Black Mirror/Espejo Negro

Black Mirror/Espejo Negro

Book Pages: 128 Illustrations: 41 color illustrations Published: August 2010

Art and Visual Culture > Art Criticism and Theory, Latin American Studies

The provocative three-part project Black Mirror/Espejo Negro by the artist Pedro Lasch encompasses a museum installation, photographs of the installation, and this bilingual book, including many of the photos, the artist’s statement, and critical commentaries. The project began as an installation commissioned by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University to accompany the exhibition El Greco to Velázquez: Art during the Reign of Philip III. In a gallery adjacent to the exhibit of Spanish Golden Age masterpieces, Lasch placed black rectangular mirrors on the walls, each with an image of a Spanish Renaissance painting behind it. Pre-Columbian stone and ceramic figures, chosen by Lasch from the museum’s permanent collection of Meso-American art, stood on pedestals facing toward each mirror and away from visitors entering the room. Viewers were drawn into a meditation on colonialism and spectatorship when, on looking into the black mirrors, they saw the pre-Columbian figures, seventeenth and eighteenth-century Spanish priests and conquistadores, themselves, and the contemporary gallery environment. The book Black Mirror/Espejo Negro includes full-color reproductions of thirty-nine photographs of the installation, as well as the text that Lasch wrote to accompany it. In short essays, scholars reflect on Lasch’s work in relation to current debates in art history and visual studies, race discourse, pre-Columbian studies, postcolonial theory, and de-colonial thought.

Contributors. Srinivas Aravamudan, Jennifer A. González, Pedro Lasch, Arnaud Maillet, Walter Mignolo, Pete Sigal


"Rather than simply document the exhibition, Lasch transforms the catalogue into a work of art that recreates the physical experience of the exhibition through large-format images and reproductions of the wall texts. The immediate sense of 'being there' is reinforced by Walter Mignolo's essay, which leads the reader in a meandering tour of the show.  . . . As both a catalogue and a text unto itself, Black Mirror contributes to discussions in the fields of museum studies and art history. In museum studies, this exhibit intervenes in ongoing conversations about practices of collection and display, as well as debates over the location of artifacts and art objects in different types of institutions. The exhibition and the essays will also be of interest to art historians studying institutional critique, appropriations of the Pre-Columbian past, and art that defies temporal boundaries, bringing together ancient and contemporary work." — Jennifer Reynolds-Kaye, e-misférica


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Pedro Lasch is an assistant research professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies at Duke University. He has shown his work in many venues, including the Queens Museum of Art, the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, the Royal College of Art (London), Centro Nacional de las Artes (Mexico City), the Singapore Art Museum, and the Gwangju Biennale (South Korea).

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments / Agradecimientos xi
Preface / Prefacio, Kimerly Rorschach xiv
Foreword / Prólogo, Srinivas Aravamudan 2
Black Mirror / Espejo Negro
Introductory Statement by the Artist / Texto introductorio del artista, Pedro Lasch 10
Black Mirror, Ink Mirror: Fascination as Entrapment / Espejo negro, espejo de tinta: La fascinación como trampa, Arnaud Maillet 50
Stone Muse / Musa de piedra, Jennifer A. González 64
Colonial Reflections/Magical Imaginations: Pedro Lasch's Tezcatlipoca / Reflejos coloniales/imaginaciones mágicas: El Tezcatlipoca de Petro Lasch, Pete Sigal 74
Decolonial Aesthetics: Unlearning and Relearning the Museum Through Pedro Lasch's Black Mirror/Espejo Negro / Estética descolonial: desaprendiendo y reaprendiendo el museo a través del Black Mirror/Espejo Negro de Pedro Lasch, Walter Mignolo 86
Index / índice 104
Contributors / Contribuyentes 110
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Cloth ISBN: 978-0-938989-34-9
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