Mexican Modernity: The Avant-garde and the Technological Revolution, Volume 3

Front Cover
MIT Press, 2005 - Art - 268 pages
0 Reviews
Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize (Modern Language Association) 2005

In Mexican Modernity, Ruben Gallo tells the story of a second Mexican Revolution, a battle fought on the front of cultural representation. The new revolutionaries were not rebels or outlaws but artists and writers; their weapons were cameras, typewriters, radios, and other technological artifacts, and their goal was not to topple a dictator but to dethrone nineteenth-century aesthetics. Gallo tells the story of this other revolution by focusing on five artifacts that left a deep mark on the literature and the arts of the 1920s and 1930s: the camera and its novel techniques for seeing the modern world; the typewriter and its mechanization of literary aesthetics; radio and poetic experiments with wireless communication; cement architecture and its celebration of functional internationalism; and the stadium and its deployment as a mass medium for political spectacle.

Gallo traces the ways artists and writers, armed with these artifacts, revolutionized representation by breaking with the traditional modes of production that had dominated Mexican cultural practices: Tina Modotti rose against the conventions of "artistic" photography by promoting a radically modern photographic aesthetics; typewriting authors rejected the literary precepts of modernismo to celebrate the stridencies of mechanical writing; and young architects abandoned older building materials for the symbolic strength of reinforced concrete.

Gallo uncovers a secret history of Mexican modernity that includes a number of fascinating episodes: the pictorialist backlash against Modotti and Edward Weston; the postcolonial Remingtont typewriter; Mexican radio in the North Pole; the campaign to aestheticize cement through journals and artistic competitions; and the protofascist political spectacles held at Mexico City's National Stadium in the 1920s.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

MEDIA AND MODERNITY IN MEXICO
237
Bibliography
251
Index
260
Copyright

1 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2005)

RUBEN GALLO is Associate Professor of Spanish-American Literature at Princeton University and editor of The Mexico City Reader, an acclaimed anthology about Mexico's capital city.

Bibliographic information