Sun, Mar 15, 2009 at 12:17 PM
sent by David Bunn
front page of sunday nytimes today "Remade in America" - check it out
Follow up on Gerardo's story and the discussion: your questions about the telling of Gerardo's story were perfectly appropriate. you were exactly right to call us on what we said about Gerardo's family history as it is /was not entirely our story to tell. As I said as we all left lunch to go outside, if we cannot ask any question or bring up any issue together in the seminar, then it's a failure. In hind sight Ellen and I both feel that we should have left out the personal details and told the Gerardo/David/Ellen story more generally, as we wanted it to be a story about us, too. But, in our minds it is such an integral part of the story, and integrated into a lot of our thoughts about the complications of this place and this time, about masculinity, stewardship and the incredible character we think Gerardo is. His reasons for being here are at odds with the cliche stereotype that all Mexicans are here "to make more money and feed off our system". For us the story also underscores the specific and individual and unimaginable catastrophes that all diasporas represent, but always and only in general terms. Gerardo might never have left mexico, he might have finished school, gone to college etc who knows, but he would not be here, working for us, flying under the La Migra radar, trying to put together a recognizable and honorable life in a foreign land that doesn't value him or acknowledge him. How many others are like him, and what are their choices?
If opening the ranch and the many complications of the place to the scrutiny of artists is a way of developing responsible and engaged involvements between art and living happens at the cost of mistakes, fuck ups and insensitivies as we figure out how to do it right, then so be it. Ellen and I are learning too. It's a journey. Please feel free to continue this discussion, either here on the blog or in class.
*NOTE - when you post back to the blog be sure to set your email to include the previous chain of emails or we won't have a "discussion blog"
This week we'll talk about the Residency. There is a directory of residency programs on reserve in the library. And, attached here is a DRAFT of our funding proposal description (This is not finished and is not a public document about the Residency). Please read this before our discussion and tour of the facilities. You will find it to be high on pictures and the basics of description. Our funding advisor kept sending our drafts back to us saying "less text and more pictures". I guess foundations with lots of $ would rather look than read too much. This is for you to see two things, more info on the residency and how we have been advised to package our financial pitch.