Mexican Modernity: The Avant-Garde and the Technological Revolution

Mexican Modernity: The Avant-Garde and the Technological Revolution

by Rub?n Gallo
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262514966

ISBN-13: 9780262514965

Pub. Date: 09/24/2010

Publisher: MIT Press

In Mexican Modernity, Rubén 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

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Overview

In Mexican Modernity, Rubén 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.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262514965
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
09/24/2010
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Introduction : media and modernity in Mexico1
1Cameras31
2Typewriters67
3Radio117
4Cement169
5Stadiums201
Epilogue : Tepito in the early morning227

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