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School of Modern Languages and Cultures: Hispanic Studies

Staff in the Department of Hispanic Studies

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Publication details for Professor Andrea Noble

Image: Tina Modotti: Image, Texture, Photography.2000 Tina Modotti: Image, Texture, Photography, University of New Mexico Press, 172 pp.
  • Publication type: Authored book
  • ISSN/ISBN: 0826322549

Author(s) from Durham


Italian American photographer Tina Modotti (1896--1942) has become the subject of renewed popular and critical attention with a spate of recent biographies, academic articles, and films. Because Modotti was an intensely engaged political figure whose activism took her to Mexico, the former Soviet Union, and Spain, her biographers have focused primarily on her politics and love life, especially her relationships with Edward Weston, Xavier Guerrero, and Julio Antonio Mella. Now Andrea Noble focuses on Modotti's photographic output. Her corpus of over 300 images, especially those of post-revolutionary Mexico in the 1920s, is a significant contribution to twentieth-century photography. Drawing on feminist theories of visual culture, Noble presents a close reading of Modotti's work and how it fits into its cultural, historical, and theoretical contexts. She also explores how Modotti was 'repackaged' by feminists in the 1980s and how she was commodified as an 'exotic Mexican body' to promote a collection of women's fashion. This book offers a new perspective on the work and life of an enduringly fascinating figure.