In 1985, at the invitation of the UNAM in Mexico, a truly unique exhibition project was carried out, in which a group of Colombian artists traveled to Mexico to create specific works during their stay, with the purpose of finally showing them in the exhibition "Por mi Raza Hablará el Espíritu" (For My Race the Spirit Will Speak) at the Chopo Museum; under the direction of Lourdes Monge and the curatorship of Rosalba Garza and Paloma Porraz; exhibition that counted with the presence of outstanding Mexican artists who served as hosts for the Colombian group. An exemplary project of artistic exchange that yielded excellent results on an artistic and personal level, as lasting bonds of union and friendship were generated.
Continuing with the purpose of finding specialized executors in the elaboration of replicas of pre-Columbian pieces, we were fortunate to find a family of artisans, who made pieces for the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City with great mastery.
With this family of specialized artisans, the Aranda family, a group of pieces were made that formed a parodic museum installation of large dimensions in the beautiful Chopo Museum and I introduced in this series The Great American Dream a new material: polyester resin, which took the concept of simulation to a radical extreme.
Drawing by Grafton Elliot Smith published in 1924 in the London Illustrated News.
One of the central pieces of the montage I prepared for this exhibition called "The Great American Dream", title that ended up becoming the generic name of the whole series executed in the 90 ́s, was the work "The Diffusionist", a multimedia installation composed of the three-dimensional piece in resin, a drawing executed on the wall and a soundtrack of oriental music played by myself on an elementary child organette.
The piece had already had a first version made in Colombia, in ceramics, by the artisan from Limones Nariño, Arturo Delgado and was shown for the first time at the Galería El Museo in Bogota as part of the exhibition "La galería un contenedor de espacios a finales de siglo" (The gallery, a container of spaces at the end of the century), with its corresponding drawing.
The work was based on a fascinating account of the history of archeology and its misunderstandings, as recorded in the book In Search of the Past by C.W. Ceram.
?"It was Grafton Elliot Smith, an anatomist and mummy researcher, who, in 1924, passionately raised the subject of the relationship between Mesoamerican civilization and the ancient civilizations of Asia and Africa. The argumentation he attempted is already evident in the title of his polemic writing: "Elephants at Ethnologists". Smith published in the London Illustrated News, a drawing that undoubtedly represents an elephant with its trunk raised".
For Smith, the main representative of the theory of Diffusionism, which is still a very topical subject, the representation of elephants in the pyramids could only be explained by the prehistoric contact of American civilizations with Asian cultures.
The "real" photographic images of the pyramids that soon reached London, left without support the interpretation of Smith who was the object of all kinds of ridicule, falling into the greatest scientific discredit.
The Diffusionist an ironic work "proves" the rightness of Smith's theory by presenting "irrefutable proof" of the existence of a real American piece with the representation of an elephant