Ch’u Mayaa and the Appropriation of the Past

  • Jesse Lerner (Autor/in)

Identifier (Artikel)


The short video Ch’u Mayaa (Maya Blue, 2017) by artist Clarissa Tossin uses the Barnsdall (or Hollyhock) House, one of five Southern California textile block homes by Frank Lloyd Wright built in the early 1920s, as the setting for a dance performance by the choreographer Crystal Sepúlveda. Without dialogue or narration, the video raises complex issues about the use and appropriation of imagery and designs from the ancient Americas, and the ways in which a structure from the past, now designated an architectural landmark, can be reframed by contemporary artists. The essay concludes with a brief discussion of the author’s collaboration with Mexican artist Mariana Castillo Deball, a playful conceptual project which also highlights the relationship between the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and that of the ancient Maya.


Maya-Revival, Appropriation, Videokunst, Clarissa Tossin, Mariana Castillo Deball, Frank Lloyd Wright