MAIZE SHOULD BE CAPITALIZED (2021)
Art Installation by Alvaro Azcarraga, UCLA MFA Student
Alvaro Azcarraga’s piece, Maize Should Be Capitalized (2021), will be on display throughout the summer of 2021 just inside the Garden entrance on Hilgard and Le Conte. Return often to observe the life cycle of these plants. Learn more and view exhibit website.
“Our relationship with Maize needs to be reimagined. The space at the UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden serves as both an experimental site as well as a reintroduction space to five different varieties of Maize from around Mexico, the US, and China. Teosinte –the ancestor of Maize– is planted next to these five varieties guiding them in conversation through their genetic material. By understanding 9,000 years of our co-evolution with Maize, we can re-examine issues of hybridity, migration, and co-domestication. Maize should be Capitalized (2021) is both a grammar lesson questioning the hierarchy of capitalization and nomenclature of organisms. It is also a question looking at our (Maize)scape and the overcapitalization / commodification of genetically similar organisms. Through the conversation between Maize organisms, we are reintroduced to our co-domestication as species.”