Codex Espangliensis: From Columbus to the Border Patrol

Overview

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 Gómez-Peña'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, ...

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Overview

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 Gómez-Peña'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, Gómez-Peña 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 Gómez-Peña 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.

Brilliant collaboration from world-renowned performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña, acclaimed visual artist Enrique Chagoya, and master book artist Felicia Rice.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
This artists' book, a collaboration between performance artist Guillermo G<'o>mez-Pe<~n>a, visual artist Enrique Chagoya, and book artist Felicia Rice, was inspired by pre-Hispanic codices. The book is actually two-in-one: from the front it opens like an accordion and provides prefatory texts: an introduction by Jennifer Gonz<'a>lez (art history, U. Cal., Santa Cruz) and author statements. From the back the book also operates like an accordion, this time about 20 feet of pages providing the main attraction: G<'o>mez-Pe<~n>a's texts, a mix of poetry and prose in several languages, woven around Chagoya's collages of pre-Hispanic drawings, layered with colonial-era representations of New World natives, and contemporary comic-book superheroes, all the above orchestrated by Rice. This unfolding history of the Americas can be read forward, backward, and in chunks. This is a book William Blake would probably have liked Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Jennifer Joseph
In this brilliant, mind-boggling creation of exquisite bookmaking, text, and extraordinary full-color collage, each aspect complements another. The words… flow around artist Chagoya’s bold graphic images based on religious icons, antique woodcuts, comic book superheroes, Disney characters, bloody fingerprints, and a whole lot more. Book designer Felicia Rice has placed the text and images in an utterly unique format… Whether you’re a fan of art, politics, or fine bookmaking, this is a must-have!
— The San Francisco Bay Guardian
Ruminator Review
This rich collaborative effort successfully reveals, in Gómez-Peña’s words, ‘the multiple processes of acculturation and hybridization that the Mexican psyche undergoes when crossing the border.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872863675
  • Publisher: City Lights Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2001
  • Pages: 43
  • Sales rank: 1,025,957
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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