‘Moche Art from Ancient Peru: Gold, Myths and Rituals’ at Barcelona’s CaixaForum

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Over 200 works of pre-Colombian art from Lima’s Larco Museum will be at Barcelona’s CaixaForum from March 6 as part of the ‘Moche Art from Ancient Peru: Gold, Myths and Rituals’.

'Moche Art from Ancient Peru: Gold, Myths and Rituals' at Barcelona's CaixaForum
Crown with a feline face and macaws. Moche. Flourishing Period (1 AD – 800 AD) 
[Credit: Larco Herrera Museum]

The Moche culture, which developed in northern Peru between 200 and 850 AD, is ”a unique case of cultural, economic and political development,” exhibition curator and Larco Museum conservationist Ulla Holmquist said at a Wednesday press conference, noting that the civilization had ”invented some of the most advanced metal and ceramic handmade objects in the world”.

Ceramics, jewels and ceremonial objects in precious metal, textiles and liturgical objects in wood, stone, shells and bone are among the exhibition pieces. Holmquist said that Moche ceramics ”are not so much containers as they are empty sculptures that contain messages and can be read like a book, compensating for the lack of an alphabetic script”.

The objects offer visitors a look at the vision of the world and the mythology of Peru’s ancient inhabitants of a culture that existed prior to the Inca Empire. The exhibition pieces come from the tombs of prominent individuals in the pre-Colombian societies that lived side-by-side, while Europe was straddling the end of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Carolingian one.

From agricultural development and the use of water in desert areas to the symbolization of the ‘world above’, with stars, rain, wind and storms, and of the ‘world below’, with the ground where seeds are sown and bud and where humans transit through, the exhibition highlights the society’s achievements. The itinerary ends with an area on the mythological hero of Moche society, called ‘Ai-Apaec’ by researchers. The creator god is ”a hero that is almost a Moche Hercules”, said the exhibition curator.

The exhibition will run through June 7 before moving to Madrid’s CaixaForum and then Palma de Mallorca, Tarragona and Girona.

Source: ANSA [March 04, 2015]

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