March 14, 2024

Colima 71

Challenging the Status Quo:

Tesla Crushed by an Olmec Head

Step into the world of art and cultural reflection at Colima71 Art Community Hotel, where we celebrate diversity and creativity in all its forms. In this space, we proudly present the work of Chavis Mármol, "Neo-tameme," featuring the piece "Tesla Crushed by an Olmec Head," a series that invites questioning of our identity and roots in the context of the modern world.

A Glimpse into the Artwork

Explore Chavis Mármol's challenging work, driven by our boutique hotel in Mexico City, where a replica of a nine-ton Olmec head rests atop a Tesla car, questioning conventions and confronting ancestral culture with contemporary technology. This piece, part of the "Neo-tameme" series, is a call to reflect on our nation's roots and the modern world's impact on our identity.

Chavis Mármol: Origins and Trajectory

Chavis Mármol, born in Apan, Hidalgo, studied Visual Arts at the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo (UAEH) and later, a master's degree in Visual Arts from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

With just over ten years of career, he has participated in various exhibitions nationally and internationally and has received scholarships and awards. However, his true talents were developed directly during the workshop.

He has forged a career dedicated to challenging established norms and exploring the complexities of modern society through his art.

Tameme and Olmec History

From the Nahuatl tlamama = to carry, the tameme was for the Nahua-Mexica peoples, the person in charge of carrying merchandise from one place to another on their back. In the work "Tesla Crushed by an Olmec Head," Chavis Mármol sought to reinterpret this character and its connotations in the contemporaneity of Mexico City.

The rich history of the Tamemes and Olmec cultures is a fundamental element in Mármol's work, which seeks to challenge perceptions and open dialogue about identity and tradition.

Jimmie Durham: Inspiration and Reflection

Inspired by Jimmie Durham's innovative and provocative work, Chavis Mármol has found a way to express his deep and layered ideas through art. Observing pieces like "Still Life with Spirit and Xitle," where Durham blends humor and irreverence to explore the complexity of the clash between the ancient and the modern, Mármol was motivated to follow a similar path in his work. This disaster scene, first represented in Mexico City in 2007, portrays when the Mexican volcano Xitle destroyed the ancient city of Cuicuilco almost 2,000 years ago. Durham's choice to drop a nine-ton red basalt rock onto a 1992 Chrysler Spirit car, painting it with a conceited caricature face, exemplifies how art can merge seemingly opposing elements to capture the complexity of the human experience.

Unraveling the Creative Path: Work Development and Interpretation

Ana Ongay, the Art Curator of our hotel in Roma, Mexico City, is passionate about multifaceted and impactful projects. She discovered Durham's work during her master's studies and was fascinated by his creative approach. Later, during the 2020 pandemic, Ana encountered Chavis Mármol and his first piece of the "Neo-tameme" series, in which an Olmec head was used as a container to deliver orders in Mexico City. This unusual connection led Ana to present Mármol's work to Colima 71.

The creative process extended over two years, addressing logistical issues and obtaining the car. Finally, on March 5, 2024, the piece "Tesla Crushed by an Olmec Head" came to life in a memorable exhibition.

A Disruptive Work that Questions the Emergence of Tesla in Mexico and the Modern World

The announcement of a Tesla plant opening in Mexico in March 2023 marked a milestone in the country's modern industry. Elon Musk, CEO of this company, confirmed the construction of a gigafactory near Monterrey, Nuevo León, promising the production of next-generation vehicles. However, Tesla's arrival represented an economic opportunity and an expression of corporate power in modern society.

The work driven by Colima 71, "Tesla Crushed by an Olmec Head," is much more than a sculpture; it is a provocative statement that seeks to subvert the status quo and question the prevailing narratives surrounding technological progress and rampant consumption.

The artist invites us to reflect on our priorities and values in a world dominated by materialism and unchecked technological innovation.

Colima 71: A Boutique Hotel in Mexico City Open to Creativity and Debate

At Colima71 Art Community Hotel, we celebrate diversity and authenticity in all its forms. We invite you to join our community of artists and be part of an enriching dialogue from respect and tolerance about art, culture, and identity. Discover the transformative power of art and participate in the other exhibitions that are part of the hotel's programming in La Roma CDMX. Join us in our commitment to building a more inclusive and reflective world.

If you have a project that seeks to generate a better community through art, send your proposal to 

In a world of challenges and contradictions, art has the power to inspire, provoke, and transform. We invite you to visit us and be part of this exciting adventure. See you at Colima 71!

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