Subject: [AztlanNet] Re: CyberArte and Romano
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 00:42:35 -0000
From: "Kat Avila" <email@example.com>
What we have here is the trivialization and
dismissal of a courageous Latina artist's voice. Pedro does it very easily,
defaulting to a cultural nationalist's most handy tool - dismiss the in-house
opposition as vendidas/os. It doesn't work. Chicanas and Latinas have come
far enough that a simple "shut up" isn't all that effective. But
we still have a long way to go as this controversy has demonstrated. And it's
so-o-o "missionary" to presuppose that an artist doesn't work from
a spiritual perspective because it differs from yours.
Subject: [18thStreetTalk] Alma Lopez
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2001 20:59:52 EDT
From: Nadia Reed <QueeneMUSE@aol.com>
Dear Dr. Joyce Ice:
Thank you for your continued support of Alma
Lopez's work. I applaud you for defending the rights of museums and arts councils
everywhere to display liberating and refreshing feminist viewpoints.
A group of purulent attackers should not be
-- and will not be -- allowed to dictate what citizens of the US can see in
public museums. It is an egregious offense to censor any artist based on religious
or political differences.
From my perspective they are making an un-American
and fascist proposal: that this artist withdraw and accept their oppressive
male domination. It is appalling and sick.
There is nothing wrong with a women's body and
men -- even priests -- do not have the right to say it is ugly or profane.
Please don't let a fanatical few, who clearly
do not understand the US constitution, bully you or any other arts organization
into backstepping a century or so. Please do not let them feel that women
artists or curators are fair game for political and sexual abuse.
Thank you for your time,
Subject: [AztlanNet] Re:Tonantzin-Guadalupe
sited in Santa Fe
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 01:35:50 -0000
From: "Pedro Romero Sedeno" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com, AnMora@phs.org,Gloria_Mendoza@excite.com, email@example.com
Alma Lopez's digital print may communicate to some the image of a strong woman, granted, but where is the image of a strong mother? a compassionate Mother? it's just not in the work or if it is, it is so-o-o obscure. Any "re-interpretation" to be validated intellectually should have some signifiers of motherhood, don't you think? because that's what the Guadalupe is all about. "To- Our, "Nan" -Mother, -"Tzin" - Venerated." Check your Nahuatl . I wish I could very much stand and support a Chicana's expression here in Santa Fe; we Chicanos/as are struggling to have our voices heard. But on this one, to refer to this as a "re-image" of our compassionate Mother Tonantzin-Guadalupe is artspeak that I intellectually question. I have enough brains to read a snow-job, especially if it comes from the "Museum of International Folk Art". There is other interesting work by Chicanas in this show that I think have more contextual integrity and I wish could be focused on, believe me. The presentation of this work by the Museum ,"CyberArte" is like a tongue-in-cheek installation, a chapel format with digital prints presented with painted frames like Stations of the Cross, an "altar" on the far wall with a computer in the middle as the tabernacle, side altars decorated with votive candles with electric light flames. It's insane! Come see for yourself! Why this religious context to present the work? To validate the Museum's notion that these digital prints are to be considered as folk art (more insanity), as within the folk art tradition of New Mexico which is religious folk art (this is what distinguishes it from most folk art tradition in US) Please know that Hispanos and Chicanos here in New Mexico are tired of seeing our religion, our culture, being used as the butt of some joke, and that's what's going with this CyberArte installation, and we have to pay for it too as it is a state institution. I am not for censorship, I am an artist myself. I say keep it up, it shows a big mistake, and that's what mistakes are for, to be corrected. Maybe, we can raise some consciousness with some canto-intelligence , education in our community, more intelligent scolarship on Guadalupe-Tonantzin, instead of "let's go to the Museum and worship the computer". Ay, Mama'!
Subject: Re: [AztlanNet] Re: CyberArte and Romano
Date: Mon, 09 Apr 2001 23:26:38 -0600
From: "rudy fernandez" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I think that you are quit aware of the fact
that the Guadalupana's popularity is much farther reaching than coffers
of the "declining U.S. economic machine".
Propaganda, she is a part of the iconography
that is used to proselytize in the name of Christianity. It depends
on which side of the fence that you stand whether you would consider it propaganda
The Image of Tonanzin-Guadalupe, have you ever
seen the painting of the Guadalupana first hand?
In regard to spiritualized thinking thinking being analogous to "formalist breakthroughs" I think not. This is an Idea that has already caused enough problems throughout history.
Subject: Freedom to exhibit
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 10:55:02 +0100
From: "Falchikov, Nancy" <N.Falchikov@napier.ac.uk>
To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CC: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I was fortunate enought to be visiting Santa
Fe last week and took the opportunity to see the exhibition which included
the 'controversial' Virgen de Guadelupe. The whole exhibition was excellent
- vivid, stimulating and thought provoking. I fully support your right to
exhibit works such as these - and keep on producing them, Alma and colleagues!
Subject: Hang Tough
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 09:51:00 -0600
From: "Pamela Cromwell" <email@example.com>
Just a note of encouragement. I'll be publishing an essay in defense of your work and the museum's right to exhibit it in the next issue of our monthly arts & culture magazine in Ruidoso (NM). People like Villegas are very frightening because they easily become irrational and threatening. I'm sure the number of reasonable people in NM outnumber the fanatics (at least, I hope so), and I hope their voices are heard, too, as well as yours.
Pamela J. Cromwell
Subject: [AztlanNet] Re:Tonantzin-Guadalupe
sited in Santa Fe
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 16:31:41 -0000
From: "michael sedano" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Pedro, a strong woman is a strong mother is
a strong woman. The images are one in the same.
While I admire your clear headedness in defending
your position, you've now reverted to picking at nits.
It's too bad the museum people elected to do
a pastiche of your church. The museum is a secular place. I'd enjoy a visit.
I'm sure, though, the context would inform my response to the installation.
I'd be constantly be aware that I'm not in church, this is a museum. I'd look
at the secularization of the shrine, or the curator's use of the ritual of
the stations of the cross, and smile, noting that the _result_ of the installation,
despite any artistic intention, constitutes a subtle proselytization. Ironically,
this would mean your religion blinded you to the religiosity of the piece!
Thank you, I admire a good discussion. But your
tactic of jumping all over a single phrase, "strong image of a woman"
and substituting the gloss, "a strong mother" is clever but misses
the whole point. Pedro, a strong mother is a strong woman is a strong mother.
The images are one in the same.
Subject: VIRGEN DE GUADALUPE
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 13:23:27 EDT
To: email@example.com, TMNunn@moifa.org, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com
DEAR DR. ICE: I AM STILL RECOVERING FROM A BROKEN LEG AND WILL BE UNABLE TO ATTEND THE MEETING AT SWEENEY CENTER ON APRIL 16 TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE NEW INQUISITION CONCERNING THE RIGHT OF AN ARTIST OR A GALLERY OR A MUSEUM OR A COMMUNITY OR A NATION TO EXHIBIT ART WORKS WHICH SOME WITH NARROW VIEWPOINTS REGARD AS SACRILIGIOUS. PARTICULARLY WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THIS EXHIBITION BY WOMEN HISPANIC ARTISTS, REPRESENTING A YOUNGER GENERATION WHO STRUGGLE TO MAKE THEMSELVES HEARD POLITICALLY AND SEEN ARTISTICALLY, CENSORSHIP, BY MALES WHO FEEL THREATENED IN THEIR AUTHORITY, MUST BE DENIED. MUSEUMS, BY MODERN STANDARDS, ARE NOT MERELY REPOSITORIES OF PAST WORKS, BUT ALSO FORUMS FOR NEW IDEAS, OR NEW VIEWS OF OLD IDEAS, AND QUESTIONS ABOUT THE IDEAS BY WHICH WE LIVE AND TRY TO MAKE THE WORLD BETTER THAN THE ONE WE INHERITED......WILLIAM E. HOUSTON, SANTA FE, N.M.
Subject: Re: [AztlanNet] Re:Tonantzin-Guadalupe
sited in Santa Fe
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 10:34:54 -0700
From: Dorinda Moreno <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thank you Michael and all who have responded
to this issue in support of Alma Lopez, the artists expression, and to Chicana's.
Pedro, I am most respectful of the New Mexican
honoring of 'La Virgen' and the catholic religion, but, as Michael has said,
this is art and a museum. and, la virgen is an expansive figure borrowed and
stolen from the indigenous people for some 500 years and it is particularly
Chicana's that have reclaimed her in their own image. one only has to read
anita brenner's 'idols behind altars' to understand her use by the catholic
church to appease and to win over the nahuatl beliefs in their own dieties
by adopting her into the fold of catholicism. Tonantzin and Cuatlicue are
ours as the reclamation of our legacy and in so doing we transform the catholic
church to our needs and ideologies. it cannot stay the same and it has not.
it has become closer to a liberation theology model as established by the
Monsignor Romero's, the Leonidas Proano's, Camilo Torres', and the revolutionary
rifle toting Jesus that Mexicano's have offered to offset the commercialization
of the people's religion. religion belongs to the people and catholicism is
practiced uniquely at every corner of the globe. observe the carnaval of brazil,
new orleans... that reflects the african influence and the vestiges of the
slave trade. perhaps, some new mexicans may see this is a grandiose bachannal
ball and not the pristine religion they understand and practice, but it is
the last fling before lent and easter and the b'earth of the christ child
as you have come to understand it. perhaps, new mexico is somewhat protected
in its hidden wealth of tradition, but artists such as Alma and others will
force its coming into present day modes of thought and action by challenging
the very fact of the virgen's historical significance. the dialogue is profound,
and we have played a hand at the guadalupe also being political, look at how
she is revered by the farmworkers and the great Cesar Chavez, flag unfurled
in Santa Fe with Cesar at the university some years back and i was there to
take part, as profound as the murals of Jesus by transplanted Eastlos artist:
Gilberto Guzman. and, consagrada as the tierra bendita of Chimayo, sister
church to Esquipulas in Guatemala, are also sacred stories that belong to
the people-- that the catholic church was made to recognize and adopt as the
beliefs and traditions of the people they portend to serve. if the church
is not made real to the diversity of her followers, it will eventually fade
from thier adherance and support. the revolutionary priests have died trying
to change the church, as the work of our artists also take up this antorcha...
who will win by this, the people... we love the virgen, as a militant, in
tennis shoes, and even when clothed in a bikini of flowers, she like we have
been victimized by the elitests, by those that drew the divine line, by those
who ate the bread and drank the wine. i say, why can't women be priests? why
can't priests marry? why isn't abortion available to all that seek it's availability?
the rigidity of yesteryear is fading fast when Chicana's take our responsibilities
to fight the last stand of false male superiority and forsake a tradition
that has kept women isolated, alienated, and is having its last gasp thanks
to the art of the Alma's of the world. We need your intelligent support to
break through the many siglos of ignorance that we are confronting in this
issue in New Mexico. Think about it. when the people lead, the leaders will
dorinda guadalupe moreno
Subject: Re: CyberArte - The Inquisition of
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 13:35:15 EDT
Dear Ms. Lopez.
Be strong against this censorship. Your work
is beautiful and deserves to be praised not censored. For ages all we have
seen are pictures of the Virgin as nothing but a mother, not as a woman. The
Virgin is first a Woman, and second a Mother. Your work shows her as a women.
Something that is so obvious, but so many refuse to see.
The "religious" men that seek to ban
your work do so because you have finally shown them that the virgin is a women.
They can never come to terms with the fact that the creator of their savior
is a women. (Which is why women are banned from any service in religion other
than servant.) To hide this they cover her in veils and long dresses and robes.
They hide the fact she is a woman. You have taken away the robes and veils.
You in your own way have given the Virgin back her womanhood that was stolen
by the church.
Bravo! Ms. Lopez. You have done more for the
enlightenment of religious thought than all of these hypocrites put together.
I salute you on you bravery, imagination and artistic ability.
I will do all I can to help. Thank you for your
John J. Nauke
Subject: [Fwd: support Alma Lopez]
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 17:03:35 -0400
From: Robin Greeley <email@example.com>
I hope you are hanging in there! I admire your
work, both this Guadalupe and other images of yours that I've seen. Your Guadalupe
seems so much in the great Chicana tradition of artists like Yolanda Lopez,
Ester Hernandez, et al., that it is hard to imagine why Mr. Vallegas is objecting
so much. I guess it just makes plain that we have a lot more work to do in
making the world a reasonable place to live. I'm forwarding a letter of support
I wrote to the Museum.
In any case, I would like to introduce myself:
I am an art historian of Latin American and Latino/a art, at the University
Before I got this job, I lived in California;
I'm having severe West Coast withdrawal symptoms, and plan to visit this June
(these days I have to "research" all the art/culture I used to just
live in the middle of). If you are around and agree, I'd like to pay you a
studio visit, to see what you're up to and see that you've survived the current
crisis (which I'm sure you will!).
Dr. Robin Adele Greeley
Assistant Professor of Art History
Department of Art & Art History
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269-1099
Institute for Research on Women
275 Seventh Ave.
New York, NY 10001
Subject: Re: CyberArte - The Inquisition of
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 16:51:24 -0600
From: gloria nieto <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I forgot to mention something to you. I have
been thinking about the movida we need to make if they decide to take the
I am asking every Chicana I know to do this action with me if the worst happens, the art must come down. The morning of the removal, we are going to the museum and chaining ourselves to the door. the door is perfect for this because there are two handles almost connected and we can run a chain through it. Then we will take our shirts off and cover our chichis with flores. If you think those men have a problem with women's bodies, wait til they get a load of their sisters in chains and flores!!! Not one woman has said no to this idea.
What do you think?
Subject: SOMETHING ABOUT MARY
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 16:24:55
From: "Jemela Mwelu" <email@example.com>
I'm sending you love strength from the eastcoast
here in New York.
I'm in the process, believe it or not, of moving
this summer from here to Santa Fe, New Mexico to expand my healing knowledge.
I read about your photo collage on display in
New Mexico. Noni also told me about the work.
I say "go ahead with you bad self!"
I'm proud you're speaking out for us women and elevating us to our rightful
place on this planet.
I hope the day will come when men will learn
to love us more and fear our strength less. I know the blessed mother is smiling,
and blessing your artistic expression. She wants the world to respect and
acknowledge the many faces of womanhood.
I'm sure she will make an appearance again somewhere
in the world again as is her nature, and show herself to some believer. The
non-believers are the most fearful of the godlight within her and themselves.
Keep embracing the light!
In light, love and sisterhood,