Tezcatlipoca Performance

Tezcatlipoca: the ancient Aztec god of the smoking mirror, divinity, beauty, war, obsidian, and possessor of sky and earth. This god was important enough to be involved in one of the Aztec creation stories, yet no one in contemporary American society will remember him. The idea that such a powerful deity can be forgotten, despite his importance to the original American cultures, is a source of great inspiration for me. Just because we’ve forgotten these deities, doesn’t mean they have left us. Another name for Tezcatlipoca is Ipalnemoan, roughly translated to “He by whom we live.” For this work, I performed an act of stasis in front of a mirror sculpture, while holding obsidian. This will allowed me to channel Ipalnemoan, creating the presence for the audience and passers by in the gallery space to “live by” and experience. I also created video/projection art, accompanying music speaking from the perspective of each of Tezcatlipoca’s seven names. All music and texts are of my own creation. The goal of the work was not only to create a space of confrontational remembrance for the audience, but also to comment on society from the perspective of an ancient god – one who was involved in creation, one who was worshiped, one who was forgotten, and one who has always been watching.

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