GO: ART: The Gory Story Behind the Aztec Artefacts

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), December 13, 2002 | Go to article overview

GO: ART: The Gory Story Behind the Aztec Artefacts


Byline: Julie Chamberlain

THE amazing though bloodthirsty civilisation of the Aztecs has been brought to London in a huge unmissable exhibition.

The Royal Academy's galleries are packed with exhibits, many on loan from Mexico, covering the changes in the Aztec world from 1325 to 1521.

They look at major issues of importance to the Aztecs, such as kingship and the role of gods.

Beautiful sculptures of animals and plants vie for attention with other less-innocent artefacts.

A seemingly sweet sculpture of a hunchbacked man is accompanied by a caption telling us disabled people were well cared for - until a solar eclipse, when they would be first to be sacrificed; an ornate pot with a tight lid was used to store flayed skin and stop the smell leaking out and numerous items were used to cut flesh or store organs from sacrifices. Nice.

However, it's not gorily presented and there's nothing so obvious that it would scare the children.

The exhibition runs until April 11. The Athenaeum Hotel & Apartments, near the RA in Piccadilly, is offering a two-course lunch and ticket for the exhibition for pounds 22, or three courses for pounds 23 for the whole run. Phone 020 7499 3464 for details.

THE Turner Prize winner was announced on Sunday. The winning installation and paintings by Keith Tyson, and Liam Gillick's Perspex ceiling, rather passed me by.

I found Catherine Yass's film of a camera slowly descending over a foggy Canary Wharf mesmerising, and Fiona Banner's rude 'wordscapes' amusing and entertaining. …

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