Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
An exhibition of work by a collaborative network of over 50 LA-based queer Chicanx artists produced through the 1960s to 1990s
C. Ondine Chavoya, David Evans Frantz
Tour Organized By
Independent Curators International (ICI)
Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A. is a traveling exhibition that explores the intersections among a network of over fifty artists. This historical exhibition is the first of its kind to excavate histories of experimental art practice, collaboration, and exchange by a group of Los Angeles based queer Chicanx artists between the late 1960s and early 1990s. While the exhibition’s heart looks at the work of Chicanx artists in Los Angeles, it reveals extensive new research into the collaborative networks that connected these artists to one another and to artists from many different communities, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, and international urban centers, thus deepening and expanding narratives about the development of the Chicano Art Movement, performance art, and queer aesthetics and practices.
As referenced in its title, the exhibition also sheds light onto the work of Edmundo “Mundo” Meza (1955-1985), a central figure within his generation. Primarily a painter, but also known for his performances, design, and installation work, Meza collaborated with many of his peers towards developing new art practices amid emerging movements of political and social justice activism.
Axis Mundo presents over two decades of work — painting, performance ephemera, print material, video, music, fashion, and photography — in the context of significant artistic and cultural movements: mail art and artist correspondences; the rise of Chicanx, LGBTQ, and feminist print media; the formation of alternative spaces; fashion culture; punk music and performance; and artistic responses to the AIDS crisis. As a result of thorough curatorial research, Axis Mundo marks the first historical consideration and significant showing of many of these pioneering artists’ work.
Artists included in the exhibition:
Laura Aguilar, Jerri Allyn, Carlos Almaraz, Skot Armstrong, David Arnoff, Steven Arnold, Asco, Judith F. Baca, Alice Bag, Tosh Carrillo, Monte Cazazza, Edward Colver, Vaginal Davis, DIVA TV, Jerry Dreva, Tomata Du Plenty, Simon Doonan, Tomata du Plenty, Elsa Flores, Anthony Friedkin, Harry Gamboa Jr., Roberto Gil de Montes, Gronk, Jef Huereque, Louis Jacinto, Ray Johnson, Alison Knowles, Robert Lambert, Robert Legorreta (Cyclona), Zoe Leonard, Les Petites Bonbons, Scott Lindgren, Mundo Meza, Judy Miranda, Ray Navarro, Nervous Gender, Graciela Gutiérrez Marx and Edgardo Antionio Vigo, Richard Nieblas, Dámaso Ogaz, Pauline Oliveros, Ferrara Brain Pan, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Clemente Padín, Phranc, Ruby Ray, Albert Sanchez, Teddy Sandoval, Joey Terrill, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Patssi Valdez, Ricardo Valverde, Jack Vargas, Gerardo Velázquez, Johanna Went, Faith Wilding
Exhibition tour has been organized by Independent Curators International (ICI).
Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A. is curated by C. Ondine Chavoya and David Evans Frantz as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, an initiative of the Getty to encourage ambitious research and exhibitions at Southern California cultural institutions. The exhibition is organized by ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries in collaboration with The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and organized as a traveling exhibition by Independent Curators International (ICI). Lead support for Axis Mundois provided through grants from the Getty Foundation.
This exhibition is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support has been provided by The Calamus Foundation of New York, Inc., the City of West Hollywood through WeHo Arts—the City’s Arts Division and Arts & Cultural Affairs Commission, Kathleen Garfield, the ONE Archives Foundation, the USC Libraries, and the Luis Balmaseda Fund for Gay & Lesbian Archives, administered by the California Community Foundation. Funding for the exhibition tour has been provided by the generous support from ICI’s International Forum and the ICI Board of Trustees.
The presentation at the UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art has been organized in collaboration with support from The Intersection, UNLV Department of Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies, MGM Resorts Art & Culture, and an anonymous gift in honor of Hilda Roop. Additional partners include UNLV Spectrum, Latinos Who Lunch, and The Art People Podcast, UNLV Student Diversity & Social Justice, the UNLV Department of Art, UNLV Public History, and the UNLV College of Fine Arts.
Image credit: Anthony Friedkin, Jim and Mundo, Montebello, East Los Angeles, 1972. From The Gay Essay, 1969–73. Gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 in. (27.9 x 35.6 cm). Gift of Anthony Friedkin. ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries. Courtesy of Anthony Friedkin