Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tucson Open Studio Tour 2007

Image from Wikipedia by J.J. Del Rio.

Yesterday we went to a few studios/galleries that were part of the Tucson Open Studio Tour. (It's going on today too.)

I love this sort of thing because it gives you a reason to go into studios/galleries you wouldn't visit otherwise, which makes the event into an adventure. We went to Ilyena Kaghan's house for example, which was a trip in itself - even independently of the awesome jewelry. (And thanks for the tasty hibiscus ice tea, Ilyena.)

Artfare also was one of those spaces we wouldn't have ventured into otherwise. Full of colorful characters, it was one of those weird experiences. The kind where Andrew walks out and goes "What just happened?". At Artfare they showed us the trailer for Mary Shelley's The Last Man (2007) directed by James Arnette. It's a Mary Shelley novel adapted in futuristic action movie style filmed entirely in Tucson combining a lot of stylized CG - I mean, I have to see a CG Boeing 727 airliner land on downtown Congress St. in a zero budget action flick based on a Mary Shelly novel!

But I guess the piece I enjoyed the most of the whole afternoon was, ironically, not a part of the Tucson Open Studio Tour. We happened upon Moca, which I had passed many times but never so much as peaked in. They are featuring an installation by Paco Velez entitled "Bajo la Frontera/Under the Border" which I found especially creepy and violent, but justifiably. My favorite part was that the Santo NiƱo de Atocha - who usually appears as painted above - was represented by a smiling mannequin in sneakers sitting in front of a strobe light. It gave me the same feeling I get when I go to the border: this very creeped-out feeling about the fake-ness of it all: that fake line that got randomly established by history and how everyone treats it like it's real. How can life be so different on either side, when the land on that side looks just like the land on this side, for as far as the eye can see?

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