Veiko Valencia

Region: West


City / State: Boise, ID

Not that long ago there was news in the media about how in Mexico an exact replica of the Sistine Chapel was being made. It is not odd that this should happen, because Latin America was conquered by the Colonial Copy. This is the method the Spanish used to spread Catholicism: making copies of copies. Today, if we were to trace the visual etymology of any saint in Latin America, we would find that they all come from Europe. For instance, the Virgin of Guadalupe can be traced back to the Black Madonna in Poland. Another case is the sacred image of the Lord of Huanca in Cuzco, Peru, whose roots take us to the common European biblical theme of Christ Gathering His Garments. However, the Spanish did something very peculiar before implanting these copies in the Americas; they made up myths around the apparition of these images. They said that these figures appeared magically, coincidentally, in places that were sacred for the locals, and that it wasn’t a coincidence because the Spanish were replacing their gods. This is what I call Colonial Photoshop. In my work I investigate the legacy of colonization through its methods, Colonial Copy and Photoshop, to explore how the copy of the copy can become its own original.