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'Leaving Aztlán' at Emison Museum, January 31 - May 10

January 25, 2007

Aztlan-CarlosFresquez.jpgJanuary 25, 2007, Greencastle, Ind. - "Leaving Aztlán," an exhibition featuring the work of contemporary artists that challenges stereotypical perceptions of Chicana/o and Latina/o art, will be on view at DePauw University's William Weston Clarke Emison Museum of Art from January 31 through May 10, 2007. You're invited to view the free exhibition, and attend an opening reception Wednesday, March 7 at 5 p.m. (at left: Carlos Fresquez, Tiempo Trippin', 2004; courtesy of the artist)

"Leaving Aztlán" presents the work of contemporary U.S. artists who, by engaging a wide range of contemporary artistic practices, forms and strategies, produce work that challenges stereotypical perceptions of Chicana/o and Latina/o art as a homogenous “style” defined solely in culturally specific terms. The artists in this exhibition utilize culturally ambiguous formal and conceptual strategies that defy one-dimensional readings, and situate their work not within the confines and constructs of an ethnically based visual ghetto, but within the larger, global context of contemporary art.

Rather than completely divorcing themselves from the visual Aztlan-GuerrerMacia1.jpglegacy created by Latina/o and Chicana/o artists from previous generations, whose work was primarily informed by a collective ideology and cultural nationalism that shaped a visual expression of “Chicanismo,” these artists instead produce work that resists a culturally essentialist reading. They accomplish this through the use of hybridity as a formal and conceptual strategy that fuses their position as both Chicanos in the U.S. and artists within the greater global community; by adopting formal approaches and subject matter that thwart attempts to align their work with a specific ethnicity; and by appropriating forms of popular culture that are ethnically specific in order to challenge cultural and aesthetic hierarchies. (below right: Diana Guerrero-Maciá, Never Mind the Twist, 2001; courtesy of the artist and Bodybuilder & Sportsman Gallery, Chicago)

In the body of work presented in this exhibition, cultural stereotypes are not perpetuated, but critiqued, lampooned, and subverted through the use of diverse media, including photography, site-specific installation, video, painting and sculpture. The group of post-identity practitioners represented in "Leaving Aztlán" create work that represents the wide range of Aztlan SpiderJohnson.jpgexpression found in the Latina/o Chicana/o diaspora, and moves in new directions, addresses new concerns, and encompasses a broader range of formal and conceptual sensibilities and strategies.

This new generation of artists are mapping out new and important terrain as their work forces us to question, more than ever before, what it means to label work as “Chicana/o” or Latina/o” art, as well as what constitutes the relationship between ethnicity and artistic production. (at left: Alex Donis, Spider and Officer Johnson, 2001, courtesy of the artist)

"Leaving Aztlán" features the work of Jesse Amado, Connie Arismendi, Javier Carmona , Alex Donis, Christina Fernandez, Carlos Fresquez, Diana Guerrero-Maciá, Salomon Huerta, Rubén Ortiz-Torres, Chuck Ramirez and Shizu Saldamando.

This exhibition was organized by Kaytie Johnson, director and curator ofEmison Museum NW.JPGUniversity Galleries, Museums and Collections at DePauw University, and has been exhibited at The Center for Visual Arts, Denver; Arena One Gallery, Santa Monica; LIMN Gallery, San Francisco; and the Wignall Museum of Art at Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, California.

The galleries at the William Weston Emison Clarke Museum of Art are open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Sunday 1 – 5 p.m., and are closed during University breaks and holidays. Learn more online by clicking here.

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