Saturday, June 14, 2008

With and Through Chicana/o Eyes: Phantom Sightings and Los Angelenos/Chicano Painters of L.A.

LACMA is blowing up these days with Chicana/o artifacts--much of the credit goes to the one and only Chon Noriega, sometime film theorist, all-time artsy prof/curator from UCLA who also hangs his hat at LACMA. More on this today in the LA Times.

With both the "Phantom Sightings" and "Los Angelenos/Chicano Painters of L.A." exhibits currently lighting up the galleries at this Wilshire Boulevard arts mecca, it's beginning to look like 2008 is a Renaissance year for Latino/a arts in SoCal.

Also don't miss this upcoming lecture featuring Cheech and Chon!

Discussion: Cheech Marin and Chon Noriega
Sunday, June 22 | 2:00 pm
Chon Noriega, UCLA professor and LACMA adjunct curator, and art collector/actor/activist Cheech Marin discuss the current state of Chicano art. Additionally, they address the place of Chicano art in history, Marin's own collection, and developing the Latino audience. This conversation is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Los Angelenos/Chicano Painters of L.A.: Selections from the Cheech Marin Collection, which opens June 15.
Bing Theater | Free, no reservations

Rosario Castellanos

It is hard to find good material on Rosario Castellanos on the internet--either that, or my google-surfing skills are beginning to atrophy. In any event she plays a central role in my work if not my world view--the title of the Tex[t]-Mex chapter on Rita Hayworth reveals some of that debt: "When Electrolysis Proxies for the Existential: A Somewhat Sordid Meditation on What Might Occur if Frantz Fanon, Rosario Castellanos, Jacques Derrida, Gayatri Spivak, and Sandra Cisneros Asked Rita Hayworth Her Name at the Tex[t]-Mex Beauty Parlor." I just found a decent review of her work by Christopher Rollason here.

Another nice piece is here. More on Castellanos, "the woman who knew Latin" in my next collection for UT Press, Eyegiene. The best collection in English is UT Press's The Rosario Castellanos Reader edited by Maureen Ahern--unbelievably out of print! Happily, there seem to be a fair amount of copies on Amazon and other used book outlets.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Once a Latin Americanist, Always a Latin Americanist

Back in the day, (1988 to 1999), I was a full-on, licensed, practicing Latin Americanist literary critic publishing essays on Carlos Fuentes and Octavio Paz*, a dissertation on alienation in Latin American Literature† and so on y so on. 

These days, visual media cultural studies take up a lot of my plate and I find my old school Latin Americanist roots melding with my new school semiotic obsessions--hence this quick link to's cool new Big Picture blog and an entry on Brazil. Amazing photography and more.


*Siglo XX/20th Century: Critique & Cultural Discourse, 10:1-2 1992-93
The Politics of Solitude: Alienation in the Literatures of America. Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University, 1989. Abstract in Dissertation Abstracts International (June 1990), 50(12):3943-A.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Little Late Jumping on the Bandwagon

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly--cinematic genius! One of the songs... haunting, memorable:

of course, as with all things cinematic, reality takes a hit. still, a damn good movie; and for sons who love their fathers, or don't, a revelation.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Speedy Gonzales's Gringo Nemesis? "Rapid Dave" from Family Guy


The link in the original post below on the "Padre de Familia" episode of Family Guy went dead; Hulu, however is there to the rescue with a despicable outtake that is as reprehensible as it is understandable given the "climate" for Mexicans in America these days;

here's another segment from the same episode only available on AdultSwim:

and here, lastly, a comedic summary of what makes this "comedy" possible:


Fox's Family Guy, "funny TV for young facists," recently featured a satirical episode on patriotism and immigrants. The entire episode is available here courtesy of hulu and aol. Speedy Gonzales's replacement, "Rapid Dave," makes his appearance at the 6:44 point of the video if you want to fast-forward. This animated feature, entitled "Padre de Familia," and written by Seth MacFarlane and David Zuckerman along with Kirker Butler, and directed by Pete Michels, features both fine meditations on stereotypes and base reproductions on the same--viz, the Jewish Porn movie gag (at 5:33). It never fails to amaze me how elements of popular culture evolve with the fluidity of an Ovidian metamorphosis! Brace yourself if you watch the whole episode however! The Mary Poppins sequence, replete with corpses and vomiting, is not worth the price of admission. Neither is the "Mexican" piñata/abortion clinic sequence (watch for the leafblower cameo), which is worthy of Mengele on a bad day.

John Leguizamo and Nadine Velazquez on My Name is Earl

This is a follow-up supplement to a posting in the old school, pre-blogger Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog (scroll to the December 7, 2006 entry) on NBC's My Name is Earl.

Transdisciplinary Humanities Award Goes to Marita Sturken!


Congratulations to Marita Sturken--her cool book, Tourists of History: Memory, Kitsch, and Consumerism from Oklahoma City to Ground Zero was selected as the recipient of the first Transdisciplinary Humanities Award by ASU's Institute for Humanities Research late last week. While it did not win, Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucination of the "Mexican" in America was shortlisted for which I humbly thank the Institute!

original post: February 16, 2008
Holy Tuxedo, Batman! Another Tex[t]-Mex Nomination

Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucination of the "Mexican" in America has been nominated for the first Transdisciplinary Humanities Book Award sponsored by the Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University. More on the award here.

Light a candle for me and cross your fingers.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Joe Bravo's Tortilla Art

What is it about the Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog that attracts correspondents with a love for food and culture? Maybe it's that marriage of Tex-Mex cuisine and post-structuralism (tex[T]-mex) implicit in our moniker!  In any event Eddie Santacruz writes in, pre-junket to DF, to let us know about Joe Bravo's Tortilla Art.   This, a follow-up on an earlier posting of mine on Rio Yañez.

Just Because! Patti LaBelle


Enoch Bolles, 1922

In 1922, Enoch Bolles turned his paintbrush and eye South of the Border, or to the border with this winsome lass. Part of the pre-history and history of the eroticization of the Latina/o body in the U.S.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Cholas! Queens of Style

Guanabee, that purveyor of Latinadom, philtered (sic) through Manhattan, is out with a shortlist of stylin' Latinas--who knew that fountain of soft-porny prose Anaïs Nin was Latina--a Cubana!!?

Most surprising and noteworthy honorable mention member of the list? Cholas! órale!

Get your hands on one of my books ...