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ERIC Number: EJ962077
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0005-2604
Self-Fashioning through Glamour and Punk in East Los Angeles: Patssi Valdez in Asco's "Instant Mural" and "A La Mode"
McMahon, Marci R.
Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, v36 n2 p21-49 Fall 2011
Patssi Valdez, one of the most influential yet understudied female artists of the Chicana/o movement, was the only original and long-term female member of the 1970s art collective Asco. Through the visual discourses of pachuca glamour and punk, Valdez negotiated and exploited the gendered ideologies that visually put her at the center of the group. She used self-fashioning, or the intersection of dress with bodily performance, to respond to gendered ideologies of domesticity and a racialized public/private sphere that she confronted as a working-class Chicana in the 1960s and 1970s. Members of Asco were drawn together not only by their mutual interest in visual art and performance but also by a shared sensibility in fashion and dress; it was the sense of each of them becoming a work of art that led the group to extend their work into performance. Yet since fashion is often considered a superficial activity carried out by women and pitted against the serious male world of ideas, it has often been undervalued as a strategy of contestation. This essay closely reads two Asco performances, "Instant Mural" and "A La Mode," to center fashion as an active and crucial element of the group's public discourse and as a site of political negotiation and critique for Valdez.
UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. 193 Haines Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1544. Tel: 310-794-9380; Tel: 310-825-2642; Fax: 310-206-1784; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California