Published : Wednesday, March 21, 2018 | 6:49 PM
A censored mural by Chicana artist Barbara Carrasco on the Mexican perspective in Los Angeles is being shown for the first time at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
The mural, “History of Los Angeles: a Mexican Perspective,” has been in a warehouse in Pasadena for over three decades since the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles canceled its display for the bicentennial of the city in 1981, because Carrasco refused to remove 14 images that they considered controversial.
The 80-foot panoramic mural will be displayed in the museum’s new rotating gallery adjacent to “Becoming Los Angeles,” the museum said on its website. The exhibit, “Sin Censura: Un Mural Recuerda a L.A. (Without Censorship: A Mural Remembers LA.),” will be up until mid-August.
Except for a brief exhibition for the Los Angeles Festival 1990, it had remained unseen in its entirety and kept in the Pasadena warehouse.
This time, it will be wholly visible at the Museum.Carrasco’s work will be mounted on three walls to show the public the 80-foot panorama.
Speaking during the announcement at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Carrasco said murals have played “an important role in documenting history, politics, fears, as well as the dreams and aspirations of historically marginalized populations.”
“I am delighted to have him back in a public space, particularly during the turbulent times of today,” he said. “It’s as relevant as it was 36 years ago when I finished it for the first time.”
The mural, which portrays the city’s history through vignettes woven in the loose hair of The Queen of Los Angeles, was presented last September at Union Station, in downtown Los Angeles, as part of the initiative led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: LA / LA.
The portable mural is composed of 43 panels containing 51 scenes from the history of Los Angeles, with emphasis on the experiences of marginalized groups.
The vignettes begin with the original inhabitants of the city and conclude with key episodes of the 20th century, which include the bleaching of David Alfaro Siqueiros’ mural “Tropical America,” as well as the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during World War II and the Zoot Suit Riots.
The mural is part of the ¡Murales Rebeldes! project which shows how eight Chicano murals were reportedly censored, neglected, bleached and destroyed.