American Visions/Visiones de las Americas: Artistic and Cultural Identity in the Western Hemisphere. Noreen Tomassi, Mary Jane Jacob, Ivo Mesquita.

American Visions/Visiones de las Americas: Artistic and Cultural Identity in the Western Hemisphere

New York: Arts International, 1994.

Paperback. 10" X 10". xv, 193pp. Very mild wear to covers, corners, and edges of pictorial paper wraps. Dust-spotting to edges of text block. Very faint foxing to edges of inside of front and rear covers. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is sound.

Seventy-two artists, curators, museum directors and scholars from 18 countries in the Americas worked together at sessions such as Intercultural Literacy; The Artist as Cultural Worker; and Art, Gender and Minority Identity to forge commonality out of difference and shared perspectives out of specific visions to encourage a hemispheric dialogue in the visual arts that would value the histories and art productions of all cultures in the Americas and would act as a catalyst for increased hemispheric understanding and exchange. This book records and extends the discussion that began in Sao Paulo.

It includes a selection of papers presented there and pairs them with newly commissioned pieces including 23 artist's pages, an interview with artists Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Coco Fusco, and essays by two distinguished American writers, Milton Hatoum and Michelle Cliff.

The first section, The Critical Discourse in Latin America, deals from varied perspectives with the existence of a uniquely American vision. As Ivo Mesquita points out in the opening essay, there is a need to counter the superficial images present in the international arena that depict Latin America either through a stereotype of instability and social and political upheaval or through a romanticized/exoticized view of folk and traditional cultures. He argues instead for the creation of a powerful strategy for the insertion of the reality of Latin America into the contemporary world.

The next section, Mapping New Territories, addresses the second question: How do we, as inhabitants of this hemisphere, see ourselves? What is our vision of the Americas? Twenty-three artists were invited to submit statements.

In Section 3, Redefining Identity, topics include issues of self-definition and cultural hybridity as well as the importance of challenging historical and political constructs traditionally used to define the American experience. The themes that occur again and again in these pages - meztizaje, the uniqueness of the American experience in which everyone is in some sense dislocated, whether by choice or force; the right of people to define and control their experience; the connectedness of artmaking to the making of a safe and more liveable world - have relevance not only in this hemisphere but around the world.(Publisher). Very good. Item #7882
ISBN: 1879903148

Price: $20.00