Abstract Mestizaje as an ideology has shaped Xicano/Mexicano notions of identity over the past five centuries by privileging Western civilisation as the dominant paradigm in Meso‐America. This racial paradigm, the idea of ‘conquest’ and the belief in the fusion of two distinct civilisations through the mixing of Spanish and indigenous blood, has prevented Xicanos from understanding the recent history of Mexico as a ‘story of permanent confrontation between those attempting [to move] toward the path of Western civilization and those… who resist’, in the words of Mexican anthropologist Guillermo Bonfil Batalla. This article analyses how the 1997 film Pancho Goes to College, directed by Rubén Reyes, offers a microcosm of this clash of civilisations within the framework of a college campus in the Southwest United States. The film’s rhetorical moves are seen through the lens of revolutionary Xicanismo and through African liberationist Frantz Fanon’s writings on the colonised. The film supplies a context in which to analyse why this racialised identity of genetic mestizaje cannot offer a viable conduit to national liberation.
Abstract Denis Williams (1923–1998), born in British Guiana, was the first black artist to win critical acclaim in Britain, where he taught at the Central School and the Slade School of Art. He became a protégé of Wyndham Lewis and exhibited at the most prestigious galleries in London and Paris. His painting Human World (1950) formed the basis of Guyana’s National Collection. Seeking to avoid any parochial characterisation of the Negro experience he turned to abstraction. In 1953 he took part in ‘Eleven British Painters’ at the ICA and his Painting in Six Related Rhythms (1954) was one of the prize‐winners in the ‘Young Artists’ Exhibition’ the following year where it was praised by Salvador Dalí. He took part in the seminal exhibition ‘This is Tomorrow’ with John Ernest and Anthony Hill. He later became cynical about the nature of his success, feeling that he was working within a culture that was not his own.
Abstract Born into Brothels is a paradigmatic instance of a recent intertwining of the human rights market (which packages and sells causes to potential donors, investors or consumers) with the human rights culture market (which produces and consumes texts and images depicting struggles and movements, often narrating the development of individual beneficiaries). Interlinked with media companies and aid agencies, and attended by websites, exhibitions, books, postcards and calendars, Born into Brothels promotes the charity founded by the film‐makers. One might applaud giving children some means of artistic production. Yet there is reason to criticise the film’s unselfconscious depiction of its white humanitarian heroine as the sole rescuer of an undeveloped other whose inherent dignity has not yet been appreciated, along with its construction of the ability to create expressive individualised art as proof of this dignity and, by extension, as proof of this other’s right to claim inherent human rights.
Abstract This article intends to explore the ethical problems of, and the reasons for, the emergence of Orlan’s recent work: her three digitised Self‐Hybridization photographic series (1998–2005), and her multimedia installation Harlequin Coat (2007). It will explore the effects of commercialising the Self‐Hybridization series, especially as they are reproducible photographs, as well as Harlequin Coat, which in contrast is a one‐off scientific experiment. Orlan has always played on the plurality of identity and, from a feminist standpoint, she has challenged established notions of beauty and utilised the latest technological advancements. Her recent work involves similar themes but with the addition of issues of race, which I argue make these works as controversial as her past work. The debate of her representation of race has not yet been substantially addressed in the reception of her work. The aim of this article, therefore, is to redress this imbalance.
Abstract In cultural practices, agonistic exchange is involved in the rhetoric of arguments and disputes containing an abundance of verbal ‘offerings’, which, in spite of differences of opinion, can be neither refuted nor rejected. Within the framework of verbal agonistic exchange, principles and convictions become ‘cult objects’, accessories of ritual. The ritual nature of the dispute does not allow it to be resolved in non‐ritual space. Inasmuch as culture uses cult mainly for contrast, this contrast itself becomes the object of a cult. In academic texts, citing and mentioning each other in bibliographies and endnotes is a mutually advantageous exchange. This is done with a view to symposia and conferences where the organisers quoted in a recently published article will not forget to invite the author. The same applies to manuscripts that academic publishers send out to colleagues (apologists and opponents) of the author for judgement: even in the event of acquittal, the number of corrections, changes and additions coming from the arbiters is so great that, in the end, the publication becomes a product of collective creative effort. To say that this is a potlatch is kind of half‐truth. Activities related to publication of articles and participation in conferences are rewarded with pay rises, while the publication of books raises the author’s academic rank. In other words, the obligation of mutual support in the university environment is a mix of clan economy and market economy.
Abstract With a point of departure in Western Marxism’s idea of art’s ability to contribute to radical social transformation this article analyses the relationship between the current neoliberal hegemony and contemporary art, especially relational aesthetics and interventionist art, in the guise of a more solution‐orientated approach and the tactical media approach. Although the artistic practices associated with these designations contain interesting capabilities the article argues that they remain firmly within the already established horizon of small‐scale adjustments instead of radical transformation. In that regard they do not challenge the neoliberal discourse but only confirm the idea of TINA (‘there is no alternative’).
Abstract As the context for the production and reception of Regina José Galindo’s work has expanded internationally, her position within her practice has shifted from lone protagonist in the early performances produced in her native Guatemala, to orchestrator of the actions of others, to complete corporeal absence in the most recent sculptures, which paradoxically still invoke the human body. This article traces the ways in which the internet and related digital technologies that have been key to the production and dissemination of Galindo’s work have affected its critical reception. In parallel the symbolic ‘de‐’ and ‘re‐’ materialisation of the human body in Galindo’s practice over the past decade are configured through the thinking of the Argentinian Oscar Masotta, with specific reference to his 1968 lecture ‘Después del Pop Nosotros Desmaterializamos/After Pop we Dematerialise’. The article draws on conversations between the author and Galindo during the development of the exhibition ‘Regina José Galindo: The Body of Others’ at Modern Art Oxford in 2009.
The journal is published in print and online by Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.