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“Maya Mycelial”
Carrara marble

This piece speaks to the fact that many indigenous cultures have had long-lasting relationships with psychedelics. The Maya, as well as many indigenous groups of the Americas, were very familiar with psilocybin aka magic mushrooms. Recent studies* have confirmed that psilocybin increases neuroplasticity in the brain which is “the ability of the nervous system to change its activity in response to intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli by reorganizing its structure, functions, or connections.” Perhaps rituals with these substances contributed to the Maya being so advanced in their written language, culture,, architecture, etc.

One of the greatest tragedies of history is the decimation of thousands of Mayan books (codices) by the Spanish in the 16th century, of which only four remain today. Carrara marble is a medium revered by Europeans for centuries. The Mayan figure emerging from this block acts as a subtle reminder of what could have been if the Spanish had left the Mayan culture intact. 

*”Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression: fMRI-measured brain mechanisms” by Carhart-Harris et al. (2016) & “Psilocybin-induced neuroplasticity in the default mode network” by Petri et al. (2018)

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