i know you are, but what am i (De)Framing Identity and the Body On View Now through January 7, 2023

Jorge Rojas: Corn Mandala: Flower of Life

Jun 4, 2021 – Jul 31, 2021

Installation photograph, Jorge Rojas: Corn Mandala: Flower of Life, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Jun 4—Jul 31, 2021, photo © UMOCA

Corn Mandala: Flower of Life is part of an ongoing series of performances and artworks focused on corn, titled Gente de Maiz. Through this body of work, Rojas examines the importance of corn as a food source and its cultural/ spiritual significance to indigenous peoples in the Americas.

Rojas uses small colorful kernels to produce patterns deeply rooted in Mexican tradition, while the process references mandalas found in the Middle East and Asia. Similar to those mandalas, Rojas is interested in the ritual involved in their production. The creation process is meditative. Notions of slowing down, being present, repetition, and connection, either with other humans or to a power that exists beyond us, are paramount.

Corn Mandala: Flower of Life expands on his original works but shifts the pattern to an overlapping circle grid, whose ancient repetitive design is centuries old. By using such a historic and symbolic form, Rojas’ work also references “sacred geometry,” a belief that certain geometric shapes have symbolic meaning and were used to construct the universe.

Supported by ZAP and Lawrence T. and Janet T. Dee Foundation.