Images at War: Mexico from Columbus to "Blade Runner" (1492-2019) (Latin America Otherwise)
By: Serge Gruzinski (author), Heather Maclean (translator)Paperback
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"If colonial America was the melting pot of modernity, it was because it was also a fabulous laboratory of images...Just as much as speech and writing, the image can be a vehicle for all sorts of power and resistance." So writes Serge Gruzinski in the introduction to Images at War, his striking reinterpretation of the Spanish colonisation of Mexico. Concentrating on the political meaning of an image and its function within a multicultural society, Gruzinski compares the ubiquity of the baroque image in Mexico to our more modern fascination with images and their meaning. Although it played a decisive role in many arenas, especially that of conquest and New World colonisation, the baroque image on which Gruzinski concentrates resonates most powerfully in the sphere of religion. Discussing how images conveyed meaning across linguistic barriers, Gruzinski uncovers recurring themes of false images, less-than-perfect-replicas, the uprooting of peoples and cultural memories, and the violence of iconoclastic destruction.
He shows how various ethnicities - Indians, blacks, Europeans - each left their own mark on images of colonialism and religion, co-opting them into expressions of identity or instruments of rebellion. In the process, he tells of Aztec idols, the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe, conquistadors, Franciscans, and neo-classical attempts to repress the baroque. In the final portion of the book, Gruzinski discusses the political and religious implications of contemporary imagery - such as that of Mexican soap operas - and speculates about the future of images in Latin America. Originally written in French, this work makes available to an English audience a seminal study of Mexico and the role of the image in the New World.
Serge Gruzinski is Director of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris and author of several books, among them "The Conquest of Mexico "and "Man-Gods in the Mexican Highlands."Heather MacLean is a translator who lives in Forest Grove, Oregon.
Points of reference - the admiral's gaze; the discovery of the "Cemies"; Peter Martyr's ghosts; from the specters to the demon; Cortes idols; war; love of images and hatred of idols; the ambiguities of destruction; the ambiguities of substitution; an unequal exchange; the idol - devil or matter; the idol - false image; choosing the image; the native riposte; the hiding of the Gods; the Conditions of secrecy; the repercussions of idoloclasty. the walls of images: the war against the demon; the Franciscan memory-image; semblance-image; the image from Flanders; the bull and the Indian; the walls of images; visible and invisible spaces; the spectacle-image; the pre-Hispanic tradition; celestial worlds, worlds of elsewhere; informative special effects; the native actor and public; the baroque image's admirable effects; Montufar of Granada; the case of the Guadalupe virgin; the satanic invention; toward a new politics of the image; the worship of saints; exploiting miracles; setting aside writing; the arrival of the European painters; words on images; the "news of its miraculous origins"; the launching of the image; the most miraculous of images; a perfect image; the presence within the image; Baroque images; Florencia, the great orchestrator; mises en scene and "special effects"; territorialization and sacralization; the federating power; the treasures of the image; public images, social and political images; the shadow of the holy office; the baroque image and the baroque imaginaire; image consumers; the colonization of daily life; sadism and release; images and visions; delirium and fantasies; image, madness, and individuality; the gaze of the vanquished; contamination and interference; indigenous reproduction; the saint's adoption from domestic hearth to confraternity; the santo's imaginaire; the hot nights of Coatlan; the subversion of the baroque image; baroque imaginaires; conclusion - from the enlightenment to televisa; the brakes of enlightenment; baroque religious practices under high surveillancel; images and independence; a national divinity; the new walls of images; televisa - the fifth power; from baroque image to electronic image; baroque consumption, syncretism and postmodernity.
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