This research attempts to adjudicate practices of contemporary artists in relation to the pervasive border politics and discourses which have emerged both before the 1990s and post-NAFTA. By looking at the ways in which contemporary art practices have intersected with an activist aesthetic over the last 40 years, one may begin to see how the physical landscape of the U.S. -Mexico border region and the border wall itself are engendered with dichotomous representations of people living within close proximity to it. Within the scope of this project, various artworks are analyzed and critiqued for their ability to enable new spaces for public discourse and to function as modes of resistance to hegemonic narratives about the border. By analyzing instances of transborder art activism through the flows of “artscapes”, this research looks closely at the work of artists like Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Rubén Ortiz-Torres, and Ricardo Dominguez. Additionally, by utilizing the notions of artscapes and hybridity, this discussion will navigate the flows of transborder art activism by looking at how four specific art collectives have, since the Chicano art movement, critiqued global cultural flows in relation to the U.S. -Mexico border that have transformed the political and sociocultural arena of public discourse. Though prior research has been conducted on how players like the mass media have been responsible for shaping public opinion pertaining to the border, this research suggests that artists and other cultural activists play a crucial role in critiquing deeply embedded narratives about nationality, gender, and class as they relate to the U.S. -Mexico border and the encompassing border region.
|Keywords:||Hybridity, Activism, Immigration, Transborder, Globalization, Flows, Framing, Imperialism, Xenophobia|
Graduate, University of California, San Diego, California, USA
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