passed around the circle. They converse in a language they invent together, that uses humour, oddness and rawness to reflect the extraordinary experience of collaboration.

They first experimented with clay in an art residency in Serbia. Since then, they have integrated terracotta and stoneware sculptures into their practice. The group’s name comes from the Mayan word for bat, an animal that represented dreaming and intuition in the Mesoamerican world. Their work connects to the storytelling traditions of their roots, with hybrid beings and symbols that transition between the individual and collective dynamic.

Z’otz* Collective | Biography

Z’otz* Collective is comprised of Nahúm Flores (Honduras), Erik Jerezano (Mexico), and Ilyana Martínez (Mexico/Canada). Every Sunday, they meet to build a collective vision: to collaborate, to explore, to share. Over the years they have increased the size and complexity of their drawing-based artworks. They have attended residencies in Croatia and Serbia, where they initiated work with ceramic sculpture.

In 2018, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts commissioned Z’otz* to create a series of ceramic sculptures for their permanent collection. The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art invited the group to participate in a residency to produce work for a solo exhibition in 2022.

In conjunction with Art Windsor-Essex, they lead a series of experimental drawing workshops with migrant agricultural workers, in Leamington, Ontario in summer 2022. They have received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. The three members were awarded grants for their individual practices from the Pollock–Krasner Foundation in New York City.

Z’otz* Collective has had over 30 solo exhibitions and over 40 group exhibitions in museums, galleries and artist-run centres in Canada, Mexico, USA, Serbia, and China. The Collective has recently integrated digital animation into their practice.

Z’otz* Collective Website

Z’otz* Collective Instagram

 

Description of Crocodile Tears, follows for blind and visually impaired

Description of Crocodile Tears

Four figures stand together, all connected to each other and stacked. The figure at the top is a black crocodile, who is attached to a cloud. Below and to the right of the crocodile is a figure that represents a bird, with strokes from a pencil crayon that resembles a bird’s feather. The bird has human legs.  To the left of the bird is a human head with no torso and only legs is staring at the crocodile. Directly below the human is an unidentified figure with lines resembling a fingerprint. The figure has an eye and two human legs. On the ground are the crocodile’s tears.

Crocodile Tears, 2022

Description of The Joy of the Root, follows for blind and visually impaired

Description of The Joy of the Root

A drawing of a creature sitting on a hill, done in pencil crayons and clippings from images. The human is holding a tube that connects to the hill, and the hill has a skull embedded in the hill.

They Joy of the Root

Description of Weightless Thoughts follows for blind and partially sighted

Description for Weightless Thoughts

A drawing done in pencil crayon and ink. In the background, a figure faces left, with human hands out as if it is explaining something. In the foreground, a green creature that could represent a bird stands in front of the creature with a long stand for legs. On top of the creatures is a black bird facing the right.

Description for Weightless Thoughts