Mark your calendars for a LACS lunchtime symposium, given by Professor Andrea Lepage on Wednesday, January 30, 12:20-1:15, Hillel 101. LACS will provide lunch, but please make sure to RSVP to Ms. Shirley Richardson (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Wednesday, January 23. If you don’t RSVP and don’t care about lunch, please just come to the talk anyway!
Here’s the description of the talk:
David Alfaro Siqueiros’s Como se pinta un mural: Workers Labor against Fascism
Andrea Lepage, Assistant Professor of Art History, Washington and Lee University
In David Alfaro Siqueiros’s 1951 treatise Como se pinta un mural (How to Paint a Mural), he codified ideas that were central to his politics and mural production for three decades. Siqueiros upheld the role of plastic art in resuscitating the “fundamental function” of painting: Art must reflect the social condition of the masses. Through the lens of Siqueiros’s manual, this paper examines the 1939 Mexican Electricians’ Syndicate (SME) mural produced by the International Team of Plastic Arts, a collective organized by Siqueiros. In the mural and the manual, Siqueiros called upon workers to mobilize against the threat of fascism. The mural appealed to the worker’s experience by aligning the program with his moving perspective as he ascended the SME headquarters staircase, a strategy discussed at length in Siqueiros’s practical guide. In so doing, Siqueiros equated the artist with the worker and imbued both with agency to exert social change.