Skip to Content

Object Results

Showing 2 of 2


Missão/Missões [Mission/Missions] (How to Build Cathedrals)

20th century
249.94 cm x 345.95 cm x 345.95 cm (98 3/8 in. x 136 3/16 in. x 136 3/16 in.)

Cildo Meireles (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1948 - ) Primary

Object Type: installation
Artist Nationality: Latin America, Brazilian
Medium and Support: 600,000 coins, 800 communion wafers, 2,000 cattle bones, 80 paving stones, and black cloth
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of the Peter Norton Family Foundation, 1998
Accession Number: 1998.76

Cildo Meireles’s installation was first commissioned for an exhibition about the history of the Jesuits in southern Brazil. The artist created a contemplative space that functions as a critique of Jesuit missions established during colonial times to contain the indigenous Tupi-Guaraní people and convert them to Catholicism. The work’s symbolic elements reveal the complicit relationship between material power (coins), spiritual power (communion wafers), and tragedy (bones), while the black shroud and overhead lighting evoke ideas of life and death. Meireles’ use of cattle bones references the importance of ranching within the region’s colonial economy. Yet the bones’ physical resemblance to the human femur also alludes to the human losses associated with forced acculturation.

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

Your current search criteria is: [Object]Current Location is "@gallery@" or [Object]Current Location is "@atrium@" or [Object]Current Location is "@foyer@" or [Object]Current Location is "@seminar room@" and [Object]Object Type is "Installation" and [Object]Artist's nationality is "Brazilian".

View current selection of records as:

Web Privacy Policy | Web Accessibility Policy