UCR Professor to Curate ‘Soldadera’ Exhibition

Exhibition inspired by ‘Soldaderas,’ female soldiers, who fought in The Mexican Revolution.

“Soldadera,” a two-month exhibition, will feature art by artist Nao Bustamonte and her research with photographs from the Special Collections and Archives at UCR’s Tomás Rivera Library.

“Soldadera,” a two-month exhibition, will feature art by artist Nao Bustamonte and her research with photographs from the Special Collections and Archives at UCR’s Tomás Rivera Library.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A multi-media exhibition examining the role of soldaderas (women soldiers) in The Mexican Revolution – curated by Jennifer Doyle, professor of English – will open Saturday, May 16 at the Vincent Price Art Museum in East Los Angeles.

The exhibition, “Soldadera,” presents new work by the artist Nao Bustamante, who researched photographs of The Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) housed in Special Collections and Archives at UCR’s Tomás Rivera Library. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of articles published on KCET’s award-winning transmedia platform, Artbound. The exhibition will run through August 1, 2015.

“Soldadera” invites audiences to join the artist in a creative dialogue with the image of the revolutionary woman fighters. Soldaderas were an essential part of the Mexican Revolution, where they joined the struggle as support troops, took up arms and fought, nursed the living and buried the dead and cared for whole armies and their children.

Nao Bustamante asks, “what kind of presence can this woman have to us today, beyond the images we find on the margins of the historical archive? Can we amplify her strength, protect her from harm, and borrow her power?”

The search for an answer to these questions sent Bustamante on a pilgrimage to Zapopan, Mexico in order to meet an actual soldadera, Leandra Beccara Lumbreras (b. Tamaulipas, Mexico 1887-d. Zapopan, Mexico, 2015). At the time of their meeting (January 2015), Lumbreras was the oldest person in the world and the last survivor of the Mexican Revolution. During the war, Lumbreras led a battalion of “Adelitas” (a name given to women who followed their men to the front line). This exhibition includes work inspired by their meeting.

“Soldadera” will feature new work by Bustamante, as well as nearly thirty objects on loan from Special Collections and Archives at Tomás Rivera Library.

Funding for the artist’s research and this exhibition was made possible by: Queer Lab at University of California, Riverside, the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, UC MEXUS, Special Collections and Archives at Tomás Rivera Library at UC Riverside, and the Culver Center of the Arts. The artist’s research was also supported by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and by a CMAS-Benson Latin American Collection Research Fellowship. Nao Bustamante is currently a UC MEXUS scholar-in-residence.

Nao Bustamante studied New Genres at the San Francisco Art Institute where she earned her MFA in 2001. She is Associate Professor of New Media and Live Art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. She has exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Sundance Festival, Utah; and the Kiasma Museum of Helsinki, Finland. Her movies have been shown at Outfest in Los Angeles; Mix in New York City; Sundance International Film Festival; among many other festivals. Bustamante was a Benson Research Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin in 2013.

The exhibition is guest curated by Jennifer Doyle, professor of English. Bustamante’s work features in her most recent book, Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion. Doyle is also Managing Director of Human Resources Los Angeles, an all-volunteer experimental art space in Chinatown.

The Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College is located at 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez in Monterey Park, CA. For more information, visit www.vincentpriceartmuseum.org.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-6049
E-mail: konrad.nagy@ucr.edu

Additional Contacts

Jennifer Doyle
Tel: (951) 827-1820
E-mail: jennifer.doyle@ucr.edu

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