Aleš Erjavec is Research Professor in the Institute of Philosophy of the Scientific Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. He is the author of
An overarching thesis of this chapter is that both in Mexico to a certain degree and in Nicaragua to a far more comprehensive extent beginning in the late 1970s and extending up to 1990, aesthetic avant-gardes were central to the revolutionary process. The chapter presents and discusses the Mexican mural movement (Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros) and points out connections with European avant-gardes. The chapter follows the mural movement’s increasingly original developments in Mexico and then concentrates on the more recent Nicaraguan public mural paintings. It shows how revolutions in Mexico and Nicaragua reveal with varying degrees of success that some things do contest the entrenched beliefs of our supposedly “stable and necessary” ordinary times. It also shows how in spite of internal contradictions the Mexican mural movement that started as a government-sponsored project in the 1920s had a profound afterlife throughout the Americas.