Rastros y Crónicas: Women of Juarez
The National Museum of Mexican Art has acquired "La Cortesana" for its permanent collection. The mixed media collage appears in the exhibition Rastros y Crónicas: Mujeres de Juárez, a chronicle of the struggles of Mexican women and the grievous deaths in Ciudad Juárez, running through February 14.
Mexican movies and movie posters often depict the salacious, wonton woman being seduced, or sexually used and abused by the dashing, dominant male. The man watches intently as the woman displays her body, inviting him to pleasure. But the Women of Juarez are not movie stars and they did not invite "men to pleasure." They are young working women that were taken hostage, raped, and killed for perverse and angry pleasure.
Is it possible
that media has a place in this
grisly story of pain and loss?
Can media - movies and movie posters - effect the way that men understand their relationship and responsibilities to women and family?
In Cortesana I have manipulated two Mexican
movie posters, adding pictures
of the victims, families and
protestors, to draw attention
to the over-sexualized imagery
of Mexican media, the loss
of dignity for women, the manipulative
nature of seduction, and the
aggression and hatred inherent
Cortesana, a mixed media collage, is placed
on a manufactured white shelf
indicative of the silence of
international media having "shelved" this important issue. This shelf is also reminiscent of classical casket designs and the silence of the headstones on the graves of the victims.
- Linda Vallejo