California artist Jeffrey Vallance proposed an intervention at the Tijuana Wax Museum for inSITE2000. Collaborating with Mexico City-based wax-figure maker Victor Hugo Yañez, Vallance produced three new figures for the museum: the Virgin of Guadalupe, Dante, and former US President Richard Nixon. Vallance started with a list of about twenty-eight names of historical and contemporary figures as potential additions to the display at the museum, and arrived at the selection of the three figures based on the existing exhibition structure. The Virgin of Guadalupe could be seen in full figure situated on her own, while Nixon was placed in the presidential room holding in his hands the symbolic element that came to define his public career, a simulated set of reel-to-reel Watergate tapes. Dante was placed at the entrance to hell with his hand pointing the way.
With his project for the Wax Museum, Vallance deepened his own interest and fascination with the three selected figures. In this way, having followed stories for years from different parts of the world detailing apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Vallance, during a residency period in San Diego, could add yet another apparition to the list: he spotted her up high on a stone column at the Courtyard by Marriott downtown hotel.
Curators: Susan Buck-Morss, Ivo Mesquita, Osvaldo Sánchez, and Sally Yard
Venue: Tijuana Wax Museum
Víctor Hugo Yáñez, wax maker
Ricardo Parra, director, Museo de Cera de Tijuana
Courtyard by Marriott, downtown San Diego
Jeffrey Vallance interview for inSITE2000
KBPS Radio: "The Lounge", hosted by Dirk Sutro, San Diego, CA. 2000.
Duration: 14:00 min