Luis Vargas-Santiago F'20

Luis  Vargas-Santiago
Researcher
Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art 2020
Researcher
Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
The Afterlives of Zapata: A Revolutionary Icon in Mexico and the United States

The book-length study examines how the image of Mexican Revolution agrarian leader Emiliano Zapata was gradually transformed into one of the most paradigmatic icons of the Americas. In theorizing “the afterlives” of Zapata in Warburgian terms, the project explores key stances of the representations of this hero in Mexico and the United States from 1910 to the present. The investigation focuses on select images that show the diverse mutations of Zapata’s icon, and its ability to embody varying social, political, artistic, racial, ethnic, and gender agendas across time. Looking at the intertwining of image-making and religious structures related to the invention and reinvention of narratives of modern Mexico, the study considers Zapata as part of an incessant visual diaspora between Latin America and the United States. Furthermore, it engages in a larger conversation around global art histories through the lenses of immigration and the cultural dispersion of images beyond nationalist constituencies.