Amalia Mesa-Bains

Rituals of Memory, Migration, and Cultural Space

2024
Author:

Tomás Ybarra-Frausto
Foreword by Chon A. Noriega
Rebecca Epstein and Rebecca Frazier

The life and work of a celebrated multimedia artist, cultural and feminist theorist, and community organizer

This lively book recounts pivotal moments from Amalia Mesa-Bains’s life, career, and collaborations, examining the intertwined worlds of Latinx culture, social movements, and contemporary art. Relating her life to contemporary events and her artistic and intellectual production to her concept of domesticana and her mestiza identity, this book offers a uniquely personal understanding of Mesa-Bains’s prolific artistic practice.

Amalia Mesa-Bains has garnered international recognition for multimedia installations that evoke the Chicana experience. This lively book recounts pivotal moments from her life, career, and collaborations, examining the intertwined worlds of Latinx culture, social movements, and contemporary art.

Esteemed cultural historian Tomás Ybarra-Frausto relates Mesa-Bains’s life to contemporary events and her artistic and intellectual production to her concept of domesticana (a feminist interpretation of rasquachismo) and her mestiza identity. He demonstrates how the Chicano Movement attuned the artist to her Mexican heritage, sparking her interest in the traditional home altars that became the aesthetic and cultural inspiration for her installation art.

Employing detailed descriptions and analyses of key works, this book is an “art historical biography-memoire,” offering a uniquely personal understanding of Mesa-Bains’s prolific artistic practice and situating her life and art in the cultural and political milieu of the United States since the 1960s.

Distributed for UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press.

Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, a leading authority on Chicana/o art, is an independent scholar and curator based in San Antonio, Texas.

Chon A. Noriega is an art historian, curator, and distinguished professor of cinema and media studies at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.

About This Book