Z’otz* Collective: Waiting Outside of My Hand


Z’otz* Collective, excerpt from the series After Reading the Book Twice, 2019, mixed media on paper, 11 x 15 cm

Z’otz* Collective: Waiting Outside of My Hand
Nahúm Flores, Erik Jerezano, Ilyana Martínez

September 8 – November 3, 2019
Opening reception: September 8, 2019, 2 – 4 pm
Curated by Sandy Saad

Z’otz* Collective is comprised of Nahúm Flores, Erik Jerezano, and Ilyana Martínez. The term Z’otz* refers to the bat god in Maya mythology, a part of Mesoamerican mythology in which personified forces of nature and deities play a main role. The artists reflect on their Latin American heritage and storytelling traditions and combine them with their personal accounts of immigration, displacement, transition and transformation. The resulting body of work can be characterized by quirky anthropomorphic figures shifting from one thing to the next. Since 2004 Z’otz* Collective has produced drawings, paintings, sculptures, and large scale murals using a rotating system. With each group member taking a sequential turn in making a mark, their work conveys a collaborative, playful and intuitive energy. This collective approach is passed on to viewers through open ended works that create space for individual interpretations and narratives.

In their most recent work produced at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington, Z’otz* Collective will investigate the concept of the niche as a point of departure. Waiting Outside of My Hand is an exhibition that explores the notion of a space “in which to nest”. A niche may be thought of as a recess or shadow box, to contain elements within a larger configuration. Using this as a point of departure, Z’otz* Collective produces contemporary niches in the form of boxes varying in size and strategically placed within a site-specific mural. Their niches will contain various objects sourced from the grounds surrounding the VAC. Each niche serves as a container of juxtaposed items that together suggest a narrative, forming an interconnected network of stories.

Z’otz* Collective was formed in Toronto in 2004 by three artists of Latin American heritage; Nahúm Flores, Erik Jerezano, and Ilyana Martínez. In a shared studio, they meet weekly to collaborate on works that incorporate drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, and site-specific installation. Their work connects to the storytelling traditions of their Latin American culture. Through the wording of their titles, the Collective gives hints to the narratives contained within their works, while leaving space for viewers to create their own conclusions. Z’otz* Collective has shown work at multiple galleries and museums across Canada including Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Dunlop Art Gallery, Union Gallery, YYZ Artists’ Outlet, Cambridge Galleries, and the MacLaren Art Centre. All three members have been awarded grants from the Pollock–Krasner Foundation for their individual practices and have received support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Exhibition Programming:
Culture Days: Collaborative Journeys
Saturday, September 28, 1- 3 PM

In conjunction with the Clarington Outdoor Art Festival, families and community members are invited to create collaborative works of art in a workshop led by Z’otz* Collective. Using an artmaking method by which a compilation of words or images is collectively assembled, each collaborator will add to a composition in a sequence, either by following a rule or by being allowed to see only the end of what the previous person contributed. When the pieces are complete, groups will work together to develop titles and narratives for them.

Workshops will take place in the drawing and painting studio every half hour: 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30 PM.
*This event is free for everyone – a suggested donation of $5 is appreciated

Also on view at the VAC:
Trans/mission: Barley-Corn-Maize: An installation by Ron Benner.

The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington is a partially accessible venue with an accessible washroom. The front entrance can be accessed by a ramp and an outward-opening door (please note that we do not have an automatic door opener). It is important to note that the loft gallery is not accessible by wheelchair. Accessible parking is available on site. For any special assistance or queries about the venue, please call or email us. Admission is free and all are welcome.

The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington is committed to being a space that is safe and inclusive for all people. For this space to be accessible to people with varying allergies and sensitivities, it is a pet free, nut free, and scent free zone. We ask that visitors please refrain from bringing in animals, food items containing nuts, and wearing heavily scented products. Thank you for your consideration.

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