Latino/Chicano

2002
Ximena Cuevas: El Mundo del Silencio (The Silent World)

Cuevas is obsessed with the micro movements of daily life, with the border between truth and fiction, with the "impossibility" of reality. Her work relentlessly seeks out the layers of lies covering the everyday representations of reality and systematically explores the fictions of national identity and gender.

2005
A Declaration of Poetic Disobediance

As a "Post-Mexican” performance artist operating out of the US for over 20 years, one of my conceptual obsessions has been to constantly reposition myself within the hegemonic maps. Whether this map is the Americas, the larger cartography of art, or my personal biography, one of my jobs has been to move around, cross dangerous borders, disappear and reappear somewhere else, and in the process create "imaginary cartographies” capable of containing the complexities of my multiple and ever-changing identities, voices, communities and performative bodies.

1988
Felipe Ehrenberg: An Interview

Felipe Ehrenberg is a prominent Mexican artist who has been actively producing interactive political art, installations, and murals for more than 30 years. Also a writer, Ehrenberg has run a small press in Mexico City and has published numerous articles for art journals in the United States.

Interview by Carol Becker.

1998
El Diablo en la Piel (Devil in the Flesh)

"The palms of Lana Turner's hands were full of scars; the technique she used in order to achieve melodrama was to tighten her fists, digging her fingernails into them until she began to cry. Day after day, soap opera actresses smear Vick's Vaporub into their eyes in order to cry. The effect of these false tears are the tears of the public. In Devil in the Flesh we see the camera's tricks, and even so the action seems dramatic.

1986
Louis Hock, El Gringo

The first installment of The Mexican Tapes: A Chronicle of Life Outside focuses on Hock’s status in the community. At first Hock is the “outsider,” the tourist who doesn’t understand his neighbors’ jokes. It's only months later that he becomes a close friend, travelling back to visit Mexican homes and families, and beginning to empathize with their struggles.

In English and Spanish with English subtitles.

1995
El Naftazteca: Cyber-Aztec TV for 2000 A.D.

Interrupting the nightly news in an act of guerrilla television, Gómez-Peña returns to the persona of a Chicano-Aztec veejay—"The Mexican who talks back, the illegal Mexican performance artist with state of the art technology"—to elaborate the complications of American identity. This post-NAFTA Cyber Aztec pirate commandeers the television signal from his underground "Vato bunker", where virtual reality meets Aztec ritual. Gómez-Peña embodies the doubly radical Chicano performance artist, delivering radical ideas through a radical form of entertainment.

1986
El Rancho Grande

In the second installment of The Mexican Tapes, Hock begins to participate more in the family life of La Colonia, attending baptisms and helping shop for new cars. Hock interviews the white residents of the complex who resist the Mexican community, and rumor that it will soon be torn down.

This title is also available on The Mexican Tapes: A Chronicle of Life Outside the Law

2002
El Zócalo

El Zócalo is an observational portrait of Mexico City’s central Plaza de la Constitutión during one day in August. Soldiers, Aztec dancers, clowns, food vendors, protestors, rain, dogs, tourists, kites, balloons, and dignitaries all meet in the public space of the Zócalo. This documentary presents daily life in one of the largest and most vibrant urban centers in the world, but it begins with a dream of history and ends with a dream of the space full of people for a Zapatista rally.

2001
The Great Mojado Invasion, Part 2 (The Second U.S.-Mexico War)

In The Great Mojado Invasion (The Second US - Mexico War), writer/performer Guillermo Gómez-Peña and filmmaker Gustavo Vazquez combine Chicano wit and political vision to create an ironic, post-millennial and postmodern look at the future of U.S./Mexican relations. Both artist and director generate a complex commentary on history, society, pop culture, the politics of language and the repercussions of ethnic dominance.

1995
The Gringo in Mananaland

Since the turn of the century, popular media in the U.S. have promoted a stereotyped image of Latin America in order to justify the concept of U.S. dominance in the hemisphere. The Gringo in Mañanaland uses travelogues, dramatic films, industrial films, newsreels, military footage, geographical textbook illustrations, and political cartoons to take a detailed look at United States media representations of Latin America. This video is not a dry document or didactic lesson: it is a look at history and the telling of history.

2012
Half-Lies: The Videoworks of Ximena Cuevas

Video Data Bank is proud to present the wonderful work of prolific video artist Ximena Cuevas in our latest DVD box set, Half-Lies: The Videoworks of Ximena Cuevas. This four volume box set features 25 videos by the award-winning artist, spanning 21 years, and is accompanied by a 75-page booklet containing the following essays that examine aspects of Cuevas’s work: 

1991
Hombres Muertos de Amor y la Jauria de Mujeres

This dreamlike, poetic video provokes the viewer to question the nature of the most human of experiences. The collage aesthetic exposes how human relationships—between men and women, men and men, women and women—are mediated by dominant ideologies as represented in the mass media and religion. Bobe posits no theories and draws no conclusions, leaving the viewer with a truly postmodern conundrum about life, love, art, men, women and death.

1997
I Stare at You and Dream

I Stare at You and Dream is a slice of life melodrama that journeys to the core of interrelationships. This film juxtaposes and links the lives of four people: the filmmaker, Susan Mogul; her friend, Rosie Sanchez; Rosie’s teenage daughter, Alejandra (Alex) Sanchez; and Ray Aguilar; Susan’s-on-and-off boyfriend. Tender and unflinching, each character gradually reveals their desires, wounds, and romantic entanglements in the context of their everyday lives.

1991
(In) Visible Women

(In) Visible Women shows the heroic responses of three women with AIDS in the context of their respective communities. In the face of adversity, these women confront all aspects of the AIDS crisis in their lives. Through poetry, art, activism, and dance, they explode notions of female invisibility and complacency in the face of AIDS. We hear each woman describe how she came to terms with being HIV+ and joined others in speaking out about the neglected needs of women.

1990
Alfredo Jaar: An Interview

Alfredo Jaar is a politically motivated artist whose work includes installation, photography and film.  Born in Chile and now living in the U.S., Jaar’s socio-critical installations explore global political issues, frequently focusing on the Third World and the relationship between consumption and power.  A 1988 installation in a subway station in New York involved dramatic photographs of impoverished gold miners n Brazil interspersed with quotations of current gold prices, drawing an unexpected parallel between the material desires that motivate people in both poverty-stricken Br