MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

The Artist and State: Political Art in Mexico and the US


Excerpts from the Zoom chat:

This first clip includes commentary by: 
Lorenzo Candelaria – Dean, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University
Gregorio Luke – Lecturer and author, specialist in Mexican Art and Culture
Ana Lara – Composer, Mexico City
Ix-Nic Iruegas – Executive Director, Mexican Cultural Institute, Embassy of Mexico
(47 minutes)
This second clip provides the historical context of Mexican cultural by John Tutino – Historian, Georgetown University (11 minutes).
Additional resources related to this chat:
To purchase PCE’s acclaimed Naxos DVD of Redes, with Revueltas’s soundtrack newly recorded by PostClassical Ensemble, click here:
Ix-Nic Iruegas, Executive Director of the Mexican Cultural Institute,  recommended two books by one of Mexico’s most outstanding authors: Sergio PitolThe Art of Flight (Deep Vellum Publishing, 2015); and The Magician from Vienna (Deep Vellum Publishing, 2017). 
For more on the Mexican Cultural Institute, visit:

The latest installment in the PostClassical Ensemble’s (PCE) More than Music series takes up the issue of political art, with a focus on the landmark 1936 film Redes — and its powerful score by Silvestre Revueltas.

Some of the questions to be explored in PCE’s Zoom discussion on 2 September at 6.30pm EST: How did the Mexican Revolution galvanize political muralists and composers? Why was Mexico more hospitable to political art than the US? What’s the pertinence of political art today?

The Zoom-chat will feature Gregorio Luke’s presentations on Diego Rivera and the Mexican muralists, plus commentary by composer Ana Lara and by historians Roberto Kolb, John Tutino, and Lorenzo Candelaria, and Ix-Nic Iruegas Peon of the Mexican Cultural Institute. Registration is free: simply sign up here.

From Joseph Horowitz’s blog post “’Redes’ Lives! — The Iconic Film of the Mexican Revolution and What It Says to Us Today”:

“It’s a pity that Silvestre Revueltas is not at least as well known as Rivera. I would unhesitatingly call him the supreme political composer of concert and film music produced in the Americas. His music combines ideology with personal understanding…Revueltas’s peak achievements include his singularly arresting score for the film Redes (1936), in which impoverished Mexican fisherman unite to storm the bastions of power.”

More from Joe Horowitz:

On “The Artist and the State” in Mexico (where political art has greatly mattered) and the U.S. (where the artist remains an outsider):

Filed under: PostClassical Ensemble


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