AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Autobiography and testimonial narrative are once again becoming popular discursive strategies, not only in literature but in all artistic endeavors. Contemporary production in Puerto Rico's art milieu attests to an autobiographic expression closely tied to an exploration, construction, and affirmation of self and racial, gendered, and/or national identities. By no means exclusive to Puerto Rico or Latin America, the self-portrait becomes a vehicle for the expression of these concerns both personally and collectively.
According to Mari Mater O'Neill, current president of the Puerto Rican Women Artists Association (Mujeres Artistas de Puerto Rico), self-portraiture may also convey a sense of a collective self-image. This is true for different art forms, as the experimental dance productions of choreographers Viveca Vazquez and Awilda Sterling reveal.
Although Puerto Rican artists do not seem to restrict themselves to a particular outlook or iconography to assert commitment to a national artistic tradition, most art forms today display a preoccupation with the body. This "autobiography of the body" may indicate the humanist perspective of this process of self-definition; it is the body performing within different social contexts that provides the language for this quest for sexual, racial, and/or national identity. The body provides, not only a site for "anatomic/archeological" exploration, but also the metaphors through which the findings are displayed.
There is a …