Wednesday, March 1, 2017

John Malveaux: Hammer Museum in LA shows Jimmie Durham's sculpture of La Malinche, Indian mistress of Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortez, through May 7

Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, California

John Malveaux with La Malinche sculpture

John Malveaux of 

Feb 28, 2017 Hammer Museum - sculptor Jimmie Durham

La Malinche was a Mexican woman who played an important role in the Spanish conquest of her country. Like Pocahontas in the U.S., Malinche was an indian who got married to the colonizer. She was one of the slaves of Cortez and later his interpreter and mistress; their son was considered the first “mestizo”. This sculpture of La Malinche was assembled using a combination of elements: on the one hand, those typically associated to an “Indian” identity, and on the other hand “Western” elements like her panties and bra. These opposite poles function as parodies of stereotypes and a metaphor of Malinche’s ambiguous character.

“It’s a true historical fact, about Cortez, the Spanish conquistador, and Malinche, the Indian woman” - says Jimmie Durham. “But it’s also such a story that it becomes myth as soon as it’s there. The mythical part that is important for us, for me is about what sort of self we have and what sort of other is the other.”

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