There's a landmark show currently at the museum at Mexico's gargantuan national university UNAM called "La era de la discrepancia/The Age of Discrepancies: Art and Visual Culture in Mexico, 1968-1997." This period is generally known as the era of modern darkness in Mexico, the turning point being the government's massacre of untold hundreds of students and demonstrators at Tlatelolco on a day of infamy for all of us, 2 October 1968.
After a little browsing of the catalog for the show I came upon a biographical sketch of Pola Weiss:
Pola Weiss (Mexico City, 1947-1990) is often called the first pioneer of video art in Mexico. Starting the mid-1970s, she produced various works for the public and commercial television, and she created "arTV," a term that expressed her belief that television was a possible medium for art. Her first work, Flor cósmica (Cosmic Flower), presented at IX Encuentro Internacional de Videoarte, held in 1977 at Mexico City's Museo Carrillo Gil, featured a sort of changing kaleidoscope along with a score by Tomita.
One of her major contributions was the concept of "video dance," dancing actions performed for the camera. The dominant note in her work, nonetheless, was a search for identity, whether in terms of her origins, her body, or her feelings (Autovideato, 1979; Mi corazón, 1986). It is said, though it has never been proved, that she committed suicide in front of her video camera in 1990.
I wonder why this hasn't been confirmed, and how it can be. There's otherwise very little written or visual information about Weiss online. Here's the link to the catalog. Link to Freize review. Link to Arteven.com post. Link to La Jornada article and here. The show is up till the end of September.
* Sorta in the same vein, check the opening anecdote in Doug Harvey's recent piece in the LA Weekly on the Getty Research Institute's current show "Evidence of Moment." He describes an early encounter with an art action by "one John Duncan, who had bribed a Tijuana mortician to let him have sex with a female corpse, recording the act on audiotape. Afterward, he had gotten a vasectomy 'so that the last potent seed I had,' he recounted, 'was spent in a cadaver.'"
* Also check out this nominally related link at The Mex Files on one man's excavation of his Anglo-Italo-Mexican heritage.