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Re-covering the Body: Women Artists in Latin America

In this paper I want to examine the contradiction between women’s physical biological, body and the body as imagined, manipulated and defined by dominant patriarchal and neocolonialist aesthetics as a means of understanding the relationship between art, gender and politics in work by women working in the geo-political area of Mexico and Central America and by Latinas in the US.

By looking at the way art history is being deconstructed by contemporary theory it is possible to look at the conspicuous absence of women in the visual arts in general and specify the particular circumstances of Latin American women’s artistic activity. I will look at the way social and political situations continue to repress women’s creativity and the subsequent ways in which women are responding to this through images. I will aim to show that the act of creation can be a resistance strategy that becomes a revolutionary action when the hierarchies of power are challenged. Lastly I wish to show that alternative political strategies and artistic politics can regain and re-cover the power of the gaze and reverse the vigilance/surveillance of patriarchal regimes by stretching the limits of the body with alternative corporeal strategies which convert the body into the ultimate text.

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Re-covering the Body: Women Artists in Latin America