Artist Takeover 5/9: Nao Bustamante

Artist Takeover 5/9: Nao Bustamante

Fresh off being named as a Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts 2020 Artist Project Grantee (along with REDCAT), Nao Bustamante took over our social media channels on Saturday, May 9 to share what she’s been working on during quarantine before hosting a very special Bogota Flea Market Dance Party.



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Clad in an Edwardian combat dress made of Kevlar®, how would a woman fighting in the Mexican Revolution stand up to the weaponry of 1910? @naobustamante 's “Personal Protection” takes a quiet approach to a very difficult subject. As women soldiers struggle on behalf of their right to fight alongside men, they redefine military culture. (Nowhere is this more painfully visible than in the military's efforts to address pervasive sexual harassment in its culture.) Bustamante's project takes up the question of how gender and sexuality matter in military conflict and in military culture by stepping back to consider what a woman does when she puts her gendered body on the front line, in the most literal of terms. In this video, we see the test footage for the first fighting costume in the series, "Tierra y Libertad." #calartsredcat #REDCATondemand

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The Russian filmmaker Sergei Eistenstein (1898-1948) defined revolutionary cinema with works like "Battleship Potemkin" (1925) and "October" (1928). Eisenstein belonged to a generation of international artists drawn to the utopian potential of post-revolutionary Mexico. In the early 1930s, he attempted to make a film that would not just represent Mexico: it would, in his vision, be Mexico. This project was aborted when his American backers withdrew their support amidst a cloud of rumors (e.g. the film was shut down because it was over budget and/or its vision was distinctly homoerotic). This work (which has no official title, but is often referred to as "Que Viva Mexico!") remains, perhaps, the most famous unfinished film in cinema history. Eisenstein's script was broken into chapters: the only sequence that was not filmed is titled "Soldadera" and centers on the Mexican Revolution. The soldadera, in his words, "seems to physically personify the image of a single, nationally unite Mexico." @naobustamante has "dipped a ladle into Eisenstein's script" to explore the unfinished project of the revolution. Soldadera's backgrounds are drawn from digital scans of photographs housed in Special Collections and University Archives at Tomás Rivera Library at the University of California, Riverside. #calartsredcat #REDCATondemand

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Associated Images: 

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff