Sunday, July 16, 2017

2016 Mexico City La Danze Macabra Workshop with Michael deMeng: Dia Doce

2016 Mexico City La Danze Macabra Workshop 
with Michael deMeng October 21 to November 3, 2016

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Not one to waste any opportunities, and having been on the ground in Mexico City for a significant amount of time to get my bearings, I decided to go on a solo Mexico City Walkabout this morning.  Here are the results:

The Angel of Independence

Leonora Carrington


The major public social issue in Mexico right now is the missing 43 students who were most likely murdered by the government.  Reminders of this mystery are everywhere. 

 Monumento a la Madre

Next it was on to the Monument to the Revolution, an architectural work and a mausoleum dedicated to the commemoration of the Mexican Revolution . The architect was Carlos Obregón Santacilia , who completed this art deco masterpiece in 1938 .  Unfortunately, I was there so early it was not yet open (see below for the spectacular views from the platforms).

Next stop on the walking tour was the Exconvento San Hipolito.

Now here is where something got a little weird:  I was walking down a street with a long blank brick wall when a guard stepped out onto the sidewalk from a doorway.  He looked at me, looked at my camera, looked at me and said "You are going to want to come in here."

Yup--one of those moments.  Not sure what to do, but in full lemming mode, I stepped through the door.

Here is what he directed me to.

Yes, the nice guard was correct:  I did want to go in there.  There turned out to be some kind of back hallway of the Centro Cultural Espana en Mexico which was celebrating Dia with these great sculptures.

Next official stop was the Museo Franz Mayer.  Wowie:  what a great museum collection.

After the museo, I was walking down this street when I stumbled upon an honest-to-God Mexican flea market just like back home.  My experience is that this type of flea market (or for that matter antique stores) are rare in Mexico.  I did find some finds that ended up coming home with me so I was quite pleased that I could bargain despite the language barrier on my end.  

And...then I stumbled onto this protest.  I was not too comfortable taking photographs so I tried to be discreet...and distanced, if you get my drift.  

I have to admit I have no idea what iconic significance this church altar piece represents--
but how cool is that?  (It reminds me of Fred Astaire dancing on the walls in Royal Wedding). 

The public ofrendas are making a dramatic appearance as are the sand paintings

Having returned to the Monument to the Revolution, it was now open and ready for the view.  First I stopped at the bubbling fountains out in front as many school kids were there having a blast in the water.

Here are the views from the monument platforms:

The group gathered together one more time for one more trip down the Reforma to the zocalo.  

Another Xochimilco river cruise was in our plans.  With Amigo Tours, we had a night time boat ride on the canals and then were bused to a local cemetery.

Then we were off to the cemetery on Dia de Los Muertos.  (An explanation for the photography:  this is a semi-private ceremony in a very public place at night so there is no way I am using a flash on my camera--the pictures will give you just a taste of the color and the lighting.)  What these pictures cannot convey is the overwhelming affect this night has on all the participants who venture through the memories contained in these cemeteries.  It is a beautiful thing to experience.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

As I recall, Marilyn, Sue and K.D. and I walked to La Ciudadela to get in some last minute shopping.  I was still looking for a dress for a Frida project I wanted to complete and some of the great tin the Mexicans make.  I was successful on both accounts.  

I was scheduled to leave at 3:00 p.m. for the airport for an arrival in Chicago at midnight.  All went well and Denice picked me up and drove me home to Milwaukee.  There was only about 36 hours of rest as I was heading to Mineral Point, WI, to take a workshop with Michael deMeng's wife, Andrea Matus deMeng.

Maybe that meant there was not enough time to be melancholy at once again leaving Mexico in my rear view mirror.  Or, may be I knew that I would be back in 2017 for Dia de Los Muertos and more of the magnificent Mexican culture.  


Here is the Frida assemblage I thought of when I was on this trip.  The dress I bought in Mexico is hanging in Denice's closet so this dress is from a Hispanic market in Milwaukee.  The piece is called There is Nothing Inside Me But a Large Wound, a Hollow Place Where No One Goes.

Gracias, Frida.  

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