Abstract

This essay reviews two theoretical books on neoliberalism written by Mexican cultural critics: Capitalismo gore (Gore Capitalism), by Sayak Valencia, published originally in Spanish in 2010 and translated into English in 2018, and La tiranía del sentido común (The Tyranny of Common Sense) by Irmgard Emmelhainz, published in Spanish in 2016 and yet to be translated into English. These works are pioneering in their discussion of the correlation between neoliberalism, subjectivity, and culture in Mexico, and they have become widely influential in broader discussions of art, visual culture, literature, and cultural production. They add to the work of economic and political historians, such as Fernando Escalante Gonzalbo and María Eugenia Romero Sotelo, by connecting landmark moments in neoliberalization (from the financialization of the global economy in the 1970s to the War on Drugs in the 2000s) to changing paradigms in art. Author Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado contextualizes both books within larger discussions of Mexican cultural neoliberalism and describes the theoretical frame works through which both authors read Mexican politics, art, and popular culture. In Valencia's case, Sánchez Prado discusses her idea of “gore capitalism”: a framework for understanding how neoliberalism relies on dynamics of the shadow economy and on the subjectification of gore (what Valencia calls endriago subjectivity) to function at the social and artistic levels. In the case of Emmelhainz, Sánchez Prado engages with the author's idea of semiocapitalism, a term borrowed from theorist Franco “Bifo” Berardi, which Emmelhainz deploys to account for the interrelation between culture and capital in the era of neoliberalism. As such, Sánchez Prado argues, Emmelhainz and Valencia provide ways of reading artistic and visual production, including museum curatorship and narcocultura, in ways that show their organic relationship to neoliberal economic and political reforms. Find the complete article at artmargins.com.

This content is only available as a PDF.