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Z'otz* Collective

Symbolic Distances


Z'otz* Collective
Collective founded in Toronto in 2004


Symbolic Distances




Modelled and incised terracotta, istle fibre


Variable dimensions


Purchase, Canada Council for the Arts' New Chapter program, inv. 2017.825.1-8


Quebec and Canadian Art

The work of this Canadian group of artists – whose name Z’otz* means “bat” in the Maya language – is inspired by the traditional forms and materials of their native countries. These pottery sculptures conjure up the myriad animals filling the imagery and legends of the Mesoamerican world. They are imbued with the creative complicity that unites the group’s members. In fact, thanks to the playfully intuitive collaborative spirit that drives them, the object they create links their respective unconsciouses. Each of them takes a turn sculpting, eager to let themselves be surprised throughout the creative process. The combination of hybrid beings and transitional elements of flora and fauna evoke transformation, migration and regeneration. Such sculptures draw notably from the Aztec concept of the nahual, a shaman with an animal alter ego whose spirit and powers he shares, and whose physical form he can even assume.

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