Curator‘s Comments

Born and raised in Mexico, Enrique Chagoya first studied economics and became involved in political and social activism through his work on rural development projects. After immigrating to the United States in 1977, he worked as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. Both of these influences are apparent in his visual work, which often features strong graphic forms and includes political and social content handled with a deft and humorous touch.

Abenteuer der Kannibalen Bioethicists is the fourth work in a series of five books produced between 1998 and 2002 based on the example of pre-Columbian codices. Using this traditional form, Chagoya mixes images and concepts from diverse sources—everything from Latin-American mythology to American popular culture. He uses the word “cannibalism” to describe how dominant cultures appropriate images, ideas, and traditions from other civilizations, and to show how this changes how we read and understand our own and others’ histories.
The title of this work translates roughly from German as “The Adventure of the Cannibalistic Bioethicists,” an apt description of how one might go about building a new culture in this global society.

Enrique Chagoya. American (born Mexico), born 1953

Abenteuer der Kannibalen Bioethicists (5/7), 2001

Lithograph and woodcut with black, ochre, blue, yellow, and green ink, chine collé, and collage on paper, 26/30

Printed by Bud Shark, Sharks Ink

Purchased with the gift of the Arch W. Shaw Foundation, through the courtesy of Nancy Simonds Shaw, class of 1972, administrator

ID Number: SC 2002:9