Friday, December 17, 2010

My Reflections Of The Heroes Class

My experience in the Heroes class was an interesting discovery for me, in relation to my own culture and the idea of the “Heroes” as in a comic book, mythology or on a real person. This was because I don't know many of the characters that were described in the class text books, and also, because I have grown in another generation and in another country, with other unique archetypes, as the “Nagual” protector, and the inspiration for my work. So I believe that for these reasons, a different process of thinking for considering the Heroes of my past and present has awakened my senses.

How to think differently, analyze problems, ask questions, and even create more problems for which my mind now can easily produce solutions. By changing your perspectives, you can expand your possibilities. Seeing what no one else sees, and strategically knowing how to see, reveals the secrets to getting many possible answers, and/or perspectives on how to start the process of creation and answer the questions of how to start thinking differently.

But I also think that society influences the artist and in turn, he/she with the product of their work, will change and affect the social and cultural structures. In other words, the artist, through his work, has the power to change not only the sole archetypes implanted by the society and the culture, but also has the power to impose new cultural elements in these same or in other societies.
Another productive learning experience is realizing that all thoughts are simply a process of association and/or juxtaposition. The essence of creation, in all endeavors, is chance connections between ideas and facts that are previously segregated, risk taking and direct by-products of chance, as well as convoluted connections among ideas. In this thinking, one generates as many alternative approaches as one can, considering the least as well as the most likely approaches – as opposed to absolute rigid thinking.

The Hero class has presented to me a clear new way to organize and better understand the process of creativity, as well as the value of other collective influences of the people and places in my past and future. I am very happy with the result of the work in progress, “NAGUAL”.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jennifer Stuller, Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors.

Stuller's book is a fascinating read about super-heroines and powerful women. This is a wonderful book that dives into the analysis of female characters in pop culture. Stuller covers superwomen throughout entertainment history, from Wonder Woman's early comic book days to television's relatively recent female characters, like Sydney Bristow, Dana Scully, and Xena the Warrior Princess. She observes their relationships with their fathers, mothers and mentors. In addition to the history of ‘superwomen’, Stuller includes a series of chapters about common issues in the portrayal of superwomen: compassion, redemption, and collaboration. Stuller point out, this kind of collaboration is common in the female hero "not because she is incapable of succeeding on her own, but because she is more successful when she recognizes, encourages, and utilizes the talents of others" (peg. 92).
Stuller's book definitely helps me better understand feminism in our media and mentoring relationships between women.

I am attaching photography of Mexican archetype woman, to illustrate the differences and similarities in our cultures.

Cuatlicue is the Aztec godes who gave birth to the moon, stars, and Huitzilopochtli.

Doña Marina (Malinche), the loyal interpreter and mistress of Hernando Cortés, Doña Isabel de Moctezuma, the daughter of the famous Mexica Huey Tlahtoani (supreme ruler) Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin is the most well-known and popular female personage of the late pre-Hispanic and early colonial history of Mexico.

La Malinche and Hernan Cortes, by Jose Clemente Orosco

Malinche by Diego Rivera

Doña Marina was a gift to the Conquistadores, a slave and after her intelligence and gift for languages was discovered she was “la lengua”, “tongue”.
In Mosiehuali, a the version of Nahuatl spoken in town of Tetelcingo, in the state of Morelos, Mexico. Nehualmoyecastemojmolunijtzinutinemisquiöni means, “You honorable people might have come along banging your noses so as to make them bleed, but in fact you didn’t”.

"La Adelita" came to be an archetype of a woman warrior in Mexico, during the 1910 Mexican Revolution.

María Félix is the most famous Mexican movie star. She created a larger-than-life character, La Doña, she constructed an image of a strong woman, that went beyond the traditional role of Latin American women.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Natives from the central region of Mexico make a mark with ashes to catch the Nagual. The mark is placed at the entrance of the house, before a new born arrives. The first animal that makes his print in it will be the child Nagual. The Nagual is his protector and has been selected at random. The Nagual will be part of his name, so if the animal is a serpent or mouse, the child is called Juan Serpent or Juan Mouse.

The traditions of Mexico include numerous rituals. These traditions continue in the daily life of the people and are an important part of their ideas and believe.

`Superman on the Couch'

Danny Fingeroth `Superman on the Couch' confirms the basis of Superman and other heroes in Jewish and Eastern mythologies. He takes a look and discusses what superheroes tell us about American society - the aggression and means of power of a country that intends to save and protect the world.

The book covers the origins and conclusions of all the major comic book heroes, like X-Men, Batman and Superman. It also extends a little into the history of the authors and publishers of these comic books. There are many interesting points brought up, such as that Superman and other hero characters were orphans, and that some were amazing feminine superheroes like Wonder Woman, Xena and Buffy. The groups like the Justice League of America, the X Men, and the Fantastic Four were interesting because Superheroes in some way reflect how we see the possibilities of our own abilities, while also recognizing our limitations.
Personally I related to Superman as being an outsider, an immigrant with a secret and dual identity.

I had select for you to see, some popular Mexican cartoon characters that I grew up with as a child in Mexico

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Guadalupe Virgin

My family at a street studio in Mexico City.
Left to right: My Mother, Aunt Mimi, Uncle Juan, and little cousin, Tuca.

This picture is of my family standing in front of a painted backdrop. It was taken at the Guadalupe Church to capture the moment of their visit to the most famous holy place in Mexico. My family preferred to position themselves in front of a painted curtain instead of the real building structure.

Millions of people come to pray and receive blessings from the Guadalupe. It is a strong tradition that continues to the present. These painted backdrops, such as the one in this picture of the Holy Virgin, are mass produced along with handcrafted souvenirs that devotees will take home as a constant reminder of Guadalupe’s love and beauty. This photo marks an important event for my family and captures a memorable moment in their lives.

My mother was very young, probably in her middle twenties, and it was her first time in Mexico City. They are all very well dressed. My uncle is wearing a light-colored and probably lightweight suit. He is wearing a hat, as any respectable man would in the 1940s. My mother wears black stockings and dark glasses and takes on a pose projecting great self-confidence for the camera. They are all holding long decorative candles. My mother has placed her candle downward along her leg. The little girl is sitting on a small wooden horse that seems to be prancing. The sunlight appears under the curtain and some sun is reflected near the top of my mother dress. As I am looking at the photo, I notice that along the bottom and slightly to the right of center, there are what appear to be fingerprints, probably from the photographer. It will be something that we will never know.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

NYC Subway

The daily journey that we all make in our contemporary life. Without realizing it, we are being part of an urban ritual, in which we do numerous routine acts, as part of our ritual.

Examples of our routines are walking until the end of the platform, reading and folding the newspaper, or listening to our I-Pods.

The Nagual our protector, gives us the trust to close our eyes and take a nap in the subway. Our protector, gives us the courage to go down the stairs to the platform in the middle of the night. It also rewards us with good fortune, such as finding a seat in a crowded train.

The countless paths one traverses in one's life are all equal. Oppressors and oppressed meet at the end, and the only thing that prevails is that life was altogether too short for both.


Natives from the central region of Mexico make a mark with ashes to catch the Nagual. The mark is placed at the entrance of the house, before a new born arrives. The first animal that makes his print in it will be the child Nagual. The Nagual is his protector and has been selected at random. The Nagual will be part of his name, so if the animal is a serpent or mouse, the child is called Juan Serpent or Juan Mouse.

The traditions of Mexico include numerous rituals. These traditions continue in the daily life of the people and are an important part of their ideas and believe.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Super Power – NYC’s Gods

To fly is really a dream and in fact, it could be very beautiful to be able to do it.

My ideal society is of winged human beings'. They form groups that stay secluded from the rest of the world. They live in faraway places like mountains, deserts or islands in the middle of the ocean, where nobody could find them or see them...

The community shares their goods, so that nobody suffers or lacks anything.

Those that commit the sin of avarice are punished and they will be tied from hands and feet to heavy rocks, so that they could not longer fly.

NYC’s Gods
The front door of what looked like an old bank, now a Gap store at 84th Street and 3 Avenue, is adorned with Greek Chimeras and, male and female Gods that symbolically represent: Commerce, Industry, Housing and Savings.

On the upper edge of the doors and windows on old brownstone buildings, I see human faces with animal characters.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monomyth, Myth & Dream J. Cambell Hero 1000 Faces

Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream; both myth and dreams are symbolic in the same general way of the dynamics of psyche. But in the dream the forms are quirked by the peculiar troubles of the dreamer, whereas in myth the problems and solutions shown are directly valid for all mankind.
The hero, therefore, is the man or woman who has been able to battle past his personal and local historical limitations to the generally valid, normally human form.

Joseph Campbell. The Hero With a Thousand Faces (Bollingen Series XVII, Princeton University Press, N. Y. 1968), pp. 19-20

It is impressive the way J. Campbell presents his ideas of the influences of symbols represented in past cultures or religions myths and the relationship this has towards dreams, science and psychology.

While the symbols in the culture or religion (cross, heart, black cat... etc.) are a collective thought, in the dreams symbols (fly, fall, transformation…etc.) are interpreted by an individual or a doctor. This are private experiences that cannot be fully reproduced, they cannot be shared or comunicated in the original form.

When dreams are interpreted, they are expressed with words and thinking. But then they are no longer dreams, now they are translations of dreams.

Man all look for ways of achieve this state of power, and we find habits in machines (computer, TV, video game…etc) or in a trance (meditation, yoga, drug, arte… etc.) to feel it. We all want to transcend ourselves to become the heroes.

Campbell attempts to integrate all of these through his knowledge of symbols, myths and dreams. He leaves the pattern for us to decipher new ways of interpret latest symbols.