Cruztón, San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, 1975
Widely recognized in Mexico and abroad, Maruch Sántiz has rethought the meaning of Indigenous art for Mexico and elsewhere where Fourth World arts movements thrive. She has successfully developed a unique style of photography, that translates effectively both into her native Tsotsil-speaking communities and international reception. Her work archives everyday life, with special emphasis on material objects, while conceptually exploring myths and beliefs that explain natural and social phenomena. Sántiz’ most recent project is a photographic exploration of the plants used in herbal medicine.
She rarely photographs people’s faces, which is taboo in Chamula, and her style often follows a highly formalist and sometimes even a minimalist aesthetic.
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Sántiz’ other projects include an investigation of folk beliefs, as well as of wool production. In each case she interviews women and the elderly to reinforce her own work and the presentation of traditional knowledge.
Sántiz has been active in cultural projects since the 1980s as a photographer, writer, embroidery and textiles designer, and an actor. Her work records everyday life, with an emphasis on material objects.
Sántiz was a member of the Chiapas Photography Project and has exhibited in Mexico City other parts of the country. She has exhibited her work in the United States, England, Germany, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Iceland and Taiwan.