The scenes of Pacheco’s most recently completed series, Comedia 1-4, were inspired by the dances and songs of colonial Peru such as the Son de los diablos. Performed by black dancers during the Catholic Feast of Quasimodo, the Son featured devils, some in the guise of monsters with horns and claws, others wearing grotesque masks, animal skins and feathers. Under the cover of carnival, these transformations and role-reversals (suggested in Pacheco’s prints by the wielding of a whip) represented spirited defiance of an imposed colonial culture and assertion of an independent identity. The prints also represent a remarkable combination of contemporary and traditional technology. Where German artists of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries normally employed the services of a specialist craftsman to cut their drawn designs into the woodblock, Pacheco has experimented with laser technology to perform the same task. Her drawings were scanned into a computer that then directed laser beams to cut the design.
Extract fom The Role of Prints and Drawings in the Work of Ana Maria Pacheco, Robert Bush, 2016. Online publication: www.prattcontemporaryart.co.uk