Brief Encounters with Tezcatlipoca Kimberlee Cordova
Brief Encounters with Tezcatlipoca, is a semi-scripted performance presented at the Material Art Fair in Mexico City. This project draws a correlation between the role of alternative art spaces and alternative investments as fora of value speculation by exploiting the deliberately ambiguous legal boundaries that exist at the intersection of art and finance.
The performance used the fair booth to launch Tezcatlipoca Alternative Advisors, a [fictional] alternative investment advisory services company. To promote Tezcatlipoca’s services two investment specialists and one translator offered teaser consults with fair visitors. One specialist gave visitors real advice and the other gave illegal advice. It was never stated which was which, leaving the visitor to differentiate between the real and illegal offerings.
Against the back wall of the booth hung a sheet of black glass etched with the phrase “Alternatives are the new reality.” Formally the black glass panel refers to computer and phone screens, portals behind which capital moves. Metaphorically it refers to the obsidian mirrors Aztec shamans used as instruments of magic to travel to the world of the gods and divine alternate realities.
This project highlights the investor-collector-patron as the catalytic agent of financialization of the art world by appropriating the advisor-client relationship and financial instruments, (eg: art collateralized loans, art funds, freeport transactions and storage, foundation structures, estate planning etc) as artwork.
Mixing real and fiction, legal and illegal within the consumerist context of a fair, this piece suggests that in a dematerialized economy professional advisors have assumed the role of contemporary shamans in the quest for value creation.