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MICTLAN
 
2011
Foro Sol, Mexico City
Mirror Pyramid 10 m x 10 m x 8 m
Dance Floor: 15 m x 10 m
Photographs: 1.20 m x 80 cm
Video: 5:50 min.

The name Mictlan comes from the Aztec language Nahuati, "mic" means death and "tlan" means place of.

Mictlán: "The ninth infraworld where Milctlantecuhtli, Lord of the Common Dead rules is a
dark and cold place where the smoke has no way out."
—Vatican Codex 3738.

"I offer an inhuman image of man, and I know that the air about me grows irrespirable. In saying that the bloody fantasies of sacrifice had meaning, I have justified our Molochs at their darkest. Although my voice does blend with those of untold choirs throughout time, it has, I am certain, a hostile ring. No one, of course, is going to claim that I wish to start new cycles of holocaust; I am only supplying the meaning of ancient customs. The cruelties of the past filled needs, which we can satisfy in ways other than those of savages. I do, however, say that life is worth the gift of the self, and that the gift leads to mortal anguish. I am of that number who pledge men to
something other than a constant increase of production, and who provoke men to sacred horror. And this demand, in conflict with common sense, must be justified by something more than vague notions about the stars. But the fathers of "the quiet man" did offer sacrifice. And I have just remarked of these massacres of men and beasts—which did take place—that they are the enigma he must solve, if he has the will to survive, if he wishes to remain as he is: a quiet reasonable man! How was it that everywhere men found themselves with no prior mutual agreement, in accord on an enigmatic act, they all felt the need or the obligations to put living beings ritually to death? “The quiet man” before replying, has only to hear me out. He must feel
the weight of this enigma—as strongly as I do. He must recognize, with me, that he has a link with death, tragic terror, and sacred ecstasy; he must admit that for want of an answer, men have remained ignorant of what they are."

Bataille, Georges and Michelson, Annette. “Georges Bataille: Writings on Laughter,
Sacrifice, Nietzsche, Un-Knowing.” MIT Press Volume 36 October 1986: pp 61 - 74

This piece was part of a three-day rock concert. Inspired in the thousands of deaths caused by the Mexican drug war, the top of the pyramid a number appears on a digital screen marking the number of lives "sacrificed" in each performance of this piece where the living join the dead in the ritual of dancing.The ancient pre-Hispanic gods are alive now more than ever. They live off of human sacrifice. Who chooses to live by them?. Bataille could use an update it seems. There is no quiet man.
 
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