Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Letter from Oaxaca

The above image is:Installation by Joel Gómez at Mupo (Museo de los pintores oaxaqueños) in Oaxaca, Mexico. Photo Emilie Chaix.

Roasted grasshoppers (chapulines), Malcolm Lowry’s beloved mezcal, the social unrest: Oaxaca, one of the most beautiful cities in Latin America, bases its fame on a series of clichés. The year of Mexico, to open soon in France – and which the arguments on the Cassez affair seem to have definitely buried -, could have shown that the country is not limited to being the conservatory of ancient civilizations. Oaxaca is one example among many others. It was the stronghold of the Zapotec culture, with the city of Monte Alban, later inhabited by the Mixteca goldsmiths, it is also a capital of modern and contemporary art. The city of Rufino Tamayo (who will be celebrated as of 29 September at the Petit-Palais in Paris) has undergone a remarkable transformation this last decade, under the impulse of Francisco Toledo, the most famous contemporary Mexican artist. It now hosts several museums of contemporary art with funny acronyms (Maco, Mupo, Iago, aside from the Alvarez-Bravo foundation), galleries, collective presentations by young artists and graffiti artists. Event the botanical garden is the work of contemporary creators, led by Luis Zarate. Oaxaca meets the challenge of showing another aspect of Mexico, far from the image limited to its folklore, its mariachis, its embroidered dresses, its colonial style. Now it has to be known… Read more

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