Alinka Echeverria – The Road to Tepeyac

23.12.2012 in12:05 in Art, Design, Documentary -->


The issue at hand, in all its dimensions, will be the image. Images and images and images. And the way in which photography produces these images of images, inserts itself into them, deciphers them, reproduces them, transforms them and gives them a meaning in a range of strata and en abyme, well beyond what they tell us they represent and show.
In Mexico, the Virgen de Guadalupe is omnipresent. Much more than just a reference to the apparition, dated 1531 on Tepeyac Hill, she has become – and in this, she has nothing in common with the sole belief in the miraculous apparition of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes or in Fatima – the icon of a country, a nation (the Queen of Mexico), and even one of the practically syncretic figures of a continent not lacking in them, to the point that Mexicans also describe her as the “Empress of the Americas.” She can be found all over the place, in every form, painted, drawn, sculpted, in churches, of course, but also in shops nearly everywhere, on the wall, sketched on a food can, on a mirror, hanging in the middle of family portraits, in the shape of a fresco and also in more precious form, beneath the vault of a colonial church, where she is adorned with splendid garments, as well as in plastic, outside, transformed into a souvenir and trinket. She is even found in Los Angeles, where Latino gangs have graffitied her on walls and wear her proudly as a tattoo, a sign of gratitude and hope for protection, on their backs and over their hearts, when she’s not on their biceps.