206 Chapters
Medium 9780253008527

2 - The First Generation of Hoosier Plein Air Painters

Indiana Plein Air Painters Association Quarry Books ePub

During the state of Indiana's Golden Age of Culture, in the 1880s and 1890s, Hoosiers led the country in creative trends. The Hoosier Group painters were working at the same time as nationally read Indiana writers James Whitcomb Riley (1849–1916), George Aid (1866–1944), Meredith Nicholson (1866–1947), and Booth Tarkington (1869–1946). The visual artists' enthusiastic belief that their state was “as beautiful, characteristic and worthy of being interpreted as anything else in the world”1 helped to promote a tradition of landscape painting that has influenced local artists and collectors for generations.

T. C. Steele, William Forsyth, and J. Ottis Adams's interest in plein air painting had become focused in the early 1880s under the guidance of J. Frank Currier (1843–1909) during their summers away from rigorous studies at the Royal Academy of Art in Munich. While living in the village of Schleissheim, the Indiana students spent their days tramping the moors and attempting to depict the German scenery. Some of Steele's most elegant value studies and Forsyth's most gestural and thickly painted canvases are from these early sojourns.

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Medium 9780253007438

9 · Composing Decomposition

Allen F. Roberts Indiana University Press ePub

Remembering is never a quiet act of introspection or retrospection. It is a painful remembering, a putting together of the dismembered past to make sense of the trauma of the present.

—HOMI BHABHA, THE LOCATION OF CULTURE

What funeral practices might have been undertaken had Lusinga met a natural—or at least a local—demise? While I would assert that Lusinga explicitly engaged in “culture-building” as he sought to validate his emerging authority through the commissioning of statuary and other visible and performative means, he was not doing so from whole cloth. Instead, he was adopting and adapting eastern Luba practices that were sufficiently resonant with Tabwa political culture as to be accepted locally. Such creative work included burial of chiefs.1

The archaeological record suggests how elaborate funeral rites could be for earlier peoples of the region, but archival materials concerning such matters as precolonial burial of chiefs are meager indeed, and Storms left the barest of notes that are not specific to any given chief, community, or moment in time.2 Most Tabwa with whom I worked in the 1970s knew very little of such procedures, and it is likely that a combination of secrecy, the inventive but discontinued maneuvers of ambitious individuals like Lusinga and Kansabala, and nearly a century of colonial intervention—especially by Catholic missionaries based at Mpala-Lubanda and Moba-Kirungu—mean that few details have been retained if they were ever widely known or generally practiced. Nothing resembling a “genealogy of performance” has been maintained or can be retrieved, then, and we have no glimpse of the inevitable “anxiety-inducing instability” of any given performance event when arguments about who does what and how are played out according to the particularities of local-level politics. As Victor Turner asserted, “There is no ‘authorized version’ of a given ritual” like a chief’s interment, and indeed, because of inexorably shifting social dynamics, “no performance . . . ever precisely resembles another.”3 Nor do available data permit an understanding of local variation in symbolism and broader purpose from one burial, village, chiefdom, clan, or ethnic difference to the next, to say nothing of the development of procedures across time. Surely there was variation, as one would expect among communities so loosely related to each other—if at all—as were Tabwa of the late nineteenth century. The archaeology of performance to be offered here will be a deductive quest, then, as stimulated by a most intriguing entry in the White Fathers’ Mpala Mission diary concerning the death and burial of Sultani Kansabala, Lusinga’s “mother’s brother.”

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Medium 9780253009036

7 Mexico 1968 and the Art(s) of Memory

Daniel J Sherman Indiana University Press ePub

JACQUELINE E. BIXLER

2 de octubre no se olvida (October 2 is not forgotten).

—popular slogan, 1968–present

Like the mythical two-faced Janus, the words “Mexico 1968” conjure up two diametrically opposed historical images. For many, particularly those who reside outside Mexico, the mention of “Mexico 1968” brings memories of the XIX Olympics and of the two African American athletes who raised their black-gloved fists as a sign of Black Power upon receiving their medals. While most Mexicans know that the Olympics were held that year in Mexico City, the words “Mexico 1968” are much more likely to evoke memories of a long summer of marches and manifestations that ended on October 2, within days of the Olympic opening ceremony, with the death of an untold number of students and bystanders in the Plaza de Tlatelolco.

Memory, particularly as it relates to history, has been a subject of intense philosophical debate since the days of antiquity, when Plato described memory as a block of wax onto which we imprint perceptions and ideas. Key questions persist, however. What do we remember? How do we remember? Why do we remember? Recent years have produced a “memory boom” in both critical theory and cultural production as the result of the Holocaust, the Vietnam War, the Dirty War in Argentina, and other hauntingly unforgettable events of the not-so-distant past. According to Kerwin Lee Klein, “Academics speak incessantly of memory because our epoch has been uniquely structured by trauma.”1 In the case of Mexico, the twentieth century was rife with trauma, beginning with the Revolution of 1910, the deadly earthquake of September 19, 1985, and the 1994 Chiapas uprising and multiple assassinations of high-level political figures.2 But the deepest and most lasting trauma of all was inflicted on the evening of October 2, 1968, when Mexican army troops opened fire on thousands who were attending a peaceful student-led rally in the Plaza de Tlatelolco. On that day, twentieth-century Mexican history fractured into two eras: pre- and post-1968. As David William Foster notes, October 2, 1968, “marks a dividing line in Mexico’s socio-historical consciousness; and in many ways the enormous changes in Mexican society in past decades, including considerable erosion of the PRI’s [Partido Revolucionario Institucional] political authority and symbolic stature, are a consequence, if not directly of what happened in the plaza, of fault lines in Mexican society that became brutally evident with those events.”3 Indeed, it was the very awareness of these fault lines that later caused the residents of Mexico City to bypass the government and form the grassroots brigades that saved thousands of those trapped beneath the rubble of the 1985 earthquake.4 The year 1968 was to be the cornerstone of Mexico’s modern collective consciousness, a consciousness characterized by distrust of and resistance to governmental authority, whose weapons ranged from rifles to the manipulation of historical “facts.”

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Medium 9780253007438

7 · Art Évo on the Chaussée d’Ixelles

Allen F. Roberts Indiana University Press ePub

Africa doesn’t exist. I know. I’ve been there.

—AFTER MICHEL-ROLPH TROUILLOT, SILENCING THE PAST

Storms took Lusinga with him to Europe in another way. When his men brought him the chief’s head, they also brought Bwana Boma a most remarkable wooden figure embodying Swift-of-Foot’s dynastic title and matrilineage.1 Storms carried this and other trophies back to Belgium with him, and a series of photographs taken in 1929 show the figure in the drawing room of his maison de maître (row house) at 146 Chaussée d’Ixelles in Brussels (fig. 7.1). There it stands among geometrically arrayed weapons and carefully composed displays of souvenirs from Lubanda and the other African locales visited by the lieutenant.

The discussion to follow is based upon the assumption that the salon and another room, also photographed in 1929, were still arranged as Storms knew them before his death in 1918. No documentation proves or disproves this assertion, and in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries it was common for mourning rooms to be preserved as they had been enjoyed by deceased loved ones in “an implied narrative of melancholy.”2 Indeed, a velvet rope can be seen to transect the salon in one of the pictures, as though setting portions of the room off-limits to visitors and underscoring the likelihood that the Widow Storms kept the room as her husband had last known it. That the couple had no children reinforces the possibility that the rooms were left as shared by the couple in their later years. Furthermore, one of the photos shows a desk in the corner of the drawing room. Papers are carefully arranged to one side of a blotter, and a lamp has a shade with an image of African women bearing loads on their heads. One can imagine that it was while seated here that Bwana Boma lost himself in reverie and letters, surrounded by vestiges of his brief moment of glory in the Congo.

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Medium 9780253005984

1 Beyond the Ghetto Walls: Shtetl to Nation in Photography by Alter Kacyzne and Moshe Vorobeichic

Carol Zemel Indiana University Press ePub

I begin with the Jewish culture of Ashkenaz, the vast region that stretched from modern Lithuania through Poland, Russia, and Ukraine, where Jews lived in great number from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. In 1797, with much of the region under Russian control, the Russian Empire declared the area a “Pale of Settlement” (map 1.1), intended to confine the Jewish population, as well as to serve as a buffer zone between the Russians and Poles. For Jewish inhabitants, however, the Pale became a supranational territory, which was a space of diasporic culture and consciousness that transcended shifting frontiers, and whose landmarks were synagogues, study centers, and rabbinical courts. Within the Pale, Ashkenazi Jews developed an extensive shtetl (small town) culture, by which is generally meant a Yiddish-speaking, provincial society, orthodox in its religious practice and traditional Jewish way of life.1 By the 1920s, however, this shtetl culture had been transformed by half a century of modernization, secularization, and emigration to cities in Europe and America. For many Jews, this was an ambivalent undertaking: an escape from ethnic and economic oppression, but also an escape from “self” or home, and a flight from the shtetl’s fixed traditions and orthodoxy.

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