Last week I had the on honor of being interviewed by my papi on Sí Se Puede. We talked about Internet art, the implications of growing up online, linguistic performances on twitter, public vs private, and more.
If you missed it you can listen here:
(via guardian.co.uk article by Roberto Cintli Rodriguez)
Legislators in Arizona are pursuing a white supremacist campaign to erase Mexican American presence from teaching
The onslaught in Arizona of reactionary and immoral racially-based laws has managed to attract worldwide attention. The brown peoples of this state are being relentlessly persecuted by a majority population that wants to forcefully remove us and suppress our rights and deny our humanity. Here, the state has even gone so far as to, via HB 2281, to prohibit the teaching of ethnic studies in Arizona schools.
Unquestionably, the brown peoples of this state are treated as less than human. Not everyone treats us this way – just the majority: mostly conservative Republicans, many of them with a supremacist ideology. Their general attitude is: if you’re brown (read Mexican), get the hell out of our God-given country. And for those of you who remain, either assimilate and abide by our [contrived and unconstitutional] laws or face the full wrath of the state.
There is embedded hate against brown peoples in Arizona – the kind associated with the 1800s, a time when the United States forcefully annexed half of Mexico. All of it is thinly veiled under the guise of opposition to “illegal immigration” and “border enforcement”. However, the battle here is actually civilisational: brown peoples, many of whom have been here for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, represent the unfinished business of Manifest Destiny. For conservatives, we represent a return to a past in which we are viewed as a conquered, subhuman species. This brazen attitude informs all the recent anti-Mexican and anti-immigrant bills, proposed laws that long for a return to an idyllic past, which, in fact, never existed.
Aside from HB 2281, other bills include : SB 1070 – the racial profiling law; SB 1097 – the proposed law that will require children to identify the immigration status of their parents; and HB 2561/SB 1308 and HB 2562/SB1309 – bills that seek to nullify birthright citizenship (guaranteed by the 14th amendment ) to children whose parents cannot prove their legal status.
And now, state legislators have introduced the most reactionary bill of them all: SCR 1010 (pdf). This bill seeks to exempt Arizona from international laws. With this bill, these legislators are acknowledging that all their anti-Mexican laws are also outside of international law.
AND read more about HB 2561/SB 1308 (via AlterNet article by Valeria Fernández)
A baby born in Arizona to two undocumented parents would have a birth certificate that indicates he is not a U.S. citizen under new legislation introduced in Arizona’s State Capitol on Thursday.
The bills (identical in House and Senate versions, HB 2561/SB 1308 and HB 2562/SB1309) will certainly be challenged in federal court and are already steering a polarizing debate in a state known across the nation as a laboratory for anti-illegal-immigrant policies.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (please forward or repost)
Tuesday, February 1, 2011, Chicago – High school students may not vote, but they can still impact elections. On Sunday, January 29, students from Sullivan HS in the Rogers Park neighborhood on the northside, wrote and starred in a campaign ad for Miguel del Valle that got over 1,000 hits in the first 48 hours on YouTube and Facebook. Their message is clear, Del Valle is the candidate who will invest in public education for all students, who like them who do not go to selective enrollment or charter schools. No press outlets caught Rahm Emanuel’s slip up, played twice in the video, until today when the Huffington Post picked up the story.
Christina Henriquez, Gerardo Aguilar and Alexandra Alvarez, in order of appearance, scripted the video in a neighbors living room before filming outside their school an hour later. Their effort to mobilize their community to support Miguel del Valle has been developing ever since they went to the Mayoral debate for youth put on by Mikva Challenge last month. Inspired by del Valle and angered by the other candidates they got together with the Latino Club, and tireless sponsor Jackie Rosa.
Last week they stopped by the newly opened northside office for Miguel del Valle, to learn to canvass their neighborhood.
The video uses a clip from the WGN Mayoral debate in which Rahm Emanuel wrongly states that “if you take away Northside Prep and Walter Payton, the seven best performing schools are all charters”. The next seven in fact, the top nine performing Chicago schools are all public. The video clearly questions anyone who would vote for a Mayor who does not care enough about the students in public school to even do his homework. Delivered with passion and confidence, the last words the students leave us ring true “you want a real school turnaround? Invest in us!”.
Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afonAiiMTm8
As a follow up to Are You My Other? our current Internet based self-portrait dialogue exchange project, Escobar-Morales is establishing an online marketing agency. Acting as designers, distributors, and promo models, we plan to produce a series of advertisements addressing contentious topics in the news, such as Arizona’s SB-1070 and the Dream Act.
2011 is going to be a good year. I can feel it already. In addition to our upcoming presentation at the 2011 PCA/ACA Conference this April, Andria and I were also accepted to the Wonder Woman Residency at the _gaia studio, in New Jersey. Curated by Maya Joseph-Goteiner and Doris Caçoilo, this year’s theme is: New News is Old News.
New News is Old News
In our society, the importance of news has shifted; some would argue that it has been elasticized or else devalued. As the blogosphere replaces the daily newspaper as the purveyor and distributor of breaking news, the reporting of events is no longer filtered by the journalist/editor. Instead the voice of news is replaced by a dynamic exchange of information.
Already, online, the same article that has appeared black on white in the early print edition has been updated, corrected or even replaced on the web. Newspaper stories no longer fit the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of news as “a report of recent events: previously unknown information.” In many respects, we have created an endless source of updated information online, a bottomless pit of patter. We cannot possibly consume all the news and commentary published online, and while few people have the time to read the entire newspaper, even fewer can keep up with the minute-to-minute updates via Twitter, blogs, online publications, and RSS feeds.
A residency that focuses on the ways in which news is presented, represented, distributed, and modified within the space of the web… hmm… can you think of anything more perfect for us?
So what are we doing?
I won’t spill all the beans yet, but here is an excerpt from our preliminary proposal:
Our project takes its cue from the recent Buy Life Digital Death campaign, where celebrities volunteered their virtual lives (activity on Twitter and Facebook) with the goal of raising $1 million for children and families in Africa and India affected by HIV/AIDS. We were fascinated by their use of highly stylized, seductive images of Kim Kardashian (and other participating celebrities) lying in a coffin, and the role these images play in the dissemination of news coverage surrounding this HIV/AIDS campaign.
Almost immediately following Digital Death’s inception, images of a “dead” Kardashian started appearing in news stories everywhere from CNN to Gawker. Now layered with multiple levels of history and meaning, screenshots of the sultry Kardashian lying in a coffin, continue to be re-distributed on personal blogs, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter pages…
Stay tuned for more project updates here and on Are You My Other?
Come join me at the 1st annual Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies, at DePaul University in Chicago, November 5-6, 2010.
The CMRS conference brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines nationwide. Recognizing that the diverse disciplines that have nurtured Mixed Race Studies have reached a watershed moment, the 2010 CMRS conference is devoted to the general theme “Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies.”
Critical Mixed Race Studies (CMRS) is the transracial, transdisciplinary, and transnational critical analysis of the institutionalization of social, cultural, and political orders based on dominant conceptions of race. CMRS emphasizes the mutability of race and the porosity of racial boundaries in order to critique processes of racialization and social stratification based on race. CMRS addresses local and global systemic injustices rooted in systems of racialization.
I will be presenting at the conference on November 5th in a roundtable discussion moderated by Laura Kina, on the use of arts in challenging racial ideologies. My next post will include more information on the roundtable and on my fellow panelists: Alejandro T. Acierto, Tina Ramirez, and Jonathan Reinert.
el es frida kahlo is currently on view in the New Media Room at the Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis, MO.
el es frida kahlo, 2007-present
Frida Kahlo played with the identity that she wanted to project and the identity that was placed on her by others. Kahlo used her clothing, political affiliations, sexual escapades, and personal traumas, to create a character that informed her body of work. She inscribed her identity, painting her image over and over, constructing a mythology around her persona.
In el es frida kahlo I confront the ambivalence I experience as a result of my simultaneous obsession with Frida Kahlo and weariness towards her commodification. Viewed from a tiny pinhole, dressed as Kahlo, I stand before a reproduction of one of her self portraits. With a mixture of rage, anxiety, and complete fear, I chant “el es Frida Kahlo, ella es Frida Kahlo, el es Frida Kahlo, yo soy, yo soy, yo soy Frida Kahlo,” he is Frida Kahlo, she is Frida Kahlo, I am, I am, I am Frida Kahlo. As I yell, the painting behind me begins to fall. I violently tear down my braids and smudge off my makeup while continuing to scream “I am Frida Kahlo, I am Frida Kahlo, yo soy Frida Kahlo!”
el es frida kahlo at the Bruno David Gallery (video filmed and edited by Felicia Chen)
el es frida kahlo YouTube video
FREE el es frida kahlo animated gif avaliable on MayaEscobar.com
link to translation of recent review by David Sperber in Ma’arav Israeli Arts and Culture Magazine:
Frida Kahlo at the synagogue: Maya Escobar and the young Jewish-American Creation
I met Ben Schachter at the 2009 Conney Conference on Jewish Art: Performing Histories, Inscribing Jewishness, where coincidentally, we both presented Eruv themed works.
In addition to making humorous Jewish themed conceptual art, Ben is a curator and is the man behind Tzit Tzit: Fiber Art and Jewish Identity. I have a few pieces from Hiddur Mitzvah included in the show.
A special exhibit assembled by guest curator Ben Schachter, “Tzit Tzit: Fiber Art and Jewish Identity,” will open with a reception at The Saint Vincent Gallery in the Robert S. Carey Student Center at Saint Vincent College from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, January 28. Admission is free and open to the public.
The exhibit will continue from Friday, January 29 through Sunday, February 21 during regular Gallery hours: 12 noon to 3 p.m. and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 12 noon to 3 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Gallery is closed on Mondays.
Participating artists include Maya Escobar, Melanie Dankowicz, Carol Es, Leslie Golomb, Louise Silk and Shirah Apple.
Ms. Silk will present a lecture, “Quilting and Spirituality,” at 6 p.m. Monday, February 9 in room 100 of Prep Hall.
Mr. Schachter, associate professor of fine arts, will give a Gallery tour of the exhibition at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 9.
The exhibit was developed by Mr. Schachter. “I have been studying various aspects of Jewish art for the past three years and this exhibit is an outgrowth of that interest,” Mr. Schachter said. “The artists hail from Los Angeles, New York City, Kansas City, Illinois and Pittsburgh.”
“Fiber art refers to any use of a cloth such as stitching or weaving,” he explained. “The title, Tzit Tzit, refers to the fringe on a prayer shawl, or tallis, worn by many Jews during prayer. While using thread, cloth, pattern making, stitching and other craft materials, each artists’ process creates a language derived from craft techniques that reinterprets the Old Testament, the oral law as written in the Talmud and personal histories. In so doing, both craft theory and Jewish Art are reinvigorated. I learned of these artists through Jewish art conferences I have attended, through exhibitions and through national awards. I think our students and our friends in the region will really enjoy seeing their work.”
Ben Schachter is an artist whose work integrates conceptual art and Jewish law. He sees a connection between the rules artists have created to guide and limit their work and Jewish traditions. His work has been shown nationally and will be on exhibition at the Westmoreland Museum of Art in Greensburg concurrent with this exhibition. He holds an M.F.A. and M.S. degree from Pratt Institute and lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and two children.
Carol Es paints images that powerfully scream of a life of hard labor. As a child she worked endless hours in a sweatshop with her family. Ms. Es’ works are featured in numerous private and public collections, including the Getty Museum, Brooklyn Museum, UCLA Special Collections, the Jaffe Collection and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. She is also a two-time recipient of the ARC Grant from the Durfee Foundation and was recently awarded the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Fellowship.
Maya Escobar’s work directly challenges gender roles and illustrates how Jewish tradition empowers women. Ms. Escobar received her master of fine arts degree from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis, and her bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited work in Spain, Guatemala, United States, Germany and Venezuela.
Melanie Dankowicz creates intricate papercut sculptures, marriage contracts, and wall art. An expansion of the medium, Dankowicz’s three-dimensional forms are ephemeral lace-like paper structures, of elegant tracery that has inspired her recent metalwork. She draws inspiration from the countryside of Illinois, where she resides with Harry and their three children.
Leslie Golomb exhibits her work nationally and internationally and is the recipient of numerous awards, including recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Individual Artists Fellowship Award and a State of the Art Award from the State Museum of Pennsylvania. Her work was recently included in the Three Rivers Arts Festival and Best of Pittsburgh Invitational. Ms. Golomb holds a bachelor in fine arts from Carnegie-Mellon University and a master of fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She served as founder and director of the American Jewish Museum of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh for nine years. She has returned to the studio producing prints and artists books.
Louise Silk began her quest to acquire skills as a quilter after being inspired by an article in Ms. Magazine in 1971 about quilt making as a woman’s art form. Over the past 30 years, her work has been included in Quilt National Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Quilts as well as many private corporate collections such as USAirways, Paine Webber and PNC Bank. She is a certified Integrated Kabbalistic Healer. She is currently living and working from her loft in the South Side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Ms. Golumb and Ms. Silk collaborate and join their printmaking and fiber art into multilayered quilts, runners and tallisim. The images and techniques bring together American folk traditions and Jewish history in surprising ways. Ultimately the perspective of these five artists reinvigorates what Jewish Art is and can become.
Shirah Apple received a master of fine arts degree from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2006. She is a graduate of MICA’s post-baccalaureate certificate program and of Miami University, where she received a bachelor of science degree in business administration.
Further information about the exhibition is available by contacting the Gallery at 724 805-2107, www.stvincent.edu/gallery.
Show opens 12/6. If you haven’t seen it, check out guest post I did on MyJewishLearing.com about my father’s and my piece in the show.