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Challenging Traditional Curatorial Practices

Challenging Traditional Curatorial Practices

Historicizing Narratives

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Arriving at the River’s Edge: Curatorial Trends in L.A.°

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reina alejandra prado saldivar is a doctoral student in the Program of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.  This essay is an excerpt that explores current curatorial trends.  The larger project "Caught Between Aztlán and the River's Edge: Curatorial Practices for a Multicultural L.A." engages in an analysis of cross-cultural and inter-generational artistic dialogues, as seen in the exhibitions Tierra Incógnita, Mixed Feelings, and Boyle Heights: The Power of Place.  All these exhibitions took place at Plaza de la Raza, USC Fisher Gallery, and the Japanese American National Museum in 2002, respectively.

Prado’s dissertation project focuses on queer and feminist cultural production by artists of color working in Los Angeles between 1992-2002.  This past spring, Prado curated Tierra Incógnita (2002), an art exhibition featuring six contemporary Southern California artists.  She has also co-published a chapbook of her poetry under the pen-name alejandra ibarra, entitled Santa Perversa and Other Erotic Poems (Calaca Press, 2001). 

A recent series of art exhibitions in Los Angeles, between 2000-02 confirm that museums privilege particular Chicano / Latino art discourses as was seen at the Santa Monica Museum, the Fowler Museum ­ UCLA, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.   As an advocate for cultural production by artists of minoritarian communities, I welcome opportunities to view Latino visual art at these spaces, however, the lack of diversity seen in these curatorial projects - be it through an experimentation of mediums and artists featured - has prompted a nagging question.  Is there a breadth of Latinidad presented in art exhibitions, or are the same concepts and artists, being featured with no clear insight by museum curators as to developing aesthetics seen in Chicano art since it came onto the scene in 1974? [1] Is that museums privilege particular identity discourses, one in which Chicano art is caught in a perpetual reflection on Aztlán?

Although this paper is excerpted from “Caught Between Aztlán and the River’s Edge: Curatorial Practices for a Multicultural L.A.” I am investigating  methodological approaches that derive from a process I call “textualizing Latino museology,” which analyzes existent exhibition catalogues of Chicano / Latino art in order to survey a curator(s)’s conceptual approach to an exhibition.  It also takes into account that most of the critical discourse on Chicano art is read in these texts serving as an educational tool post-exhibition viewing.  Moreover, to understand the importance of exhibition programming since Chicano Art Resistance & Affirmation (herein CARA, 1990), I offer suggestions to curatorial practices that take into account the complexities of this community’s art.  By focusing on a show I curated, entitled Tierra Incógnita, and two current shows Mixed Feelings and Boyle Heights: The Power of Place I posit that these may serve as models for curatorial strategies to a multicultural Los Angeles audiences.  These exhibitions attempt to address current responses to identity politics in the arena of exhibition spaces.  I also acknowledge a common factor in creating work by most Chicano / Latino working-class artists embody a rasquache sensibility. 

An analysis of Chicano art within the paradigm of the public museum and exhibition practices is important because of the power relations inherent in these sites of cultural affirmation.  Carol Duncan states in her essay, “Art Museums and the Ritual Citizenship,” “[M]useums can be powerful identity-defining machines. To control a museum means precisely to control the representation of a community and some of its highest, most authoritative truths (Duncan 1992) ." If the power of "identity-defining" lays within the structures of museums as Duncan states, then an examination of the exhibitions Tierra Incógnita, Mixed Feelings, Boyle Heights should be analyzed as shows that may subvert or resist “traditional” narratives of representation through the inclusion of cross-cultural and inter-generational artists. Although I will not engage in the process of historicizing these projects under the rubric of Chicano cultural production, I must acknowledge that for our current understanding of curatorial practices CARA provided a cognitive map for current (post 1990) Chicano and non-Chicano curators to organize exhibitions that include Chicano art. 

Alicia Gaspar de Alba reminds us in her study Chicano Art Inside / Outside the Master’s House: Cutlural Politics and the CARA Exhibition, we must be aware of our complicity inside the “master’s house.”  Given the purpose of our symposium here today, we may agree that we aptly have learned the “tools of the master” but how we utilize this knowledge in representation of a vast and divergent Chicano / Latino community remains as a challenge.  Therefore, I hope to illustrate how curating thematic exhibitions can both serve as a mode of intervention to reinvigorate community art spaces, such as Plaza de la Raza, as well as feature contemporary trends amongst local artists. 

CARA a Cara / Facing the Master’s House? [2]

Chicano art intends that viewers respond both to the aesthetic object and to the social reality reflected in it…Chicano art is envisioned as a model for freedom, a call to both conscience and consciousness.

­ Tomás Ybarra Frausto

            In 1974, Peter Plagens reviewed Los Four at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for ArtForum he posed the issue that exhibiting Chicano art the institution “museum-izes” the Chicano rather than Los Four “Chicano-izing” the museum (Plagens 1974).  Needless to say, Plagens did not write the most favorable review on Los Four’s first exhibition, however, Plagens’s response prompts a question of whether Latino artists have “Latino-ized” the museum since then, or have artists themselves been “museum-ized.”  If there was a fear by museums being “Chicano-ized” then these institutions did well to prevent other artists’s work to be shown at similar institutions.  Nevertheless, issues regarding who were included in exhibitions and where the show was seen were issues still prevalent when CARA opened at the Wight Art Gallery in 1990 and traveled nationally. 

Can we enter the "master's house" was a question posed to us by Alicia Gaspar de Alba's study of the traveling exhibition Chicano Art:  Resistance and Affirmation, 1965-1985 (1990).  In another text, Karen Mary Davalos refers to this study to explore how institutions like the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum (Chicago) and Galería de la Raza (San Francisco) create artistic havens that promote the Mexican diaspora however, these institutions still employ exhibition methods from the "master's house" (Davalos 2001) . 

Davalos notes that insider spaces, for the most part, implemented these known exhibition practices with exhibition displays that perpetuated a voyeur interaction with objects on view.  However, the moments when the "master's" style altered appears when the didactics were written bilingually, other mestizo communities were exhibited, and when the viewer became the owner of his/her  subject-position (186).   If her goal was for us to understand the role of art institutions, whether insider / outsider, or communities in diaspora, and begin to employ radical methods of representing the Other, then she accomplished it in this extensive analysis.  These studies take to task the role of museums, they also reference the politics of exhibition programming as was first argued by Tomás Ybarra-Frausto in his essay "The Chicano Movement / The Movement of Chicano Art (Frausto 1991) ."  His analysis of the de-politicization of Chicano / Latino art in the traveling art show Hispanic Art in the United States: Thirty Contemporary Painters and Sculptors (1987, Museum of Fine Arts House) takes to task “outsiders” curating an “exotic” Other. 

Rasquachismo considers how artist “make do” through their use of materials and networks made available primarily to working class artists, as well as how artists selectively cite and incorporate discourses from art movement and postmodern theories.  Rasquachismo’s aesthetic character depicts imagery that questions various moments in popular culture, which in turn makes the work subversive by turning the art cannon on its head through humor and satire.  However, in order for rasquachismo to be effective, it must be recognized as an instinctively Chicano sensibility.  Raúl Villa and Alicia Gaspar de Alba [3] stress that lo rasquache is metaphoric and practiced among working class artists.  I advocate a return to lo rasquache as a means to study the rich and nuance Chicano /. Latino cultural production.  Moreover, rasquachismo as an organizing mechanism illuminates how artists and curators organize themselves when curating exhibitions within and outside "the master's house."

            Through a “practice of critical generosity” (Román 1998) I consider how an artist(s) works with community(ies) and I seek exhibitions and artists’ works that fall outside canonical cultural production.  Critical generosity requires asking difficult questions even if one is an advocate or cultural activist.  Otherwise, how are we to propel the growing field of Chicano / Latino cultural production? Who is (re)membered? Nevetheless, an underlying question remains ­ can curators, art directors, and artists break free from the nepantlismo of feeling caught between Aztlán and the river’s edge when curating exhibitions about Chicano / Latino art? Does the cultural production from new generation of artists contend with identity politics or do they identify as being in a post-identity moment?

 Museums and other public institutions should understand that must also have a close working relationship with the communities they represent.  Edmund Barry Gaither notes that “museums have obligations as both educational and social institutions to participate in and contribute toward the restoration of wholeness in the communities of our country” (Gaither 1992).  The lack of representation by minoritarian communities has occurred within the public museum.  These cultural spaces have mediated to restore”wholeness” in these communities of color by curating or bring in traveling shows to their audiences.  Though I concede that funding mechanisms determine what types of shows are presented, for the most part Chicano / Latino shows are not seen as commonly in Los Angeles.  Following I share some observations and motivation for curating Tierra Incógnita at Plaza de la Raza this past spring.  When “insiders” curate with the “master’s tools” do exhibition paradigms shift?

Arriving at the River’s Edge

In my process of exploring a creative consciousness. 

I have begun to learn to listen.

Aida Salazar

“geography is a source of authority in the fundamental questions of inclusion an exclusion and plays a crucial role in the determination of identity and belonging…and contemporary art challenge[s] and transform[s] that authority” (Rogoff 2000)

            Irit Rogoff presents in his study artists who engage with strategies "review our relationship with the space we inhabit."  Through an analysis of "contemporary art's engagement with the problematic of geography," I was struck with the similarity of Latino artists and the connection to geography -- either by the mythic homeland of Aztlán or by the experience of working in urban or rural communities of color residing in the United States, or a negotiation of the interdependency of identity to geography.  Captivated by Rogoff's work I aspired to engage with his claim of the "problematic geography" in relation to how Aztlán is depicted, hailed, (re)membered in contemporary Chicano art.  Primarily, I was also interested in a cross-cultural dialogue about the idea home(land)s. 

            Tierra Incógnita translates as the land that is unrecognized or incognito.  It was purposeful that all the artists in the exhibition are artists of color because I wanted their work to invite viewers to think about one' connection to land, space, and the role memory plays while we shift to new homelands.  As contemporary art embraces their contributions, part of the subtext of the exhibition is how are artists of color in conversation with themes regarding identity-politics and of being recognized and acknowledged in the art world.  What stories are buried, resurrected, and retold that emanate from this tierra?

            When I first conceptualized Tierra, I had no idea that I would be so fortunate to collaborate with artists whose art I have been admiring for the past five years.  Contending with how to call this millennial moment of posts - [place label here], I invited Edgar Arceneaux, Xavier Cázares Cortéz, Christina Fernandez, Pat Gomez, Patrick "Pato" Hebert, and Sandy Rodriguez - to share their creative process.  The six artists were invited to participate in this exhibition while it was still in its conceptual phase, although the presupposition remained the same: to pose as a theme the role of memory and its relationship to an identified homeland, and the role of geography in the formation of one's cultural identity. 

            How can a body of work speak to the transient nature of our livelihoods, expanding the discussion of identity politics in this post-identity moment?  How do artists employ personal narratives to engage audiences with a dialectical conversation of one's perceptions of communities of color, particularly in Los Angeles - a city in which diverse ethnicities reside?  The artists responded by creating new works that addressed how one's experiences actuate the personal power needed to navigate between disparate communities.  Their art reflects these interactions and provides viewers an opportunity to think about cultural connections to land, space, and time.  We learned from each other in our roundtable sessions before the exhibition opened.  I was interested in the artists discussing amongst themselves their approach to these larger philosophical issues.  Other concerns were the incorporation of different mediums such as site-specific installations. 

            I argue that the artwork in Tierra is part of a trajectory in U.S. contemporary art that is consciously aware of the politics of entering the 'master's house' even if we own the house.  It was intentional that Tierra opened at Plaza de la Raza, a prominent cultural space in Los Angeles that has a legacy for featuring contemporary work at their Boathouse Gallery.  I believe that cultural activists do not only create opportunities for artists and work on their own creative projects, but a great part of advocacy for the arts includes sustaining and nurturing our cultural spaces with a mutual respect to differing perspectives. 

            For this exhibition, I curated artists as opposed to selecting previously completed artwork.  Considering the artists created new work, roundtable discussions, studio visits, and e-mail communications about their projects were just as critical to the successful completion of this project.  I also collaborated with an education coordinator to ensure that a gallery guide would be made available to audiences visiting Plaza or viewing contemporary art for the first time.  The remaining textual components for Tierra were the exhibition guide that included reproductions of the artwork, and the wall texts which were written bilingually being aware of Plaza’s audience constituency.  Since we (the artists and myself) did not know what the final show would look until opening day March 21, 2002, it was exciting to see that in fact the experiment worked to bring these six artists together to create art that engaged with our contemporary moment of elusive identities. 

            Most of the works were site-specific installations, and the exhibition layout was determined by assigning gallery areas.  The layout of Tierra models the cycles of life beginning with birth and ending with death. They appeal to various sites of resistance such as the Laundromat, one’s own body, the media, and political strife on the home front.  The artwork collectively addresses perceptions, rather misperceptions of communities of color. The exhibition brought other local contemporary artists to a historic venue that has been a haven for contemporary Chicano / Latino artists.  Consequently, another outcome an exhibition such as Tierra was to introduce a community cultural space to another generation of artists, who at times are not considered part of the visual canon of Chicano / Latino art.  Tierra also begins a cross-cultural dialogue with other communities residing in Los Angeles ­ queer, black, 3rd & 4th generation Chicanos and regions of the Imperial and San Gabriel Valleys.  Three examples that exemplify the goals of the exhibition are Ostriches, Alligators, and the Police, Oh My! Eastlake River/ Lincoln Park, 1900s ­ 1970s, Totumbao, and Rootlessness by Sandy Rodriguez, Patrick “Pato” Hebert and Edgar Arceneaux, respectively. 

            Rodriguez’ installation evokes painting aesthetics of early 19th century American paintings of the West.  Rodriguez’ series analyzes a 100 year history of this region and queries the power and process of naming a place as one’s own.  Depicted in the oil paintings of Eastlake (pre-Lincoln Park) are images of a past only remembered in vintage memorabilia when the park once housed an ostrich farm, alligators in the lake, an arboretum, and racetracks that ran along the park.  The series solicits a conversation between the past and present history of Lincoln Park, where the Boathouse Gallery now stands.  Intermixed in this installation is also a matrilineal artistic family legacy the artist claims as her own as she discovers her grandmother’s travels to this region.  The inclusion of photographs that highlight Chicano youth activism of the 1970s resonates with the community center’s past of coming into existence.  The installation can be viewed as a collective visual history of what once existed. 

            Totuma: Panamanian gourd

            Tumba: n. tomb; v. to knock down

            Tumbao: rhythmic structure for salsa moderno

            Totumbao is Hebert’s mixed media installation that converts gourds, a native plan cultivated on the isthmus, to photographic storyboards which present a post-colonial critique of the United States invasion of Panama in 1989.  Other materials created for this installation included a series of e-mail conversations with Hebert’s aunts’ remembrances of the invación as well as a triptych that alludes to witnessing of the Panamanian citizenry.  The subtlety of the installation invites viewers to remember that many Panamanios died in this one-sided battle of political power and economic gain in service of the United States.  This installation is more than an ofrenda and serves as a memory imprint paying homage to the witnesses.  Totumbao is a Panamanian’s remembrance of and connection to homeland via family narratives and fragmented histories.  The installation can be viewed as mediating between two worlds, often in conflict yet attempting to live in harmony within cultural spaces of Las Américas.  Both installations contend with complexities of historical memory and provide each artist a personal entrée to sharing their family narratives.

Thematically these installations comment on processes of historical archiving and are in conversation with Edgar Arceneaux’s Rootlessness, mixed media installation.  Arceneaux compiled numerous photographs, textual memorabilia, and record albums by artists who were part of Alex Haley’s seminal made for t.v. movie “Roots.”  Rootlessness is a continued personal exploration of “social memory of place” [4] in which he metaphorically represents “the unbridgeable gap between loss and desire.” [5]   He interrogates the journeys to a mythic or fictional homeland as featured in two television events, the mini-series “Roots” and Gene Roddenberry’s ”Star Trek” series (1966-present).  Arceneaux assembles a genealogy of memorabilia from these two shows and gleans memories gathered in our collective tele-visual pop cultural history.  A painting, news clippings, books, videos, and other items, Rootlessness attempts to unravel the ramifications of the historical cinematic feat of “Roots” and its impact on a “racial narrative” outside of the African American community; contrasting it with the space age series “Star Trek,” hence challenging viewers to map the connections between both series, to go “where no man has gone before.”

            The artworks should not be seen as autobiographical tales, rather they offer viewers with alterNative interpretations to geo-cultural landscapes.  These installations examine moments of historical displacement among Chicanos, Carribeños, and Africans.  In the Foucauldian sense, they all reinterpret historical memory, challenging origin myths and media portrayals of these divergent moments. Tierra Incógnita should not be seen as the definitive exhibition on how artists of color respond to themes discussed above.  We should engage with their work viewing it in mid-sentence, in response to a previous conversation and in preparation for a future dialogue that may or may not reference what we see here.  As I navigate through these mixed media installations and photographic series, I invite you to traverse through a type of artistic borderlands, a middle space that is vibrant with creativity. 

Beyond the River

My memory will retain what is worthwhile.  My memory knows more about me than I do; it doesn’t lose what deserves to be saved.

- Eduardo Galeano

I began by asking whether there’s a breadth of Latinidad present in art exhibitions.  Tierra Incógnita opened spring of this year and was at Plaza until early June.  While reviews were limited, there was a good response to the exhibition by gallery visitors.  The exhibition’s success was that it included artists whose work provided fresh interpretations of Latinos, or at least modes to discuss similarities with other communities.  As this fall's exhibition season began, two exhibitions Mixed Feelings: Art and Culture in the Postborder Metropolis and Boyle Heights: The Power of Place provides an opportunity to query if in fact, there is an attention to cross-cultural and inter-generational representation of artists in art exhibitions organized locally.  As some final thoughts, I want to propose that Mixed Feelings and Boyle Heights allude to trends that incorporate and question Latinidad as a community identifier. 

I reference these two exhibitions and Tierra Incógnita because all three shows are trying to contend with the viability of aesthetically moving and socially conscious artwork.  The diversity of aesthetic interventions made by these artists in Los Angeles reflects their everyday experience living in this vast and at times alienating metropolis.  The challenge for curators is to avoid producing exhibitions that want to be all too inclusive.  Perhaps, Pagel's critique of Mixed Feelings that "it wants to be a carnival or a doctoral dissertation" is his manner at not willing to engage between the interdependent relationship of art and its surroundings.  Though I do not agree with Pagel's review of Mixed Feelings he does raise an issue that these three shows are still vested in identity politics. 

The easiest way for ivory-tower scholars to pretend to be onto something new is to slap the prefix "post" on an old idea.  In the '80s, postmodernism was all the rage.  More recently, it's been suggested that we live in a post-black era.  Postborder art is the curators' attempt to keep the identity-oriented works that dominated the mid-1990s from dying a natural death.  Their angle: focus on artists whose ethnicities are hyphenated. [6]

What Pagel fails to recognize is that identity politics still becomes a way to present artists of color in mainstream institutions.  Further examination of these three exhibitions regarding where they were viewed - a community art center, a museum gallery, and national museum - should be considered in other to explore how curators are pushing the limitations of "identity based" art exhibitions. 

            Can we enter the master’s house? This question resonates throughout the analysis of exhibitions presented and becomes a central question to my study about contemporary cultural production by artists of color.  As I continue to write and curate exhibitions on contemporary artists, issues posed in this paper on how Chicano / Latino art has been museum-ized and configured its vitality as it has entered or been presented in more mainstream venues is continually part of an expanding discourse of Latino museology. 

            Though it may be argued that 1974 was not the first time Chicano art entered the master’s house, [7] as cultural critics we must analyze how and when are Chicanos / Latinos featured in public spaces such as museum exhibitions.  I have attempted in this study to highlight moments of resistance whether inside or outside the master’s house.  Gustavo Leclerc describes the artistic communities east of the Los Angeles river as “exiles…finding new ways to (re)create their own identities.  Such ‘cultures of resistance’ can take many forms, but all have to do with people and place.  [T]he qualities of place act to condition and constrain the mechinism of identity formation” (Leclerc 1999).  At least for Chicanos and Latinos part of the mechanism of identity formation is rooted in three creative acts of rememberance, discovery, and volition (Ybarra Frausto 1999).  A lo rasquache is the spirit that coalesces each creative act to define and identify our collective stories.

            A discussion of the power relations inherent in exhibition spaces and community cultural spaces provides a framework by which to analyze curatorial practices of three recent exhibitions.  The master’s house in this study present us with a means to discuss both the ideological ramifications of exhibition practices as well as the physical limitations.  There is still more work to be done in "textualizing Latino museology" which includes reception analysis, as well as acknowledges the varied histories of these diverse Latino communities.  We must problematize the geographical landscape(s) of Aztlán, Border Metropolis, and Latino urban sites such as Boyle Heights which is the direction I plan to explore in this project. Ultimately my study hopes to bring to the forefront artistic interventions to help curators and art programmers to conceptualize a city like Los Angeles that mirrors the fluid transgressions of one community to another. 


References

Davalos, K. M. (2001). Exhibiting Mestizaje: Mexican (American) Museums in the Diaspora. Albuquerque, UNM Press.

Duncan, C. (1992). Art Museums and the Ritual Citzenship. Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display. I. K. a. S. Lavine. Washington, Smithsonian Institute Press: 87-103.

Frausto, T. Y. (1991). The Chicano Movement / The Movement of Chicano Art. Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display. I. K. a. S. D. Lavine. Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press: 128-150.

Gaspar de Alba, A. (1998). Chicano Art Inside/Outside the Master's House: Cultural Politics and the CARA Exhibition. Austin, The University of Texas Press.

Gaspar de Alba, A. (1998). Pre-Face / Pre-CARA. Chicano Art Inside / Outside the Master's House: Cultural Politics and the CARA Exhibition. Austin, The University fo Texas Press: xiii-xviii.

Lorde, A. (1983). The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House. This Bridge Called My Back: Radical Writings by Women of Color. F. T. C. B. Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa. New York, Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press: 98-101.

Pagel, D. (2002). This Glittery Lawn Mower Cuts to the Tough Questions; The installation is the highlight of an otherwise academic survey of the 'Postborder Metropolis'. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles: 6.

Prado, R. A. (1997). The Formation of a Chicano Art Canon: Narrations and Exhibitions of Los Four, ASCO, and Self-Help Graphics. Art History. Tucson, University of Arizona: 120.

° This essay was originally created in a research seminar on Los Angeles offered at the University of Southern California.  I would like to thank my peers for dutifully reading through drafts of this essay, particularly, Bridgett Hoida, Jennifer Stoever, and Priscilla Ovalle.  I would like to thank Professors Tim Gufstason and Philip J. Ethington for their invaluable insight, as well as to my mentor Teresa McKenna for offering suggestions to this current excerpt.     

° This essay was originally created in a research seminar on Los Angeles offered at the University of Southern California.  I would like to thank my peers for dutifully reading through drafts of this essay, particularly, Bridgett Hoida, Jennifer Stoever, and Priscilla Ovalle.  I would like to thank Professors Tim Gufstason and Philip J. Ethington for their invaluable insight, as well as to my mentor Teresa McKenna for offering suggestions to this current excerpt.  I appreciate my cohort in the Program of American Studies & Ethnicity who listened to various manifestations of this presentation.       

[1] Los Four, the name of the exhibition and collective included works by Carlos Almaraz, Frank Romero, Gilbert "Magu" Luján, and Roberto de la Rocha, opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 1974, however, the original exhibition, curated Luján, opened at UC Irvine, Art Gallery, November 10, 1973.  Instrumental in organizing both exhibitions was Hal Glicksman, who was the curator at the UC Irvine Art Gallery and had collaborated with Jane Livingston, curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1968.  Los Four did travel to University of California, Santa Barbara, California State University, Sacramento, and Self-Help Graphics, Los Angeles.  A twenty-year retrospective took place at the Robert Berman Gallery, April 10, 1994.For more information on this see, Gaspar de Alba, A. (1998). Chicano Art Inside/Outside the Master's House: Cultural Politics and the CARA Exhibition. Austin, The University of Texas Press. Prado, R. A. (1997). The Formation of a Chicano Art Canon: Narrations and Exhibitions of Los Four, ASCO, and Self-Help Graphics. Art History. Tucson, University of Arizona: 120.

[2] The title references Audre Lorde’s essay “The Master’s Tools will never dismantle the Master’s House,” published in 1983 in several anthologies including This Bridge Called My Back: Radical Writings by Women of Color.  F.T.C.B. Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa.  New York, Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press: 98-101. 

[3]   The title references Lorde, A. (1983). The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House. This Bridge Called My Back: Radical Writings by Women of Color. F. T. C. B. Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa. New York, Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press: 98-101.   I also make reference to Gaspar de Alba's remark that the museum is the "master's house where Chicano/a art was currently installed." Gaspar de Alba, A. (1998). Pre-Face / Pre-CARA. Chicano Art Inside / Outside the Master's House: Cultural Politics and the CARA Exhibition. Austin, The University fo Texas Press: xiii-xviii.

[4] Edgar Arceneaux artist statement

[5] ibid. 

[6] Pagel, D. (2002). This Glittery Lawn Mower Cuts to the Tough Questions; The installation is the highlight of an otherwise academic survey of the 'Postborder Metropolis'. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles: 6.

[7] See Jacinto Qurarte’s early art historical study on Mexican-American artists pre-1970.  Quirarte, J. (1973).  Mexican American Artists.  Austin, University of Texas Press.  Also see video on ASCO in which it describes their first “guerilla” performance at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Photograph is also reproduced in the Made in California, exhibition catalogue by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 

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