During the Fiesta del Maiz y Maguey residency in Oaxaca (November 2012), Various Artistsexplored the theme Agriculture, and more specific the cultivation of corn in the past, present, and future. The production of maize for non-traditional uses, not related to human consumption is a threat for it's future diversity. Bio-plastics, biofuel, forage, and high fructose corn syrup are all examples of applications that opens the doors for GMO corn.


Family farm, Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca.

Recently Mexico, a region at the origin of a huge diversity of maize, accepted the introduction of genetic manipulated corn into their food system. And risks to be followed by other countries, including Europe where GMO hasn't wide spread yet. Longterm research about GMO is insufficient but already proved to be unhealthy for human consumption.

The installation "Zea Mays" reflects upon this possible future of corn in a visual, abstract way. Data, and research of the past, present, and future of maize, and its relation with feeding of an ever growing global population is being translated in various ways. 


Overview, Botanical Garden, Oaxaca, November 2012

In a first step Martaque abstracts the data collected by Marcella.B in an Endless Drawing using human mathematics and the rules presented by Morice de Lisle as a technique (the data are being drawn on paper through a symbolic language, for example food production is represented by red circles, the bigger the circle, the larger the production). In the translation we clearly see a past that is small scale, and organically structured. The future is more stressfully visualised. In 2262 for example the drawing gets spiky, and chaotic, a result of mono-culture in farming. At the same time gaps appear in the chaos that might represent new possibilities for small scale initiatives that emerge out of the disorder. The Endless Drawing can be seen as a cycle, but nobody knows when the drawing begins, or ends and when we're back to square one...

  
 Zea Mays, Martaque, pencil on paper 200/366cm, November 2012
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In a second phase Diederick Dewaere translates the drawing into a design for a series of carpets. Only three colours are used (indigo, red and grey), and horizontal, and vertical lines. The carpets get fragmented towards the future, as well as towards the past, representing a growing uncertainty. The final result will be a field of carpets comprising a code that covers past, and future of the mightiest of all plants in the world. 

  
Carpet 2052.D, wool, 54/80 cm, diederick dewaere, and Vida Nueva.

 

Zea Mays, Diederick Dewaere, digital drawing 99/190cm, October 2013
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For the realisation VA collaborates with the weaver association Vida Nueva.
research and general coordination: Patricia Tovar.

For the exhibition Fiesta del Maiz y Maguey they produce one carpet as a try-out, or prototype. Roughly 107 more will be made in 2013 (and possibly 2014 as well). At the end of the EITC project in September and October 2013 the finished piece (516/944 cm) will be shown in Oaxaca, and Brussels. 

The project has been made possible with support from the EU Culture Programme 2007-2013.
Special Thanks to: the weaver association Vida Nueva of Teotitlan del Vale, Patricia Tovar, Loes Jacobs, and nadine.