by Jens Andermann

Thursday, 23 October 2008, 5:00-7:30 pm, Seminar Room 12, ISA

Exhibitions are a privileged site for observing the emergence of Latin American nation-states as subjects of capital in the second half of the nineteenth century. As such, they were inscribed from the outset in a global force-field of demands and interests, performed at national agriculture and industry exhibitions, World’s Fairs and Expositions Universelles, in terms of visual display and consumption. At the same time, these exhibitions of the national as and through commodities to the eyes of international as well as domestic audiences, also allow us to observe the emergence, from within the visual economy of liberal capitalism, of a dissident or oppositional figure of national modernity as self-development that challenged hegemonic regimes of value. The paper compares the representations of Brazil and Argentina at home and abroad, as competing spaces of visuality and performance that express an emerging tension over the cultural, political and economic meanings of modernity.
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