These images by Kati Horna, a Hungarian-born photographer active in Mexico, capture the complex themes of identity and purity. In this pair of photographs we see an enigmatic woman. Her identity is hidden from view, covered by a black veil in one image, and partially nude with her back turned in another. The space around the figure consists of an unmade bed, a white mask, and a candle, most likely signifying a time of solitude and reflection. The photographs evoke an ambiguous feeling of attraction to the unknown. The woman could represent purity in a Mexico that condemns “La Chingada,” the one who is violated. According to the author Octavio Paz, all Mexicans are the product of an original rape, the violations by the Spanish conquistadors who then abandoned Mexico.
Luis Cuervo ’20
“La soledad es necesaria para alcanzar la santidad. Se han olvidado de que en la soledad la tentación es más grande.”
“Loneliness is necessary to reach saintliness. They have forgotten that in loneliness, temptation is much greater.”
Help us make our collections more accessible by providing keywords to describe this artwork. The BCMA uses the
Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus to
provide consistent keywords. Enter a keyword in the field below and you will be prompted with a list of possible matching AAT preferred terms.