M IS FOR MEXICO and U IS FOR UNITED STATES
Laura Aguilar used her own body, the Mexican-American landscapes familiar to her, her Latinx, queer and working class surroundings, to create imagery that is now peripheral but shall become canonical in the future. She has been compared to both Nan Goldin and Peter Hujar, and clearly the three share the same transitional space in the history of photography and American art, but Aguilar remains both more obscure and less predictable. She died this week at the age of 58. I keep thinking of a phrase from the Russian novel “The Petty Demon”: “a heathen-like worship of the body”. Bodies and sacred grounds were Aguilar’s subject and place of worship. One day we’ll all relate.