Concept and motives

Gustavo Aceves’s exhibition project Lapidarium is the eloquent testimony of a story, of which the idea started arising at the riverside of Niger. The spectacle of an overcrowded pirogue – a ship in the shape of a trunk, made for the transportation of food and people – stirred many images in the artist’s mind.

Some of these associations arise from the Greek mythology: The conquest of Troja with the help of the list of the Trojan Horse. For Aceves the Trojan Horse symbolizes the possibility to question traditions and well-trodden route in order to overcome the barriers with new solutions. The river Styx creates a border between the empire of the living and dead. The ferryman Charon drives those, who are carrying a coin with themselves, across the river to Hades. The others have to stay forever at the riverside.

Other associations derives from circumstances of today’s time. A political issue makes the Mediterranean Sea to an extra-wide river of death and therfore the coast of Lampedusa to the shore that promises salvation, which unfortunately most oft he refugess don’t reach alive. During the last years more than 100.000 refugees reached Italy over the sea. Many of them previously arrived at Lampedusa.

In Mexico exists the so called "tren de los muertos", the death train through Mexico, that is taken every year by thousands of refugees from South and Central America, to find a way in the seemingly freedom of the neighboured USA – often the last hope for a better life. With a lot of luck for some people they might reach the borders and overcome the strict entry regulations.