It is an art of contingency that traces a new lineage in which the pauperism of Arte Povera is rediscovered but tuned into a society that is far from poor. The work of many sculptors at the beginning of this century, in fact, depicts a society that is so dramatically suffering under the weight of toxic waste that it is now forced to turn garbage into an art form.
If we were to follow the signals that have accompanied the opening of this new century, we might conclude that we have come to live in an age that defines itself by the disappearance of monuments and the erasure of symbols - a headless century. Thus, it should come as no surprise that this first decade of the twenty-first century produced a sculpture of fragments, a debased, precarious, trembling form that we have called unmonumental.
The dismal drum of Huichilobos sounded again, accompanied by conches, horns, and trumpet-like instruments. It was a terrifying sound, and when we looked at the tall cue [temple-pyramid] from which it came we saw our comrades who had been captured in Cortés defeat being dragged up the steps to be sacrificed. When they had hauled them up to a small platform in front of the shrine where they kept their accursed idols we saw them put plumes on the heads of many of them; and then they made them dance with a sort of fan in front of Huichilobos. Then after they had danced the papas [Aztec priests] laid them down on their backs on some narrow stones of sacrifice and, cutting open their chests, drew out their palpitating hearts which they offered to the idols before them. Then they kicked the bodies down the steps, and the Indian butchers who were waiting below cut off their arms and legs and flayed their faces, which they afterward prepared like glove leather, with their beards on, and kept them for their drunken festivals. Then they ate their flesh with a sauce of peppers and tomatoes.