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"The gaze of 45 mexican photographers"
Curated by: Francisco Mata and Pedro Meyer


Pablo Ortiz Monasterio

Biography:

Born in Mexico City in 1952. He has directed three publishing projects since 1978: México Indígena (seven issues), Río de Luz in Fondo de Cultura Económica (twenty issues) and Luna Córnea in Centro de la Imagen (fifteen issues).

He has published nine books of his photographic work, worth mentioning are: Los Pueblos del Viento, 1982 and Corazón de Venado, 1992. In 1996, he published "La última ciudad" featuring a text by José Emilio Pacheco, which earned him the Best photographic book prize of the 1998 Photographic Spring Festival in Barcelona, and the Gold Eye of the Festival DES Trois Continets, 1997 in France. Mestizo, a Spanish publishing house, published his work "Sexo y Progreso" in its collection "El Mínimo". His latest book is the story of a Renaissance surgeon: "Dolor y Belleza", published by the Américo Publishing House, Mexico / Italy, in 2000. He has had individual exhibitions in Museo de Arte Moderno, Centro de la Imagen and Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico, and in museums and galleries of the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba, Spain, England, France, Holland, Portugal and Italy. In 2001 he was invited to be the curator of the PhotoEspaña festival in Madrid. He has imparted workshops of photography and editing in the United States, Cuba, Spain, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil and Mexico.

Statement:

Heart of Deer
The Huicholes are an indigenous group that inhabits in the Western Sierra Madre, in the Mexican Northwest. In spite of the conquest of America in the 16th century by the Europeans, this nation has preserved its ancient rituals and pre-Hispanic beliefs. The celebration of the Hikuri Neyra is essentially a fertility ritual. It begins months before the festivity itself, when they make a pilgrimage to the desert of Wirikuta (where the sun was born) there, they collect the Hikuri or Peyote (Lephophora Williamsii) that, along with the maize and the deer conform a Sacred Trilogy. They return to the sierra with a load of the sacred plant, and right before the rain season, they celebrate the Hikuri Neyra. They sacrifice deer to offer its blood to Mother Earth, afterwards, the community gathers in the ceremonial centers to eat peyote and dance for three days and three nights, caressing Mother Earth with their feet, so that She will wake up happy and willing to receive the seed of the maize. The group choreographs draw serpents, which represent the water, because the rivers, seen from above, seem to be serpents and in addition, in those mountains, the serpents only go out when it rains, in this way, they summon the goddesses of water, so they watch over the maize harvest, the chief food source of the Huichol Nation.

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"Peyote, sacred plant”
1990
Wiricuta, San Luis Potosí,
Mexico.

"Peyote, maize and deer”
1989
Pochotita, Jalisco,
Mexico.

“Sacrifice and prayers”
1989
Pochotita, Jalisco,
Mexico.

"Candles”
1990
Pochotita, Jalisco,
Mexico.

"Serpent,
symbol of water”
1989
Pochotita, Jalisco,
Mexico.

         
portiz06 portiz07 portiz08 portiz09 portiz10

“Deer heart,
offering for mother earth”
1989
Pochotita, Jalisco,
Mexico.

“Hicuri Neyra,
collective dance”
1990
Pochotita, Jalisco,
Mexico.

“Hicuri Neyra,
collective dance”
1989
Pochotita, Jalisco,
Mexico.

“Hicuri Neyra,
collective dance”
1989
Pochotita, Jalisco,
Mexico.

“Hicuri Neyra,
collective dance”
1989
Pochotita, Jalisco,
Mexico.