Edgar Calel

Born 1987 | San Juan Comalapa
Lives and works San Juan Comalapa

Edgar Calel’s paintings, works on paper, performances, and installations are informed by the artist’s lived experiences as a member of the Kaqchikel, an Indigenous community in present-day Guatemala. For the 14th Gwangju Biennale, Calel presents The Echo of an Ancient Form of Knowledge (Ru k’ ox k’ob’el jun ojer etemab’el) 2023, an arrangement of fruits and vegetables on top of stones that are offered to Kaqchikel ancestors. The installation presents the residues of a ritual performed prior to the opening of the Biennale, during which he burned incense, soaked the stones in alcohol, and arranged the fruits and vegetables, as a gesture of thanks to the ancestors, dedicating the food to them. The installation is accompanied by a work on paper that depicts the artist’s grandmother’s house from Calel’s memory, titled Here are the elves that you left seeded in our hearts (Babe e k´o ri tz´ula xa a tik kan pa qa K´ux) 2023, on which a series of words in the Kaqchikel language is written.

Edgar Calel, Installation view, 14th Gwangju Biennale (2023). Image courtesy Gwangju Biennale Foundation. Photo: glimworker