Enlightenment, Educational, and Noooo, interesting? YES!

I have noticed lately there is so much right in our own backyard, that we are unaware of, and exploring and finding those items makes a new outlook on how you see your own area.

Such was the case when a friend Deb and I stumbled on the Tamayo Museum.  I remember mixing is up with the Soumaya Museum when I was in the taxi once and yes, the drive was correct the Tamayo was NOT in Polanco, lol.  As we worked our way through part soy Chapultepec I had never been before, I realized what a perfect place it was was for Tamayo, surrounded by people all day, shaded areas and a beautiful cafe outside, all around very impressive.

As you walk in you are amazed at the huge expanse of space on front of you, light coming in and just like a breath of fresh air, all the save you need to take in the beauty of this building and allowing the neighboring green of the park to enter in, it was welcoming to say the least. I also found that by giving our credentialed id, we got in for free as teachers. WOW!

I first walked to my right where there was a lounge-type area, and very cool – all the explanations and a majority of books on the artists, as well as the exhibits and detailed explanations were provided in a whole area constructed of fresh-looking wood, and neatly organized by exhibits.  Underneath the collection of materials for each exhibit that was currently on display, inquiry logs were available for you to describe your reactions and responses to each of the exhibits.  I loved the look and the comfortable space created by this area.

I then turned around and began to make my way into the first exhibit, pictures not allowed to be taken in this one specific area.  Yet, Brazilian artist Jac Leirner, was well represented with many difference exhibits.  His exhibit titled Functions of a Variable, I felt did lengths to show fads, social acceptances through companies, and a spirit of Andy Warhol.  A description below entails an introduction:

“Closely related to the formal and spatial expressions of Brazilian Neo-Concretism, as well as with the conceptual strategies of the decades of 1960 and 1970, in Brazil as well as abroad, Jac Lernier’s practice is focused in the daily accumulation of everyday objects and its reconfiguration in sculptural forms, giving a new meaning to the objects, but also conferring them a new value and use.”

I was amazed at everyday items, common at one time, such as devalued bank notes, airline tickets, packages for cigarettes, and especially shopping bags made such a statement.

What impressed me was the differences of perspectives that were also realized in looking at some of the artists’ work.  I like when you are brought to the realization that art or anything, can make you see things differently, that reaches out to me.  So it did here with several exhibits.  This is the excerpt, from the series of architecture pieces titled Theatre of the World, that were on display that represented culture as well as architecture hand in hand:

“The Theater of the World looks into the work of different artists interested in architecture as a place for political and social representation. Although, more than revealing the failed utopias from the past, this exhibition reflects on the world as stage, where the monuments, palaces, ruins and social housing projects coexist and renovate under the same façade of nation and apparent development.”

Participating Artists: Alexánder Apostol, Yto Barrada, Marcelo Cidade, Nathan Coley, Livia Corona, José Dávila, Marjolijn Dijkman, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Angela Ferreira, Andreas Fogarasi, Meschac Gaba, Carlos Garaicoa, Terence Gower – Pedro Reyes, Pablo Hare, Heidrun Holzfeind – Christoph Draeger, David Maljkovic, Olivia Plender, Anri Sala, Kostis Velonis”

It was haunting to see buildings, shells of the buildings left untouched for years due to the funding that disappeared, building made out of paper that were cut out and stood out, all red in color, and rows and rows of these.  the illusion you see when you first look at these housing “units” is the message of mundaneness, and similarity even though each one is different yet the common quality still exists.  There were also the pictures where the architecture had been cut out, and you looked at the picture so differently wondering, what was there and what is there now that fills this space, or the space around it?

One of my favorites was a exhibition of a movie made where it is an illusioned city, meaning that when people come to visit, fake trees are pulled up from a mechanical device in the group, clean buildings side swivel outward, and bushes and other pleasant scenery appears making it appear these enhancements are always a part of the city, and then when the visitors/dignitaries leave, everything disappears.  This made me wonder if the future will be like this, a fascade due to the way we treat our environment.

Yet another film depicted an actual neighborhood that was drab and dreary after economic support from a democratic-based movement ran out, and instead of leaving this drab and unfinished look to the buildings due to lack of fundings, an artist came in and painted all the exterior buildings in very loud and bright colors on the sides of the buildings/ bringing the neighborhood from a depression-looking one to one of life and brightness.  What a difference it made!

In coming to the exhibit where Rufino Tamayo himself worked on the set and costumes for the Shakespeare play, Antigone, I was struck with how the various layers were hung, overall depictions of Antigone that ran into each other.  I found as I walked once in this exhibit area, and once out, I spied books in English that I could better understand Rufino Tamyao’s life.  What a life.  I mean, WOW.  I realized how much heart, soul, and contributions he made and wanted to leave for Mexico’s future to enjoy and relish.  I easily say there and poured through page after page of his convictions and accomplishments and felt that much more fulfilled after seeing this collection of diverse cultures represented.

On my way out fittingly enough, was a piece that covered the way with four canvases, by Rufino Tamayo.  As I made my way into the museum store, I saw the text I had purchased last year, titled, Los tamayo, un cuadro de familia, of Rufino Tamayo and his history in Spanish.  When someone came and suggested I purchase it I thought, yet, knowing there were a limited number published and something told me to go ahead and get it (it was a little pricey, but seeing the museum I feel much more knowledgeable in knowing this was an important purchase).

The cafe was a perfect ending to an amazing experience, beautiful outside, individuals enjoying the park, a delicious omelette, great Chai tea, the atmosphere, the service, the food – everything, reasonable and DELICIOUS.  I walked away realizing what an amazing and generous individual Rufino Tamayo was, and what an honor it was to tour his museum.

 

 

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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