July 9, 2001

Subject: Re: [AztlanNet: ARTS|LETTERS] Rudy y Señorita de Guadalupe
Date: Mon, 09 Jul 2001 23:38:58 -0600
From: "rudy fernandez" <elbulldog69@hotmail.com>
Reply-To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com
To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com


In this country freedom of expression is right not a privilege,thanks to the powers that be. If it were a privilege we would never have been allowed to carry on politically in the sixties and seventies. On the floor of the senate, Charles Rangel called for the stomping on of the snake before it was allowed to strike. The snake he spoke of was we Chicanos whom were busting our asses to open the doors to the institutions of higher learning and stop the persecution and harassment of our leaders, Tijerina, Corky Gonzales, Ricardo Falcon and Kiko Martinez, to name just a few from our area of the country.

I become very passionate when speaking of this particular right because it has cost us so dearly. We need only look back at Los seis de Boulder that you have spoken of in previous postings. These people were not just martyrs to be remembered fondly and admired, they were personal friends of mine, fighting In part, for the right to express ourselves.

Pedro, what I am trying to express is the importance fact that we can not pick and choose when it is going to be a right or a privilege and that the dominant culture in any one area of this country can not cancel this right out just because it becomes uncomfortable at times to allow it to function.

The other thing I would like for you to please explain to me is how the Alma piece became a direct attack on Los Hermanos Penitentes. Maybe there is something I have missed on the net while I've been traveling.


El Bulldog


Subject: Re: [AztlanNet: ARTS|LETTERS] Rudy y Señorita de Guadalupe
Date: Mon, 09 Jul 2001 20:04:17 -0000
From: "Pedro Romero Sedeno" <romesedeno@hotmail.com>
Reply-To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com
To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com

In response to El Bulldog :

Rudy, come home to northern NM.  Get in a morada and listen to what your Penitente manito brothers have to say about the Cyber circus at the Museum. You are out of touch and maybe forget where you came from. .

Yes, we all have rights, to express and dissent; I have a right to dissent and to submit my heresies or "rants" against the AlmaNet party line.   As to name-calling, this began when dissent in my community was characterized by Alma Lopez as "inquisition", "conspiracy of seven men", etc. and that the sole arguments refuting her premises was coming from only the Catholic religious right, here in NM.  I am an artist in this community and have presented my voice, in addition.  The "supreme arbiter of intelligence" you refer to is actually the Museum of New Mexico, as well as Tey Marianna Nunn, the curator of CyberArte.  As long as this Museum in my backyard installs a computer on an altar, spoofing Catholic forms of ritual, spoofing what is the matrix of the folk art tradition of NM, i.e. the Catholic Penitente experience, i feel an obligation to address this error.  And I have, not just on AztlanNet.  Responding to a call for "ofrendas" to this computer-altar in the CyberArte installation, I conceived and delivered a postmodern performance called the Santa Fe Ofrenda Project, a cultural intervention performed several times, and with community collaboration.  People who never experienced assemblage or performance participated in this Project, and we gained international news coverage through this statement (Univision May 3, 2001).  In an attempt to educate the Museum that it is not intelligent to spoof religious and cultural traditions as in making Ofrendas, we brought in "offerings" that were not convenient for the Museum's little game:  decorated with paint and crepe paper, I brought in 6 car tires (yes, llantas) to the Museum of International Folk Art and left them on the CyberAltar April 30.  On May 3, community members, mostly women, brought their "ofrendas", assemblages that included an enema bag labelled  "Cultural Constipation Cleanser" with a white candle (as curanderas would use to relieve constipation), another assemblage composed by Belen Rodriguez , Mejicana y Guadlupana, which included a toilet bowl on a dolly with a branch from which  hung numerous kotex napkins. On May 3, The Museum censored the Santa Fe Ofrenda Project, even calling in 6 Santa Fe police to stop us from taking our ofrendas to the CyberAltar.  And this Project was invited by CyberArte's sign on the altar asking for "ofrendas".  So much for my and the community's "freedom of expression". 

Our rights to engage in peaceful artistic expression were violated, but who cares? The media did its bit to distort the whole thing, the Catholic Church: silence, do you care?    and now the Museum  has censored its own CyberArte show by removing the sign from its installation calling for ofrendas.  Tey Nunn's exhibit, and all its hipocricy about defending free expression, has censored itself, why? to shut down my performance and community participation in performance expression, (those natives can cause such bad publicity).    Rudy,  "freedom of expression" is a privilege of the cultural gatekeepers here in Santa Fe.  Be consistent in your liberal defense of it.                                                                                                             

"License masquerading in the garments of liberty is the forerunner of abject bondage",  -the Urantia book, 1934, p. 613