Daily Bytes

“Tinisima” by Tina Modotti: Too Hot to Handle

By Edward Weston: Carlos Mérida, Jean Charlot and Tina Modotti

By Edward Weston: Carlos Mérida, Jean Charlot and Tina Modotti

Artes de México en Utah promotes the appreciation of Mexican art through art exhibits, cultural activities, and educational programs. This summer the non-profit which earlier gave us the art exhibit of Frida Khalo is, again, partnering with the Salt Lake City Public Library through its Amigos y Libros (Friends and books) club to read and discuss Tinisima, a novel by famed Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska. Tinisima is based on the life of Tina Modotti (1896-1942), a silent film actress who met Edward Weston in Los Angeles in the early 1920s and traveled with him to Mexico City in 1923. Under Weston’s tutlege, Modotti became a well-known photographer, but her progressive views about women and her Communism overshadowed her art, and Mexico deported her in 1930. She then became a Soviet spy, fought in the Spanish Civil War, and devoted the rest of her life to politics and her long-time lover, Soviet assassin Vittorio Vidali.

Tinisima is a heady mix of biography and fiction. Poniatowska’s style succinctly and evocatively captures both the moment–whether describing a dusty Mexican village, the harsh Soviet winters, or dodging bullets in Spain–and the spirit of a strong and sometimes desperately lonely woman.

Artes de México en Utah will be having two presentations about Modotti and discussions about the book: in Spanish at Day-Riverside Library on Tuesday, July 22 at 7 p.m. (preceded at 6 p.m. by a reception on the patio) and in English on Thursday July 31 at the Pilar Pobil Foundation, 403 8th Ave. Pobil, a self-taught painter and sculptor known for her brilliantly colored watercolors and oils, will be present to share her stories of the Spanish Civil War. Her father fought  for the Republican forces.

If you have not had time to read Tinisima you can still participate in the discussions! This video [click here] gives a fascinating peek into Modotti’s life.

LECTURA DE VERANO + PLATICA: TINISIMA

Tina Modotti, “la bella italiana”, escandalizó a México cuando llegó allí en 1923 con el fotógrafo Edward Weston, su amante que estaba casado. Su arte, ideas y pensamientos políticos conmocionaron a México hasta el punto que tuvo que ser deportada. Tras su expulsión de México, llegó a la Unión Soviética y pasó el resto de su vida haciendo misiones secretas para el gobierno de ese país y luchando en la Guerra Civil Española. Su vida llegó a su punto de partida cuando volvió a México en 1939, una mujer muy diferente.

Únete a nosotros para leer este fabuloso libro de una de las autoras más conocidas de México y para discutir como el arte, la política y los hombres dieron forma a la fascinante vida de Tina Modotti.

¡Si usted no ha tenido tiempo de leer Tinísima todavía puede participar en nuestra plática! ¡Este vídeo da mucha información sobre su vida fascinante. [click here]

Book Discussion in English

Pilar Pobil Foundation
403 8th Avenue, SLC
July 31, 7 p.m.
With refreshments.
Pilar Pobil will provide perspectives on Spanish Civil War.

Plática en Español
Biblioteca Day-Riverside
1575 W 1000 N, SLC
22 de julio
6 p.m. Recepción con: cemitas poblanas y aguas frescas
Fotos de la Revolución Mexicana
7 p.m. Plática

Panel of Diego Rivera murals at Chapingo for which Tina Modotti modeled. Permissions: Fair use, for critical discussion, comment, teaching at free events.

Panel of Diego Rivera murals at Chapingo for which Tina Modotti modeled. Permissions: Fair use, for critical discussion, comment, teaching at free events.

David Pace is a writer and literary editor of 15 Bytes. Author of the novel “Dream House on Golan Drive,” (Signature Books), his creative work has also appeared in Quarterly West, ellipsis…literature and art, Alligator Juniper, Sunstone, Dialogue and reprinted/posted in Phone Fiction. His by-line has also appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, American Theatre, Huffington Post and elsewhere. www.davidgpace.com

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