- Director: Carlos Motta
- Writer: Carlos Motta
- Producer: Carlos Motta
Nefandus was an exhibition project at Galeria Filomena Soares in Lisbon in the summer 2013. The project explores the imposition of European epistemological categories onto native cultures during the Spanish and Portuguese Conquest of the Americas.
This projects includes photographs, sculptures and a video, all of which address subjects that were deemed exotic, wild, or native. The project's central axis is Nefandus, a narrative video that investigates pre-Hispanic (homo)sexuality. Two men travel by canoe down the Don Diego river in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the Colombian Caribbean, a landscape of 'wild' beauty.
The men, an indigenous man and a Spanish speaking man, tell stories about pecados nefandos [unspeakable sins, abominable crimes]; acts of sodomy that took place in the Americas during the conquest. While it has been widely documented that the conquistadores used sex as a weapon of domination of indigenous populations, little is known about the homoerotic indigenous traditions.
How did the Christian morality, as taught by the Catholic missions and propagated through war during the Conquest, transform the natives' relationship with sex? Nefandus, Latin for impious, abominable, or unnamable, was a common word used in Colonial Latin America in reference to sin. A pecado nefando (unspeakable sin) was a transgressive crime of sexual nature, such as sodomy, which was severely judged and punished.
The video suggests that constructions of sexuality and the body can't be projected onto cultures whose traditions and histories remain unknown and have been mediated by European classifications. 'Nefandus' is part of 'Nefandus Trilogy' with 'Naufragios' (Shipwreck) and 'La vision de los vencidos' (The Defeated).