Animality-Uniformity (in process)

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-Artist Per Huttner with fashion designer Emilia Rota.

The American researcher on ancient Mayan culture, Anna Blume sees potential for thinking through animals in Amerindian culture. In Mayan dictionaries (ancient and contemporary) ‘the way’ means sleep and transformation. A person’s soul in Mayan thinking is made up of three entities: his waking self, his sleeping self and potential animal selves. Each person is, in other words, at least three merged personas in dialogue. If blurring the boundary between man and animal holds potential for man, then how do draw from these ideas and integrate them in an art project?

Current Central American life is still healing from centuries of civil war. Weapons and uniforms form an integrated part of everyday experience in most peoples’ lives. What role does the uniform play and how do we relate to it? Is the uniform in contemporary Western life and attempt to create a “pure” man who exist beyond animality, dreams and who has become pure rationality? If so what traces of the other selves leak out from the person wearing a uniform?

The project produces and uses specially designed uniforms and animal outfits that form the basis for photo shoots in Guatemala and El Salvador that reflect on the above questions. Their goal is to inspire dreams, hallucinations, animality and sexuality. The majority of images will be shot at night. They will be shot in the jungle and will include both western and indigenous models. The photographs will be integrated with texts, objects and other artistic manifestations in exhibition and performative contexts.

The project also includes interviews, dialogues and exchanges with representatives of indigenous culture in Guatemala and El Salvador.

Can Mayan ideas on zero and the underworld might be integrated into the project?