Reading time: 5 minutes
Asco’s ephemeral actions reconfigured the patterns of public space.
The four main members of Asco met in the politically charged environment of Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. Harry Gamboa Jr. was a major organizer of the school protests against the racist school policies and inadequate education, known as the “blowouts.” Soon after, a fueled Gamboa formed the art and literary journal Regeneración and invited the others to collaborate.
Las Posadas is a nine-day Mexican festival that reenacts the Bible story of Joseph’s search for shelter. It is celebrated mainly in Mexico and Guatemala. The procession begins December 16th and ends December 24th.
Chon A. Noriega, “Your Art Disgusts Me: Early Asco: 1971-75,” Afterall 9 (2008): 74.
C. Ondine Chavoya, “Internal Exiles: The Interventionist Public and Performance Art of Asco,” Space, Site, Intervention: Situating Installation Art, ed. Suderburg, Erika (Minnesota: U of Minnesota P, 2000), 194.
Rita Gonzalez, “Phantom Sites: the Official, the Unofficial, and the Orificial,” Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement, ed. Rita Gonzalez, Howard N. Fox, Chon A. Noriega (Los Angeles: U of California P, 2008) 48.
Harry Gamboa Jr., Urban Exile: Collected Writings of Harry Gamboa Jr., ed. Chon A. Noriega (Minnesota: U of Minnesota P, 1998) 80.
Rosalyn Deutsche, “Art and Public Space: Questions of Democracy,” Social Text 39 (1992): 51.
As Gamboa recalls, “The immediate reaction of the audience was primarily confusion laced with verbal hostility.”
Henri Lefebvre, “Plan of the Present Work” trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith, The Production of Space, (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1991): 52.