Amy Sara Carroll’s ReMex: Toward an Art History of the NAFTA Era
Amy Sara Carroll’s ReMex: Toward an Art History of the NAFTA Era interprets Mexico City-based, feminist, and border, or Chicano, art in and around the 1990s. Its premise is that aesthetics and politics “form a loop” in order to express what the author calls “Greater Mexico.” With this term, Carroll proposes that “Mexico” is no longer a territory but rather an imaginary that transcends its geographic borders. In her view, the denationalization brought about by the liberalization of markets led to a multicultural utopia best expressed in border art and art concerned with race and gender issues. In her account, aesthetic practice must serve as a direct weapon against “NAFTAfication” and colonial heteropatriarchy. Carroll draws an analogy between the selling out of the nation through the NAFTA treaty and the selling out of “post-Mexican” art to the global culture industry through the ambition of curators, cultural managers and artists who placed Mexico and Mexican contemporary art as key global art destinations by taking advantage of generous State sponsorship brought about by market liberalization. Any hint of cosmopolitism is suspicious and thus Carroll insists on “ReMexing” Mexico.
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