Alexis Mata's creative foundation was one defined by its dubious legality, inherent risk, and ephemerality. Better known by his tag "Ciler," Mata's interventions in public spaces — most by now removed or painted over — were a common sight along Mexico City's streets. In the years since, he has uniquely translated his formation as a street artist into an oeuvre of drawings, paintings, collages, and installations that — appropriately — draw upon human fears and mortality as primary themes.
In Replicant Memories, Mata maps a post-reality in which both body and mind — the last tethers to the real in an image-based culture — are absorbed into and refabricated within the imaginary of the simulacrum, like collective future memories of a past that never happened, a massive short circuit of the eternal return.
If in Simulacra and Simulation, Baudrillard had perhaps overstated the death of the real for rhetorical effect, Mata lends a grotesque materiality to the post-human as referentless reference: a digital Bellmer Doll, an infinitely reproducible and reconfigurable simulacrum, far from human and even farther from the image of God, yet nonetheless human thought made form.
Indeed, within Mata's stark vision, lived experience becomes meaningless, human form mutable and purely aesthetic, and death obsolete. To borrow political philosopher Brian Massumi's phrase, humans in Mata's universe have become "realer than real" — Promethean challengers to an omnipotent creator, or more accurately to nature itself. The question left open is whether within this advanced stage of simulation, there is still the possibility of resistance — to merely exist outside of it — and, moreover, whether anyone would remember any other way.