Harry Gamboa, Jr. co-founded Asco (Spanish for nausea), the East L.A.-based conceptual-performance art group active from 1972-1987. He has authored several books and his work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. He is a faculty member at California Institute of the Arts, School of Art, Program in Photography and Media.
Against the Wall: Remembering the Chicano Moratorium by Harry Gamboa, Jr.
I recently visited the Mexican Cultural Institute in downtown Los Angeles to see the 40th anniversary commemorative exhibition on the Chicano Moratorium, an anti-war movement that organized protests in East Los Angeles from 1969-71. The protests had been marred by rioting and historically marked by the violent death of Los Angeles Times journalist Ruben Salazar, who was fatally struck in the head by a tear gas projectile that had been fired by a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff. In the exhibit, I found myself drawn to an untitled photograph by Victor Aleman. I was riveted by the personal significance of the grainy black and white image depicting several police officers and protesters on a familiar street corner in East L.A.