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Moche art from Peru's pre-Inca times on show in Barcelona's CaixaForum

The "La Caixa" Foundation has opened Moche Art from Ancient Peru. Gold, Myths and Rituals, an exhibition to be hosted at CaixaForum in Barcelona until the 7th of June. The exhibition includes 200 pieces of pre-Incan Peruvian art from the collection of the Lima-based Larco Museum. According to its curator Ulla Holmquist, the exhibition is conceived "as a route to understanding the Andean worldview through art". The launch of the event coincides with the recent opening of Barcelona's Museum of World Cultures, which hosts a permanent exhibition of more than 500 pieces from the artistic heritage and traditions of Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania. The Museum of World Cultures occupies two Gothic palaces located in the Born neighbourhood, just next to the Picasso Museum.

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09 March 2015 03:39 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The "La Caixa" Foundation has opened Moche Art from Ancient Peru. Gold, Myths and Rituals, an exhibition to be hosted at CaixaForum in Barcelona until the 7th of June. Through 200 Moche artworks from the Larco Museum in Lima, the exhibition explores how the cultures that emerged in what nowadays is known as Peru before the Incan domination understood the world and organised their societies. According to Ulla Holmquist, curator of the Larco Museum, the exhibition is conceived "as a route to understanding the Andean worldview through art". The launch of this event coincides with the recent opening of Barcelona's Museum of World Cultures, which hosts a permanent exhibition of more than 500 pieces from the artistic heritage and traditions of Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania. The Museum of World Cultures occupies two Gothic palaces located in the Born neighbourhood, just next to the Picasso Museum.


An exhibition divided into 13 sections, with great attention paid to ceramics

Moche Art from Ancient Peru. Gold, Myths and Rituals joins a long list of exhibitions organised by the "La Caixa" Foundation in recent years and is aimed at expanding visitors' understanding of how societies in ancient Peru before the time of the Incas conceived and organised their world. The works featured in this exhibition include fine ceramic vases, jewellery and ceremonial objects, magnificent textiles and feathered pieces, as well as different objects for ritual uses, made from wood, stone, shell and bone.

The exhibition is divided into 13 sections dedicated to different topics such as agriculture, sacred animals, recurring symbols, rituals, interactions between worlds and clothing of the gods. The show ends with a section devoted to the mythological hero of Moche society, a character named Ai Apaec by researchers (which means 'the creator god'). It also includes a series of objects related to fertility rites, a crucial subject in a society whose main concern was to ensure its own continuity. The exhibition will be paralleled by a series of lectures, some of which will be aimed at exploring specific aspects of Moche civilisation.

The Moche civilisation occupied northern Peru between 100AD and 800 AD

The 'Moche' peoples flourished in the valleys and deserts of northern Peru around the Mochica River from about 100 AD to 800 AD. The Moche invented some of the most advanced metalwork and pottery-making processes in the world, as well as building veritable adobe mountains for religious practices. And with all this, their population and production capacity increased enormously.

According to Ulla Holmquist, they organised themselves into "an agricultural society characterised by an intense relationship with nature, which is represented in their art". Ceramics was the highlight of Moche art (the exhibition shows some examples of ritual and funerary objects) and show how in ancient Peru, animals symbolised the power of different worlds: the world “above”, the world “below”, and the terrestrial world. According to its curator, the exhibition will shed light on the fact that, besides the Incas, there were other developed societies in Peru and will allow visitors to easily identify with a people – such as Moche – that had such a close relationship with nature.

The Museum of World Cultures of Barcelona opens its doors to visitors

Barcelona's Museum of World Cultures of Barcelona (MCMB) opened its doors in February (entry will be free until the 7th of April) and displays to the public the cultural and artistic diversity of different cultures from all over the globe. It hosts a permanent exhibition which counts more than 500 pieces: 250 from Asia, 138 from the Americas, 65 from Africa and 76 from the Oceania region. Among the main local contributors to its collections are: the Folch Foundation, the Archaeological Clos Foundation, the Ethnological Museum of Barcelona and the Duran Vall-Llosera Foundation.

In addition to this, the MCMB has also reached a collaborative agreement with the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA) of Cambridge University for the exhibition of ten works from Polynesia that come from its collections. These are samples of ancient oceanic art, including an apa'apai club that was collected in Tonga by James Cook and used in dances and fights and as a symbol of social status.

Temporary exhibitions will also be held in order to develop transversal issues and show how universal archetypes are expressed differently in different cultures, including that of the West. Writings. Symbols, Words, Powers will be the first one to be hosted and is due to take place in May. It will focus on how writing developed originally as an instrument for conserving and spreading the word and how it has become a symbolic reference of the culture to which it belongs, evoking identity and collective keys.

In addition to the creation of the museum, a Centre of Research and Diffusion (opening in May) has also been established with the aim of ensuring access to the quality and specialised informative resources relating to the cultures of non-European peoples, meaning those of Asia, the Americas, Africa and Oceania.

The MCMB is located in the Nadal and Marquès de Llió Gothic palaces in Montcada Street, which were subject to renovation work for the fifteen months previous to the museum’s opening, resulting in a total cost of €5 million. An additional €2.4 million has also been spent on the construction of the museum. It is located next to Barcelona's Picasso Museum.

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  • Barcelona's Museum of World Cultures (by Júlia Badenes)

  • Moche ceramics on show at CaixaForum Barcelona's temporary exhibition (by P. Francesch)

  • Barcelona's Museum of World Cultures (by Júlia Badenes)
  • Moche ceramics on show at CaixaForum Barcelona's temporary exhibition (by P. Francesch)
Moche art from Peru's pre-Inca times on show in Barcelona's CaixaForum