Rodrigo Azaola

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1812- 2016                                 

Digital image. Dimensions variable.

Charles Minard’s map of the Napoleonic Campaign in Russia, Carte figurative des pertes successives in hommes de l'Armée Française dans la campagne de Russie 1812-1813, is considered the best statistical illustration ever made. In an apparently simple cartographic description, the French engineer innovatively includes different fields of information and depicts the advance and retreat of one of the most disastrous military campaigns in history.

The 1812-2016 map is a reinterpretation of Minard's map that focuses on the Mexican Drug War, which began in 2006. Based on the same kind of informational flow chart as Minard, 1812-2016 describes the yearly increase of victims in the order of tens of thousands, correlating it with the retail cost of cocaine in the United States, whose price does not register greater variation. Likewise, it records specific events and geographic locations related chronologically.

History has objectively judged Napoleon as an arrogant statesman who threw his troops against an enemy he could not interpret and under conditions he failed to understand. Like Minard’s Map, this reinterpretation seeks to visually represent the Mexican Drug War as a catastrophic, ongoing and uncorrected military campaign that has forever changed Mexico's history.

This work was exhibited at Muca Roma (2017); download publication.

Installation view. Muca Roma, Mexico City.