The New Gods

Alejandro Garcia Contreras, Josée Pedneault

The New Gods is a collaboration between Montreal-based Josée Pedneault and Mexico City-based Alejandro Garcia Contreras . Through a series of striking large-scale photographs, their project examines fantastical rites of spring that have emerged spontaneously within an isolated village in the mountains of southern Mexico.

For the past several years, the villagers of Carrillo Puerto have undertaken a most unusual interpretation of the Stations of the Cross, the tradition of re-enacting the events leading up to Christ’s death on Good Friday. Elsewhere in Mexico it is a day of organized procession and penitence, but in this small village it has evolved into an irreverent, chaotic, and carnivalesque celebration of the absurd. Drawing on an unholy mix of religious beliefs, popular culture, pagan traditions, and personal mythologies, participants don homemade costumes that are highly theatrical and transformative, often verging on pure abstraction. The chimerical personalities they assume become an alternate pantheon of strange deities and demons, existing in opposition to the highly codified characters and narratives of the traditional Passion play. 

Curated by Shani K Parsons