The Getty Research Institute“Obsidian Mirror - Travels” – Refracting Ancient Mexican Art and Archaeology
Getty Research Institute Exhibition Gallery
1200 Getty Center Drive / Suite 1100 / Los Angeles, CA 90049
November 16, 2010 - March, 27, 2011
This exhibition explores representations of Mexican archaeological objects and sites made from the Colonial era to the present.
From the first moments of contact, Mexico's indigenous civilizations evoked in their European conquerors an array of unsettling emotions ranging from fascination to fear. Eradicating populations, destroying monuments, suppressing native religions, and collecting and classifying cultural objects were among the methods used for containing and framing native cultures. Pre-Columbian Mexico, real and imagined, became the subject of innumerable books, treatises, and images. Each iteration assigned new meanings and contributed to the ever-evolving construction of ancient Mexico.
The objects in this exhibition were created over the past five centuries by explorers, archaeologists, and artists who have in one way or another used Mexico's Pre-Columbian past as a vehicle for their journeys. Each object is informed by the time and place in which it was made. None are pure reflections of the sites or artifacts they portray. All produce refractions, slices of an object that cannot be reassembled into a whole. As such, they are all mirrors that displace the time and space of ancient Mexico.
Lecture by Einar and Jamex de la Torre
Saturday, January 22, 2011 / 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Museum Lecture Hall, The Getty Center
Artists Einar and Jamex de la Torre explore their approach to reinterpreting the classics of Mesoamerican sculpture to suit their current circumstance of living on both sides of the Mexican-American border.
Jamex de la Torre (b. 1960) and Einar de la Torre (b. 1963) were born in Guadalajara, Mexico and moved to California in 1972. Graduates of California State University Long Beach, the de la Torre brothers are longtime collaborators, working primarily with glass, found objects, and mixed media.
Their Mexican-American bicultural experiences are a central theme of their work, which combines high and low culture in commentaries of contemporary society.