Cofrades ; Contemporary Maya-K’iche’ society in Guatemala

Copper die, Helio engraving by Antonin Pons Braley & Fanny Boucher. Photo © Éric Chenal, 2016

A coproduction of Tumuult, Berlin and Atelier Hélio’g, Paris; curated by Lena Gudd and Antonin Pons Braley

Cofrades is an interdisciplinary project about the contemporary Maya-K’iche’ society in Guatemala. The exhibition in the Tumuult Gallery shows portraits of Guatemalan Cofrades by the Spanish photographer Santiago Albert, engraved and printed with the rare technic of heliogravure.

The exhibition starts at the vernissage with one portrait only and is regularly enriched by artworks and documentation materials, gaining momentum and reaching its final stage at the finissage. Artists and scientists will frequently come together in round table discussions, enhancing the understanding of the contemporary Maya culture.

Spanish photographer Santiago Albert (*1962) has been living in Guatemala since 1996, where he received the unique privilege by the Cofrades to carry their story and image into the world. His photographs form the basis for the heliogravure work by Antonin Pons Braley (*1988), Tumuult, and Fanny Boucher (*1976), Élève-Maître d’Art in heliogravure, who create these artworks in the Parisan Atelier Hélio’g.

Copper die, Helio engraving by Antonin Pons Braley & Fanny Boucher. Photo © Éric Chenal, 2016

The Cofrades are religious congregations among the Maya in Latin America where they practice today a modern mixture of Catholic and indigenous rites. Although recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO, little is known about the Cofrades culture.

 Tomás, Cofrade Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Photo © Santiago Albert, 2014
Tomás, Cofrade Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Photo © Santiago Albert, 2014


Founded in 2014 by Antonin Pons Braley and Lena Gudd, Tumuult is a Berlin-based independent art & research lab at the crossroads of anthropology, photography and artisan craftwork. Beyond Gudd’s and Pons Braley’s studies on contemporary societies in northern regions, Tumuult explores the relationship between humans and their habitat with exhibitions and talks. In parallel, Tumuult Studio is commissioned by museums, researchers or artists to accompany editorial and curatorial projects. Tumuult collaborates among others with cultural institutions like the National Museum of Art and History of Luxembourg, the Maison de la Photographie Robert Doisneau, Gentilly, the Réunion des Musées Nationaux, the Médiathèque Nationale de l’Architecture et du Patrimonie and various photographic archives as well as international artists like Santiago Albert, Éric Chenal, Homer Sykes and Jean-Denys Philippe.

Atelier Hélio’g

Helioengraver Fanny Boucher founded Atelier Hélio’g in 2000, a Living Heritage Company and member of the Grands Ateliers de France. With the renaissance she has given to this rare printing process, she was awarded Maître d’Art together with Pons Braley. Recognised by the UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage, the technique of Heliogravure from the 19th century is traditionally destined for the prestigious reproduction of photographs based on engraved copper matrices. Next to the prints, Hélio’g has put a new emphasis on the matrix itself.

Tumuult Galerie

Exhibition:     May until December 2016
Vernissage:   12 May 2016, 19h

Heinrich-Roller-Straße 8│10405 Berlin


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