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14 April 2013
Los Angeles, the eighties

We began the week with an article by Maite Garbayo, about the exhibition that MUAC in Mexico D.F. is dedicating to the group of Chicano artists from the eighties, ASCO. An exhibition that follows along the lines of other museums, such as the Reina Sofía with its ‘Conceptualismos del sur’ programme, that endeavour to recuperate and revise practices mid-way between the artistic and the political, until now stored only in the memory and archives.

Get the archives out in the open! That is what it is all about, rewriting history, focusing on activities, groups and activisms that seemed to fall outside the museum. That in fact arose in contra of museums. But what’s so special about ASCO? Maybe, that its south is fairly northern: it was a collective of Chicano artists that placed an emphasis on questions about identity, within Los Angeles. And also, that they developed their work in the eighties. What happened in that decade? Was it just the frivolous fiesta it might seem? Having revised the seventies of the 20th century, it seems it’s now the turn of the eighties. Watch out, there will be more episodes in this re-reading.

For the moment, we end the week with two videos that are related to ASCO: an interview with one of its members, Harry Gamboa Jr and an extract from one of his films.

A*DESK, Independent Institute of Criticism and Contemporary Art, is dedicated to learning, publishing and research related to the criticism of contemporary art. Taking the view that critical thought makes individuals free, its mission is to defend actively the importance of criticism: to generate debate about contemporary art, to enable each individual to establish their own opinion and by doing so promote culture.

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