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Archiving an EpidemicArt, AIDS, and the Queer Chicanx Avant-Garde$
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Robb Hernández

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479845309

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479845309.001.0001

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The Iconoclasts of Queer Aztlán

The Iconoclasts of Queer Aztlán

(p.31) 1 The Iconoclasts of Queer Aztlán
Archiving an Epidemic

Robb Hernández

NYU Press

This chapter draws on Cherríe Moraga’s classic essay “Queer Aztlán: The Re-Formation of Chicano Tribe” to distinguish how iconoclasm, the literal breaking of images, has been deployed as a unifying language for queer Chicanx avant-garde formed in the ethnic enclaves of Los Angeles. In institutional discourse, the East LA art collective known as Asco (Spanish for “nausea”) has tended to overshadow queer of color amorphous collectives, artistic circles,and collaborations. With attention to groups like Escandalosa Circle, Butch Gardens School of Art, Pursuits of the Penis, and Le Club for Boys, this chapter elucidates how a bold language faced indifference and sometimes violence in traditional museum settings. With a particular eye on the disciplining of Robert “Cyclona” Legorreta’s unruly archival body, another method and definition of Chicano queer avant-gardisms is demanded and found in the archival body/archival space methodology undergirding the case study chapters.

Keywords:   Queer Aztlán, iconoclasm, Asco, Cyclona, Jack Vargas, Ronnie Carrillo, Latino AIDS memorial, Alma Lopez, Alex Donis

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