Friday, April 20, 2018

CARA's Politics of Representation

In this paper, Gaspar de Alba goes over Chicano/Chicana pieces exhibited at the CARA exhibition. This exhibition was led by Chicano/Chicana members and displays many noteworthy pieces. The biggest issues that the author had with the exhibition was the gender disparities when it came to art categories. For example, the feminist art section had only Chicana artists, whereas the urban art section featured mainly Chicanos. This divide can have a lot of unspoken connotations, such that only Chicanas can be feminists or that Chicana art is only valued in a certain context. Also, many of the Chicano pieces featured women whose sexuality was the only part of their identity.

In combination with the Gaspar de Alba's lecture, I was mostly fascinated by the comment that Chicana's were not making art "for art's sake" but as part of a political frame. Even though this was revolutionary at the time, it made me wonder if things are still the same today? Obviously, we should all be very lucky that Chicano/Chicana artists give us this easily accessible insight into their injustices, as it cures us of our ignorance. However, shouldn't Chicanas be able to make art for art's sake the same way that white artists do? I don't know much about art or Chicano/Chicana history, so I wasn't sure how much space the art world makes for Chicana artists. I wondered if they have the freedom to just make art without a political framework, or if they are only being valued and accepted for the knowledge they can share with us. In this exhibit especially, it seemed like most pieces were political or historical.

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