Tagged: Peru

Miscellany. 10.22.12.

Cuzco’s Plaza Mayor at sunset, with a view of the Compañía de Jesus church. (Photo by C-M.)

  • Original animated GIFs wanted for Miami arts festival. You’ve got ‘til 11/7 to submit.
  • Does truth reside in authorial intent, or in the naked facts? On the Media tries to sort it out in a fascinating show devoted entirely to the issue of factchecking. Set aside an hour. It’s worth it to hear the whole schmegagie.
  • Must-See: Louise te Poele’s grotesquely-beautiful photos of Dutch farmers.
  • Studio 360 examines Andy Warhol’s Soup Cans.
  • A 1967 letter from Artforum editor Philip Leidel to writer Matthew Baigell, telling him that the mag would likely never explore the issue of electronics or computers in art.
  • I can haz an exhibit? Cats, they’re in your computers and your museums.
  • Bring it! Art Fag City has put together a handy round-up of the latest very negative art reviews.
  • The Day in Art Merch: Richard Prince lemonade. For reals.
  • The Shakespeare Machine. Dig.
  • On Gary Panter’s Dal Tokyo.
  • Artists Jennifer Dalton and Jennifer McCoy have opened up a new spot in Bushwick that focuses on cheap multiples (under $300) by emerging artists. Check it.
  • Why do schizophrenics hear voices? It may have to do with their notion of time.
  • An essay by A.A. Gill on how the Michelin Guide killed food: “Food writing is already the recidivist culprit of multiple sins against both language and digestion, but the little encomiums of the Michelin guide effortlessly lick the bottom of the descriptive swill bucket.”
  • And: an absolutely fascinating interview with Chrystia Freeland, author of Plutocrats, about the rise of the superrich.

Photo Diary: Saint James and the Inca.

After a couple of weeks back in the U.S., I’m still trying to shift my brain from the Andes back to California. But one of the many pieces of art that keeps occupying space at the top of my brain is the above sculpture of Saint James, at the Casa Garcilaso in Cuzco. The saint, one of the Twelve Apostles, is frequently depicted slaying a Moor. (Though he was beheaded in Jerusalem in AD 44, legend has it that Saint James appeared to fight on the side of the Christians in a Christians-versus-Moors face-off in Spain exactly 800 years later — hence the image.)

But in the sculpture above, Saint James (Santiago, in Spanish) is shown slaying an Inca. The piece above is a replica of a sculpture from a church in the Apurimac region, which lies west of Cuzco. Unfortunately, the wall text provided little in the way of specifics — such as a date when it may have been made or if this was a common motif of the era. My semi-educated guess is that it was made at some point in the 18th century or thereabouts. Whatever the specifics, this surely has to be one of the most moving pieces of art I saw during my trip…

The Casa Garcilaso-Museo Histórico Regional is located on the Plaza Regocijo. It is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 8am to 5pm. Entrance for foreigners is with the boleto turístico.


Photo Diary: Visible storage at the Museo Larco in Lima.

An owl man figure. The museum’s director, Andrés Álvarez Calderón, who led us on an incredible tour of the collection, says that all ancient cultures conveyed the supernatural with hybrid human-bird figures or hybrid human-feline figures — and sometimes both traits at once.

The visible storage rooms contain thousands of pre-Columbian objects. We spent several hours in here just gandering at all of the awesomeness.

A figure of the dead, a symbol of the underworld.

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Photo Diary: Sala Contemporánea at the Museo Qorikancha, in Cusco.

Twice a year, the Qorikancha museum has a contemporary art contest that draws entries from around Cusco and Peru. Above: the winning entry, Perturbación de la memoria, by Edwin Yuri Huaman Huillca.

Announcing the winners.

In the exhibit, I saw some nice use of materials. A work by Nilton Melgar Carrión incorporates canvas, cardboard, trash bags, hair (or fur) and Andean textiles.

Last week, I attended one of the better art openings I’ve been to in a long, long time. The Museo Qorikancha, the museum attached to the ancient Inca site and Dominican monastery in Cusco, held a reception for its semi-annual art contest.  For the last eight years, the museum has been putting together a collection of contemporary art and supporting local and regional artists through a regular exhibition program and art contests. This year’s theme was ‘Memory’ and the show provided a good opportunity to take in the local scene. Things really got interesting halfway through the opening reception when the building lost power. In fact, the lights never came back on. Not that it mattered to anyone at the opening. Folks promptly lit up their cigarettes and used their cell phone lights to admire the art. Then the Dominican monks laid out a table of wine, which somehow everyone was able to find in the pitch dark.

Good times.

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Peru or Bust: Please help fund our Kickstarter!

Schematic for La Luz, to be installed by Celso at the old Inca sun temple in Cusco, Peru.

Yes, I’m asking for money.

This summer, I’m going to be working as studio assistant/translator/chasqui for my partner-in-crime Celso on a series of installations that will go up at the Qorikancha  the old Inca sun temple in Cusco, Peru. For the project — which is titled La Luz — he’ll be building a series of architectural installations around the ruins grounds (and the attached Dominican monastery) using several hundred bottles of Inca Kola, the nuclear yellow Peruvian soda (see images above and below). It will be a pop paean to the gold that once covered the site. The piece will be pulled apart and re-installed in a new location every three days. At the end of each installation, the public will be allowed to take the Inca Kola home.

The museum that manages the site, the Museo Qorikancha y Convento de Santo Domingo, has commissioned the piece. But as with most arts institutions in Peru, the budgets are tiny. Which is why we’re asking for your help. This is going to be a beautiful project — unlike anything the museum has ever done. So pleasepleaseplease help us get to Peru! Any donation, no matter how small, makes a difference.

Please click through to Celso’s Kickstarter to send us your pennies. We have all kinds of goodies for rewards. And we promise that your donations will be wisely and prudently spent (on lots of Inca Kola). If you’re a regular reader, please think of this as a way to help me keep doing what I love to do — namely, writing about great-weird art I find wherever I happen to be.

Thanks so much! And thanks for reading C-Mon!!!



Miscellany. 02.07.12.

Banana man, Lima. (Photo by El Celso.)

  • MUST. READ. A stunning 1988 essay by Joan Didion on our political “process” and its coverage in the media, and how it bears absolutely no resemblance to reality. Though I’m still trying to figure out what the hell “housemaid Spanish” is. (@citizen_kahn.)
  • Why solar energy is not as green as we might like to believe. A good reason to stop air conditioning shit to death.
  • “There are now more people under ‘correctional supervision’ in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height.”
  • Men in trucks: The photography of Alejandro Cartagena.
  • Jeff Chu on his round-the-world tour of Damien Hirst’s spots, an excellent opportunity to catch up on his reading.
  • Is the theft of virtual goods considered stealing? It is by the Dutch Supreme Court. (Kyle Chayka.)
  • The Day in Art Merch: A Sol Lewitt yarmulke. Awesome.
  • A Christian app for viewing art.
  • How Facebook and other businesses are using you.
  • And why the U.S. should consider a digital privacy law à la Europe.
  • Werner Herzog, on interviewing men on death row. God help me, Herzog could be talking about taking out the trash and I’d tune in.
  • Vintage Iranian “Barbie” dolls.
  • No idea what this is about but give me more: A Turkish Star Trek spoof. (@jmcolberg.)
  • Pac Mondrian.

A year-in-review (sort of).

Spied on our cross-country sojourn: A pick-up truck, outside of Austin, Texas.

It’s been a weird year. I drove back roads across the U.S. Threw a fish across state lines. Stared at an artist in a museum atrium. Taught art yoga. Spent the summer watching a “reality show” about art. Rowed around Randall’s Island in a handmade boat. And joined a religious procession in the Andes. I’ve covered most of these activities here on the blog (or over at WNYC). But a few things have eluded me — either because I just haven’t had time to get them down in pixels, or because I hadn’t quite sorted out my thoughts.

So, in lieu of a year-end listicle (I produce enough lists throughout the year), a little bit of stream-of-consciousness ruminating instead:

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