AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: DANIEL MONROY CUEVAS: WEEK 8-9

The video shooting for the project took place from June 20-23. The New Frontier Drive-in in Center, Colorado, was the location. Now abandoned, this theater screened movies for nearly fifty years. This was the perfect site to unfold the ideas I've been developing for this project. The drive-in theater in the middle of the San Luis Valley holds a strong relationship with the landscape and the distance you could get there. The surface of the screen becomes an absurd emptiness and at the same time evokes the projection of moving images. My idea of the location is not that of nostalgia, but more about present day ruins that could also stand for active frontiers.

AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: MELISSA FURNESS: WEEK 10

It’s hard to believe that my time here in Mexico City is nearly finished! I was set up to give a talk about my work and the project at SOMA this afternoon, with a little goodbye gathering to follow. It was good to get me to organize my thoughts about my work and what has led up to this point for me creatively.

The piece that I have been working on here in Mexico City has become something of a cross between a pile of trash and the ruin of a pyramid. This was the one thing that remained consistent throughout my time here; however, the visual form of these ideas changed very significantly with my various talks with Carla, Adam, and Tatiana. It was a different experience for me to verbalize my process with them throughout its development. I found, however, as much as I might have resisted certain things, that it pushed me to bring ideas to the forefront of my mind much more quickly than they would have on my own… and it seems that this was a necessary thing with regards to the short term of my residency here. I feel that I was able to—in the end—very well express my experience through this piece.

The idea that I settled on was to, instead of producing a painting of a visual ruin, as I had in the past, to actually construct my own ruin out of paintings themselves. During my first two weeks here, I spent a lot of time visiting various sites for visual research and inspiration. Two that were very significant are the Anthropology Museum and the Basilica of Guadalupe, and paired with it La Casa Azul. I am very interested in exvotos, which I never really explored before my time here. They are very much a depiction of what I deal with in my work… taking a personal narrative and transforming it into an epic history of sorts. Throughout my stay in Mexico City, I have kept this blog journal chronicling my experiences, and so I decided to utilize this text as a diary and transform them into a series of my own personal exvotos.

At first with these pieces, I had thought to purchase folk art paintings from the local markets, and then I thought of holding workshops in English on how to paint to people who don’t speak English, and then I came up with this translation idea. The same went with the paintings themselves. I wanted the paintings themselves to be quick, a dashed off impression of place which would be indicative of my short time here… many, many attempts at trying to know this place, and each time a sense of failure resulting. Each of these paintings were produced in about 10 minutes, with some smaller pieces taking a shorter time, and some larger ones taking up to 18 minutes, but not longer. In the end, I had painted 305 of these exvoto style pieces in 29 days here, depicting a seven week period of my existence in Mexico (out of the 10 total that I have resided here). The imagery ranges from historic tourist sites, to everyday impressions of details about the city.

The paintings all extend over the edges, and thus have become more like an object, a museum artifact, a broken fragment of this larger whole, which I would perhaps love to imagine showing up at some point in the future as “figure A-19 fragment of a water mountain” paired with some incorrect illustration of what this ruin once looked like in all its former glory. There are additionally three other large-scale works on stretched canvas, which depict my interpretation of several Aztec myths that I have discovered a personal narrative within. They are painted with the space below marked out for an exvoto stlyle narrative, however, there are no words, for the text is already written by history and not by me. It is a narrative which underlies all aspects of contemporary life here.

And so soon I am to return to Denver and work to pull all of these thoughts together in the final work, which is to be presented at the Biennial of the Americas with the three other creative ambassadors, with an opening reception on July 16 at 8:00pm in the McNichols Civic Center Building in Denver, Colorado. It is all beginning to come together. I am very thankful to have had this opportunity.

It was lovely to have a little party following my discussion, enjoy some food, and a piñata—perfect! Special thanks to SOMA Mexico for hosting me during my stay here in Mexico City. I will be sad to leave it behind.


AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: DANIEL MONROY CUEVAS: WEEK 6 & 7

I visited the University of Colorado in Boulder, where Andrew Busti, the director of photography for the project, works. We were searching for material and equipment heading to the production of the video. Here is a collection of old cameras, projectors and lenses. Just in their form I found these objects very interesting and appealing. Different machines throughout time that produced moving images that produced time as a consequence.

IMG_0938.JPG

 

 

We went to an antique store in search for an old shotgun needed for the project. Some views of our many options. These shotguns are not functioning anymore. But the rest of the store sells antique functioning shotguns and pistols. The place is called The Gunroom, they claim to be the oldest gun store in Colorado.

6.jpg
7.jpg

This stain on the sidewalk outside my studio reminds me of the Mexican map territory. I see it almost everyday and now maybe the map is just in my head.

AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: MELISSA FURNESS: WEEK 9

The packing of 308 paintings was at last completed by 1:00pm today… in utter exhaustion. We carried them down and out of the studio and off to the shippers, hooray. What a load off (and special thanks to Laura Cortes-Hesselbach and Cristobal Garcia).

It was nice to see them all off so that I could at last feel like I would have a few days of final contemplation of this fantastic city… but at the same time, I am also excited to see the final piece come to fruition back in Denver in the next month. In my talks with Tatiana Cuevas, she had suggest that I photograph the pieces not just as images, but as objects, which I did and quite like….

This notion of them as artifacts—fragments of this ruin of paintings that I produced.

With this, Carla Herrera-Pratts, whom I have been working with from the start of the program, had mentioned this idea of grouping the works in a visual or thematic when when I get to working on the book. I am rather looking forward to looking back at the bulk of the paintings and seeing where imagery and themes repeat themselves and what this will tell me about my experience here in Mexico these past number of weeks. I feel that there is much to learn from this.

AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: MELISSA FURNESS: WEEK 8

I am quite glad to have things slow down a bit at last. I have really enjoyed the project, but it was also at times a bit stressful with the pace that I was attempting to keep up. As I begin to look back on it, it is very clearly worth the effort put forth. The process truly mimiced the sense of the city. So many things everywhere all the time. The process of painting throughout was something like this.

In the past few days, I have been working on finishing up these three large paintings, and am quite happy with how they are coming along. These pieces are reflective of the larger Aztec mythology that underlies daily life here in Mexico city. I am additionally inserting fragmented elements of European and Colonial painting, which has also affected the people here in significant ways and are a part of contemporary daily life and class structures. There are so many complex layers to what comprises this place. It is endlessly fascinating.

I spoke to Tatiana Cuevas Guevara for a final time today at SOMA, and it was nice to reflect back a little on what I have produced during my time here. There are things that we had discussed and questioned which now seem settled as a result of my being able to test things out and get a better vision of it all. I am feeling confident in the presence of the work.

I also had a studio visit with Barbara Perea, who is a Mexico City based curator, critic and lecturer. She was less familiar with my work, so I reviewed projects that I have produced in the recent past, which gave me an interesting overview as to how all of this fits in to the bigger picture of my work as an evolving artist. I am curious as to how it will feel to make art again back at home once I leave here. It is hard to imagine.

I finished the second painting in this series of three large canvases. The narrative in this piece involves the story of Coyolxauhqui, who was a daughter of Coatlicue and Mixcoatl, and is the leader of the southern star gods, whom I have discussed before… but I will jog your memory a bit. In Aztec mythology, the story of Coyolxauhqui is as follows: While the pious and chaste ancestral mother Coatlicue was sweeping on Coatepec (sacred mountain), she found a ball of feathers that she hid in the hem of her skirt. Unknowingly, by these feathers, she became pregnant with Huitzilopochtli (god of war and sun). When her other children and her daughter Coyolxauhqui heard of this mysterious pregnancy, they were offended and went to Coatepec to kill their mother. Upon arrival, Huitzilopochtli sprang from his mother’s womb in full armor and met them. He killed Coyolxahqui and her other 400 brothers who had been about to attack his mother. Huitzilopochtli threw his sister’s body down the slope of the mountain, tearing it to pieces.

Hhhmmm… now that I think of it, I am not quite finished yet with this one. I do want to add some feathers to this piece. More to come!

AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: DANIEL MONROY CUEVAS: WEEK 4 & 5

A time to revisit references and parallels of the project in cinema:

The Man with the Movie Camera by Dziga Vertov: In this excerpt the incredible animation of the camera operating by itself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KytJFyMHZl0

The famous scene of the mirror by the Marx Brothers: Deeply connected with the project in his conceptual idea. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKTT-sy0aLg

A scene from Buster Keaton “The Cameraman”: This is not one the most popular Buster Keaton films, but for me it is one of the most powerful. Throughout the entire film the camera is always omnipresent, it is indeed an extended portrait of a camera.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R08MrRELz1M

Samuel Becket’s “Film”: The only film he ever made, also deals with an intrinsic reflection of a movie image as a double and violent entity. Starring Buster Keaton after 30 years of his own “Cameraman”

http://www.ubu.com/film/beckett_film.html

AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: MELISSA FURNESS: WEEK 7

I arrived back in the studio this morning with some refreshed energy—just what I needed! I was able to push the paint around quickly and get into the process. Time away truly helps.

There is something to be said about being forced to (or rather forcing yourself to) paint so much that you can’t really even think. You just do. I admit to being a complete cynic regarding automatism (or maybe its just something about that word?). 

However, I don’t view this as automatism. It’s not random marks. It is the recording of an image… an impression which passed by my eyes in a rather quick, misguided and misunderstood way. That is what I am documenting–my own confusion, I suppose….this feeble attempt to make sense of things that rather often defy me.

I took an inventory of the paintings that I have completed and the canvases yet to have marks on and now seem to have a plan for completing these 290 pieces and getting them off on their way to Denver.

I also has another chat with Carla and Adam, who asked me whether I miss doing my other paintings…. Hhhmmm…. That’s a tough question. They are very different. They were wondering if I would be happy to go back to them; however, I can’t at this point even imagine doing that. This experience is changing a lot for me. Certainly I could never go back to the way things were… and not only creatively, but with certain life circumstances as well. It is all an epic trip. It’s hard to say where I might end up.

AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: MELISSA FURNESS: WEEK 6

I’ve been frantically working away on these paintings, and it has been going well, but at times is a bit difficult to think about how many more I have to get done! My focus at the moment has been on the process, which has been significant. Throwing myself physically into creative production really becomes a way of processing my life, it seems… which isn’t always easy. 

I was taking a walk one other morning a few days ago and was thinking about the possibility of including drawings in my pile, and I do still have these odd and somewhat grotesque myths in the back of my mind and how they might come into the work…. Beheadings abound here–in these myths, in the realities of historical sacrifices, and in the imagery of colonial paintings.

Once this group of paintings is shipped out way too soon, I am thinking to produce drawings of heads—those that are real, or unreal, all from my personal experiences. I believe that this will add some additional texture and color to this ruin that is beginning to form. We’ll see as it builds.

I tried out the stacking of the paintings with about 50 pieces that were completed in my studio today, and added some papers as well, just to see.

The funniest thing is that later when I made it back to my apartment, there happened to be this fantastic stack of cement pieces that looked so much like my stack of paintings. I had gone to the grocery store, and when I saw that, I took it as something of a sign and set down the grocery bags and water in my hands, making a bit of a spectacle of myself and took a picture. So perhaps the work is coming along well….

AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: DANIEL MONROY CUEVAS: WEEK 3

A second trip to the San Luis Valley revealed different landscapes and details that have continued to inspire the work.

We stumbled into a collection of old shoes left on posts at the side of a country road. They became shoes to walk in the sky. 

An abandoned drive-in movie theater called the Frontier in Center, CO.  It´s kind of ironic the idea of the frontier at the center. The texture of the screen has become a very subtle and interesting pattern, and the whole screen stands incoherently as an obstruction in the land.  

We paid a visit to ¨the Range¨, an artist space project by artists Adrienne Carbini and Alex Decarli. This is in Saguache, another town in the valley. They recently opened an exhibition called The Ramble. The show and the exhibition space is really amazing. It´s very interesting to see such a good show in this small town.

We also visited the Alien Watchtower, a very bizarre space with a garden made out of objects that people started to add. From there you can see the Dunes in the distance.

Another interesting site was the San Luis Lake, near the Great Sand Dunes. The Lake has been dry for some years now, and while walking there you can find fish bones  and other strange fragments. As you continue walking into what seems to have been the center of the lake, it becomes increasingly muddy and difficult to continue walking in.

AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: MELISSA FURNESS: WEEK 5

I spoke with Tatiana Cuevas Guevara about my project again today. It is good to speak with her about things. She was asking me about this sense of fantasy in the work, and I quite like that about the piece… how it is very clearly in line with the ideas that I have been working with in my previous paintings, but taking it from a very different approach. Instead of creating this fantastical world through painting, I am experiencing it through mistranslations and guesses, the strangeness of foreign eyes, missing bits of information and fragments of history parsed together in correct and incorrect ways, and attempts at interacting with it all in my own awkward way, which in the end becomes rather comical. I feel as if I am within one of paintings in this environment.

We discussed the location of my situation at the heart of the city in Zocalo, and how it is in itself a rather fantastical place to be. Thinking back upon my number of weeks here, I have stumbled across numerous events that have seemed quite odd and otherworldly to me… men with machine guns lined up as I go into a museum one day, stumbling upon a family wedding, then pomp and circumstance in the square, a saint’s day celebration with people in costume, a political demonstration involving a large line of men in underwear with the face of a political figure over themselves, tents of union demonstrators and large numbers of traffic controllers, and then the construction of some kind of gigantic looking stage or who knows what….. and all this amongst lots of doughnuts and balloons and music and honking horns sizzling street food and sing-song vendors…. and loads and loads of “stuff”—colorful noisy smelly stuff. My piece is most certainly reflecting this and more.

However, it is also so exhausting. The city itself can be exhausting, and I am struggling with this a bit… my own exhaustion of making the work, and then stepping through this endless amazing, but also overwhelming environment. I’m feeling quite tired. Another day, another mark to make.

AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: DANIEL MONROY CUEVAS: WEEK 2

A snowfall last week. The snow reminds me of a twisted sand dunes desert.

I found this TV screen torn apart close to my studio. Broken down in the middle suggest other images beyond the surface. A good analogy to the project I am working on.

A bizarre cloud spotted while walking on South Broadway. The rain that followed was a strange light breeze. This landscape is a very important component and interest for the ideas I am developing.

It has been a pleasure to be able to know and understand the city better. On my way to the studio I cross the bridge and see the South Platte River getting bigger every day.

Another urban landscape on the way to the studio.

Studio work has been intense and prolific. Here are some sketches on the wall.

AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: CRISTÓBAL GRACIA: WEEK 10

New perspectives in sculpture;

Lately public sculpture has been challenged to its limits, the foundations of public sculpture have been questioned and distrusted not to deny it but to expand it, we can say with a great confidence that space is the main domain of sculpture, then the basic aspects of it start to arise, its weight, geographical disposition, staticness, solidity and the passing of time in relation to its historical/artistic value, but since the great achievement in science, the discovery of the dissolvement and acceleration of solid particles in space wormholes, a group of artists started to apply this knowledge outside of science and into art.

This explains why the new perspectives in sculpture lie in technologies such as teletransportation and time traveling. After certain artists noticed that at the moment of teletransporting a sculpture certain fragments of it would not appear in the other side the quest for finding these missing fragments started. The result was finding these missing particles floating in the wormhole during the dissolvement and traveling of the structure, after taking these small fragments and cloning the chemical composition that had been potentialized during the teletransporation the era of cloning art started. It is not making a copy or a replica in the traditional sense of the word, it wasn't making a series of a piece of art but reproducing the exact same artwork, same conditions of the material and exact same chemical structure, since cloning has been used in the production of artworks the art market has crashed and almost disappeared since now it is possible to have the same original work of art reproduced thousands of times, now it is possible to acquire the same Gioconda of Da Vinci displayed in The Louvre for just 20 euros at any souvenir gift shop in Paris. Several galleries and art dealers along with right-wing religious groups are complaining and demanding that cloning be forbidden while a new group of artists recognize these options as a new way to understand cultural value, ways of production and distribution in art.


AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: MELISSA FURNESS: WEEK 4

Today I had a meeting scheduled with curator Tatiana Cuevas Guevara to discuss my newly formed project ideas. We were to meet a a coffee shop, so I took the opportunity to take a nice morning walk and observe more of the city. I really enjoy the colors and patterns and beautiful parks. The city is like a lesson in color theory… amazing contrasts and pops of vivid color.

You don’t see this in the U.S. to the extent that you do here. Even the colors that people wear are inspiring.

The palm trees are somehow always a surprise to me here as well. Lush green.

The mornings here are a wonderful experience. Fantastic walks.

I really enjoyed meeting Tatiana, and for the first time, I felt good about the piece that I am beginning… The start of something so new is really so difficult, because you are trying so hard to put some words to what you are mulling over in your head and they just come out like nonsense or they just sound kind of stupid when you attempt an explanation… like beheadings and frogs, and stacks of paintings like a pyramid and trash mixed up with creation myths and history and messes of paint who knows what else. At any rate, I am happy to know that I can now make sense of all of these thoughts and speak about it to others and have it make sense too. Give me a few more days, and I’ll be able to translate that to writing as well.

Since I was in the neighborhood of one of the contemporary art galleries that I had been suggested to see, I decided to stop by before heading to the studio. The name of the gallery is Kurimanzutto. I have to say that going to a gallery here in Mexico City is quite different from other locales. You have to search for the address… and sometimes search for something that might be a door, and then then buzz in the hopes that someone will let you in…. and all the while you are thinking, “Am I in the right place?”

I saw an exhibition by Daniel Guzmán titled “death never takes a vacation”, and it looks like I caught it just in time, as it closes in two days. It seems that there is this trend to produce work on ephemeral surfaces. These drawing/paintings were all done on cheap craft or butcher paper. As a result, I questioned the way that they were framed.

The preciousness of the framing didn’t seem to suit the nature of the materials used. I would have liked to see the pieces tacked up with pins or just free-floating on the wall. The glass of the frames just produced too much shine, which didn’t work with the surface of the drawings.

However, the drawings themselves were quite interesting. I liked the exhibition title in relation to the use of the butcher paper. It is a beautiful space. I will have to come back again when the next exhibition opens.

I made it back to the studio just in time for a batch of my canvases to arrive. I was pretty excited! It was a big load of boxes…

which led me to the task of unwrapping them all…. Every single individually wrapped canvas. Needless to say, it took a very long time. over two and a half hours. At least when I finished I was quite proud to have a nicely full studio.

Oh my, loads of work to do. That begins tomorrow.

 

To continue following Melissa's journey, visit her personal blog here: http://melissafurness.com/translocalities/

 

AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: CRISTÓBAL GRACIA: WEEK 9

I want to thank all the people that stopped by the open studio. It was a nice time to show and talk in a very casual way about some of the stuff that had been in my head during the last few months, gracias.

-----photo of my studio-------

  Photo by Mardee Goff

Photo by Mardee Goff

The closing weekend event at the MCA of the Mothersbaugh´s exhibition was a great way to spend my last days in Denver.

Sometimes people complain about museums being too “stiff” or serious, places where you have to behave almost as in a temple. Myopia completely broke this notion, and not just because the foundation of Mothersbaugh has its roots in DEVO and in a certain newness of seeing and understating the world, but because it switches from music, to art, to television, to cinema, to jewelry, to sound and all the social interaction that comes with this.

So the closing event is not a way to say goodbye, or not just only a way of celebrating the exhibition but it is part of the exhibition, it is the best way to embrace the essence of it and gives us a unique opportunity to engage a relation with the (institution) museum in a very particular way, breaking this idea of stiffness of the museum. I believe that art is not the same as life, there are certain distinctions, of course they nourish from one another, but in this particular case, the museum became an interesting void in art and in life where it wasn’t clear who was imitating who. It was a strange place where you could be following a guy with a bunny suit just like Alice in Wonderland through the museum, or enjoy a tour of the exhibition given by the director of the MCA at 1 am, or lie on the museum floors with great sound sculptures and paintings surrounding you. Myopia transformed the understanding of this museum/void and somehow all of this became a major strength and source of creativity.

----- photo of fine elegant people resting on the floor----

  Photo by Jason Bye

Photo by Jason Bye

------photo of Nick “the Bunny” Silici

  Photo by Adam Lerner

Photo by Adam Lerner

AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: DANIEL MONROY CUEVAS: WEEK 1

My first week was filled with heavy logistics and getting to know the city and the artistic community in Denver. I first went to visit the McNichols building, where the exhibition will happen. The exhibition space is strange and challenging, right in the center of the city. All around the city you see constructions sites all over. Denver is among the fastest growing cities in the country, and you can really feel this. With Adam Gildar and Carla Herrera-Prats, the curators of the program we discussed ideas in relation to this current state of the city. 

After settling into my studio I took a trip with Adam to the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado, as part of the research for my project. This is an amazing site in the San Luis Valley. It was a windy day and we could see how the dunes were being shaped by the wind. The sand hitting you in the face was almost painful. I find a very unstable reality in this place, with a ground that is never flat or solid, which in very interesting to me. The apparent lack of content and the possibility of distance are aspects that I also find appealing for the project. The rest of the week was devoted to printing images and starting to develop ideas as I get ready for the final project proposal.


AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: MELISSA FURNESS: WEEK 3

Today I headed into the studio to get some thoughts organized in my sketchbook and meet with an artist organized by SOMA, Balam Bartolome. It was good to discuss my forming ideas with him. We talked about our interests in Aztec mythology, and he told me about how the Aztecs had been looking for this place (Mexico City) for 300 years, that they were looking for this place that the gods told them to come to. The Mexica/Aztec were said to be guided by their god Huitzilopochtli, meaning “Left-handed Hummingbird” or “Hummingbird from the South.” At an island in Lake Texcoco, they saw an eagle holding a rattlesnake in its talons, perched on a nopal cactus. This vision fulfilled a prophecy telling them that they should found their new home on that spot. The Aztecs built their city of Tenochtitlan on that site, building a great artificial island, which today is in the center of Mexico City. This legendary vision is pictured on the Coat of Arms of Mexico.

It seems that this “baby” whom I have been discussing that was miraculously conceived with the ball of feathers—Huitzilpochtli– killed his half-sister Coyolxauhqui by tearing out her heart using a Xiuhcoatl (a blue snake) and throwing her body down the mountain. This was said to inspire the Aztecs to rip the hearts out of their victims and throw their bodies down the sides of the temple dedicated to Huitzilpochtli, who represents the sun chasing away the stars at dawn. The stories are all rather gory… also beheadings. It was believed that only through their sacrifice that the sun would be set into motion and time as well as history could begin. We discussed how people live amongst this history today and how it is nothing much to them, something that is simply “there”, and not really paid attention to.

Balam was mentioning to me his interest in symbols and pulled a coin out of his pocket with the symbol of this eagle on it, mentioning how people carry this myth with them each day without much understanding of it. I am interested in this the passing of history in this way and the understandings and misunderstandings of it, even amongst people that are from this place.

By the end of our meeting and the day, I was feeling more confident about my ideas regarding incorporating some of these epic Aztec myths into my own work, exploring this intermixing of histories, cultures and time.

In the meantime, I continue to think out ideas as I await the arrival of my stretchers on Monday… Thanks to Matt I have a painting pallet or two. I take it as a good sign that this glass pallet has an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe on it.

  Waiting to get started on an art area...

Waiting to get started on an art area...



AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: CRISTÓBAL GRACIA: WEEK 8

I want to thank all the people that were part and supported the French fry eating contest.

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is a method of confrontation

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is a method of destruction

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is a method of iconoclasm

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is a method of visualization

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is a method of telling a story

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is a method of entertainment

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is method publicity

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is method of disappearance

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is a method of consumption

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is a physical effort

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is an experience for life

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is disgusting

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is obvious

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is needed

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is art

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is not art

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is a challenge

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is fun

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is complicated

Eating 3 pounds of French fries in 15 minutes is not just about eating French fries.

AMBASSASDOR JOURNAL: MELISSA FURNESS: WEEK 2

Yesterday was an enlightening day. Hhhmmm…. I had my first discussion with the curators last night, which was challenging… probably the most difficult part of this process. Of course, it is a good thing! However, I think that perhaps it all became—for me–more compounded along with other challenges in my life at the moment, in addition to this complete transformation of place. Again, all good things in their own way, but difficult to fully explain. I believe that with this experience will come many instances of alteration.

I spent some time at the studio, to settle in a bit and see how it feels to produce “something” there. It is a unique space, which is run by Lorenzo Rocha through http://www.oficinadearte.mx/.

There are 11 work spaces for artists, and are rented by a competitive selection process, with two studios offered free to the top artists selected. The office invites guest curators, artists and cultural managers who monthly enrich the work of resident artists.

Lorenzo was kind enough to walk me around a bit in the area to help me purchase a few items. The surrounding near neighborhood is overwhelming, with loads of small warehouse stores… stacks upon stacks of colorful goods everywhere… different sounds and smells every few feet—everything everywhere.

And then upon walking, the place begins to transform into the historic district, and there you come across a fragment of an Aztec structure built right into a contemporary one. And then you continue to walk, and there is a Baroque façade, and then this greenery… all elements that strike me quite significantly.

Back at the studio, I started to make a mess, and then I thought about adding this other mess, and then after last night’s discussion, it has now become this third mess.

Shall I try and organize it? Compartmentalize it? Stack it? Label it? Box it up and offer it to the gods? Send some people in to direct you what to do with it? Make a guide book for it? We’ll have to see…

 

To read more of Melissa's blog visit http://melissafurness.com/translocalities/