The celebration of the fifth centenary of the Conquest of the Americas engendered responses found, and inflamed, inside Spain and beyond its borders. In Latin America, protests often took shape through protest actions, such as marches, assemblies and the toppling of statues, not to mention exhibition projects such as La Conquista (The Conquest), the title of a collective show a group of artists, among them Liliana Maresca, organised in the Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires at the end of 1991.
In the exhibition La Conquista (The Conquest), Liliana Maresca presented Ecuación - El Dorado (Equation – El Dorado) based on the myth that relates gold and diamond-bearing areas of the old West Indies with this lost city, where unimaginable wealth was supposedly accumulated. The installation, conceived as something ephemeral, is reconstructed today in the rooms of the Museo by adhering to the original plans. It is made up of a truncated red pyramid — an ingot symbolising bloodshed in the search for El Dorado — and a gold sphere and a cube, two perfect, ideal geometric bodies referring to alchemy. A black rug traces the path in the room connecting the pyramid to a chair representing colonial power, and to the side a computer prints out the results of an equation used to calculate the relationship between the kilos of gold transported to Spain and the gallons of indigenous blood spilt in the Americas during the conquest and colonisation. Can we not, perhaps, establish a connection between wealth and the dispossession it causes? How much blood is gold worth, and vice versa?