Images of Power: Iconography, Culture and the State in Latin America

Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2003.

Images_PowerAmply illustrated and nicely organised, the collected essays represent some of the most innovative work being done in the field of visual culture in Latin America. Of particular value is the range of theoretical interests and perspectives brought to bear on visual culture by the contributors. This is theoretical and disciplinary eclecticism at its best. Each essay is refreshing and original and there is little redundancy despite the length of the book. The emphasis throughout the collection is on representation and power but many of the essays also track out the complicated histories behind the facades of marble-smooth monuments, coordinated nationalist exhibitions, and static photographs. They succeed admirably in shattering the image of a monolithic, united intellectual and political elite putting ideas in to practice. In the process the reader is introduced to an array of protagonists usually overlooked in analyses of the production of the state: museum directors, petty bureaucrats, cloistered women, art critics, and cultural commentators, among others.

Raymond B. Craig, Journal of Latin American Studies