Monumental Ambiguities: Pre-Columbian artifacts under the spell of the (in)visible.

Monumental Ambiguities: Pre-Columbian artifacts under the spell of the (in)visible. 

“Urges us to contemplate the relationship between the monumental past and the degraded present” – Journal of Film and Video on Paradox

Presented as part of the Jack H. Skirball Series

A double bill followed by a panel discussion that considers the debate over artifacts, cultural property and historical stewardship in Mesoamerica. In Paradox (2001, 30 min.) Leandro Katz alternates between static views of the stone altar of the mythic Dragon of Quiriguá in Guatemala and imagery of controversial labor practices at nearby banana plantations. Jesse Lerner and Sandra Rozental’s documentary La piedra ausente (The Absent Stone, 2013, 82 min.) recounts the fate of the largest carved stone monolith of the Americas, which represented the pre-Hispanic water deity. When moved in 1964 from San Miguel Coatlinchan to Mexico City’s National Anthropology Museum, the extraction sparked a local rebellion. The stone eventually became an urban monument and altogether different icon of Mexican identity, while back in Coatlinchan, replicas of the absent stone appear everywhere, still resonant in the community’s memory.

In person: Mariana Botey, Jesse Lerner, Sandra Rozental and others

Curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud.

Presented in collaboration with Los Angeles Filmforum and the Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles

Associated Images: 

SAT 9/27
6:00 pm

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff