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[Jabaz, page 2 of 5]

Colleagues credit Jabaz with turning this confluence of young talent into a concerted force in local and then national political art. The hallmark of the group was and remains a brash irreverence toward all orthodoxies, of right or left, religious or secular, high or low. Their artistic and political commitment is to la antisolemnidad hacia todo, 'antisolemnity toward everything.' Pieties, wherever they are found, must be made fun of. The group's artistic practice injects disorder into all forms of decorum and all systems of norms governing people's judgements, behavior, and beliefs. The motive is to have fun, but also to reveal.

Under Jabaz's direction and encouragement, in the heated climate of post-1968 Mexico the moneros tapatíos, as they came to be known, began experimenting with public expression. Their first project was a periódico mural, a mural newspaper posted on a wall at the ITESO (remember the history of muralism in Mexico). This project evolved into a small humor publication called Unonoesninguno ('one is no one'). The title punned on the name of Mexico City's main progressive newspapers at the time, Unomasuno ('one plus one').


Unonoesninguno evolved into a new little magazine, Galimatías (the term is slang for 'disorder' or 'gobbledygook'), begun in 1982. The magazine's subtitle identified it as a semanario mensual de humor quincenal, a 'monthly weekly of biweekly humor.' In Galimatías (figure2, figure 3, figure 4) the group's work reached a new level in both content and design. The magazine proved to be the project that launched several group members into the national journalistic scene, in the Mexico City newspaper La Jornada.

Galimatías went down in history with a dramatic centerfold that typified the Guadalajara group's commitment to iconoclasm and outrage. In February 1985, a group of striking miners demonstrating in the Zocalo had inaugurated a new form of social protest: nudity. Disrobing in broad daylight, in violation of norms of modesty profoundly rooted in Mexican society, they jolted the nation to shocked attention. In sympathy with their cause, yet eager at the same time to debunk both the pieties of left wing paternalism and the pieties of decency codes, Galimatías published a centerfold titled "El Paro Obrero." It was a photo of a naked man in a construction helmet displaying a momentous erection (figure 5). If you know Spanish, you get the pun. Parar in Spanish means both "to stand up" and "to stop". In labor movement parlance, a paro obrero is a 'worker stoppage.' The cartoon, however, invokes the other possible meaning, a 'worker erection' (se me para 'it's standing up on me' is a common way of referring to an erection).

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