In the Eye of the Sun: Mexican Fiestas

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In the Eye of the Sun: Mexican Fiestas (Three Indian Celebrations]
Author Winningham, Geoff,introduction by Richard Rodriguez,Foreword(Three Indian Celebrations:an essay)J. M. G. Le Clézio
Original title In the Eye of the Sun: Mexican Fiestas
Translator Jennifer Curtiss Gage for the Foreword(Three Indian Celebrations:an essay)
Country United States of America
Language English, Foreword translated from the French
Genre nonfiction
Publisher W.W. Norton & Co Ltd,New York "A Constance Sullivan book."
Publication date
1996-11-01
Pages 96 pages
ISBN 978-0-393-31584-4
OCLC 35086198
394.2/6972 20
LC Class GT4814.A2 W56 1997

In the Eye of the Sun: Mexican Fiestas is a book of photographs by Geoff Winningham. The book is a study of the popular fiestas of Mexico, showing the inhabitants of several Mexican villages. The fiestas intertwine some of the great pagan festivals with Catholic ritual and tradition. These photographs show family scenes, revellers and religious ceremonies.

Subject[edit]

Geoff Winningham began photographing the popular fiestas of Mexico in 1984. Returning to the same Mexican villages several times a year, he formed personal relationships with families who permitted him to photograph them in the intimacy of their homes, and local officials who gave him special access to all phases of the celebrations. The fiestas provide tangible links to the pre-Hispanic cultures of middle America, intertwining some of the great Pagan festivals of these ancient peoples with catholic ritual and tradition.[1]

— Synopsis from the publisher "W W Norton"

About the photographer Geoff Winningham[edit]

Geoff Winningham, founding director of Other Americas, is best known for his seven books of photographs and three documentary films relating to American culture and ritual, including Friday Night in the Coliseum, Rites of Fall, and A Place of Dreams. Since 1979 he has traveled extensively in Mexico. He has guided small groups and taught photography in Mexico since 1980. In 1996 he completed an eleven-year study of the popular fiestas of Mexico with the publication of the book, In the Eye of the Sun. With the completion of this project, he has turned his attention primarily to photography of the landscape. He is head of the photography program in the Department of Visual Arts at Rice University, where he has taught since 1969. In addition, he is a frequent contributor to Texas Monthly, Travel and Leisure, and other major magazines. Through his undergraduate teaching at Rice, his workshops at Anderson Ranch Arts Center and the Oklahoma Arts Center, and his years of teaching through Other Americas, he is widely recognized as one of the finest photography instructors working today.

— From the web-site of Geoff Winningham[2]

Winningham's books of photography[edit]

  • Rice University: A 75th Anniversary Portrait
  • In the Eye of the Sun: Mexican Fiestas
  • Along Forgotten River
    • (Full title :Along Forgotten River: Photographs of Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel, 1997–2001, with Accounts of Early Travelers to Texas, 1767–1858[3]

Images from In The Eye of the Sun[edit]

In the Eye of the Sun: Mexican Fiestas. Geoff Winningham began photographing the popular fiestas of Mexico in 1984[4]

Foreword (an essay):J. M. G. Le Clezio[edit]

Three Indian Celebrations[edit]

Written as a complement to Geoff Winningham's collection of photographs In The Eye of The Sun: Mexican Fiestas, Le Clézio's "Three Indian Celebrations" is an essay in three sections which describes his time among the Embera people in the province of Darién, Panama; the Indian mass at San Juan Parangaricutiro, Michoacán, Mexico; and the Corn Mass in Chun Pom, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Le Clézio writes that the Embera are "completely lacking in political organization or religious institutions, the ceremonial function is fulfilled by the 'Beka', a feast of song. This ritual is the most extraordinary moment in the peoples' lives, the moment that affords them the possibility of encountering the invisible forces that surround them and of treating the sick." His account of the Corn Mass briefly describes the history of the people of Quintana Roo and quotes from the last words of Juan de la Cruz Ceh.

In his treatment of these festivals Le Clézio maintains his characteristic style: a sense of respect, admiration, and artistic curiosity for the world of others. He plays, in a sense, the perennial role of an outsider looking into the world of another culture, a man exploring his world through the art of a different humanity. He closes the section on the Embera's ritual singing with the following explanation: "I wanted to describe the singing festival of the Embera Indians because participating in it radically changed my idea of art—the affirmation of another time and another reality that is art. Having once had this experience, I realized I could never again witness an art form more complete and more laden with meaning than this one, whose goal was not only to cure but also to restore lost equilibrium.…I had found the most perfect form, the deepest expression that a human being can give to any quest."

The photographer Winningham chooses Le Clezio to write an essay[edit]

Winningham said Thursday that he'd approached Le Clezio because he thought his book The American Dream: Or the Interrupted Thought of Amerindian Civilizations "the best thing ever written on the early history of Mexico."In his dealings with Le Clezio, Winningham was struck by the French writer's genuineness and humility.

— Winningham[5]

Publication history[edit]

First English Edition[edit]

  • Winningham, Geoff; foreword by J. M. G. Le Clezio ("Three Indian Celebrations: an essay"); introduction by Richard Rodriquez (1996-11-01). In the Eye of the Sun: Mexican Fiestas. New York: W. W. Norton & Co Ltd "A Constance Sullivan book. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-393-31584-4. 

Second English Edition[edit]

  • Winningham, Geoff; foreword by J. M. G. Le Clezio ("Three Indian Celebrations: an essay"); introduction by Richard Rodriquez (1997-02-26). In the Eye of the Sun: Mexican Fiestas. New York: W. W. Norton & Co Ltd "A Constance Sullivan book. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-393-31584-4. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ "In the Eye of the Sun: Mexican Fiestas". w w norton. Retrieved 2008-11-05. paperback / 70 full-color photographs 
  2. ^ "In the Eye of the Sun – Mexican Fiestas – Photographs by Geoff Winningham. Large format". Geoff Winningham. 2008. Retrieved 18 December 2008. 
  3. ^ "A Bayou Runs Through It". Sallyport. Rice University. 2003. Retrieved 18 December 2008. 
  4. ^ "Images from In The Eye of the Sun". geoffwinningham. 2008. Retrieved 18 December 2008. 
  5. ^ lanham, fritz (2008-10-09). "Frenchman wins Nobel prize in literature". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-11-19. Winningham said Thursday that he'd approached Le Clezio because he thought his book The American Dream: Or the Interrupted Thought of Amerindian Civilizations "the best thing ever written on the early history of Mexico."In his dealings with Le Clezio, Winningham was struck by the French writer's genuineness and humility.