PRINT May 2011


José Antonio Vega Macotela, Time Divisa 291 (Time Currency 291), 2009, altered book, 8 1/4 x 6 1/4 x 4 3/4". From Time Divisa (Time Currency), 2006–10.

GOING DANCING, visiting a prostitute, watching a son’s first steps, getting drunk at the baptism of a nephew: These are the kinds of ordinary pleasures and transgressions that make up everyday life, and artist José Antonio Vega Macotela has partaken of all of these experiences. There’s nothing remarkable about that—except that in each case, the life Macotela was living belonged to someone else. Neither the son nor the nephew was his, he didn’t know the woman with whom he went dancing, and he limited his interactions with the prostitute to conveying a greeting from somebody else. Over the course of his project Time Divisa (Time Currency), 2006–10, Macotela acted as a stand-in for inmates of Mexico City’s Santa Marta Acatitla prison, attending to obligations or desires in the place of the incarcerated men. He carried out one or more favors for each of 365 inmates, and in

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