Effects Of The Nation

Effects Of The Nation: Mexican Art In Age Of Globalization

Carl Good
John V. Waldron
Copyright Date: 2001
Published by: Temple University Press
Pages: 248
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  • Book Info
    Effects Of The Nation
    Book Description:

    What is the effect of a "nation"? In this age of globalization, is it dead, dying, or only dormant? The essays in this groundbreaking volume use the arts in Mexico to move beyond the national and the global to look at the activity of a community continually re-creating itself within and beyond its own borders.Mexico is a particularly apt focus, partly because of the vitality of its culture, partly because of its changing political identity, and partly because of the impact of borders and borderlessness on its national character. The ten essays collected here look at a wide range of aesthetic productions -- especially literature and the visual arts -- that give context to how art and society interact.Steering a careful course between the nostalgia of nationalism and the insensitivity of globalism, these essays examine modernism and postmodernism in the Mexican setting. Individually, they explore the incorporation of historical icons, of vanguardism, and of international influence. From Diego Rivera to Elena Garro, from the Tlateloco massacre to the Chiapas rebellion, from mass-market fiction to the filmAliens, the contributors view the many sides of Mexican life as relevant to the creation of a constantly shifting national culture. Taken together, the essays look both backward and forward at the evolving effect of the Mexican nation.

    eISBN: 978-1-4399-0176-2
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vii)
  3. Introduction: Ungoverned Specificities
    (pp. 1-19)
    Carl Good

    This collection brings together a diverse group of essays focused on all aspects of Mexican visual art, literature, and criticism. Each essay also is preoccupied directly or indirectly with “the nation” and specifically with Mexico. Such a project—hovering in the thematic vicinity of the nation, or rather of a specific nation—is anachronistic at a time many have characterized with the word globalism. The paradox is reflected in the title of the collection, with “globalization” hooked onto the end of it like its caboose (or perhaps its engine). Critics in both the humanities and the social sciences appear more...

  4. 1 Mexican Art on Display
    (pp. 20-36)
    Olivier Debroise

    On the morning of 1 January 1994, Mexico woke up with a terrible hangover. A war had been declared in the southern state of Chiapas by an indigenous army whose leaders wore black ski masks. Before dawn, the rebels had taken various towns and were advancing toward other cities. Taken by surprise, the army seemed unable to stop them. A major confrontation occurred in the marketplace of the town of Ocosingo, where the rebels got trapped by the army, but the rebels quickly vanished into the rain forest. Since the uprising, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation has been negotiating,...

  5. 2 Mathias Goeritz: Emotional Architecture and Creating a Mexican National Art
    (pp. 37-52)
    Juan Bruce-Novoa

    At midcentury, Mexico was celebrating three decades of postrevolutionary rule. True, despite the zealous public relations efforts of each presidential regime to stress its roots in the Revolution, the emphasis had been shifting progressively onto the prefixpostuntil in 1946 the newly elected president, Miguel Alemán, changed the official title of the ruling party to the rather cynical Partido Revolucionario Institutional. With the title change Alemán accurately, albeit ironically, captured the contradictory thrusts of orderly progress and stability versus the ideal of a pervasive concern for the interest of the popular classes. This was not a simple goal.


  6. 3 Corporeal Identities in Mexican Art: Modern and Postmodern Strategies
    (pp. 53-72)
    Karen Cordero Reiman

    If narration is the art of weaving convincing connections between disparate events and characters, the body is the center of the narrative strategies established in the visual arts, as the site of sensorial experience that permits the construction and reconstruction of meanings in these works.

    And yet, it is the very analysis of the works of art themselves which reveals the tenuous, discursive nature of the body as it is constructed by the twin processes of creation and reception. The body becomes the fictional center of the artistic phenomenon: in its simultaneous and often contradictory referentiality to both collective and...

  7. 4 Elena Poniatowskaʹs Querido Diego, te abraza Quiela: A Re-vision of Her Story
    (pp. 73-97)
    Susan C. Schaffer

    In 1907 the young Diego Rivera landed on European soil, where he would spend the next fourteen years honing his skills as a painter. Financed by a grant from the Mexican government, his journey through “the lands of reason”¹ began in Spain, where he imitated old-world masters for two years. Taking up residence in Paris, Rivera experimented with the latest painterly trends alongside such cosmopolitan artists as Picasso, Modigliani, Jacobsen, Matisse, and Foujita. Finally, only months before his return to Mexico in July 1921, Rivera toured Italy—Siena, Arezzo, Perugia, Assisi, and Rome—where he studied the luminescent Renaissance frescoes...

  8. 5 ʺUn octubre manchado se detieneʺ: Memory and Testimony in the Poetry of David Huerta
    (pp. 98-113)
    Jacobo Sefamí

    InLa otra voz: Poesía y fin de siglo (The Other Voice: Poetry and the End of the Century),Octavio Paz inveighs against economic globalism:

    Today literature and the arts are exposed to a different danger. What threatens them is not a doctrine or an omniscient political party but an economic process, one that is faceless, soulless and directionless. The market is circular, impersonal, impartial and inflexible. Some will assure me that the market is just in its own way. Perhaps. But it is blind and deaf, it does not love literature or risk, and it does not know how...

  9. 6 Aesthetic Criteria and the Literary Market in Mexico: The Changing Shape of Quality, 1982–1994
    (pp. 114-137)
    Danny J. Anderson

    In the late 1980s, a disparaging label began to circulate in the Mexican cultural press:literatura light(light literature). Diet Coke, decaffeinated coffee, nonfat sugar-free ice-cream and even Marlboro Lights are all marketed in terms of their “lightness” as attractive alternatives for the body- or health-conscious consumer. Such products promise to tease the tongue and satisfy one’s taste, but without (or at least with less of) the problematic ingredients: calories, sugar, caffeine, saturated fats, and nicotine. But we do not consume literature the same way and there is no avoiding the negative connotations of the phraseliteratura light. Associated with...

  10. 7 Un hogar insólito: Elena Garro and Mexican Literary Culture
    (pp. 138-159)
    Rebecca E. Biron

    Widely considered one of Mexico’s most important writers after the publication of her first novel,Los recuerdos del porvenir(1963), Elena Garro is also one of its more contentious public figures. Her personal and authorial identities have haunted national cultural politics and literary history since she went into voluntary exile in the early 1970s. Her life and writing occur simultaneously in absence from the Mexican cultural center and in extreme interdependence with it. She challenges the status of Mexican cultural critics who claim to speak from within national borders and imagined communities. She violates the private/public divide by writing about...

  11. 8 René Derouin: Dialogues with Mexico
    (pp. 160-177)
    Montserrat Galí Boadella

    Mexico has long been open to dialogue with foreigners. The nineteenth-centuryartistas viajeros, or “traveling artists,” for example, exerted considerable influence on many aspects of the nascent republican art of the time, so much so that they have become fixtures of Mexican cultural history. More recent versions of these traveling artists have likewise played an important role in twentieth-century Mexican art. The story of this influence is reciprocal, with the artists’ contact with Mexican culture having a transformative effect on them as well. Mexico has looked at itself in their work as if in a mirror, while the traveling artists...

  12. 9 Unhomely Feminine: Rosina Conde
    (pp. 178-195)
    Debra A. Castillo

    A few years ago Carlos Monsiváis published an article in a volume on the North American Free Trade Agreement in which he underlines the political, social, and cultural cost of the traditional division between Mexico City and the rest of the country: “Se sanctificó el juego de los opuestos: civilización y barbarie, capital y provincia, cultura y desolación. Desde principios de siglo … cunde una idea: la provincia es ‘irredimible,’ quedarse es condenarse,” ‘A play of opposites was sanctified: civilization and barbarism, capital and provinces, culture and desolation. Since the beginning of the century … the idea has been propagated...

  13. 10 The Postmodern Hybrid: Do Aliens Dream of Alien Sheep?
    (pp. 196-212)
    Rolando Romero

    Critics have labeled Ridley Scott’sBlade Runner(1982) the quintessential postmodern film. The plot—set in 2019 Los Angeles—centers around an enslaved group of replicants or humanoids who have escaped from an off-world colony. Laws declare illegal their presence on earth and thus police hire twenty-first-century bounty hunter Rick Deckard (called Blade Runner, played by Harrison Ford) to destroy—or, in the parlance of the film, “retire”—the replicants. The studio changed Scott’s original conception of the film as represented in the work print after sneak previews in Denver and Dallas showed that the public did not appreciate the...

  14. About the Contributors
    (pp. 213-216)
  15. Index
    (pp. 217-222)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 223-223)