Untitled Icon (Artifact No. 1). Relic, nail polish. 2-2/3 x 3 x 2". Made in the United States in 2009.
From a series of intervened artifacts, the original object was acquired from a tomb raider in Villa de Leyva, Colombia.
My discordance with the cultures that I am associated with me makes me question the idea of heritage and ownership. If I own my own culture, can I also modify it? Can I for instance, take a pre-Columbian object that I possess and change its physical appearance making it an emblem of the culture that I fantasize about (my own hybrid) even if that involves damaging it?
Under Roman Law, destruction functioned as the most extreme way of recognizing property right. Today, the legislation of every nation (oftentimes based upon ratification of UNESCO conventions) has laws that control modification of cultural heritage, but who really owns cultural heritage in its physical form? Is it the UN? is it the State? For the most part, no one cares until the historic object is in the face of threat.