This video examines a vessel from the pre-Hispanic Chancay civilization, which developed on the central coast of modern-day Peru. Due to an irregularity in the firing process—in which clay is heated to a high temperature and becomes ceramic—this object was born “deformed.” It is now part of the collection of the Amano Pre-Columbian Textile Museum in Lima, which was founded in 1964 by Yoshitaro Amano, a Japanese-Peruvian businessman. A “failed” object made within a cultural tradition that has been devalued by art history, this urn has nonetheless survived. The artist treats it as a precious antique, highlighting its shape and asserting its place in what he calls a “counter-archaeological or counter-modern” collective heritage.
Gallery label from Chosen Memories, April 30–September 9, 2023