Asco’s Stations of the Cross

Media - 2019.3.1 - SAAM-2019.3.1_1 - 137927
Copied Asco, Seymour Rosen, Asco's Stations of the Cross, 1971, printed 2018, gelatin silver print, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Frank K. Ribelin Endowment, 2019.3.1, © 1971, SPACES- Saving and Preserving Arts & Cultural Environments

Artwork Details

Title
Asco’s Stations of the Cross
Artists
Asco
Date
1971, printed 2018
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
8 × 10 in. (20.3 × 25.4 cm)
Copyright
© 1971, SPACES- Saving and Preserving Arts & Cultural Environments
Credit Line
Museum purchase through the Frank K. Ribelin Endowment
Mediums Description
gelatin silver print
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure group
  • Cityscape — street
  • Religion — New Testament — Crucifixion
Object Number
2019.3.1

Artwork Description

Stations of the Cross was a walking "ritual of resistance" against what the performance group Asco considered the "useless deaths" taking place in Vietnam. The male members of the group (which originally comprised Harry Gamboa Jr., Gronk, Willie Herrón III, and Patssi Valdez) paraded down Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles, with Herrón as a Christ/death figure bearing a large cardboard cross. The quasi-Passion Play ended with the trioblocking a U.S. Marines recruiting office with the cross, symbolically halting military recruitment from their
Mexican American neighborhood. One year earlier, Whittier Boulevard had been the site of the National Chicano Moratorium March--the largest war protest organized by a minority group, and one that called out the disproportionate burden borne by Americans of color on the front lines.

Exhibitions

Martha Rosler, Red Strip Kitchen
Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965 – 1975
March 15, 2019August 18, 2019
Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975 makes vivid an era in which artists endeavored to respond to the turbulent times and openly questioned issues central to American civic life.