The Virgin of Guadalupe continues to form the crux of our cosmology as Mexicans. This work is an observation of Her role in contemporary visual culture and the vast layers of symbolism transmitted through the iconic image. Through systematic documentation I chose to photograph the pilgrims that are carrying their virgins, usually found in their home. They take their paintings, sculptures, posters and cloaks of the Virgin to the Basicila to be blessed and to give thanks. Removing the portraits from their original background is intended to focus attention on the individual and function as a means to recombine portraits with the other hundreds of pilgrims. The large number of portraits creates a visual maze of similarity and difference, perhaps a metaphor for Mexican identity.
Alinka Echeverria’s book, Sur Le Chemin de Tepeyac, is out now, published by Actes Sud.