Image: Ella me ha pedido que la olvide [She asked me to forget her]
(Guatemala City, 1957 - )

Ella me ha pedido que la olvide [She asked me to forget her] , 1993

Film positives, toned gelatin silver prints, ribbon and thread
12 in. x 57 in. (30.48 cm x 144.78 cm)
Museum Acquisition Fund
Gonzáles Palma began his career as a photographer in the mid-1980s, having previously worked as a painter, architect, and filmmaker.   His work most often features Maya Indians from his native Guatemala, who are often disenfranchised and on the margins of Guatemalan society.  Gonzáles Palma’s images reflect the determined spirit of the Maya people, the tragic loss of their rich culture, and the universal emotions and relationships that bind us all together.  
    In this work, the woman’s image is layered over a death certificate and the men mourn with their tears of red ribbons.  The relationship between the figures remains ambiguous.  Since the photograph of the woman appears to be from a different era, she may be an older relative—perhaps the mother—of the men.            
    To signify the function of memory and the passage of time, Gonzáles Palma uses an earth-colored varnish that gives his works the smoky patina of an Old Master painting.  Gonzáles Palma printed the portraits in this work on transparent film, then backed them with soft-focused, abstract images printed on earth-toned paper, lending the work an ethereal, haunting quality.  
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