Antonio Vega Macotela
(b. 1980 in Mexico City, Mexico; lives in Mexico City) Studies of Exhaustion III: The Mill of Blood, The Drop of Flesh, 2013, is an exquisite sculpture in the shape of a mill that evokes the human labor that was required to make gold coins throughout former Spanish colonies in the Americas. This beautifully rendered silver miniature is a likeness of a huge mill that is now in a Bolivian museum. Two other mills—one in Peru and another in Mexico—were powered by animals, but the Bolivian mill, located at too high an elevation, had to rely on power generated by Indigenous slaves from the Andes. Wealth was extracted not simply from the earth but also from the bodies of Indigenous Americans.