Mya Dosch — Dissident Temporalities: Afterlives of 1968 in Mexican Public Space
References to “collective memory” have proliferated in recent scholarship on art and state violence in Latin America. This theorization fails to address the dynamic renegotiation of contentious pasts. Instead, the book project Dissident Temporalities: Afterlives of 1968 in Mexican Public Space proposes a theory of “afterlives.”The relationship between the original events of 1968 and their afterlives is non-hierarchical and non-linear, with each artistic intervention creating 1968 anew. The book argues that many artists refused to confine the trauma and potential of Mexico’s 1968 Student Movement to the singular, linear timeline of progress put forth by the state. The work of artist Ximena Labra reflects this temporal playfulness: after 1968, but not secondary to it; beyond, but not superior. In 2008, Labra commissioned three exact archeological replicas of the Stela of Tlatelolco, a 1993 monument to the martyrs of 1968 based on Mayan stelae forms. Labra temporarily installed these replicas at prominent landmarks around Mexico City: the Monument to the Revolution, the Zócalo, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes. This contradictory collage of temporalities creates a productive anachronism, defying tidy timelines of past/present/future.
Mya Dosch (they/she/elle) is assistant professor of Art of the Americas at California State University, Sacramento, United States. Dosch is the recipient of the 2019 Association for Latin American Art Biennial Dissertation Award for their work “Creating 1968: Art, Architecture, and the Afterlives of the Mexican Student Movement.” Her research centers on the notion of dissident temporalities, and offers a model for discussing memorial art against both linear timelines of progress and dominant theories of collective memory. Their recent work appears in Future Anterior, the collection Teachable Monuments, and the exhibition catalog No calles, manifiéstate about the Mexican artist collective Grupo Suma.