Retorno (For Juan Mora Catlett)
This collage—a study for a future life-sized work—is inspired by a pre-Columbian deity portrayed in Mexican film director Juan Mora Catlett’s In Necuepaliztli in Aztlan (translated as Return to Aztlán) (1990). In this work, a film still of the deity’s head has been treated to emphasize the symmetrical split in the center of the figure’s face. The artist places the film still over a layer of bright metals—copper and mica that the artist collected from a mine in New Mexico—and a vibrant blue surface. The composition evokes an eclipse, referencing an encyclopedic album of the natural world, Historia Natural (1967), that the artist read as a child growing up in Colombia. This work combines materials both historical and autobiographical to imagine the pre-Columbian deity as a celestial body.
Mendez's materials—frequently culled from archives and geographic sites—embody erased histories. The artist uses these materials in carefully researched works that examine how constructed histories shape our sense of self. Mendez, as a first-generation American of Mexican-Colombian descent, engages with the transnational experience as it relates to ritual and cultural memory to create his artworks—exploring the tensions between fiction and truth, as well as visibility and absence.
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Harold Mendez’s photography, sculpture and installation works explore the tensions between fiction and truth, as well as visibility and absence. The artist’s work combines research with archival materials culled from geographic sites—objects that embody erased histories—to examine how historical constructions and geography shape our sense of self. As a first-generation American of Mexican-Colombian descent, Mendez’s practice draws from the transnational experience—and its relationship to both ritual and cultural memory.
This collage—a study for a future life-sized work—is inspired by a pre-Columbian deity portrayed in a film by Mexican film director Juan Mora Catlett. This work combines materials both historical and autobiographical to imagine the pre-Columbian deity as a celestial body.More
- Framed: 21.0 x 27.1 x 1.5 in.