INTRODUCTION TO THE MANUEL CARRILLO VIRTUAL EXHIBITION


 
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"Revealing Personal Identity: The Indigenous Vision of Manuel Carrillo" is about photography and identity. Melissa Carrillo, who is an artist herself, and guest curator of the exhibit, wanted to bring Carrillo’s own identity quest to life through the interpretation of his photographs as text. While developing the exhibition we concluded that a new ethnographic approach was needed in order to show how the Indigenous is constructed through photography. But it had to have the personal feeling, the "sentimiento" we very much wanted to explore and transmit. Terms such as displacement, border, location, explored in this project, come alive as a combination of images and poetry, not solely an academic discourse.

The challenge of museum exhibitions, virtual or otherwise, is to provoke new thinking, inform, and tell a story. We hope that this exhibition makes you think about Mexico as portrayed through Carrillo’s lens, about the indigenous Mexican, and about identity as a social construct.

This exhibition project is a collaboration between the Special Collections Department of the University of Texas at El Paso Library and the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives.

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to the following Smithsonian staff for their continuous support and advise, their patience, and their unconditional good humor:

Kathryn Cornelius, Rafael Peña, Mignon Erixon-Stanford, and Farleigh Earhart.

Our special gratitude to Melissa Carrillo for her absolute commitment to this project and hard work, to Tam Muro for his thorough and insightful advise, and to Michael J. Tuttle, web master in the Smithsonian Webmasters Office.

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