Maria Thereza Alves

Recipes for Survival
Seeing you

An Accounting


An Accounting, 2023

Installation with watercolors, paintings, texts, objects, copied archive files, cyanotypes and a video

The installation was realized at Alfonso Artiaco Gallery, Naples 2023.
A text by Kathryn Weir was written for the work.


In the archives of Naples, ledgers.
Rows of numbers of wealth harvested for four hundred years in invaded lands.

In the archives of Naples, tributes lists.
Unpaid labor caretaking ranches, haciendas, farms, working in mines and building houses, stables, mills,  ships, stores, workshops, corrals; building materials of wood, stone, lime, doors, beams, sculpted architectural elements; turquoise, amber, crystal; maize, legumes, chilies, salt, cacao, turkeys, poultry, eggs, fish, shrimps; raw cotton, cotton garments; firewood, rubber; jewelry, and gold – the preferred tribute after the invasion, levied from tens of thousands of people.

The final sums transferred to Naples.

Transferred to one family in Naples, who asked for even higher tributes, for even more land, for more hours of unpaid labor.

It was only in the early twentieth century that a member of this family wrote to ask what the land and people were like – there in Mexico where their harvested wealth was dwindling.

The town of Xico in the state of Mexico was a tribute payer to that family.

An Accounting is an exhibition by Maria Thereza Alves at Alfonso Artiaco Gallery which is inspired by the Valle de Xico Community Museum and its collection, comprised of over 5000 artefacts found by local residents, and the Villa Aragona Pignatelli Cortes.

How to begin a dialogue in the midst of centuries of accounts?


also part of: