Thursday, 4 February 2010


Numero Cero CABORCA
edited by Rita Gonzalez

Numero Cero CABORCA barrows its name from the elusive journal in Roberto Bolaño's 'The Savage Detectives' restlessly sough after by the novel's quasi-fictional protagonists. In Bolaño's thinly-veiled fictional universe, two bohemian writers, Ulises Lima and Arturo Belano, search for a lost Mexican modernist poet named Cesarea Tinajero, once an associate of several poets (fictionalized, but actual historical figures) associated with the Estridentista movement. Bolaño's fractured fiction is fueled by characters in search of lost texts, grasping on to decrepit copies of obscure writings. As i delved into the books, its shadowy themes loomed large in the editorial process for CABORCA, and I decided that I, too, wanted a mercurial compendium of lost and found printed matter.

I asked Latino and Latin American artists, curators, and art historians to summon from memory an important but no longer extant journal that had informed their own scholarship or practice. Like the characters in 'The Savage Detectives', the possession and preservation of the object surfaced as a common thread. There is an investigative spirit summoned at the site of the splayed journals. The contributors to CABORCA perform an autopsy to reconstruct scenarios and settings so far lost to art history. There are accounts of little magazines with short histories as sites for exchange; strident proclamations followed by rebuttals or renouncements; and the germinations of movements and sites for interdisciplinary fomentation.

CABORCA challenged its contributors to come up with models and counter-models from historical examples of Latin American and Latino art publications. A number of contributors chose to critique the very model that Numero Cero CABORCA has proposed as one limited by and relegated to the art world. I tend to think that art and literary publications have a limited audience, but I also know that these same publications can maneuver and circulate in unexpected and refreshing ways, sometimes reaching the "unannointed" (non-art) crowd. these accidental encounters - and for this issue, the accidental" exchanges between Latin American and U.S. Latinos - is fundamental to sustenance of art discourse.

Publications selected by the following contirbutors:
Latin American Art Magazine by Bill Kelley Jr.
Quebrantahuesos by Cristian Silva
Revista Cero by Elvis Fuentes
Rayado sobre el Techo by Gabriela Rangel
Las Moradas by Jose Falconi
Casper by Mario Garcia Torres
Detroit Artists Monthly by C. Ondine Chavoya
Metamorfosis by Tere Romo
Arquitecto by Tobias Ostrander
LaLinea Quebrada by Victor Zamudio Taylor
Filth Saints/Manifestos/Ballons by Arturo Ernesto Romo-Santillano
Artes Visuales by Tomas Ybarra-Frausto

Rita Gonzalez is Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Numero Cero is the magazine of the 2nd Trienal Poli/Grafica de San Juan: America Latina y el Caribe which was curated by Adriano Pedrosa, Julieta Gonzalez and Jens Hoffman. Each issue is organized by an artist, curator or critic.

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