THE CONQUEROR

conquistador
CONQUISTADOR

pen and watercolour on paper
2012/2013 - 402 x 250 mm

DETAILS :

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WORK IN PROGRESS

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Many nations have known periods of fanaticism, and Spain is not an exception. We from the Lowlands know very well what they were capable of uin the name of Holy Greed and Christian charity: Don Fernando Alvarez de Toledo y Pimentel, Duke of Alba and nicknamed 'the Iron Duke', the sack of Antwerp, the blood-council... not to talk about the inquisition...even today a piece of dust that adheres to an offset printing-plate is called ' een spanjool' , meaning a Spaniard...


When the Spanish broke the backbone of the Central and South American cultures, they ended some of the greatest civilisations humanity has ever known. What shocks me a lot is the fact that Diego de Landa who destroyed hundreds of Mayan texts was a franciscan monk. I can imagine dominicans and jesuits being capable of something like this, but I cannot imagine how Il Poverello could ever have agreed with the fact that one of his followers could fall so low.
Unfortunately burning books is a phenomenon the mob stills responds to...
Indeed, this is not a funny work. But a necessary one. Only when things are faced without judging and lived through, they can be balanced. It would of course be a sign of fanaticism to judge the Spanish who are living nowadays for the fanaticism of their forefathers.


On a personal note: isn't it strange that I first created Tropic of Psyche (a voyage), then Conquistador and then got asked to join the Dreams and Divinities show in Mexico, a show that want to use art to balance the old wounds that still hurt and fester over there?