Latino/Chicano

Coco Fusco is a Cuban-American artist and author who investigates race, gender, politics, and identity through installations, performances, video work, and writing. In her second On Art and Artists interview, Fusco discusses her recent works with Romi Crawford — an art historian at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago — and describes how she has evolved as a storyteller over her career.

In The Great Mojado Invasion (The Second US - Mexico War), writer/performer Guillermo Gómez-Peña and filmmaker Gustavo Vazquez combine Chicano wit and political vision to create an ironic, post-millennial and postmodern look at the future of U.S./Mexican relations. Both artist and director generate a complex commentary on history, society, pop culture, the politics of language and the repercussions of ethnic dominance.

In The Great Mojado Invasion (The Second US - Mexico War), writer/performer Guillermo Gómez-Peña and filmmaker Gustavo Vazquez combine Chicano wit and political vision to create an ironic, post-millennial and postmodern look at the future of U.S./Mexican relations. Both artist and director generate a complex commentary on history, society, pop culture, the politics of language and the repercussions of ethnic dominance.

Since the turn of the century, popular media in the U.S. have promoted a stereotyped image of Latin America in order to justify the concept of U.S. dominance in the hemisphere. The Gringo in Mañanaland uses travelogues, dramatic films, industrial films, newsreels, military footage, geographical textbook illustrations, and political cartoons to take a detailed look at United States media representations of Latin America. This video is not a dry document or didactic lesson: it is a look at history and the telling of history.

This dreamlike, poetic video provokes the viewer to question the nature of the most human of experiences. The collage aesthetic exposes how human relationships—between men and women, men and men, women and women—are mediated by dominant ideologies as represented in the mass media and religion. Bobe posits no theories and draws no conclusions, leaving the viewer with a truly postmodern conundrum about life, love, art, men, women and death.

I Stare at You and Dream is a slice of life melodrama that journeys to the core of interrelationships. This film juxtaposes and links the lives of four people: the filmmaker, Susan Mogul; her friend, Rosie Sanchez; Rosie’s teenage daughter, Alejandra (Alex) Sanchez; and Ray Aguilar; Susan’s-on-and-off boyfriend. Tender and unflinching, each character gradually reveals their desires, wounds, and romantic entanglements in the context of their everyday lives.

A woman raises her voice and gives a painful and endless speech that with time becomes even more overwhelming, because her words are heartbreaking and permanent impressions in the collective memory, stabbing with words an old Mexican film, a celluloid that tears apart until its disappearance.

This title is also available on the compilation What Was Always Yours and Never Lost.

(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.

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.

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.