Printing „Cofrades” Artist Book © Éric Chenal

Exhibition + Framework programme

A co-production by Tumuult Art and Research Lab, Berlin & Atelier Hélio´g, Paris:

»today, maya society«

„Cofrades“ with Santiago Albert and „Todos Santos“ with Hans Namuth

Opening: Thursday, May 12, 2016, 19h (Facebook Event)
Exhibition: May 13 – December 13, 2016
Curated by Lena Gudd & Antonin Pons Braley

Framework programme in Sep/Oct 2016:
· Flower Song
, storytelling evening with Margaux Richet: Sunday, September 11, 2016, 19h
· Fiestas y Tradiciones, installation with photographs by Santiago Albert: October 11 – 28, 2016
· Presentation of the artist book „Cofrades“ with Maître d’Art helioengraver Fanny Boucher: Thursday, October 13, 2016, 19h
+ more events: see Tumuult
Opening hours: Thursdays 14-20h and by appointment
Admission free


At the crossroads of photography, anthropology and craftsmanship, the exhibition offers an insight into contemporary Maya society in Guatemala. The starting point are the portraits of spiritual Maya leaders by Spanish photographer Santiago Albert, engraved and printed as heliogravures. Throughout the exhibition period, an artistic and academic resource about the Maya Cofradías in Guatemala is made available. Panel discussions, film screenings, micro-installations and workshops enable to dive deeper into this indigenous culture. In parallel, an artist book is in process of creation.

The context

Cofradías are religious Mayan brotherhoods, shaped in Mesoamerica at the end of the 15th century as a reaction to the Spanish Invasion. Incarnating the Latin American syncretism, they combine today the Catholic codes, initially adopt under force, with their indigenous beliefs. As priests, guides, shamans, the cofrades, literally „members of the brotherhood“, are elected depending on their faith and moral respectability. In a total dedication to their mandate, they give advice, lead celebrations, mediate and preside over the cultural and religious live of their community.

The Maya Cofradías inherited from the ancient Roman brotherhoods and the guilds of the Middle Ages from the Occident as well as the Orient, the belief in a protection by a saint or an avatar, the conduct of ritual celebrations and processions as well as a „freely accepted“ hierarchy of functions.

Heliogravure and artist book

The Spanish photographer Santiago Albert (*1965) has been living in Guatemala since 1996. The cofrades granted him the rare privilege to carry out their image and stories into the world. To the begin of the exhibition, a copper matrix and a print will be shown, engraved and printed with the rare technique of heliogravure, They are created by Élève-Maître d’Art Antonin Pons Braley (*1988) from Tumuult and Maître d’Art Fanny Boucher (*1976) in the Parisian Atelier Hélio’g. 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. An artist book with 13 helioengraved portraits is being created in parallel to the exhibition in dialogue with the cofrades. It will be presented in a box lined with a fabric that is woven by the Maya from Chichicastenango for this occasion. Finally, the presentation of the artist book in October 2016 in the Tumuult Gallery will complete the exhibition.

In an evolving dialogue with the exhibition – the programme

In dialogue with Santiago Albert’s work, the portraits by German born photographer Hans Namuth (1915-1990) are exhibited in June. His series Los Todos Santeros, is a unique anthropological record of the population of Todos Santos, taken from 1947 until 1987. In September, a reading of the poems by the K’iche’ Maya poet Humberto Ak’abal takes place – „I love the sadness, / sometimes I wished / that it/ could be eaten“. Moreover, ritual indigenous masks are on display in July and the screening of the documentary film Corazón del Cielo, Corazón de la Tierra takes place in August in the presence of the directors Frauke Sandig and Eric Black. As a highlight, the cofrade Manuel Xiloj Tol speaks in November about his people, his roots, his path.
The extensive programme can be consulted online at


The independent art & research lab Tumuult, founded 2014 by Antonin Pons Braley and Lena Gudd in Berlin, works at the crossroads of anthropology, photography and craftsmanship. Beyond Gudd’s and Pons Braley’s studies on contemporary societies in northern regions, Tumuult Lab explores the mutual relationship between man and his habitat with talks and exhibitions.

Atelier Hélio’g

Helioengraver Fanny Boucher founded the Atelier Hélio’g in 2000, Living Heritage Company and member of the Grands Ateliers de France. With the renaissance she has given to this rare printing technique, she was awarded the title of Maître d’Art together with Pons Braley.
More on

In cooperation with the Embassy of Guatemala, Berlin.
With scientific support from Samuel Franco, Douglas Quiñonez, Édouard Pons, Ixmucané Reyes, Matthias Stöckli, Manuel Xiloj Tol.

Event Details

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