TRANSPLANTES

I teach art/design history at Syracuse University. I make photographs and films. En inglés y español.

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La Lima de Gamboa

Fragmento de mi mini-documental titulado “La Lima de Gamboa”, en el que el escritor Jeremías Gamboa habra sobre la relación entre escribir crónica callejera y escribir ficción.

WHO ARE THE FLYERS OF PAPANTLA?

Historical and ethnographic evidence ties the Flyers of Papantla to the highlands of the present-day state of Veracruz -the general area where the city of Papantla, where they get their name from, is located- as well as to the early moments of Spanish-Amerindian contact in those regions of Mexico. In the present-day iteration of their performance, five Flyers are tied by their feet to a pole that is about 120 feet tall and is firmly planted on the ground. Four of the flyers descend to the ground, swirling around the pole as they make their way down and the fifth Flyer, perched atop the pole, plays a melody on a flute. Eventually, the fifth Flyer also descends, “flying” like the others. While we think that this contemporary performance retains much of its distant precedents, the Flyers we know today are less heirs to that very remote past than to the more recent renaissance they experienced during the 1960s. At this point they were rediscovered, and they became popular attractions at the Mexican pavilions showcased at the New York World’s Fair of 1964-65 and Hemisfair ‘68, celebrated in San Antonio. After this point, they became a fixture of tourist sites like the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City (inaugurated in 1964), where they now perform six days a week, among many other sites. At the World’s Fairs of the ’60s, the Flyers performed in front of the Mexican pavilions in a way that emulated their performances at the ancient site of El Tajín, where they performed in front of the Pyramid of the Niches, a significant pre-Columbian ceremonial structure. These ephemeral performances created an illusion akin to time travel, as if this modern, folkloric dance, which was totally attuned to the modern mass-media world of the fairs, could take its viewers back in time and space to the very distant origins of the performance. This is only one of many similar encounters between modern, ancient, and folkloric performances and objects that defined Mexican official culture in the 1960s. The legacies of these encounters are still a defining factor of how the world understands the culture and history of Mexico today.

Images, from top to bottom: Poster for Hemisfair ‘68, showing the Flyers of Papantla; Postcard from the 1960s that shows the Flyers performing in front of the Pyramid of the Niches, El Tajín, Veracruz, Model for the performance of the Flyers at Hemisfair ‘68; the Flyers at the NY World’s Fair of 1964-65

Juan Manuel Figueroa Aznar, Secuencia del Bohemio Desairado (Sequence of the Spurned Bohemian), Cuzco, 1907

Trailer de una colaboración con el gran Jeremías Gamboa. Recorrimos Lima, visitando las partes de la ciudad que aparecen en su novela Contarlo Todo (2014). ¡Ya sale pronto! / Trailer for a collaboration with the great author Jeremías Gamboa, with whom I toured the sites in Lima that appear in his recent novel Contarlo Todo (2014). Coming soon!

Cleaning the Ministry of Public Education and Health, Rio de Janeiro, 2014

Style never dies #VivaMexico (Hubo que meter tres para que nos contaran uno)

Memorial of Latin America, Library

Oscar Niemeyer, Sao Paulo, 1989

Damián Ortega, Fútbol Neoconcreto, 2003

Galería de Historia (Museo del Caracol), Chapultepec, Cd. de México, 1960 (Foto de Luis M. Castañeda, 2009).

Lance Wyman, Olympic postage stamps for Mexico ‘68.

The radiating and colorful lines that extend from the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, at top, and which surround the stadium at the University City of UNAM in Mexico City, below it, provide more than a graphic connection between these two sites. They also refer to the connection established between the pre-Hispanic site and the modernist building between October 11 and October 12, 1968 as part of the events that surrounded the Mexico ‘68 Olympics. The night of October 11, the Olympic torch was spectacularly received in Teotihuacan after traveling through many parts of Europe and Mexico. The following day, the torch reached the UNAM stadium and was greeted in the midst of a ceremony that commemorated the inauguration of the Olympics. In Alberto Isaac’s Olimpíada en México, the torch’s journey is captured beautifully in film. Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M00Kgo-mcE

fiore-rosso:

mayumi miyawaki.

the blue box house.

tokyo, japan.

(via edg-arq)

unavidamoderna:

Escuela de Medicina de la Ciudad Universitaria (UNAM), México DF 1958 

Arqs. Roberto Alvarez Espinosa, Pedro Ramírez Vásquez, y Ramón Torres 

Foto. Guillermo Zamora

School of Medicine, Cuidad Universitaria (UNAM), Mexico City 1958

unavidamoderna:

Fábrica Automex, Av. Paseo Tolocan, Estado de México 1964 

Arqs. Ricardo Legorreta, Noé Castro, Ramiro Alatorre, Carlos Hernández y Mathias Goeritz

Foto. Kati Horna

Automex Factory, Toluca, State of Mexico, Mexico 1964

unavidamoderna:

Entrada al Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández, Violeta # 31, esq. 11 de Abril, Col. Guerrero, Cuauhtémoc, México DF 1968 

Arqs. Agustín Hernández, Gonzolo E Arenas, Alejandro Martos Lizárraga y Héctor Bressa

Entrance to the Ballet Folklórico de México, Cuauhtemoc, Mexico City 1968

(via edg-arq)

Cover of my forthcoming book, Spectacular Mexico: Design, Propaganda, and the 1968 Olympics (University of Minnesota Press, 2014). Coming Nov. 2014.

This book is generously funded by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Read more about it here: http://www.academia.edu/842540/Spectacular_Mexico_Design_Propaganda_and_the_1968_Olympics

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