Sunday, January 14, 2018

Another truth about travel: every day is a new day

Sometimes the world seems backwards.
My first day here, I wanted to go home. Yesterday, the streets turned golden and I fell in love with with this magical place! Maybe I had just been looking at Oaxaca backwards.

Within blocks of Art House Oaxaca where I’m staying is the Andador Tourístico, a shifting kaleidoscope of sights and sounds, art and history. I went out for coffee and came back four hours later, completely enchanted. 

Papel picado reflected in my cup of café Tlaquepaque
Every day of travel is a new day. Of course, every day of life is a new day also, which is probably the lesson that travel brings us. The limited time span of travel focuses our attention, reminding us that life is finite and not to be wasted.

Yesterday, my friend from Coronado arrived so three of us, who hadn’t seen each other in several years, got to reconnect and catch up on life stories as we ate, talked and shopped our way through a medley of shops and tiny outdoor boothes.
Dark Forest Room
Highlights: In MOCA, the contemporary arts museum, I was in one well-lit gallery looking at black and white sketches when I glanced through a long, almost black room, through a door way into another well-lit space. The doorway perfectly framed a painting of a woman. The presentation was so dramatic and engaging that I entered the dark space only to realize there was a painting of a forest done in black-on-black. 
It was an almost  jarring sensation, trying to comprehend the subtle, black, forest painting but still being drawn to the light and the picture of the woman. 

Fernando Palma Rodriguez
The work of Fernando Palma Rodriguez, creator of mythic robotic pieces takes up the second level of this museum, giving viewers a chance to wander from room to room and engage with eerily “living” creatures. In an artist interview with Rachel Bongiorno, she says, "Palma weaves images and stories from the Nahuatl culture and shows how the technology impacts on the way we view and interact with the natural environment.”

Attached to this exhibit was a haunting short movie produced and directed by Rubén Quiroz showing a coyote-human moving disjointedly through the modern world. Unfortunately I couldn’t find it online.
Filemón Santiago Exhibition

At MUPO, the museum of Oaxacan painters, is housed in a seventeenth-century building originally built to educate girls. The current exhibition, the first offered as the museum reopened after the September, 2017, earthquake, displays four decades of the work of Filemón Santiago.  This video gives you a sample of his symbolic and disturbing work.

Upstairs in an unattended room was an labeled work I found fascinating. Google helped me identify it as Los Colores de Oaxaca painted by Rodolfo Morales in 1996. I sat with it for a long while, trying to comprehend the message and the culture the artist offered about Mexico and its people. 
Los Colores de Oaxaca by Rodolfo Morales

After all that culture, it was time for coffee and I found Lusicarú, an art-filled coffee shop connected to La Mano Mágico, where I learned my first Zapotec word: Lusicarú, meaning “beautiful eyes” and tried café Tlaquepaque which was wonderful, but not quite sure what made it different. 
Topping the day off was an amazing bit of wall art, even though it was an inside wall, a Oaxacan wedding parade in the streets with giant puppets representing the bride and groom. Plus, I even saw Superman! You just have to love Mexico.

Oaxacan Wedding

1 comment:

  1. I especially enjoyed the thought that when things don't look so good, maybe one has just been looking at it backwards.