Synopses & Reviews
andldquo;If colonial America was the melting pot of modernity, it was because it was also a fabulous laboratory of images. . . . Just as much as speech and writing, the image can be a vehicle for all sorts of power and resistance.andrdquo; So writes Serge Gruzinski in the introduction to Images at War,
striking reinterpretation of the Spanish colonization of Mexico.
Concentrating on the political meaning of the baroque image and its function within a multicultural society, Gruzinski compares its ubiquity in Mexico to our modern fascination with images and their meaning.
and#9;Although the baroque image played a decisive role in many arenas, especially that of conquest and New World colonization, its powerful resonance in the sphere of religion is a focal point of Gruzinskiandrsquo;s study. In his analysis of how images conveyed meaning across linguistic barriers, he uncovers recurring themes of false images, less-than-perfect replicas, the uprooting of peoples and cultural memories, and the violence of iconoclastic destruction. He shows how various ethnic groupsandmdash;Indians, blacks, Europeansandmdash;left their distinct marks on images of colonialism and religion, coopting them into expressions of identity or instruments of rebellion. As Gruzinskiandrsquo;s story unfolds, he tells of Aztec idols, the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe, conquistadors, Franciscans, and neoclassical attempts to repress the baroque. In the final chapter he discusses the political and religious implications of contemporary imageryandmdash;such as that in Mexican soap operasandmdash;and speculates about the future of images in Latin America.
and#9;Originally written in French, this work makes available to an English audience a seminal study of Mexico and the role of the image in the New World.
andldquo;A magnificent studyandmdash;already influential in its field. One gets a far richer sense of colonial Mexico in these pages than is offered by the kind of literary or cultural history that can only draw on a few scanty documents and verbal testimonials. This book speaks powerfully to our contemporary appetite for a renewal of our views of the colonial and postcolonial eras.andrdquo;andmdash;Fredric Jameson
Explores Mexico and its romance with the image as well as othe issues of Spanish colonialism.
About the Author
Serge Gruzinski is Director of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris and author of several books, among them The Conquest of Mexico and Man-Gods in the Mexican Highlands.
Heather MacLean is a translator who lives in Forest Grove, Oregon.