Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mextasy Exhibition Opening at Ohio State University, September 5 & 6, 2012 | William "Memo" Nericcio y Guillermo Nericcio García

Mextasy opens at the Ohio State University on September 5, 2012; 
here is some of the backstory on the exhibit.

OPENING RECEPTION / Q&A with Frederick Aldama

An excerpt from an unpublished interview with Lorena Nava Ruggero

LNR: What is Mextasy? Why did you create it?

WN: Mextasy is an art exhibition featuring outrageous stereotypes of Mexicans and other Latinas/os; additionally, it contains sculptures, drawings, photography, and other media that attack the notion of Mexicans as less-than-human in American mass culture. The show I opened along the Rio Grande river in McAllen (September, 2010) and in Laredo this December, Mextasy, is dedicated to the old motherland and my peculiar fatherland.

Mextasy is more than a representation of ecstasy about or for Mexico; it is about the sensuous tracings Mexican culture leaves both sides of the border. More existential state than archive, Mextasy speaks to the living organism of Mexicanicity as it moves between the bodies of Mexico and the United States--an overt and covert delicious miasma that arouses as it excites, excites as it provokes. ¡Que viva Mexico!, within and without its borders.

LNR: How does Mextasy parallel your book?

WN: Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the "Mexican" in America features over 200 illustrations, with 16 pages in full color; many of these illustrations are stock representations of Mexicans (the sleeping Mexican, the bandit Mexican, the hot, Latina femme fatale). However, the book also includes original art, digital, photographic and hand-drawn, created by me. You know English Professors are known more for tweed and pomposity than their Picasso-like skills--for that reason I publish all my art under the name of Guillermo Nericcio García, what my name would have been if I had been born 10 blocks south of where I came into the world in Laredo, Texas--a bordertown with Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.

LNR: You're primarily a writer, but this is an art exhibit -- what was it like to create this kind of "content"?

WN: I have been drawing since I was three--I made my own comic book with my sister before I was ten; after that, I was the political cartoonist for my high school newspaper (most infamous drawing? of Vice-Principal Shoup as a zeigheiling facsist for his punitive pedagogy--I was almost expelled and the nuns at St. Augustine tried to censor the paper).

LNR: What will you focus on in your lectures in [Colorado]?

WN: I will be focusing on my ongoing forensic work on American visual culture--so I will be dealing with the image of Mexico in the United States but also with our changing optics-obsessed culture in general--from Avatar in 3-D to the IPad, we are living through a watershed moment in textual reproduction where the turn to the visual (the semiotic) is accelerating at a mind-blowing pace. Next year, my new book appears with the University of Texas Press; it is entitled Eyegiene: Permutations of Subjectivity in the Televisual Age of Sex and Race--parts of my talks will be drawn from that work.

OSU Poster

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

OSU/LASER MEXTASY SHOW PRINT: Ethnic Mannequins Series 7: I/Eye, Eva

One of the most popular American star in television in the late 20th and early 21st century, Eva Longoria re-embodies the form and allure of the Latina bombshell, born in the early days of Hollywood.

I/Eye, Eva

2012, Guillermo Nericcio García
digital collage

I/Eye, Eva picks up on the idea of the "ethnic mannequin" that I toyed around with in Tex[t]-Mex--there, in a mad synthesis of ideas lifted from Gayatri Spivak (the subject effect), Jacques Derrida (the trace), Frantz Fanon (darkness and psychopathology), and Edmundo Desnoes ("Cuba Made Me So" | Latina/o objectification), I tried to document the dynamic processes wherein Latina/o archetypes transmogrify/evolve.

What's special about Eva (and what she has in common with Rita Hayworth), is that she is the head of her own production companies and businesses--not all too successful if wikipedia's resources are accurate (look up her Beso restaurant biz based out of Vegas--here's a Wall Street Journal piece). This connection between the star (the "victim" in the familiar objectification of woman argument) and the semiotic means of production surrounding her (graphic) reproduction complicates things for the contemporary arbiter of Latina semiotic signage.

The piece for the OSU show grafts together photography by Chilean camera wizard Nino Muñoz, in British lads' magazine Arena's January 2007 issue, as well as work from the June 2009 issue of GQ Mexico (still looking for the photographer's identity). Two years apart, a 20th century ethnic mannequin stars in two photoshoots that feature images with ropes and chains, each image evoking unseen puppeteers of sorts.

Coincidence? I would have to ask Eva and am till waiting on a callback!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012