Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Oaxaca Dia de Los Muertos Dia Cinco

Today is Monday, October 29th and we have no excursion planned so we are free to work all day on our projects. 

Photo by Teresa Reaver

I had decided to add a backdrop to the bank box and my choice was to group the tin skeletons that I bought at the tea shop into a collage with the brown paper bag they came in as the backdrop.  I think it turn out pretty cool.

The bank vault is starting to look like something else now that I have added some elements.  A tin hand that was in the Colleen Darling goodie bag now replaces the original idea to attach the Mayan mask.  A bent nail I found on an Oaxaca street becomes the post of a cross with a clock hand I brought from home added on.  Also, a little pin I brought becomes the headstone.  Don't those wooden legs look great?

We took off for lunch today and more street art appeared in my lens so I just had to add it to the catalog.

Lunch today is at La Olla which turned out to be a really cool restaurant filled with rockin' art. 

Me checking out the...oh, never mind. 
                                                                        Picture by Teresa Reaver

After taking many pictures, we sat down to round one:  a shot of mescal.

Now, although I have on occasion had a drink, I was not prepared for this.  When the bomb went off in my gut, I knew I needed to stop talking during lunch.  I was loopy, not that anyone could tell.  It wore off as we ate but I cannot understand how some of the folks on this trip could drink numerous of these puppies and still walk back to the hotel at night. 
Solange, Bonnie and Lisa looking so happy to be under a Luchador. 

The food was great as well as the setting, making for a very special afternoon.  A few of us made a mad dash around the shops again with a return to the religious store for the prize of the trip:  eyeballs.  Michael de Meng had let us know that this store was a great source for eyeballs but there stock was quickly depleted before most of the students in the workshop got there in the earlier days.  A rumor had started that eyeballs had returned to the store on this day, but when we got there the man behind the counter waved his hands at us and said, "No mas.  Su amigos..todo," which even my limited Spanish let me understand that once again the sockets were empty in the religious store.

However, it did mean I could take more photographs of the wonderfully weird religious icons on display:

Animals were an interesting experience in Oaxaca.  Dogs were plentiful but also rather pathetic.  Occasionally we would see dogs absolutely collapsed in the sun as if they needed a drink of water or if they were afoot, they would be skittish and unapproachable.  However, as this photo shot into a shop through a window proves, cats are cats no matter what language they speak.

On this particular day, we finished our shopping tour and heading back to the workshop for more of class.  However, the workshop was cut short when Molly showed up out of breath and full of news:  a comparsa was starting on the Alcala that included students whose costumes were made from recycled materials.  Seriously, how could a room full of assemblage artists not want to see this?

The student's costumes were judged and we did not get a vote but if we had we all agreed that this was the number one repurposed costume that we saw!

You think having grown up with my head in the speakers at a rock concert I would have learned never to stand between two comparsa bands trying to out play each other.  Needless to say, IT WAS REAL LOUD!

So far everything we have witnessed for the last half hour has been prep:  now by some unknown method a signal is given and the groups start to line up with the recycling students in the lead. 

So, the comparsa is ready to go, right?  Nope.  More band music, more picture taking, more standing around within the cacophony of the comparsa. 

And, those who have read the other blogs will recognize this musician:

Tonight a group of us went to dinner at El Morocco, a Moroccan restaurant near our hotel.  If you had told me I would be eating Moroccan in Mexico before I left I would have told you no because I wanted to eat Mexican but what I did not know about Oaxaca is that it is such a culinary delight of a town. 

To my surprise, I was able to resist the call of the zocalo tonight and instead returned to the workshop to finish my project.  It was a wise decision because of what will happen tomorrow and I actually enjoyed working into the night. 

Here is my project sitting next to the class sample created by Michael de Meng. 

The piece is called Remember Me.  My time capsule is a crypt, reminiscent of the ones that I saw in New Orleans the last two years with Michael de Meng.  Hindsight lets me tell you that it is also reminiscent of the tombs I have not yet seen:  Dia de Los Muertos will bring me up close and personal with the tombs of Oaxaca over the next few days, proving string theory or how I can be influenced by something I have yet to see. 

You can see the full set of photos from this trip at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gniebuhr/sets/72157631931549136.

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