04_Desaprender del animal /Flickering Trophies
Human Resources / Los Angeles/ 2021
In collaboration with Nadja Bournonville
The collaborative work Flickering Trophies combines the histories and present states of two types of trophies on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, both of which are a testament to the colonial attempts at possessing nature. One of them is the trophy truck that crosses the Baja California peninsula, and the other, the precious hummingbirds dwelling in displays within several Natural History Museums in Europe.
During off-road races such as the Baja 1000, trophy trucks and other vehicles born from military technology, cross an idealized Mexican landscape at a breathtaking speed, cutting across natural reserves and degrading the land. For more than 50 years the peninsula of Baja California has become a racing track for the US, an adventure of conquest, what they call a battle between Man and Nature. The hectic hummingbirds that used to populate these lands have been banned into a ghostly existence behind glass, collecting dust and losing their once radiant colors. Each hummingbird behind a vitrine carries a history of extraction and migration, of power and knowledge production. This collaborative and multipart work reflects on practices of collecting within colonial and neocolonial contexts, and how ideas around speed, desire, and the sublime have shaped these collections. Ultimately, the work speaks of the anthropocentric desire for capturing and experiencing beauty in its most fragile form, and the failures haunting such impossible attempts.
Documentation by Centro de la Imagen. Flickering Trophies was exhibited as part of the show Why don’t we play___? a collaboration between Gute Aussichen (Germany) and Centro de la Imagen (Mexico). 2023