Gala Porras-Kim: Between Lapses of Histories
Gala Porras-Kim’s work is based on research into archaeological objects, institutional histories, museum ethics, and collecting practices. Her work often takes the form of meticulous drawings of ancient objects in various states of disrepair, relocated from the site of excavation to museum exhibition halls and storage facilities. The exhibition will focus on an evolving body of work based on artifacts extracted from Chichén Itzá, an important archeological site of the Classic and Postclassic Maya in the Mexican state of Yucatán.
Since the twentieth century, archeologists have removed, often by dubious means, thousands of objects from this site, objects which have then found their way into museum collections across the world. The series of works by Porras-Kim featured in this exhibition references the work of antiquarian Edward Herbert Thompson, who extracted objects from the “Sacred Cenote” at Chichén in the first decade of the twentieth century using a dredge and divers. Site of ritual offerings, the well contained many ceremonial objects sent there as tribute to the Rain God. Many of the objects represented in her drawings were recovered through techniques that irreparably damaged the artifacts and obliterated contextual information. While Porras-Kim’s work exposes this complicated history, her primary focus is on the relationships between objects and artifacts and the institutions that care for, collect, and display them.
Gala Porras-Kim: Between Lapses of Histories is curated by Jesse Lerner, Professor of Media Studies and Director of the Munroe Center for Social Inquiry, and Ciara Ennis, Director of the de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University.
This exhibition is generously supported by the Munroe Center for Social Inquiry.
Jan. 27 – Mar. 22, 2024
Pitzer College Art Galleries