Thursday, March 3, 2011

Man Jaguar

I didn't go to LACMA much when I lived in Los Angeles, but recently, there was an exhibition 'Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico' that I would've liked to see.
Of course, if ya wanna really see Olmec art and Mesoamerican art in general, ya gotta go to Mexico. 
And notably, Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City. 

But there is one piece at LACMA that I love going to see every time I'm there.  I first saw it over 20 years ago.  It's also Olmec, but we go from monument to miniature.   I used to call it Jaguar Man, but I think Man Jaguar is better.  Jaguars have an esteemed place in the Olmec belief system, especially in shamanistic transformation.  Transformation figures are sometimes portrayed in transformation pose. 

Shamans do interest me, and the idea of morphing too, and hallucinogens too I suppose, but interdimensional experience particularly appeals to me, as does liminality.  Perhaps there's a jaguar part to a person.  I want to be Man Jaguar.