Ceremonial Technologies

In Ceremonial Technologies artist Jorge Mañes Rubio continues to explore an enigmatic new material language. Common items most of us can find at home (a chair, a plate, a bowl) are completely reimagined, carefully shaped by hand and painstakingly decorated with thousands of colourful glass beads. By getting entangled in the making process, letting materials, shapes and colours find their own rhythm and purpose, the artist explores the role that materiality plays in the negotiation and production of knowledge, myths and spaces.

These shape-shifting entities embrace a circular/mythical conception of time, a realm where power is felt as free-flowing around us in perpetual circulation: a world where past, present and future can happen at the same time, forever linked through objects, peoples and places. Each work features a constellation of symbols, complex images and multi-layered stories, as if coming from an intangible, dream-like dimension. Equally enigmatic and appealing, Ceremonial Technologies seem to remind us about our co-existence with non-human entities and the possibility of inhabiting imagined realms as if they were real, suggesting alternatives to established systems of representation, power and exploitation.

We Can Feel Right Through You.
From the series Ceremonial Technologies, 2023.
Wood, clay, plaster, gesso, marble powder, beeswax, glass beads.

“Part object, part creature(s). We Can Feel Right Through You is about vulnerability, about interspecies navigation, multinatural worldviews and fluid transformations. We Can Feel Right Through You is about visions becoming so crystal clear that we learn to see through our bodies, our organs, our bones.”


I Hope You Can See the Stars In Me
From the series Ceremonial Technologies, 2022.
Clay, glass beads, nylon thread, cotton thread, dumortierite, green aventurine.

“’I Hope You Can See the Stars In Me’ depicts two primordial characters in Iberian mythology. The snake as symbol of renewal, immortality and rebirth. The wolf representing courage, cooperation and protection.”


Show Me That You Care.
From the series ‘Ceremonial Technologies’, 2023.
Wood, paper pulp, clay, plaster, gesso, marble powder, beeswax, glass beads and polyester thread.

In ‘Show Me That You Care’, Mañes Rubio takes the traditional Andalusian chair to new heights, transforming it into a mythical throne. This unique piece has been decorated with a multitude of intriguing creatures and symbols. The chair has its own feet, as if proclaiming its own nature. Beaded on the backrest, a delicious melon has been split open, reminiscing of a waning crescent moon, while a pair of eyes watch us attentively. On the back, a human face with golden eyes and tongue, framed in a powerful aura, delivers what could be a sacred message, their hands embracing a mystical force. The chair’s seat imitates the traditional Andalusian rope bottoms, but using a rich arrangement of glass beads in color-block patterns instead.

The chair’s frame, finished in a smooth marble-like surface, serves as a whimsical landscape where wolves, bears and ancestral entities seem to dance together in a captivating dream. Four beings at the front and back act as ritual operators, channelling the force of the animals their masks represent: bear, wolf, fish and bird; underworld, earth, water and sky. At the top, overlooking this miniature altar, two votive figures hold small doves in an act of ritual offering. With this work the artist envisions the home as a mythical space, conveying a powerful message of protection and transformation.


One Hundred Thousand Times Forever.
From the series Ceremonial Technologies, 2022.
Unfired clay, acrylic, hair extensions, quartz.
87 x 47 x 10cm

“Jorge Mañes Rubio is interested in ancestral notions of objects being embedded with a spiritual power. He explores if this potential can be harnessed today through contemporary meanings and materials. In this object carefully crafted in black clay, power is represented by a bright pink hair extension flowing out of a portal guarded by two ibex, two vultures, two deers and an anthropomorphic Iberian lynx with a talisman on its chest. With this work Mañes Rubio hopes to evoke reflections on the renovation of life, the fluidity and permeability between different worlds, and the larger-than-human dimension that defines our very existence.”


Where Do We Go From Here?
From the series Ceremonial Technologies, 2021.
Unfired clay, acrylic, hair extensions.
71 x 26 x 8cm