Please visit the Fall 2012 class website project at Queer Arts Los Angeles Website.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Week 5: Otro Corazon 2

The conference Otro Corazon 2 celebrated the works of Tomas Ybarra-Frausto and especially on the "reverberations" of his conceptualization of rasquachismo- an attitude in chicano art that reflects the exuberance, resourcefulness, and collaborative of its working-class creators.

Having never heard of rasquachismo before, in the first panel, with Holly Barnet-Sanchez, Tere Romo, and Judy Baca, I was moved by how deeply connected each speaker felt to rasquachismo and by how they each framed rasquachismo slightly differently- as a collective movement bringing chicano artists together, as a language to describe the "personal, public, social, and public" (Romo) art she already experienced, or as a legitimization of chicano art outside of the eurocentric framework that otherwise dominates art- but how the overarching theme of the panel was that rasquachismo had empowered them personally as chicanos.

After the conference, I read Ybarra-Frausto's essay "Rasquachismo: A Chicano Sensibility" in which he wrote, "The very word CHICANO with its undertow of rough vitality became a cipher repudiating the whiteness of experience." Rasquachismo is an aesthetic born from chicano culture and art and by "legitimizing" chicano art and by creating a language around it, it is also a rebellion against the dominating idea that only non-political, European-styled art is "legitimate" and to create rasquache chicano art is itself subversive act as well as a declaration of self. Rasquachismo rejects both the Euro-centric art canon and the "chicano" canon imposed upon them. Ybarra-Fraustos wrote in his paper that rasquachismo is not a style, but an attitude that I think was reflected in the panel (as well as onthe stage) when one of the speakers declared, "Well, more is always more."

Rasquachismo thus becomes both a political as well as personal and artistic attitude, and to make rasquache art and to be rasquache is to seize one's agency and to be rebelliously chicano.

No comments:

Post a Comment