Ancestral Modernity

Electric Machete Pop-Up for NCECA

Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra & Xilam Balam


Open Gallery hours March 25 - March 30

Mon-Thu: 12-6pm

Fri: 12-9pm

Sat: 12-6pm

Reception and Live music w/ Curandero:

Fri, Mar 29, 5-9pm.

Ancestral Modernity features contemporary Pre-Columbian-inspired Indigenous ceramic flutes, ceremonial vessels, & kitchenware. In the context of Claytopia, this exhibition looks to the past of the Maya and Lenca regions where a true claytopia existed and most things both utilitarian and ceremonial were created in clay. Modernity challenges the tradition of pre-columbian ceramics and the notion that its practice or culture bearers are extinct. Form, function, and ceremony evolve today with contemporary influences and an urban environment.

Featuring the work of Latinx artists Xilam Balam, 2018 McKnight Ceramics Fellow (Ceramic flutes, carved masks, and ceremonial vessels), and Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra (slip-painted Lenca pottery), this exhibition will also feature live music at the evening reception by the Indigenous fusion band Curandero. Curandero (meaning healer) is a collective sound healing project whose music is a mash-up of Pre-Columbian Indigenous instruments with contemporary electronic and DJ elements.


Xilam Balam (b. San Antonio, Texas) is an emerging Xicano interdisciplinary contemporary visual artist and music producer whose work is a fusion of Pre-Columbian Indigenous art forms and contemporary hip-hop and graphic arts. He is a 2018 Mcknight Ceramics Fellow whose work is currently touring the state of Minnesota. Musically, Balam was part of the formative Headshots Crew of Rhymesters Entertainment and producer of Los Nativos, and continues to produce with Curandero, Lady Xok, and unreleased upcoming solo projects via Electric Machete Studios, a Latinx art & music production house.

More info / @xilam_balam / @electricmachetestudios

Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra (enrolled Maya-Lenca, b. Tomah, WI) is an Indigenous-Salvadoran-Norwegian-American contemporary artist and musician whose work seeks to shift consciousness around immigration, borders, exodus and interconnectedness of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. Her interdisciplinary practice (music, visual art, theatre, movement) places emphasis on Latinx/Indigenous folk art methods, experimental performance, and Liberation Theology. She writes and performs bilingual music under the pseudonym Lady Xøk, recording with Electric Machete Studios, a Twin Cities Latinx Art and Music production house.

More info / @ladyxok / @electricmachetestudios

Curandero (meaning healer) is an Indigenous fusion band and sound healing music project whose collective music is a mash-up of Pre-Columbian Indigenous instruments with contemporary electronic and DJ elements.

More info / @culturalove / @electricmachetestudios

Electric Machete Studios is a Twin Cities artist-run art & music production house featuring the work of Latinx and Xicanx artists Indigenous to las Ámericas. In community, experienced artists lead cultural arts workshops rooted in their studio practices for the advancement of traditional arts. Locally we perform, exhibit, host, teach, curate, & collaborate throughout the Twin Cities. Electric Machete Studios works for the advancement of contemporary and experimental cultural arts by featuring the work of emerging and established Latinx / Xicanx / Indigenous artists and curating pop-up local, national, and international exhibitions, workshops, & performances.

Public Functionary