Ramón Jiménez Cárdenas

(he/his) (b. Oaxaca, México) 

My work involves thinking with and against modernity, and mestizaje; thinking of myself as an artist whose subject matter is design, and how the western world is designed.  I draw inspiration from the tropic and found objects that develop into functional works, installations, or moments to share research.

Also a curator at https://laclinica.art/


CV available upon request

241. La historia del equipal

130 x 185
Petate intervened with feathered thread
<Part of the exhibition Design in conversation: thinking-knowing-making at Onomatopee Eindhoven curated by Cecilia Casabona>

This image contains two objects, the reference to the equipal and the object on which the sentence is written on: the petate.

The equipal (icpalli) could be considered the first chair with modernist ergonomics to be made in the Americas; an object purely for sitting dating back to the 1500s. The petate on the other hand is a craft object and the first traces of it date back as far as the year 200.

The production of equipales is closely tied to the arrival of Europe to the Americas. Before the equipal, the petate was the closest thing to a chair; a rug or carpet for the everyday. Not only would you eat and rest on the petate, but you would be born on it, and dead bodies were to be wrapped with a petate for burial. Europeans however demanded a strict separation between their bodies and the earth hence giving rise to the production of equipales and other sitting objects. In the Americas this would be can call this the first split between human and nature; the first visual metaphor and living representation of a hierarchy between man and earth.

In order to write on this petate ducks were feathered, a textile application technique using thread and needle called plumón (feathered thread). The technique consists on twisting a thread while enclosing feathers from a duck's chest, and (beforehand) dying the feathers with cochineal to achieve the red hue. This laborious method predates the arrival of the Spanish in America. Nonetheless, spanish rulers demanded to wear a new garment that embodied this technique everyday transforming the landscape of this prehispanic craft. This provoked the exploitation and modernization of the technique leading towards its abandonment. Since the 1600s the technique was lost and brought back only in the years 2000 as the result of collaborations between museums and craftsmen such as Roman Gutierrez Ruiz and Rosario Sosa Bautista (a family atelier) who were respectively involved in the application and dying of the plumón thread on the petate.