Artwork analysis: The Grantham Tomb + St Hugh of Lincoln + Alfred Lord Tennyson

(2016), Miguel Ángel Salazar

By: Ari Cuauhtémoc Delgado Urbina

Still frame, Alfred Lord Tennyson (2016), Miguel Ángel Salazar

Still frame, Alfred Lord Tennyson (2016), Miguel Ángel Salazar

In this work I will analyse 3 videos made by Mexican artist Miguel Ángel Salazar, "The Grantham Tomb", "St Hugh of Lincoln" and "Alfred Lord Tennyson" respectively.

All the videos have an approximate duration of 1:20 minutes, in each of them we can see a collection of images together with a background music. The videos apparently do not have a relationship with each other and the images seem random or do not have any connection.


The Grantham Tomb

In all the videos there are certain references, in this there are from photos of tombs, paintings, houses, etc. Even references to actors and pop culture characters, whether to the actress Angelina Jolie playing her role as "Maleficent", the actress Gal Gadot representing Wonder Woman, characters like "Black Panther", "Iron Man", "Captain America "And images in general of characters from the editorial Marvel comics, although the images that are most repeated are the character of the video game" Tomb Raider ", Lara Croft (this is important for the analysis).


St Hugh of Lincoln

In this video we can observe a style and sequence similar to the previous one, images like religious drawings, photos, portraits, illustrations, we can observe drawings of Snow White, a cosplay of the princess Jasmine of "Aladdin" (smoking grass ...), the classic ones theatre masks, video game characters such as "Kirby" or "Rouge the Bat" from the Sonic franchise, a drawing by Garfield the cat, other drawings by Disney princesses, and images of characters from the "Dragon Ball" franchise.


Alfred Lord Tennyson

The same happens in the last video, a sequence of several images, from photos of people, landscapes or everyday environments, paintings, illustrations, we can see images of the "Lord of the Rings" franchise, from the Orcs, the hand of " Sauron "," Gollum "(edited with a woman's body ...), photos of" erotic "nature, video game franchise characters" Metal Gear Solid "as" Snake "and" Quiet ", Lucifer of the video game franchise "Devil ", the character of the animated movie" Shrek ", etc.

I am sure that some references escaped me, but I think that with those that I mentioned it is understood that at least there is not a relationship, or at least not a forced relationship.

I'll be honest, the first time I saw the videos I did not understand anything, it was just a series of nonsense images passing one followed by another, the music did not owe something to highlight, I just did not understand the videos, there was something that escaped me. So it was that I looked for video titles on the internet, and I began to understand a small part, in each of the videos appeared images related to the title, "The Grantham Tomb" are the tombs of Sir Thomas and Lady Grantham in Paris, "St Hugh of Lincoln "or San Hugo, was an English bishop originally from Lincoln," Alfred Lord Tennyson "was an English poet and dramatist, images of each one appear in their respective videos, but even knowing the title of each video or what they referred to , I still did not understand anything, I had no relation to each other, I searched for images that I found something curious, when looking for images of "The Grantham Tomb" I also found images of "Tomb Raider", it was something funny but understandable because normally the search engines They show images related to what you are looking for, in this case I relate the word "Tomb", that's when I understood it. 

In all the videos you start with the images of the title, but then you change to images that do not make sense with them, but I understood that they are images that come out when searching, they leave because the searchers relate them, even if they have nothing to do, from things with grammatical similarities, to absurd things, in the end if they were related, but not what you expect.

The work I like because it serves as a reflection to that "algorithm" of the internet, serves as an unscripted video essay that seeks to create a sense of confusion for the viewer and require a deeper investigation if you want to understand the work. It serves as a proof of human errors, since that search algorithm is so massive that anything can be filtered, as we choose what information to see, it shows us the little control we have over something so massive and at the same time how easy it can be manipulating it.

It is a work that criticizes a technology that most of us do not understand at all but even, so it has become a vital part of the population, that we can be using it without knowing what we are getting into. It seems to me an original work, something that would never have occurred to me, that fulfils its objective, and that allows an indirect interaction with the subject to be treated and with the spectator.