Codex Espangliensis: From Columbus to the Border Patrol
Inspired by the pre-Hispanic codices that escaped immolation during colonial invasions, this artists' book opens out in accordion folds expanding to a length of over 21 feet. Rice has created a series of beautiful and jarring montages in which the mixture of languages, slang, poetry, and prose of Gomez-Pena's performance texts are woven through and around Chagoya's collages filled with pre-Hispanic drawings, colonial-era representations of New World natives, and comic book superheroes. Irreverent to the last, Gomez-Pena and Chagoya employ iconic figures and persistent stereotypes to overturn the fantasies of nationalism, ethnocentrism, and historical amnesia that cloud international relations. Rice's masterful typographic compositions orchestrate the text's many voices and views, offering a history of the Americas which must be read forward and backward, in fragments and in recurring episodes - in short, as history itself tends to unfold.
About the Authors
Guillermo Gomez-Pena was born in Mexico City in 1955 and came to the U.S. in 1978. His work, which includes performance art, poetry, journalism, criticism, and cultural theory, explores cross-cultural issues and North/South relations. He is the recipient of an American Book Award for The New World Border (City Lights) and a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award, among many other honors.
Enrique Chagoya is a Mexican-born painter and printmaker who has been living and working in the U.S. since 1977. The recipient of two NEA Fellowships, his most recent show of paintings was at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. He currently teaches at Stanford University.
Felicia Rice is a book artist, typographer, printer, and publisher whose work has earned her many honors. She lectures and exhibits internationally, and her books are represented in the collections of various museums and libraries. She currently directs the graphic design and production program at the University of California, Santa Cruz Extension.