Numismática hacendaria (The Numismatics of Haciendas), 2007
9 antique photographs, book cuttings, and 20 antique coins on lacquered glass, wooden box, and 12 magnifying glasses
11.5 x 52.7 x 42.5 cm
In her practice, Minerva Cuevas investigates the politics and power relations that permeate certain social and economic ties. Numismática hacendaria is based on research related to the complex economic and political framework present in pre-revolutionary Mexico. Here, she references the tokens minted by haciendas that served as vouchers to trade for food and clothing in the company stores. Items were highly overprized and wages extremely low, which resulted in the workers acquiring unpayable debts to satisfy their most basic needs. In this way, landowners secured a dependent, servile workforce. During the Mexican Revolution it became customary to raid and destroy these company stores as a way to avenge the injustices committed during many years.