Concave and convex mirrors found in archaeological deposits of the Olmec culture are thought to have been hung by the breast or in the back of important figures of the culture. A colonial-era dictionary translates u neen kab as “the mirror of the world” or of the community: “the priest, chief, governor of the ground or the people, which is the mirror where everybody looks at.” The mirror serves as a metaphor for the ruler that literally and figuratively reflects the community.
The project The Other questions the use of the mirror as an object that crosses contexts and adapts its meaning but remains a symbol of power and control across Mexican culture. The project documents the persistence of the use of mirrors and their historical/anthropological resonance across images, files, texts and photos, and create a body of research on the power of creation of image and light.
A. Taube. Olmec Art at Dumbarton Oaks, p.142. Washington DC: Dumberton Oaks.