Event: Pizza Talk: "The Shimmer of Bodies: Aztec Luxury in Context"

Date & Time

May 31, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Contact Information

Matthew Swanson


Fowler A222

Event Type

Pizza Talk

Event Details

Speaker: Dr. Patrick Hajovsky, Associate Professor, Art History, Southwestern University

Taking a critical perspective, I argue that Aztec "luxury" objects worn or held on the body linked valor and value to tonalli, the heat-life energy that manifests personality and fate, and yollotl, the heart, source of blood and center of human life. The Aztecs explored the equivalences and differences between luxury materials--lapidary, gold, feather--through synesthetic metaphors that tied visual art to Nahuatl poetry. Forms made of these materials further emphasize these essential connections between person and object, which allowed the object to become a surrogate of the owner's agency. This is important to consider in the Aztec economy of sacrifice and the logic of state of control.