National Museum of Mexican Art: Laura Aguilar Exhibition

Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell is the first comprehensive retrospective of photographer Laura Aguilar (1959-2018), as it assembles the largest collection of her work spanning three decades. In photographs that are frequently political as well as personal, Aguilar offers candid portrayals of herself, her friends and family, and her Chicana/Latina and LGBT communities. With her iconic triptych Three Eagles Flying (1990), Aguilar set the stage for her future work by using her nude body as an overt and courageous rebellion against the colonization of Chicana identities: racial, gendered, cultural, and sexual. Despite using the body to center her visual discourse, Aguilar never intended to speak for any specific political or feminist ideology. On the contrary, her practice intuitively evolved as she sought to negotiate and navigate her ethnic and sexual identity, her challenges with depression and auditory dyslexia, and the acceptance of her physique. This exhibition considers the story of the artist who for most of her life struggled to communicate with words, yet ironically emerged as a powerful voice for numerous and diverse marginalized groups.

Image: Laura Aguilar, Nature Self-Portrait #2, 1996, Gelatin silver print. © Laura Aguilar / Courtesy of the Laura Aguilar Trust of 2016 and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center

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