The Imagining of Community in the Arts of Guatemala: Weaving, Folk Tales, Marimba Performance, Contemporary Painting

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The Imagining of Community in the Arts of Guatemala: Weaving, Folk Tales, Marimba Performance, Contemporary Painting

The Imagining of Community in the Arts of Guatemala: Weaving, Folk Tales, Marimba Performance, Contemporary Painting by Melissa A. Butler
English | Sep. 29, 2010 | ISBN: 0773413111 | 182 Pages | PDF | 3.8 MB

This book studies three types of Guatemalan art that represent community.
The particular techniques and structure of each set of works project an imagining of community that is unique to those pieces. However, studying the pieces together lays the groundwork for re-imagining the relation of arts and society. This study examines three types of art in relation to community: First are the paintings of Alejandro Wer (1959). He sets up dualities and then joins them through the painting's form and composition. When these dualities include contrasts between different ethnic groups, the joining becomes an imagining of a single community where now there are intermingling communities that occupy the same space but are mutually indifferent or hostile. The second study deals with marimba performance and its isomorphism with working. A continuous infusion of new energy into the musical flow distinguishes Guatemalan marimba performance. This infusion is exciting, expressive and intrinsically valuable, regardless of whether its outcome is expressive or merely entertaining. Likewise, working to produce non-expressive products, which are only instrumentally valuable, can be highly expressive. Imagined in terms of working, workers are intrinsically worthy. Reduced to the value of their product, they are not. The third set are weavings by Guatemalan women. In their textiles strong, contrasting colors generate spaces that are often incompatible with one another. The juxtaposition of kinds of space are a way of imagining the boundaries of a community's space and the nature of its contrast to what lies outside that space.

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Tags: Imagining, Community, Guatemala, Weaving, Marimba, Performance, Contemporary, Painting

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