Re-Presenting Violence and Latin@-“American” Identity: Elia
Arce’s performances and Robert Karimi’s “Self-the Remix”
One of the art forms used more frequently to present and
represent Latino culture and identity is performance art.
This presents a challenge to museums because performance art
is not as easily collected or archived as other art forms.
Nonetheless, Latino artists increasingly employ performance
art in order to re-present and interpret Latino identity.
Performance artists of Central American descent, such as Elia
Arce and Robert Karimi, continually push the boundaries of
representations of Latino/a identity through works that are
held both within and outside of museums. Arce and Karimi
produce work directly tied to a Latino/a identity as well
as specific Central American experiences as (im)migrants and
populations that have settled in the United States.
One of the themes that resonates in Latino and Latina performance
art, particularly in Arce and Karimi’s respective performances,
has been “violence.” In their respective performance “pieces”
both Arce and Karimi re-present some of the different types
of violence that Latinos and Latinas are subjected to as first
and second generation "Americans," by addressing
issues such as violence against women and nativist violence.
This presentation will be important in bringing up a theme
that has been previously portrayed in artistic methods easily
included in museum collections, but now being explored through
different media which as mentioned before is more complex
to collect and exhibit in a museum setting. These performance
artists’ performances within museums and outside of them also
bring up the issue of whether certain feelings and experiences,
such as “violence,” are collectable and what spaces they can
be presented in.
Copyright © 2003