Perhaps it’s good for one to suffer. Can an artist do anything if he’s happy? Would he ever want to do anything? What is art, after all, but a protest against the horrible inclemency of life?
I love the chaos of this country. The contrasts of old world tradition and modern conveniences. Driving through small villages with ramshackle dwellings only to see satellite dishes perched on metal roofing, kids without shoes playing on cell phones, ladies in their Sunday best eating roadside tacos. I find a beauty and comfort in these dichotomies, perfect examples of the human condition.
The world isn’t always as black and white as our social problems reported in the news would have us believe. Rather our coexistence is a landscape of grey with splashes of color depending on where you are looking from, position determines perspective.
In the past couple of months there has been an overdose of chaos and conflict. The proposed dolphinarium to be built in Chahue, Huatulco, by Dolphin Discovery received lotas of grassroots opposition with a petition circulated through social media that garnered over 33000 signatures (note that many of the signatures came from people who could not even point to Huatulco on a map). Despite a rally held May 7th in Huatulco, it looks like the dolphinarium will be built. Despite the opposition, many I spoke to saw the proposed dolphinarium as a positive economic move for Huatulco with more job creation and tourism.
There was also the protest by the teachers of Seccion 22 which took the form of roadblocks throughout various parts of the state. Lack of transport led to gasoline shortages, each day there were fewer and fewer cars on the road until Huatulco began to feel like some sort of ghost town version of Oz. Further down the coast Juchitán became completely paralyzed by the protests with small outbreaks of violence and a man who died en route to the hospital because the ambulance couldn’t get through.
What does any of this have to do with this month’s theme of museums? Museums are our temples to human suffering and conflict. They house the works of the great thinking minds that are attempting to make sense of our human condition. To move us away from black and white and the ideals that we hold onto so tightly, believing they define us as good our bad. Our ideals define the complexity of our human experience – it’s a gray matter and art can show us the splashes of color from many different sides.
See you next month!