Coatlicue and Las Meninas(Black Mirror #0)2008
The Black Mirror series began when the Nasher Museum of Art commissioned a new work to accompany their exhibition From El Greco to Velázquez: Art during the Reign of Phillip III. The Black Mirror / Espejo Negro book includes thirty-nine photographs of the installation, as well as critical writings by scholars of various disciplines. The series as a whole, with its play of transparencies and reflections, makes impossible any separation between past-present, artwork-viewer-environment, or the pre- and post-Columbian. Coatlicue and Las Meninas, however, is the most iconic demonstration of the modernity/coloniality union. The work proposes two temporary installations. The first would bring the Aztec sculpture Coatlicue to the Museo del Prado in Madrid to display it in front of Las Meninas by Velázquez. The second would transport Las Meninas to Mexico City to be displayed in front of the Coatlicue at its habitual home, the National Museum of Anthropology. Both installations would include a large sheet of dark glass hovering between the works, integrating again--through transparencies and reflections--the artworks, their viewers, and their contexts. Not to be confused with the modern notion of mestizaje, these reflections allow the perception of simultaneous difference, copresence, and cotemporality.