I find my images from photographs published by the media, which depict crude forensic evidence of cartel and law enforcement violence from the drug-trade in Mexico, where thousands of people die every year.
Using erasure as language, and processes that are reductive in nature, I am exploring what it means to see, live and cope with images of incomprehensible violence, while tying together process and subject matter to explore the idea of perception, memory and transformation.
For this particular series, I turned to a power hand-drill as a drawing tool to obliterate an image. I started by concentrating on portraits of casualties from the violence, including innocent bystanders, law enforcement officials and cartel members. By blowing up these portraits, I enhanced the pixelation of the image, allowing me to drill each dot one at a time using different size drill bits through the original image and into a stack of paper with a drywall backing.
The process by which the image evolves into the figure of the corpse becomes perceivable to the senses. The viewer experiences the moment of transformation from image to human, seeing and feeling the disappearance of a human being into the sphere of the purely visual. These representations of the corpse explore the state of uncertainty and awareness that characterize the Mexican experience of the drug war’s violence.
Thousands of people die in drug-related violence every year in México, and people live with the constant fear of being extorted, kidnapped, or simply hit by a stray bullet. By now there is no facet of Mexican life that has been spared violence and death – whether through personal loss, the streets of one’s city to the barrage of stories and images from media and popular entertainment.
Image variations for each piece
These pieces were created in collaboration with Kristine Kautz from Papiermanufaktur in Wrangelsburg, Germany
These editions were printed by Flatbed Press in Austin TX, and co-published by the Artist