Subject: a reply from Pedro to JoAnn's questions
re Reverent? Or not?
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 02:00:17 EST
CC: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Gmendoza4@aol.com
I thought your posting was a thoughtful one. i agree with you that this discussion on the nature of art is an important discussion. These are thoughts I wrote Feb 22 and send you now directly as I don't want to overload AztlanNet w/ my opinion. I hope this is ok.
Here in New Mexico, I have discussed with other artists the works you refer to. I haven't seen the work of the elephant dung on Virgen image (artist's name?), but of Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ" I am familiar. In fact, my sculptures were shown with his photos and other artists' in 1987 88, in the traveling exhibit "Acts of Faith" curated by Lucy Lippard. Pertinent to this discussion, i would ask of these 2 artists, as I asked of Alma Lopez, first, is the work devotional art? Alma has answered, no. If not, then what is the artist's intent in using subject matter of a religious nature? I think in looking at these issues it's important to distinguish between devotional art and secular art which uses religious imagery. It may even bring into question not only the form and content of the art, but also the form and content of the artist's religion, depending on whether s/he is a religionist or not. Answers could help inform an understanding of and an evaluation of the merit of the work. Maybe not.
in response to your questions, i'd
like to offer:
> do the arguers about Guadalupe also think
these other artists deserve to be condemned for their own artistic expression
and presumably the expression of their consciences?
-Condemning implies punishment for a crime or
sin? I don't look at anyone's expression as "sin" but, in
some cases, I see them as errors that need correction.
(interestingly, I have heard some here in New Mexico refer to the 3 works as hate-crimes against Catholics) Specifically re Guadalupe, I consider the "argument" is not about Guadalupe, really, but is rather about Alma Lopez's and the Museum of New Mexico's contention that her "our lady" stands as any coherent statement about Guadalupe. I argue it does not. I could put an image of Betty Boop in the sun's aureole, standing on a crescent moon, and argue that it is an "interpretation" of Guadalupe.
There has to be some coherence in the work to support the claim. I don't see that coherence in Alma's Lupe series. See my posting 2/23... "a Frankenstein Guadalupe". The Museum of New Mexico argument that "our lady" is such an interpretation is a fallacy I have taken issue with, as an artist and as a religionist. Please don't place my opinion within the camp of other "arguers about Guadalupe". I do think, though, that artists and museums can and should be held accountable to the statements they make. I consider this is a responsibility that is corollary to the freedom to speak. I see Alma's work as a political statement about gender issues, her Guadalupe-adornments and her claims that her work is an "interpretation" are more like camouflage propping weight to Alma's message, at best. At worst, a cheap-shot at notoriety or stepping-stone in the artworld, ambition sans devotion. Nothing worth condemning; many mediocre artists do it all the time.
> Or would they defend the right of religious/artistic
expression, even if it differed from their own?
Again, distinguishing between devotional
expression and secular art using religious imagery would be helpful in this
discussion. I have trouble defending someone's right to distort or misrepresent,
which is what I feel Alma has done about Guadalupe and in her generalities
about "Chicana culture".
?Would they agree that much religious artistic expression also has a sensual, even sexual, nature?
I do, yes. .
And that it doesn't take away from the art?
In certain cases, such as Hindu erotic devotional icons or Ernst Fuch's paintings, no; it adds power.
Or that much artistic religious expression also has political implications?
I think all art has political implications. Gino Rodriguez, director of the Alternative Museum in NY, maintained that even "apolitical" art is political because it functions as decoration for the status quo.
And that it doesn't take away from the religious artistic expression?
I believe that true religious artistic expression
can transcend the political implications in the mind of a viewer who is looking
Could we agree that artistic works can be complex and have multiple layers of meaning, some contradictory?
Sure, they could have, but contradictory
layers of meaning render the statement non-sensical to me. I personally find
"meaning" in a work when it witnesses to my spiritual values, i.e.
beauty attracts, truth makes coherent, goodness stabilizes. Coherency
of the work suffers when the work has contradictory layers of meaning. Compare
the image of Guadalupe that has been meaningful to millions for centuries,
and "our lady" , an image that, i believe, speaks relevance to only
a very small minority of viewers, even amongst Chicanas. I think that the
Guadalupe imagery Alma attaches to her series are hype, props ingratiating
a political poster that appeals to people that are confused about Guadalupe
and Her message. I believe attempts are made to validate "our lady"
by the Museum and members of this lista because it serves their political
agenda. That's why it was in the Museum of New Mexico, I speculate.
They have little to offer in support of the artistic merit of the work.
That living with contradictions is part of the human, and religious, experience?
I'm addressing the "religious experience"
part. On this planet, we are living with contradictions, yes, but then, we
are not living on a normal planet. Humans who choose to liberate themselves
from religions of authority and pursue a personal religion of the spirit see
that the only real "contradiction" is between belief in death, and
all its forms and illusions, and belief in life, between a God of fear and
a God of love.
That many Catholics and many Chicanos can -- as with family members -- have a love-hate relationship with their religion and even with their culture?
This question attests to what I think is confusion
in the minds of folks about words like God, and love, and religion .
The guilt cult called Christianity has been of service to the world,
but in many ways it can leave modern families and youth kind of lost in their
relationships because of the barrenness of its formalized expression.
As to culture, well, it's nice we have forums like AztlaNet@yahoogroups.com
to find new "love-hate relationships". I understand love-hate
relationships, though, more as "love-fear" relationships,
insanity, special relationships created by our egos. Holy relationships
are guided by the Spirit, have goals, where one's interest is your brother's
or sister's interests, where fear, hate, i.e. death in all its forms, are
not accepted as a compromise.
And that the drama of these contradictions is appropriately carried out in the work of artists?
I can agree that maybe it's appropriate for
the artist, but I don't agree it's appropriate for a Museum, an educational
institution, to put it up there as representative of a "drama" of
a whole culture, as did the MOIFA. Mary Shelly's novel fantasizing that
Dr. Frankenstein carried out an "interpretation" of a human
being out of body parts in his lab is fiction; similarly, that Alma
Lopez actually assembled a "re-image" of Guadalupe in her PhotoShop
program is a fiction to me. . I don't want to devalue Alma's "drama";
I only question her propping value to it by exploiting a spiritual apparition
(i.e. Guadalupe) that she doesn't even believe took place.
Finally, shouldn't we all, as part of a multi-cultural society, be willing to accept that another person's expression is about them and their expression, ...
Precisely, let Alma's "our lady" be understood as a piece about her and her expression, but not as about Guadalupe.
...and not about attacking other people whose religious persuasion is different?
After much-needed dialogue with Alma Lopez,
I see she really doesn't have a "religious" persuasion as per Guadalupe.
What some perceive as my "attack" on her art is more of an effort
to protect the truth about Guadalupe. In fact, Alma's and her supporters'
tactics have been to attack critics whose cultural and/or political persuasions
are different from theirs, to discredit, for example, my analyses.
That the occasional offensive work, even if offensive to many, is worth tolerating as part of the process that creates many kinds of work to appreciate?
Sure, let's tolerate it, but critical analysis
is also part of this "process". What is offensive to
me is the grandiosity of Alma's and the curator's ego attempt to commandeer
and/or capitalize on the grandeur of Guadalupe, and so ignorant to what Guadalupe
means to Mexicans. I perceive it as a alternate-cultural chauvinism.
JoAnn, i want to let you know that it is a concern
of mine that Alma Lopez, MVSedano and Margaret Garcia have posted inferences
to link me with those advocating censorship of Alma's work, thus villifying
me in an attempt to discredit my commentary. . This is just a
vicious smokescreen on their part. I have tried to function as an educator
here, not as a censor, I reiterate.
As an artist, I have told the community in Santa
Fe that censorship is a stupid idea and was not the answer. I am extremely
sensitized and politically aware about this issue. I've got two murals I painted
at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1987 that are slated for demolition,
if not already destroyed. They are both very political, one about repression
in Central America, and the other about the struggle of 6 Chicano activists
who were killed in car-bombings in Boulder in 1973.
"Respect" (defined as to esteem
, or to value) I cannot give to Alma's work as per its package of being
about Guadalupe. . I think the work obviously shows that Alma does not
respect or value the Image of Guadalupe, Her Image and Message, is deleted,
censored from the work. Alma's message is decorated selectively by Guadalupe
motifs, not even her own.
Like I told her, Alma is not prepared to take
on the subject matter, on a secular level. However, if devotional in
intent, I think Alma could do some wonderful things and is prepared, eternally.
I wish Alma no harm, only that she open her eyes, especially re Mexico
and the spirit of Guadalupe.
Let's keep up the dialogue, JoAnn. Thanks
for posing some thought-provoking questions.
-------Pedro Romero Sedeño
Subj: Re: re War or Peace
Date: 3/4/02 XColumn wrote
You're too funny.
I read your stuff and can't believe how much
time you haver on your hands... did you ever ask yourself why many NuevoMexicanos
hate Mexicanos with a passion -- yet, an association is made with "our
symbol, La Guadalupe."
What is it -- love the symbols, hate the people?
Reminds me of the well-known joke about gringos
-- they love everyything about us, except us.
We lived in NM for 5 years... so we know the
rampant anti-Mexican sentiment by some very vocal and very loud NuevoMexicanos...
though as you well know, not all NuevoMexicanos think this way... though the
ones that do are very loud, and those that don't are very silent...
Nuevo Mexico is a very beutiful place... and
Please reread our column re said issue... perhaps
you read what you wanted to read from it...
By the way, I have no opinion re your religious
views... we all have thoughts re spirituality... except you seem to have more
time than most to dedicate to these subjects... the only thing I would caution
is don't shove your views down other peoples throats because it will result
in opposite effect...
By the way, please do respond on the list... I did read your piece there... and would like to keep the dialogue public ( I believe I had said the opposite in my earlier response... apologies for that.) so please respond on the list thanks
Subject: AztlanNet: War or Peace (reply to XColumn)
(manitos y surumatos?)
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 11:31:39 EST
CC: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Gmendoza4@aol.com, PochNostra@aol.com, email@example.com
Roberto Rodriguez of XColumn,
I tried to make a point to you about a cultural question, i.e. the Museum of New Mexico putting forth an exhibition which many NuevoMejicanos took issue with. I read an opinion you wrote last year and reiterate now about the "rampant anti-Mexican sentiment by some very vocal and very loud NuevoMexicanos... ". If you wrote an article on this which you would like me to reread, please tell me the title to refer to. I fail, though, to see what your hate-argument has to do with the cultural question.
i can't address your interpersonal experience while living here in New mexico, only that i remember meeting you and Patricia once. she seemed very warm and gracious, you seemed quite aloof. When I have visited Mexico, I have also seen anti-New Mexican or anti Americano sentiment by loud and vocal Mexicanos, but I wouldn't call it "rampant" and do not see any connection to the cultural questions I am trying to discuss. Suffice it say that I believe that people perceive what they want to perceive.
Anyways, back to the cultural issues.
If you visited the MOIFA of New Mexico, maybe you visited the Hispanic Heritage wing and the many objects of Penitente sacred art integral to the Manito people's cultural identity, i.e. the settlers of New Mexico, most originally from Mexico separated from Spanish ancestry by only a couple generations, and developed a culture and religious cult in this isolated land distinct from Mexico and Spain. The Penitente religious cult, La Hermandad philosophy, helped the Manito people survive ,i.e. the hermanos, 'manos, 'manitos.
The Manitos developed a folk art tradition distinct from the folk art tradition of the US in that it was religious in intent and character and Hispanic, of course. This folk art tradition included many retablos done in devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and considering that New Mexico was actually Mexico until the Anglo-American occupation consummated in 1848, one can see that that La Virgen is "our" symbol tambien, culturally, although not as historically as in Mexico since the rupture of the historical experience by the Anglo border.
Robert, what is your opinion so far about this cultural analysis, apart from your hate issue? To me, your "love the symbols, hate the people" rhetoric is just an inflammatory smokescreen that does not apply to the cultural discussion. Please know I observed and came to know Mexican nationals linked in solidarity with New Mexicans against the Museum of New Mexico. Specifically, Belen and Sergio Rodriguez, Mexicans from Guanajuato, but living here in Santa Fe, were integrally involved in the movement against the museum. As an artist, i spent many hours analyzing the CyberArte contraption with Belen, a staunch Guadalupana, and Sergio, who is not a believer but as a former schoolteacher in Mexico shared with me much about the historical connections of Guadalupe to the idiosyncrosy of the pueblo Mejicano. Many Mexicans here in Santa Fe, in fact all I talked to, felt that Alma Lopez's piece was ridiculing "lo que es ser mejicano". Based on your support of Alma's work, I submit to you, Robert, that you are not as connected to the culture as you think you are.
Many of my people here still feel the Museum of New Mexico trashed the folk art tradition of New Mexico with CyberArte and Alma Lopez's Frankenstein Guadalupe. Alma would not, or could not, answer my question submitted twice in our February "dialogue" as to who in Mexico did she show her La Lupe series. While she harps on the "Catholic-hate" thing, XColumn harps on the "anti-Mexican hate" syndrome, and to me, these arguments are not worthy of this intellectual discussion. They let the Museum of New Mexico off the hook, and its ignorant definitions of what is significant to us as a people and an "evolving Xicano culture".
I like to write about many things, some humorous, political, cultural, spiritual, and about things I find important. I manage my time so that I can do this, sort of a habit. I do it free of charge. What about you?
--Pedro Romero Sedeño
Subject: AztlanNet: Re: War or Peace (reply
to XColumn) (manitos y surumatos?)
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 14:37:29 EST
CC: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Gmendoza4@aol.com, PochNostra@aol.com, email@example.com
PEDRO:In a message dated 3/6/02 10:31:39 AM,
>Roberto Rodriguez of XColumn, I tried to make a point to you about a cultural question, i.e. the Museum of New Mexico putting forth an exhibition which many NuevoMejicanos took issue with.
THE PRIMARY MISTAKE YOU MAKE IS ASSUMING THAT THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT'S GERMAINE TO NEW MEXICO ONLY. TECHNICALLY, THIS ISSUE SHOULD BE OF IMPORTANCE TO ALL THE PEOPLES OF THE AMERICAS AND THE FACT THAT IT APPEARED IN A NM MUSEUM DOES NOT GRANT NUEVOMEXICANOS MORE OF A RIGHT OR INSIGHT INTO THE SUBJECT.
I read an opinion you wrote last year
(MY RESPONSE TO YOU REGARDING THAT IS DON'T
MAKE GENERALIZATIONS ABOUT IT... INSTEAD, QUOTE DIRECTLY FROM IT)
and reiterate now
>about the "rampant anti-Mexican sentiment by some very vocal and very loud NuevoMexicanos... ". If you wrote an article on this which you would like me to reread
(SAME COLUMN THAT YOU ALLUDED TO IN WHICH WE WROTE ABOUT RAQUEL SALINAS'S VIEWS ON THE SUBJECT -- THE PERSON DEPICTED IN THE ARTPIECE IN QUESTION,
please tell me the title to refer to. I fail,
>to see what your hate-argument has to do with the cultural question.
THAT'S THE PROBLEM.
> i can't address your interpersonal experience while living here in New mexico, only that i remember meeting you and Patricia once. she seemed very warm and gracious, you seemed quite aloof.
I TELL YOU, YOU'RE GOOD AT HUMOR. WHAT DOES ALOOF HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING?
When I have
>visited Mexico, I have also seen anti-New Mexican or anti-Americano sentiment by loud and vocal Mexicanos, but I wouldn't call it "rampant" and do not see any connection to the cultural questions I am trying to discuss.
AGAIN, YOU'RE HITTING THE NAIL ON THE HEAD. IT'S YOUR INABILITY TO SEE THAT CONNECTION THAT DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO UNDERSTAND WHAT YOUR ATTEMPTING TO ADDRESS.
>it say that I believe that people perceive what they want to perceive.
> Anyways, back to the cultural issues.
> If you visited the MOIFA of New Mexico, maybe you visited the Hispanic Heritage wing and the many objects of Penitente sacred art integral to the Manito people's cultural identity, i.e. the settlers of New Mexico, most originally from Mexico separated from Spanish ancestry by only a couple generations, and developed a culture and religious cult in this isolated land distinct from Mexico and Spain. The Penitente religious cult, La Hermandad philosophy, helped the Manito people survive ,i.e. the hermanos, 'manos, 'manitos.
THAT'S GREAT... AND A GREAT CULTURE...
> The Manitos developed a folk art tradition distinct from the folk art tradition of the US in that it was religious in intent and character and Hispanic, of course. This folk art tradition included many retablos done in devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and considering that New Mexico was actually Mexico until the Anglo-American occupation consummated in 1848, one can see that that La Virgen is "our" symbol tambien,
THIS IS THE POINT... IT'S LIKE BELIEVING IN CHRIST, BUT ACTING UNCHRISTLIKE TOWARD YOUR NEIGHBORS. IN THIS VEIN, WHAT YOU DON'T SEEM TO UNDERSTAND IS THAT IF LA VIRGEN DE GUADALUP IS BEING CLAIMED, THEN THE PEOPLE (MEXICANOS) SHOULD NOT BE REJECTED... THAT'S WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT. YOU CAN'T GO AROUND DEMANDING RESPECT, WHILE TREATING MEXICANOS WORSE THAN SHIT. YOU CAN DENY THAT YOU PERSONALLY HATE MEXICANOS, THOUGH WE CAN LOOK AT YOUR TITLE TO YOUR POST -- "MANITOS & SURUMATOS". WHY DON'T YOU TELL PEOPLE WHAT THE LATTER TERM MEANS, WHERE IT COMS FROM, WHO IT REFERS TO AND IF IT IS A SELFE IDENTIFICATION OR AN IMPOSED EPITETH? THE POINT IS, IN LIVING IN NM FOR 5 YEARS, I CAN TELL YOU THAT THE HATE AND DISRESECT IS NOT PRIVATE BUT VERY PUBLIC BY HUGE LOUTHMOUTHS WHO GO GENERALLY UNCHALLENGED BY SAME COMMUNITY. (DID YOU ATTEND ALL THE ALBQ CITY CONCIL MEETING REGARDING THE PROPOSED ONATE STATUE... THE VICIOUS HATRED AIMED AT THE PUEBLO PEOPLES, AT MESTZOS AND MEXICANOS? I DID AND I KNOW YOU DIDN'T ATTEND MOST IF YOU ATTENDED ANY AT ALL.
>although not as historically as in Mexico since the rupture of the historical experience by the Anglo border.
(THE ANGLO IMPOSITION OF THE BORDER SHOULD HAVE
NO BEARING ON THIS SUBJECT.
(AM I SUPPOSED TO REFER TO YOU AS PETER?)
what is your opinion so far about this cultural analysis,
MY ANALYSIS IS THAT YOU ARE SELECTIVE ABOUT
>apart from your hate issue?
WHEN DID IT BECOME MY HATE ISSUE. HATE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO DISH IT OUT...
To me, your "love the symbols, hate the
>people" rhetoric is just an inflammatory smokescreen
THOUGH REAL NONETHELESS
that does not apply
>to the cultural discussion. Please know I observed and came to know Mexican nationals
(ARE THERE ANY OTHER KIND OF MEXICANS?
linked in solidarity with
New Mexicans against the Museum of
>New Mexico. Specifically, Belen and Sergio Rodriguez, Mexicans from Guanajuato, but living here in Santa Fe, were integrally involved in the movement against the museum. As an artist, i spent many hours analyzing the CyberArte contraption with Belen, a staunch Guadalupana, and Sergio, who is not a believer but as a former schoolteacher in Mexico shared with me much about the historical connections of Guadalupe to the idiosyncrosy of the pueblo Mejicano.
Many Mexicans here in Santa Fe, in fact all
I talked to, felt
>that Alma Lopez's piece was ridiculing "lo que es ser mejicano". Based on your support of Alma's work, I submit to you, Robert, that you are not as connected to the culture as you think you are.
NOW YOU ARE DOING N THE CULTURAL REALM WHAT
YOU WERE EARLIER TRYING TO DO IN THE REALM OF SPIRITUALITY... WHO MADE YOU
THE ARBITER OF WHAT IS MEXICANO AND WHO IS CONNECTED TO THEIR MEXICANIDAD?
> Many of my people here still feel the Museum
of New Mexico trashed the folk art tradition of New Mexico with CyberArte
and Alma Lopez's Frankenstein Guadalupe. Alma would not, or could not, answer
my question submitted twice in our February "dialogue" as to who
in Mexico did she show her La Lupe series. While she harps on the "Catholic-hate"
thing, XColumn harps on the "anti-Mexican hate" syndrome, and to
me, these arguments are not worthy of this
WHAT DISCUSSION ARE YOU REFERRING TO. IN ABOUT A YEAR, I'VE ONLY READ ONE OTHER ARTIST ON THIS LIST WHO HAS CHALLENGED ALMA'S RIGHT TO EXPRESS HERSELF. IT'S BEEN BASICALLY YOU WHO KEEPS TRYING TO MAKE EVERYONE AGREE WITH YOUR VIEWS. YOU'RE WELCOME TO YOUR BELIEFS -- I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THEM -- AS LONG AS THEY ARE YOURS AND YOU DON'T TRY TO SHOVE YOUR VIEWS DONE OTHER PEOPLE'S THROATS.
They let the Museum of New Mexico off the hook,
>ignorant definitions of what is significant to us as a people and an "evolving Xicano culture".
WHY ARE NO OTHER ARTISTS ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY
SIDING WITH YOU? (ASIDE FROM THE OTHER OE ON THIS LIST).
> I like to write about many things, some
humorous, political, cultural, spiritual, and about things I find important.
I manage my time so that I can do this, sort of a habit. I do it free of charge.
What about you?
YES. WHAT ABOUT ME?
>--Pedro Romero Sedeño
WHAT I HAVE OBSERVED IS THAT YOUR ARGUMENT IS
LIKE A GAME. EVERY GAME COMES TO AN END. BUT WITH YOU, IT SEEMS YOU ARE EXTENDING
THE CLOCK SO YOU CAN KEEP TRYING TO WIN. I HAVE NOT COMMENTED ABOUT MY VIEWS
RE GUADALUPE NOR MY SPIRITUAL VIEWS... MOST OF MY VIEWS ARE PRIVATE IN THIS
REALM. REGARDLESS OF WHAT THEY ARE, I'M NOT IN THE LEAST BIT THREATENED BY
ALMA'S WORK, NOR YOUR VIEWS. EVERYONE HAS A LEGITIMATE RIGHT TO THEIR OWN
VIEWS. THE ISSUE ON THIS LIST HAS BEEN WHETHER ARTISTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXPRESS
THEMSELVES. THE ANSWER IS YES. JUST AS YOU HAVE THE RIGHT NOT TO SUPPORT HER
WORK. BUT ARE YOU TRYING TO GET OTHER ARTISTS TO THINK LIKE YOU? GOOD LUCK
AS CENSORSHIP (EVEN THOUGH YOU DENY IT) IS A GREAT PART OF OUR HISTORY.
I WOULD LOVE TO SEE IF ANYONE (OUTSIDE OF THAT
ONE OTHER PERSON) AGREES WITH YOU ON THIS LIST (AND QUOTES OUR COLUMNS, NOT
JUST CREATES GENERALIZAITONS) BECAUSE I ALREADY KNOW YOUR VIEWS... DON'T GET
E WRONG, DSICUSSION IS GOOD AND DIALOGUE IS GOOD... THAT'S WHAT I'D LIKE TO
SEE FROM OTHERS WITH YOUR VIEWS... AND AS I SAID, I HAVE NO OPINION OF YOUR
SPIRITUAL VIEWS BECAUSE THAT IS YOUR OWN BUSINESS... IN TLANIEZA IN TONATIUH>
Subject: Saludos de Martin
Date: Wed, 06 Mar 2002 17:23:27
From: "Mark kampz" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sólo quería saludarte y felicitarte por tus composiciones. Están muy muy bien y me fascina la de la nueva virgen. En el futuro, cuando termine con este doctorado, quisiera hacer un "Devocionario para cruzar el río bravo", con unos poemas y textos que actualicen los libros de "mis oraciones" y "novenarios" con un problema social tan vivo y latente. Pienso en una de tus composiciones en la portada. Pero ya hablaremos en el futuro de este proyecto si te interesa. Bueno, te mando un arbrazo y toda la suerte y dicha del mundo, Martín Camps.
Subject: My comments about the naked virgin
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 23:58:52 -0500
From: Lourdes Solorzano <email@example.com>
I'm a college student in Texas right now and I decided to write an english paper about one of your digitially constructed pieces so I thought I'd actually write you and give you my thoughts on the issue. My family lives in Santa Fe, NM and I had remembered hearing about your interesting painting from my very catholic parents while visiting. I briefly thought about both sides of the issue and I really felt that both sides had grounds in which they could argue coherently. While I was in Santa Fe I remember asking my mom where the painting/art was displayed so I could see it for myself. The most important thing ive learned through my art classes is the best way to view and judge a painting is by actually viewing it yourself. Then my mom said oh we haven't seen it and I was stunned because she was telling me about the piece but had never seen it herself. so i argued with her about not having the right to state her opinion when she hadn't even seen the piece. anyhow, my background is mexican but i am american and in america
Subject: AztlanNet: reply to XColumn "War
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 12:13:54 EST
CC: firstname.lastname@example.org, TMNunn@moifa.org, GMendoza@aol.com, email@example.com, PochNostra@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Nambe1@aol.com
Roberto of XColumn, in response to your posting
of March 6:
I REJECT your notion that my argument re Alma
Lopez's work is linked to the past call for censorship, or connected to an
I REJECT your notion that Alma Lopez has done
something that she has not done: i.e. composed an "interpretation"
of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
I REJECT the notion of the Museum of New Mexico,
the only "arbiter" functioning in this issue, that its CyberArte
exhibit, with its anti-traditional altar to a computer, was a demonstration
of a development integral to the tradition of Hispanic folk art of New Mexico.
I REJECT the notion that "our lady"
respects the tradition that millions of Mexicans and New Mexicans, for centuries,
have kept alive in regard to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Alma Lopez's "our
lady" is anti-tradition-of-Guadalupe, essentially it is anti-Guadalupe,
inconsistent with the values of Guadalupe that have been understood by our
gente and taught to our children. This tradition is based on faith that
Guadalupe's apparitions are indeed a spiritual reality; Alma Lopez has
stated she does not believe they are, and that her work is not devotional.
I believe, if connected to anything, "our lady" is a
secular expression within a "tradition" of exploiting religious
imagery for political and/or commercial gain.
I REJECT your and Alma Lopez's notion that her interpretation of the plight of Raquel Salinas is a "re-image" of the experience of the campesina mother Guadalupe. Alma Lopez can chant "a woman is a mother is a woman" all she wants, but this will not make her Raquela and "the Sacred Feminine" to be with child, or a representation of Guadalupe as matriarch, the Sacred Maternal.
Alma's work itself does not support her artistic
claims (see my posting 2/23 on this list, subj: a Frankenstein Guadalupe.)
En Español, the slick cleverness of the 'Our Lady"
title fails in its contrivance; solo se puede llamar "la Señorita
de Guadalupe", ni mas', ni menos.
I REJECT, I do not swallow, what you, Alma Lopez,
aligned with the power of the Museum of New Mexico, are "shoving down
one's throat" , namely, that "our lady" is any definitive statement
about Guadalupe. Alma's digital print is a political poster padded with
Guadalupe signifiers, an incoherent PhotoShop garble about what it is to be
Mexican, Chicana, and, for that matter, a strong woman. The Chicana-Comanche
mother of my own daughter saw Alma's print and said Alma made Guadalupe look
like a pompous pornstar.
Roberto, I could scan the image of Betty Boop
into the Guad-aureole, standing atop a crescent moon, color her brown, and
call it my "interpretation" of Guadalupe, and have it validated
as such, according to your, Alma's, and the Museum's criteria. The "our
lady" argument uses this same approach. The art is not any coherent
"re-image" of Guadalupe. Ademas', "Lupe y Sirena"
was too ridiculous for even the Museum to consider exhibition-worthy.
BTW, Roberto, for your edification, "manitos
y surumatos" was a subject title for a lengthy discussion on this list
last summer, a discussion in which several participated. You should
refer to the yahoogroup archive and review the discussion. Since you see this
intraracial dynamic as relevant to this present discussion is why I attached
"manitos y surumatos? " to my past posting.
Alma Lopez has every right to express herself,
but I take her and the Museum to task to show in her work that she has expressed
what she says she has expressed. Her claim that she has interpreted
Guadalupe is BOGUS and is not supported by the work itself. I really don't
care if other artists think as I do; I have only tried to challenge
them to think about the work and Alma's sophistry.
To XColumn and Alma Lopez and the Museum of
New Mexico, me I say, to paraphrase the words of Fela Kuti, Nigerian
b. 1938 d. 1997: "Before you turn me into monkey with tail, I have
some important thing to say-o: that my Mama that you try to kill, She the
only Mother of this country, that My mama that you try to kill,
She the only Mother of America. What kind of
injustice is this?"
---Pedro Romero Sedeño mfa
Subject: AztlanNet: The Guadloop Controversy
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 13:25:23 -0800
From: Octavio Romano <email@example.com>
Organization: TQS Publications
Re: The Guadloop Controversy
I have a couple of things to say about this
rekindling of the Guadloop controversy.
1. Shown anywhere else, New York, Los Angeles,
etc., would have been fine with me. But in its exhibition (pun intended) in
the Folk Arts section of the Museum of New Mexico, the work was metamorphosed
into a gross, ideological, political and destructive statement against the
Catholic Manito people of the state. It was an insult that is not deserved
because it is not and never will be anywhere near related to NM folk arts.
2. The response to the Guadloop has been grossly
distorted by asserting that the objections were limited to only a few people.
This is a gross distortion of reality.
3. As most people know, to create controversy
is the shortest route to increase the value of a work.
4. Once again I was reminded that those Chicanos
who bellow most about stereotyping are equally guilty of this practice. When
I stated that anywhere else the exhibition of the Guadloop would have been
fine with me, but not with NM folk arts, I was immediately subjected to Chicano
stereotyping by calling me a fanatical Catholic, an old-fashioned traditionalist,
an opponent to progress and an enemy of so-called interpretive art. (This
latter point is stupid because all art is interpretive. To call a given work
interpretive is to say nothing. It is a device used to conceal meaning and
5. Finally, when I agreed with Pedro Romero
about something he said, I was immediately stereotyped as his buddy in ideological
6. Hah! I Spit!
Octavio Romano 3/10/02
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 10:40:02 -0800
From: Public Webusers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Organization: Maddden Library
My name is martin and let me tell you what I personal think about your "art". you might not going to give importance to what I'm going to say but I want you to read it. I don't think that you were born in mexico because, if you were born in mexico then you wouldn't make fun of the image of our virgen de Guadalupe. I'm not upset of your work but really upset of what you did with the image of la virgen de Guadalupe. this is my feeling about your work you are messing up w/ our lady of Guadalupe and that's not good.
Subject: Our Lady of Guadalupe
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002 01:01:09 EST
Hi my name is Ana Carrillo. I'm a student at California State University of Los Angeles. I understand where you are coming from because women especially those from third world countries are invisible and that is something that needs to be changed. I also agree on the right for someone to express themselves and on the freedom of the first amendment. What I do not agree on is on the way that you portray Our Lady of Guadalupe. I was wondering if you are Chaotic, I read on your website that you where Catholic but are you still Catholic? I think that is great that you express your talent but I don not agree on expressing that talent through something that might be offensive to others. There are other ways on which you can speak out of our oppression as women that will not offend others. I am a third world feminist who is aware of all the injustice but I do not agree on fighting for that injustice with something that will offend someone else. Thankyou for your attention.
Subject: Our Lady
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002 14:36:32 -0800
From: "P. Aguirre" <email@example.com>
When I first saw the image of La Virgen I was shocked. It hit my very soul. But then I reflected and read your comments. I must now say you did La Virgen justice. Isn't she suppose to strike the very soul? I am Latina. I am Catholic. She calls us to look inward to ourselves and then to the world. She did just that. Thank you.
Subject: Mary and Magdalene site
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2002 09:51:28 -0700
From: "wisdomwave" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Alma, I thought I would forward this to you. I'd written and produced a musical play about Mary Magdalene as an abused child, in 1995, performed in Espanola, No NM Community College. It was addressing the same issues, and the political climate was similar to your own art work controversy. It was harrowing to get grants and produce the play in an area of pre-Rennaisance Catholicism. If you know of anyone who is interested, please pass on the info. Blessings to you on this Easter. May the real love of the divine for all women prevail in the darkness. Sincerely, Gayatri (Patricia Brown) www.AveMarysFolkOpera.com