PACO VELEZ




Teratology/Tipos Mexicanos, One the Gum Vendor

UNDERCONSTRUCTION

 Teratology was not a field limited to the scholarly and wealthy elite. In fact, it reached a wide audience through “cheap print,” i.e., pamphlets and broadsides. In the 16th century, the Protestant reformers Luther and Melanchton substantially increased the presence of monsters in popular culture with the publication of a pamphlet depicting monstrous creatures as prophecies of the imminent ruin of the Roman Church. Monsters were also depicted in broadsides, which reached more readers than any other type of text. A crowd would gather around a broadside, displayed publicly and usually illustrated, as someone read it aloud. Thus, the broadside appealed to the illiterate as well as to the reading public through spoken word and image. Since Antiquity, visually unusual beings had been exhibited in public spaces. Since the 16th century, street performances involving these beings were organized for the enjoyment of the public. They were the predecessors of the freak shows of the 19th and early 20th centuries. "The New York Academy of Medicine"

 Tucson Querido - a Tucson Blog, posted by Eva

 Yesterday we went to a few studios/galleries that were part of the Tucson Open Studio Tour.
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 Niño 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?