June 13, 2001

Subject: [AztlanNet: ARTS|LETTERS] NM CyberCircus
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 01:43:09 -0000
From: "Pedro Romero Sedeno" <romesedeno@hotmail.com>
Reply-To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com
To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com

To Octavio Oromano: I don't have trouble getting any of YO YO art.   I use the computers at the public libraries.  As the song goes: "You can't sing the blues if you own your own computer"    This month and July , I am working 4 days a week  in a summer art institute out of town.  I am one of four artists working with 20 high school students doing a ceramic mosaic project on a convention center, so I have limited time for cybercharla, but I enjoy Oromano graphics like "arteesta hamericana.                                                                                                                           

----------I finally figured out what ticks me off so much about the LupeSirena payasadas and CyberChapel, here in N.M., is that it has made a circus of the religious folk art tradition, a tradition which is "de lo nuestro",  of us manito/raza. The dominant culture, i.e. the Museum and the media, is propagandizing the whole commotion its way of course.  : To me, the whole commotion reinforces the racist stereotype that us Hispanic/Chicanos,etc, are "just a bunch of stupid Mexicans".  That's what really bugs me. 

Alma Lopez's digital jingoisms and Tey Marianna Nunn's "computer-altar" have provided the  substantiation for  this stereotype, but  their supporters "just don't get it" and are blinded with that "you go, girl" attitude.   You notice their only defense of Alma's work is to villainize the critics, like you and me? No real debate.    Anyways, oro, Keep up the good work.


Subject: hello
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 02:39:29 -0400
From: mariam <mr24716@aol.com>

i think your work is great and no matter what anyone says you should keep expressing your opinions and you cant always please everyone but that doesn't mean you should stop what your doing. i love your work and hope you keep coming out with more. my teacher showed it 2 the class and a lot of the kids were like whoa about the "our lady" but i like how u captured the beauty and dominance and strength of a woman.i have 2 go to bed now but keep up the greta work bye bye



Subject: Re: [AztlanNet: ARTS|LETTERS] NM CyberCircus
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 11:15:46 EDT
From: RR2001RR@aol.com
Reply-To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com
To: romesedeno@hotmail.com, AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com

Pedro Romero Sedeno wrote:
"To me, the whole commotion reinforces the racist stereotype that us Hispanic/Chicanos,etc, are "just a bunch of stupid Mexicans."

Perhaps this is the most revealing statement of this entire debate... isn't that the dominant psyche of Raza in this country, particularly those from New Mexico... and Northern new Mexico to be precise... I respect all peoples' beliefs... about what is sacred... and so I do understand that point of view... this is in response to that other attitude that many of us confront... that is, the atitude of "don't confuse us with those stupid Mexicans from south of the border." That atttitude can be found everywhere in the United States... in L.A. and El Paso... and New Mexico. It's vicious... and based on his response, seems to cloud the ability to think.

Regarding one's faith, an image should not shake one's faith unless one actually has no faith... but again, I do respect all things sacred...

Roberto Rodriguez


Subject: Our Lady
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 13:13:16 EDT
From: Gerrigerling@cs.com
To: almalopez@earthlink.net

Why do you feel it necessary to depict Our Lady as a defiant, provocative ,"in your face" woman? She is the gentle, loving Mother of Our Lord- you cheapen her and all womankind by your depiction. I have no problem with your right to express yourself, but with that right should come responsibility, and sensitivity to others. We do appear to live in a world where "anything goes" - but, I implore you to consider the beliefs and respect for others.

How would you feel if an artist depicted Hispanics as ignorant, dirty and gaudy? Please, it saddens me more than it angers me that you feel such a need for notierity that you would sacrifice Our Ladys image on the altar of money and publicity.


Subject: comentary on alma lopez' "virgin"
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 16:06:09 -0700
From: sergio zenteno <info@sergiozenteno.com>
To: XColumn@aol.com, almalopez@earthlink.net

As is often the case, women performance artists who explore personal issues such as rape, abuse, sexism, etc., tend to present their bodies in disrobed or nearly nude situations in performance. Raquel is a case in point. I find this interesting.

The Virgen of Guadalupe, an essential icon in much of the world, particularly in Latin communities, will invariably command attention, specially if it is "treated" with the provocative signifiers of modern-day sexiness, even when the face denotes a sufficient degree of sufrida angst.  I admire these women for producing such controversy-prone work but by employing such obvious and loaded topics: sex and religion, Alma and Raquel risk the central merit of the piece. Often, the controversy-as-noise surrounding a work of art passes for true aesthetic and/or conceptual merit.

sergio zenteno


Subject: Re: Your wonderful cause--
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 21:33:23 EDT
From: Gwynneth5@aol.com
To: almalopez@earthlink.net

Dear Alma:

I want to add my wholehearted support for your magnificent courage to the record of all those who also see and understand the value and supreme importance of the stand you have taken. It is a very, very old fight, and one we, as women and human beings must fight, and keep on fighting, not only for ourselves but for the moral and spiritual survival of the human being as a species. Women's rights also are the most fundamental human rights. The men who oppose you now are too far from the truth to understand that their own rights have been, and will be, imperiled, by the very same tacitcs they are using against you.

I am an artist living in the New York area, and have been a feminist for many years, so I understand only too well what you are dealing with.

Bravissima! and hold on--help is coming--as it must for your sound and good cause.

I wish you all the very best success--

Most sincerely,
Noel Wynn


Subject: Fwd: Re: [AztlanNet: ARTS|LETTERS] NM CyberCircus
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 18:48:15 -0700 (PDT)
From: Pedro Romero <romesedeno@yahoo.com>
Reply-To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com
To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com

Roberto Rodriguez wrote: ... but again, I do respect all things sacred...

Question: Is the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe groping La Sirena's T & A sacred? Is the image respect-able?

AS per what is Mejicano, the dominant culture of this country is much ignorant about what is Mexican, even New Mexican ( many think New Mexico is not part of the U.S. even). Even a most significant cultural icon of what is Mejicano, i.e. la Guadalupana image, is ignorantly dismissed as trivial, a commodity, and little understood. Commandeering this image to give relevance to one's own political agenda, as Alma Lopez has done, trivializes the esteem or value (syn.: respect) many Mejicanos and Nuevo Mejicanos have for the traditional image and its role in their personal experience. The dominant culture's cultural apparatus, such as the Museum of New Mexico, validates and has propagandized this ignorant trivialization. Lopez's work serves the dominant culture view. > Lopez says "Our Lady" is not devotional. As it is written: "It is literally true: 'Human things must be known in order to be loved; divine things must loved in order to be known.'" -the Urantia Book