Chicana: American Mexican (anti-assimilation)
mestizas (mestizo): women of mixed blood (Spanish or indigenous)
women identity formation: in cabinet, harem, library, garden... (preservation, knowledge contemplation)
"Altar for Santa Teresa de Avila"
Saint Teresa of Avila (Saint Teresa of Jesus), a saint of Catholic Church.
ofrendas: offerings for dead people in Díade Muertos (亡灵节).
Chicano: non-Anglo image of Mexican-American
Memorial Practice: (2nd Nov.)
cemetery vigils (墓地守夜)
build temporary altars
Artist learned the tradition and try to make it innovative
"altar" vs "ofrenda":
Sacret may not be fancy. Domestic sacret can be made by cheap stuff, but has high spirituality.
"Ofrenda for Dolores Del Rio (墨西哥女演员)"
hybrid religious enactment (folk art) and secular installation. Political focused, cultural specific (fine art)
audience: Chicano (who appriciate cultural heroes and "criticize rigid social mores" (tradition))
idea: Dolores Del Rio is an important figure in woman Chicano and should be celebrated as part of lineage of Chicano - "woman's time". Making a role models. Shifting from "just a movie star" to woman of significant of Mexican woman breaking racial taboos of mainstream Hollywood (127)
secular icon of cinema
"canonization" (封为圣人) of the secular
mixing both private and public objects in the ofrenda
altered symbolic meaning: women's emancipation icon figure
agreement: Virgin of Guadalupe (dark-skinned patron saint of Mexico) in home altars
"Grotto of the Virgins" (1987)
idea: invite comparison between 3 woman, they deserve holy of Catholic icons
rasquache: In Spanish, rasquache means 'leftover' or 'of no value. ' In Chicano vernacular, it describes an attitude, the taste or lifestyle of the underdog.” (Here: we mean distasteful mixing - like putting soysauce into milk)
grotto of family of 3 woman: Frida Kahlo (highlight illness, and Kahlo's work), Dolore Del Rio, grandmother (traditional church style)
building grotto from the ground blend exhibition space
rock / earth: linking lives and returning of earth after death
Carmen Lomas Garza Yolanda López
Cesar Chavez: use Guadalupe as "mexicanidad"(墨西哥人性)
Linked to a working-class position of marginality or lack, "rasquachismo" suggests clever resourcefulness, flexibility, attentive intuition, and a creative mix and juxtaposition of aesthetic forms.
Think: silver cups and slaves cage, chairs and punishing stance, "hay look, there is a caucasian", and american chinese tourist, superman and businessman craw
femmage: process of stiching together different things. A common practice for "women's traditional domestic art making"
I find the definition of this term problematic
Mexicana: cheap tourist art from Mexico
kitsch: (term by Olalquiaga) bad art often made by over-exaggeration or art intent to form criticism
degree 1: artwork provide immediate, ugly, distasteful feeling (bad taste?)
degree 2: ugly, but provide a sense of superiority to audience (for social acceptance, class)
degree 3: ugly, generate new meaning (can be produced by people with good taste)
The "good taste" is deeply embedded in class hierarchy and culture, therefore ill-defined and problematic. (杀马特)
Mesa-Bains consider her artwork between 1st degree and 3rd degree kitsch.
Theory of domesticana: named by Mesa-Bains
deconstruct stereotype by redefining them
culture domestic value + emancipation from feminine roles
the term legitimize the practice of "rasquachismo" of women, making them socially acceptable. (杀马特艺术)
Giving item meaning by making them into altar or cabinet.
similarity: cabinet of curiosity and altar
Mesa-Bains's idea: colonialism, collecting, politics of display
German Wunderkammers, Indian studiolos
glass cabinet, armchair, Persian carpet
driven by: rare, beautiful, desire to see (speculari) and desire to know (curiositas) represent "mean of development, raw material of trade, prosperity"
Bann suggest: "curiosity" is a replacement of losing "sacred relics". Or a shift to scientific-version-of-religion.
"Curiositas: The Cabinet (1990)": cabinet
critique and mourning colonization
difference: not objects of wonder, rare and magnificent. in historical cabinet of curiosity, Europeans placements of objects misread relationship
similar: Fred Wilson's slave manacles with silver goblets
idea: generate meaning history of conquest, violence by placing objects together
"Emblems of the Decade: Borders"
inscripto: motto (格言)
pictura (图片) visual depiction of concept
subscriptio: epigram (警句) that served as commentary on both
idea: immigrant community, struggles to move from Mexico culture to U.S., stories of hardship
what: suitcase, letters,
"Emblems of the Decade: Numbers"
idea: oppressive condition faced by Chicano
television run video loop (narration)
epigram about books, statistics, income, AIDs, teen pregnancies, historical events (genocide), list of sc scientific inventors, telescopes, magnifying glass
Walter Benjamin: allegory exists because we don't want it to be forgotten (141) - revivalism
always borrow and "confiscate" already exist imageries
some people think: they are "contaminated" by the past
Owens: explore social historical condition
"Vanitas: Evidence, Ruin, Regeneration"
vanitas (虚荣心): search for profit, luxury
things: scientific instruments, historical moments (Teotihuacan pottery, vanitas painting, altar death of Cesar Chavez), painting of "Negro Boy" (as a sign of wealth, boy as object property - Mesa-Bains wasn't allowed to de-contextualize with original version, but can use indigenous artifacts)
meaning: African diaspora as subject to observation, measure, investigation, scientific practice. Material used as evidence.
QUESTION: What is your opinion? If you were the museum, should "Negro Boy" be kept in its original context or not? Is there a trade-off? Or clearly one decision is better than another?
"The Castle Is Burning"
swastikas: Nazi symbol.
"Venus Envy I"
examines idealized feminine roles in private (domestic) environment
objects: (things that symbolizes psychic effects of female subject. symbolize obedience, virgin, bride, nun, good Catholic woman.) (things that symbolize Mexican American girls) (things that doesn't fall into any roles - girl kickboxer), Aztec relics
idea: political in conflict with maintaining religious, sexual practice. Control of sexuality produced place (environment, buildings).
idea: box - institution, objects - subject
worry: contemporary use of Aztec symbol obscure historical meanings. Chicano artist idealize Toltec, Aztec, Mayan culture to serve political need (no historical accuracy)
"Venus Envy II"
"Venus Envy III"
idea: imaginary myth and legend (death during childbirth = dead worrier with glory)
back of gallery: treat artist's life as archeological dig
reviving, revising tradition aesthetic practice -> subject formation
past: more urgency than nostalgia, "de-colonial imaginary"
Fabulation: recording down the history
Mesa-bain: use desk as canvas
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