Deco Body, Deco City: Female Spectacle and Modernity in by Ageeth Sluis

By Ageeth Sluis

In the turbulent a long time following the Mexican Revolution, Mexico urban observed a drastic inflow of girl migrants looking break out and security from the ravages of struggle within the geographical region. whereas a few settled in slums and tenements, the place the casual financial system frequently supplied the one technique of survival, the revolution, within the absence of fellows, additionally brought on girls to absorb commonly male roles, created new jobs within the public sphere open to girls, and carved out new social areas within which girls may well workout agency.

In Deco physique, Deco City, Ageeth Sluis explores the consequences of adjusting gender norms at the formation of city house in Mexico urban by means of linking aesthetic and architectural discourses to political and social advancements. via an research of the connection among woman migration to town and gender performances off and on the level, the publication indicates how a brand new transnational excellent girl body expert the actual form of town. through bridging the distance between indigenismo (pride in Mexico’s indigenous history) and mestizaje (privileging the right of race mixing), this new girl deco physique cleared the path for mestizo modernity. This cultural historical past enriches our realizing of Mexico’s postrevolutionary a long time and brings jointly social, gender, theater, and architectural heritage to illustrate how altering gender norms shaped the foundation of a brand new city modernity.

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Additional resources for Deco Body, Deco City: Female Spectacle and Modernity in Mexico City, 1900-1939

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This performance in 1918 marked a crowning moment for Iris. In 1899 she had stepped onto the stage as fourteen-year- old María Rosalía Esperanza Bofill Ferrer from the state of Tabasco in her first role as a newspaper boy. From there she embarked on a long career as a stage and film actress, impresario, and celebrity. In 1919, a mere twenty years later, she and her adopted city had changed significantly. Iris had exchanged her provincial origins for the status of a mature, wealthy metropolitan actress who owned her own theater company and had built her own theater.

6 This influx of population, as well as what was perceived to be its gendered nature, informed the formation of both symbolic and structural demarcations of an affluent, “feminine” west side positioned against an impoverished, male east. In positioning and contrasting the poor against the rich, especially in spatial terms, much emphasis was placed on material spectacle, the visual and performative nature of class distinctions that were easily visible on the city streets. ”7 Moreover, this division had gendered dimensions, as it was rendered most visible by women.

Like Judic and other Mexican incarnations of the French coquette, María Conesa evoked the qualities that characterized the popularity of all great divas: sex and scandal. Her success hinged on her ability to present a girlish innocence onstage as an actress who only acted sexual, all the while blurring the lines between her identity as La Gatita onstage and La Conesa offstage. Consequently, divas such as Conesa and Iris who played (with) the role of the “gracious woman” destabilized gender normativity and extended their performances far into the city.

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