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These works explore the symbolic power of weapons as social tools, specifically the machete. This ubiquitous metal object appears in Cuban culture as a symbol of resistance, freedom and religion. The Herramientas (Tools) series, carry Lucumí iconography that I myself etched onto found machetes. In this Afro-Cuban religion the marking of objects can spiritually charge them. My interest in using these symbolic tools is to transgress into an ambiguous more cosmic plane in my practice.
In Metallurgical Ritual (2019), I researched the different shapes of machetes used in the Caribbean for sugarcane cultivation. I abstracted their shapes in order to give them more human-like qualities, and produced them to be exactly my height. It was important to personify the machete shapes in order to not isolate them from the history of its user. The materiality of the sculpture activates transformative energy: the body is made from steel and will rust overtime. The piercing end of the sculpture was dipped in molten bismuth, which then crystalized as it hit cool air.
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