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Museo Welcomes Josselyne Morales

Museo welcomes Josselyne Morales, one of the inaugural group of UCSC’s Creative Entrepreneurship Internship (CEI) ProgramThis blog represents her passion for the arts & artists in community.

She says of working with Museo,

“I am looking forward to learning about the history of the Chicano art movement in California through the legacy work of influential Chicano artist, Eduardo Carrillo. After being exposed to his paintings in real life and the amount of effort he put into his craft I am really inspired. It is as if I am finding pieces of a puzzle about a hidden history that I never knew was missing. Also, I find being able to research and work to promote underrepresented artists in our education system is incredible.”

Furthermore, Ms.Morales reflects,” Being a part of the first-wave of interns is an honor and a way for me to provide representation for future applicants that might feel deterred for a number of reasons.”

Considering her future goals of creating a non-profit organization, she intends to cultivate her experiences in community arts organizations, education and public service through her internship with Museo Eduardo Carrillo.

More about the Creative Entrepreneurship Program:

Sponsored by the UC Office of the President, the Creative Entrepreneurship Internship Initiative creates a diversity pipeline through placing underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students in internships in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and other California regions. The CEI—a component of the Division’s broader Arts and Entrepreneurship program—also provides interns with the opportunity to incubate ideas on the UC Santa Cruz campus.

To learn more contact:

Danette D. Buie, MPA
Director of Student Opportunity, Success, and Equity
University of California, Santa Cruz
831-459-3633
dbuie@ucsc.edu

El Chinaco

What I know about El Chinaco is what Ed told me.

Who is El Chinaco?  After the Chinese had finished working on the Central Pacific Railroad some of them, having had enough of Gringolandia, headed South to Mexico. Some of them became cowboys, and, take a look, pretty spectacular ones at that! Having adapted to the hardships of railroad work they already had the skills to deal with the rough physical life out of doors. So there you see a monumental horse beneath a monumental horseman with a decided Mexican aspect, and also a Chinese aspect, poised to be absorbed into multi-cultural Mexico. Ed saw connections, he was a uniter.

JOSSELYNE MORALES reflects on the work of Victor Cartagena

“Burrocracia,” Victor Cartagena

by Josselyne Morales

Currently on display at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art History (SC MAH) the exhibit “We Feed You: Works by Victor Cartagena” is available to visit until July 22, 2018. I would highly recommend going to see this exhibit if you have interests in food production injustices, sculptural installations, migrant worker issues, or social art in general. This show has it all!

“We Feed You” made me think about the ongoing labor struggles that still plague the US and the migrant’s stories within. Cartagena’s ideas on the systemic injustice of food production translated well with the materials used and the narratives contextualizing his art works. I was especially drawn to the decomposing “Cara de azúcar (Sugar Face)” for their nature with time but, the “Burrocracia” was my favorite art piece because it made me want to stay and absorb all it had to offer spanning the walls it covered. I thought “Labor Tea” was clever in its conceptual execution and pretty funny (pun-funny) from its title, of which I am a fan! 

The placement of “La Santa Cena (The Last Supper)” inside the exhibit made me feel like it demanded attention.  The instillation used a long table set with silverware and shiny China plates with blurred portraits burned into their centers,  staring out at us the plate bound images contrasted with the mundane cement floored setting. The placement worked for me because the artwork emphasizes important and urgent issues plaguing migrant workers in our agricultural sectors including: unsafe working conditions, disappeared migrants and unhelpful bureaucratic systems. As a consumer of the food production industry in the States I realize I am not fully educated on the issues within that industry. 

I feel it is important we have artists reminding us of the workers that oft-times don’t get our recognition, although they provide a nourishing necessity to us every single day. 

May we open our eyes and hearts so we do not forget those working hard and in most cases within terrible conditions to feed our surrounding communities and our nation. These are the faces and stories behind the food we eat. We must not overlook them but fight alongside them for their wellbeing and justice. Stay engaged!

I got in contact with Victor to ask him a few questions about his art and the exhibit. Read his response below:

JM: A lot of your artwork deals with identity and in your current exhibit you talk about the identity of migrants working in food production. Do you have any advice for young artists tackling their own issues of identity?

VC: I would tell them to search and recognize what is key in the representation of the times we are living, to consider the political, cultural and social class where we are.The everyday life that we face when we are young are putting in images the abstract ideas that associate us: The idealists, fighters, revolutionaries.

Each generation has to live different events and we go hand in hand with the course of history, so what a young person has to live in the USA is different to other youth around the world. So, when  considering one’s identity through artistic expression it is essential to recognize that each one of us is different from the others, based on beliefs, values, norms, attitudes yet we still inhabit the same world, time and space and this contributes to our cultural development.

JM: Your show currently at the Santa Cruz MAH is very evocative while touching on deep issues within the labor workforce here in the U.S. Were there any artists that inspired your creative process?

VC: I believe that I consciously and unconsciously am influenced by many artists in history, in terms of aesthetics. I think that in this project you can see a little influence of many, I would say. For instance,  in the mural Burrocracia you can clearly see that Guernica of Picasso was an inspiration. It’s like saying, not only one atrocity is unique; the world we live in has many “Guernicas,” so to speak. You can also see traces of Francisco Goya and his engravings.

In what’s going on the sculptures made of sugar, I do not have a unique artist to identify as an influence. There are so many artists who are my guides, mentors and inspiration. Sugar, iron, metal in general are materials with so much information. In fact, sugar was the inspiration of the Mexican culture, the “calacas” (skulls/skeletons) from Dia de los Muertos was very fundamental in my decision to make these faces of sugar.

JM: Is there anything you want the viewer to take away and reflect upon after viewing this exhibit?

VC: I would like people to be able to step into the shoes of the disadvantaged, and to thank immigrants for their contribution to this society, to understand that we do the most difficult work for the benefit of many and with little reward.  I also want them, when they thank Jesus, to thank JOSE too.

SC MAH Website:

https://santacruzmah.org/

More info about the SCMAH exhibition:

https://santacruzmah.org/2018/we-feed-you-works-by-victor-cartagena-april-4th-july-22nd-2018/

Good Times article on “We Feed You” exhibit:

http://goodtimes.sc/santa-cruz-arts-entertainment/art/victor-cartagena-exhibit-mah/

KQED post on Cartagena:

https://ww2.kqed.org/spark/victor-cartagena/

Julia Chiapella & Young Writers’ Project

by Josselyne Morales

On a slightly overcast Tuesday afternoon, Betsy Andersen, Director of the Museo Eduardo Carrillo, and I walked into the Santa Cruz MAH (Museum Art History) to meet up with Julia Chiapella, Director of the Young Writers Program (YWP). Our meeting with Julia took place in the imaginarium, “The Chamber of Heart and Mystery,” on the first floor of the SC MAH at 705 Front Street. The imaginarium is a magically immersive installation that serves as a portal to the Word Lab, an after-school writing project Young Writers Program. It is a place that inspires creative thinking and, imagination in conjunction with writing.

Julia greets Betsy with the warmth of an old friend. There is something special about the camaraderie of female entrepreneurs. When I first interacted with Julia I got a sense of composure and elegance in her movements and how she presents herself. We sat inside the Chamber and discussed her inspiration and drive for starting the YWP, which I learned was inspired from San Francisco’s very own non-profit “826 Valencia” created by Dave Eggers and Nínive Calegari. There’s energy and purpose in Julia’s voice when she spoke about the mission of the YWP, which is dedicated to building students’ writing skills and confidence. Volunteer writing mentors are trained by the Young Writers Program to bring one-on-one mentoring to the classroom in their work with students! Community is built between the students and mentors.

Hablamos Juntos (Together We Speak) is the ongoing collaborative projects between YWP and Museo. Students use artwork created by Chicanx/Latinx artists to stimulate lateral thinking through associations or connections with their own lived experience. The student’s writing is paired with the art and published in full color, hard-bound books that are sold through the local Santa Cruz Bookshop. Each student also receives a free copy.

I find this collaboration so important because it enables young thinkers and writers to find a place and platform for representations of themselves. This was missing from my own public-school education. There is so much history unveiled and emotions stimulated in these artist’s works. They are evocative and thus relatable for even the youngest of generations. The Hablamos Juntos project is a beacon of support not only for writing but also for an education in history that I thought to be lost. It isn’t.

Toward the end of our conversation, I was struck by an interesting assertion Julia made. We’re on the topic of the many reasons adult creativity shuts off. I brought up the notion that kids grow up too fast based on our online or offline social environment. There is a predominance of a “follower culture” on social media. STUDIES HAVE YET TO SHOW THE effect this has on the amount of time young people spend fostering independent creative and critical skills. This is when Julia mused that growing up fast isn’t necessarily a bad thing. She went on to explain that it could be beneficial because, through programs, like the YWP, youth can identify their experiences through writing and communicate their ideas, potentially leading to a greater sense of agency and responsibility. Programs like the YWP are important to support because they help build a sense of power and justice in communities that might not otherwise find it!

The meeting ended and I left the museum space, mulling over what I just learned about the type of organizations the Museo Eduardo Carrillo works with and supports. I couldn’t help but feel full of love and wonder for both the Museo and the Young Writers Program with their drive to create a brighter future.

Seen/Unseen: Stories into Creativity
A Film by by Wallace Boss

 Seen/UnSeen: Stories into Creativity (13 minutes, 2018, Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, CA) is a film by Wallace Boss.  He is a seasoned documentarian whose career has focused on creativity.

The artists in Seen/UnSeen: Stories into Creativity are Doyle Foreman (sculpture), Edward Ramirez (photography) and Claire Thorson (painting).  In Seen/UnSeen you will get to hear each artist explore their studio or “in the world” process and how it shapes an artwork coming into being.  

A project of Museo Eduardo Carrillo,  Seen/UnSeen: Stories into Creativity  is part of a Santa Cruz County wide initiative titled Spoken/Unspoken.  Museo is committed to sharing the art and voices of contemporary artists.

The Spoken/Unspoken countywide collaborative venture was organized by Cabrillo Gallery and fueled by the generosity of a donor-advised grant from the Roy and Frances Rydell Visual Arts Fund at Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, which allowed this project to come into being.  Find out more here: www.spokenunspokenart.com

Through a myriad of practices, artists give voice to a broad array of ideas, feelings, and concerns.  They invite us to think, to feel, to wonder, to question, to act and react. Through art, artists can shout dissent, rally for a cause, incite action, and foster community. Art can inform us, speak unspoken secrets and give a voice to the silenced. Art can offer comfort and a platform to communicate grief, anger, or injustice for those in difficult circumstances. Art can delight us aesthetically and touch us emotionally. It can express deeply personal thoughts and desires. Art can present puzzles to be solved or ambiguities to ponder.

Discover, through Wallace Boss’s film how  Doyle Foreman (sculpture), Edward Ramirez (photography) and Claire Thorson (painting) bring the Unseen into the Seen.

A free film screening of “Seen/UnSeen- Stories into Creativity” (16 minutes) and panel discussion with the artists and film maker will be hosted by The Sesnon Gallery in the Porter Faculty Gallery – Porter College at University of California, Santa Cruz on March 14th at 6PM.  Come early for best parking.  Please email betsy@museoeduardocarrillo.org for more information.

Seen/Unseen Gallery

Click thumbnail to enlarge

 

MEC launches DOC/UNDOC exhibit on Google Cultural Institute

Museo Eduardo Carrillo is pleased to announce the launch of DOC/UNDOC Documentado/Undocumented Ars Shamánica Performática on Google Cultural Institute.
 
DOC/UNDOC is the brainchild of book artist and publisher Felicia Rice, and includes work of performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña, art historian Jennifer González, sound artist Zachary Watkins, video artist Gustavo Vazquez, and of course Rice herself, functioning as a printmaker, book artist, and publisher. Under Rice’s direction, they collectively produced what González characterizes as a “Gesamtkunstwerk”—a total work of art.

As a Partner with the Google Cultural Institute’s Art Project, Museo joins 250 of the world’s most acclaimed art institutions on the world stage, including San Paulo Street Art, Brazil; Musee D’Orsay, Paris; Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico; and Tokyo National Museum, Japan. We are honored to be able to feature DOC/UNDOC on GCI!

 
 

The launch of the exhibit on GCI corresponds with the publication of the trade paperback version of the original limited edition art book at the heart of Doc/Undoc. This City Lights Books and Moving Parts Press trade edition presents the journey of DOC/UNDOC in a widely accessible, affordable book that not only documents the original collaborative artists’ book, but also provides a reader with their own interactive, immersive experience. The book is available for purchase here.

Testament of The Spirit: Paintings by Eduardo Carrillo on view January 21, 2018 -June 3, 2019

Museo Eduardo Carrillo is pleased to start 2018 by sharing news of the Carrillo retrospective.  The traveling exhibition Testament of the Spirit: Paintings by Eduardo Carrillo begins January 21st at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. 

Exhibition dates:

Pasadena Museum of California Art: January 21 – June 3, 2018
Crocker Art MuseumJune 24 – October 7, 2018
Triton Museum of Art: October 27, 2018 – January 27, 2019
American University Museum: April 6 – June 1, 2019

Exhibitions such as this cannot happen without the imagination, focused skill and planning, and hands on work of so many.  

Museo thanks:

  • Our guest curator Susan Leask and Associate Curator at the Crocker Art Museum, Kristina Gilmore. THEY MADE IT HAPPEN.  Profound thanks.
  • Lial Jones, ­Mort and Marcy Friedman Director and Scott Shields Associate Director and Chief Curator of the Crocker Art Museum who in 2008 envisioned this retrospective. 
  • Our team at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, starting with Susana Batiste, Executive Director and the energetic, “all things are possible” staff. They assembled an advisory team whose vision embraces activities in the community like the re-dedication of Carrillo’s “El Grito” mural in downtown Los Angeles. More to come.
  • Our catalog essayists who bring vivid and thoughtful ideas to Carrillo’s art. Philip Bookman, Dr.Gilberto Cardenas, Maureen Davidson, Michael Duncan,  Timothy Drescher PhD,  Susan Leask,  Dr. Amalia Mesa-Bains,  Tere Romo and Christina Waters PhD. 
  • The Carrillo Family and our circle of lenders who have generously allowed their pieces to leave home for the extensive year and a half tour.  
  •  
  • James Pennuto, master conservator, who restored long hidden works, reviving Carrillo’s bright array of colors.
  • Wilted & Taylor Publishing Services, the publishers of the catalog who fell in love with Carrillo’s art. It shows in every page.
  • The shipping team ATT Howe who made sure that all the far-flung works were provided safe transit.

We thank them all who have made this dream come true.

 

Alison Carrillo, Founder    
Betsy Anderse, Executive Director
Museo Eduardo Carrillo

“What Good Thing Could I Do Here?”

Eduardo Carrillo: Los Bucaneros, oil on panel, 60 3/4” x 60 3/4”

In 1997 Gus Clark was an art student at UCSC and Ed Carrillo was his mentor. Observant, responsive, Gus was eager to pick up on whatever his professor suggested as a worthwhile path of inquiry.

I remember one day when he was visiting us here at home and we were out in the studio.
Ed walked over to a large (5’ x 5’) oil painting, “Los Bucaneros”, depicting Indigenes and Conquistadors on a Spanish Galleon loading cannon as the ship pitched from side to side in the waves.

“Gus,” he said. “I want you to take this and copy it, then give me your copy and you can keep the original.”

I gulped! I liked Gus too but “Los Bucaneros” was one of my favorites and I could not imagine it going away so casually, and not even a sale! By that time I was well acquainted with Ed’s talent for giving but this surprised me. Gus gulped too. Yikes! What a responsibility! A responsibility he readily accepted. He was up to the task!

Gus did it. He took it home to Eureka and worked on it for a couple years. Ed died in the meantime and never did see the completed copy. It’s close to perfect, pretty darn close. At least he had perfection to guide him.

Well, this was typical of Eduardo Carrillo. He did not monetize every sketch, painting or even masterpiece. He saw beyond price and his own advantage to ask himself, what good thing could I do here? Obviously, he thought that was to inspire his worthy student, Gus Clark.

Ed’s mentorship was laced with generosity. He would always go the distance. Ask Cruz Zamarron.

Restoring “Los Bucaneros”

So many people contribution to the success of bringing the art to life through restoration and vivid documentation. Click on the images to enlarge and learn about the masters involved in restoring and documenting Eduardo’s painting.

Carlos Jackson: Reckoning With Hxstory

Reckoning with Hxstory, is an online-exhibition curated by Museo Eduardo Carrillo featuring Carlos F. Jackson’s drawings and silkscreen prints. The works in the series present a narrative that underlines hxstories of structural inequalities in the U.S. This online exhibition takes its title from the first sentence of Chicanx Studies founding manifesto, El Plan de Santa Barbara, which states, “For all people, as with individuals, the time comes when they must reckon with their history.”i

Read More of the essay by Gilda Posada

Hence, to reckon with hxstory, or to “take inventory,” as Gloria Anzaldúa calls it, is the first step towards conocimiento/ consciousness.ii She states that one must first take inventory to fully understand the weight one carries on their back, ultimately so to stop blaming victims for the problems generated by years of racism, colonialism, and oppression. These “weights” can be seen through the accounts that the viewer encounters when engaging with Jackson’s prints. The next step that Anzaldúa poses following the “taking of inventory” is a “winnowing out of the lies”, which is necessary to see what is true, so that injustice is not reproduced in actions that seek to generate social justice. Thus, in this journey, this exhibition replaces the i/e in history/herstory with an x to embrace decolonial teachings, as well as to create a space with the “x” for those whose truths and narratives have been left out because of hegemonic, patriarchal and heteronormative oppression.

Carlos Jackson’s Reckoning with Hxstory pulls from a variety of influences in his life as a cultural worker. Jackson’s extensive background in Chicanx art can be seen in the content of the work, particularly in creating visuals where consciousness and subjectivity is produced. As a printmaker, the influence of Cuban poster artists and graphic designers can be seen in layout choices and color selections. For example, the influence of René Mederos’ screen-print series “vallas”, on the history of the Cuban revolution commemorating the 20th anniversary of the assault on the Moncada, can be seen in Jackson’s use of visual narrative formation and choice in 3’x 4’ prints. Though his prints are bigger than René Mederos’ prints, they still carry the function of being utilized for public educational use to anyone with or without literacy. Jackson’s usage of large blocks of color to define shapes and people is similar to that of Mederos, but traces of his training in painting can be seen in the strokes used in the shading and definition of figures in his prints. The choice of interconnecting moments through iconic images of liberation movements in the last six decades is part of the larger work that Jackson engages in as a scholar in the Chicanx Studies department of UC Davis, and as Director and founder of Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer (TANA), a Chicanx community art center.

Jackson’s large-scaled prints demand the viewer confront hxstories of fascism, racism and colonialism that Blacks, Chicanxs and other minority groups have endured in U.S. That is to say, the experiences depicted here are a result the settler-colonial project brought into the Americas, where people were seen as less then by their white counterparts due to skin color, hair texture, religion and ancestral backgrounds. This haunting truth comes to life in his screen-print RELENTLESS/Little Rock 9, where he replicates the fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Eckford attempting to enter Little Rock Central High School on September 4, 1957 following the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decisions for integration.iii A furious white mob of roughly 400 gathered around the school that day along with the Arkansas National Guard to refuse these students entry. Jackson’s print brings to life the racism thrown at Eckford by white women, it is as if the viewer could hear the echoes of white supremacy ringing in their ears years later. Of course, to the viewer paying attention to the current events happening in the U.S., they will find that the echoes of white supremacy have not died out; the viewer will find a parallel between RELENTLESS/Little Rock 9 and the recent pro-white/alt-right attacks happening throughout the country, most noticeably in Charlottesville, Virginia. This is why it is of importance for the viewer to recognize as Anzaldúa states that “Awareness of your situation must come before inner changes, which in turn come before changes in society,” because “nothing happens in the ‘real’ world unless it first happens in the images in our heads.” iv This point is crucial, especially in a time where news is manipulated into alt-facts that deceive the viewer.

For those that feel overwhelmed and exhausted because they have been aware of the current conditions happening across the U.S., Jackson’s work then offers a reminder of courage, resistance and ruthless and unapologetic motivation to keep going. The image of Eckford walking by the white mob can serve as a motivation in the ability to keep seeking change in America until it becomes the America which embodies a true democracy and gives opportunity to all despite documentation, race, gender and/or body ability. The transparent red gradient with the word “Relentless” which appears over RELENTLESS/Little Rock 9, signals to the viewer that against all odds, people of color have resisted through being relentless and unyielding to white supremacy. In this print, Eckford is no longer seen as a victim of white supremacy, instead she is someone who relentlessly imagined an alternative future for herself and future generations. Eckford then becomes someone creating a new image of America in her head and paving that path towards self-determination and democracy.

The reiterations of resistance and the carving out America continue throughout Jackson’s work, for instance, Historical Materialism: Carpooling and Breaking the Fast, 1969, give us insights to moments of power and agency. These two prints showcase hxstories of Boycotts where Black and Chicanx communities organized as a means to be seen as human beings because America has not always looked at their experiences as such. This concept can be traced back to the first-contact of settler Europeans in the Americas, extending into the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the implementation of nation-state borders, which created genocide and institutional racist structures. Institutional racist structures, where migrants, people of color, the working class, and those labeled as the marginal of society were (and continue to be) seen as products in the agricultural chain, the supply industry, the labor force, etc.v Arrival 2, XICANX/Citizenship: Arrival, and Bracero Living or the Concentration Camp recap the life that Mexican workers who participated in the bracero program underwent from 1942-1947 in primarily agricultural labor contracts.vi Upon arrival, braceros were taken to processing centers where they were stripped and searched and then sprayed with DDT by Department of Agriculture. These long hxstories of exploitation and atrocious working and living conditions were met with opposition and ultimately strikes. Often overlooked, but shown in Jackson’s Breaking the Fast, 1969, is the Filipino community, who took the first role in leading the strike against growers in the summer of 1965, demanding that their wages be increased from $1.10 an hour as well as demanding better living conditions.vii In Carlos Jackson’s screen-print we see Cesar Chavez preparing to breaks his 25-day fast in Delano, California. The fatigued Cesar Chavez sits with Senator Robert F. Kennedy, his wife Helen Chavez and mother Juana Chavez. Often cut out of the frame, but shown here behind Chavez and flying the U.F.W. flags are Irwin DeShetler, Andy Imutan, Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz, all major organizers who joined forces with Mexican field laborers in the fight against exploitation and abuse. An understanding of this hxstory allows the viewer to gain a new perspective on unity. Jackson’s images remind many of painful struggles, but many forget that it was not done alone; these communities made each other stronger. Filipinos farmworkers introduced “Isang Bagsak” to the U.F.W. a phrase that means “one down, one fall.” A visual retelling of these narratives allows for the viewer to gain a further understanding that alone change is hard, and if one falls, everyone falls, but that together change can be achived.

Jackson’s inventory in moments in hxstory are a testament that one is never alone in the struggle; his work demonstrates that the foundations towards liberation have been set and that we have nothing to lose but our chains. Before Boycott was used as a tool towards liberation in the West coast it was used by Black America in the south, as seen through Historical Materialism: Carpooling. In this print, the viewer is given an insight into the mid 50s where three womxn and a man are entering a cab while an empty bus appears across from them. This moment which we see is alluding to the bus strikes between December 5, 1955 to December 20, 1956, where Black people were engaging in the struggle to end segregated seating in Montgomery, Alabama. Once again, these fundamental images remind us that defiance can serve as a tool against the tyrannizing forces today and remind us that everyone in America today is of value regardless of federally recognized citizenship. The bus boycotts are lived testaments that showed America that the Black experience was composed of people with families, with histories, with culture, with aspirations and with dreams that deserve to be respected and lived. Jackson proposes that “in order to know who we are, we first need awareness, which comes through education, and the only education that can produce this knowledge as a liberatory form is governed by praxis; action and reflection.”viii The creation of Black Lives Matter builds upon this vision, and reminds us that a reformation of America is needed. To reckon with hxstory, the viewer must educate themselves and hold America accountable for slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, lynching, and the mass incarceration of Black individuals. The viewer must then sit with these hxstories and connect them to the genocide of Black bodies in the hands of police departments and grand juries convening across the U.S.

Remaining in the hxstory of resistance, Jackson’s work continues to reckons with instances of state violence in relation to protestors. Workings of the State Apparatus: Walter Gadsden being attacked, Birmingham Alabama, May 4, 1964, references The Birmingham Campaign, which was composed of a series of lunch counter sit-ins, marches on City Hall and boycotts on downtown merchants to protest segregation laws in the city.ix In Jackson’s print we witness a case of a reoccurring practices, where peaceful demonstrators were met with violent attacks, high-pressure fire hoses, as well as police dogs. This moment is considered to be “one of the major turning points in the Civil Rights Movement and the ‘beginning of the end’ of a centuries-long struggle for freedom.” x Likewise, The workings of the State Apparatus: August 29, 1970, tells the hxstory of protestors in East Los Angeles. On August 29, 1970, the National Chicano Moratorium Committee organized its first public demonstration to protest the war in Viet Nam in East Los Angeles, where 30,000 attended the demonstration in a display of solidarity. The march culminated with speeches and festivities at Laguna Park and despite peaceful rally, the Los Angeles Police Department opened fire on activists, families and children, using “non-lethal projectiles” and tear gas. Police officials alleged that a liquor store had been broken into and that the robbers fled into the crowd. As families scattered, innocent community members were beaten and arrested, during the ensuring riot, police shot a tear gas projectile into the Silver Dollar Bar, where a group of people had sought refuge from the violence. Ruben Salazar, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, was hit in the head by the tear gas canister and killed. By the end of the day police had killed three people and injured more than sixty other individuals. Ruben Salazar’s image and events at the Silver Dollar Bar had become emblematic of the moratorium’s tragic end.xi Workings of the State Apparatus: Walter Gadsden being attacked, Birmingham Alabama, May 4, 1964 and The workings of the State Apparatus: August 29, 1970, visually elaborate the lengths to which the American government and law enforcement agencies were willing to go to crush peaceful dissent and protest. In these prints, Jackson is asking the viewer for communal remembrance; a note to never forget or underestimate the extent to which institutions, local or federal, will go to in order to keep their power and privileges in place.

The measures which the American government has taken to keep its dominance can always be taken one step further, as can be seen in The workings of the State Apparatus: Martin and The workings of the State Apparatus: Ernesto Guevara, Age 39. Although, the viewer will want to move past these works because of content, the viewer must reckon with the distaste and impulse to turn away. While these works bring sorrow, they also highlight the radical power that an idea of different worlds being possible holds. American empire played a role in attempting to extinguish the flames of hope and change across the world through the murders of Martin Luther King Jr. and Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Jackson inserts these images to continue communal remembrance, but also to signal that ideas of a different world will be seen as a threat, and that those in power will use all their resources to extinguish any change that does not uphold their power. But Jackson is also presenting us with these moments in movements to remind us as Fred Hampton said, “You can kill a revolutionary but you can never kill the revolution.” Thus, reflection of these images can serve as a collective consciousness on the way to seeing that there are multiple ways of being and doing the work, so long as it keeps the revolution in process.

Carlos Jackson’s work will carry the open wounds of injustice, sometimes imposed on by institutions and other times by community members that were utilizing the master’s tools to oppress their own community. Each print will ask the viewer to bear witness to the hurt and exclusion, but each print also carries a redemptive quality if the viewer is willing to “winnow out the lies.” This is the nature of Carlos Jackson’s work; it is an invitation to those who want to embark on the journey towards decolonization. Now is the time for the viewer to readjust their own views and seek the truths, there is no direct answer as to how to do this and no direct end because each individual governs a different path. Jackson’s work has done its part in creating new symbols, new forms of hxstories, new perspectives or/and ways of seeing ourselves in the world. Just as the children in Drawing for Xicanx Park, April 1970 that plant the seeds for a new space that will hold their hxstories, truths, and visions of the world they wish to see, we too must begin to carve out the space we envision for Nuestra Américasin fronteras, sin miedo y resistiendo.

C/S

—Gilda Posada

i El Plan de Santa Barbara. 1969

ii Anzaldúa, Gloria E. Borderlands La Frontera: The New Mestiza. (San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 2007) 105

iv Anzaldúa, Gloria E. ibid. 109.

v See print by Carlos Jackson’s Victoria, Texas, May 13, 2013.

vii Imutan, Andy . What happened when Mexicans and Filipinos joined together. From: 40th anniversary of Delano Grape Srrike two-day reunion in Delano, September 2005<http://ufw.org/research/history/mexicans-filipinos-joined-together/>

viii Email exchange with Carlos Jackson on 9/13/2016.

ix The Birmingham Campaign. Public Broadcasting Service. 1995-2017. < http://www.pbs.org/black-culture/explore/civil-rights-movement-birmingham-campaign/#.Waj5R5OGNsM>

x The Birmingham Campaign. ibid

xi Jackson, Carlos F. Protest Arte: Chicana and Chicano Art. (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2009) 127

 

   

The Chicanx Poster Workshop: A Space Where Subjectivity Is Produced

I frame my printmaking and writing practice as that of a cultural worker…
…Chicanx posters demonstrate that Chicanx identity is fluid, in development, and open for creation, a finding that contests the widespread notion that Chicanx identity is a fixed category that is manifested in predictable ways.  

—Carlos Francisco Jackson

Read the entire article from AZTLÁN: A JOURNAL OF CHICANO STUDIES in PDF format

 

Carlos Francisco Jackson is an associate professor and chair in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Davis. He received a BS in community and regional development and an MFA in painting from UC Davis, and he was awarded the Robert Arneson Award for excellence in the MFA program. He has been a fellow at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in central Maine and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Between 2004 and 2015 he served as founding director of Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer. Jackson has shown his art at exhibitions throughout the United States. He is the author of Chicana and Chicano Art: ProtestArte (University of Arizons Press, 2009), and his work appears in the exhibition catalogs Mi América/My America: Carlos Jackson (University of Illinois, 2011) and Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Mexican American Prints from the Romo Collection (University of Texas Press, 2012).

carlosfjackson.com
http://www.artpractical.com/feature/abolish-borders-as-revolutionary-futurity/
https://boomcalifornia.com/2014/04/16/serigrafia/

Text © Gilda Posada, all rights reserved
Artwork and Text © Carlos Francisco Jackson, all rights reserved