Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Full Mental Jacket
So what can one do in Oaxaca after the sun goes down? If you’re only here for a week or so then hanging out in the Zocalo, walking up and down the Acala, Oaxaca’s main pedestrian through fare, hanging out on a rooftop bar with a view, or listening to a bit of street music may be enough. Stay for a winter and you’ll need more diversions. Oaxaca has several opportunities for movies. There is an art theatre series at the Pocholte cinema, for folks in Seattle think of the Grand Illusion with a Mexican slant. They show a different film every night, mostly in Spanish but they had a Japanese series one month, Japanese with Spanish subtitles, whew. If you watch the various calendars around town other opportunities pop up from time to time. There was a recent showing of the John Lennon biopic ‘Imagine’ at the BS Biblioteca Infantil (children’s library – picture below), in English with Spanish subtitles, much easier. Movies pop up at all sorts of unlikely places like the Andy Goldsworthy flick, ‘Rivers and Tides’ last year at the Museo de la Filatelia (Stamp Museum – picture right). If you don’t know Andy Goldsworthy you should do your homework. A movie is a better way to experience his work than an art book of his naturalistic sculpture. There is an English Language Library in town that occasionally shows films, they also rent videos. Just keep your eyes and ears open. Oh if you want Hollywood there’s a multiplex at a shopping center a bit south of the central historic district. Lots of current shoot ‘um ups in both English and Spanish only a short taxi ride away.
Going to gallery openings is another diversion. Hardly a week goes by without an opening of something somewhere. Sometimes you can combine movies and galleries like at a recent screening of Pink Floyd Live at Pompei. OK the movie sucks but you used to enjoy the music in altered states and it still holds up today with the help of a little mescal. Maybe that’s why the English dialog with English subtitles seemed confusing. The price was right, gratis. The screening was at the Museo Casa de la Ciudad but the movie was put on by Biblioteca Andres Henestrosa which is housed in the museum space so the announcements referred to the library which was a bit confusing as well. A week or two earlier the art exhibit ‘Full Mental Jacket’ by David Velasco Sosa opened in the same spot. You were expecting mention of yet another old flick? Well that was ‘Full Metal Jacket’. From the opening announcement, here is a rough translation, “These days, graphic design has operated on two fronts very different from each other. The first is utilitarian reducing the image to the sale of goods and services. The other is more elusive, it explores media formats and distances itself from the principle of applied arts, namely to build and pass on certain information that has a specific function. The pieces presented by David Velasco at this exhibition feature graphics from the first sense to which he has added the a destabilizing nonsense and a clumsiness of parody which fulfill the "Freudian slip" of the "b-movies making clear what is hidden in the slickness of the classic sales pitch.” (That’s sort of rough and greatly cut down, just be glad you didn’t get the Google Translate version and btw Microsoft Word can’t spell Google.) Somehow the two fit together but Velasco had nothing to say about Pink Floyd. Pictures from the exhibit can be found here. Be warned while some images are simply graphic design and others playful and fun, there are others that bite rather hard.