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Simón BolívarTravels and Transformations of a Cultural Icon$
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Maureen G. Shanahan and Ana María Reyes

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062624

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062624.001.0001

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Bolívar Unhinged

Bolívar Unhinged

An Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Bolívar Unhinged
Source:
Simón Bolívar
Author(s):

Maureen G. Shanahan

Ana María Reyes

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062624.003.0001

Bolívar as an icon and Bolívarian symbolism has been both anchored and destabilized—hinged and unhinged—to stand for competing ideas and ideologies. From Pedro José Figueroa’s iconic painting of Simón Bolívar, Libertador and Father of the Nation (1819) to contemporary examples such as the performance work by Venezuelan artist collective Nascimento/Lovera, Untitled Mulaló (2008), “Bolívar” has functioned as a cultural sign for debates about the national body. The introduction situates the book within the legacy of Germán Carrera Damas’ Culto a Bolívar (1969) and subsequent work by historians and cultural studies scholars, with a particular debt to anthropologist Yolanda Salas de Lecuna. The introduction outlines the structure of the book in three parts: first, Bolívar’s emerging iconicity as formed in the nineteenth century; second, twentieth century disruptions and unhingings; and third, re-anchorings of “Bolívar” as a sign in contemporary examples. Rather than proposing a definitive study, the collection promises to open the field and invites other cultural interventions.

Keywords:   Pedro José Figueroa, Germán Carrera Damas, Simón Bolívar, icon, symbolism

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