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Marionettes and metaphor : political satire in the photographs of Tina Modotti


Marionettes and metaphor : political satire in the photographs of Tina Modotti

Tomaszewska, Lara (1998) Marionettes and metaphor : political satire in the photographs of Tina Modotti. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Recent scholarship on Tina Modotti (1896-1942) has regarded her photographs as relatively straightforward social and political constructs. This thesis shall investigate Modotti's placement within Mexican post-revolutionary political and social drama and consider her cultural and aesthetic production as expressions of class, gender, national and artistic identity. The focus of the study is Modotti's series of marionette photographs produced in 1929. The thesis examines her strategic use of marionettes as symbols of Mexican folklore and also as a traditional device of political commentary. An analysis of Modotti's photography will reveal this little-studied series as representing a shift back to formalist concerns of photographic quality and subtlety, and toward heightened political subversiveness, complexity and metaphoricity. Feminist and postcolonial studies provide a theoretical framework within which Modotti's photographs may be conceived of as symbolic cultural signifiers. In particular, notions of difference (sexual, cultural, national) and identity (hybrid and nomadic) ground this study within North American cultural discourse. The marionette photographs are studied with reference to Marxist ideology and Mexico. Also, the metaphoric quality of puppets is examined and the marionette series is conceived of as complex metaphorical constructions. Lastly, the marionette photographs are positioned as a new narrative strategy and are analyzed in terms of content and technique.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Tomaszewska, Lara
Pagination:109 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Thesis Supervisor(s):MacKenzie, Catherine
ID Code:630
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 17:13
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:14
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