2 to 5 pm
Towner Fellows Lounge
Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Helen Levitt, and the Surrealism of the Streets
Monica Bravo, Brown University
Although the impact of foreign photographers on Manuel Álvarez Bravo’s development as Mexico’s pre-eminent modernist photographer has been widely acknowledged, his reciprocal influence has been neglected. Yet Helen Levitt saw his photographs at New York’s Julien Levy Gallery before her own departure south in 1941. Levitt’s Mexican photographs, and their relation to Bravo’s, raise a question regarding New World variants of Surrealism. The movement’s founder, André Breton, claimed: “Mexico is the most surrealist country in the world.” Are Levitt’s and Bravo’s Mexican street photographs symptoms of this native condition; or amalgams of European, U.S., Mexican, and even American Surrealisms?
Islands in the Inset: Representations of the Territory of Hawai’i in Carto-Caricatures (Map Cartoons), 1893-2011
Amanda Murphyao, Carleton University
Although Hawaiian statehood was widely celebrated in 1959, the fraught legacy of the territory’s integration into the United States is reinforced by its placement in an inset alongside Alaska in the bottom left-hand corner of many maps. The tension between colonial consumption and cultural preservation is mirrored in carto-caricatures (or map cartoons) dating back to the deposition of Queen Lili’uokalani in 1893. This excerpt from my dissertationexplains the role of carto-caricatures in subverting and reinforcing settler invader colonialism in the territory of Hawai’i.
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