Friday, September 22, 2023

What is Mextasy? --> 2023-2024 Edition! The Pop-Up "Circus of Desmadres" -- A Traveling Exhibition Coming Soon to a Gallery, Museum, or University Near You!

~ Last updated September 23, 2023  ~

#Mextasy is back! 2023-2024

Mextasy: Seductive Hallucinations of Latina/o Mannequins Prowling the American Unconscious
is a traveling pop-up or gallery-based art show/exhibit based on the work of William "Memo" Nericcio and Guillermo Nericcio García

The traveling exhibition or "Circus of Desmadres" was originally curated by Leticia Gómez Franco for Casa Familiar, San Ysidro, California, and Rachel Freyman Brown, South Texas College, McAllen, Texas. Recents shows include exhibitions/performances at Boise State University,  UC Riverside (virtual via Zoom, thx Covid!)  Iowa State University and the Nepantla Cultural Arts Center, Seattle, Washington--other noteworthy gigs include performances at Northwestern University, Wabash College, California State University, San Bernardino, and Franklin & Marshall College.

Mextasy is re-imagined, interactive art and artifact exhibition that grew out of Nericcio's 2007 American Library Association award-winning book with UT Press, Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the Mexican in America

In addition to racist artifacts from American mass culture (the bread 
and butter of Uncle Sam's unconscious and the backstory for the resurgence in anti-Mexican, anti-Latina/o peoples presently), the show also features works that is "xicanosmotic," that is, works by Mexican-American artists where the delicious fusion of the Mexican/US borderlands/frontera is writ large as in the deliriously delicious artistic tracings of Raul Gonzalez IIIPerry Vasquez, Rafaella Suarez, and Izel VargasVisitors to this page interested in having MEXTASY invade their local gallery/university of choice should contact us here.

Interview | #mextasy, the Backstory...

"Not Chicano #1"An Artifact
An excerpt from an unpublished extended interview with Lorena Nava Ruggero, appears here. An other interview, focused more on the Eyegiene project, appears online on Agitprop.

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?
Classic Mexican Stereotype!

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 Texas (I noticed two speaking engagements at libraries)?

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. This December (2019) year, my new book, written with Latinx wunderkind Fede Aldama appears with the Ohio State University Press; it is entitled Talking #browntv: Latinas and Latinos on the Screen--parts of my talks will be drawn from that work.

LNR: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

WN: I love visiting South Texas--it is like a return to my roots; and though Northern Mexico and South Texas are in cultural chaos right now, the fallout of the Narco Wars hitting this locale hard, I think its important to remind yourself of where you come from. You would think that Southern California and South Texas are the same, but they are like worlds apart.


Other recent Mextasy exhibitions include shows at (pre-boycott!) the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign at La Casa Cultura Latina, the Centro Cultural de La Raza, in Balboa Park, San Diego, California; at Ann Arbor, Michigan for the Department of American Studies, University of Michigan; in San Ysidro, California (as Xicanoholic) at Casa Familiar; in McAllen, Texas at South Texas College's Pecan campus Art Gallery; at Laredo, Texas at the the Laredo Center of the Arts; additionally, it had an April 8, 2011 opening at the Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, University of Hawai'i at Manoa; and a run at the Fullerton Public Library with Gustavo Arellano hosting! September 2011 saw Mextasy invade San Antonio College for a Tex[t]-Mex reading/signing and an exclusive South Texas MEXTASY exhibition. In 2012, Mextasy was sighted at Ohio State University; at the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario; at theFront, San Ysidro, California; and in Boulder, Colorado, at the University of Colorado for the Ethnic Studies DepartmentWestern University, London, Ontario has also hosted a show, with other exhibitons and presentations at Adrian CollegeUCLA, and Boise State University.

You can also now screen the pilot episode of MextasyTV! The travel show based on the Mextasy Traveling Exhibition of Desmadres and Tex[t]-Mex!

If you are interested in bringing Mextasy to your museum, campus, school, gallery, etc., here is a copy of the standard letter I send out to hosts.  Just contact me at,, or, and I will get back to you right away! Here's a form letter I send to prospective hosts for the show/event:
Dear curators,  

I have a traveling exhibition of work that goes by the name of Mextasy--it is a conglomeration of Mexican stereotypes artifacts, my own graphic art, and a select set of curated art that displaces/attacks stereotypes by established and up and coming young Latina/o artists. The exhibition has been featured in galleries and also has appeared as a pop-up event/exhibition at the following institutions/sites:

  • Rice University and Houston Community College, March 2023 (HCC-link) (Rice-link)
  • San Diego State University, Administration Building, November 2021 
  • Boise State University English Department, September 2021
  • Iowa State University, September 2019 (link)
  • Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery, Seattle, WA, September 2019
  • Franklin and Marshall College, Pennsylvania, March-April 2018
  • San Diego State University Malcolm A. Love Library (installation), March 2017
  • The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, April 2016
  • SDSU, BINACOM, April 2016
  • Cornell University, Department of Comparative Literature, April 2016
  • Arizona Historical Society/University of Arizona, Spanish, February 2016
  • University of Pennsylvania, February 2016
  • Mextasy with Bordertown (Fox TV), Casa Familiar, San Ysidro, CA, November 2015
  • Southwestern College Art Gallery, Southwestern College, Chula Vista, CA, October 2015
  • The University of Kentucky, Lexington, Lexington, KY, April 2015
  • Richland College, Dallas, Texas, February 2015
  • Mi Barra, MextasyTV Premiere, Chula Vista, CA, December 2014
  • The University of Texas, El Paso, October 2014
  • Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, April 2014
  • The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne, February 2014
  • The University of California, Los Angeles, November 2013
  • Adrian College, Adrian, Michigan, September 2013
  • The University of Washington, Seattle, Washington,
  • The University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, February 2012
  • The University of Texas, Austin, Center for Mexican American Studies, September 2011
  • San Antonio College, Hispanic Heritage Month, September 2011
  • University of Texas at San Antonio, Department of English, September 2011
  • San Antonio College, September 2011
  • University of Hawaii, April 2011
  • California State University, Fullerton, April 12, 2009
  • The Ohio State University, February 2009
  • California State University, Northridge, April 2008
  • The University of Arizona, Southwest Center, April 2008
  • Skylight Books, Los Angeles, November 2007
  • The University of Southern California, USC, November, 2007
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio, November, 2007
  • The University of Texas at Austin, November, 2007
  • The University of San Diego, USD, May, 2007
  • California State Northridge, CSUN, April, 2007
  • DG Wills Bookstore, La Jolla, March 2007
We would love to have the show featured at your cool institution.   Here are some links to videos and galleries of images so that you can get a sense of the show:
CENTRO CULTURAL DE LA RAZA, San Diego, CA 2011 (thanks again to Ozzie Monge and all the cool peeps at the Centro)

SOUTH TEXAS COLLEGE, McAllen, TX 2010 (thanks again to Rachael Brown!)

ADRIAN COLLEGE, Adrian, MI, 2012 (thanks to Aïda Valenzuela!)

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, Seattle, WA, 2013 (thanks to Jose Antonio Lucero)

... and in these photo series:






We are totally open to any and all arrangements with regard to the show!

Here is a generalized menu of costs associated with the show--understand that the money values cited here are for reference and that I negotiate individually with
host institutions and definitely cut special deals for Latinx/MEChA-style student groups!

1. FULL MONTY MEXTASY EXHIBIT + Sculptures, $3995
Installations, etc…. I would fly out to
install the show in a gallery provided by the
university.  I would assist in staging an opening
gala event, working with students, visiting
classes, doing community outreach, etc etc etc.
Then, a month later, I would fly back to close
the show, break everything down, ship everything
back, etc.  I would charge a set price of $4995
and would be responsible for EVERYTHING,
no muss, no fuss, no bother! A show very similar 
to this was curated at the Ohio State University 
Student Union--you can see some representative 
shots of it here.

2. Middle of the Road-style 
Mextasy Exhibition, $2495

Same as above only I only fly out only once to set up
the show and do all the same lectures etc and someone
on your end is responsible for packing up the show
carefully and fed-exing back to me. A similar
show to this one went down at the University of
Washington's Ethnic American student center
video here.

3. Rascuache-style On the Fly Pop-Up 
Mextasy show, $1750

I fly in for a couple of days, Your university providing
airfare, hotel, etc.  I give a series of lectures/presentations
featuring as much of the show I can pack with me
in two suitcases.  You can get a sense of the number
of artifacts/artworks in the show in a similar
show I did for a gallery in Brooklyn a few years


4. Zoom-based Mextasy Circus of Desmadres, $995.00

Write me! or

Please confer with your colleagues and let me 
know what you think!

Abrazos from Califas,

Bill "Memo" Nericcio

Original posting 11/4/10 | revised 12/11/2010 | Revised again, September 2011 | 
Once again on Thursday, April 10, 2014 | and, still once again, October 4, 2014 |
and, once again, if you can believe it on February 4, 2015 and on January 3, 2017.
Last touched? 21, January 2017! And, revised one last time, Monday, July 30, 2018
before being revised still yet ONE MORE TIME on March 24, 2019! and then, 
surprisingly, and hopefully NOT for the last time, updated once again
on 25 July 2019. oh, and yes, once more tweaked 19 April 2021! and,
can you believe it?, October 2, 2021. Tinkered with, once more, on
November 20, 2022.

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