The Drawers - Z'otz* Collective   Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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Work'n It

It is almost antithetical to creation that a communal practice should invent rather than a single, egocentric notion. Within industry, science, education, even government – the power of constructive group decisions have furthered invention and yet the visual arts have traditionally been a one man show. The exception would be the workshops that surrounded the old masters and yet Z’otz* is far from a hierarchical creative endeavour and closer to an exercise in equality. Perhaps the consuming growth in population has furthered a trend towards artistic collaborations or the famously socialistic Canadian politics have rubbed off on the arts community. Whatever the cause, the results have pushed the envelopes of individual expression wide open with the addition of both techniques and subject. Not only the merging of drawing styles but the personal preferences towards images are passed back and forth between the members of the Z’otz* and much like the passing of a baby around the members of a tribe, the progeny flourishes and grows beyond a more singular parenting.

Z’otz* goes for an immediate read and then a more subtle afterglow. The graphic potency, especially in the standing figures, is almost poster-like and inspires visions of both enlargements or reductions. The drawings in this series would make stunning, cinematic billboards or sharp postage stamps. The articulation of the line is acute and the balance between detailing and structural forms apt to the scale.

Their work is curious, so much so that the oddness of the name tends to be overlooked in the perusal of eclectic visuals. This energetic collective of drawers consisting of Erik Jerezano, Nahúm Flores and Ilyana Martínez, meet Sundays to pass the paper and reshape their individual visual destinies to a more communal and social end. To visit the studio while they are working is much like visiting a den of puppies, cavorting and wagging their tales at their mischievous interchanges. The wit and ingenuity of the collaborative output is uppermost – and wasn’t the abandonment of the ego in favour of the enhanced formula of additive perspectives the object of the exercise? Objective attained!

Copyright © 2007,  Julie Oakes