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Of Fire and Blood: Art-making, Culture and Mythology in Mexico

Semester and Year SP 2017
Course Number ARTS-UG1431
Section 001
Instructor Jaime Arredondo
Days M
Time 2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Units 4
Level U



A rich landscape of art and culture flourished in Mexico for thousands of years beginning with the Olmec civilization at around the second millennium before Christ. With the arrival of the Spaniards in 1519, a new hybrid culture resulted from the fusion of Iberian and Native American cultures. This Arts Workshop will examine the art, culture and mythology of Mesoamerica, combining it with hands on art making. It will move chronologically in the following manner: the Olmec culture; Teotihuacan, or the City of the Gods; the Toltecs of Tula, and Quetzalcoatl the “Feathered Serpent”; the hyper-religiosity of the Aztecs; and, lastly we will read almost the entire text of the Popol Vuh, the Mayan creation myth of the universe, a highly visual and almost hallucinatory document once pushed underground for centuries. Topics throughout the course will include: astrology/astronomy and calendrical dating; religion, shamanism, and ecstatic experience; mythology, and cosmological belief; human sacrifice, and finally beliefs dedicated to vampirism. It is beneficial that students have a cursory understanding of art making. Techniques such as collage, 3-D model making, drawing and painting, will be utilized as well as working from a live model. A final exhibition will be created to show students work to the NYU community.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Arts Workshops (ARTS-UG)