Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Codex Espangliensis: From Columbus to Border Patrol, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Enrique Chagoya & Felicia Rice, San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2002

A wonderfully powerful publication that self-consciously embraces the format, and visual style of the pre-Hispanic codices, Codex Espangliensis: From Columbus to the Border Patrol (2002), is a collaboration between Guillermo Gómez-Peña (performance artist), Enrique Chagoya (artist), and Felicia Rice (typographer/printer).  

This accordion is a riotous mixture of texts collaged together with imagery from pre-Hispanic, colonial and contemporary comic book sources that playfully subvert the traditional historical narratives of the relationship between the USA and Mexico. This "post-Columbian codex" adopts the traditional format of being read from the back to the front, while the individual two-page spreads read from left to right. Originally published in 1998 in an edition of 50 by Rice's press, Moving Parts Press, and then published in trade edition in 2000 and this version reprinted in 2002. Incredibly this fantastic publication is still available for about $15! 

30 individual one-sided pages at 7" (h) x 9" (w), and when fully opening its 22ft 6inches long.

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