Next VizCult: Josh T Franco, Binghamton University

“Border, Land (Marfa, Aztlán)”
Wednesday, March 11, 5:15 pm
FA 218

Josh T Franco, untitled (miniatures of Donald Judd, untitled (15 works in concrete)), part of Josh T Franco, Alison Kuo and Joshua Saunders, MARFITA,Co-Lab, Austin, Texas, October 2011. Photo (film still): Sean Gaulager.

Marfa, Texas promises much: to city-worn artists, respite; to undocumented border-crossers, another kind of rest stop; to artist-supporting institutions, an appealing locale to set up shop; to ranchers, ample land for grazing; to avid art-goers, a far-flung pilgrimage site; and to Chicanxs, one more parcel in Aztlán that in many ways remains unclaimed. This paper focuses on the latter. Aztlán is a territorial claim made by the Chicano Movement. At its most essential, Aztlán is the land ceded by Mexico to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Some in the Movement argue for this land’s repatriation. Chicana Feminists identify Aztlán as ideological production site for homophobic nationalism; rather than deserting Aztlán however, many have taken to queering it through visual art, performance, occupation, and literature. It is an embattled and living conceptual territory, the morphing of which this paper aims to further by situating Marfa within it.

Josh T Franco is a doctoral candidate in the Art History Department at Binghamton University.

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