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1921 __ Estri-Dentistas
Comment : Latin America’s first vanguard movement, estridentismo, began in Mexico City in 1921 with a call to Mexican intellectuals to create an art responsive to the modern transformation of the world. The first manifesto, signed by a young poet and law student, Manuel Maples Arce, was printed on a broadsheet and posted on the walls of Mexico City alongside theater and bullfight posters. [...] The text of the manifesto drew heavily from Italian Futurism and from Spanish Ultraismo. [...] In 1922, a group of artists and intellectuals joined Maples Arce, and together they consituted the “estridentista” movement proper. These individuals included the writer Germàn List Arzubide, Arqueles Vela, Salvador Gallardo, Kyn Taniya, Luis Marìn Loya, Febronio Ortega, Miguel Aguilòn Guzmàn, Gastòn Dinner, and Francisco Orozco Muñoz; and the musicians Manuel M. Ponce and Silvestre Revueltas; as well as a group of visual artists including Diego Riviera, Leopoldo Méndez, Germàn Cueto, Ramòn Alva de la Canal, Jean Charlot, and Fermìn Revueltas. The group met regularly in the Café Europa, later named “El café de Nadie” (Nobody’s Café) and immortalized by Vela’s novel of the same name. The group published three subsequent manifestos in addition to multiple novels, books of poetry, and two “estridentistas” magazines : “Irradiador” (Irradiator) in 1923 and “Horizonte” (Horizon) in 1926. The “estridentistas” also held an estridentista art exhibition at the Café de Nadie in April 1924. In addition to their activites in Mexico, the group was connected to international networks of their time, as evidenced by the translation into English of Maples Arce’s epic poen “Urbe” (1924) at the behest of John Dos Passos in New York. It was the first book from a Latin American vanguard to be translated into English. Carlos Noriega Hope, the editor of Mexico City’s “El Universal Ilustrado”, and one of estridentismo’s “most precious allies”, facilitated the estridentistas’ publications as well as their first use of radio. On May 8, 1923, the newspaper inaugurated a radio station with an evening transmision in which participants included the renowned Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia, Ponce (who was a composer as well as a musician), the pianist Manuel Barajas, and the diva Celia Montalbàn. Maples Arce read his poem “T.S.H. - Telegraphìa sin hilos” (T.S.H. - Wireless Telegraphy), the first poem to be read radiophonically in Mexico. The radio station of “El universal Ilustrado” continued to operate until 1928. In September 1927, Jara’s government entered a crisis that resulted in his deposition. The “estridentistas” dispersed. Although the estridentista movement was tremendously influential for subsequent Mexicam art and letters, it was almost erased from history. [...] Maple Arce’s enthusiasm for the beautiful skyscrapers, the elevators, the telegraph, the immediacy and universality of communication and the unification of humankind is balanced by his awareness that long-distance communication implies separation from familiar people and places. [...] In other “estridentista” writings, radio is evoked to emphasize the nearness of all places on the planet, a nearness that provokes unsettling cacophony and magnifies the isolation of the poet. This is a marked contrast to discourses of networks extolling the virtues of connectivity and virtual communities, such as an 1846 proposal to link American and European capitals with a gigantic telegraph network so that “all the inhabitants of the earth would be brought into one intellectual neighborhood and be at the same time perfectly freed those contaminations which might under other circumstances be received”, proclaimed Alonzo Jackman, advocating the Atlantic telegraph in 1848 (As cited in Standage,1998, p. 143). (Marìa Fernàndez)
Source : Fernàndez, Marìa (2005), “Estri-dentistas : Taking the Teeth out of Futurism”, In “At a distance: precursors to art and activism on the Internet”, edited by Ann-Marie Chandler & Norie Neumark, Leonardo Books, MIT Press, Cambridge MA USA, pp. 341-371.
Urls : http://homepage.smc.edu/padilla_mario/English%2057/Manuel%20Maples%20Arce.htm (last visited )

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