Both a sculptural object and functional beehive oven, Pansa del Publico is inspired by the artist’s Salvadoran roots, the Zanja Madre aqueduct and the Ceiba tree. Beehive ovens are one of the oldest traditions in Central America and often serve as the main cooking source and a hub for community connections in rural areas of El Salvador. The inner layer of the oven is made of bricks, echoing the construction of the Zanja Madre, the original aqueduct that first brought water to the Pueblo de Los Angeles. The sculpture is also covered with a coat of fired and glazed ceramic thorns similar to those found on the trunk of young Ceiba trees, the most sacred tree of the ancient Maya, and which are native to Central America, South America and West Africa.
In this work, the artist centers his own family’s history, the strength of collective organization and the wisdom of indigenous technology to activate public space at a time when so much is in flux and people are in need of healing through communal connection.