It was amazing watching Spanish-language news sites celebrate Leonora Carrington after her recent death. There were not just obituaries, but slideshows and videos of her works, and they were everywhere. I wonder if we we ever see a woman artist -- or even just a Surrealist -- celebrated in the same way by the English-language media?
And she was an Anglo, born in England. Something brought her to Mexico. La Cultura seeks out and enlists the people it needs. It’s the other side of the immigration coin. Hispanic/Latino/Chicano (though I’m beginning to see “Chicano” as being about attitude) culture inspires certain kinds or creativity, makes them go wild, and converts people like sci-fi alien invaders.
This threat of global Chicanoization is probably what the anti-immigrant crowd is really afraid of: Invasion of the Body Snatchers translated into Spanglish. Like the way immigrants from Japan and India get mistaken for Mexicans after a few years in the U.S., and parts of some Indian Reservations look like barrios.
Besides, I’ve always thought that Surrealism would have been nothing but a series of dull experiments in Freudian/Marxist aesthetics if in wasn’t for the Hispanic influence. Say “Surrealism,” and people immediately think of Salvador Dalí. Say “André Breton,” and most people ask, “Who?”
So I feel this is another case for awarding an Honorary Chicano status. For the emerging global “Latino” cultural matrix, it’s hard to think of Leonora as an outsider.
Meanwhile, ¡Viva Leonora! Let us celebrate her life and works. I recommend the section of The Spiritual Journey of Alexandro Jodorowsky, and searching her name on Google and YouTube.
But I don’t think she needs me to play cheerleader. What she did has made her more powerful in death than in life. Her influence can be clearly seen on this century. Borders and fences will not hold it back.
Ernest Hogan has been making deals on the new frontier of publishing.