Latino/Chicano

(In) Visible Women shows the heroic responses of three women with AIDS in the context of their respective communities. In the face of adversity, these women confront all aspects of the AIDS crisis in their lives. Through poetry, art, activism, and dance, they explode notions of female invisibility and complacency in the face of AIDS. We hear each woman describe how she came to terms with being HIV+ and joined others in speaking out about the neglected needs of women.

Alfredo Jaar is a politically motivated artist whose work includes installation, photography and film.  Born in Chile and now living in the U.S., Jaar’s socio-critical installations explore global political issues, frequently focusing on the Third World and the relationship between consumption and power.  A 1988 installation in a subway station in New York involved dramatic photographs of impoverished gold miners n Brazil interspersed with quotations of current gold prices, drawing an unexpected parallel between the material desires that motivate people in both poverty-stricken Brazil and a

La Mesa, 2018

La Mesa explores the intersections of memory, identity and queer desire. It recreates fragmented and romanticized stories of a childhood in rural Mexico as told by the artist’s father. These disjointed vignettes are interwoven with queered reenactments of scenes from popular culture. The artist casts himself in the old Mexican films and American Westerns he grew up watching with his family in California. He appears as the romantic lead opposite the male actors, including Pedro Infante, Mexican national hero and the filmmaker’s childhood crush.

Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Gustavo Vazquez, Daniel Salazar, Patrick Litchy, Jethro Rothe-Kushel

In La Lucha (the fight), families struggle to cope with frequent deportations and the constant threat of INS sweeps that, in the end, completely dismantle the community. Following up two years later, Hock reports their triumphs and setbacks. The video ends with hope—but no real promise—of a brighter future for those living on the unrecognized margin of society.

This title is also available on The Mexican Tapes: A Chronicle of Life Outside the Law

Performance artist/sculptor Ana Mendieta used the raw materials of nature: water, mud, fire, rock, and grass. The consciousness of her politics and the poetics of her expression fill her work with an emotionally charged vision that is powerfully conveyed in this posthumous video profile. Drawing upon the raw spiritual power of Afro-Cuban religion, Mendieta used her art as a ritualistic and symbolic activity to celebrate the forces of life and the continuum of change.

In the case of Carlos Motta’s career, the impetus has always been on, not adhering to particular medium or a particular style, but rather using media as it becomes appropriate tell a story that has heretofore been stifled by dominant power structures. The technical variability of his work is only matched by its potential to generate conversation and discourse in the arenas of sexuality, gender, democracy and colonialism – usually as a conflux of all four through historical excavation.

This is a video of musical terror where I superficially — this is the beginning of a larger project —l look at one of the Mexican phenomena that horrifies me the most: internalized racism, being ashamed of one's own roots. The fantasy of waking up white.

— Ximena Cuevas

Pochonovela is a bilingual, bicultural blend of Latin America’s and the United States’ most popular television genres—the telenovela and the sitcom, respectively. The humor and madness of life in East Los Angeles are captured here in performances by members of the Los Angeles-based comedy troupe, Chicano Secret Service, and other U.S. Latino actors. This provocative comedy touches on political, social, cultural, linguistic, and family issues attendent to the cross cultural life of Mexican Americans living near or on the border—both psychologically and geographically.

Juan Sanchez explores his Puerto Rican heritage and the issue of Puerto Rican independence through his work as an artist and writer. Combining painting, photography, collage, and printmaking techniques, Sanchez’s art joins images of contemporary barrio life with memories of Puerto Rico, and addresses a fragmented Latino community fraught with political resistance and cultural alienation.

Interview by Bibiana Suarez.

A historical interview originally recorded in 1990.

An upbeat and engaging documentary with a dynamic, experimental style. Beijoquerio introduces viewers to a Brazilian man who strives for world peace by kissing all the rich and famous people he can reach. Upon hearing that Frank Sinatra was afraid to come and perform in Brazil, he felt compelled to go and kiss Sinatra to prove Brazil was a friendly place. He has suffered many injuries and broken bones as a result of his mission, which curiously enough embodies basic notions of “Christian” behavior, yet scares many away.

Andres Serrano was born and raised in New York. At fifteen he dropped out of high school. A few years later he attended the Brooklyn Museum School and studied painting and sculpture. After two years, Serrano decided that neither of these art forms were appropriate for his particular vision, and began to make photographs. Serrano’s work came to the attention of the general public as part of the controversy surrounding the issue of censorship and the NEA.

In these seven short video performances directed by Isaac Artenstein, Gómez-Peña confronts Mexican-American culture clashes, stereotypes, and the Fourth World (immigrants). Speaking through a bullhorn or on the airwaves of mock-station Radio Latino FM, he broadcasts a message that will not be silenced.

The violent overreaction to 9/11 and to the revolutions of the 1960s cannot be explained only with fear and politics. Franz Hinkelammert, a German-born liberation theologian, economist and philosopher, brings religion front and center to the discussion in a unique way. The emptiness and senselessness felt by those at the margins of a free-market utopian ideology has been filled by an extreme millenarian Christianity and other religious fundamentalisms that justify murder and torture as preemptive self-defense.

A documentation of a performance/installation. Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Roberto Sifuentes created a fictional religion based on inter-cultural confessions. Exhibiting themselves in Plexiglas boxes as "end-of-the-century saints", the two performers hear the confessions of audience members willing to reveal their intercultural fears and desires to the saints.

Cande and Pancha’s daughter Maria Luisa and Marisela and Cachuchas’ daughter Veronica believe their fathers are locked in a competition for grandchildren. It’s now 3-0 Cande. Several years later, Cachuchas gives me a lesson in car repair then with Cande considers the change in score, 4-2 Cande.

Between job losses, foreclosures, living with family, and the Cande’s constant desire to return to Mexico, Pancha and Cande work through the strains of their marital relationship in San Diego County. Not able to have a house of their own, they resume the calmer life of renters, ending with a celebration of Cande’s 58th birthday. 

Ramon's attraction to his Mexican hometown has resulted in his building a massive new residence for his family. However, his wife, Rufina and their grown children have no interest in leaving the U.S. The building has now been transformed into a hotel. The completed construction, in the middle of cornfields, while finished for 5 years, is been frustrated by the local government’s refusal to turn on the electricity.

First Ramon, and then Rufina moved to San Diego County in 1980, unable to raise their family as landless sharecroppers in Mexico. Though uneducated, they manage to work as a landscape contractor and housekeeper, respectively, buy a house, and raise 6 children who complete high school and maintain successful management jobs.

La Trinchera Luminosa del Presidente Gonzalo is a recreation of one day at the Canto Grande prison in Peru, following women guerrillas from the Maoist Shining Path movement, from their morning marches to their bedtime chants. Kept isolated in their own cellblocks, the guerrillas refused to acknowledge that they were imprisoned. Their cellblocks were just another front in the People’s War: “shining trenches of combat”. This film shows the intense indoctrination and belief system of the brutal Latin American insurgency.

Turistas, 2002

Turistas deals with the letdown of a world that is pre-mediated and post-digested—a video travelling guide that updates the 19th century artist's Grand Tour and downgrades it to 21st century not-so-Grand status.

—Maria-Christina Villasenor, Associate Curator of Film and Media Arts, Guggenheim Museum

As documented in The Winner’s Circle and la Migra (the emigrant), the move north brings many changes to family life, specifically mothers going to work and children learning English in school. Hock explores the fact that women often adapt more easily than the men to American life, learning English more rapidly. This becomes a source of conflict between the men and women as they compete for better-paying jobs.

An experimental video about cultural and political disputes surrounding immigration and naturalization processes. Work In Progress explores the effects of the 1986 U.S. Immigration Reform Law and individuals who did not qualify for amnesty under this reform, therefore remaining undocumented.