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Curator’s Choice: Project 1521 and the Florentine Codex

November 19, 2020 | 5:00PM - 6:15PM

Presented by the Fowler Museum at UCLA in partnership with the Getty Research Institute

The approaching quincentennial of the conquest of Mexico offers many lessons for us today. A vital document of that cataclysmic era is The General History of the Things of New Spain—aka the Florentine Codex—a massive, 2,000-page guide to 16th century central Mexico. Created by Nahua scholars and artists under the direction of a Spanish Franciscan friar and in the wake of the Spanish invasion, it was completed during a devastating epidemic caused by the viruses introduced to the region by the conquistadors.

Project 1521—a collaboration between artist Sandy Rodriguez and writer Adolfo Guzman-Lopez—was inspired by Indigenous perspectives on the Spanish invasion. The project brings together artists, writers, and scholars to generate visual and literary works as acts of resistance. Join panelists for live readings of these works and hear their reflections on the continued relevance of the encyclopedic record of Indigenous knowledge contained in the Florentine Codex.

Panelists will include artist Sandy Rodriguez; writer and KPCC/LAIST reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez; Abelardo de la Cruz de la Cruz, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at University at Albany—State University of New York, Associate Instructor and Nahuatl Instructor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at the University of Utah, and Associate Instructor at Instituto de Docencia e Investigación Etnológica de Zacatecas (IDIEZ AC); Diana Magaloni Kerpel, LACMA’s Deputy Director, Program Director & Dr. Virginia Fields Curator of the Art of the Ancient Americas, and Suzanne D. Booth and David G. Booth Conservation Center Director; Kim Richter, Senior Research Specialist, Director’s Office, Getty Research Institute; Kevin Terraciano, Professor of History, Director of the Latin American Institute, and co-chair of Latin American Studies Graduate Program at UCLA.

The conversation will be moderated by Matthew H. Robb, Chief Curator, Fowler Museum at UCLA.

Curator’s Choice

Join curators for lively conversations about their passions and projects that inspire audiences to engage with different world views and find joy in the diversity of human experiences.


Image credit: Sandy Rodriguez, De los Child Detention Centers, Family Separations, and Other Atrocities, 2018.


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