MICHAEL C MENCHACA
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My work examines the creation of cultural identity through the use of tropes that construct a ''Primitive-Other''. Primitivism has been utilized by many civilizations as a justification for a social "cleansing" of a state. Especially with respect to European cultural identity, these recurring images of the ''Primitive'' have been essential in confronting cultural differences. Regarding ''primitives'', these untamed id forces are often in complete unity with the supernatural. Images of animism, extraordinary universal forces, and zoomorphic atavism are central to primitivist expression. I appropriate these qualities as being idiosyncratic of Mexican immigrants in the US. My work challenges a misguided patriotism that subordinates those who have been displaced. My aim is to find how cultural and national identity can be constructed through the negation of another culture.