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Barbarism and Its Discontents$
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Maria Boletsi

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804782760

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804782760.001.0001

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New Barbarians

New Barbarians

(p.208) 7 New Barbarians
Barbarism and Its Discontents
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines an artistic visualization of “new barbarians” by focusing on a number of photo-performances belonging to “The New Barbarians” project (2004–2006) by Mexican-born performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña and his troupe, La Pocha Nostra. Although Gómez-Peña's constructed barbarian personas appear to materialize the promise of the barbarians' arrival, these materializations falls short of the expectations of the civilized imagination. With their ostensive presence, the barbarians in Gómez-Peña's photo-performances overwhelm the viewer through an overload of cultural references that recast Western stereotypes of barbarian others in new, subversive constellations. Gómez-Peña's project addresses barbarism and the figure of the new barbarian by means of a barbarian aesthetic, taking shape through a visual grammar of “barbarisms.”

Keywords:   new barbarians, photo-performances, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, stereotypes, barbarian, barbarism, barbarian aesthetic, barbarisms

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