“Between Action and Abstraction” featured in Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.

Joshua Guzmán

Joshua Guzmán published an essay in the art catalogue that accompanied the exhibition Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A. which was part of the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, organized by the ONE Gay and Lesbian Archives and supported by the Getty Foundation. According to the ONE’s website describing the exhibition: “Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.” maps the intersections and collaborations among a network of queer Chicano artists and their artistic collaborators from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. This period was bookended by the Chicano Moratorium, gay liberation, and feminist movements on one end, and the AIDS crisis on the other. For many artists in the exhibition, Axis Mundo marks the first historical examination of their work to date. Over two decades of artwork encompassing painting, performance ephemera, print material, video, fashion, and photography will be presented. The exhibition broadly considers the work of the artists in the context of significant artistic and cultural movements: mail art and artist correspondences; the rise of Chicano, gay, and feminist print media; the formation of alternative spaces; fashion culture; punk music and performance; and artist responses to the AIDS crisis.

Guzmán’s essay, “Between Action and Abstraction,” examines the use of abstraction (as an artistic style and conceptual mode of thinking) by artist and activist in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Guzmán also wrote the artist biographies of Alice Bag, Vaginal Davis, and Ray Navarro for the catalogue. You can read a review of the exhibition here.

Currently, Axis Mundo is a traveling exhibition organized by Independent Curators International (ICI) and more information on the tour can be found here.