Eva Longoria, Marionette? Ethnic Mannequins Series 7: I/Eye, Eva
One of the most popular American stars in television in the late 20th and early 21st century, Eva Longoria re-embodies the form and allure of the Latina bombshell, born in the early days of Hollywood. Like some reincarnation of Rita Hayworth, Raquel Welch (not dead yet, thank you very much), or Dolores del Rio, Longoria's sultry satin/Latin allure tempts the eyes of spectators and Nielsen ratings mavens from coast to coast.
One of my more recent pieces of digital art, I/Eye, Eva picks up on the idea of the "ethnic mannequin" that I toyed around with in Tex[t]-Mex--there, in a mad synthesis of ideas lifted from Gayatri Spivak (the subject-effect), Jacques Derrida (the trace), Frantz Fanon (darkness and psychopathology), and Edmundo Desnoes ("Cuba Made Me So" | Latina/o objectification), I tried to document the dynamic processes wherein Latina/o archetypes transmogrify/evolve.
What's special about Eva (and what she has in common with Rita Hayworth), is that she is the head of her own production companies and businesses--not all too successful if wikipedia's resources are accurate (look up her Beso restaurant biz based out of Vegas--here's a Wall Street Journal piece).
This connection between the star (the "victim" in the familiar objectification of woman argument) and the semiotic means of production surrounding her (graphic) reproduction complicates things for the contemporary arbiter of Latina semiotic signage.
The piece above, crafted for the OSU show in Columbus, Ohio, grafts together photography by Chilean camera wizard Nino Muñoz, in British lads' magazineArena's January 2007 issue, as well as work from the June 2009 issue of GQ Mexico (still looking for the photographer's identity). Two years apart, a 20th century ethnic mannequin stars in two photoshoots that feature images with ropes and chains, each image evoking unseen puppeteers of sorts.
Coincidence? I would have to ask Eva and am till waiting on a callback!
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